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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dreadlock Maintenance Appointment

Well, I’m back from my lock maintenance appointment. I have mixed emotions. On one hand, the shop is spacious and has freshly painted green and orange walls (goes with the Trinidadian vibe echoed by the wonderful reggae gospel music). Plus, Aunti Mo, who styled my hair, was waiting for me when I arrived so I had NO WAIT! That’s right, NO WAIT! Seriously, that is a rarity in the hair salon industry! J Further, Aunti Mo is very kind, professional and she was super gentle when doing my hair (remember, I’m tender headed despite the fact that I have enough hair for 2.5 people. Seriously, I know I have super thick, kinky hair when Aunti Mo says my hair is nappy and starts "Whewing" when she's finished with my hair! Hilarious!).


On the other hand, my hair was styled with Ampro Gel and mineral oil. I inquired about why these items were used and the response was that they both break down and will therefore not build up in dreadlocks. I have read countless accounts about avoiding such products. I’m not a hair expert so please, what do you all think? Now you know, I have to do some research on mineral oil! Here is some guidance on dreadlock maintenance: http://www.mydreadlocks.com/dreadlock-maintenance.html, http://www.curlyhairsalon.com/dreadlock-maintenance.html.


Finally, I’m not that thrilled with the hairstyle. I asked Aunti Mo to braid my locks, put a bang in the front, a basket weave in the middle and to leave the back out. It is an okay style but I am now seeking cute and unique styles! Any suggestions?


P.S.: I wrote the above last night. Since then, I took out the style I got and now I’m just wearing my braided locks. I am going to scour YouTube to find cute styles. Here’s to experimentation!


P.S.S.: Today is my 40th birthday and I’m so excited. Got up, kissed my family and went out for a nice workout (jogged hills). Thank You Lord for blessing me with another year of life! J

Dreadlock Maintenance Appointment

Well, I’m back from my lock maintenance appointment. I have mixed emotions. On one hand, the shop is spacious and has freshly painted green and orange walls (goes with the Trinidadian vibe echoed by the wonderful reggae gospel music). Plus, Aunti Mo, who styled my hair, was waiting for me when I arrived so I had NO WAIT! That’s right, NO WAIT! Seriously, that is a rarity in the hair salon industry! J Further, Aunti Mo is very kind, professional and she was super gentle when doing my hair (remember, I’m tender headed despite the fact that I have enough hair for 2.5 people. Seriously, I know I have super thick, kinky hair when Aunti Mo says my hair is nappy and starts "Whewing" when she's finished with my hair! Hilarious!).


On the other hand, my hair was styled with Ampro Gel and mineral oil. I inquired about why these items were used and the response was that they both break down and will therefore not build up in dreadlocks. I have read countless accounts about avoiding such products. I’m not a hair expert so please, what do you all think? Now you know, I have to do some research on mineral oil! Here is some guidance on dreadlock maintenance: http://www.mydreadlocks.com/dreadlock-maintenance.html, http://www.curlyhairsalon.com/dreadlock-maintenance.html.


Finally, I’m not that thrilled with the hairstyle. I asked Aunti Mo to braid my locks, put a bang in the front, a basket weave in the middle and to leave the back out. It is an okay style but I am now seeking cute and unique styles! Any suggestions?


P.S.: I wrote the above last night. Since then, I took out the style I got and now I’m just wearing my braided locks. I am going to scour YouTube to find cute styles. Here’s to experimentation!


P.S.S.: Today is my 40th birthday and I’m so excited. Got up, kissed my family and went out for a nice workout (jogged hills). Thank You Lord for blessing me with another year of life! J

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To Chop or Not to Chop? Decision Made (for now!)

Image found at: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2QhCBRCv41I/TQIxanu4x2I/AAAAAAAAAN4/EXKzRmkbg2E/s640/locbob.jpg

To cut or not to cut off my locks? Well, I finally made a decision. I have a loc maintenance appointment tomorrow (Wednesday) and I can’t wait. I have decided to go to a new salon and I hope that it works out. It’s an early birthday gift to myself because I turn 40 on Thursday. Whew-hew! So looking forward to it! I’ve been blessed with another year of life, Hallelujah! I’m not going to let insecurity rob me of the sheer joy of that.


