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natural

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My Testimonial As A Natural College Student

When I initially cut my hair, I was obsessed and protective, as if it were my child. I didn’t realize how time consuming my hair, TWA at that point, is until I came home the summer after my first year of college. I spend my first semester of college with braids, and once I took them out I was elated to play in my hair again. Second semester, because of my dance team, I had a two sew-in weaves as a protective styles, and in-between the two I was elated to play with my hair and the new growth. Now that we are in the summer, I have consistently had my hair out and it has been difficult to keep up with my hair. I have nothing but time, but I am learning just how time consuming natural hair is. (Duh, right?)

I havealso realized a few things: natural hair is expensive (if youre not careful), time consuming and easy to get off track from. My current challenge is that I have to be frugal with high maintenance hair. I will have to keep up with my schoolwork, dance team, organizations, friends, networks, professors& my HAIR. It’s hard. It is so easy to begin slacking with your hair if you are a college student with your hair, but you have to find that inspiration to keep your momentum going. Remember why you first started.

 

Some possible steps we can take:

Buy things that have multi-use:

Vitamin E – removes dark marks, also promotes healthy hair.

Olive oil – Can be cooked with, but also is a very essential oil for the hair.

The list goes on

home-made-conditioner

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Stick to the basics:

Moisturizer, Oil, Sealant, Conditioner, Shampoo.

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Dedicate a certain time to do you hair:

Scheduling is hard as a millennial, but you will if you love and care about the health of your hair.

Budget money for your hair:

It seems so adult-y, but it really will be beneficial to make sure you aren’t overspending on natural hair products!

 

What are some tips you have, or things you can do to devote yourself to your hair as a natural hair student?

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The “un-talked about” Mental Process of the Big Chop

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To say I thought I was going to feel completely liberated is an understatement. I expected the warm family-like embrace from the people around me, I mean… It was just hair. Right? But no, I felt bald, and I was. There was no fuzzy feeling, no warm embrace from my family and no instant love of my new haircut. My mothers jaw dropped close to the floor, my grandfather just stared and my dad wrote off the haircut as another one of my “teen” phases. Later that night, I stood in the mirror tugging at the half inch strands, some curlyand some straight, wondering what made me cut it all off. It was then that I realized I could have done all of the research in the world and none of it could have prepared me for the drastic change in my perception of myself.

A little background about my hair….

I truly did have wild kinky hair when I was a child, it was braided and styled once a week which ended up making it down my back, but I was tender-headed, and this frustrated my mom. Eventually, like most, I submitted to the creamy crack. I kept my hair permed all throughout middle/high school, but it was incredibly unhealthy, broken and didn’t go past my shoulders until my 11th grade year.

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During senior year, I came across a naptural85 video on YouTube, and the rest is history.

Before I made my visit to the hair cut shop, I researched, which most of us do, and is probably how you ended up here. I spent hours on YouTube, curly Nikki and all of the popular natural sites finding products and reading testimonials. They all told of the struggle finding product and things of that nature, but no one told me what I needed to know; no one told me if I would regret my decision, or if I would ever be able to ignore the stares. It was a true test of self-love that I was less prepared for than I expected to be.

At first, you’ll feel ugly, but no one tells you this. Your face will look bigger, but trust me it’s not. You’ll notice bumps and marks you never even knew existed and you’ll start trying to find accessories that remind people you’re not a boy. You will be forced to point out flaws within yourself and then forced to do something about them, but you will learn this makes you a better person. You will officially be able to see yourself objectively, not covered in hair, and it will allow you to not only start your hair journey, but also start a journey to a better you.

The first month was difficult, but only when I realized that I did this big chop for me, could I be happy, could I ignore the stares and embrace my baby hair. It was so much easier to love my short hair when I thought of what it was going to be in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and so on.  I say this all to say, it quickly becomes worth it all; theunknown, the experimentation, learning your pattern, learning your face, seeing yourself as your are, everything becomes worth it. You have made a decision that most women could not even dream about, you are fearless, you are bold and you should be nothing less than proud. 

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(me at one month after the BC)

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Revolutionary Invention: Make your pledge today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855194586/cwk-straight-plates-straighten-hair-without-heat

“Wait. Does this say what I think it says? That can’t be right.”

At that point I decided to watch the video to see if it matched with the clearly misleading title “CWK Straight Plates-Straighten Hair No Heat (AIRDRYING TOOL)” but it turns out it was not a misleading title at all. This invention is absolutely groundbreaking and is completely safe for our hair. This tool can be used with or without heat, but leaves hair soft, shiny and straight.

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The straightening plates, as shown in the video are extremely simple and leave your hair straight from root to tip through stretching.

