So, it’s been a while, right?

Well, my parents have finally finalized all of that divorce business, and, I stay with my mother, who, with the finalization of the legal process, has yet to be able to afford internet.

MEANING:

I haven’t been able to get back to you lovely ladies!

No worries, though, I’m working on it. However, I just want to give you an overall update of my hair before I jump back into the blog game:

1) I’m almost to six months! How exciting is that? Of course, I’m planning on transitioning for 25 months, but, 6 months is like a big deal for everyone, right? Well, it is for me.

2) I give up on hair typing. OK, so, maybe not completely, but, y’all tell me why I have 4c texture with 4b strands and a bunch of random 4a curls? Uhm, no ma’am, that is not what’s going down, not here.

3) Oil, Oil, Oil! So, I found the love of my natural life: Coconut oil. And, y’all best believe, it LouAna from the grocery store isle (because, honestly, what do I look like – paying $15 to drive way out of town for some oil?).

4) 3 – 31/2 inches of new growth! And, I straightened my hair again! These two kinda go together, because, I had my hair straightened last month, and, didn’t wash it until a few days ago (‘kay, so, maybe, with the lack of internet, I *kinda* stopped taking care of my hair as much as I should have), and, now, I love my new growth. It seems that with the new growth and extended straight hair time, my hair, when reverting due to added water, isn’t as hard to manage – I actually kinda like my newgrowth and playing with it.

So… Yeah, that’s about it! I hope to be back with y’all tomorrow with something interesting to talk about, but, it’s late, and I gotta go, so, later. :)

Yes, this is my second feature in a row, but, they’re such lovely ladies, why not? Sammy is an amazing girl that’s my age and transitioning as well (not to mention also biracial). I fell in love with her blog (especially since I could semi-relate, excusing the regional differences, of course), and, it was such a surprise when she e-mailed me! (Yes, she emailed me. I do actually have friends IRL, no matter how much y’all doubt me).

So, because she’s amazing, intelligent and a great person, I had to have her featured (and, thank God, she agreed):

1.      Who in the world are you?

~I’m Samantha, daughter, singer-songwriter, teen activist, outreach specialist, a girl in her teens, you know…

2.      When and why did you decide you wanted to transition to natural?
~I decided I wanted to transition around the 13th of January 2011. Why? because I had no clue what my natural hair looked or felt like. I had pictures of myself with natural hair as a toddler, but they weren’t good enough. I wanted to see my hair for myself. Also, I saw some people with gorgeous looking natural hair and my hair had been breaking terribly ever since I started relaxing again after my first BC at 8.

3.      How long do you plan on transitioning? Any goals?
I’m planning on transitioning till about the 10th of July 2012. My goals:- to grow mid back length hair (or longer, if possible) that’s really healthy before the 26th of June 2013.

4.      How have you been managing your two textures? Any problems? Any solutions?
~At first, I used a blow drier and a comb and blew out my hair till it was stick straight (without using any heat protection x_X). That was a terrible decision. After that, I just had my hair in protective styles most of the time so I didn’t really have to worry much about the two different textures. Sometimes, I tried bantu knot outs and sometimes I tried african threading my hair with yarn to try stretching out the curls so they blended in a bit with the relaxed hair. But I protective styled for most of it so I never really had to worry much about the two textures.

5.      Any products/items that would make your hair near impossible to deal with if you didn’t have them?
~The John Frieda Frizz-Ease: Curl Around Style-Activating Daily Conditioner. I don’t use it anymore because I quit using commercial products, but if I still used commercial products, I’d be using this for sure! It’s great! Great slip! Great everything! It could be used as both a rinsing/instant conditioner or leave-in conditioner.

6.      What’s your hair regimen? (If you have one)
~For 5 days of the week, I’m in protective styles. I deep condition overnight every Friday night, wash/condition on Saturdays, air dry (always), keep my hair up in a puff, out in an afro, twist out, bantu knot out, or something on Saturdays and Sundays. I seal the moisture (from the water) with my oil mix and/or shea butter. Every 1 – 2 months away from school (summer, winter/Christmas, etc), I either do crotchet braids, braid or twist my hair with extensions. And…well….that’s basically it! :)

7.      What’s been your one tried and true hair style you’ve been able to turn to since you started transitioning?
~(laugh) I don’t know. (serious-face) I mean, one hair style hasn’t always worked for me. One that has worked for me since I grew my hair out to a certain length has been the puff. It’s great and I usually have my hair in a puff every Saturday and Sunday. I love it! Bantu knot outs worked for me some times. Oh! and scarf hair styles always worked! :) And a hair style  where I hold my hair back with a head band and fold my hair over the head band and tuck it under it neatly leaving some part of my hair out infront.