I think I gave myself a gift when I took the time to work through the feelings that I have about my locks and my identity. I realize that, for now, I just need a new look! When I go to the salon, I will be experimenting with a new style (thanks to Kinky Curly Island Gurl (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kinky-Curly-Island-Gurl/232006620146085?sk=wall) I won’t be cutting it into a style but will perhaps ask the stylist to craft a cute lock bob. Hmm, or maybe I’ll color it? In any event, I’m open to the possibilities. Will have to post a picture once it’s done!


Have you been thinking about doing the Big Chop? What is leading you to want to do it? If you decided not to, why?

To Chop or Not to Chop? Decision Made (for now!)

Image found at: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2QhCBRCv41I/TQIxanu4x2I/AAAAAAAAAN4/EXKzRmkbg2E/s640/locbob.jpg

To cut or not to cut off my locks? Well, I finally made a decision. I have a loc maintenance appointment tomorrow (Wednesday) and I can’t wait. I have decided to go to a new salon and I hope that it works out. It’s an early birthday gift to myself because I turn 40 on Thursday. Whew-hew! So looking forward to it! I’ve been blessed with another year of life, Hallelujah! I’m not going to let insecurity rob me of the sheer joy of that.


I think I gave myself a gift when I took the time to work through the feelings that I have about my locks and my identity. I realize that, for now, I just need a new look! When I go to the salon, I will be experimenting with a new style (thanks to Kinky Curly Island Gurl (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kinky-Curly-Island-Gurl/232006620146085?sk=wall) I won’t be cutting it into a style but will perhaps ask the stylist to craft a cute lock bob. Hmm, or maybe I’ll color it? In any event, I’m open to the possibilities. Will have to post a picture once it’s done!


Have you been thinking about doing the Big Chop? What is leading you to want to do it? If you decided not to, why?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Verdict: Coconut Oil is a WINNER!


Image found at: http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-page-main/ehow/images/a08/1t/am/instructions-afro-puffs-800x800.jpg


I decided to use coconut oil to prepoo my daughter’s hair and followed a natural hair regimen I found online (see: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/06/natural-hair-regimen-and-pre-poo.html). I also made sure to have her sit under the dryer for about 15 minutes (didn’t have a plastic shower cap so I had to use plastic wrap…just call me MacGyver). It turned out GREAT!!! Seriously, I think coconut oil is going to become a regular part of our hair care regimen. My daughter’s hair soaked up the coconut oil and it was much easier to detangle her hair. I’ll have to monitor her hair to ensure that the oil doesn’t attract too much dirt, lint, etc.


After I washed my daughter’s hair, I applied both Kinky Curly’s Knot Today and Gel. I then double-strand twisted her hair. This morning, I untwisted her hair and I put her hair into an afro puff. I also applied a small amount of coconut oil to each untwisted section. Beautiful! J


If you’re interested, here’s a quick how-to to style afro-puffs: http://www.ehow.com/how_8451414_instructions-afro-puffs.html. I usually twist my daughter’s hair rather than braid it but braids work nicely as well.


Verdict: Coconut Oil is a WINNER!


Image found at: http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-page-main/ehow/images/a08/1t/am/instructions-afro-puffs-800x800.jpg


I decided to use coconut oil to prepoo my daughter’s hair and followed a natural hair regimen I found online (see: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/06/natural-hair-regimen-and-pre-poo.html). I also made sure to have her sit under the dryer for about 15 minutes (didn’t have a plastic shower cap so I had to use plastic wrap…just call me MacGyver). It turned out GREAT!!! Seriously, I think coconut oil is going to become a regular part of our hair care regimen. My daughter’s hair soaked up the coconut oil and it was much easier to detangle her hair. I’ll have to monitor her hair to ensure that the oil doesn’t attract too much dirt, lint, etc.


After I washed my daughter’s hair, I applied both Kinky Curly’s Knot Today and Gel. I then double-strand twisted her hair. This morning, I untwisted her hair and I put her hair into an afro puff. I also applied a small amount of coconut oil to each untwisted section. Beautiful! J


If you’re interested, here’s a quick how-to to style afro-puffs: http://www.ehow.com/how_8451414_instructions-afro-puffs.html. I usually twist my daughter’s hair rather than braid it but braids work nicely as well.