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This is definitely a cause worth giving to! Will you make a pledge?

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855194586/cwk-straight-plates-straighten-hair-without-heat

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The World of Homemade Deep Conditioners

Coconut Oil Banana.Coconut Milk and Honey.homemade Deep conditioner for natural hair. crystal afro. recipe. IG. lbd4b

 

Welcome to the world of homemade deep conditioners, here are a few to get started….

The Classic: Egg Whites, Mayo, Honey

            1 cup mayonnaise

            2 tbsp honey

            1 egg (white)

Mayonnaise is stacked with oils and fats that help moisturize, soften and add sheen to dull dry hair; while honey adds sheen and acts as a natural way to prevent the loss of moisture.

To create, put all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangleone rinsed thoroughly.

And the variations: (Egg Whites, Mayonnaise and greek yogurt is a variation of this)

home-made-conditioner

Coconut Oil & Egg Whites

            4 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil

            1 egg (white)

            2 tbsp of pure honey (optional)

This conditioner combines protein, moisture and strength that the hair needs to grow and thrive. Honey is always good to add in deep conditioners for your hair, as it is great for moisture retention.

To create, mix in a bowl, then sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly. You may need double the ingredients depending on the length or thickness of the hair.

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Avocado & Olive Oil

1 overripe avocado

            ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

            ½ cup of shea butter (optional)

2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (optional)

This deep conditioner is great for detangling! This conditioner is made to lubricate thick curls and give weight to the hair for detangling. The apple cider vinegar works as a clarifier for your hair, as well, if you do choose to include it.

To create, put all ingredients into a blender, and add extra virgin olive oil to reach the consistency you would prefer. Sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly.

 Banana, Olive oil & honey (with optional glycerin)

            1 large banana (or banana baby food)

            4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

            2 tbsp pure veggie glycerin (optional)

            2 tbsp honey

Here, the banana, when mixed with other ingredients, minimizes shrinkage and softens the hair. Olive oil thoroughly contributes to the over all moisture of the hair (see last post about oils). This deep conditioner specifically helps with manageability.

To create, put all of the ingredients into the blender in order to avoid having banana bits. Sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly.

Small tip:

All of these ingredients, egg whites/yogurt/honey/banana/mayonnaise/etc., can all work alone as deep conditioners as well! Happy experimenting!

 

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A Review of Oils and What They Do for Your Hair

Also, these all promote healthy hair as they help seal in moisture, but remember, they are not the moisture, and they just help to seal.

First up, Olive Oil: I personally prefer this oil; it is the most accessible because we use this so much in the kitchen. Olive oil contains Omega 3s, Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. This oil is great as a conditioner for your hair to moisturize into your strands. This oil makes hair extremely soft and extremely shiny, while preventing hair loss and split ends. It improves hair elasticity, conditions your hair, restores vitality to dull hair, promotes growth and strengthens.

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Coconut Oil: This oil, lightweight and non-oily, contains vitamin E, which is very vital in the conditioning of hair. It penetrates strands and reduces protein loss. It is extremely moisturizing strengthens and thickens strands. It also prevents styling damage, is great for finger detangling and helps to eliminate hair frizz and dryness. (Hint: if you are struggling with dandruff, this should be your “go-to” oil)

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Almond Oil: Packed with vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, B6, this oil promotes hair growth while preventing hair loss, shedding by soothing cuticles and breakage. This oil has a low penetration rate, though, but is extremely lightweight, works well for detangling and prevents breakage. This oil nourishes you hair and helps to make strands thicker, while increasing strength and shine. A bonus is that it smells really good! This is one of the few oils that can work as scalp oil without creating too much scalp buildup.

Aragon Oil: This oil increases hairs elasticity and smoothens the cuticles of hair. A bonus is that this oil is non greasy,while still sealing in the moisture of your strands. Aragon oil promotes natural shine and elasticity of hair in order to prevent breakage.

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Jojoba Oil: Another “go-to” oil for dandruff, Jojoba oil can work as a DIY dandruff and itchy scalp treatment, which works for eczema and psoriasis as well, as it mimics the scalps natural sebum, lifting dirt and exfoliating dead skins cells.It seals moisture into the strands very well, also. Jojoba contains antioxidants, vitamins E and B, silicon, copper and zinc, and is a very light-weigh oil.

Castor Oil: Reduces split ends and helps to thicken hair strands. This oil is very effective in promoting hair regrowth and preventing hair loss, because it reduces and prevents damage. Also helps with fullness, moisture and shine. Prevents thinning and is also great for scalp infections. This oil also builds hairs resilience to help it withstand styling.

