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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Every Table…

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Hidden Files.. a style I never shared with you all.

My Granny had a saying: “Every table’s got to stand on its own legs.”

I’ve found many places to apply that saying in my life since she passed and today I’m going to apply it to hair.

Not just Natural Hair.
:::crowd gasps in unison:::

There’s a misconception that there’s a no maintenance way of having one’s hair. The only way that you can have no maintenance hair is if you just simply refuse to maintain it as a principle. You just make the choice to give up completely. I don’t know where you work or what brand you represent but it’s not easy for anyone to get away with that in mainstream society. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way,  please pick your struggle.  If you cut it all off, relax it, loc it, braid it, twist it…. there’s a routine that goes along with keeping it looking the way you want it. 

Don’t waste your time convincing yourself that life is better somewhere else and enjoy the journey of where you are today.  There will be days that you want to give up being natural, I think we’ve all had a “You know what… I quit” day, but just remember nobody’s holding you hostage.

This whole journey can be about self-love, health, individuality, heritage or none of those things. It’s up to you to decide what it means to you, because after all… you can’t stand on anyone else’s legs, you’ve got your own. 

I hope this brought some peace to someone struggling with this path.

You can always contact me for questions.  #Love

Good Groceries

 

Groceries

There you sit on wash day and your bathroom sink looks more like the church kitchen during a Repast.

All the Olive Oil, all the eggs…

You can freestyle if you’d like  especially if you enjoy experimenting,but here are some links to some great recipes.

 Leave-in /Refresh

 Cleanser

Deep Conditioner

If you find yourself frustrated and consequently hungry just remember you can go in with a plan. It’s ok if you don’t. Some of my favorite creations were Wash Day remixes (However, I create creams).  Try a few recipes at a time and come back to share!  I’ll be honest the majority of my  good groceries don’t make it to Wash Day  so I’m really interested to read about your success.

Enjoy!

Nappy Out Loud 2.0 ~ Own It!

If you’ve ever sat through a Google Helpouts session with me you’ve heard me say this before.

You have to own it!

 

What does that mean?

That means that no matter who gives you tips, tricks or advice, it is up to you to devise the best possible hair care plan that suits you best. Nobody has to live with the decisions that you make for your personal appearance and wellness but you. It’s ok to have a one track mind when it comes to digging out information that will help you along your journey.

Even among the “experts” there is room for not just misinformation but things can be passed along that can potentially cause you harm. This is not to say that people have not gained awesome advice from simply asking people that they think would know the answer. I’m just making you aware that there are very-few absolute authorities within this industry, so be mindful of that fact if you find that something just doesn’t add up.  Don’t just ask more questions, but research the independent concepts on your own.

For Example: the MSDS is available online for almost any chemical found on a label, which will  possibly help fill in the gaps and help you make your own informed usage decisions.

Instead of tossing out all of your shed hair (s/n to the international readers, in America there are some people who believe in burning it so nobody can do voodoo on you…) save a bit to test some sample products on. Shed hair is useful, especially for those of you that have been asking questions about those temporary straightener products that I shall not name. Take the theories that you gather from here and other sites and find out for yourself.

Above all else, be sure that you make style, care and any other choices with self-love in the forefront. Looks like we have a theme song people. Thanks Kendrick Lamar 😉

 

Fall Natural Hair Trends 2014

Often when it’s time to style, especially in the early stages it’s not easy to come up with what’s next. For many loose hair naturals (not in locs) the fall presents some interesting styling options that keep our hair safe, stylish and function. The temperatures rival the perfect Fro weather that the Spring brings, but the drying air gives the protect, protect, rest routine a faster rotation.

 

I’ve looked around the web, and here are some styles that I think are on trend and will keep you on your healthy hair journey.

 

Style 1. The Twist-Out Up-do

This style provides you the opportunity to have some hair in the wind while still being able to protect your ends. The night-time care or this style should include the application of a Shea Butter based moisturizer and lightly twisting large sections to prevent matting and preserve the curl. This one can go from the boardroom to the ball which means that you can keep your hands out of your hair and still be ready for the occasion. Homecoming time, this is a win especially for the student on a budget.

