Who has time for Wash Day? A working mom reflections on the practice

As I stumble out of bed on the 4th day post day light savings time, I start reflecting on how much I’ve learned about hair care & regimens since starting Iyami Naturals. More specifically, I am amazed about all that can go into wash day—from pre-poo, co-wash, hot oil treatments, deep conditioners, how you can DIY all these products for your hair, etc. I’m really in awe of all the tasks that can be involved in a process that I naively thought only included 2 or 3 steps. I read about how my blog partner, UrbnRebel, can take up to 1.5 hours just on her pre-poo regimen . Another blogger, Imani Dawson, discussed how she was able to shrink her routine from eight to two hours.  All I kept thinking as I read is how the hell will I make time for this? As a working mom, I barely have time to sit down and enjoy an episode of Scandal or How to Get away with Murder let alone spend hours on a lengthy hair care regimen. It doesn’t help that my husband currently works on the weekends which is usually when I wash my hair, so you can imagine the struggle I go through to keep up with a consistent routine to maintain the healthy state of my tresses.

The largest stressing point for me during the wash day process is the time in the shower when I can’t keep my eyes on my 3 year old. This process can take a while because I usually also comb through my hair after placing on conditioner. As you all know, we can’t leave little children unattended, especially a curious child like mine that likes to assert her independence and do things like this….

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Ella at 2 years old has figured out how to reach the peanut butter on the kitchen counter

Or this….

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Ella at 3 years old wanting to participate in wash day (this is a few weeks ago)

Needless to say, I’ve had to find ways to maintain a hair care regimen while keeping my eyes on my little one. These are strategies I’ve tried so far to have mini wash days:

  1. Wake up earlier: My daughter usually wakes up on the weekend around 8a so I’ll wake up around 6am to start my wash day. This has been successful especially when I want to deep condition my hair. On the off chance that Ella wakes up earlier, I’m usually almost done with the washing and conditioning part which takes most of my attention away from her since that happens in the shower.
  2. Quick wash:  Waking up earlier would solve my time issues around wash day, but sometimes doing that just isn’t an option. Every now and again a girl would like to sleep in too. On the days I’m scheduled to wash my hair but can’t carve out the time earlier in the morning, I may have to do a quick 15-minute wash right before my husband leaves for work. This is a no fuss process—wash my hair once, rinse, place on conditioner, wash the rest of my body, rinse hair, and I’m out!   I would then comb out my hair after I get out the shower so that I’m in the same room with my daughter once my husband leaves.
  3. Joint Wash Day: My daughter’s hair has to be washed too, so there are many times when I’ll do a quick wash for both of us while showering. Now that she’s older I’ll even let her help by placing products in and/or combing her hair. We tend to make it a fun activity so that she will enjoy wash day.
  4. Washing my hair outside of the shower: I also have the option of washing my hair in the sink or the bathtub. I’ve tried this strategy at least once leaning over the bathtub. Each option has its challenges but it does allow me to keep a better eye on my daughter versus being in the shower.
  5. Skipping weekend wash day: Hey…sometimes my weekend just slips away which results in not having the time to wash my hair at all. I usually make this up by trying for a quick wash on a day my husband is home at night during the week.

Taking time for a wash day can be challenging for anyone especially given that this practice can take several hours depending on your natural hair care regimen. These time constraints are often magnified for us working mothers, especially those working full-time or working while attending school, because the amount of time you have to take care of yourself is really really limited. The strategies I’ve tried have varying degrees of success, but it’s still a very creative juggling act to handle it all.

To my working moms out there, what strategies have you used to maintain your wash day regimen?

To my expert naturalistas, do you have any tips for working moms that will help us maximize our wash days?

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Spring is in the Hair: What is your hair’s character?

A key step to understanding how to take care of your hair is learning about the cast and crew that define your hair strands. Determining your hair type or curl pattern will help you fine tune your product and style selection to those that work best given your hair composition. It will save you time and money from doing things that just won’t work for your hair.

Admittedly, I’ve never taken the time to understand this prior to cutting my hair.  Therefore, I went through a variety of products before I found a regimen that seemed to work. Now I’m wondering am I doing what’s best for my hair with the products and styles I’ve currently selected without knowing my hair type or porosity. I figure what better way to understand my hair’s character than to explore it through this blog.

