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Oldie But Goodie!

24 Aug

 
A friend of mine tried out naptural85’s Summer Fun Curly Fro tutorial and hers turned out so well that I decided to try it too. Of course I had to modify it a bit bc I usually just have a day to do my hair & I can’t get away with a scarf at work in the office too well soooo I had to try & speed up my drying time. Because my hair is so thick, air drying doesn’t always work too well unless I have at least a full day & night to allow it to dry. So, I may use a diffuser or sit under the hooded dryer to speed up the drying time.

My sis-in-law made me some flax seed gel to use & I really liked it! It goes on smoother than the Fantasia IC gel that I usually use. The only challenge is that I didn’t get to use it all before I think it went bad (it smelled funny in the fridge…lol).

So, I used flax seed gel on freshly washed hair, followed the tutorial video below & sat w/it under the hooded dryer for about an hour, and slept in a scarf overnight. In the morning….it was still a little wet so I diffused it some to wear it like this:

P.S. My FAV part of the tutorial was something that I had never even thought of doing before but will do all the time now, she put a scarf around the front of her hair to hold it down while she manipulated the rest of her hair & that worked wonders because the front of my hair doesn’t always do what the rest of my hair does and I end up pinning the front back later, so why not start with it that way?! Genius!

     

I tried it again the next week but did more of a bantu knot than the pin curl & it turned out like this:

I think if I were to let it fully dry & did the pin curls it’d turn out similar to hers but it still will just define whatever your natural curl pattern is.

Check out her tutorial video here:

 

Enjoy!

 

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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Bliss Elements, Natural Hair & Turkey!!

20 Nov

I enjoyed my 1st natural hair event at Bliss Elements Spa & Salon with the DE Naturalistas! The stylists were super nice & down to earth, the “green” salon was gorgeous & they had red velvet cupcakes (I loooove cupcakes) and strawberries & champagne! It was a much-needed girls night out w/hair talk, good laughs & delicious treats. The salon even makes their own fabulous smelling, natural products the Shea Butter smelled like cake batter & there was a conditioner that smelled like chocolate!) So, for the event they split us up into four groups & we switched between 4 stations:

1. ear candling demonstration– If you’ve never seen this done before…its so crazy. They put a burning candle in your ear and somehow it gets all the wax, dust, pollen out of your ears. It’s supposed to help w/sinuses, allergies etc. This was what came out of one persons ear…

2. Angie w/hair product info– she talked a lot about whats in the natural products that they make at the salon, tips on using color (consult your stylist), tips on how often to get trims (consult your stylist) I think she said every 6-8 weeks though and many more topics

3. rod set demonstration– she used the orange perm rods on a girl with natural hair & her curls came out gorgeous (I have the purple rods but want to try the orange or jumbo black ones 1 1/4″). She also shared that to get the roots straight depends on the amount of tension you put when you’re rolling the hair onto the rod.

 

4. blow drying, flat-iron & pin curling demonstration– blow dry wet hair, use a paddle brush or brush that’s compatible for your hair type when blow drying, only use the concentrator attachment (not the comb attachment). 1 thing I didn’t know about pin curling is that you can pin just the end of the curl instead of pinning the whole circle or curl (hard to explain in words but when you see it done you’ll understand, maybe I can post a pic later)

Best part was hanging out with my sis-in-law Lisa AND winning one of the door prizes!! I won a bottle of Creme of Nature’s Oil Moisturizer with Argan Oil which I will tell you about over the weekend when I try it out.

P.S. If anyone is getting me a Christmas gift….a gift card to this salon would be amazing!

P.S. “Turkey” is in the title of this because I really dropped off a turkey in the parking lot to my sis-in-law because she’s doing Thanksgiving dinner for the crew and we laughed about it, natural hair & turkey’s its all good!

My hair this week:

The next DE Naturalistas event: Mixology 102

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pain, Stench & The Sounds Of Our Hair…ahhh the memories!

14 Oct

        

My husband and I were talking about this in the car, (shout out to *Peaches* still running strong since ’03)

  • He said, “…you know you got a good shape up when there are scabs around your head the next day.” “That’s a good one right there, look I’m bleeding!”