Stylish Twist-Out Updo From: http://galeriasaharaui.org/

Style 2. The Roll

Retro styling is very on trend this Fall in both hair and fashion. This modern roll with braided sides is perfect for the Early natural with the assistance of Kanekalon hair, or the Vet that has enough to achieve this with her own stands. I love how this particular model was styled with a large geometric colorful earring. This is a style that yields to accessories well and from the looks of it will not fold if we encounter an early sweater day.

The Roll From : http://hairjaz.com/

 

Style 3. Goddess Braids

These are not your old school chunky braids. Long hair styling has become more multi-cultural. These braids have Celtic ties but they look amazing on every type of hair. Below is just one example but the concept is to create your own crown. If you’re a night styler like me and you prepare your hair for the next day each night, variations of Goddess Braids will provide you with maximum protection on windy days and plenty of play time at night. Not a braider? No worries, these also look fabulous as twists. Retro styling with a modern adaptation.

Style 4. Spring Twists

This is a style that works for students and mothers. A spring curl patterned extension is used to achieve this look and the length, color and bounce make this style a versatile all-occasions wake up and go style. I recommend not only this specific style but this shape of hair (When trying to explain it to my mother I called it “Body Guard Curly Whitney with a Natural Twist”). This is a fun length so if you can achieve this shape with traditional two-strand twists its still a win.

 

Style 5. The Stretched Fro

If you want to know what I love the most about being natural I’ll tell you three words sung in my best Pharrell voice *Pinapple and Go* and I’d do the beat. With very low heat and no comb you can take your curl pattern that you’ve grown to love, section your hair with your fingers, apply moisture and anti-breakage product, and blow each section individually gripping your hair and waving the blow drier achieve 2 weeks of fun! You can sweat, it can rain, you can get caught in the wind but a stretched Fro remains faithful like a US Postal Carrier. This is a great style for Vets that know how to keep their ends balanced with the proper moisture and when it’s time to twist down. Consider this the base style with multiple variations available. Styles 2 and 3 can be achieved starting with this style. When in doubt…. Fro it out!

 

 

As usual ask questions when it stops making sense. Click on the pictures to find some other great sites for styles.  Let us know if you try any of theses or if you want me to try one on my hair (Hint, I’m already stretched).

Also tell us how you like the new layout. That logo will be available on T-shirts soon so be sure that you’re on our mailing list because you’ll be the first to know!

99 Problems And A Kink Ain’t 1

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So I have to say this. I know I’ll probably get a few wild email responses but I’m prepared to defend my opinion.

There are many things within the community of those of us that have curly and kinky hair to be upset about. Crime, Wealth disparities, Police Brutality, Educational gaps, the Prison Industrial Complex, the Military Industrial Complex, Lack of a cure for Ebola, AIDS, Diabetes, Lupus…. the list goes on.

Why on Earth do we choose to fight and get crazy with one another about hair? We go all out to put one another down for our choices, “you use heat?”, “You use color..”, “Do you finger detangle?”. We actually waste energy getting upset about hair. We talk about people’s children (You know exactly who I’m talking about) pop off catching attitudes in Natural Hair forums and other exhausting counter-productive efforts.

Here’s a quick tip. Smile more.

Do you know that it’s hard enough to walk into the board room/ muster/ formation/ interview with confidence and a head full of hair that is still not considered the “norm” without finding that the places designed for support (Our own TV networks, groups, forums, and conversations) are filled with some of the same negativity we feel we receive from others.

We can’t change the world all at once, but we can individually pledge to be a little nicer to one another. When that angry bug starts biting the back of your neck making you want to say something snarky or mean, look for the light. Find where your experience and expertise along this journey can actually help someone more than hurt them.

Remember, there’s plenty of places that you can put that mad energy and use it to garner some positive results….

But hair? We talking about hair…. Not the struggle that people have put everything on the line for. We sitting up getting mad about hair.

*Allen Iverson Practice Voice*

 

Love 🙂

On another note I am still working on the product line with the development team. You can purchase the first product Growth Formula no.76 on Etsy.com but we are developing a full line.

Nappy Out Loud 1.0 ~ The Movement

I know that this site is for naturally curly and kinky hair and there are many of you that are not African-American. Know that I love you, but in this post, I’m not talking directly to you. However, I am a believer that we can all learn from one another and apply universal lessons introspectively without regard for source or intended audience so read on.

