Friday, 13 December 2013

The Hols are here!

Whew!

This week my exams finished so I'm finally free!

If I could sum up how I feel in one video...this would be it:



(And who doesn't love Tom Hiddleston?? :)

This semester has been extra busy for me and unfortunately I haven't blogged nearly as often as I should have.

My second year of university is now half-way finished...I can hardly believe how time is flying!

Since my mini-chop in August I've mostly been keeping my hair in braids. Trust me, this has saved me sooooo much time and energy. All I have to do in the morning is moisturize and seal and I'm out the door. When I get home later this month I plan to take out this current set of braids and maybe...cut off the rest of my straight ends. :)

I'm excited to see how much my roots have grown out since August. I'm still not a big fan of the teenie weenie afro on myself...so we'll see whether I decide to big chop or continue to transition. I'd love to accomplish a long term transition of 1-2 years like some bloggers, but I'm just too impatient!

Watching youtube videos has helped to keep me inspired while I couldn't play with my actual hair.
Here are some of my recent favourites:







As the year comes to an end I feel that I need to sit down and reflect on my highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses. I plan to do this especially for my university experience. Honestly, this semester has been my most challenging so far; emotionally, spiritually and mentally. So, I need to evaluate how I can prepare for next semester so I don't feel like I've been hit with a ton of bricks at the end!

Have you begun to reflect on the past year, or made any goals for the new year?

Oh, and I can't wait for Christmas!!

Lots of love,
~Hatter

Friday, 8 November 2013

My current products 2013




 

This past summer I updated my product stash, adding a few new products which have since become my staples.
 
Firstly, for the oldies:
 
 
I've had the Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment for quite a while now, and I occasionly use it to deep condition my braids. The ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner will probably always be in my product list since it is very effective at softening and smoothing my hair.
 
Since putting in my current set of braids, I haven't deep conditioned as yet. Instead, I've been using my new Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Deep Treatment Masque.
 
 
 
This conditioner is definitely my current favourite! It contains less synthetic materials than mainstream conditioners and can be used as both a deep conditioner and a leave-in treatment. When I wore my transitioning fro some weeks ago, I used this treatment as a deep conditioner and it left my hair very soft and easy to detangle. Now that I'm wearing braids I use it as a leave-in treatment. Need another pro? It smells like pina colada! I fell completely in love the first time I got a sweet whiff from the jar.
 
Also new to my product list are the V05 Moisture Milks Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner in Passion Fruit Smoothie.
 
 
 
I do like the shampoo since I find it to be relatively gentle on my scalp. Unfortunately, it has a very thin consistency which I am not used to. I don't like runny shampoos- they are too messy to deal with for my taste. The conditioner is exactly like the V05 Strawberries and Cream in texture, but I definitely prefer the Strawberries and Cream scent.
 
 

 
 
Finally, I purchased My Honey Child Type 4 Hair Creme from amazon.com, after watching a review by jouelzy on youtube. She got very decent results with hold and moisture when styling her hair, so I decided to try it. When using it to create my transitioning fro I did notice that I get stronger, more moist curls the more product I apply. Since it is an oil and butter based product it has a thick, rich and very sticky texture.
 
 
Besides my trusty jojoba oil, that's my entire product stash! Quite minimalistic, don't you think?
 
Happy hair journey!
~Hatter 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

8 months post relaxer: the Daily Bantu



Eight months later and my natural hair is growing out strong and healthy!

Comparing my new growth to my relaxed ends makes me want to hurry up and do the big chop soon, but I know that I would feel more comfortable cutting off my relaxed ends when my natural hair grows out longer. Soo, I'm gritting my teeth and bearing the struggle gracefully. =)

Do you remember when I had my last set of braids installed? I estimated that I would have kept them in until the end of October. Well, a girl can dream!! It took about four weeks before I got fed up with them and took them out. Since then I've been learning how to create my transitioning fro look on my own, since I'm back in university and my mom is farrr across the sea.



 


I re-bantu my hair every other night, but I'm trying to preserve my curly style for a third day by pinning up the back or french-rolling it, and keeping the front loose.


Let me tell you, this style might be cute and funky but it is hella-time consuming!
It takes me 2 hours to re-set my hair, and at least thirty minutes in the morning to release my knots and style. But maybe I'm just personally really slow at this.