LOL!  Why do guys really come out of the barber shop with a scab shape up like that’s cute…smh.  Barbers, I know you have to have sharp blades in your clippers, but not razor blades!  Ease up on the forcefulness when you cut please.

  • I said, “…I remember being scared of the sound and feeling the grease popping on my scalp.  Or feeling the heat from the hot comb near my ear when getting my hair straightened.”

Why did they torture us like this?!? Grease popping on your head like you’re in a frying pan.  The utter fear that you wouldn’t be able to keep still long enough to not get burned on your ears by the hot comb!  Hair time was epic in our household; my brother and dad would always leave the house when it was time to do hair because they knew it was going to be an ordeal!  Tender headed, crying, momma’s arms too tired to finish blow drying…it was all just a big mess sometimes.

  • My friend Imhotep confessed, “I don’t like the way perms smell, especially in the club.”

LOL, I died laughing at this because I know exactly what he means.  You got a fresh perm the day before a party and the next night at the “sweat box” a.k.a. party, you’re dancing  a little too hard and then you start to smell that Lye in the air…those chemicals and “ooo I better not sweat my perm out, I just got this done yesterday!!!”. LOL, goodness, that stuff used to run my life! And don’t let the creamy crack drip down your forehead…lol. OR you run your fingers through your ‘bone-straight’ relaxed hair and stop at a speed bump, “is that a scab on my scalp?!” Yep, burned again…smh.

Ronnie remembers, “…getting my nappy hair combed with the smallest, fine tooth comb ever before church on Sunday. No water, no conditioner, no detangler, just dry naps poppin’ & breaking all the teeth off that fine tooth comb.”

Our parents just did the same things their parents did with their hair…they did’t know any better.

So, the next time you walk past that salon and smell those awful chemicals, see that broken down, 2 teeth left in that teeny tiny black comb and only 1 tooth left on the comb from your blow-dryer.  Or you’re next to that girl in the club with the white dripping down her neck and you see ol’ boy scoping you out from across the way with his scabby shape-up…remember the times and laugh in the joy of the freedom of your natural hair!  Be glad that you may have been there and definitely, “done that” and are now free from the LYE! 🙂

Ahhh the memories!

What memories do you have from “hair time” growing up?

 

IDHHC Update: Doing well with moisturizing each night & sealing ends, drinking water, exercise, still have the 2 strands in. Still need to get more fruits & veggies though; gotta get groceries this weekend (or ‘make groceries’ as we say back at home; lol!) LATER!
© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“A Life In Hair” article

10 Oct

Take a look at this cool little article from ACBF on a newspaper article from The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s: Mirror Mirror, A Life in Hair.
     Cjwalker For Va Mag
Image
Afro Abe Progression Detail

Take a look at her whole exhibition in Philly: Sonya Clark Solo Exhibition

Quotes:

“My art is not about being defiant…This is an expression of my identity. . . . It’s my story.”
“The relationship between African American women and their hair is complex. At times it’s been hated and feared as well as loved and revered.”
-S. Clark “Mirror, Mirror A Life In Hair” By Elizabeth Wellington, Inquirer Fashion Writer
© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Being Natural For Real Or For Fake?

29 Sep

I came across this article on Curlynikki.com by Rashea Hamilton, “Obsessed with hair manipulation…am I truly a natural?”.  She talks about how she manipulates her hair doing twist outs, using dyes, manipulating her hair texture constantly and if by doing these things means that she is not really a natural hair girl.  She goes on to tell her hair story through the years and how she went back & forth some with being natural.  Then she poses the question:

“What does it mean to be natural?”

My take on it is this:

When I had relaxed hair (ages 5-23) I didn’t really start doing any different styles with my hair until 10th grade in high school thanks to my own interest in my hair and my friends interest in my hair (I was definitely a huge tom-boy all the years before that thanks to my older brother).  I remember my group of girl friends & I got sent to the Principals office in 8th grade because my friend (CRYSTAL, yes I’m putting you out there for getting me in trouble, lol! Remember that teacher that told on us…we couldn’t stand her!) brought a battery operated curling iron to school and they were curling my hair in the locker room (guess I was the test subject because I had the longest hair at the time).  The Principal acted like she was upset then she was asking all kinds of questions about the curling iron, like she was gonna take ours home for herself!

