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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ultimate Moisture for Dry, Thirsty, Brittle Natural Hair

I've been really under the weather so my hair has not been touched in about two weeks. That means it is extremely dry and brittle. As you can see from the picture below, it wasn't a pretty sight.

Normally, I would wash and deep condition when my hair gets to this point but I didn't have the time or energy to do either. So, I decided just to moisturize using the LCO method and hope for the best as this was a particularly difficult case. I started off by spritzing my hair with warm water, then I followed up with my ultra moisturizing cream The Jojoba and Mango Styling Cream, afterward I sealed with the ultra rich Good Hair Butta.



My hair went from dull and dry in the first picture to vibrant and shiny in the second picture. Once my hair dried, I decided to unravel the twists. I absolutely loved the result, my hair was super defined and had lots of volume. Best of all, the moisture lasted all week. All items mentioned in this post can be purchased from my etsy shop NappyLifeHairCare.









Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#Supportthepuff Beyond the Hashtag



By now most people have already heard about the #supportthepuff movement which originated in the Bahamas. The story of Tayjha Deleveaux quickly went viral after her mother took to social media to vent after her daughter was threatened with suspension because she wore her natural hair to school in a Puff. Yes, you heard that right. Tayjha’s story quickly went viral and was picked up by major news outlets like Bahama News, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed and many more. Many naturals took to social media to share pictures of their natural hair with the hashtag #supportthepuff to show support for the young woman. For those wondering how a child could get suspended over something as ridiculous as hair, it is important to take a look at the Caribbean culture, particularly the school system.

The Caribbean has an excellent education system, but they are extremely strict when it comes to appearances. I can’t speak for the entire Caribbean, but the majority of all schools require their pupils to wear uniforms. These uniforms are tailored to strict requirements down to the undergarments. Nails have to be well groomed, clean and cut to a certain length, in fact, when I was growing up in the Caribbean we weren’t even allowed to wear nail polish. Also, we weren’t allowed to wear weaves or braids with false hair added and when I started boarding school there were strict requirements on how we kept our living quarters. We would get marked down if we had a slight wrinkle on our bed and if you got enough demerits you would be disciplined. You would think that they were prepping you for the army, but as cited by the principal who suspended the young lady they are merely preparing the youth to enter the job market. After she made her statement, many black professionals with natural hair posted their pictures with the hashtag #supportthepuff in solidarity with Tayiha’s.

 Times have changed since I went to school in the Caribbean, although many children wore their natural hair none of them ever wore it out. “Neat hair” was hair that was tucked away or straight. Nowadays, women from all walks of life have embraced their natural hair and discovered how versatile their texture is. The principal would never tell a young lady who wears her hair perfectly straight that it is unkempt if that’s the way it grows naturally so why can’t the same apply to Afro-textured hair? It’s hard to believe that we are still asking whether or not natural hair is professional enough for the workplace. It’s unfortunate that the focus isn’t on our credentials but on how we look.

You would think that since the young lady is from an island whose population is majority black, then they would be more accepting of the fact that she embraces her natural hair. However, most of the Caribbean is heavily influenced by the European culture which includes their standard of beauty. This is because the Caribbean was under British rule for a very long time with the Bahamas gaining its independence in 1964. Suspending a child for her God given hair is a bit extreme, but this just goes to show that policies need to change with the times. Tayiha is a straight A student who actively participates in school activities so I highly doubt that with her credentials she will have a hard time landing a job.  #supportthepuff

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to keep your natural hair moisturized while wearing a protective style




Kinky twists are a great way to protect your natural hair from the elements. Protective styles are great for length retention because of the fact that you do not have to manipulate your hair a whole lot.  Experience has taught me that it is important not to neglect your hair while wearing a protective style otherwise you defeat the whole purpose of a protective style.

During my relaxed days I wore a lot of protective styles, particularly sew-ins. I would keep the sew-in in for up to three months, and during that three months I would not do a single thing to my hair. When I removed my sew-in my hair would be dry, brittle, and breaking off due to the lack of care during the three months.

While wearing braids I like to keep my regimen simple. I don’t like using a lot of products because that may lead to build up. Buildup may cause lint to be trapped at the base of the braids which can lead to breakage when removing the braids. To moisturize I use my own personal blend of products.  I use a spray moisturizer, then I follow up with an oil to seal it all in. I also massage the oil into my scalp to help prevent itching and to promote growth. I typically do this twice a week or as needed. When I finally removed the braids I had no buildup or lint so it was a very easy process.

