More Unity in the Natural Hair Community (Cross-Promo)

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As you all are aware I am a member of the Natural Hair Blog Directory, a place where many bloggers like myself can first of all be found by all of you lovely people and secondly find one another and share knowledge. There are so many of us and we all have such unique experiences that it’s a wonderful thing to be sorted out to connect with readers that can best identify with our journeys.

Well this week I received a lovely letter from another natural hair site with a chance for you all to jump in the networking fun.

SEE BELOW:

NEW BLACK HAIR SITE CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL NATURAL-HAIRED WOMAN EACH WEEK

BlackNaturalHairstyles.Org Features a Naturalista of the Week

 

(New York, NY – April 14, 2014) – As a plan to introduce a new generation of women with natural hair as women who pursue positive achievements in business, entertainment and social justice, new natural hair website BlackNaturalHairstyles.org will feature a new “Naturalista of the Week” on their home page each Monday.

“We want people to understand that natural hair is beautiful hair,” said site co-founder Tiffani Knowles. “You can be a sensational actress, a cunning lawyer or a passionate public advocate all while rocking a mean twist-out.”

Brackenson and Knowles Enterprises, LLC (BKE), the company that five years ago gave birth to the online art and culture, faith-based publication NEWD Magazine, launched BlackNaturalHairstyles.org this year on the final day of Women’s Month –  March 31.

Naturalistas themselves, co-founders Yannick Brackenridge-Jackson and Tiffani Knowles, launched the site as a testament to the power that women have when they join forces to honor what is naturally theirs.

Over the past decade in the United States, women of color in business and industry have chosen to reject permanent relaxers and embrace their naturally curly and kinky tresses.

To celebrate this new movement, the website will honor a new woman each week who professes that she does not or is no longer using chemicals to maintain her hair and is also positively impacting her community and world.

The website will give each naturalista her own page with a collage of a few of her own stunning natural hair photos, a mini-biography with how they’re impacting their community and a chance to share their favorite doos and styling products with the world.

Ghanaian model Priscilla Dwomoh, an advocate for Looks for Books – a non-profit that improves education in destitute communities in Africa, is our first “Naturalista of the Week.”

To nominate yourself or a fabulous naturalista you know, send your biography and 5 stunning photos to info@blacknaturalhairstyles.org.

Press Contact:

Yannick B.-Jackson – Pres/CEO – Brackenson and Knowles Enterprises, LLC.  | mrsyannickj@gmail.com  |  786.443.3833

Tiffani Knowles – VP of Communications – Brackenson and Knowles Enterprises, LLC. | tknowles@newdmagazine.com | 305-799-3685

We love everything about what they are building and we hope to see some of your smiling/styling/successful faces grace the pages.

 

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Product Selection Formula

I’ve received several requests for help with selecting products. Much of my Helpouts time has been spent doing just that, so I thought that I should share my formula on product selection.

 

Step One: Eliminate the products that contain, MEA, EDTA and parabens. Don’t be fooled by the front label that boasts of the infusion of all natural ingredients, flip that product over and read the back label. The above is not the full list of harmful chemicals but those have been  mentioned in studies regarding the harmful effects of chemicals in beauty products.

Step Two:Determine the needs of your hair. If you have dry hair, seek products that do not contain lanolin or mineral oils they will provide a false sense of moisture. If your hair is too oily, seek a clarifying and pH balancing shampoo and products.

Step Three: Figure out your styling needs. Too often I see women breaking out the edge control when their hair may only need a light mist of holding spray. It’s very easy early in your natural journey to style according to the needs of your relaxed hair, and even easier to style according to what your perception of society’s opinion dictates. The beauty of having naturally curly hair is that many styles will stay in place just because. Very rarely to I add even hair pins to my twist up-dos because I’m able to use the tension and the curl pattern, to my advantage. Less is more in this arena, start with the lightest product and build over time, you may find that the only “control” you need is some Shea butter and a brush.

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Step Three: Find the right price. Pay attention to how much you are spending. If there is a $50 product, there’s probably an equivalent in the $20 range. Combine steps one and two and narrow down the base ingredients in your desired selection and see who does it better. I’ve made the mistake of buying the high-end product with the motto in mind “you get what you pay for” when in reality, “you get what they sell you”. Be mindful of your needs and ask for samples prior to making any purchase over $10.