8th grade Principal confiscated our cordless curling iron...lol

 

I didn’t do much to my hair besides wearing it in a ponytail, half up and the rest down, maybe a side swoop (check my pics…its the same hairstyle every year, earlier years it was that tight bang in the front, then a side bang, then the swoop lol).  But all throughout this time I was still getting relaxers.  I didn’t consider my hair or myself to be natural until I stopped getting relaxers and cut off the remainder of my permed hair.  At that point my hair was back in its natural/the hair I was born with, state.

Now, you could go further on to say that there are different stages of being natural:

1. natural & using hair dye/coloring (still a type/degree of a chemical in most cases)

2. natural & using regular hair products/styling products (products that don’t have all-natural ingredients)

3. natural & using all natural hair products

 

There’s probably many more stages but ultimately, I think as long as you are not chemically changing the texture of your hair then you have natural hair any kind of way that you style it, an afro, bantu-knots, twist outs, braids when that hair gets wet, puffs out or shrinks up…oh yes, it’s natural hair. It’s all up to you, whatever stage of being natural you would like to be (and of course that definitely changes), be that, be natural and love your curls! 🙂

 

So, what DOES it mean to be natural and have natural hair?

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

More Hair-ducation!!!

27 Sep
Three views of one monomer of the protein trio...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m getting back into watching/learning new natural hair information online and I came across this lovely youtube channel that I heard about from the Pi Nappa Kappa Conference Call (Hair-ducation), called, Journey to My Roots.

She’s funny, informative AND explains the actual science behind why things do what they do and how it may work or may not work on your hair. Check it out and you can borrow my notes below if you like!

-each strand of hair has pores and to get moisture you need to open the pores using warm water.
-open pores when you wash, get moisture in, then use cool water to close the pores.
-use some type of oil or butter to seal in the moisture.
proteins then sit on the hair:
*On healthy hair (pic of smooth strand):
pros: shine, strength, tamed/less frizz
cons: too much weighs hair down, gives build-up (white/flaky substance seen = using too much)
*On unhealthy hair (pic of jagged/knicked strand of hair):
jagged/knicked area of strand, proteins fill in those areas
pros: by filling in knicks makes hair stringer, shiny, tamed
cons: temporary fix; once washed hair still knicked/damaged etc; can cause build-up
-Need to know why you’re using the proteins & how often using protein treatments (Aphogee protein treatment)
-Common solutions instead of protein treatment : better care, technique, knowledge
  • Question: Are you saying you don’t do protein treatments or use products with protein in them? I know some people say that their hair is protein sensitive, which means they probably have healthy hair. What is the problem moisture protein balance for hair?

  • Answer: Most products include some level of protein and I’m fine with that. There’s not so much a determined ratio. Essentially, the more “knicked” your hair, the better off you will likely do with products that are heavy on protein. Think of it like a road with potholes. The amount of “filler”/protein that road needs will vary based on the # of potholes on your specific street. Hope that makes sense. Tks chica!
  • Another Answer: Yep. A LOT of newly naturals (and relaxed gals too) have the same problem. That’s why I made my video “The ABCs of Hair Speak”. Check it out. It’s long but it covers 30+ topics that will help you to navigate the world of health care products. Trust me, it’s well worth the watch. And again, thanks so much for checking out the Proteins 101 series. Feel free to shoot me ideas for other topics you’d like to see. I aim to please!
Hope you learned something useful! Be sure to subscribe to her page!

 

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Everyone loves a SALE!!!

26 Sep

So, if you know me you know I LOVE sales, getting something on discount or that GREAT feeling when something rings up on sale at the register & you didn’t even realize it was on sale?!?!?

 

So, I read this facebook post last week:

Walgreens will have the Schick Quattro Razors on sale for $8.99 starting on Sunday 9/25. You will also get a $5 Register Reward when you buy 1 making this FREE + a Small Money Maker after the coupons!

 

I tried this yesterday, I paid $3.99 for the razor because I couldn’t get the register reward until I paid for it and then I would be able to use the $5 register reward on any next purchase that wasn’t a Schick product they said.

