Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Call | Sunshine and Fros is Tomorrow!

Click to get tickets 
July 26th, is almost here, which means that I've been a bit busy polishing the details of the event. I am very excited for this event because it's filled with MANY firsts. My first summer event, first time i'm giving something away to EVERYONE, first time a popular American company is sponsoring the event, first time i'm co-coordinating the workshop with another blogger and the first time i'm a vendor at my own event. Yes, you read it right, I'm finally taking a big step of faith by pre-launching the products I've been preparing in my head all year. I figured rather than sending people to 6 different places to buy healthy hair products, I can bring it to them! So, I hope you come out to support me and if you're still not sure whether the event is worth your time, let me provide you with this detailed info.

What is Sunshine and Fros?
Sunshine and Fros is an hairformational workshop which is designed for those with little to no knowledge on afro-textured hair care, although expert opinion of veterans are also welcomed.

Why Should I Attend?
The natural hair comunity these days is filled with many contradictory advice which can be very discouraging and frustrating. This workshop will be presenting neutral, scientific and unbiased information about natural hair care which will allow you to design your own healthy haircare regimen. 

Who Should Attend?
Anyone with natural hair, transitioning or those looking for healthy Black hair tips. You should also attend if you are currently struggling with a hair issue, have a burning question to ask, need to vent about controversies in the natural hair community or just want to enjoy the company of naturally beautiful women.

What Should I Expect?
There will be two different sessions happening on this day in which one session will be on children's hair care while the other will be for the general audience. There will also be a natural hair art display by a local artist. Details about the workshop are listed below for your viewing. 
Adult Session:
1. Summer Hair Maintenance (product selection and styling)
 2. Natural Hairstyles Games & Activities with DEMO
3. How to get the most out of hair products by Anya Grant
4. Q & A Panel 

Afro Kidz Session
1. Children's Hair Care and Styling Tips
What Should I bring?
What Should I Bring?
As this is an hairducational event, I recommend bringing a pen and notepad with you to take notes with. You can also bring a camera with you to capture all the beautiful natural hairstyles for your hairstyle archives. It would also help to come with a friend.  

Who Will be Facilitating the Workshops? 
The workshops will be conducted by myself and Añya Grant of I Heart My HairAñya will be showing us how the right combination of products and techniques on our coily/curly hair will produce more favourable results and less disappointments. As an Alikay Naturals International Brand Ambassador, Añya will be demonstrating healthy hair care practices via a Hair Demo.
Will I Be Able To Purchase Natural Hair Products?
Yes! you will have the opportunty to purchase high quality hair products such as black soap, shea butter, whipped hair butters, oils, bentonite clay, AVJ, e.t.c.
You can also bring in fairly used products which has not expired to be swapped.

Any Giveaways?
Everyone will be going home with sample size leave-in conditioner from Oyin Handmade. We will also be giving away two tickets to the Toronto Natural Hair and Beauty Show which is coming up in the fall, a gift pack from Shakara Natural Tips, hair products from Coils and Glory (an up and coming brand), and Anya will be giving away an "I Heart My Hair" Kiddie T-Shirt. 

Photos from the event will also be featured on Essence online where it will be viewed by MANY viewers across the world, so come dressed ;). 

what do you think of the poster?
To reserve your seat, please CLICK HERE

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

4 Steps to Loving and Accepting Your Natural Hair

Loving and accepting one’s natural hair texture is not always an easy task for many women as a lot of them are still carrying a heavy emotional baggage which prevents them from wearing their hair with pride. To fully love the coils and kinks in your hair, you will need to go through these 3 stages in the following sequence.

1.   Acceptance
This means accepting the God-given texture you were born with and accepting the joy of having a unique hair texture which is only common to you.

2.  Forgive
Forgive yourself for abusing your hair and forcing it into submission all these years. Forgive previous hairstylists who “encouraged” your decision to go natural. Forgive your parents, friends and relatives for the poor advice they gave you about your hair and how to care for it. Forgive the hair company for making you feel like your natural texture isn't beautiful enough.

3.  Learn and Grow: Now that you've let go of some emotional baggage, you now have some space to learn how to properly take care of your new found hair texture. You must now learn all that you can about the science, history and politics behind your hair. These three areas are very important because sometimes, no matter how great your hair looks, you might face some negative criticism or resistance from people around you. However, being knowledgeable about the history and politics behind afro-textured hair helps you to handle frictions when they arise. 
A Naturalista with knowledge on the history and politics of her hair will have compassion towards Black people who criticizes her hair time and will take the time to educate non-Blacks who picks fun at her fro, rather than fighting or arguing.

