Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Do you have the poo's? Simple cleansing for natural hair

You know I'm all about sharing information on how we can simplify our lives and live more naturally.

Today I have some hair detox tips for you.

I learned about this some time ago but recently decided to give it a try.

(cleaning your hair without the use of shampoo and conditioner)




Many people use the popular method of baking soda + apple cider vinegar


Step 1- cleanse

Step 2 - Rinse

That's it

What to expect:

Expect that your hair may be a little dry at first but stay with it, it will get better.

I think we should let this information sink in before I confuse you with the 2 other options

But....Stay tuned for more information on co-wash and pre-poo  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gray is the new Black - Sisterlocks Journey


 OK Mother Nature you win!

I've decided to let my hair go gray...again  I don't know if I will succeed this time but my fingers are crossed that I will (this is the 4th try).

On my 2nd attempt in 2005
I had gotten so far, but someone remarked that my face looked younger than my hair.
That's all it took.

There are several reasons I am going to let my hair go gray and heaven forbid, I know it's not going to be easy.

1.  Even though I have cut down significantly, by coloring only once a year, the harsh chemicals are still not good for my hair (especially not good for locs) Plus coloring is not cheap!

2.  No matter how often I go, it's still a hassle. I'm not one of those gals who likes to be in the beauty shop. The time spent in the salon on Saturday can be better spent elsewhere. (let me count the ways)

3.  My new journey to Costa Rica beckons to me to be my authentic self! Who knows where we will end up living. Could be on a beach or in the jungle. I'm not going to have the time nor the desire to go searching out a hairdresser who can color locs.

But the biggest reason is....

4.  I just want to be myself!! I'm not so hung up anymore on whether or not I "look" young or not. I am what I am and there is value in the wisdom we gain as we age. That is something to be proud of.

So time to own it and wear it with pride! 


1st Attempt started in 2000 and ended in 2002

Going gray is a process that takes months.  I haven't colored in a year but there is no hair dye available commercially to dye your hair gray. No easy way around it, you have to let it grow.

 Hair Facts:

Each strand of hair on our head is the product of an individual hair follicle. The color of the hair that grows from this follicle comes from the melanin or pigment that is produced by a type of cell called a melanocyte. These cells act like little pots of paint, tiny wells of color. How light or dark your hair turns out to be is a result of the type and distribution of these melanocyte cells, which in turn is determined by your genetic make-up.  source

Genetics is also a major factor in when your hair will turn gray.
When the production of melanin by the melanocyte cells slows down, when that little pot of pigment begins to dry up, the color in that strand of hair begins to fade, to gray. Gray hair has less melanin than brown hair; white hair has no melanin at all. Because each strand of hair is colored by its own pigment pot, and because these pigment pots dry up at different times and rates, the graying process is usually a gradual one.

Today research is exploring the possibility that melanocyte cells that have stopped producing pigment might be convinced to turn the function on again. The future may give us the option of no gray hair, but it is not available yet.

I tried again in 2007 but gave up in 2008 and haven't tried again since

I'm not sure what my gray will look this time around and I have a long way to go before I'm all gray, so we shall see.  Accepting gray hair is part of my journey, and as I continue, it's more and more obvious that gray matters.

January 2015

My annual hair appointment is coming up in mid February (just in time for our spring trip to Costa Rica) this time I'm not going to cover the gray. I will get a much needed haircut and hopefully some highlights that will make the transition easier. 

Time to join the Amazing Grays!
I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sisterlocks hairstyle possibilities for long hair

I see a hat I like. 

Try it on.

9 times out of 10 - it doesn't fit. 

Looks like a toy sitting atop my head.

Story of my life.

I'm forever complaining about the size of my head and how I can never find hats to fit.
It has been suggested to me on more than one ocassion that the culprit might likely be the tons of hair on my head and not so much my head  per se (although my head is definitely larger than average) but at any rate, wearing hats has been a chore.

I can also say that in the 14 years that I have been wearing my hair in sisterlocks I have NEVER worn it completely down. Nope, NEVER! My hair has consisitently been pulled back in one or a series of ponytails or twist overs. For photos I throw it over my shoulder but most of the time you can only see it from the back. There are many reasons for this and most of them stem from the fact that when I wear it down it is a whole lot of hair for a black girl in corporate America. And let's face it, 14 years ago it would not have been acceptable. So I got used to pulling it back and up.

But it's now 2015 and in a few months I will be 65 and signing up for medicare. And soon after that... I will be enjoying retirement!

So, if not now....when?

This weekend I spent some time at the boyfriend's house. None of the electronics were working properly (he doesn't watch TV) and he was in his office working. Me and the girls were left to entertain ourselves. So, I decided to do some photos featuring some of my hats.

I had also just washed my hair and had braided it to dry, so the plan was to shwo the hats as Iwaer them as a cover while my hair dries.

The next day as I took my hair out of the braids and just let it hang loose. It was then that I got the idea of seeing what the hats would like - seriously that idea never occurred to me in th past.

I popped on a hat and snapped some pics.

What a difference flat hair makes!

I was having such a good time taking photos and posing for photos the boyfriend took that  we ended up with a lot of photos. However, if you know anything about photo shoots you end up taking a ton of pictures to end up with enough good ones to feature.

So I think I have enough to feature a different hat every day this week.

Hope you'll stop by and check me out. And feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think about my new haird o possibility!

Oh and as usual the dogs just love the photo shoots

this is the same hat
big difference huh?

Do you see TWO different hats in this photo. 
If your answer is yes, you are correct
My boyfriend thought there was only one and thought I should point it out
(thanks babe) 

It's all about change

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My locs in the fall - Natural hair styles

Hair update

These photos were part of the photo shoot I took for my fashion blog but thought I would post them here as well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A guide to caring for a black child's natural hair

This is a post I've been wanting to do for some time now, but in some ways it
is a very hard post to write.  I've read many articles about little black girls and their hair challenges when it comes to interracial adoption.