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Wonders of Coconut Oil for Hair


Image found at: http://www.afrobella.com/wp-content/afrobella%20images/coconut_oil.jpg


I am so excited! I just got some coconut oil and I can’t wait to prepoo my daughter’s hair and my hair (see yesterday’s blog for information on prepooing: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/06/natural-hair-regimen-and-pre-poo.html). I’ve heard that coconut oil is great for hair. An article in the Journal of Cosmetic Science* underscores this point:


This study has firmly established the superiority of the protective effect of coconut oil on hair damage in grooming processes when it is used as a pre-wash conditioner as compared to mineral oil and other vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. It not only has a protective effect on undamaged hair but also on chemically treated hair, UV-treated hair, and hair treated with boiling water (i.e., hair in water at 100øC for 2 hr). The ability of coconut oil to penetrate into hair cuticle and cortex seems to be responsible for this effect. Coated on the fiber surface, it can prevent or reduce the amount of water penetrating into the fiber and reduce the swelling. This, in turn, reduces the lifting of the surface cuticle and prevents it from being chipped away during wet combing. A reduction in the WRI is additional evidence of its efficacy in decreasing water absorption. The data presented in this work clearly show the superiority of coconut oil as a hair damage protectant, in the grooming of untreated or damaged hair.


Here is another resource that talks about coconut oil and hair: http://beautyinreason.blogspot.com/2010/08/amazing-results-with-prepooing-with.html. Have you ever used coconut oil as part of your natural hair regimen? What kind of oil do you use? What kind of results have you gotten? Please share!


*The journal article citation is: Rele, A.S. & Mohile, R.B. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of Cosmetic Science, 54, 175-192.

The Wonders of Coconut Oil for Hair


Image found at: http://www.afrobella.com/wp-content/afrobella%20images/coconut_oil.jpg


I am so excited! I just got some coconut oil and I can’t wait to prepoo my daughter’s hair and my hair (see yesterday’s blog for information on prepooing: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/06/natural-hair-regimen-and-pre-poo.html). I’ve heard that coconut oil is great for hair. An article in the Journal of Cosmetic Science* underscores this point:


This study has firmly established the superiority of the protective effect of coconut oil on hair damage in grooming processes when it is used as a pre-wash conditioner as compared to mineral oil and other vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. It not only has a protective effect on undamaged hair but also on chemically treated hair, UV-treated hair, and hair treated with boiling water (i.e., hair in water at 100øC for 2 hr). The ability of coconut oil to penetrate into hair cuticle and cortex seems to be responsible for this effect. Coated on the fiber surface, it can prevent or reduce the amount of water penetrating into the fiber and reduce the swelling. This, in turn, reduces the lifting of the surface cuticle and prevents it from being chipped away during wet combing. A reduction in the WRI is additional evidence of its efficacy in decreasing water absorption. The data presented in this work clearly show the superiority of coconut oil as a hair damage protectant, in the grooming of untreated or damaged hair.


Here is another resource that talks about coconut oil and hair: http://beautyinreason.blogspot.com/2010/08/amazing-results-with-prepooing-with.html. Have you ever used coconut oil as part of your natural hair regimen? What kind of oil do you use? What kind of results have you gotten? Please share!


*The journal article citation is: Rele, A.S. & Mohile, R.B. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of Cosmetic Science, 54, 175-192.

Natural Hair Regimen and Pre Poo


Image found at: http://www.kisforkinky.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/20100418_142452_Naturally-Curly.jpg


I came across an excellent video that shows a quick natural hair regimen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOEk5BUq-HA (called "My Natural Hair Regimen"). I think I’ll be trying this on my daughter’s hair the next time we wash. I am ecstatic to learn more and more about natural hair.


I also found some interesting information on pre-pooing. Pre-poo is simply a pre-shampoo treatment; AfroBella covered this a few years ago: http://www.afrobella.com/2008/03/28/do-you-pre-poo/ and here’s a few other sites that talk about prepooing: http://www.darkerthanbrown.com/2011/04/how-to-pre-poo-natural-hair.html (has a prepoo video), http://www.themanesource.com/2011/05/27/the-power-of-pre-poo/, http://www.kisforkinky.com/2010/07/what-is-a-good-pre-poo-to-really-soften-natural-hair/ (prepoo recipe…I haven’t tried it so let me know how it works for you). Thanks! Tina


Natural Hair Regimen and Pre Poo


Image found at: http://www.kisforkinky.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/20100418_142452_Naturally-Curly.jpg


I came across an excellent video that shows a quick natural hair regimen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOEk5BUq-HA (called "My Natural Hair Regimen"). I think I’ll be trying this on my daughter’s hair the next time we wash. I am ecstatic to learn more and more about natural hair.