 4. Take Action: this means taking care of your hair by yourself, although you can get help when needed. It also means feeding your hair from the inside out through proper nutrition, exercise and daily maintenance. Lastly, you should try and wear your hair out as often as you can, instead of hiding them away in the name of protective styling. 

The length of time it takes to go through these stages will vary with each individual and so you can take your time to ease yourself through these 4 steps. Also, one stage might be easier to complete than the other. This is why growing one’s natural texture should be a personal decision which no one should be forced into because you can't force someone to love something they don't feel comfortable in.  

How was the initial stages of your natural hair journey? Did you had to go through a similar stage?

Friday, July 18, 2014

4 Reasons Why Your Afrokids Natural Hair Products Are NOT Working

By DiscoveringNatural
Have you ever wondered why one product works for your child and another product does not? Even though both products are from the same brand, you might still have issues getting it to do what you want to do. The reason for this disappointment could be due to the following four reasons.

1. Ingredients
Whenever I want to buy a hair product for my girls, I read the ingredient list on the product. Not everyone does this, but I find that there are some ingredients that cause damage to our natural hair. Silicones, Mineral Oil, and Sulfates, to mention a few, are such ingredients. I notice that these causes the girls' hair to be dry and break off and so I always avoid these ingredients in their hair products. Instead, I look for products that has moisture agents like humectant and emollients such as glycerin.

2. Hair Texture
Natural hair is a thing of beauty. There are different varieties, from the coarsely dense to the thin fine ones.  Products react differently to these different types of textures. I find that hair that is fine requires lighter products, while coarser and denser hair textures requires heavier products.

3. Usage
Although hair product companies usually add an instruction on how to use their products effectively, a lot of us often do not follow those directions. To get the best results, I suggest following the directions so you can get the most out of the product.

4. Weather/Climate/Season
The weather can cause a product that use to work before not to work. For example, in the warmer season, my younger daughter, Lil Sis, can use SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie on her hair, however, in the colder season, the product makes her hair feel dry. During the seasons when her hair does not fair well with a promising product, we just switch over to another one. In our case, that is the SheaMoisture Curl and Style Milk.

Which products do not work on your child's natural hair?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5 Types of People Who Should be Obsessed With Length Checks

 One of the top goals which many of us set for ourselves when we start a healthy hair journey is to have long hair. While long hair can be an easy goal for many, growing one's hair long within a limited time frame can be very challenging and frustrating for someone with slow growth and low retention rate. It is this frustration that has led many of us to engage in unconventional hair growth aides such as the inversion method, ingesting hair growth pills, protective styling 24/7, applying layers of hair growth products and anything else that's known to grow one's hair FAST.

Many naturals have even decided to forego all these methods by solely focusing on the health of their hair with the hopes of achieving long hair in the long run. Like hair typing, length checks is almost becoming a taboo in the natural hair community where many naturals are condemning length checks because they believe the main goal should be on the health of the hair, not length.
Contrary to this popular belief, I strongly believe in a healthy length check which is done at a spaced out interval mostly because long hair doesn't come easily to many of us and this is the only way we can ensure that we're achieving our hair goals.

So, who should be obsessing over length? I would obsess over length and retention rate if I fall under any of the 5 categories below.

slow growth low retention rate
1. Newbies - This includes someone who recently did the big chop and is on a healthy long hair journey , it also includes someone who is transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. A newbie is also someone who has had natural hair for a while and would now like to achieve better and healthier results than what they've experienced in the past.

The reason why this group should be length conscious is because they are more likely to try out different hair styles, products, techniques, concoction, pills and other measures which are meant to help their hair grow long. However, if care isn't taken, the hair can easily break off due to over manipulation and experimentation.

2. Fine Hair - Hair that is fine lacks the inner most layer called the medulla, an important structure which provides medium to thick/coarse hair strength and the ability to better withstand physical and environmental manipulation. This is why it's always recommended that those with fine hair should wear protective styles more often so that the individual fine strands can find strength in a greater multitude. What I mean by this is that 200 pieces of twisted hair is much stronger and better able to hold on to moisture much longer than individual hair strands which is left loose. 

3. On a Diet- What we put in our body is more important than what we put on it, as this is the only way we can determine the outcome of new hair growth. A diet which is lacking key hair nutrients such as protein, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids can result in limp dry hair or retarded growth. If you find that your hair isn't growing, I would recommend adding any one of these 10 food items to your diet.

4.  On Special Medication - Similarly, certain medications that we take can affect our hair growth cycle and the overall health of the hair. So if you are on a medication which is affecting your hair growth and length retention, I would advice that you either seek medical help or wear protective styles more often so that you can retain the length that you currently have. You should not  under any circumstance try to counter the effect of your medication with a hair growth vitamin or pill without talking to your doctor first.

