Tag Archives: hairstory

Brooke Shares Her Hairstory

20 Sep

Brooke writes:

Hello everyone!  My name is Brooke Holmes.  I’m a stay at home wife and mother of two.  I wanted to share my hair story.  I began my natural transition almost 7 years ago.  I wore the cute Halle Berry/Nia Long hair cut that I maintained by going to the hairdresser every 4 weeks to keep it looking “decent”.  I became weary of coaxing my hair with chemicals to the point where they seriously burned my scalp.  I wanted to get a texturizer instead to get that curly look without it looking nappy at the time, partly because I was scared how others would perceive me with natural hair in the workplace.  So I tried to find quick fix ways to revert my hair back from straight to nappy to prepare for a texturizer.  It wasn’t until I found nappturality.com that I found the truth:  grow out the processed hair and sip the straight ends or transition with braids and/or twists until I reached a certain length.  Since I’d seen pictures of beautiful sistas with the ultra low boy cuts and teeny weeny afros, I decided on October 15th, 2003 to reveal my new natural self.  I’d done my own big chop at home, but went to a barber the next day to shape it up.  Yes, I know it was very extreme for me to do that, but I felt so free afterwards.  Granted, my fiancé (now husband) wasn’t thrilled about the radical change I’d made, but he supported my decision after I told him my reasons.  The thoughts of putting a texturizer in my hair were gone in an instant.  I simply adored my new look.  I mostly kept my hair very short until after the birth of my first son in 2005.  Five years later, my hair is the longest that it’s ever been and quite possibly in its healthiest state.  The journey has been well worth it and I wished I’d done this much sooner.  :o)
As far as products go, I love Organix’s Tea Tree Shampoo (sulfate-free), Garnier Fructis’ 3 Minute deep conditioner, Nexxus’ Humectress leave-in conditioner and Jamaican Mango and Lime products.  I also like coconut oil and Hollywood Hair’s olive oil cream.  My hair stays thirsty, especially in this Florida heat.  :o)
To the women out there that are transitioning or have already done their big chop…don’t let others sway you out of your decision.  You know what’s best for you.  Don’t get discouraged.  Stay on your happily natural journey!  There are wonderful natural hair care sites (such as this one) that lend support and inspiration. 

Thanks for sharing your story, Brooke. If you would like to share yours, please send it to naturalbyl@gmail.com.


Guest Blogger: Confessions of a Nappy Haired Black Girl

2 Sep

Living in the early 70’s as a younger sister of a light skinned blossoming teenager with “good” hair was equivalent to being that lost little swan in a family of ducks. Compared to my sister’s hair, requiring only water to create a loose wave pattern in her long black hair, my hair looked like the tumbleweed rolling on the dry cracked floor of a hot scorched desert. My wee little age of ten made no difference to the adults that lavished complements upon my sister while ignoring me with my tight nappy weak attempt of a fro. What was a mother to do when faced with one child with “good” hair and one child with “bad” hair? Nothing.

As time marched on the life of the sister with “good” hair gained more and more admirers. Her hair was always center stage. As for me, I tried all of the wonder oils and potions to try to encourage my hair first to grow and second to become straight. No luck. All around the girls were perming their hair making it bone straight. For me there were only burns and pain and dry damaged hair that was rough, lacking luster or even true straightness.

Thank goodness weave began to catch on. But, my tiny narrow face just looked lost amongst the masses of Inian or Asian strands of hair which looked more out of place on me than a beard would have. I surrendered to my fate. I would always just be a nappy haired little black girl no matter my age.

I gave up the straight hair fight. I looked for years for somewone to dread my short hair. No one understood my desision to walk away from perms and weaves and I no longer cared to explain. Without help or any actual knowledge, I did the deed myself.

“Who does your hair?” It was me the many curious people were talking to. “Can you do my hair?” This was a new world. A world I had never thought of or even wondered about. In this reality my hair was prized. In this world my hair was desired. When I allowed ME to be enough, I was enough.

Well many may say: “The times have just changed. Natural hair is just more acceptable now” Well, that may be true. It may be the reasoning behind my hair story, but it does not have to be the reasoning of young nappy haired black girls of the future. My sister with her “good” hair had no responsibility for how people reacted to the God given hair she had growing from her scalp. It was society that decided how they would treat even the very young in their misguided idea of beauty.

From this journey I learned more than anyone could have ever dared to teach me. Self love is a powerful revenge. To love yourself as you are will endure long after those tearing you down will last. “Good” hair, “bad” who is the judge? No one can tell me as may coarse black dreaded tendrils swing and sway when I toss my head with hearty belly laughter that my God given hair is bad. It suits me just fine.

Yes I would like to add this picture of myself signing my books at an event. I should have added to my story that my journey inspired me to write a book on natural hair: Don’t Dread Dreads: the People SpeaK” which I am now in the process of penning. Check me out  HERE If you are interested in previous interviews click on right side of page on INTERVIEWS.