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Avocado Oil: Because this oil is majority fat, it helps condition your hair and strengthen while boosting the shine. Containing vitamins A, E, B, magnesium and copper, avocado oil has all necessary proteins and fatty acids that nourish hair and promote fast hair growth. Avocado oil helps restore hair, softness and sheen, while being a great sealant for your moisture.

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TyLisa Tip: Hot oil treatments are the bees knees, take your favorite oil, or a group of them mixed well, heated up and massage into your hair strands and scalp. Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour under a plastic cap, for the best result!

 

For more stories like this, click here!

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Tips & Tricks for the New Natural

These are little tips I have acquired during my time as a natural and during the research I did before my big chop! I wish I had a list like this for me, so I thought I’d provide one!

  1. Dry your hair with a t-shirt, instead of a towel, for less frizz when your hair finally dries.
  2. While we are on the topic of drying hair…….Pat dry don’t rub dry, to avoid frizz.
  3. I thought this was a myth, but no, really, invest in a spray bottle for your water – They were not kidding.
  4. You won’t need to clip your ends as much as you probably think. Trimming, if you are properly caring for your hair, should come as much as a blue moon. To retain length, trims should be very few and far between.
  5. Finger detangle because combs should be your last resort. We have pretty little combs attached to our wrists thanks for the Man above, use them!
  6. You really only need water, a butter, an oil (and possibly a gel) — All of the rest of the products are excess.
  7. Beware of the product junkie lifestyle, it is so easy to slide into if you don’t do you research first and control your habits.
  8. Take pictures of your hair, trust me with this, because you eventually will see the progress and be so happy you did! Staring at yourself in the mirror everyday you won’t notice growth as much as if you document with photos!
  9. Develop a routine, but know that eventually this will have to change. Be willing to adapt.
  10. Heat damage is not a myth. That is all.
  11. Denman brushes are a beautiful thing. For some reason, brushing through my hair with a Denman accentuates my curls and I get to look and adore them every time.
  12. Do not overuse shampoo. It dries your hair out, use sparingly.
  13. Be careful with those edges! Especially when doing buns and pull back styles.
  14. Coating your hands with an oil while taking down protective styles will reduce frizz.
  15. Get enough water to drink throughout your normal day, it helps with, not only your body, but also your hair.
  16. Though you want to protect your entire hair strand, focus on the end, which is the oldest part and most prone to breaking.
  17. Condition and wash the hair while they are in twists to be time efficient.
  18. A good way to judge if the water is too hot for your hair — If the water is too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your hair.
  19. Figuring out your hairtype can be mildly stressful, expect this and mentally prepare.
  20. Take your twists out at the bottom, then unravel, to reduce frizz.
  21. Take the time to learn when it is time to clip ends: I  mostly know by when they cant be tamed, are always puffy and dry, and I see physical splits.
  22. When you shampoo, it is 80% scalp and 20% hair strands. Once again, shampoo will dry your hair out, be weary.
  23. Experimentation is healthy. Be brave.
  24. Look for water based products.
  25. If I haven’t said it enough already: Water, water, water.

    For more stories such as this click here!

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Master the Wash & Go [Infographic]

Wash and Go Infographic.Natura

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Typical Vixen presents Natural or Nah

TypicalVixen.com, is a monthly editorial and blog I created in order to promote my mission that “All girls are pretty. All girls are worth it. All girls should know it.” We promote this mission by interviewing 12 girls on a variety of Hot Topics every 21st of the month including topics such as; Body Transformation, Love, Spring Break, Marijuana, and most recently “Natural or Nah” a look at what it means to be “natural” in terms of hair, food, personality, and skin, allowing them to show that beauty is more than just a pretty face, but also #PrettyThoughts.

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(Take the Poll: What does Natural Hair mean to you?)

The idea for this Hot Topic came from our past Vixen of the Month, Willecia Stubbs, who stated that she feels being natural can also mean having chemically treated hair, and questioned the intentions of some young women’s natural journey, as we have seen an uprising of the naturalista movement on our campus of Florida A&M University. So I centered our Hot Topic around what natural means, from the perspective of more than just hair, and decided to see what other girls define as “natural.”

(Read: Willecia’s Full interview on typicalvixen.com)

My favorite part of doing the Hot Topic’s are hearing all the opinions from the girls, and seeing just how similar, and different we think as women from all across the nation. Here’s a sample of a few of my favorite answers…

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(Read: More pretty girl opinions on Hot Topics)

As you can see, we all define being natural in different ways, but what’s most important in my opinion, is that you always are your “natural self,” meaning you don’t pretend to be anyone or believe in anything that truly doesn’t make you feel good or like yourself. At Typical Vixen we are striving to give girls a place to show that beauty is more than just a pretty face, but also pretty thoughts, and we believe that a natural beauty comes in every form.