5. Highly Porous and/or chronically dry hair - one of the main issues which many coily haired women struggle with is dryness and breakage. Hair which is worn in a loose hairstyle such as a twist out is more likely to become dry very quickly in comparison to hair which is left in twists or in another bounded hairstyles. To retain length, I suggest using thick hair creams and butters to ensure that moisture stays in the hair for a longer period of time.

In conclusion, it's okay for you to be length conscious if you are a newbie, on a diet, taking medications, or if you have fine and/or highly porous hair. So don't be shy to whip out your tape measure to measure your hair every month or two if you have to.

Do you have a hard time retaining length? Have you decided to stop doing length checks due to past disappointments? If you fall under one or more of these categories, do you find yourself obsessing over length because long hair doesn't come easily to you? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Quick Look into the Natural Hair Community

I recently read a series of highly controversial blogposts on BGLH about the inclusion and exclusivity of the natural hair community and so I've decided to share my opinion about the posts on here. Please click the link above to read all three posts so you can understand this follow up post a bit better.

Let's first re-define what natural hair is.
I feel that many people do not understand what natural hair really is and why the online community was birth. Though it might be too late to change the incorrect use of the term "natural hair", it's still not too late for us to understand what natural hair really is. To me, the term natural hair is synonymous to afro-textured hair which ranges from curly to kinky coil hair texture. This means that anyone with an African gene with naturally curly/coily hair can be said to have natural hair.

So who is the natural hair community meant for?
It's a community which is consisted of Black women, men and children with afro-kinky or curly hair, even if they're mixed. This community also consists of non-Black women with Black children, friends and relatives who are constantly searching for tips on curly hair care.

Are Black women with naturally straight hair also included in this community?
From my observation, I believe they're not a part of the community because every internet search with "natural hair" always produces Black people with afro-textured hair and more recently, afro-textured weave.

Why do we have the natural hair community (NHC)?

1. The first reason is to provide women (major audience) with tips on how to love their hair more by properly caring for it so that it can behave the way they want it to behave.

2. Another reason is to provide an online support and encouragement to women and children who are struggling to wear their hair in its natural state due to their knowledge gaps about afro-textured hair. 3.

3. The NHC is also a platform to show solidarity to women who are constantly facing resistance in their immediate community. This community is so outspoken and influential that they've provoked change in policies each time a member of the community faces a threat in their society.

4. The last critical reason for the existence of this community is to develop our "hair economy" by all means necessary, be it through purchasing products from black owned businesses or spreading the word about them on social media.

Who is REALLY in the natural hair community?
EVERYONE! From the Chinese who makes your weaves to the Koreans who sells them as well as Caucasians who makes a significant profit from your favourite "Black" hair products. This community also includes Black women with relaxed hair, naturally straight hair, non Black women with Black kids, and pretty much anyone.
Though I don't have the statistics on the hair type of the hundreds of thousands of fans who are following popular vloggers on social media, I can assure you that a good portion of those fans do not have "natural hair".

Who is excluded from the community?
NO ONE, as this is an online community which is open to anyone with access to the internet. I understand that many relaxed women sometimes feel excluded from the community, and some have even come to resent the same group they're a part of! Because the community is fast growing, many netizens have confused it to be an online space for every Black woman on the planet, though it's only a niche for a small group of women.

Why is the NHC so controversial these days?
From my observation, I notice that there is still a big knowledge gap on what the community is really all about. I say this because many people often argue over facts and are unable to separate their perception from reality. The unnecessary controversies is an evidence that we still have a long way to go when it comes to our hair, and it will take a long time to get there. Nevertheless, I am confident that our people will not perish for a lack of knowledge because the growing audience of the NHC will continue to educate their peers about the nature of their hair. I feel the only way there will be a unity in the community is through DAILY words of wisdom and constant awareness about the community until natural hair eventually becomes an ideal and preferred hairstyle for ALL (including non-Black citizens).

My general thoughts about the BGLH article
As mentioned in one of the articles, I don't think the NHC creates a division or any sort of discrimination in the Black community. I believe it's a crucial community which was created as a result of the high demand for it in a society where European beauty standard is set to be THE beauty standard for ALL. I feel readers who are constantly searching for faults in the NHC need to read up on their history and empathize with others who are finding it difficult to flaunt their hair, rather than condemning them. I think it's too late for anybody to bring this community down as it's TOO BIG TO FAIL.

What are your thoughts? Is there anything you agree or disagree with? I'd like to hear from you