I'm looking forward to having braids put in again just so that I can have a much needed break from the constant styling. Until then, I'm looking for some simpler styles for my short transitioning hair.
Have any suggestions?


Love!
~Hatter

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Oh Fro-stalgia!


This is a old picture of me taken days before I had my hair relaxed four or five years ago. Around that time I had spent a year or so growing out previously relaxed, damaged hair, and I was ready to try the relaxers again. 

Ahhhhh! Le beauty that I can now see in that gorgeous, thick head of hair! I would like to reminisce fondly, but honestly, my hair was a tough battle to deal with. This time, as I am transitioning back to natural hair again, I will be armed with healthier hair habits, so I expect to find more peace with my natural tresses.

I'm excited for my natural hair to reach that length again!

~Hatter 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Six months post relaxer

August 10th 2013 made me 6 months post relaxer!



That date also marked my mini chop, leaving me with 2-3 inches of relaxed ends attached to my new growth. So far, I can already tell that my natural hair texture is different from when I was a child, and I'm excited for my big chop when I'll finally be able to appreciate and critique every kink and coil.





Currently I am very inspired by this video uploaded by one of my hair crushes, Mae.




She is four years post big chop and I love love love her hair! Her video encourages me to be patient in my transition, as well as to put in the hard work necessary for cultivating healthy, gorgeous natural hair.




After enjoying my short haircut for about 2 weeks, my mother installed another set of braids. Honestly, I would like to maintain my hair myself but since university has started again and my mom is going back to St. Kitts, I know that my laziness and impatience would sabotage my hair-care efforts.




I plan to keep these braids in for 8 weeks, which should last me until the end of October.



How's your hair journey going?
Love!
~Hatter

Friday, 16 August 2013

Snip snip! Short Hair!



Last Saturday 10th August my mom mini-chopped my hair!

I've been thinking about doing the big chop for weeks, but my mom thought it better to keep some inches of relaxed hair- i.e. to transition rather than be 'drastic' and chop all my length off. Now I'm glad that I listened to her...I don't know if I would have been happy with only 2-3 inches of hair!

Note: I still have 2-3 inches of relaxed ends, so I would not consider my haircut a big chop. The cut is one phase closer to being fully natural. 

After the chop, I washed and conditioned my hair and honestly...I was at quite a loss about what to do next. After an easily detangling session, I proceeded to twist it, gave up, and settled for large cornrows. However, my mother took pity on my desperate efforts and kindly fixed me up with smaller, neater cornrows. Then she twisted the ends up like bantu knots and pinned them down.

Girrlfrieeend! I felt so much better when she was finished with my hair. I'm an impatient person, and I can lose hope easily when faced with a difficult challenge. So to see a light in the tunnel and be encouraged by my mama to have patience with my hair really helped me to get more enthusiastic about my new look. 


The night before...

I then slept with my hair in the braids and on Sunday my mom and I loosed them and styled. Viola! After some picking out with an afrocomb, I was left with very curly, cute hair. I pinned back both sides and the front piece, leaving the rest out.


...the morning after!



When my hair was first cut, I felt like I was thrown in a boat on rough, rough waters. Did I make the right decision? Oh my gaawd what did I do to my hair?? lol I think I've gotten over that now and I look forward to relearning how to care for my hair. Since Sunday I've been re-braiding or re-flat twisting at night, and in the day wearing curly styles. Yo it's not easy!! But I know I'll become more patient and adept with time. 

So I'm still transitioning to natural hair. When will I cut off the rest of my straight ends? I would like to say I'll do the big chop at 1 year post relaxer (February 2014) but I know that depending on my mood and how my hair grows out, that date may change. 


I'm on my way!


Love,
~Hatter

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Mobile Update: summer beauty shopping

Greetings from Boston, MA!

I'm finally on my official summer vacation and both my mind and hair are on a much needed break.

My hair is back in braids (shorter and lighter braids this time) so I really don't have much to say hair-wise. Instead, I'll share my recent beauty haul.


Who doesn't like sample-size products? I purchased a small, 2oz dropper bottle, a mini Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Conditioner, a mini Satin Care shaving cream and Purell hand sanitizer.



