Define “Defined”

How many times do we hear or say “My curls aren’t defined. What do I do?”. Just recently a friend on facebook wrote me and said “I am natural but my curls aren’t defined. Help me please!” I can’t really help her because there are many manifestations of “undefined” curls which stem from many causes which require different actions. The three main examples and causes of “undefined” curls that I came up with (if you can think of more let me know) are heat damaged undefined curls, moisture imbalanced undefined curls and normal, healthy afro textured hair that simply does not have curl definition.

Undefined Curls Due to Heat Damage
Source
We think to ourselves “Okay self. You can do this. Put down the creamy crack. You can go all natural” We say this to ourselves and take great pride in our restraint and sobriety. For years we stay away from perms but we soon realize that we are addicted to the flat iron! We say to ourselves, “Okay self. We are half way there. We must put down the curling iron and embrace our God-given curls. Lets just wash our hair and embrace our curls. What the…WHERE THE HELL ARE MY CURLS??!! Welp, they are gone. Permanently. Once your hair strands endure heat damage there is no turning back. There is no way of bringing back the curl definition of damaged ends.
Course of Action Ways in which you can get your curls back is through waiting for your textured curls to grow out. Cutting off the damaged straight hair or camoflauging the damaged ends by trying twist outs ,  braid outs and protective styles such as these. The most important action is to stop with the heat. Your curls will never win against in the battle against heat if applied on a regular basis.
Undefined Curls Due to Loss of Moisture
Source
Let’s just be clear before I go any further. Even if your hair is healthy and well moisturized there will still remain some frizz and lack of definition. It is very rare that you will find uniform, perfect curls all over your head. And if you do have curls like that, often times you will purposely shake things up a bit for variety and volume. But there are other times when hair is dry and lacking moisture that it will flair up in the form of frizzy, crispy undefined curls. When this happens you must do some detective work in order to figure out how to best resolve the frizz.
Course of Action Here are some common causes of undefined, dry, frizzy hair that you may have to consider on your quest to better definition. Am I properly moisturizing my hair (pay attention to myth # 3 on the link)? Do I have issues with porosity? Do I need to deep condition more often?Is my washing regimen too harsh? Another thing to consider are the products that you use to hold your curls. Kinky Curly is tried and true. SheaMoisture is on top of its game. And the cheap but effective Eco-Styler Gel is a go to for me.

Curl Pattern is Naturally Undefined 
Source
 Some people’s curl pattern is so tightly coiled and zig zagged there is no apparent curl definition. No matter the product the curl pattern does not form the conventional spiral naturally. This leaves a lot of women frustrated and overwhelmed. I think a lot of women don’t understand the science behind their hair and think that for some reason their hair is unhealthy or they haven’t found the perfect product because their hair does not spiral curl. A lot of people become confused because while wet, their hair curls but once dry it looses its curl and most often shrinks. This is because the hair is weighed down by the water and the zig zagged curls is loosened but once dry it returns to it’s tighter coil which results in it appearing to have no curl definition at all.

Course of action By proper technique with styling you cantemporarily change your curl pattern. The most important thing to do is to stop wasting time trying to make your hair into something it is not and instead look for styles that accentuate and compliment the crown of glory that you do have. I love Monique from her blog Sofullsista and her Youtube Channel ModHutch. She may inspire some cool styles to try.