I also found some interesting information on pre-pooing. Pre-poo is simply a pre-shampoo treatment; AfroBella covered this a few years ago: http://www.afrobella.com/2008/03/28/do-you-pre-poo/ and here’s a few other sites that talk about prepooing: http://www.darkerthanbrown.com/2011/04/how-to-pre-poo-natural-hair.html (has a prepoo video), http://www.themanesource.com/2011/05/27/the-power-of-pre-poo/, http://www.kisforkinky.com/2010/07/what-is-a-good-pre-poo-to-really-soften-natural-hair/ (prepoo recipe…I haven’t tried it so let me know how it works for you). Thanks! Tina


Thursday, June 23, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weaves when the Chemicals Became Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner


Image found at: http://www.murchisoncenter.org/cyberhair/images/good_hai.jpg

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading the book Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weaves when the Chemicals Became Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. The book is an oldy-but-goody (originally published in 1992) that provides humorous insight into what lead Ms. Bonner to pursue a natural hair journey (oh my goodness, the first time I’d ever heard of a homemade stocking cap complete with elastic chin strap). The book covers everything from hair composition, to tools of the trade to how to shampoo and condition your hair, to how to style your hair. Plus, Ms. Bonner’s down-to-earth style and sense of humor makes it a fun read. Overall, the book is a nice mix of scientific information, personal narrative and style guide (with pictures). I recommend it. Plus, Oprah Winfrey loves the book! Happy reading!

BOOK REVIEW: Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weaves when the Chemicals Became Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner


Image found at: http://www.murchisoncenter.org/cyberhair/images/good_hai.jpg

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading the book Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weaves when the Chemicals Became Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. The book is an oldy-but-goody (originally published in 1992) that provides humorous insight into what lead Ms. Bonner to pursue a natural hair journey (oh my goodness, the first time I’d ever heard of a homemade stocking cap complete with elastic chin strap). The book covers everything from hair composition, to tools of the trade to how to shampoo and condition your hair, to how to style your hair. Plus, Ms. Bonner’s down-to-earth style and sense of humor makes it a fun read. Overall, the book is a nice mix of scientific information, personal narrative and style guide (with pictures). I recommend it. Plus, Oprah Winfrey loves the book! Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Style Dreadlocks: Dreadlock Bob

Yesterday, I blogged about how I'm learning more about the broad array of lock hairstyles available. In particular, I learned that long dreadlocks can be "shortened" without actually cutting them. Guess what! I found a YouTube video on how to do this style! I cannot thank the community enough. Several of you reached out to me with such compassion because you wanted to help me...someone you've never even met! Wow! You all are amazing.

Anyway, here is the lock styling video by Nialanas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBS-iNNWcmY. Thanks!

How to Style Dreadlocks: Dreadlock Bob

Yesterday, I blogged about how I'm learning more about the broad array of lock hairstyles available. In particular, I learned that long dreadlocks can be "shortened" without actually cutting them. Guess what! I found a YouTube video on how to do this style! I cannot thank the community enough. Several of you reached out to me with such compassion because you wanted to help me...someone you've never even met! Wow! You all are amazing.

Anyway, here is the lock styling video by Nialanas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBS-iNNWcmY. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creative Loc Styles


Image found at: http://dreadlockextensionsandmorebykeisha.webs.com/eth5.jpg


Did you know that there are some hair geniuses out there who can reattach your original locs if you decide to cut them off?! I know right! That sounds CRAZY but apparently it is possible. Actually, it is similar to applying loc extensions. I learned about this when I recently inquired on FaceBook about new loc styles that could mimic a short hair cut. I love technology because in a matter of hours I had helpful responses. Kinky Curly Island Gurl (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kinky-Curly-Island-Gurl/232006620146085?sk=wall) told me to check out Loc’d and Lov’n It, another FaceBook page (http://www.facebook.com/locdandlovinit).


I learned that it’s possible to do all kinds of things with my locs, for example folding the locs and twisting them around themselves to shorten them, using pipe cleaners to roll them (similar to a straw set I guess). This is amazing and I’m now on a hunt for a day or two when I can have the time to experiment. I will post any helpful pictures I take as I experiment. Thanks Kinky Curly Island Gurl and Loc’d and Lov’n It!