To determine my hair type I had to wash my hair and let it air dry without adding products. I started my research on hair typing and porosity while I let my hair dry. There is literally an ABUNDANCE of information about these subjects on the Internet. I found some really good articles from Naturally Curly, Curly Nikki, Curl Centric, and Healthy Hair Dimensions just to name a few.  I settled on merging information from the Curly Nikki and Healthy Hair Dimension articles to better understand how to classify my hair.

Andre Walker system

The Andre Walker system is most widely used to classify hair type. Hair types are categorized into 4 main categories and 3 subcategories based on curl patterns as follows:

  •  Type 1: Straight
    • 1a: Straight fine; 1b: Straight Medium; and 1c: Straight coarse
  • Type 2: Wavy
    • 2a: Wavy fine; 2b: Wavy Medium; and 2C: Wavy coarse
  • Type 3: Curly
    • 3a: Loose curls; 3b: Tight curls; and 3c: corkscrew curls*
  • Type 4: Tightly Curled (kinky)
    • 4a: Soft tight coils; 4b: wiry tight coils; and 4c: z patterned tight coils*

*Note: Subcategory c was defined after the Andre Walker system was published.

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Source: Natural Hair Mag


L.O.I.S. system

The L.O.I.S. system is a comprehensive classification that takes in consideration curl pattern, strand size, and texture. The pattern is categorized based on if your hair strands most resemble one or more of the letters L, O, I, or S.

Strand size is determined by comparing a strand of hair to a thread size. If your strand is smaller than the thread, then your hair is thin or fine. Your hair is considered medium size if it’s the same size and thick if it’s larger than the thread.

Texture is defined as being either “thready”, “wiry”, “cottony”, “spongy”, or “silky”. Your texture is defined by how much shine, sheen, and frizz can be found in your hair.

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Source: Natural Hair Mag

Other hair typing systems

I decided to classify my hair using the Andre Walker and L.O.I.S systems, but there are others like F.I.A and Mizani hair typing systems that you can use to determine your hair’s character. Black Hair Information.com challenges you to ditch the complicated hair typing systems and define your hair based on if it’s fine, combination, or coarse.

Porosity

It is also important to discuss hair porosity. How porous your hair is refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. Knowing your hair’s porosity can help you choose the right products to maintain moisture in your hair. You can do the Float or Slip ‘n’ slide test to determine if your hair has low, medium, or high porosity. I decided to do the Float test. My hair will have low porosity if my strands float in the water after sitting in a cup for about 2-4 minutes. It will be of normal or medium porosity if it sinks mid-way and high porosity if it sinks to the bottom of the cup.

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Source: Kriya Botanicals

What cast & crew make up my hair’s character?

My hair type and porosity are as follows:

  • Andre Walker: Combination 4b/4a
  • L.O.I.S: Combination O & L; thin strand size; and cottony texture
  • Porosity: My hair took a while to sink under the water; therefore, my hair has low porosity

Determining my hair type was a little more challenging than I expected especially when trying to define texture under the L.O.I.S. System. I’m glad that I completed this activity so I can be more mindful when selecting new products and styles in the future. Classifying your hair type is a useful exercise but don’t fret if you can’t define your tresses to one type. Just like my hair, most women have blended strand composition. If you don’t know your hair type or porosity, next time you wash your hair, examine a few strands using one or more of these typing systems and porosity tests to begin the journey of learning about your glorious crown in its natural state.

What is your hair type? Which hair typing system and porosity test do you prefer?

March marks a new beginning: Spring is in the Hair!

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Spring is approaching for us folk living in the Northern Hemisphere! Although Spring is literally known for the seasonal change to warmer weather and longer days; it also represents transition, a new beginning, rejuvenation, and growth. The upcoming season may have you thinking about making a change. You’ve read all of our February blogs on how to physically, mentally, and spiritually love your self and now you are ready to apply this by giving yourself a new look. Maybe you have been toying with the idea of cutting your hair or as we call it, undergoing the BIG CHOP, for quite some time. Alternatively, you may not be quite ready for that drastic step, but are interested in taking a break from the salon and trying your hand at maintaining your natural tresses. Or you may be already wearing your hair naturally but are not quite sure you have the right regimen and are looking to try different products. Wherever you are on your readiness for change spectrum, Iyami Naturals is challenging you to make the change NOW! Spring is in the Hair! Just as this season marks birth and new beginnings, our content this month will focus on the beginning of hair care basics so you will have the tools to successfully make the transition. So don’t fret and make the change! There is no time like the present!

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Photo Credit: Keturah Ariel

Self-Love: Who said short hair isn’t sexy?