-Shanti ♥

Her (Hair) Story Featuring Kenya C. Ramey

 Have you always been so confident and in love with your hair? What is your hair story?
First and foremost, I would be remised if I did not acknowledge my lineage. I come from a long line of Black Women who LOVE who they are and taught me to do the same. Throughout the 60s and 70s they rocked the biggest, baddest, proudest Afro’s around; partaking in the cultural awareness movement of the time. They adorned themselves in the flyest outfits too. Growing up I saw these same women embrace all their curves, vivaciousness and hair. That included working in various professional spaces. As a child and even today, I admire(d) and often raid their closets. Always looking to them for inspiration. With that being said, I decided to go natural 12 years ago! WOW it’s been that long. To behonest with you I only had a relaxer for 2 years of my life. As a child, my Mother didn’t allow me to get a relaxer. She said my hair texture didn’t need a relaxer. In the early 90s I begged my mother for a relaxer when all the ‘cool girls’ where getting them and coming to school with straight hair styles. Remind you not, they didn’t need to have all those chemicals piled into their hair either, however we know the story of being Black in America and the various cultural/racial identities that are attached with being Black. Meanwhile, my Mother styled my hair into the beloved “pig-tails” “bow bows” “high-buns, etc…Finally, my Mother allowed me to get a relaxer in high school. I just knew I was something wearing my hair blown out and cut into layers like 
Aaliyah (I grew up in the beloved 90s!), but little did I know because of my hair texture my hair would curl right back up when it got wet, especially in the summertime. The major deciding factor was the fact that I begin to recognize that the relaxer damaged my hair and natural curl pattern. Making it brittle and thin.  I didn’t like that at all! Therefore, I decided that I would stop getting a relaxer and just blow dry and/or flat iron, curl my hair like I did as a young girl; which was only on special occasions. It wasn’t until I went to college that I began wearing my hair in its full natural state and away from heat. My scalp had never felt freer!!! It took about 3-4 years to fully understand my hair as it transitioned. I didn’t make a big chop to cut out the relaxer, I just let it grow out. And that took forever being that my hair has is naturally and genetically thick and long. I have a curl pattern with a combination of Type 3c and 4a, which various from different sections in my scalp. Thankfully, I have always been confident with my hair and I thank my Mother for instilling in me wholesome values such as, “it’s not what’s on the outside of your head, but what’s on the inside that matters.”

 How do you think going natural has affected you? For the better? For the worse? 

Being/Going natural has simply been a way of life for me! It’s not a ‘fad’ or ‘fashion statement’, but more so a way of living . I can’t imagine myself any other way!

What is your hair regimen and daily routine?
I am an advocate of clean and healthy hair. It doesn’t matter how short, long, natural or relaxed. Clean and healthy hair represents how you view yourself as a person, particularly as a Woman. Over the 12 years I have tried different products to see what works best for my texture.
Even as going as far as making my own products with all natural ingredients. I wash my hair on a bi-weekly basis using Pantene Pro-V Shampoo and Conditioner and Hair Mayonnaise Deep Conditioner. I typically give my hair an entire day for love and attention. Celebrating it!  I make my own deep conditioner with avocado, olive oil, shea butter and organic root stimulator mayonnaise as a base. I mix all the ingredients up with a  blender so that it has a whipped consistency. Upon applying the deep conditioner, I allow it to marinate into my hair for hours. Sometimes you might catch me out and about with the deep conditioner in a style. Once I wash it out I like for my hair to air dry and/or comb and braid/twist into small or big plaits, depending upon how I feel. I will be honest with you, the texture of my hair is naturally wavy. To obtain my Afro hairstyle per se I dry comb it after I’ve taken the braids/twist out. In the past, I have gotten my hair cut into an Afro style to achieve the fullness of an Afro. I also believe in trimming my ends every 6-9 weeks. It is so necessary for the growth of my hair.. On a daily basis, I use Odara Shea Butter by Chic Afrique for growth, scalp and end treatment and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Define to strengthen my curl pattern. Most importantly, I comb the daily products through my hair for an even distribution for each strain. I have learned that my hair has 2-3 different textures throughout, so I pay close attention to what section might need more love/attention towards ultimate healthy hair. I do have to shout-out my hairstylist and friend, Michelle London. I like to go to her for my hair trimmings and hot oil-treatments on a monthly basis. She also 
colors my hair, which I’ve been wearing jet black for the past 3 years. Besides a few gray strains, All Black Everything! Notably, Michelle is the hair arteest to all of my braid styles!