Next is this cute reusable bag I bought from Barnes and Noble. "This Side of Paradise" is one of my favourite books by F. Scott Fitzgerald and I already have "The Great Gatsby" tote. 


 Last are the Satsuma Body Polish and Beautifying Oil I purchased from The Body Shop. Satsuma is apparently a funky citrus fruit that has a bright, zesty scent. I'm loving it so far!



Not too exciting eh? I am trying to control myself from buying too many unnecessary hair products, especially as I can't even use them while my hair is in braids!

However, I must buy some Carol's Daughter hair products before I return home to Trinidad since it's waay cheaper to purchase in the US. Plus, I want to be prepared when I take my braids down again and  battle with my transitioning hair.  >.<

I'm now five months post relaxer and it's been smooth sailing since I don't really have to manipulate my hair. The only issue I've had is my dry, flaky scalp. I want to buy some tea tree oil and add it to my trusty jojoba oil, using my new dropper bottle to apply the mix easily to my scalp.

Have you done any summer beauty shopping?

Cheers,
~Hatter

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The braids are out: 17 weeks post relaxer!


Today I finally finished taking out my waist length braids. It took me three days to undo them, mainly because I started with a little at a time and I wanted to work as carefully as possible. 

My patience has definitely paid off! Below is a photo of how much shed and broken hair I lost after having my hair in braids for 4 weeks.



I think this is a moderate amount of hair compared to the amount I have lost in the past when my hair was braided regularly as a child. I was pleasantly surprised that I did not experience heavy breakage. Most of the hair in my hand are shed hairs. While I wore my braids I deep conditioned twice, used my African Pride Braid Sheen Spray weekly and occasionally I sealed my hair with jojoba oil. Now, about three days after my last wash day in braids, my hair is soft and surprisingly manageable. Cheers to successful protective styling!

I used my jojoba oil to lubricate my braids while I took them out. I think the oil did a great job of loosening tangles as well as keeping my two hair textures soft and moisturized.


My new growth @ 17 weeks post relaxer.


For the present I'm wearing my hair in twists for the next few days. Next weekend I have a formal event to go to, so I plan to shampoo, deep condition and hopefully do a proper curly braid-out style to blend my two textures.


My new growth is extremely obvious now that I'm 17 weeks post relaxer. I'm so excited for it to grow out!


Love,
~Hatter



Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Forgotten Conditioners



Dusty, forgotten and shunned...

...When I returned home I was confronted with the miserable sight of instant conditioners I had bought when I first started my hair journey...Conditioners that I soon forgot and have now come back to haunt me.

Okay, to be fair, I did like the Vo5 Moisture Milks, and that's probably why I have two bottles. Because it's cheap I decided to leave it at home when I went to university. I'll give that same reason of cost for why I abandoned the Garnier Fructis Fortifying Cream Conditioner, but the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration just wasn't very impressive. 

Finally, I only used the Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut conditioner once on my relaxed hair and I hated it.
However, I'm willing to give it another chance...in fact, I plan to use up all of these conditioners.

Using them up might be a bit difficult since my hair is in braids, but I think that once I take my braids out, I'll mix each conditioner individually with hair oils and use them as pre-poo treatments.

I hope I remember to use them when the time comes!


How do you use up old products?
~Hatter

Saturday, 1 June 2013

My waist-length braids

Last Sunday my mother finished installing my waist-length braids.



This is the first time I've worn braids in about two years, and I've never had braids so long. I was a bit uncomfortable swinging around all the hair on my head and they also felt quite heavy for the first few days, but I've since adjusted to the weight.

Whenever I saw women with waist-length, or longer, braids I always thought, "Why would anyone want to wear super long extensions??." I assumed that it must be a pain in the neck to take care of them.

Now, I see that they really aren't so annoying, and I love the elegant look I get from wearing the braids cascading around me.

The most annoying thing about them was figuring out how to seal the ends. My mom used 'Xpressions', 100% kanekalon hair, which was very light but tangled very easily when manipulated. I tried plaiting the braids to the very end, then dipped them in boiling hot water. So far, most of the ends have stayed but some are already unraveling.


Here is a tumblr page I found with a lot of inspiration for box braids: iloveboxbraids.tumblr.com


And here is a video of some styles I plan to wear if I'm not lazy.