Now, on with the post.

From Eric Garner to John Crawford to Michael Brown this has been a rough summer in Black America. The above named, may they rest in peace are not the only lives that we have lost to the spirit of hate. We have been killing one another at record rates in the city of Chicago and all across the country. Why?

David Banner posted on his Twitter Feed

@therealbanner : “Our situation is more psychological than people will admit. Black kids kill black kids for the same reason cops do. They see no value.”

I believe that now more than ever it is important to push the agenda of self-love within our community. Not just inside the natural hair community but every child of the Middle Passage on this side of the Atlantic (because it’s not just a USA plight) needs to be able to look in the mirror and see both beauty and value.

So what do I propose that we do as sisters in the struggle to reconnect and with our heritage and our roots? I propose an extremely small step as an act of solidarity that we go weave and makeup (heavy) free for the next 30 days. What will that do?

Remember the first story in this series where I told you all about how young black girls would stop me in different places and ask me about my hair? I want them to do that you too! The more of these young ladies we can reach the more that we can instill pride and display the value in who we are as a people and they will then possibly influence the young men. Don’t forget to tell them what you do for a living and be sure that you pay them a compliment in kind! (no big deal right?)

It’s not going to shake up the world… we won’t make the news… it won’t be on CNN… but I can remember growing up and seeing the women in my mother’s circle of friends wearing and making African garments and reading stories or singing songs to their children about Kings and Queens and the concept of the Village. Years later I can readily grasp at how proud I have always felt to be Black, even in the face of being called out of my name. I have been able to defend myself with my words because they had been given to me by my elders.

“I am proud of my heritage and who I am.”

We all hail from different tribes and countries, many of which we are not aware of the exact origins, but the curls and kinks connect us, our skin in every shade connects us and our history in the collective sense entwine and unites us. Let the children see who we REALLY are. Be Nappy Out Loud for 30 days and share your pictures/stories  with the hashtag:

#NappyOutLoud

 

on every form of social media. Show us pictures of you doing work in the community, excelling academically, having good clean fun with friends, being a family, etc. (THE NEXT BIG POST IN THIS SERIES WILL CONTAIN A COMPILATION OF ALL OF YOUR GREAT PHOTOS THAT WE CAN FIND ON THE WEB)

The media would have us believe that we are less than human. We can’t be too surprised as this has been the consistent propaganda ever since the south wanted to count slaves so they could obtain greater representation and the North wasn’t having it, (look it up for yourself…that’s off format, but it’s true).

Let’s do this very small thing in an effort to restore the children’s vision of just how valuable and beautiful we are. Perhaps they will be more inclined to respect, protect and love one another.

Follow me on Instagram where I’ll be posting my #NappyOutLoud pics @Marri76.

Fun with Fake Fake Hair…

Who said that weave had to be an instrument of self hate and a perpetuation of European standards of beauty?

( A bunch of the old head naturals….. you know you can name at least 3)

Well I’ve always been fortunate to find textured extensions and there are some people who believed that some of my HUGE Diana Ross-esque #BigHairDontCare styles over the years were mine.

When you are transitioning, protective styles are your friend. They help you get used to your new face, and start owning your style. Weave in particular is a great playground to experiment with lengths and colors to determine what your hair goals will be. Below are a few gems that I’ve come across that are fun to use, inexpensive and they hold up well. Please keep in mind that for me to keep a hairstyle for 3 weeks is an indication that I’ve been messing up the money, or I don’t feel well. I say that because I have never gone the distance with these brands so I don’t know if it will stay in your head for three months. I don’t condone that anyway, but that’s for another post. 🙂

Wa-wa Super

Zury Tika SUPER

Marley Braid/ Kinky Twist

Model Model Water Wave Synthetic

and now good old-fashioned $2.99 Jumbo Braid Kanekalon. (Who knew, right?)

All of the above require a crafty mind and some creativity in styling since they are all synthetic and you can’t just wand it up and go, but the finished look is fun and most of all gives a natural looking finish. This is a short post, but I want you to see just how much I’ve been able to do with synthetic hair. Hopefully you feel inspired to take your protective styles to another level without spending a fortune on hair:

Enjoy my fake fake hair gallery. If I don’t name a stylist then I did that style myself.