Your styles are ALWAYS fresh and innovative. How do you come up with them? Do you ever consider how they will be received before styling?
Thank You! I am highly inspired by two things: Beautiful Young People and Culture (African and Indigenous People). I am always enlightened by the moving and shaking of young people. When I see their latest fashion crazes that I admire, I often envision how I can place a sophisticated adult spin to it. I really admire how young people express themselves, regardless of how adults view them. It’s their personal ode to raging against the machine. Youthful energy rocks! Most importantly, my Culture paradigm/perspective plays a major part in the styling of my hair. Being a proud Black woman of African and Indigenous descent, I have made it my commitment to pay homage to the ancient traditions of hairstyling. I like researching traditional hairstyles of  a particular group of people or era and attempt to renaissance it. In my down time, I like to play around with different styles to see what works/doesn’t work for me. If I love a hairstyle you will see me wearing it for a while. I am also a fanatic of hair accessories: headwraps/turbans/gele, headbands, yarn, beads, etc.. As do our African and Indigenous people, I like to adorn my natural styles with hair accessories either for special occasions or with a particular outfit. As a Naturalista I feel proud to strut down the street with my crown of glory! I don’t think about how people will perceive me, but how I will make an impact on their perspective of natural hair, Black women and ultimately Black people. With an attempt to stay fresh, innovative and culturally inspiring my hairstyles is just a reflection of my identity as an Afro-Chic woman/fashionista. I believe strongly that fashion is for the moment, while style is
lifetime of statements!At the end of the day, I create and adorn hairstyles that I feel will
reflect my inner-beauty and represent my cultural paradigm.
What is the worst mistake you have made with your hair?
The worst mistake has to be my boldest and flyest mistake! One year I dyed my hair copper w/bleach based chemicals at the beginning of the spring.Then after spending an entire summer at the beach my skin was all pecan-tanned and my big ole afro was bright blond! I didn’t notice it until I stepped back into city life and walked past a store window and saw my reflection. It looked gorgeous, but my hair was extremely damaged. I notice split ends and dry hair a mile away, especially my own. After immediately dying my hair back to jet black, gradually trimming and a lot of moisture
therapy my hair was back to a healthy afro again. I learned from my “blond” life that I wouldn’t dye my hair with harsh chemicals such as bleach again, especially my entire head. I will be honest with you, at times I don’t show my hair as much love as I know I should and forget to moisturize my hair on a daily basis which leads into breakage and uneven growth. I have to play catch-up in moisturizing my strains back to healthy hair. So I always find myself making this as  my second worst mistake.
There are many women who have anxiety when it comes to wearing their hair natural in the workplace. They often question if it is pseudo-professional, if it will be taken seriously and if it will hold them back. You are a young professional. What has your experience been? 
I consider myself to be a Cultural Advocate: One who has worked in multi professional capacities as an Artist, Educator, Activist, Fashionista and sometimes Scholar. I have had the amazing opportunity of working with amazing people in various spaces: museums, art galleries, performing arts centers/companies, charter and public schools, non-profits and academia; with a ‘stint’ in banking and I worked side-by-side with a fellow Naturalista and we rocked our afro tough! I did have an unfortunate encounter with a colleague of mine that asked me to pull my hair back during our art shows, which consisted of major clientele communication. In which, I took the opportunity of educating and informing her on the importance of me expressing all of my natural self, especially while at work. And found it disturbing that this colleague of all people couldn’t understand the significance of my hair and its vital-ness to being displayed as a reflection of not only me, but the culture that was being expressed within the art space. It’s interesting enough that
same colleague has recently begun wearing her hair in beautiful natural twist-outs. And
it looks great on her! Nonetheless, she loves her new feeling and energy that she is receiving from being a Naturalista. I smile when I reflect on this situation, knowing that our conversation assisted with the growth of the both us into the successful professionals that we’ve grown into. Overall, I have received nothing but LOVE in my professional life as a Naturalista. As I see myself with having being blessed with allowed expressing my aesthetic self/values, while in the workplace.

Lastly, any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the masses?
To quote one of my mentors Dr. Kariamu Welsh, “Walk Proud and Walk
Strong!!!!!! KCRaesthetic Approved
Keep Up With Kenya!

Kenya C. Ramey: The Aesthetic Connoisseur
Where I ‘CURATE’ the life and times of an enthusiast of life, culture,
the arts, fashion, traveling, music, beautiful people and anything
purple!!!

Feel free to browse, follow or dialogue with me in the following spaces.
Check out my blog: http://theaestheticconnoisseur.tumblr.com/
Follow me on Twitter: @kcraesthetic
Follow me on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/kcramey

YGB – GoGo Morrow

Here is an interview featuring a friend of ours who is a beauty inside and out – GoGo Morrow. Miss Morrow has recently come back from the opportunity of a lifetime as a background singer of the mega, superstar Lady GaGa. She returns home humbled and hungry to pave her own way in music. 