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Short hair is always a debate that has no right or wrong answers. Grant it, short hair is not for everybody, but what you do with your hair is ultimately your decision. As a woman with short hair, the experience is always an adventure. Men either love it or hate it. I asked a few of my guy friends their opinions of short hair and the feedback was mixed, but very honest.

Brandon P., 34, ,Business Owner, Los Angeles, CA

Urbn Rebel: Do you date women who have short haircuts similar to male haircuts?

Brandon: I sure dooooo!!!!! I don’t mind it at all.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like short hair and/or long hair? Why? Why not? What is your preference?

Brandon: I have no preference of the two. A Queen Goddess will come with all sorts of angles of beauty. I’ve seen perfect beauty with short hair and with long hair. To say that I have a preference puts me in a box that I don’t wanna be in and will set me up to miss something if I’m only focusing on having just one preference.

Urbn Rebel: How would you react if your lady, who had really long hair, came home with a typical male haircut?

Brandon: I would be heated if she did that…only if it didn’t look better than when it was long. So now I gotta be all fake and act like I like it to preserve her feelings…. As opposed to her consulting with me first and we speak about it… this way “WE” would both be prepared of whatever comes from it and woulda been able to understand and value each other’s view points. It’s not mandatory that she woulda done that, but it woulda shown some extended courtesy from her end… which always goes a long way.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like natural hair? By natural, I mean, growing out of her head in its natural state. Not straightened nor hair added.

Brandon: I love natural hair and I love all the fresh ass dope looks too! However, natural does not always convert to attractive. I experienced some of the Queens harp about men not wanting their women to wear weaves anymore, but when they go natural they don’t get the response that they were hoping to get. Just because you go natural doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about fashioning it and making it look attractive. Some of us just can’t wake up and not do anything to ourselves and expect super fresh results and compliments. Some can, but some can’t. I’ve seen some f*cked up a** natural looks before, we all have. (laughing)

Urbn Rebel: Would you approach a woman with short hair even if you don’t care for short hair? Why? Why not?

Brandon: Oh yes I would! Women with short hair for some reason create an optical illusion to me (I think) and it makes them look more curvy…. And I looooooovvvvvveeee them curves!

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Short hair is liberating

It doesn’t matter what we went through to get here. Whether it was a bad break up, an illness, too much tension from weaves and braids, an allergic reaction, LIFE! Some of us are tied to our hair and just want the freedom that comes along with short hair.

Not everyone takes a fancy to short hair, and that’s ok.

Here are a couple of nay sayers who bring the hateration and holleration to our short hair dancerie:

Dee, 35, New York,NY

Dee: I do not date women who have short hair.

Urbn Rebel: Why not?

Dee: I like long hair. Long hair is my preference because there’s something sensual and connecting about playing in her hair while we cuddle and enjoy each other’s presence. It also brings out her femininity in my opinion.

Urbn Rebel: How would you react if your lady, who had really long hair, came home with a typical male haircut?

Dee: Well, we would already have had the conversation about my preferences. So unless it’s medically related or she shaved it off for a cause that we both agreed on, we probably wouldn’t be together anymore.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like natural hair?

Dee: I love natural hair. I don’t hate wigs and/or weaves, but her own hair is my preference.

Urbn Rebel: Would you approach a woman with short hair even if you don’t care for short hair?

Dee: For dating, no. To make friends with or become acquaintances, yes.


 

Ty, 47, Handbag Designer, Los Angeles, CA

Urbn Rebel: Do you date women who have typical male haircuts?

Ty: Depends on how attractive she is.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like short hair or long hair?

Ty: Partial to long hair. Long hair is more feminine. Since I was a little boy, I always thought it symbolizes beauty. Long hair is my preference.

Urbn Rebel: How would you react if your lady, who had really long hair, came home with a typical male haircut?

Ty: I would not be happy because if she knows I like long hair then I would feel disrespected.

Urbn Rebel: Disrespected? How?

Ty: If we didn’t discuss it, then I feel like she doesn’t care about my opinion.

Urbn Rebel: Would you approach a woman with short hair even though long hair is your preference?

Ty: It depends on how short. Is it Halle Berry short or bald like Mr. Clean? I think it’s too manly. I think, personally, most men would prefer long hair.

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Short hair is sexy at any age, any size and on any shape.

Happiness comes from within. If short hair makes you happy then DO YOU BOO! People can help boost your confidence and pump you up, but that confidence is yours. Own it. Be committed to it.

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No one can take your beauty away.