(Read: More stories like this in the NEW edition of Natura Magazine)

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A Reaction to the Possible Out-Lawing of Natural Hair

When I say I could talk about the politics of natural hair for days, I mean it. Black women are expected to change themselves for the workplace; put themselves through processes just to keep a job. The changes Black women are beginning to be required to endure is seemingly, to a Black woman, an attack on self-identity and Black culture, in order to be less African, and more European. Is this a form of racism? I remember showing up to a private, Quaker high-school with little-to-no hair 521844_482924428438843_1983565034_n

and dealing with the stares from my Caucasian peers, then a few months later showing up to my internship at a law firm, all great people, where I was the only person of color, with a blown out afro and dealing with the stares, and the questions they wanted to ask, but didn’t know how to without offending me. I have always thought it intriguing how alluring natural hair is to people. What is it about my kinks that attract fingers from near and far? A year and a half later I am still defending my decision to cut off my permed hair. So, I am forced to ask: what is politically correct hair? What is appropriate hair and who decided this? When I saw the image of the so-called restrictions of hair being set in the military,army_unauthorized_hairstyles-620x412 I couldn’t help but be, at some level, offended. I have grown and matured a lot to where things such as this are normally brushed off, but I was not sure this was the type of change I could have, or should have, brushed off.

I first saw this image browsing twitter and the journalist in me inevitably went into investigative mode. I quickly landed on the hair standards for the U.S. Army and was relieved when the guidelines weren’t as blatant as twitter made them sound. “That the length and bulk of the hair are not excessive, and that the hair does not present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance,” is a simple excerpt from the guidelines. There are rumors that the U.S. Army has ruled out numerous hairstyles that Black women often use to protect, grow and simply style their hair, such as braids/cornrows, twists and headbands to hold the hair down/back without possibly causing breakage, but I discovered these were not true. The main issue I could understand the public having with the military guidelines is the use of the term “conservative” and what the term exactly means. The military clearly states they will not define what conservative means and it is to the discretion of the general, but they then use the term “conservative” numerous times throughout the guidelines. Now, conservative could mean many things, but I am not sure it includes kinks and curls. I also thought it interesting that to some extent, the wording insinuates that specifically Black women’s hair in its natural state is excessive, unruly and must be subject to military discipline. To think this type of outlawing of natural hair will not spill over into corporate America, if it hasn’t already, would be foolish of us. To let this pass without a response would also be foolish of us. People only get away with what you allow them to get away with. What will we do about this?

For more posts such as this check out the new issue of Natura Magazine HERE

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Curly Confidence

It’s no secret that it takes a great amount of courage to be natural. And in my opinion being, going, or ever having been natural is a declaration that deserves applause, especially in today’s society where bundles of hair from Brazil, Malaysia, and Eurasia are in as high of a demand as plastic bags at the grocery store.

So what is the common thread that holds together those that endure the inevitable criticism, lack of understanding, and simple frizz frustration? Well the simple answer is Confidence. And having it can go a long way in not only your natural hair journey, but all future journeys in life.

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via typicalvixen.tumblr.com

Remember why you did it….
Before you made the decision to be natural you more than likely had at least a few good reasons. Write down all the pros, (forget the cons they’ll revel themselves eventually, and it’s too late for it now!), make it pretty, and now look at your list all these things that lead you to this amazing declaration! At the bottom of the list write [YOUR NAME you are fierce], and hang it on your wall so you can always remember the reasons you made this step.
Look at all your support!
Gone are the days where naturalistas had no sisters to help them embrace their roots! There are thousands of curly communities that  you can lean to for support, from girls that have been through the same very stages that you are at now. Not to mention all the photos that showcase just how beautiful your curls can be which you can find by simply searching a variety of hashtags. Just look at where you are now a magazine totally dedicated to “making natural beautiful,one curl at a time”. Every step of the way you have a total support system, so reach out!
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via typicalvixen.tumblr.com

(Fellow Curly Girl: instagram.com/goddessgram)
(Natural Hair Photos: untouchmyhair.tumblr.com/)
Finally, know you are beautiful! 
The Creed for my website TypicalVixen.com is “When I look in the mirror I am bright and beautiful, one of a kind, and absolutely wonderful”, in other words God don’t make no junk! Whether your hair is long, short, curly, or straight, you as a woman can rock it out because that’s just what us women do! Love yourself first and foremost, and everything else will follow.

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The definition of confidence is…

Full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. And who better to trust than yourself? Never get tired of your decision to love your natural self, because it’s a courageous things that not all girls are able to do. So join the club, get curled up, and always keep your confidence on hand.

(Read what I think about you Here…)