Tell us about yourself. Where were you raised? Where did you study? Where do you currently reside?
 My name is GoGo Morrow and I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I went to the high school
for creative and performing arts and graduated with a degree in music business from Millersville
University. I still reside in Philadelphia when I’m not on the road.

Have you always known that you wanted to perform? When did you realize that your heart belonged
to the stage?
The idea of “wanting” to perform never existed because I always have, for as long as I can remember.
My dad used to sing to me as a baby so my first words were in song form. I still remember one of
my first acting jobs. I was 6 years old and I appeared on a video/infomercial promoting change for
the 21st century. I played the “curious little sister” of a character named “KAY KAY”..lol I don’t even
remember what my name was (Probably “Curious Little Sister”..lol ) But I remember getting my hair
pressed out for the taping lol. My heart has belonged to the stage since…probably before.
Do you find that you feel completely yourself on stage or do go into “Sasha Fierce” mode and lose
yourself? Can you describe your performance experience?
 I do feel completely myself when on stage but I think I become a different part of myself. GoGo on
stage is definitely sassy and feistier than in real life. But I’m there and I’m in tune with my audience.
I love that feeling performing gives me so much that I have be as present as possible so I don’t miss
anything.
You recently were on tour with Lady Gaga as a background singer. It must have been an amazing
experience for you. Being as though you were able to have an “up-close” look at the life of a  superstar, did you realize that in order to reach that level you may have to change in some way to handle that nonstop, demanding, paparazzi riddled lifestyle?
 Being part of the Monster Ball was a life changing experience. I did in fact learn a lot!! But what
stood out to me the most is how important humility is. Everyone on the tour shared the same spirit,
Gratefulness. But that isn’t anything I would have to change, it’s something I will have to maintain.
What I will have to probably change is my sometimes, passive demeanor. Although, the people I
worked with are sweet, everyone isn’t like that. In fact, most people in the industry are not. Its a rough
business and you need a tough skin to get where u want to go.
When you envision success in your life what do you see?
 When I envision success, I see me becoming a living, breathing example that dreams do come true;
even when you think you aren’t worthy. I want to prove that any and everything is possible if you
work hard and believe in yourself. My success isn’t measured in fame or money, but in the amount of
people I can inspire.
You have four sisters (some of which perform with you) and the Morrow sisters are notorious for
their fashion, talent, beauty and genuine sweetness. You guys are damn near perfect! Give me the real scope! Who is the bossiest? The loudest? The fighter? The crier? The thief?
You mean to tell me I get to answer this question with no objections?? Yes!! I’m so excited!! Lol ok
here we go: Michelle: Is the one who is a spitting image of my father. From how she tells stories, to how she eats. They are identical. Lol. Ingrid: Is a tough cookie. She is the one who never let anyone take advantage of her and ultimately she knows exactly how to get what she wants. (I’ve always admired that about her) Tanny: Is the nurturing sister. She is always interested and concerned about what’s going on in our lives. She is honestly the glue that keeps us so tight. Morgan: Is the baby so I’m sure you know what that means..lol She is totally spoiled and feisty. Hands down, she’s the bossiest. We are the closest in age so we fight the most but I love her. She’s my right hand. I think if they were here they’d say I was the loudest one lol. Guess it’s that attention seeking middle child syndrome lol. Overall, I love all my sisters to death. I’d do anything for them. They’ll be included in anything I do.
You always look wonderful from head to toe. To quote Dr. Cornel West, “Style is in-separable from
voice. Voice is different from an echo. “ What does your style say about who you are?
 Well thank you!! I think my style exudes confidence. It shows that I’m comfortable in my own skin and
that I’m not afraid of taking chances. And I’m not
What do you feel are the responsibilities of someone who is young, gifted and black?
 It’s our responsibility to lead by example. I don’t mind living in fish bowl if it means others will learn
that they too are young gifted and black by watching me. I want them to know they are perfectly
capable of doing what I’m doing and more!
What projects are you currently working on? Upcoming performances?
I’m currently working on my mix tape. The release date isn’t finalized just yet but it will be towards
the end of October. My next show will be on October 23rd 2011 at Sigma Sound studios. Follow me on
twitter and like my FB fan page to find out more about the show and upcoming mixtape.
Facebook page? GoGo Morrow
Twitter? @GoGoMorrow


Take a look see at GoGo’s photos and her video singing with Lady GaGa.