Dorothy Guyton

Thanks for sharing, Dorothy. If you would like to be a guest blogger, email me at naturalbyl@gmail.com

Meet Nicole

31 Jul

How do you keep your hair healthy?
First and foremost is keeping my hair moisturized. I’ve done that by eliminating things that will suffocate and/or dry out my hair. The culprits are sulfates, heat, silicones, mineral oil, and petrolatum. Keeping the hair moisturized is even more important with color treated hair. I moisturize and seal in the morning (lightly) and in the evening. Some days I start experimenting with different sealers (or get new products!) so to avoid the “wet rat” look, so I just wear updos until I wash it out. This is also beneficial to my hair because of the oils and butters and the protective style. The oils I use are natural (like raw coconut, jojoba, pomegranate seed, or argan). I also make my own sealer from a mix of raw butters, natural and organic oils, and humectants. This is my favorite to use because my hair really loves it. I clarify once a month which removes any environmental buildup and cowash with silicone-free conditioners only. My final rinses are with cold water instead of warm in order to close the cuticle. I deep condition my hair 1-4x a month. I mix my own DCs and always add raw honey, vitamin E (32,000 IU), raw coconut oil and milk, put on a plastic cap and turban, and leave in at least overnight. I also use non-protein conditioners and deep treatments as leave ins…I saw a definite difference in my hair when I started doing that. I’ll be forever endebted to my stylist for suggesting that tip to me! And I ALWAYS cover my hair at night as well…I really wouldn’t be able to fall asleep if I didn’t!! 🙂

2. What are your favorite products?
I am definitely a PJ Extraordinaire 🙂 …but I do have my favorite products and lines. Curls, My Honey Child, and Amourai Organique are my top 3. I use all of the products in the Curls and Amourai Organique line, and am making it my business to get as many MHC products as possible!! Other lines I use are Kinky-Curly, Just Natural, Bee Mine, Pretty Natural, Koils by Nature, Joie Naturals, and Kiss My Face.
If I had to narrow some of my favorite products down..Curls Coconut Sublime is definitely my favorite conditioner of all time. The Duchess of Curls Curl Enhancer from the Amourai Organique is one of my top stylers. MHC is my absolute favorite line for moisturizing, there are soooo many of her products that I love! I use the Organic Shea Butter Hair Paste DC as a leave in, and the Afrikoko hair lotion as a moisturizer (and it smells like cherries!). Sophia’s Old Fashioned Hair Grease (fresh peaches!), Sophia’s Coconut Hair Gel, Type 2 Hair Creme, and Sophia’s Rizado & Ondulado all from My Honey Child line are few of my must haves. As far as stylers go, Elasta QP Feels Like Silk liquid styling gel is also a tried and true product. I either use that as a base styler or as a light finisher.

3. Did you color your hair yourself or did you go to a stylist?
I’ve always had it professionally done. I would strongly suggest going to a professional for any permanent color or lightening.

4. What made you decide to go natural?
I went natural due to medical issues that caused my hair to break off at the root. It was suggested that I stop relaxing. At the time it was traumatic, the hair loss and the instant BC, but it was a blessing in disguise!

Is there anything else you want to share?
Before getting my roots bleached, I DC for 24-48 hrs (straight) before and the same after the color touch up. Although I’m not protein sensitive, I mainly use non-protein DCs. Glycerine based products have really helped keep my hair moisturized, and because I live in an area with a moderate climate, I am able to use it year round.

I always say that my biggest hair care secret is treat your strands like they are severely damaged!! I got that hint from my stylist, it may sound simple and a bit weird, but it works wonders. I always reach for the products made for hair that’s on life support!! You would think by looking at my hair product collection that I had a different hair type that was extremely dry, brittle, and breaking left and right! I’ve done this since I went natural and bleached it, and it’s always been super healthy, soft, and strong.

Thanks for sharing your story, Nicole.  If you would like to share yours, please email me at naturalbyl@gmail.com.

18 Year Old Transitioner~ Courtney

14 Jul
First off my name is Courtney, I’m 18 years old, and I’m trying to transition from relaxed to natural hair. However, so far it has not been easy. My last relaxer was about 2 months ago, and my whole family is trying to make me straighten my hair. I feel like I have no support, and I’m scared because I feel like I’m alone. My mother suggested that I straighten my hair with a hot comb because my hair is so thick (it’s like they’re afraid of my nappy hair!) I’m going to need some serious support to get through this!
1. Are there any styles that I can try? I don’t know how to do cornrows. 😦
2. When is a good time to trim my hair (i.e. when it’s wet or when it’s dry?)
All my life I have been forced to believe that the best thing about me was my beautiful, STRAIGHT, hair. Now that I am transitioning, I feel like I’m going against everything I’ve ever known. But I am a strong girl, and I’m going to stick with this! I know it’s going to be hard.
I’m sure Courtney will appreciate any guidance and support that we can give to her.  Thank you.