How you present yourself shows how much you love yourself. Love your beauty and others will love it too.

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It’s not about what others think.

If a person really cares about you, he or she will support your decision. Your beau might even be the one to help you with your cut.

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Shannon, 36, Los Angeles, CA “I think women with short hair are sexy and bold.”

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Ryan, 46, Los Angeles, CA “Short hair, long hair, no hair is all good as long as the scalp is healthy.”

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Short hair adds character.

With short hair, you can showcase your features and play up your personal style.

“I would approach a girl with short hair if I think she’s pretty and has some type of style or energy I can vibe with.” -William, 32, Educator, Los Angeles by way of New Jersey.

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Short hair is fly.

Short hair always adds a little something to your overall look. That je ne sais quoi. It’s like that secret ingredient.

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Short hair is low maintenance.

Before you say anything, it does not mean NO maintenance. When you make the decision to cut your hair you do have to upkeep it. Now is the time to become BFFs with your barber. Also, get a set of clippers for when you can’t make it to the shop, and keep your scalp clean and moisturized.

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You should always be your #1 fan.

So if you’re thinking about doing the big chop, do it for you. Be fearless.

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Urbn Rebel for Iyami Naturals

 

 

Oh How I Love Me, Let Me Count the Ways: Love your body and your body will love you back

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Your spirit, mind, and body are all connected. Do you have a routine that takes care of your whole self? Do you wake up with gratefulness, recite your favorite mantra to keep you going for the day, and end with a great workout to get your body going? No? Maybe you should. We all know that one way to take care of your body is by exercising, but there is more to body maintenance than running around the block and lifting weights. There are a plethora of ways to maintain your body– which can be as simple as lying in the grass and taking in the earth we live in.

Take time to de-stress. Stress can cause a myriad of physical problems, such as acne breakouts, weight gain, loss of appetite, and loss of hair. It can even make you sick. Here are some ways you can reduce the stress in your life:

  1. One of the best ways to de-stress is to do yoga. I know I always mention yoga, but it is a great way to accomplish every form of taking care of you. Through yoga you can spiritually connect, relax your mind and tone your body all in one.
  2. Take a moment to lay in the grass on a warm day. Try not to think of anything. Allow your body to relax every muscle. Concentrate on your breathing to help push out your thoughts. Take as much time as you need. Once you are done you will feel very relaxed.
  3. Take a walk. It will work your whole body and ease your mind.
  4. Did you know that reading is a form of exercise for your brain? Take some time to read a book from your favorite genre.

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Clean up your skincare regimen. You can start by incorporating more water into your diet. The amount of water you may need will vary but experts say to drink approximately 64 oz of water a day. That’s eight 8oz glasses or a little over three 30 oz water bottles.    Substitute that fruit juice for fruit infused water. Fruit infused water not only adds flavor to the bland water taste, it also helps cleanse the body from the inside out. You will immediately notice a difference in your energy level, hair, and skin just by increasing the amount of water you drink on a daily basis, so drink up!

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Eat well. You really are what you eat. Have you ever noticed how sluggish you get after eating a burger and fries, yet when you eat a banana you have a burst of energy. I am not going to tell you not to eat that burger, however; I will strongly suggest that you incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. It does not hurt to indulge every now and again in food that is not so good for you, but moderation is key. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. So if you are concerned about packing on the pounds, how about you walk to the hamburger stand and burn off some of those calories. Or instead of the hamburger, grab a salad and fruit for dessert.

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Sleep well. Beauty rest is a real thing. Getting some sleep is essential for proper body functions. You will feel more energized, happier and look more refreshed. I have issues with sleeping. Either I fall asleep, wake up in the middle of the night and take forever to go back to sleep or it just takes me forever to fall asleep, period. Well, I stumbled upon these awesome pills that Shea Moisture makes called, Shea Moisture Evening Sleep Supplement. Initially I purchased these pills to help with my skin. After using them for about a week or two, I realized that they actually help me sleep. I feel much more rested like I actually went to sleep and slept. The combo of herbs and daily essentials really work! Here is why: I have a bit of insomnia so the theanine as well as melatonin relaxes me before I officially call it a night. I am not getting paid to endorse this product, however; I strongly recommend them to anyone who has issues with sleeping. These pills take care of your beauty and your rest. BOOM!