The Morrow sisters from left to right Michelle, Morgan, Tanny, Ingrid and GoGo





GOGO’s New Video “Take this Love”


Every Girl Needs A Best Friend

I haven’t quite been myself lately. I’ve been really down. Even while being surrounded by people I feel lonely. Every so often these feelings creep up and take hold of me. Lately, I have been attributing a lot of it to a lack of intimacy and love in my life. I know it’s deeper than that and that I should figure out how I, alone will be enough… yada yada yada…. but I’m not really trying to hear that right now. Yes. There is a lot of work I need to do in order to be solid with myself but as I work towards that, I realize that I am someone who thrives off of intimacy, affection and love. I need those things. It’s my nature. I am human. People preach all the time about how we shouldn’t NEED anything but I disagree. I personally don’t think there is anything more important than love. I thrive when I am surrounded by people I love and who love me. I think everyone does. 
I’ve suffered some major losses this past year. A lot of my relationships have changed. I’m no longer daddy’s little girl which is something I find to be very difficult. I lost someone dear to me who I considered to be one of my very best friends and got my heart broken by someone I really had no business giving myself to in the first place. I’ve been isolated. My work schedule prevents me from getting home to see Shanti and my other bf Amanda and I don’t really have close friend here in NY. It’s been hard. I’m not even going to front. But slowly and steadily I’ve been trying to confront my feelings and own them. 
Last year, I wrote a list of what I considered to be my most important relationships (past and present). I reflected on how they came to be, whether they were healthy or not, and whether or not they lasted. Ugh. There were some pattens that revealed themselves and they weren’t pretty. I give myself to people who do not deserve me, who do not respect me and who do not appreciate me. I sell myself short. I deal with people who do not value me. Repeatedly. Why? Probably because I don’t value myself. And to make it worse, I don’t sober up and end the relationship. I instead, ride it out hoping for something to shift or I’m in complete denial until I am used up and no longer of any value to the person.
So now I am trying to break that cycle and end that pattern. It’s not easy. It has resulted in me confronting, battling, accepting and discovering things about myself that are extremely difficult to come to terms with. It has also resulted in me feeling extremely lonely and undesirable. At this point I’m a bit fragile and ready to say, “Forget it. I’m done. I don’t feel like anymore of this self reflection, healing shit”. I reached out to Shanti in one of my late night e-mails and told her how I was feeling. This was her response. *names have been changed.

I love you so much Antoinette. Your my most bestest friend and a person I am committed to keeping in my life forever. I can only imagine your frustration and loneliness. I wish I were closer and carried less responsibility so that I could be with you, listen, laugh and keep you (and myself) distracted from the inner world that sucks us under. I wish I knew the answer to this problem that you face. I wish the answer is easy and simple. But it is not. The work towards change will not be either. The pain of self discovery and healing is so difficult very few even begin to scratch the surface. They escape it through sex (Rick) , work (Ron) and the illusion of having it all together (Bob )(and maybe Kev), (I am totally judging them right now. Forgive me in advance and check me later). I guess maybe what all these guys have in common is that they are so preoccupied with other things whether it be themselves, work or complete autonomy. They had no intention of making you priority numero uno. They could recognize the amazing person that you are BUT you weren’t the first priority in their lives. YOU ARE AN AMAZING, BRILLIANT, WHOLE HEARTED, DEEP, and GIVING person. And perhaps you are so used to giving and accepting the role of NOT being priority that you felt with these men there could have been something. They gave you just enough that even though your heart screamed otherwise you waited with hope more was coming.Make yourself a priority. DO IT OR DIE TRYING. You are learning to do that more and more. Pick up and keeping going and growing. Fall down and get back up again. Know what it is like to be first so that you know immediately when someone is incapable of keeping you there. It wont take you heart break to know it. You will know it after the first conversation. PUT YOURSELF FIRST EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIFE. Not Rina, Reli, me, Amanda, our babies, your mom, dad, work, the blog, acting NOTHING goes before you. Buy yourself beautiful clothes, feed yourself nutritious food, sleep full nights (take herbs that can help– skullcap and valerian), exercise your beautiful body and I think you should consider therapy. It doesn’t mean your crazy or suicidal etc. It means you are putting yourself first and you are on the track of understanding your conditioning and seeking techniques that can help you to re-condtion yourself. We go over the same stuff in our heads and we need help or a different perspective that can help us figure out where the hell it all started and how to heal. Please consider it. Find a spiritual counselor or kind, warm mothery-like woman who you trust to cry in front of. There are reasonably priced people out there. Consider it. I love you dear heart. I am here with you and here for you.