Yesterday I quickly washed my braids, skipped deep conditioning and proceeded to use a braid spray, then sealed my hair with jojoba oil. Next weekend I'll show my hair some much needed tender loving care by doing a lengthy deep conditioning session.

Love,
~Hatter

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The battle for natural hair- it has begun!

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This Saturday will make me 13 weeks post relaxer. So far my difficulties have been with breakage, detangling and keeping my hair detangled. However, today I experienced another difficulty which shocked me more than expected- opposition to me going natural by my family.

Specifically, it was my brother who, in response to my mom when she mentioned my decision, blurted out that "natural hair doesn't look good."

*cue death stare*

Honestly, I was annoyed; more so at the ignorance of the statement than at the fact that it came from my own brother. However, I had to remind myself that people's opinions and preferences are very different, partly due to their experiences in life. Although natural hair has gained steady momentum in the past years, relaxed hair is still the mainstream in many societies including those here in the Caribbean.

So I really shouldn't be upset with my brother...he, like many of us, was socialized to prefer and desire silky, straight hair. I, myself, wasn't too fond of natural hair before I went on my hair journey. And the poor women walking around with neglected, half-done natural hair certainly doesn't give any support for women who want to wear their natural hair. Of course there are plenty of women who also sport relaxed hair that's far from healthy, but as long as it appears to pursue to Eurocentric ideal, it's okay, right?

My mother has also expressed concern over me going natural, mostly because she remembers how difficult it was to take care of my hair as a child, and she fears that I'm not ready to care for it on my own. I do understand her fears, and this week she had me swayed in the direction of  getting a relaxer and cutting off any damaged hair.

Also, today I was with my mom when she got her hair relaxed at the salon. The hairdresser (who used to relax my hair) looked at my hair and commented that it wasn't looking too hot. Ermm...duhh!
I do have 13 weeks of new growth poppin' out of my scalp! Farrr from tactful madame...

Anyway, today my conviction was sealed by both my brother and former hairdresser. How dare anyone tell me that the hair that God gave me doesn't look good? It's not a subject I will get self-righteous about, but it irks me when people look down on me and underestimate my abilities, thinking that the silly little child is not handling herself or her hair well at all.

It's hair. I'm going to be 18 and I am ready to make my own decisions. And at the end of the day, it's hair! I could be strung out on drugs or preggers with 3 baby daddies but all I want is to go natural!

(okay, that was a bit dramatic...)

I'm fed up of the relaxer process and I hate other people doing my hair. The people in my life who don't approve of my decision to go natural will just have to get over it, because God makes no mistakes, and I'm not on this earth to satisfy anyone's aesthetic pleasures.


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Goodnight!
~Hatter



Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Hair Update: 11 weeks post relaxer

Saturday 11th May made me exactly 11 weeks post relaxer.



This is a milestone on my hair journey seeing as I've gone so long without a relaxer and I still have a lot of hair on my head! *hoopla!*

For the past month or so I have not rollerset my hair. I'm reluctant to go back to rollersetting because it takes so much time and effort...Honestly, airdrying gives me satisfying results in half the time.

On another note, the ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner is really helping me to manage my two textures with less and less headache. Even 3-4 days after my wash day on Wednesday, my new growth was still soft and manageable!  The ORS Nourishing Conditioner is very effective in making my hair soft and slippery, and even though its a bit expensive, I will keep it as my new staple as I transition to natural hair.

**Note to self: I must be careful to rinse out all conditioners thoroughly from my hair! There were wash days when I was left with horribly sticky hair. Now I undo the braided sections that I wash my hair in while rinsing to avoid future trauma from hard, stiff hair and more breakage.

Last week I wore some jumbo twists which I then loosely flat twisted and pinned the ends up. Then on Sunday I untwisted them and wore a pinned up-do. On Monday I made two cornrows and pinned the ends around the sides of my head- sort of like a crown.

Today I washed and deep conditioned my hair. Detangling was painless and quick, thank God!