In many of the articles there are comments coming from the African American community about stopping white parents on the street or in supermarkets and chastising them because they do not like the way the child's hair looks.

This is not one of those posts.

But in the same vein I cannot change the reality 

And here is the painful truth - There is zero tolerance in the African American community for an unkempt transracially adopted black child.

In the African-American community, the significance of hair cannot be underestimated, a source of either self-esteem or self-doubt.  So for white parents of black children, making sure their youngsters are well-coiffed is as much a priority as good nutrition and potty training.

African-American women know well the work and time it takes to keep their hair healthy, styled and maintained.

Generally when the children are picked up from the orphanage their hair is shaved. But that will change very shortly and then the question is....
What do I do next?

Grooming black children’s hair is not an easy matter if you have no experience doing it.

This information is for anyone who has to take care of the hair of a black child but especially important if you have adopted a beautiful little black girl with hair very different from your own.

I know several families who have adopted black children from Africa and I know without a doubt that they love their children very much and only want the best for them.  But if you aren't a black woman you just cannot know the long, complicated and painful history of African-American women and hair.

Taking care of black hair can be a time consuming endeavor (might take an hour or longer).  As a little girl (and even as a woman) we often spend many hours sitting and having our hair done.  As a child many of us did not like it. Getting your hair combed was no fun.  Some of us were tender headed and how many white parents know what a "kitchen" is? In the African American community we know this and take this time for granted but if you have not been accustomed to it, you might be tempted to cut corners or let the child slide because they are fussy and won't sit still. 

So here are some easy steps to help you keep your child looking beautiful and well coiffed.

Black hair is fragile. It is the most fragile type of hair (Black hair has tiny nicks in the cuticle layer which makes it harder for natural scalp sebum to distribute to the ends of your hair. These nicks also cause breakage)

My friend Shelly, has a beautiful black daughter named Nia. 
Shelly did what all white parents of adopted black children should do. 
She reached out for help.  There's no shame in asking for help.

Shelly and Nia were nice enough to allow me to photograph 
 our recent beauty hair session with little Miss Nia on her 2nd birthday
I'm no expert so I brought along my Sisterlock's Consultant Adrianne Robinson
(Adrianne is a Certified Sisterlocks Consultant, if anyone is interested in services in the SF Bay Area)

Keep in mind that it’s ok to seek assistance from African Americans in your network. They would be honored to help you.

Step 1
Washing the hair
Handle the fragile hair with care. If the hair is dry, co-wash the hair. Co-wash means wash the hair with conditioner not shampoo
Research has now shown that shampooing the hair is not that good for the hair. 
If you must wash the hair, dilute you shampoo with 75% water and 25% shampoo

Even if the hair isn’t exceptionally dry it’s a good idea to rotate between shampoo and a cold poo.
Do not wash daily! Wash about every 2 weeks (unless the child is swimming in which case you must get the chlorine out of the hair) 

Nia has been swimming a lot this summer and the chlorine has added some reddish color to her hair. 
but it is also drying it out and possibly causing some breakage

Black hair will grow

Nia also has a slight bald area in the back. This spot is due to hair breakage partly the result of friction while sleeping. A satin pillow or sleep cap will help to eliminate this. She's a little young now but keep trying to get her to wear a scarf or sleep cap. Eventually she will get used to it. It will be a tremendous help as she gets older. I still wear a sleep wrap at night.

Step 2

Dry Hair: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Use “organic” products not natural products (natural products do not have the same strict guidelines as organic and subject to the whims and labeling of the corporations which make them
Use products like avocado, jojoba , olive, coconut and castor, grape seed. You can use these right out of the bottle

Don't get caught up in pricey hair products you can always make your own.
Don't use mineral oil, lanolin and stay away from ALL  petroleum products (petroleum products make the hair stiff and dry)

Don't use conditioners with sulfates

NEVER use grease!

Step 3
Time to Style
Wet the hair. NEVER comb hair dry! A good mixture is lavender or rose essential oil mixed water 
Lavender oil is used to promote hair growth and to prevent future loss

Daily - Using a wide tooth comb Part the hair in sections (8 is an average number) then twist the hair to get it out of the way.

Section by section moisturize and saturate with hair lotion that contains the ingredients stated above

Continue until all the sections are done.

People of color should not comb the hair daily. The hair does not need to be combed everyday, and can be detangled with your fingers

Too much combing causes the hair to break.

Adrianne has a line of products called Essence of AR
My products are environmentally friendly, and contain no animal fat, hydrogenated oil, petrochemicals, artificial dye, artificial preservatives, paragons  phthalates, sodium laurel sulfates or detergents!  Make a committment to love yourself and your skin, the largest organ of your body, while satisfying your mind, body and spirit.

Don't use rubber bands instead use pony tail holders or barrettes

Step 4
Practice, Practice, Practice
Letting the hair go wild is very drying.  Learn to braid and cornrow. If you find cornrowing and braiding too difficult twisting the hair will accomplish the same thing.  

Watch the language you use regarding her hair: The most important advice I have to offer you has nothing to do with the actual care of your child's hair but the language you use when you refer to it. 

Make it a fun time.  Let the child participate. Play a video. Take breaks.  (tip - if the child gets tired and cannot sit still, give them a break. Be sure to turn off the video so that she associates the watching of the video with fun hair time) 

Step 5
Compliment, Compliment, Compliment

Tell her how beautiful she looks 

Look for cute, and easy styles that are tailored to your child’s hair length and that compliment her personality.

Believe me, your daughter will thank you one day!

Thank you Shelly and Nia for being such troopers!
Good luck with her hair going forward
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