I wouldn’t trade this girl for the world. She is so dear to me. She may not have all the answers but she offered what she could and I love her for it. Friends are so very important and half the reason we even get through the day. It is vital that we surround ourselves with honest, loving people. This chick told me to see a shrink!  She is probably right. If you don’t have someone in your life that will write you something like this then I suggest you find someone. If you don’t have someone in your life that will be honest with you then I suggest you find someone. If you don’t have someone in your life that will support you then I suggest you find someone. We weren’t meant to go through this thing alone. There will be ups and there will be downs. Life is hard. But it is much easier with someone by your side. 

Ask A Brotha Series: Featuring Ikechukwu Onyema

Age: 27
Race: Black
Occupation: Writer/Educator/Independent Contractor

How important is the hair of the woman you have interest in? 
Very important.
How do you feel about naturally kinky, coiled and curly hair? Is it attractive to you? Why or why not?
I prefer a woman’s natural hair style no matter what it looks like.  However, I must be honest and say that I may not be immediately smitten by it.  That is to say that sex won’t flash across my mind as soon as I see her—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  But I’m committed to being patient and allowing the hairstyle to grow on me (no pun intended).  Why?  Well, let’s be honest, the media has done a great job of convincing me to hate my natural self—and by extension the natural beauty of black women.  But, sooner or later this excuse becomes unacceptable.  We’ve got to get serious about moving beyond the trauma.
If you see a woman with a weave or straight hair what is your initial perception of her?
Honestly, I shake my head in dismay because I know that she’s aspiring toward a white aesthetic.  But I don’t fault her exclusively.  This is not just her problem, but a community problem.  Hence, I pass no judgment.
When you see a woman with natural hair what is your perception of her?
I’m glad to see it.  I generally assume that she’s achieved a certain level of cultural and political consciousness regarding her self worth in this antagonistic society.  It’s also a bold move that requires confidence.  And I admire confident women.
Is there a type of natural hair texture that you prefer? For example: lose curls vs. a textured afro vs. locks/ long vs. short?
I tend to waver on this question from season to season.  But if I must pin my self down, I do prefer a mid cut hairstyle with lose curls.  From her vantage point, it seems easy to maintain.  And I adore the simplicity.  If she is comfortable, then I am comfortable.
Why do you think women, mostly women of color fear that men will find them to be less attractive once they go natural? Do you think that fear is justified at all?
The fear is most certainly justified.  The root of the problem lays in generations of orchestrated self-hatred geared at our entire community.  We unwittingly reinforce these impossible stereotypes upon ourselves.  Their fear is compounded by a receding pool of ‘eligible’ Black bachelors thanks to innumerable unjust socioeconomic factors.  I still encourage black women to go for it.  Yet, that is easy for me to say since I don’t have to go endure the prospect of prolonged loneliness.
Why do you think hair is such a touchy topic for women of color?
In addition to what I’ve mentioned already, natural hair is a visible indicator of whether or not a woman has confronted these issues.  It’s where the personal and the political interface with each other.  And your decision is on full display. Further, people will pass judgment either way—oftentimes, in haste.
How do you feel about women who spend a lot of time, money and energy on their hair?
It’s time, money, and energy that can be better spent on a whole host of other things—like liberation.
Do you think men should have a say in how their significant other wears their hair?
In relationships, there are a myriad of issues that are sure to arouse tension.  The hair on a woman’s head is, unfortunately, a looming issue.  It gets worse when either party is unconscious of the social history that bred the problem.  The opinion of the man must be taken into consideration.  This is not to be confused with giving the man the final decision.  And I strongly encourage women not to compromise on their principles. The ever-evolving power dynamics in the given relationship will likely resolve the final decision.
With all that said, how would you prefer your daughter (if you have one or not) to wear her hair? 
Easy.  Natural—though I’m aware that I’ll have to collaborate with my (future) wife on this decision.
Lastly, do you have anything else you would like to share with the masses?
Yes. Thanks for initiating the conversation.  It’s an important one.  I’d like to turn the tables a bit and investigate women’s perspectives on the hair of Black men.  Here’s my question: How do women feel about men who are bald (or balding)?  Is their attraction (or lack thereof) based strictly on individual taste, or is there a more systematic logic behind the preference?  I’m curious.  Thanks.

