To this day, it still surprises me when random strangers stop to ask questions about my hair. "How do you get your hair like that?"..."What products do you use?"..."Where can I get those products?"...
...and while I'm surprised, I'm still elated to hear these questions. I love "hair talk," especially about natural hair, and the fact that anyone deems me knowledgable enough to give them even a bit of advice makes me feel like I'm doing something right in this crazy natural hair game!
HOWEVER... I WISH that at the end of every conversation the voice of that guy from the AllState Insurance commercials (you know...the love interest of Whitney Houston, in Waiting to Exhale) would bellow from the sky, and quickly say in auction style, "Individual Results May Vary from Curl to Curl and Kink to Coil"
Let me make a quick point...I love to help empower women all over, -especially young women- to either create or nurture their self esteem, and develop an awareness for their own natural and inner beauty. So, please know that these thoughts don't come from a lack of wanting to stop and answer a few questions... They come from the experience of knowing that in using beauty and hair products, not every solution is EVERYONE's SOLUTION. ...and unfortunately, many people do not know this, or just plainly don't want to hear or believe it.
I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how many different products I've tried over the years... Not only have I tried different products, but I've tried different methods. Different ways of shampooing, conditioning, executing hair masks, oils treatments,detangling methods... long term regimens, short term regiments... I mean... the list goes on and on, and I've only been natural for about 2.5 years! Sometimes my hair has turned out exactly like the youtube video tutorial I watched... other times, uhh... not so much.
My first attempt at KimLuv's 40's Protective Style (2.5 yrs ago) View it HERE
I've even gone to a salon that a natural hair celebrity swears by, because of the 'treatments' and 'methods' they use, only to end up with hard crunchy hair, a mushroom style (it was very unattractive,trust.) and water down by back from a bad shampoo job. This place will remain nameless.
Furthermore, this isn't a newsflash, but I need to say it...All hair is not the same. The hair on our own head varies from section to section. The outer perimeter of my hair, for example, is tightly coiled. Some may classify it as 4a. The center of my head however grows in a loose wave....and then there is a random chunk of strands at the center of my right side, parallel to the tip of my ear. This chunk of hair is BONE STRAIGHT. Water, curling pudding, gels... NOTHING can make this strong band of solders march. They just hang in military order until I bobby pin them into submission against my scalp.
So, I say all this to explain that the hair you see on top of my head is a result of many tried and failed operations. This however is the beauty of the process and journey of maintaining natural hair. Trial and Error...Learning, is the key to having fantastic hair. This is the FUN part!
One of my first attempts at FusionofCultures' Twist Out/Roller Set. So tiny! (2 years ago) View the Tutorial HERE
I am in no way advocating seclusion when it comes to discovering natural hair products and methods. In fact, I am all for it! My advice, however is to strive for good results, know that you will have to experience trial and error, and don't necessarily expect your results to be the same as someone else's. We are all different and our hair, like our bodies, react to different treatments. Test out some things and see what works best for YOU! -SBG
Jacket: Urban Outfitters * Skirt: Nordstrom Rack * Bag: FENDI * Bracelet: Forever21 * Earrings: ALDO * Lip: NARS, Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
Its no secret... I'm a straight up Curlbox FAN! Once a month the great folks over at Curlbox...lovingly deemed the "CurlBoxCrew," mail myself (and loads of others) a box of full sized hair product, samples of products, and a variety of other fun hair treats, all geared towards those with curls, koils, and kinks.
I personally find this service beneficial as it helps me to not go broke while still fulfilling my beauty product addiction. Some call my 'kind' a - Product Junky. haha. By getting shampoos, conditioners, oils, and the likes by a variety of different brands monthly, I'm able to test out different products and find out what works best for my hair. ...and of course I love to do Product Reviews for you all... so the more products I acquire, the more I can try out, and thus review!
For the month of May, my favorite product found in my Curlbox comes from the brand Motions' "Naturally You" line. Motions Radiating Gloss is now a new staple in my hair regiment for three reasons.