Shea moisture pills

Have a spa day. Going to the spa is a total body experience. Let someone take care of your body while you get a little R&R, rest and relaxation. Spa outings are not just for the ladies. Men need to take care of their bodies too. Make it a couple’s thing. Here are some black-owned great spas that cater to both men and women in a few major cities that will help you get your body at its best:

Atlanta:

Celestial Spa
2930 Cascade Rd
Atlanta, GA 30311
404-691-2448 http://www.celestialspa.com

D’Lor Salon and Spa, Inc
Cascade Professional Park
1180 Fairburn Road. SW, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30331
(404) 344-1622 http://www.dloratlanta.com

Nubiance Salon & Spa
2325 Cheshire Bridge Road Northeast #100
Atlanta, GA 30324
404-492-8046 http://www.atlantagabeautysalon.com

Los Angeles:

Le Skintique Day Spa and Beauty Salon
1620 Centinela Avenue, Suite 302
Inglewood, CA 90302
310-337-9555 http://www.leskintique.com

Nefertiti Day Spa and Hair Salon
5253 West Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90056
(310) 568-8780 http://nefertitidayspa.com

Skin Essence – 3 locations http://www.skinessence.net
2622 West Manchester Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90305
Phone: (323) 750-8446
Fax: (323) 750-7325

940 East Dominguez Street, Suite K
Carson, CA 90746
Phone: (310) 354-7935
Fax: (310) 354-3933

4914 1/2 Slauson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90056
Phone: (323) 296-6261
Fax: (323) 296-6253

Spa 313 Salon & Spa
313 N. LaBrea Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90302
(310) 590-1234 http://www.spa313.com

New YorK City area:

Bed of Nails
2272 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd
New York, NY 10030
(212) 694-2200 http://www.bedofnailsnyc.com

 Cynergy Spa
87 Fort Greene Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 718.403.9242
Fax: 718.403.9274 http://www.cynergyspa.com

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Self-love is an essential part of life. It helps you to grow, love others, and teaches others how to love you. Self-love is about living in your truth and accepting who you are, flaws and all. So go ahead and love yourself. Be #flawsome and get prepared for the #glowup.

 What are ways that you love your body?

Mindfulness: Are you living in the present moment?

Do you ever feel like you are drifting from moment to moment without a real attachment to each experience? This can happen as we are so busy with work, school, and/or family that each passing event seems like a mundane task versus a unique instance in our lives. As John Dixit further explains, “When we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. We don’t appreciate the living present because our mind likes to vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.” If this rings true for you in some form or fashion, it’s time to reevaluate how your mental health is impacted by the “busyness” of life and make changes that will help you have a more enriched existence.

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I really noticed this distraction phenomenon in my life once I was promoted to an administrator. My entire work day seemed to float by without me even knowing what really happened. I was busy from the time I stepped into my office until I ended my work day, which was usually 10-12 hours. I rarely left the office to eat lunch and during my worse days, I lost focus because I would try to complete every task or solve every issue all at the same time. I eventually developed what I like to call work induced ADD which admittedly trickled into my personal life. It created a sense of disconnect and monotony. It almost felt like I was a robot simply charging along. Ultimately, I was in need of reprogramming.

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Photo credit: Cauldrons & Cupcakes

Earlier, we presented tips to mentally help as you continue your journey toward really loving yourself. These are all very useful activities that will allow you to keep a pulse on your mental health status. Mindfulness is also another profound practice that has positive mental, spiritual and physical benefits. Mindfulness is the art of truly being present, moment-by-moment, to your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and your immediate surroundings. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindful Based Stress Reduction Program in University of Massachusetts Medical Center explains that “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way–On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It essentially involves doing activities that encourage the practice of being present without distractions.

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Mindfulness activities can include formal mediation, but it can also be incorporated into activities like taking a shower, eating, brushing your teeth, exercising, or any other routine daily tasks.   For example, being mindful while showering would include noticing how the water hits your body, being aware of your physical actions like how you use the bar soap or wash your hair, and your breathing patterns. If your mind wanders off to what you plan to do after the shower or the many tasks you have to accomplish at work, you bring your mind back to the present moment and focus only on taking a shower.   It sounds simple, but you will be surprised how many times you will have to redirect your mind to focus only on the present. There are several other examples that will help you live a mindful-based life. Aetna has a month long challenge, #Mindful30, which serves as a great resource with tips on how to add mindfulness to your daily routines.