Introduction to Ayurvedic Healing

Source

I have recently began studying the book “Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda” by Pramita Raichur. It is an extremely detailed, thick book full of wonderful explanations and applications dictated by Ayurvedic studies. Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal practice from India that is thousands of years old. It is a holistic approach to healing focused on bringing harmony and balance to individuals by catering specifically to the needs of each person’s individual natures. Every single person can be categorized into one of three “natures” or “doshas” (the Sanskrit name for constitution). Understand that these are the “pure” descriptions of each dosha and that all of us are usually a mix of all three yet still reattaining a dominance in one. To stay true to the teachings of Ayurveda, I will include the traditional Sanskrit names. Don’t focus on the foreign names but rather the content. (I wanted to provide visuals for the different types. I am no expert so I may be completely wrong in my assumptions).

 The three types are:
Source
Vata
Light, thin frame
Easy to lose weight, hard to gain
Quick to grasp new information, also easy to forget
Performs activity quickly
Tendency to worry
Irregular hunger and digestion
Tendency towards constipation
Enthusiasm, vivaciousness, imagination
Excitability, changing moods
Mental and physical energy comes in burst



Source
Pitta
Medium Build
Easy to gain weight, easy to lose
Enterprising character, likes challenge
Medium strength and endurance
Sharp intellect
Sharp hunger and thirst, strong digestion
Precise, articulate speech
Tendency towards anger
Cannot skip meals
Irritability under stress
Source
Kapha
Solid, powerful build, great
Easy to gain weight, hard to lose
Slow to grasp new information, strength and endurance but good retentive memory
Steady energy, slow and graceful
Tendency to obesity in action
Slow digestion, mild hunger
Tranquil, relaxed nature, slow to anger
Affectionate, tolerant, forgiving
Tendency to be possesive
Oily skin

Curious as to what your dosha may be? Click here to take a quiz
What I found to be most interesting is that each of these natures requires certain care and precautions that differ from one another. For instance, a person with more of a Pitta influence tends to have drier skin than one influenced by Kapha therefore certain oils, scents, foods should be consumed to care for that nature. I like this practice because it requires you to know yourself and your needs so that you are responsible for your own health. You hold the power of health in your own hands. Ayurveda explains that ailments arise when there is an imbalance in the areas of emotional, spiritual or physical life. Ayurvedic healing unlike Western medicine (which is prominent in US) focuses on the whole person when sickness arises. Every facet of a person’s life reflects and effects one another. For instance, if one is consistently stressed due to her job or an unhealthy relationship, her heart may become over exerted from constant stress resulting in heart disease or she may be losing sleep and eat poorly resulting in her immune system becoming run down. Unlike Western medicine which would focus solely on treating the symptoms, Ayurvedic doctors focuses on the cause of the stress as well as treating the symptoms so that the illness is treated completely.
I suppose many people would be skeptical of this approach because we have been taught that our emotional, spiritual and physical health are separate from one another. We are taught to believe your anger over the abuse you endured has little to do with your acne. Use proactive. Your depression over the loss or lack of love in your life has nothing to do with your bad eating habits and high cholestorol. Take this pill. How often do we go to the doctor and are told “You must find a way to relax and find peace within your life or you may be overcome by your heart condition. There is only so much I and this medication can do for you unless you decide to change your life completely?” To truly heal ourselves a lot of time we have to let go of fear, anger and sadness and try to balance them out with acceptance, forgiveness and the constant pursuit of happiness. (Easier said than done huh?)
I wanted to give everyone a introduction to Ayurvedic healing because I know that the word “Ayurvedic” has been thrown around a lot in the natural community. It is more than just a hair care regime. The herbs, oils and practices of Ayurvedic hair care are spawned from the Ayurvedic practice of self knowledge and self healing. When we know ourselves we know how to better treat ourselves.
In the future, we are going to begin on sharing extensive information on Ayurvedic skin care, hair care and diet. Read up on the different doshas because we will refer to them often as we refer to the best practices for each “nature”. 
I hope this was helpful ladies! 