As you can see from the picture above, I have a mixture of natural hair textures- some strands have super tiny spirals while others have larger loops and waves. I even have some zig-zags (not pictured above) and strands that coil up on themselves. However, looking in the mirror at my hair, its difficult to find the exact line of demarcation, maybe because I have some texlaxed areas of hair that come between my fully natural hair and my bone straight relaxed hair. 

This week I also got some jojoba oil, lovingly purchased by my aunt (thank you aunty!) It hardly has any smell and has a relatively light consistency. I plan to use this to replace my ORS HAIRepair Vital Oils and to mix it in my shea butter once I get home.


I have at least one more week to go before I get my braids (extensions) installed. I'm happy that over the past weeks I've learned to manage my two textures better and have almost eliminated my previous stretching woes. I look forward to my natural hair growing longer and longer so I'll be closer and closer to the big chop!


How's your hair journey been going?

Love,
~Hatter

Friday, 10 May 2013

Shea Butter



Okay first of all...my exams are finished!! So I'm back on the blogsphere!

Okay secondly, on Wednesday I bought 'Okay Shea Butter White Chunky' from Pennywise in Trincity Mall.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this brand has a website but disappointed that it didn't have much information about its suppliers. The packaging says "imported from Ghana" but I was interested in finding out if the company is involved in the actual shea butter production. Ah well...

The packaging says 100% natural so that's a plus! This shea butter also comes already whipped but I only spotted the chunky kind in the store.

Since researching natural hair care I found out that shea butter is very popular among naturals since it can be mixed with various hair oils to create a thick, creamy moisturizer.

Even though I'm only 11 weeks post (woop woop! New milestone) I thought that I should buy some shea butter to experiment with as my new growth grows out more and more.

So the plan is to get some new natural oils to mix with the butter. I used to use the ORS HAIRepair Vital Oils but I've gotten dissatisfied with it over time.

Here is an example of how shea butter can be mixed to create a personalized hair moisturizer:




~Hatter

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Back to Roots: I'm "going natural"

Yep, I'm going natural.


I don't really like the term "going natural" since I've been natural most of my life, and have only had relaxed hair for about 5-7 years (first time when I was a preteen, after which I transitioned, then had my hair relaxed again around 13 years old) So, I'm going back natural, or I'll just say back to my roots. (no pun intended!)

Although I am very excited about my transition to natural hair, in no way have I become totally anti-relaxer. I still admire the women who maintain their healthy relaxed hair (shout-out to Jeni and Ebony!) and I will continue to read their blogs, use their tips and blog about the relaxed hair world.

I find it silly when black women go to the extreme and denounce the "creamy crack" which they themselves were so "addicted" to before they went natural. Hair is hair and I will not alienate my self or my fellow hair sisters by preaching the superiority of one form of hair over another.

To me, confidence and being comfortable with oneself is most important. The fact that many black women are so uncomfortable or shy about wearing their natural hair in public for fear of social rejection is truly sad. I do not want to be one of those women who hides her hair because she resents it. I admit, before the natural hair movement I thought I would never go back natural because my natural texture is very thick, coarse, and was a pain to take care of as a child...but that doesn't have to be the case anymore. With all the information available online, new products catered to naturals, and the inspiring blogging ladies who have transitioned, I should have no fear for lack of support for caring for my hair.

Its time to finally throw off the ancient stigma and condemnation black women have faced for wearing their natural hair. I will not let fear of myself or the opinions of others rule my life.

Life is about exploring and taking risks! I have no reason to force myself to bear with my relaxed hair when, recently, it's been making me perpetually unhappy.

So...I'm on another adventure. The first was my healthy relaxed hair journey...now this one is a healthy natural hair journey!

In my blog description I wrote: "Healthy relaxed hair or bust! Who's with me?"
So did I achieve healthy relaxed hair? Up to a point, I did, and then for reasons I still haven't figured out, my breakage increased and my hair's health has been decreasing ever since.

I don't consider my relaxed hair journey a complete failure since I learned a lot about healthy hair care, achieved my first year's goal of armpit length hair and discovered some amazing hair blogs- by both natural and relaxed hair women!