Also, here is a loc reattachment tutorial if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIvT5XoegZM. There are some creative folks out there! J


Creative Loc Styles


Image found at: http://dreadlockextensionsandmorebykeisha.webs.com/eth5.jpg


Did you know that there are some hair geniuses out there who can reattach your original locs if you decide to cut them off?! I know right! That sounds CRAZY but apparently it is possible. Actually, it is similar to applying loc extensions. I learned about this when I recently inquired on FaceBook about new loc styles that could mimic a short hair cut. I love technology because in a matter of hours I had helpful responses. Kinky Curly Island Gurl (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kinky-Curly-Island-Gurl/232006620146085?sk=wall) told me to check out Loc’d and Lov’n It, another FaceBook page (http://www.facebook.com/locdandlovinit).


I learned that it’s possible to do all kinds of things with my locs, for example folding the locs and twisting them around themselves to shorten them, using pipe cleaners to roll them (similar to a straw set I guess). This is amazing and I’m now on a hunt for a day or two when I can have the time to experiment. I will post any helpful pictures I take as I experiment. Thanks Kinky Curly Island Gurl and Loc’d and Lov’n It!


Also, here is a loc reattachment tutorial if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIvT5XoegZM. There are some creative folks out there! J


Monday, June 20, 2011

Mother Daughter Bonding


Image found at: http://cdn.wblk.com/files/2011/01/black_mother_daughter3.jpg


In an earlier post (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/06/mothers-why-do-we-care-how-our.html) I pondered why we mothers (and some fathers) care so much about our daughter’s hair. I reflected on how my daughter’s hair impacts her identity as well as my own. Yesterday, I washed my daughter’s hair and we had some time to talk. My daughter is quick as a whip and absolutely has no problem telling me how much she hates to get her hair done. But, as soon as I remind her that she likes her hair to look nice she acquiesces and lets me lather, rinse, lather, rinse, (no towel blot…leads to frizz), apply leave in conditioner (Kinky Curly Knot Today), section, comb, two-strand twist (Kinky Curly Gel) hand place her under the hooded dryer for a few minute to remove excess water, then conclude with a fair amount of essential oils. Whew, now it’s time for bed (for both of us!).


Guess what? We managed to have fun doing it. We watched a bit of TV and when it was time for her to sit under the dryer, I lay down next to her so that I could rub her back and keep her company. She soaked it all in and gave me the most precious smile. I love the fact that our hair ritual is becoming a bonding ritual.


Plus, when I untwisted her hair this morning and put it into an afro-puff her hair was moisturized, detangled and gorgeous! She loved it and I was so grateful that we’d spent time together. I love Kinky Curly products and they can be purchased at http://kinky-curly.com/shop.php. By the way, I am in no way affiliated with Kinky Curly just love the products!


Mother Daughter Bonding


Image found at: http://cdn.wblk.com/files/2011/01/black_mother_daughter3.jpg


In an earlier post (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/06/mothers-why-do-we-care-how-our.html) I pondered why we mothers (and some fathers) care so much about our daughter’s hair. I reflected on how my daughter’s hair impacts her identity as well as my own. Yesterday, I washed my daughter’s hair and we had some time to talk. My daughter is quick as a whip and absolutely has no problem telling me how much she hates to get her hair done. But, as soon as I remind her that she likes her hair to look nice she acquiesces and lets me lather, rinse, lather, rinse, (no towel blot…leads to frizz), apply leave in conditioner (Kinky Curly Knot Today), section, comb, two-strand twist (Kinky Curly Gel) hand place her under the hooded dryer for a few minute to remove excess water, then conclude with a fair amount of essential oils. Whew, now it’s time for bed (for both of us!).


Guess what? We managed to have fun doing it. We watched a bit of TV and when it was time for her to sit under the dryer, I lay down next to her so that I could rub her back and keep her company. She soaked it all in and gave me the most precious smile. I love the fact that our hair ritual is becoming a bonding ritual.


Plus, when I untwisted her hair this morning and put it into an afro-puff her hair was moisturized, detangled and gorgeous! She loved it and I was so grateful that we’d spent time together. I love Kinky Curly products and they can be purchased at http://kinky-curly.com/shop.php. By the way, I am in no way affiliated with Kinky Curly just love the products!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Where has the pretty gone?