Quest to Find My Perfect Protective Style

Welp, I can’t find one! I tried two strand twists a couple nights ago and they where a fail. The finer hair in the back of my head comes loose and gets all knotty. I want to just wear straight back cornrows but it leaves me feeling “undone”. I want a protective style that is attractive and can be dressed down and dressed up. Ugh… I guess I have a lot of research to do. I have until Oct 1st to find the perfect protective style. In the meantime I am bunning it. 
It will work for now
Help somebody!

Troy Davis

Source
I know this is not our usual kind of post but I would feel irresponsible by ignoring what happened last night. If you don’t know about his trial read about it here. Below is Troy Davis’s letter to the people before he was unjustly executed by the state of Georgia.

To All:
I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.
As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.
I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.
So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.
I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,
” I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!” Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!

 

I feel like this is appropriate. from myLOC.gov: via sedrick miles. 
In conjunction with the anti-lynching campaign, in 1920 the NAACP began flying a flag from the windows of its headquarters at 69 Fifth Avenue when a lynching occurred. The words on the flag were “a man was lynched yesterday.” The threat of losing its lease forced the NAACP to discontinue the practice in 1938. The original canvas flag is housed with the NAACP Records in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. 
Troy Davis’ last words before he was executed were: “May God have mercy on your souls.”

-Antoinette

A Twist Out for Fine Hair

I wore my twists (in the post below)l last night and crashed with them still in. I woke up this morning, took them out and…. POW! I had a really nice chunky twist out. I’m too hype over this! Because my hair is so thin I have a hard time achieving twist outs. They usually appear stringy and flat. Plus it looses the curl within the first hour but I realize now the chunkier the twist the more volume the twist out. This twist out is right on time because winter is coming and it’s gonna be brick outside… way too cold to do my regular wash and go.
Front View
 And when I brushed my hair with my denman brush it laid down and formed this old school wave! I am too hype. I cannot wait to pin this up in different ways and add a red lip. Unfortunately, it’s raining today so it ain’t happening. If I even spill water next to my hair it’ll curl up in it’s natural curl. But you wait, the next dry day my waves will be out.
Video Tutorials

All America Girls: A Negro League of Their Own

Hey yall. Some of you may know that I am living in New York pursuing theater and getting my grind on. Welp, I’m currently in rehearsals for Layon Gray’s All American Girls: A Negro League of Their Own. The show is comprised of an all female, women of color cast and is loosely based on the Negro Leagues.

“In Chicago, a group of African American women are assembled to play an exhibition game against the all white reigning champions Rockford Peaches. Led by their hard-nosed coach who played in the Negro Leagues with the men, racism, sexism, deceit and betrayal are all brought to light as this powerful drama the hidden story beneath the surface.” – Layon Gray

Do you see these twists?!! And it’s all her!
 Originally, I was excited about all the hairstyles I could experiment with because the show is set in the 1940′s. But then I quickly realized that as a ball player and a country bumpkin kinda one at that…I wouldn’t be rocking any cute waves, flips or bright red lips. lol I am replacing the girl seen in the second picture with the overalls  on. So, I’m in search of a style that is period but also reads “ball player with deep southern roots.”
Here are some ideas below forgive me in advance. It’s really difficult to take pictures of these styles because they are flat to my head.
Two twists with side part
Two twists with side part pinned up in the back
Three twists. One going from left to right in the front
and two going straight back on the sides
One twist going all the way around my head
Aerial view of one twist going all the way around my head
Here is a video on how I do my twists. They look a lot harder than what they are. You literally just twist and pick up more hair as you go. FYI these twists are easier to achieve on slightly damp hair and after you add a little leave-in conditioner. You’ll see me spray my hair in the video. It’s just water.
Let me know if you need any information on the show or the styles.

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