That’s it, my big secret is out. I make my own products using the base ingredients that my hair needs at the time, but when you see me in a store this is the process that’s taking place behind the scenes that leads my selection. Hope this helps, as usual, as questions if it stops making sense.

Enjoy your Journey!

Recovery Motivation

The wedding is over, it was absolutely gorgeous, and I get my hair back. There’s a phase that we all go through on the wash day after we know we’ve been acting funny towards our hair.

I went into instant heat damage detection mode. I watched every single strand that left my hair and freaked myself out. There’s no amount of knowing that your hair has a natural shed process that stops you from blaming yourself with every loose strand when you know you’ve done wrong. You reflect on every time you used the flat irons, every non-natural product you used, and every time your scarf fell off your edges while it was in such a delicate state.

I can laugh now because I’m looking at the extension on my diffused Fro, but last night I was sweating. I’m writing this knowing that there’s someone out there that feels like they are in a “backslidden”(made up church word) condition and you’re dreading that upcoming wash day to survey the aftermath of that crunchy up-do or that bone straight press that you touched up every morning all week. Here are a few words of encouragement for this point of the journey.

1.Be kind to your hair on the recovery and don’t freak out at shedding that seems a bit heavier than normal if you know you’ve done weird stuff to your hair. Use quality products with as little harmful ingredients as possible.

2. Try not to abandon your vitamins, but if you do (like I did, because I didn’t need my hair growing out like crazy) a couple of days before Wash Day get back on your normal dose.

3. Detangle with care. It’s ok to baby your hair. If you take your time you can avoid any further damage.

4. Forgive yourself. Every now and then we are called to pull up (get fancy) in a different way than we normally do and it’s alright to try different looks. If it’s not the creamy crack, you can always come right back.

TEAMMOH (2)Fro

 

Be Encouraged 🙂

Nights like this I wish, I’d just cut it Off.

Picture it Cincinnati 2014.

I have my cousin’s wedding coming up and I’m extremely excited. It’s been a few days since the Bachelorette Party in Atlanta. The wedding is a week away and  I’m Maid of Honor, which means that I’ll show up in quite a few photos. The bride has requested that we all get weaves and put our hair in a beautiful style that she chose.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the style she chose, and she’s even been flexible on the texture of the weave.

Insert Quest.

I travel the city in search of just the right bundle of hair. I considered a curly pattern but worried that my hair wouldn’t blend with the slick feeling hair. My go to weave that matches my hair perfectly is synthetic and I’m just assuming that the stylist will use heat to achieve the style so that’s not an option…. I travel to the store of my youth, “Hair Lucky”.

After roughly an hour I locate a bundle of hair that the saleswoman assures me will blend well. I even touch the ends of the hair myself and note that it doesn’t have the slip that the other straight brands appeared to have.

Cut to my house.

I separate and braid my hair during my pre-Scandal evening and open the pack fully just as the first camera shutter sound crosses the screen.

Shiny ass hair = massive straightening of my hair required for blending.

It’s too late,  Abby is already getting paid dust at the campaign meeting and my hair is braided in a circle with the edges out.  This hair is going in my head.

The rest is too traumatic to share… In short there’s anti-frizz serum in my hair because it’s raining and I have to keep my edges laid. I almost passed out typing that.

Here’s the end result-

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I feel like a clown.  I feel guilty for putting the trash that is anti-frizz serum in my hair, mostly because I held on to a little before I took my natural journey all clean.  My poor blow dryer heat only hair has been sizzled with a flat iron in ways that would make many of my natural hair vets cringe.

So tonight’s mission is a Re-do (I will not let this be a real obstacle). If you know of a brand of weave that sells Super Wave in Human Hair that ships overnight contact me as soon as you’re finished reading.

I’ve had ideas of short styles… but I said that I would let it grow.  But a 2″ Fro with a Lotus cut into the side sounds dope.

Thanks for reading,  this was my hair therapy.  Have a backsliding hair story you’d like to share?  Email marellewrites@gmail.com I’ll keep you Anonymous if you’d like.