One thing that I don’t like is indecisiveness. Guess what? I have become really indecisive over the last few days. Wear a TWA? Get a cute summer cut? Color it? Grow it out? Oh my goodness, chill out! I have to admit, I’m going through a bit of a mid-life identity crisis! J I think we all have these mini-crises, but warning, this post is a bit of a self-centered rant!


As I’ve mentioned, I’m turning 40 this month (in 12 days to be exact). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been one of those people who is afraid of aging or even dying for that matter. When I was turning 30 people warned me that I’d freak out, feel old, etc. Not! None of that happened. My husband arranged for one of my besties to make a surprise visit to Atlanta (where my husband and I first lived when we got married). My girlfriend and I proceeded to have a fantastic time at a wonderful spa and live it up! Thirty? A FUN, FUN time! So why am I tripping over turning 40? Perhaps it’s because I feel that my identity as a pretty girl is fading. I recently read the book, Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald and Molly discusses how the word “pretty” is often reserved for young women. Not 40+ year olds who may be described as beautiful, attractive, handsome (oh heck no) but usually not pretty. I sound like a vain old chick but I have to admit that I’ve noticed enlarging pores, extra drooping boobs, wider butt, flatter feet, fading eyesight. Yes, all in the last few years. Nothing pretty about it.


So, why the focus on my hair? I think my extra focus on my hairstyle is because it’s something that I can control. I need to feel like I have control over something; especially when I work out, cut out flour and sugar and still manage to gain two pounds. Yes, I’m being vain but I’m so telling the truth. However, I also hear that still quiet voice telling me to focus on more important life issues AND I hear that loud voice saying “Get your widening butt in the gym, work it out and shut up!” Wait, that’s my girlfriends. Just jokes!


Here’s to feeling good about ourselves!

Where has the pretty gone?


One thing that I don’t like is indecisiveness. Guess what? I have become really indecisive over the last few days. Wear a TWA? Get a cute summer cut? Color it? Grow it out? Oh my goodness, chill out! I have to admit, I’m going through a bit of a mid-life identity crisis! J I think we all have these mini-crises, but warning, this post is a bit of a self-centered rant!


As I’ve mentioned, I’m turning 40 this month (in 12 days to be exact). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been one of those people who is afraid of aging or even dying for that matter. When I was turning 30 people warned me that I’d freak out, feel old, etc. Not! None of that happened. My husband arranged for one of my besties to make a surprise visit to Atlanta (where my husband and I first lived when we got married). My girlfriend and I proceeded to have a fantastic time at a wonderful spa and live it up! Thirty? A FUN, FUN time! So why am I tripping over turning 40? Perhaps it’s because I feel that my identity as a pretty girl is fading. I recently read the book, Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald and Molly discusses how the word “pretty” is often reserved for young women. Not 40+ year olds who may be described as beautiful, attractive, handsome (oh heck no) but usually not pretty. I sound like a vain old chick but I have to admit that I’ve noticed enlarging pores, extra drooping boobs, wider butt, flatter feet, fading eyesight. Yes, all in the last few years. Nothing pretty about it.


So, why the focus on my hair? I think my extra focus on my hairstyle is because it’s something that I can control. I need to feel like I have control over something; especially when I work out, cut out flour and sugar and still manage to gain two pounds. Yes, I’m being vain but I’m so telling the truth. However, I also hear that still quiet voice telling me to focus on more important life issues AND I hear that loud voice saying “Get your widening butt in the gym, work it out and shut up!” Wait, that’s my girlfriends. Just jokes!


Here’s to feeling good about ourselves!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Calling All Loc Stylists


Image found at: http://images24.fotki.com/v824/photos/1/1059060/6394276/MyBob-vi.jpg


In my on-going decision-making process about undergoing the Big Chop, I think I’m going to get a cute summer loc style as an interim move. Maybe even get some color. Can anyone recommend a stylist experienced with cutting and styling locs? I'd love to get a look like the model in the picture above!


