Since I’ve been gone…(Hair gallery Update)

I have not taken this site down because I want this to serve as a standing resource for any hair questions that I encounter along my journey.

I have restarted my locs, working on building a family and in doing so my focus has shifted away from hair and more to surviving and thriving as a black woman in America. I am still available if you have hair questions but come visit me at BlackMaggie.com if you want to see my latest passion project.

 

Here’s where I am on my hair journey:

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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

 

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.

Perception Deception (don’t believe the hype)

Nobody prepares you for the spectacle you may become the further into the natural journey you travel. I remember my first month natural, people talked about how they were surprised that my hair was essentially a bunch of ringlets, I still can’t imagine exactly what they were expecting.

There are some people, even African-Americans that hear the word “natural” in reference to hair and their mind drills down to a picture from National Geographic from the 1970s. Honestly I had hopes that my hair would spring forth and declare without words my African roots and serve as a symbol of pride in my ancestors that arrived in South Carolina on a boat from Ghana and from those three sisters I sit in a boardroom like fearless and “reppin’ my people”. However, my lineage, as most pre-1800’s lineage African-Americans, is much more complex and with that I’m left with a head of hair that boasts cowlicks  and whirls in the midst of my ringlets and waves.

It is that fact that caused me to seek professional assistance along my hair path my first few years. Because all of the passed down information and the few YouTube videos out at the time I found myself lost when people started giving curl classifications and assigning DIY styling instructions based on 3c, 2b, etc. and noticed that I’d have to change techniques from one section of hair to the next. When I took time away from wearing a styled afro and took what I call a braid break, I’d get one price when they looked at my hair, and about halfway through I’d get a new quote for the next time because my shrinkage would hide not only the length but how full my head of hair was at the time. This would incite a gathering of the braiders behind my chair and a few of them reaching in to touch a few different spots in my head and discuss it among themselves in French.

The most notable part of my past journey revolved around the curiosity that my hair created, in others as well as introspectively. It will take time to get used to exactly what your hair is going to look like so use the words, videos and instructions as a baseline to formulate your own techniques.

Just a bit of fortune cookie wisdom. Enjoy!

The Details

The Details