Stress= Hot Mess

This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking with the ladies that attended Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Pi Sigma Zeta Chapter’s  Girlz to Women Retreat. My presentation was on pampering your hair.

I gave the ladies the three pillars of my hair philosophy; Hydration, Sleep Care and Consumer Awareness.

A great time was had by all and there was a  from a lady that’s transitioning, that inspired a post.

I can’t quote it because I wasn’t able to write it down however it was essentially, why is my hair thinning in the middle (and there’s pain), even though I’m doing the things that I’ve been told are the things that will help my hair.

I took two directions with this question.

1. I had to address the pain.

Think back on the days that you had a relaxer on a regular basis. At least for me, I knew it was time for another hit of the creamy crack when my scalp started hurting. I thought it was because my hair was having withdrawals (go ahead and laugh). However, depending on your curl pattern and coarseness of the hair, the thickness of the strand past the first sprouting new growth (which still has chemical on it) may be enlarging the pore.

Now I’m going to WebMD freak you out about it. Pain is your body’s way of informing you of a process taking place, or an indication that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing pain, schedule a professional shampoo and inform your stylist of the issue. During consultation they can look to be sure that there is no broken skin, lesions, redness or swelling. If any of those are present they will advise you to seek medical attention from a dermatologist.

2. The thinning.

Repetition and Stress are the usual suspects. Sleeping on the same side, wearing the exact same style for long periods of time will get your hair, what people like to call “trained”. I told a story about how I used to part my hair in the same place so often that when it was time to comb out my wrap I could just shake my head and the hair would fall into place. If your hair journey is to have a full head of hair and maximize your versatility, I suggested the employment of my method I shared last week.

Stress is also the thief of hair. It can creep in and disrupt sleep patterns,  cause you to slack on your nutritional regimen which includes your water consumption. It can also internally disrupt your body’s natural rhythms and processes, slowing the signals that trigger growth. Address your issues and put as many of the to bed as possible. Your hair will thank you.

I hope I was able to help you this week. As you now know, if you need that one on one sister time, get on my Calendar on HelpOuts by Google.

LAUGH 🙂 Life is too short not to: Enjoy!

Why wait for a new post?

Now you can find out what you want when you want.

How so?
I’m proud to announce that Ooh My Hair is one of TWO Google Helpers available for live video assistance on helpouts.google.com

Helpouts are the latest addition to the Google family of helping you find the information you seek. This does not mean that I will blog less, in fact your session may inspire a post. Check out my profile and schedule a time. I’m excited and honored to have this opportunity to share the information that I’ve gathered on my journey with an even larger audience. I appreciate every single reader that has liked and followed this blog and put US (because face it we’re a family at this point) in this position.

THANKS & SEE YOU LIVE ON HELPOUTS 🙂

Protect, Protect, Rest, Repeat

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Growth has been the hot topic as we transition from Winter and work our way ever so slowly into the Spring. We all have visions of ourselves gracing the beaches flaunting either our giant Afros or our outstanding two strand twists that do not contain a single strand of Marley hair.

So what’s the regimen?
As you can tell from the title. Protect, Protect, Rest.

1. Protect- Cleanse and add moisture to your hair with the least amount of chemicals possible. This sets the foundation for rapid growth. Refer back to the post regarding Label Reading to be sure that your arsenal of products are free of lanolin, mineral oil, petroleum, etc. these products either close off the shaft of hair or create a dependency on the product meaning that the only way that your hair feels nice is if you continue to use that ingredient. Shea Butter and Coconut oil are my Go-To products and I often blend the two with other oils to achieve my personal blend.

2.Protect- This refers to the styling. Now a protective style is one that allows your hair to go on vacation. This is not a style that puts your hair in traction. Click on the link to get more information on protective styling. My personal favorite has been the Havana twists without the use of the anchoring braid. I find that the amount of shed hair is significantly less than when I braid my hair.

3. Rest- Give your hair a few days of rest between protective styles. At the end of wash day, add moisture your scalp and ends with a great conditioner and if you must wear a puff, be sure that any band you use is lined with satin. Rest is also a great time to incorporate coconut water smoothies into your diet if this is your first cycle of the regimen. Hydration is the key to increasing hair elasticity, and reducing the amount of external product needed to maintain moisture balance. Water is key, but coconut water adds a boost for those that fall behind in adequate consumption.