Then, I went to another Walgreens and got a pack of the refills so I’d get another $5 register reward (I actually needed a razor too and a razor & refills for $3.99 each is an excellent deal). Soooo I was able to get the razor, the re-fill for $3.99 each and two $5 register rewards.

Then, I used the $10 of register rewards to get my fav: Fantasia IC hair gel (was originally $4.99, on sale for $3.99 which I didn’t know until they rang it up!) that I use all the time…

AND

I got a new bottle of Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner  (was $9.99).  So, for the gel and conditioner together I paid $3.98!!!  I was amped about my $27 savings (all of the stuff together would have been $39 & I paid $12)!!

 

Tip: check www.coupons.com on a regular basis for stuff you normally buy that you can get a discount on and check out Passion for Saving blog for more savings tips/discounted items that you may not know about!

 

What sites do you go to for sales, discounts or coupons to get your DEALS?

Happy saving!!


 

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Case of the Shady Hair Salon…!

23 Sep
   

Last night a good friend of mine who has been natural for YEARS sent me a text message:

Thu, Sep 22, 2011 8:34pm “Word to the wise…if you ever go to the Dominicans [to get a blow out]…take your own shampoo and conditioner…I definitely think I’ve been had!”


Thu, Sep 22, 2011 8:35pm “I just washed out my blow out that I got Sat. and my curls are w/o a doubt MUCH looser than when I went in! BUT my hair is softer so that’s a bonus 🙂 “

Thu, Sep 22, 2011 8:36pm “But I’m certain by my new texture/loose curls that they didn’t just use shampoo/condit in my hair!”
Of course I’m freaking out & had a million & 1 questions for her:
Did they put a relaxer in her hair? What did they do? Why didn’t she ask more questions? This a crime! Can she sue the salon?
So, this is what happened:

D: “It cost $28. This is my first time I’ve had…[a Dominican blow-out on] my hair. They washed, blow dried and flat ironed; no grease was used, only a lil light spray. When I went in, I knew (or thought) I needed a trim…but when the lady was done…my ends were SO sleek and straight, I was surprised! She recommended I get a deep condition, next time (that was probably a code word for PERM, lol!) But my hair was SO shiny and healthy looking I was too hyped and was just like, “alright!” But she will never get the chance [to do her “deep condition”]! Lol I immediately felt and saw a difference in my hair/curls right after my wash tonight. But I AM NOT complaining about how soft it is! :). As long as it doesn’t fall out, I’m good!”

So, basically after getting the blowout, her hair texture was much different than before, “looser curls, softer etc.” while washing & after being blow dried again. This may be just a matter of her having straightened her hair a bit much (she was getting it washed, blow-dried and flat ironed by her regular hair stylist but all summer she did without the flat iron and washed, blow dried & did a rod set), OR maybe they did use some type of texturizer in her hair.  If the answer is the latter…then I would be highly upset.  Who wants to have chemicals, whether light or heavy, put in their hair without them asking for it? I work hard to keep my hair natural and am not about to have to start over because someone thinks this ‘chemical’ will make it easier for her to do MY hair.  My friend had a much better reaction than I probably would have…they would have seen me back in the shop looking at products, ingredients and interrogating everyone! LOL, this is my main issue, when her new growth starts to come in…will it be a totally different texture than the rest of her hair because of this incident? What do you think?

Word to the wise ladies: Not only should you research your products, but ALSO research the salons you go to and ask questions, don’t worry if they seem bothered by it…YOU are the customer.  All of this will help us to KEEP our curls 24seven.



Have you been to a shady hair salon and had a bad experience?

-MrsAshB
© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Alternatives to the LYE, Safe OR Not So Much…?

22 Sep

I came across this article recently “Brazilian Blowout is Dangerous, FDA Says”.  The article states, “contain ‘dangerous levels’ of formaldehyde, in spite of its label claim to be ‘Formaldehyde Free.’ ”

“…chemicals that can cause cancer.”

Have you looked at some of the uses of formaldehyde…disinfectant, embalming agent….I’m done. Take a look at the article and you can make up your own mind on this Brazilian Blowout.