Calling All Loc Stylists


Image found at: http://images24.fotki.com/v824/photos/1/1059060/6394276/MyBob-vi.jpg


In my on-going decision-making process about undergoing the Big Chop, I think I’m going to get a cute summer loc style as an interim move. Maybe even get some color. Can anyone recommend a stylist experienced with cutting and styling locs? I'd love to get a look like the model in the picture above!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our Children are Affected by Our Hair Choices

Image found at: http://www.essence.com/images/mt/little_girl.jpg

The plot thickens. I’ve been playing in my hair for the last 48 hours to see just how much length I’ll have once I cut off my locs. I’ve been reading natural hair blogs and books. Actually, just finished reading Thank God I’m Natural by Chris-Tia E. Donaldson (I give this book a huge thumbs up; it’s a great, quick read with comprehensive content: http://thankgodimnatural.wordpress.com/book/). The book and other sources have told me that, in some cases, it’s possible to take locs down though it can cost $250 to $500 to get it done in a salon. I have never spent that much on my hair and don’t know if I’m willing to now. It helps that I LOVE a TWA and that my husband says he looks forward to it again if that’s what I want. Plus, I get to swim on a daily basis if I want to (there’s a whole different discussion about putting on a swimsuit…okay, I really have issues) HAHA.


I think it also sends a message to my children (we have an 8 year old and a 5 year old). The hilarious thing is that neither one of our children wants me to cut my hair. My son said, “MOMMY! No! No one around here has hair that short” Say what? Wow. Without putting words into his mouth, it sounds like my man is concerned that his Momma is going to look like a plucked chicken and that he will bear the brunt of being teased because of it. My daughter is even more adamant, “MOMMMMMMMMYYYY! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! DON’T CUT YOUR HAIR! I LIKE IT LONG!” Double wow. Such emotion about MY hair. Is it possible that my hair has implications for their identity? Well, given the central role that parents play in identity formation it seems the answer is yes. This tells me that what we do with our hair may impact our children’s attitudes about their hair and themselves in general. Talk about responsibility.


Truth be told, we live in a lily-white neighborhood, in a lily-white town in the suburbs of a predominately white city. There are not many people of color more or less women with natural hair. I was stretching it with long dreadlocks, now I’m taking it further with a TWA. Hey kiddos, there’s no time like the present to understand the fact that I AND YOU have kinky, coily hair that differs from the hair of those around you. Yes children, we’re different in some ways and similar in other ways to those around us. Guess what, it’s all beautiful. Here’s to learning how to embrace our unique beauty and the beauty of others.

Our Children are Affected by Our Hair Choices

Image found at: http://www.essence.com/images/mt/little_girl.jpg

The plot thickens. I’ve been playing in my hair for the last 48 hours to see just how much length I’ll have once I cut off my locs. I’ve been reading natural hair blogs and books. Actually, just finished reading Thank God I’m Natural by Chris-Tia E. Donaldson (I give this book a huge thumbs up; it’s a great, quick read with comprehensive content: http://thankgodimnatural.wordpress.com/book/). The book and other sources have told me that, in some cases, it’s possible to take locs down though it can cost $250 to $500 to get it done in a salon. I have never spent that much on my hair and don’t know if I’m willing to now. It helps that I LOVE a TWA and that my husband says he looks forward to it again if that’s what I want. Plus, I get to swim on a daily basis if I want to (there’s a whole different discussion about putting on a swimsuit…okay, I really have issues) HAHA.


I think it also sends a message to my children (we have an 8 year old and a 5 year old). The hilarious thing is that neither one of our children wants me to cut my hair. My son said, “MOMMY! No! No one around here has hair that short” Say what? Wow. Without putting words into his mouth, it sounds like my man is concerned that his Momma is going to look like a plucked chicken and that he will bear the brunt of being teased because of it. My daughter is even more adamant, “MOMMMMMMMMYYYY! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! DON’T CUT YOUR HAIR! I LIKE IT LONG!” Double wow. Such emotion about MY hair. Is it possible that my hair has implications for their identity? Well, given the central role that parents play in identity formation it seems the answer is yes. This tells me that what we do with our hair may impact our children’s attitudes about their hair and themselves in general. Talk about responsibility.


Truth be told, we live in a lily-white neighborhood, in a lily-white town in the suburbs of a predominately white city. There are not many people of color more or less women with natural hair. I was stretching it with long dreadlocks, now I’m taking it further with a TWA. Hey kiddos, there’s no time like the present to understand the fact that I AND YOU have kinky, coily hair that differs from the hair of those around you. Yes children, we’re different in some ways and similar in other ways to those around us. Guess what, it’s all beautiful. Here’s to learning how to embrace our unique beauty and the beauty of others.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Long Hair Myth: Thanks Frenchie!