The only time I use a heavy product is the day I wash the braids and the day after to moisturize. My hair is usually the driest after wash day whether or not I use shampoo.  I only washed my braids twice the entire time I had them in. Some people wash their protective styles weekly or bi-weekly my goal was every three weeks.

Thanks for visiting

TheNappyLife

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Youtube Channel

I just want to share that I have a channel on youtube where I talk about caring for natural hair, specifically 4c hair. I discuss everything from Henna, installing protective styles, Length retention, moisture retention and much more. Head on over and subscribe, I appreciate the support.

Friday, July 31, 2015

SEVEN STEPS TO GET YOU STARTED ON A WORKOUT REGIMEN

HOW TO GO FROM COUCH POTATO TO BEAST MODE


So, I have finally decided to get healthy and stay healthy. I have started and failed many health journeys in my life starting in High School. I have always yo yo dieted and I've pretty much tried every single fad except surgery. Recently, I have been embattled with health issues that are totally within my control. I'm still in my twenties and it is way too early for me to start experiencing these issues. I am on this journey to get healthy, looking great is a plus but my goal is to be in the best shape of my life. It can be daunting just to decide to eat healthy and exercise so I have put together some tips to help get you started. These tips are based on what I have done wrong in the past. If you are interested in following my journey you can join me on Instagram @thenappylife.

STEP 1 : SET GOALS

On any journey whether professional or personal it is important to have something to strive for. If you have a reason to do the tough things you do it makes it much easier to stay on track. It is exciting and rewarding to get to a finish line you've set for yourself. It is also important to set goals that are attainable. So, If your goal is to run a half marathon, set small goals to get you to the end results. C25K makes a great app for that, they give you a weekly task and the tasks increase as you train. So, if your goal is to lose 60lbs I would recommend setting a 30lb goal at first. Celebrate and reward yourself when you get to that goal and then set another 30lb goal. When you have such a high mark to reach like 60lbs it can feel like you're never going to get there. But breaking it up into steps can make it seem more attainable.

STEP 2: KEEP A JOURNAL

A journal helps to keep your goals and your purpose fresh in your mind. It doesn't have to be a traditional pen and paper journal. It can be a blog like this one, an instagram or facebook page. I find that posting pictures of my workouts and sometimes my food helps to keep me on track because I feel like other people are watching. Yes, you are supposed to get healthy for you but sometimes knowing that others want to see you win is a great motivator. You may also be helping to motivate someone else. Even though they may not express it they could be reading your blog, or watching your page for daily motivation. A journal also lets you see your mistakes and your success so you know what to change or keep in the future. 

STEP 3: START SLOW

I have dived head first into many workout routines and have always come up short in the end. I lose the weight quickly but then I burn out. I take a break from the routine and I get comfortable on couch, I get back to it once or twice but then I fall off. I would recommend slowly incorporating a new routine into your lifestyle. If you're just getting off the couch revisit step 1 and set a small goal to work out twice a week for two weeks, then increase to three times a week for three weeks, then four times a week for four weeks and then five days a week for five weeks. Go at your own pace and do not compete with anyone.

STEP 4: DO NOT "DIET"

I can't tell you how many bootleg diets I've tried. Let me name a few; whole30 (lasted for two weeks), HCG, Low Carb, STARVATION (I was young and dumb and in High School), Diet Pills (Also in High School). Diets are not long term but having a healthy diet is. Again, you'll want to start slow. If you slowly make healthy changes to your diet you are more likely to stick with them. If you like pizza you can eat pizza but in moderation and maybe only have a slice or two instead of five (I love pizza). If you cook for yourself and your family try to find healthy recipes for the things you enjoy. When I first started I subscribed to Eating Well, they were having a pretty good promotion. Subscribing to Eating Well opened my eyes to all the good, healthy and tasty foods that are out there. 
  