I had an “Express Blowout” (I have no idea what exactly that is besides it was supposed to straighten your hair without chemicals; I should have asked more questions) done at a salon once when…they didn’t know what to do with my hair (I won’t say where I went but it was a fancy salon & spa and I was the only one in there with hair like mine…I had a gift card to the place).

Anyhow, I was still in my transitioning phase and she used a bunch of stuff that I didn’t know but I remember the blow dryer and a roller brush going through my hair for what seemed like an hour and the heat kept burning my ears & scalp.  My hair was blowing in the wind afterwards though! LOL.

But seriously, Formaldehyde, cancer causing agents, stuff that can kill you…I’m not down for any of that and if you’ve read my natural hair story you’ll see that this is exactly why I stopped getting relaxers in the 1st place.  We use these chemicals, products, methods, tools on our head and don’t realize what the lasting/adverse effects may be.  I am the type of person where you don’t have to tell me a bunch of times don’t touch the iron because it’s hot…if I see or hear about someone else doing it with bad effects…then IM OUT. It is not for me and I don’t need anymore convincing.

However, I would say to everyone as a word of caution, if you do need more  convincing, then please DO YOUR RESEARCH and see if these things are true or false.

Have you had the Brazilian Blowout, Dominican Blowout, Keratin Straightening system, Mizani straightening system (I have a story on that Mizani product too, my hair was straight but goodness was I scared when I had to wash my hair about 10 times for it to be curly again!) ?

Check out this article on Eco Styler Gel and their findings after researching the ingredients: Natural Is…Informed: A Look at Eco Styler Gel

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Surgeon general wrong, black women’s hair not cause of obesity – Chicago Sun-Times

14 Sep

 

 

 

 

 

Story Image

Surgeon general wrong, black women’s hair not cause of obesity – Chicago Sun-Times.

Take a look at this article that speaks of the correspondence between a black woman’s workout regimen and her hair.  Essentially, the surgeon general had accused black women of being overweight because they don’t want to sweat out their hair.

The article later goes on to give other reasons that may contribute to why black women don’t work out:

Yes, there are women whose self-esteem is tied up in their hairstyle, but a lot of women in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods don’t exercise regularly for a variety of reasons, including being unable to afford the high cost of a health club membership.

Additionally, when innocent people are being gunned down in the street, what makes anyone think it is safe for black women to bike, jog or even walk in their neighborhoods?”

I know I’ve stated (in my post track days) ‘…well, I just did my hair so I’m not running today because I don’t want to sweat it out.’  Which essentially is an excuse not to workout, but there are ways to do our hair that will help eliminate the ‘sweating it out’ constantly.  Overall, my health is more important to me than my hair, I could die if I’m not healthy, but I’m probably not going to die if my hair isn’t ‘done’.  This was a big issue/hassle to deal with when I ran track in high school & college, which lead to me finally going natural.  I feel my hair would have retained it’s length if I had been natural during my track & field days because I wouldn’t have to constantly put heat on it from sweating out my permed hair at track practice/meets.  Now, with natural hair depending on what style I have my hair in, it’s not a big deal if I sweat it out because I can easily wash it & hair dry or do a protective style.

In response to the 2nd section of the article insinuating the unaffordable costs of gym memberships & violent neighborhoods…I let got of my gym membership to save some money (it’s probably been a year now) BUT, they did have Financial Programs to help those to be able to afford the membership & the new thing is the $10 membership to Planet Fitness…who can’t afford $10? Currently, I workout from home (inside my home), it takes a lot of discipline & no, I don’t ALWAYS do it but, it’s a workout regardless.  We have to quit with the excuses, this article is a mess.  The all encompassing idea here should be this statement:

Changing the black female obesity rate requires more than a new hairstyle. It requires a change in lifestyle.”

We need to be more concerned with our health & make that lifestyle change not just for ourselves but for our families. Take the extra time to touch-up your hair, wrap it up when you work out, workout in your home, make a plan & commit to doing it & if you fall off…commit again & again, get the $10 membership, or just ask if there are programs to help families financially at your gym etc; whatever you have to do to… JUST BE HEALTHY!

Am I bugging? Thoughts?

P.S. What about all the black women that DO workout…have you seen a track team lately? Tell me who the majority of the people are out there…? just saying.

© Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, documents, and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ashley Brown and 24sevencurls with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.