Again, I am excited about this transition. I'm exactly 8 weeks post relaxer and my roots are hecka thick, but a bit uneven since I have texlaxed areas from my last relaxer. I initially planned to get braided extensions installed today, but my mom won't be able to do it and I trust no one else to braid my hair. I might have to wait until after my final exams to get them done. That's about 4 weeks away...yikes! I've hardly stretched my relaxer longer than 8 weeks post without difficulty so I do have a challenge ahead...Thank God for youtube tutorials and ORS Nourishing Conditioner that I hope will get me through the first phase of my transition!



I'm going to 18 years old in August and it just seems significant that I chose to go back natural at this point. Becoming an "adult" brings fresh experiences, one of which will be my health natural hair transition. Who knows, maybe I'll "big chop" for my birthday! (Probably not, though. I'll only have 6 months worth of new growth!)

Cheers to being unafraid to experiment and falling in love with me...a woman fearfully and wonderfully made!

Some of my recent inspirations:
urbanbushbabes.com
urbanbushbabes.com


kandeelovesya.tumblr.com


Where mah 4c hair ladies at?? I'll be needing some tips! =)

~Hatter

Friday, 19 April 2013

Wash day @ 7 weeks post relaxer



On Monday I washed my hair at 7 weeks, 3 days post relaxer.

What I did:

  1. Sectioned my hair into 8-9 parts, spraying diluted moisturizer on my roots to soften them and help with the parting. Finger de-tangled, applied ORS Vital Oils and braided each section. 
  2. Pre-pooed for about an hour under my heating cap. 
  3. Shampooed with ORS Neutralizing Shampoo.
  4. T-shirt dried my hair for about 2 minutes, then applied ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner, using 1 & 1/3 packs. Sat with heating cap for about 1 & 1/2 hours.
  5. Rinsed my hair and T-shirt dried for about 5 minutes.
  6. While hair was still damp, I sprayed diluted moisturizer on my hair, focusing on the roots. Applied Herbal Essences Split-End Protector and de-tangled. 
  7. Blow-dried lightly, using tension by pulling down on my hair while blow-drying to stretch my roots.
  8. Sealed with ORS Vital Oils.
  9. Cross-wrapped my hair for bed and done!


~~~

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~~~






The next morning I bunned for the first time in a looong time. After doing my hair it felt very soft and manageable. I definitely attribute it to the ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner. It always make my new growth a breeze to de-tangle!

Unfortunately, the breakage is still occurring but I've almost accepted that as normal (sad isn't it??) so I ignored it and styled. I'll be dealing with this issue in a later post.

I planned to wear the bun for the whole day but...5 minutes after going outside it collapsed!
I didn't secure the ends well so when I charged into the wind...let's just say it was hair blowing left, right and centre =P After that I took out the bobby pins and just wore a simple ponytail.

Hair fails... they're inevitable!


Have a great weekend =)
~Hatter

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mini hair haul

Last Friday I went hair shopping, and although I had a long list of items to buy, these are all I ended up purchasing:

 
Can't wait to use my ORS Nourishing Conditioner! This is fantastic on my new growth, so I hope that it'll help to make my hair softer and decrease my manipulation issues.

I also bought a moisturizer from the new Shea Butter Miracle line from African Pride. I already use the original moisturizer I described here, but I took this one just to see if it'll be any different on my new growth.

New bobby pins! I'm sure every girl knows what it's like to have these disappear right under our nose! I shouldn't lose all 120 any time soon :)


Love

~Hatter

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Hair Journey Spotlight: Alsha from myfroandi.com

In this post I explained that I'm thinking of going natural.

Since then, I realized that going natural would not be the end of my hair journey, and I definitely shouldn't feel disappointed in myself if I do decide to transition.

I know that if I transition that its my personal choice for the health of my hair, as well as to satisfy my curiosity about my natural texture.

Soooo, I've been scouring the internet for 4c hair ladies to act as my inspiration...and here is one of them!


Meet Alsha from myfroandi.com

She is a South African blogger with beautiful type 4 hair. Looks similar to how mine was as a child!

Here is a sample of hairstyles from her recent 30 hair style challenge.

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I was amazed at the gorgeous styles this woman can do! She totally changed my perception of the styles that can be done on 4c hair... I used to think that our thick kinky texture was restricted to twist-outs and afros, but I'm glad that Alsha proves that it's not so.

I think it's so inspiring to see women confidently take the challenge of caring for their type 4 hair...and loving the process!

Check out her website for more pictures of her updos, and information about how she cares for her natural hair.


Who are some of your favourite natural bloggers?

~Hatter

Matta Season! Getting ready for exams

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Hello fellow beauties!

I have 2 weeks and 2 days until my final exams begin...as you can imagine, I'm nervous!
BUT I'm determined to devote all most of my remaining time for studying.

Oddly, this semester I'm actually a bit excited about exams (say what??!)

Maybe it's because I did well in my finals in last semester that my confidence has been given a boost.

However, in no way am I placing my confidence in my own abilities or intelligence. I know that everything I do is because of the gracious God that blesses me with the ability to do it!
I constantly see God's favour in my academic life, and I'll be darned if I don't acknowledge HIS favour in my studies.

So I'm praying constantly and having confidence in Him to help me do all that I can do, and allow him to do the rest for me.

*By the way, "Matta season" means study season here on Milner Hall. From next week the Hall will implement study zones, quiet time and even have "matta food" for sale for the residents. How awesome is that??


Are you preparing for exams? Good luck being a matta beast! =)


~Hatter

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Winds of Change: Relaxed vs Natural

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Relaxed or Natural?

That is the question!




 For the past few weeks I've been considering my hair situation quite seriously.

On one hand, I did want to stick out my breakage in the hopes of finding a product/technique that would restore my hair's health. On the other hand, I was severely frustrated and fed up with my lack of progress over the past few months.

From breakage to texlaxed roots to consistently uneven ends...I think I may have reached the end of my rope.

I know that on my healthy hair journey I'm supposed to expect difficult periods and motivate myself to endure them, but recently I haven't seen the point in constantly enduring stress and frustration when I really don't have to.

So, I'm considering "going natural" or transitioning.


And before you think I'm simply "giving up" on my hair, let me explain further:


  • I admit it, I'm fed-up. Fed-up of being disappointed and not gaining pleasure from my hair. It's said that madness is essentially repeating the same steps while hoping for different results...well I might be mad! I have been trying to solve the source of my breakage but all the techniques that I've tried have yet to resolve them. More and more, I'm feeling emotionally detached from my relaxed hair. So why not try a different method all together?

  • I have also come to appreciate natural hair much more. When I wrote my post about the natural hair movement I, like many other relaxed ladies, felt very tempted to join the movement. It seemed cool, embracing your "roots". Looking back, I'm glad I didn't because I didn't have the emotional appreciation of natural hair and an earnest curiosity or desire to take care of it. Now, I feel much more committed to the idea and even excited about growing out my afro. The youtube tutorials and tumblr blogs I've been following are very inspiring and I have been valuing natural hair from a different light. My new growth is quite tame (shock upon shocks!), easy to comb and its just so fluffy. I'm very curious about my natural hair texture.