STEP 5: WORKOUT WHERE YOU ARE COMFORTABLE

I hate the gym, I've never seen anyone in the gym sweat and they are always in the mirror taking selfies. I feel like I can't beast when I'm in the gym because people are judging (even at planet fitness). But that is just my personal opinion. I prefer to work out at home, and I go hard and do the most ridiculous things at times. There are tons of free workout programs that can be done at home, my absolute favorite is fitness blender on youtube they literally have hundreds of workouts you can choose from. You can go for walks, or you can jog if you're about that life. Its free to be outside or you can invest in some equipment like a treadmill or an elliptical. It is way cheaper to own equipment than to pay for a gymn membership.

STEP 6: EQUIP YOURSELF TO BE SUCCESSFUL
  
Don't be afraid to spend money on things that will make your journey a success. I purchased a treadmill, dumbells, kettle bell, waist trainer, a yoga mat, a jump rope so I can always switch up my workouts. You'll also need the proper shoes and clothing. If you want to know how many calories you're burning the polar ft4 or ft7 is a great investment. Amazon has the best deals, here is a link to some of my favorites. Best deals on workout equipment and gear. 

STEP 7: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

There a millions of motivation Mondays, transformation Tuesdays, watch me work Wednesdays, thirst trapping at the gym Thursdays, and follow my lead Fridays post but at the end of the day you never know how someone really gets their end results. They could have had weight loss surgery, taken supplements or starved themselves. Do not get discouraged because someone posts about how they lost 80lbs in five months and you've only lost 20. Go at your own pace and do what is best for you.

If you have any tips to add please leave them in the comments.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Term Nappy! Is it Good or Bad?

Yesterday, while browsing youtube I came across a video by Ghana Goddess formerly known as Miss Cinnamon Cake. In the video she discusses her thoughts on the word NAPPY and why she doesn't think its a bad word. Today, on facebook I came across a video of a father doing his daughters hair with a vacuum cleaner after he saw a caucasian dad give his daughter a ponytail with the vacuum hose. In the video the father stated that the vacuum method only works on silky hair not a nappy afro. People proceeded to come for him in the comments section, ethering him for being insensitive and calling his daughters hair nappy.

I clearly find nothing wrong with the word Nappy. In the past when my hair was relaxed I used to refer to my hair as nappy in a negative way when I would get new growth, and also when I went natural and found that my hair would never be 3b. I hated my hair and constantly referred to it as Nappy because I broke combs in it, It wouldn't straighten properly, it wouldn't even blow dry right. I absolutely hated everything about it, but I was mostly upset and let down that after going natural I didn't have curls. I thought everyone had beautiful curly hair once they stopped relaxing their hair. I eventually came to love everything that I hated about my hair and for me the term Nappy no longer represented something bad but something that I loved. I find nothing wrong with what the father said I don't think he was being negative about her hair in any way. I now refer to my hair as Nappy with love.

The term Nappy can also be used in a derogatory manner. For instance, I came across a story today while browsing the internet in which a coach in Texas referred to a young African American child's hair as Nappy and Nasty.

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2015/07/14/texas-softball-coach-tells-black-player-her-hair-is-nasty-and-nappy.html

Of course this verbal attack was racially motivated. The coach that I am referring to is caucasian. As a community we have been relaxing and straightening our hair for years. Some say to fit in with mainstream (white) America, others say to make our hair more manageable. The young African American woman that the coach was referring to has straight hair (most likely relaxed from looking at pictures) the coach had straight hair so what was her reason for calling this child's hair nappy and nasty when aside from hair color it doesn't look that much different from hers. I'm sure she wouldn't refer to a caucasian child with straight hair as having nappy or nasty hair. Even though the hair is straight, because it is attached to the head of a black child it is seen as nappy and nasty in her eyes. The saddest part though is that this grown ass woman, whether racially motivated or not, thought it was appropriate to degrade and belittle a child. In my eyes a coach is supposed to uplift, motivate and shape students in their care, not belittle them at a time when confidence building is so important. That alone should be grounds for termination (the simple fact that she sucks at her job and she's a despicable person).

I don't mind the term Nappy being used to refer to African American hair by African Americans when it is used with love. If you are not of the culture you don't get to use it much like the N word. Simple as that. Even within the culture it is not appropriate to refer to someone else's hair as nappy in a derogatory way. Even though I use the term to refer to my own hair, I wouldn't use to to refer to anyone else's. Not even in a good way, because of the fact that I don't know what their feelings are towards the word.

What are your thoughts on the N (nappy) word?