1. BOMB INGREDIENTS. This product has been formulated with the ingredients shea butter, coconut oil and avocado oil. As discussed in prior posts, most oils are used to coat the hair strand and seal in moisture already within the strand. On a molecular level, many oils are too thick to penetrate the hair. Many oils EXCEPT... you guessed it - coconut and avocado. (olive too). Now, these oils cannot fully get through to the core of the hair strand but they can sneak in a bit, and every natural hair gal knows, all we want is more moisture. we want more, we want more, we really really want more!! Click HERE for more information on oil penetration.
2. PACKAGE PERFECTION. Let me just say that this product comes in an excellent -ergonomically correct- bottle. The weirdest things mean a lot to me as a consumer, and shape and usage of bottle, container, or spray can make a huge difference is whether or not I purchase something long term. This bottle has an easy pump top... not to little and not to much of the oily mixture comes out, and I can easily grip it without slippage. I really dislike it when I cant hold a bottle with one hand and simultaneously pump or squeeze the trigger.
3. SHINE ON! This product really made my curls shine the first day I used it, as evident of the photos in this post, however I was more amazed at my second, third and forth day of usage. Usually after day 1 of a braid out, I loose all traces of sheen, regardless of whether I sleep on a silk pillow case. Over the years, to prevent this, I've used straight unrefined coconut oil, which I love, but it tends to be thick and goopy at times (Yes, I said goopy... like globy...chunky... you know what I mean.). Motion's Radiating Glosser is lightweight and makes my day old hair feel super soft. Its the best antidote for smashed bed-head curls as well. Seriously!
So, anyways, these are the reasons for which I love the Motions Radiating Gloss product and would ya believe?... the CurlboxCrew made me a MayCurlBox Winner for posting my photo, product, and results. Yay! Till next time... xoxo, SBG (Click HERE for additional PHOTOS from the "Young Queen" Shoot!)
As soon as the clock struck 12 and 2013 was ushered in, God started throwing interesting situations and experiences at me- one after another. Within a 4+ month span, I experienced unexpected and expected death, birth, loss of friendship, gain of new friendships, changes in my job, my relationship... If you can think of it, I experienced it... twice or more times in some categories.
...and honestly, I'd be fibbing if I acted as if I just accepted each event or occurrence with open arms and honest gratitude. I certainly did none of the before mentioned at first. When you're in the midst of a whole bunch of happenings, it can often feel like you're trying to walk against the wind.... sometimes you feel a slight breeze as you happily walk down the sunny pollution free streets of life... While other times you find yourself fighting through a pseudo hurricane, holding onto a lamppost, dodging trashcans, and silently cursing yourself for forgetting to X-tape your house's windows in preparation.
Needless to say, each situation was different and therefore brought forth a different reaction. It was hard at times to understand what was happening all around me. This is why I choose to use "interesting" as my adjective of choice, because that word neither has a negative nor a positive connotation.
Life can seem strange at times...and 'interesting' to say the least. But it just is what it is. Life is happening now...it has been happening way before me and you, and it will continue to happen in the future. You and I cannot control 100% of what happens to us within our lives. Surprise Surprise... seriously... WE CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING.
I know that I personally don’t have all of the answers and I often times have trouble hearing the Voice that is there to tell me, "Go to the Left...or Go to the Right." But, it is in these times that I have learned to remain still. Reacting to situations with fear or anger isn't going to do anything but add undesired stress to your life.
When you find yourself in times where the wind feels like a hurricane-or a tornado for that matter-, just be still. Don’t resist the wind... So be it, if it carries you into the eye of the storm... With God, there actually is absolute rest in that place.
Have you ever found yourself in a sequential series of moments where you feel as though everything is happening in perfect domino effect for some unknown paramount reason? If your answer is YES... then know... I FEEL YOU. This happened to me on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago...
Nothing was particularly different on this Sunday as opposed to other Sundays. Reggie came to pick me up and per usual I wasn't ready, and so began my usual frantic motions of attempting to finish putting myself together in the car. Reg was driving with one hand on the steering wheel while attempting to fluff out the back of my fro with the other. I simultaneously attempted to puff up the top while applying lip-gloss, buckling my shoe strap, and taking a sip from my water bottle. Yes. This is normal for us.