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Photo credit: Gainesville Scene

We are living in a society with an increasing number of distractions, so you can find yourself aimlessly on life’s journey without true direction or focus. None of us have the luxury of wasting time. Your greatest possession is the 24 hours you have in a day, so manage it accordingly and be present for every second of it. Incorporating mindfulness activities can have long lasting positive mental, spiritual, and physical effects. It’s been noted to boost immune system, increase positive emotions, improve memory and focus, and enhance relationships. Therefore, it is an excellent way to broaden your perspective, be present, and experience a more fulfilled life.

Self-love: How I came to love wearing my hair in its natural state

Reading the Buzzfeed article, 17 Reasons Why Natural Hair is Not a Good Look, reminded me of all the reasons why I didn’t initially choose to wear my hair in its natural state. I work in health care operations management and as a fairly new administrator at the time, I always wanted to maintain what I thought was a professional image. I just didn’t see how wearing my hair naturally would fit into that image and as a result would alternate my hairstyles between hair extensions, chemically relaxed hair, and other protective hair styles.

My hair journey didn’t start with me making a declarative statement of going natural with long healthy hair or that I wanted to stay away from chemically treated processes for health reasons.  It took time and significant hair loss for me to realize that I needed to make very different choices about how I managed my hair.

My journey manifested around 2013 a few months after having my daughter, Ella.   As I review old pictures, I noticed that my hair slowly lost its volume during that year. I essentially ignored it and continued with my usual methods to style and maintain my hair.   It wasn’t until January 2014 that it was more obvious to me that my crown was in trouble.

By February 2014, it was evident from my birthday pictures that I was holding onto a bad relationship that clearly should be over. But just as bad relationships go, I was the last one to realize it.

I waited until April 2014 to finally cut my hair. I don’t have a picture to show my tresses at its absolute worse (as it my birthday pictures weren’t bad enough), but by this time, I probably had about as many long strands of hair as the onions do in this picture.

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Yes, it was that bad. I visited my stylist,TaLauna Beverly, to undergo the BIG CHOP and her response was “ Girl, what happened to your hair?!” What did happen to my hair? The combination of hormonal changes; the stress of trying to balance being a first-time mom and working full-time in a demanding job; continuing to expose my strands to tension and chemical relaxers; and then not using proper techniques to care for my hair left me with very little to take care of.

I was initially angry that I had to cut my hair. I had never worn it naturally short on purpose in my life. I worried about what the surgeons, staff, and senior leadership would think about me now that I had very little hair. I felt insecure, less attractive… Would my husband like it? How would I manage this? How soon could I perm my hair so I could go back to my usual routine? Those were the many questions that circled through my mind as I learned to deal with this new short hair scenario. I was so out of my comfort zone.

I had reached the crossroad in my hair journey and had to make a decision which path to follow. I could perm my hair again and eventually return to the same way I was managing my hair or I could explore the unfamiliar path of wearing my hair in its natural state. I decided to try a more natural approach especially since my current predicament was a result of my “status quo hair care practices”. I quickly realized that I had to let all of that initial self-doubt and insecurity go! Internalizing those types of negative thoughts would only make me appear insecure, self-conscious, and unhappy. Moreover, they had the potential to totally ruin my life if I were to let them.  I decided that I would OWN my current hair state and focus on finding a regime for healthy hair, no matter the length.

July 2014
July 2014

And so I made a conscious decision to only wear my hair in its natural state. I washed my hair at least once a week using Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner and style it with various curl custards or crèmes from Shea Moisture, Miss Jessie , Kinky Curly, and Jane Carter Solution to name a few. I would also deep condition my hair at least once a month with Kinky Curly Stellar Strands thanks to my sands, Monique (shout out to Monique for giving me those samples!). My current regime includes Shea Moisture shampoo/conditioner/gel soufflé, Coco Girls Moisturizing Style Cream, and the Kinky Curly deep conditioner.

As to be expected, my hair grew but it’s now healthier, fuller, and longer than my hair has ever been. I won’t say that I will never wear hair extensions or protective styles again, but I will always place more emphasis on the health of my hair and not jeopardize that just to meet a certain standard of beauty. My advice to those considering the natural transition or if you are like I was, holding on to unhealthy hair and maintenance practices, let go and make the transition! There are so many resources and hair products available to make the transition less awkward. If you have doubts that it will look good, it will—you will do all that you can to make sure you’re fly rocking your hair in its natural state. If you think your hair won’t curl a certain way, it will— you will find the right products to enhance your curl pattern. Ultimately, I’m here to tell you that all the self doubt and insecurities you may feel about wearing your natural hair will eventually be unfounded once you decide to travel down that road. So Just do it!

Jamila Dainty