Nappy Out Loud 0.1

So I hope you all rock with me on this. This is the first post of many where I plan to explore the life of being natural in a world that hasn’t quite figured out what that means. These posts are strictly for entertainment/encouragement. I still want it to be easy for you to find the tips and tricks but this part needs to be shared. These will fall under “The Journey” category if you ever miss a story and want to find it quickly.

Currently I’m in Ohio and the natural hair movement here is a bit different. The spectrum ranges from the militant “Overstand me” black is beautiful crowd; to the divas that are along for the trend and the thick swinging hair. Then there are people like me that are in the middle and see the economical, mental and physical benefits of not subjecting oneself to European standards of beauty on African hair and body.

So what’s the point of starting this series?

Because I still get stared at walking down the street when I’m having a big hair day. Not just from the little old white ladies that you expect to serve you major side-eye, but from people who I think look like me. I know I can’t be the only one.

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I used to make up stories for people when I caught them staring.

“It must be because I’m tall.”

“Maybe I’m wearing something that they haven’t seen before.”

Or my favorite line that I know my man is thoroughly tired of;

“Do I look crazy?” 

The fact of the matter is that there are not many, in this area at least, that are un-apologetically Nappy Out Loud.

Nappy Out Loud: The act of having nappy hair outside, in front of people, on purpose.

Now I embrace the fact that I’m unique, but what I’ve embraced even more are the phenomena that take place (I looked it up, that’s the right word) when I’m out since I’ve just owned my individuality in style. The young girls that stop me in malls or out on the town and start conversations about my hair just when I really start to feel my odd ball vibe turn up a notch.

“I’ve been thinking about going natural.”

“Is that all your hair?”

“How long have you been natural? I just started, what do you use?”

So if you’re out there hiding under a weave, a hard press or just in a state of not being quite ready to give the world your 100% natural self. I hope that in the upcoming weeks (or however long this still makes sense to do) as I share stories of what I’ve experienced you find the courage to be Nappy Out Loud!

Be sure that you subscribe and share with all of your friends (CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON IN THE TOP LEFT). I plan on telling you all the stories that I usually keep to myself, as they occur. From the people who I catch staring and what I say, to the ones that actually have the nerve to touch my hair or say something crazy. (LOTS OF IN-LAW STORIES ON DECK …. They’re not ready).

Join me on this journey, Nappy Hair, Out Loud, In front of people.

-Clutched pearls and twirled curls

 

The Fine Print

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The devil is in the details. 

So I thought I’d share a hair journey moment brought to you by moving too fast and not reading enough.

So I’ve been rocking the crochet braids this week and getting lots of compliments.

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One of my coworkers decided that she wanted to try the technique to add a pop of color to her locks. She has type 2b fine hair so finding a store with the color she wants in her texture proved to be a task.

Off to the store we go after work in search of some Crayon grade colored bulk hair. 

Fast forward,  that just doesn’t exist in a retail to the public environment. 

Being the creative genius that I imagine myself to be I suggest that we find a high level blonde (613 to be exact) and deposit the color she wants. Makes good sense,  sounds easy enough to achieve right? 

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Add this to some developer and we’ve got color right? 

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Baby,  when I tell you that hair served every level of little old lady bouffant tea… It looked like she went gray.

So why did that happen?
1. Notice the label on the first picture…. bogus human hair.  They had the nerve to lock it up with the real deal. Human Hair Quality is a nice way to say synthetic. Unless it’s a silk protein fiber, you can forget about color unless you spray it. 

2. That color was a tint!  The swatches lie. We should have never expected a vibrant color in the first place.

In the end we ended up just adding the tint to the ends of her hair.

I shared all this as encouragement in your DIY journey.  Reading is fundamental!  I hope you got a good laugh, we certainly split our sides when we realized the number of mistakes made in our execution of the style. We completely abandoned the initial plan and decided to try it on a day that we hadn’t just worked for hours having fried or brains. 

Hair is a process,  but tonight was a tribulation. If you can’t make it to a salon be sure that you read every label, like I’ve been preaching over the past year. Even the seasoned Old Fros get caught slipping. 

As usual ask questions when it stops making sense.
#LOVE

The Secret Life of Edges

(AMEN)

So you want to know what happened to your edges. After years of micro braids that revealed nothing but scalp because they were so “crispy” and weaves so tight they could be used as Kevlar helmets, slicking down with brown gel, and when that went out of style switching to beeswax but still only shampooing your hair every two weeks….

NOW you ask;

have you seen em’….. tell me have you seen ’em?”

*dun dun dun*

“Whyyyyyyyy oooh why did they have to leave and go awaaaaaaay?

(That was for the old heads, now that I’ve joined the over 25 life membership club)

Let’s break down what took them away and close with what will bring them back shall we? Let’s go.

Balding Point 1. Tension. (we’ve discussed this before)

Balding Point 2. Products. (here’s the refresher) Here’s the news. You can use just about anything on your hair for a short period of time and almost never experience a horrible dramatic/traumatic experience aside from chemical relaxers and color (you need to know what you’re doing with those two things). However products like edge control were designed to keep you hair laid for the night/moment, not all week. What you begin to do when you use heavy wax, creams, and alcohol base products is slowly either suffocate or dehydrate your hair. Cleanse your hair and keep product buildup to a minimum. Moisture is not product. Let’s not make that mistake. If your hair requires the addition of oils, that’s not what I mean by product. (Please don’t walk around here with your hair dry telling people I said keep the product down)

Balding Point 3. Manipulation. (in case you missed it). So you can click on the link and get my growth routine. I would also like to add this scenario to help you understand what’s taking place. It’s not that you move your hair, it’s how you move and manipulate it. Some people do their hair every single day and never experience breakage and strife. If you are one of the growing population in the Sisterhood of the Disappearing Edges consider this; Ever look at someone who doesn’t shave their legs but they wear tight high socks? Ever notice how the hair has a line that it starts to thin somewhere near where the socks usually start? If your hair is not very coarse (thick at the strand level) you might be rubbing out your hairline. Know your limitations and style accordingly.

Random Building Points.

  • Don’t sleep in a wig that is not secured to your head. That’s like sleeping in a hat and if it’s the kind with an elastic band, it will rub against your hair.
  • Shampoo your hair at the level in which you add buildup to your hair. If you slick down your hair daily you should try to cleanse every 5 days or so. (even that’s a long time but touch your hair and see if it feels weighed down or crunchy)
  • Wrap your hair with satin or silk in your down time.
  • Don’t endure the pain. If your style is keeping you from being able to go to sleep it may be really cute, but it’s not worth losing your edges over. Take that down. I know sometimes a style doesn’t feel tight until later, especially if your Braider starts with wet hair and your texture shrinks, but speak up in the chair if you feel that they are doing too much.
  • Seek professional assistance. If between you and your sink side stylist, you can’t get more than just enough to cover the track in your leave out section of your weave, stop by a salon and let someone that knows how to care for your hair build a program for your hair’s rehabilitation.

 

That’s it. Just wanted to hit you with some quick tips because the scary trend I’m seeing is missing edge concealing weaves without treatment. There are lots of Kitchmatology tips and techniques floating around and I don’t want you out here thinking that the only solution to your missing hairline is to slap a sneaky weave on it and pray. You can take control of the outcome of your hair if it’s not something medically or genetically induced.

 

As always ask questions if it stops making sense.

#LOVE