Employ these techniques and tag me on Instagram with your progress @Marri76. I hope to have an initial video posted on YouTube @marri76 and I’d like to journal my process and keep you up to date with any changes that I make to my routine.

 

As always, ask questions when it stops making sense!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Keep Your Hair!

I do not promote our condone tight styling and never will. As you take this journey with me you will find out everything that your hair can do.

One of the most beautiful  features of naturally curly and kinky hair is the fact that it will conform into eclectic and fascinating shapes without the need for excessive products or pulling. 

I believe part of the issues that we face as a community is the myth that or hair must be wrangled and mangled to get the desired look.  It’s a lie! No matter the specific hair typing if your hair is curly the pattern itself will maintain your twist or braid.

Here’s the myth we tell ourselves.
“This style is tight but I don’t do this often so I shouldn’t lose any hair. ”

The truth:
We have become accustomed to damaging techniques and we associate quality with how many Advil we have to pop. 

Hair moves in its natural loose state and it should move when in twists or braids. (Unless it’s pinned up) If you can’t move your hair, that’s a problem.

Healthy hair/ Good hair, is hair that’s still on your head. If either length or fullness is your goal, you will have a hard time getting there yanking on it. Trust me.

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Hair Braiding Consumer Basics

For decades in the black community you weren’t considered an official braider unless you just arrived from Africa. The laws were non-existent and there was a time that lots of people ran out of edges (hairline damage). Over the years there have been some attempts at regulation, but overall there are still people braiding hair using traditional techniques that however effective they may be, are not conducive to assisting in hair growth.

So how do you know when your stylist is taking you down a path of hair destruction?

1. Pain.
Not just a normal “tender-headed”(don’t you love how we just made that at thing) response, but pain that requires the use of a pain reliever. If you would have a problem with keeping your hair in a very tight ponytail overnight, why would you essentially put your hair in multiple tight ponytails and think that you won’t experience breakage. You are putting you hair in the same amount of stress if the braids are tight enough to cause real pain. Little white bumps are also associated with this section as they indicate the tension on the hair is too great. We know that there are some of you out there that are so used to getting your hair snatched around that you don’t feel the pain until your hair is nearly out of your head.

2. Unnatural new-growth appearance.
What good is having a very secure braid/twist if three weeks later you end up with a tuffet of hair puffing out underneath a crispy lock. Beyond the fact that it looks crazy, it creates a weak spot as discussed previously. One key to uninterrupted growth is keeping the curl pattern consistent.

3. No access to your scalp.
Some people are still getting cornrows, I know that some of my military sisters find it easier to stay within regulations utilizing cornrows and a bun. If your braids are too close together to be able to access your scalp, I wouldn’t suggest keeping them in for long.

Personal Tip: If I notice that the price sounds too high, and the time to finish seems too long, I take that as an indication that they are not interested in working on my head either or a lack of knowledge on the requested technique or they are compensating for overhead.

We try to keep it simple and easy to follow, but as usual, ask questions if it stops making sense.

Support the fellow YouTubers we post here.

2014 is the year of Unity in the Natural Hair Community! Enjoy!

 

Marley Twist Version 4 (VLOG)

Instagram- @Marri76

This week I installed a smaller sized Marley Twist.

Products Used:

  • Designline Olive Oil Leave-In Conditioner
  • Mizani H20 Rose Hairdress
  • It’s a Ten Leave-In Conditioner

This style only took my 3.25hrs starting from sectioning. I finished the ends with hot water and a lighter on the twists that seemed a bit more unruly. I look at hair like art, and so far this Marley hair is my favorite medium.

Keep an eye on those prices though people, $4.99 was great when the packs were full, I felt like I was in the middle of a bad drug deal in a movie

“You trying to skim off the top?”

Make sure you’re following on Instagram to see the various Updos I come up with this time.

FUN FACT- the styles that you see me wear usually have minimal hairpins. When you’re the type of person that likes to style your braids/twists frequently, pins have a tendency to fray the braid-stitches. I instead rely on the tension. (That just inspired another video idea)