 

Zury Tika Super stylist Ebony C. Cincinnati, Ohio Circa 2010

Zury Tika Super stylist Ebony C. Cincinnati, Ohio Circa 2010

Circa 2010 Wawa Super  top left. Synthetic ponytail both pictures on the right, and shrunken wash & go of my own hair in that time frame bottom left.

Circa 2010 Wa-wa Super braided front Stlyist Ebony C. Cincinnati, Ohio top left. Synthetic ponytail both pictures on the right, and shrunken wash & go of my own hair in that time frame bottom left.

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Crochet Braids 2nd Attempt, all around leave out, pinned up style. Marley Hair

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1st Run Crochet Braids. Stylist T.Daniels, Cincinnati, Ohio Model Model brand synthetic water wave.

Jumbo Braid Kanekalon Crochet Braids. Straight. Blown dry sealed.

Jumbo Braid Kanekalon Crochet Braids. Straight. Blown dry sealed.

Jumbo Braid Crochet Braids, same installation, Perm Rod dipped ends.

Jumbo Braid Kanekalon Crochet Braids, same installation, Perm Rod dipped ends.

 

 

 

 

Marley Hair Twists

Marley Hair Twists

Jumbo Braid Kanekalon Updo.

Jumbo Braid Kanekalon Updo.

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 Decision

I listen to The Breakfast Club every morning on iHeart Radio, and since it’s Monday, I thought it would be appropriate to title this post after the famous segment that sometimes feels real, but there’s no way that it is because the stuff is just so extreme, “The Decision”.

I chose this name because all weekend long people have been discussing in the different hair groups about what it means to be natural. I’ve shared my story on my decision, this time I’d like to take a look at the mentality behind a couple of the comments I’ve read and let you decide how you feel about what was said.

 

1. “It ain’t for everybody”

I’m a weirdo, so every time I hear that phrase, the above is what pops into my mind. This is a phrase that people have complained about/ celebrated in the hair community at large. Going natural is a personal choice to return to dealing with your hair as it grows from your head. That’s all. It’s not a calling to a higher purpose, it’s not a callback after an audition, it’s not the red or the blue pill. It’s a choice. It calls on your self-esteem, confidence, resolve, independence, and style preference for an answer… but it’s still just a choice.

There are two things that I don’t like regarding this comment.

A) The old head veterans like myself that take on that phrase is if returning to natural prior to 2003 put us on some conscious crusade in which we have survived the front lines, and anyone that comes along later has to get initiated into the sisterhood.

“Have you had your co-wash today?” *Insert Natural Hair pseudo-Greek step*

B) The select members of the relaxed  that use the term as a distancing phrase. As if they could not bare the thought of waking up one day just like God made them…as if it would diminish them to a level that only YOU the natural that clearly doesn’t care how the world sees them can exist comfortably.

There has to be a better way for us to convey that we are all beautiful any way that we decide to wear our hair. Any words akin to a “Girl, I don’t know how you do it” coming from either direction helps no one.

2. You say you’re natural, but what does that mean?

So we’ve got the Natural Hair Mafia that comes out to challenge anyone claiming their set.

“Well do you weave? Then you ain’t real.”

“How are you natural with that blonde in your hair?”

Your return to natural is your own journey. Nobody can define that for you. If you decide that your journey includes wearing a weave as a protective style so be it. If you decide that you just want your original curl pattern and not the color, that is also your business.

Don’t fall victim to the bullies that question your affiliation. Support is the key to this going from a fad to a movement to a lifestyle. The truth of the matter is: The curriculum availability is low, black people the world over are the only people who I have encountered that do not have a solid grasp on what it takes to style and care for our hair exactly the way that it grows from our head. In my opinion I believe it’s because we have the most versatile hair in that we can do either curly or strait, sculpted or free. It’s alarming but once you cross the line from relaxed to natural, lots of us rely on YouTube for answers.

You may have come here looking for some motivation to stay or return to natural. I hope that this brightened your day when you get hit with the situations above. Being/going natural is simply a decision. Knock the wind out of the big bad wolf and do what you feel is best for you. Women have survived for centuries as beautiful both with and without chemicals…. Ancient Egyptians were putting lead and copper on their EYES for crying out loud, we don’t need to try to get anyone on one side or the other, how about we just let one another live.