Image found at: http://www.frenchiedavis.org/cms-assets/images/761266.frenchie-davis-hr--.jpg

So, I’m having pretty consistent thoughts about chopping off my dreadlocks (sorry if I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but this is what’s on my mind). I’ve even chosen to wear headbands instead of maintenancing my roots because if I decide to chop off my locs I want a bit of new growth. That way, my TWA (teeny weeny afro) will be at least an inch all around.


These thoughts are whirling around in my head last night as I’m flicking channels. I come across NBC’s The Voice and three members of Team Christina are waiting to find out which one of them Christina will advance to the semi-finals (warning, if you’re a fan of the show there are spoilers ahead). Honestly, I don’t really watch the show. I only occasionally tune in to watch Frenchie. Yes, Frenchie who has been on Broadway and can SANG!!!!! I am pulling for her. When Christina calls Frenchie’s name I am ecstatic and I shout out YEESSSS! I am also struck my how stunningly beautiful Frenchie is with her TWA-wearing self (some have even referred to her as bald). She rocks it.


The funny thing is, one of the main reasons that I think I’ve kept my locks is because they’ve gotten long and I like them long. I didn’t really care for the shorter lock phase. I’ve shared that I felt like a prickly porcupine. I like to feel my locks whipping behind me when I’m on a bike ride (thanks to my husband for getting me into that! Great exercise and it’s water free so it’s easy on the hair!). I like to braid them when they’re wet and then unbraid them to reveal wavy splendor. I like to put them in a ponytail, an updo, a side swept coif. However, I’ve recently admitted that I’m AFRAID to cut my hair. I think I’ve somehow gotten trapped in the long hair myth. What is that? The long hair myth is the myth that women with long hair are somehow more feminine, more alluring, more attractive, sexier, slimmer. Hmm, that last word, slimmer. Part of my Big Chop aversion is the fact that I weigh more than I want to and I’m afraid to take away my long hair AND be twenty pounds overweight. There, I’ve confessed.


Back to The Voice. When I saw Frenchie in all of her magnificence it reminded me of something I already know: short haired, big women are beautiful too. I still haven’t made up my mind about my hair but I’m working through the internal issues that I have about making the decision.

The Long Hair Myth: Thanks Frenchie!

Image found at: http://www.frenchiedavis.org/cms-assets/images/761266.frenchie-davis-hr--.jpg

So, I’m having pretty consistent thoughts about chopping off my dreadlocks (sorry if I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but this is what’s on my mind). I’ve even chosen to wear headbands instead of maintenancing my roots because if I decide to chop off my locs I want a bit of new growth. That way, my TWA (teeny weeny afro) will be at least an inch all around.


These thoughts are whirling around in my head last night as I’m flicking channels. I come across NBC’s The Voice and three members of Team Christina are waiting to find out which one of them Christina will advance to the semi-finals (warning, if you’re a fan of the show there are spoilers ahead). Honestly, I don’t really watch the show. I only occasionally tune in to watch Frenchie. Yes, Frenchie who has been on Broadway and can SANG!!!!! I am pulling for her. When Christina calls Frenchie’s name I am ecstatic and I shout out YEESSSS! I am also struck my how stunningly beautiful Frenchie is with her TWA-wearing self (some have even referred to her as bald). She rocks it.


The funny thing is, one of the main reasons that I think I’ve kept my locks is because they’ve gotten long and I like them long. I didn’t really care for the shorter lock phase. I’ve shared that I felt like a prickly porcupine. I like to feel my locks whipping behind me when I’m on a bike ride (thanks to my husband for getting me into that! Great exercise and it’s water free so it’s easy on the hair!). I like to braid them when they’re wet and then unbraid them to reveal wavy splendor. I like to put them in a ponytail, an updo, a side swept coif. However, I’ve recently admitted that I’m AFRAID to cut my hair. I think I’ve somehow gotten trapped in the long hair myth. What is that? The long hair myth is the myth that women with long hair are somehow more feminine, more alluring, more attractive, sexier, slimmer. Hmm, that last word, slimmer. Part of my Big Chop aversion is the fact that I weigh more than I want to and I’m afraid to take away my long hair AND be twenty pounds overweight. There, I’ve confessed.


Back to The Voice. When I saw Frenchie in all of her magnificence it reminded me of something I already know: short haired, big women are beautiful too. I still haven’t made up my mind about my hair but I’m working through the internal issues that I have about making the decision.