"But aren't I supposed to be consistent on my hair journey? Why give up? Shouldn't I stick it out with the end results (health and length) in mind?"


Jeni of justgrowalready.com is one of my relaxed hair-spirations. Through thick and thin she has cared for her hair and gained amazing results!

Honestly I'm not too sure how to answer this question. Sometimes I feel like a should give my hair more time and be persistent on my relaxed hair journey. Then at other times I feel like its too much of an emotional, time consuming burden. At the end of the day, hair is hair. I don't want to be worrying about my relaxed hair issues more than my assignments and other responsibilities. For me, its a matter of eliminating unnecessary problems. (Ouch, does that sound as harsh as I think it does? lol)

I know that natural hair (especially my thick 4c texture) is no laughing matter, and will require a lot of work. However, seeing that it would be chemically stronger than relaxed hair, and there is now so much useful natural hair information online, I know the challenge would be much easier than years ago when I used to wear my natural hair.


"So if you 'give up' on this hair journey, who's to say that you won't give up again on your natural hair journey?"

Time will tell, but I certainly don't plan on starting another hair journey with failure in mind. And who's to say that I am giving up? Transitioning doesn't change the fact that I'm continuing to work towards healthier hair. It just changes my strategies and overall orientation towards taking care my kinky hair.


So what's your opinion? Is it okay if someone on a relaxed hair journey sacrifices it when times get tough? Is it all about the commitment to relaxed hair or personal satisfaction? Have you ever felt like calling it quits on relaxed hair and "going natural"?


I appreciate your honesty!

~Hatter

Monday, 25 March 2013

Multivitamins for healthy skin?

Over the past few weeks I've been experiencing acne breakouts on my skin- not just my face, but my chest and arms too!

I have had acne since I was a pre-teen, but these recent ocurrences were a bit unusual since my skin was relatively zit-free earlier this year.

When I thought about it, my acne came back a short while after I stopped taking my multivitamins. When I used to take them consistently, after about a month, my breakouts virtually vanished.


I know I can't say for sure that the vitamins stopped my breakouts because my clearer skin may have just coincided with my vitamin intake, or may have been affected by my change in diet.

However, when I stopped taking my vitamins, I did not change anything else in my diet or skin care regimen...and then my acne returned.

My One a Day Teen Advantagle vitamins does say that it "supports healthy skin" with vitamins A and C, copper and iron.


I've been back on my pills consistently for the past 4-5 days and honestly I've only had about one new pimple.

Coincidence?


What do you think? Have you ever taken multivitamins and seen a significant improvement in your skin?

~Hatter

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Waiting...

Good night everyone!

This is my first hair post in weeks because I've been waiting...

....waiting to fall back in love with my hair!

After my last relaxer in which my new growth was severely underprocessed, I haven't been showing my locks a lot of love. Combined with the breakage that I'm still experiencing...I've been having a dull time.

The breakage may be due to some ends that need to go, my texlaxed roots or just dryness. (Admittedly, because I fear causing even more hair snapping off I haven't been moisturizing and sealing very thoroughly.)

Lawwd it's like I need to be a hair scientist just to figure out what my hair needs!

I'm really looking forward to my next relaxer so I can do an official length check and cut off any straggling ends.

Pray that I have patience and resolved my breakage!


How is your hair journey going? I hope you're enjoying it more than I am.

The good old days!

Waiting to fall back in love with my hair...
~Hatter

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Wash Day and Mini Relaxer Update


Goodnight everyone!

I have been neglecting my little blog and now this post is one week overdue *shameface*.

On Saturday 23rd February I had my hair relaxed by my aunt, since I really did not want to go back to the hairdresser.

In retrospect, I probably should have gone to the salon because my roots did not get straight! I practically remained with a head-full of fuzzy, texlaxed roots.


I think the issue was that my aunt should have smoothed my roots a second time after letting the relaxer "sit" on my hair for some minutes. 

I was pretty surprised (and amused) to run my fingers through my hair and feel the kinks! Admittedly, my hair is more manageable than before it was relaxed, but I'm just not used to the texlaxed feel lol. 
Since my roots are so textured, I haven't done an official length check as yet.

Last week I washed my hair and got some bouncy, healthy-looking results. However, I'm still battling with breakage that I can't seem to determine the source of. I've tried clarifying my hair and strand testing, but still I have noticeable short and long-strand breakage...even while using my new seamless combs...heck, even while finger-combing! 

While I am grateful for the hair I still have, I'm honestly a bit tired of my hair and discouraged...

I've been trying to reduce my manipulation as much as possible and infusing it with moisture.

So now I need to work on staying positive while I battle out this breakage. There's no way I'm going to let it make me have a failed hair journey!

Have you ever dealt with unexplained breakage?

Avec amour,
~Hatter

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Shut yo mouth! Hair that made my jaw drop.

Long, healthy relaxed hair!


I was browsing hairlista.com tonight when a photo of Sunshyne's hair caught my eye.

Now, I've seen this photo many times before, but as I was reflecting on the current state of my ends, this photo seemed to smack me in the face with its perfection!

The fullness of Sunshyne's hair is amazing. Look at her ends! No thin "hemline", no straggling hairs, no see-through ends...and the shine, the body of that hair! 

Lord knows her hair journey could not have always been easy or enjoyable, but it's inspiring to see the results of Sunshyne's hair work and perseverance.

Sunshyne's thick, healthy, long, relaxed hair is an example of how I want my hair to become as I progress in my hair journey. Her hair gives me the motivation to push through the long washed days and patiently endure the breakage, shedding and setbacks with my end results in mind. 

Who's head of hair makes you say "wow!"?

~Hatter