'too cool for school in the car' photo
Either way, we got everything together and as we headed inside a woman stopped me to compliment my recently fluffed fro. I thanked her, and she replied something to the affect of, "I wish I could introduce you to my student! Her self esteem has been so low since I've known her, and it’s all connected to her hair. She consistently wears wigs, sew ins (weave), glue ins... anything to hide her own hair. I finally talked her into wearing twists and the kids at school made fun of her terribly..."
My heart fell for this young girl... I found out she was a junior in high school, which is so surprising for me, because I figured that this was far past the stages/ages of bullying. I was wrong however, as I found out just how bad the bullying was. They called her names and compared her to celebrities who’s names I won’t mention…but just know, that they were not even women celebrities. I was angry, but what could I do. Service was about to start, and I felt more than 7 degrees of separation from this woman, and helplessness for her student.
So anyway, fast forward to the service. I couldn't concentrate. I just couldn't. Reg nudged me and whispered, "You cool?"
I looked at him. I wasn't cool. I wasn't ok. I couldn't stop thinking about this young girl. I wasn't upset that she wore extensions or weave...my issue was that she wore all of these things to HIDE what she thought was an unattractive human being. I couldn't begin to imagine the image of what she saw in the mirror vs. what actually was looking back at her.
As I sat in my seat thinking, our pastor began to speak about matters of Problem Solving. He said something that really struck me...
photo via HERE
The things that bother you the most are the things that you are destined to solve... He went on to convey a message that encompassed the notion that we are all predestined problem solvers... when God wants to solve an issue, he births a person.
What a concept! It may sound funny or strange to you, but this was interesting news to me! I began to think about my "problems"...the things that really get under my skin.
...More often than not in my life I have hair on the brain. I did not get outwardly made fun of in my youth, but at times I did feel the negative energy steming from the fact that I did not look like the other girls in my classes or on TV. Their hair softly cascaded down their backs, or was pulled up in a neat slick long ponytail...such styles were not foreign to my eyes, but were foreign to my own hair's ability. I often wondered why I was cursed with the unmovable hair...the hair that never grew past my shoulders, nor blew graciously in the wind.
Many things happened concerning it-my seemingly problematic hair, but to make a long story short, I transitioned into wearing my own hair in its natural state a few years ago, and I haven't looked back since...I now love my hair, but not because of its style (which I now explore and try out a variety of). I love it because I learned to love myself...my whole being, regardless of what grew out of my scalp.
I can sit here and write a full story about this process but the short of it is...on that Sunday, I realized that I had a problem to solve...but not for myself… for other young women. Whether through education, conversation, or just being an example, I have to be involved in the fight to raise the self esteem of others who are blinded by society and the media's pressures of "what they should or need to look like or be" in life to be considered beautiful or worthy.
This post may seem choppy to you, out of order, or meaningless. It’s all good though... my dominos are still falling and the picture won’t seem perfectly clear until the final one lays down. I'm not sure where my journey will take me, but Psalms 37:5 states, Commit thy way unto the Lord; Trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. So, I'm doing what I can to open my ears to hear God's directions on solving one of my predestined problems. *smile*
Keep up with me... I'm sure something will develop quite soon... and in the mean time, let me know by responding in the comments box below… What’s YOUR PREDESTINED PROBLEM to solve?
How often is it that you get to meet one of your all time favorite authors, get them to sign your book, and hear them debate on stage for over an hr with the Fresh Prince?? One of the best days ever! I was so excited that I didn't even know what book to bring, so I bought the slew that I owned... Reggie took one look at me as I threw my big MK tote onto his passenger seat....my books spilling over, and said something like, "Choose one... preferably the lighter one so you dont have to carry all of them around." And thats what I did. I took Sister Souljah's first book, "No Disrespect," my only paperback, and she signed it..." My Sister Renee... We must blossom into our womanhood beautifully." To my Sister-Sister Souljah... I plan to! :)