8.      Who has been your transitioning inspiration?
~I don’t have just one; there’s CurlyNikki, Chaka Khan, Esperanza Spalding, Laura Izibor, Cindy Blackman, Mae (of naturalchica.com) and Tia (ofangelsringlets.blogspot.com)

9.      What do you like most about getting back to your natural hair?
~ It looks great! Beautiful, is more versatile that relaxed hair, etc

10.    Are you anywhere on the internet?
~Yeah, as a matter of fact, I have a blog. It’s called ♥ ❤ ❥ ❣ ❦ ❧SammyWithTheBigHair♥ ❤ ❥❣ ❦ ❧.

11.    Any advice you want to share with your fellow transitioning divas?
~Don’t ever try to maintain/blend 2 hair textures by using heat (especially without a heat protectant). Moisture is your best friend so try to moisturise your hair daily/ Find what works for your hair because what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. And push away negative comments made about you or to you because of your hair ’cause, well, whoever made that comment is either jealous or doesn’t have a clue what he/she is talking about and just feels like feeling important and saying something. Love your hair, always. :)

So, not only is this my first ever feature, but, it’s with a lovely new friend, which I met over Twitter! Her name is Emmie & she’s amazing. :) The slideshow is comprised of pictures of her transition (so far) and how she’s been doing. And, do you guys remember the surprise guest I was telling you about that’s so good with hair education? This is her!

1.      Who in the world are you?
- Oh gosh lol, I’m a 22 year old free spirited woman, who loves life! I’ve had relaxed hair for 6 years now!!! I’ve always had thick hair, but I also loved cutting it!!

2.      When and why did you decide you wanted to transition to natural?
- I decided since last year to do so but I was a lil hesitant because I figured I didn’t have the patience. February was my last relaxer, so it’s been 3 months.

3.      How long do you plan on transitioning? Any goals?
- I don’t want to do the “big chop” so I plan to transition for as long I can tolerate lol

4.      How have you been managing your two textures?
Any problems? Any solutions?
- So far so good, no problems, because I’ve really been doing my research about products but it’s just the beginning! Still got a long way to go!

5.      Any products/items that would make your hair near impossible to deal with if you didn’t have them?
- I make all my products, all natural …. so I’d have to say ALL lol because from the very start I’ve been using them all so I’d be lost without them lol

6.      What’s your hair regimen? (If you have one)
- I haven’t really come up with one yet, I just do stuff to my hair when I feel like it, but maybe when I get to the 6th month I’ll definitely stick to a regimen.

7.      What’s been your one tried and true hair style you’ve been able to turn to since you started transitioning?
- omg! I love the flat twists!!! I love when I do twist outs and how long they stay fresh look and the bounce. Plus I spend sometimes 2 weeks with them on, so they’re convenient.

8.      Who has been your transitioning inspiration?
- My aunts …. They’ve been “naturalistas” for almost 3 years now and their hair is beautiful and healthy!

9.      What do you like most about getting back to your natural hair?
- I’m excited to see my new curl pattern and just start a new natural and healthy journey, so my hair is the first step for that!

10.      Are you anywhere on the internet? 
- I sure am! You can follow me on twitter : @emmi_myssEJ and check out my blog about my hair journey :  http://naturaltransitioner.blogspot.com/

11.  Any advice you want to share with your fellow transitioning divas?
- Have patience ladies!!! It’s gonna be worth it! A lot of ladies I’ve spoken to about their hair always make it 4 or 5 months but fall back into a relaxer because they have no clue how to take care of their new growth! That’s why I started my blog, to keep myself consistent with my hair and to help others along the way!!

So, yes. Even I have them. Hair Crushes. Women that have heads of hair that I would just love to gaze at all day; gorgeous hair.

Now, let me start of by saying the difference between having Hair Crushes and having Hair Envy.

Hair Crush: A woman/man that shares your hair type (or close to it) who’s hair you admire.

Hair Envy: A woman/man who may or may not share your hair type (or anything close to it) who’s hair you want/wish you had.

We do not practice Hair Envy around these parts. No ma’am, that’s a no-no. But, now that you know the difference, let’s talk about my hair crushes.

*IF A CHANNEL HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED RECENTLY (6 MONTHS TO PRESENT), THEY WILL PROBABLY NOT APPEAR ON THIS LIST. Only because I don’t see the point in suggesting channels that don’t have real updates. If they are on this list, it’s because I don’t know what I’d do without them. Other than that… They probably won’t be here.

Hair Crushes that Don’t Have my Hair Type

So, these are my hair loves that, unfortunately, don’t have the same hair type as I do. I still love ‘em, though!

Naptural85 - So, she’s a 4A (4B in crown) naturalite, but, if y’all have seen her, it’s no wonder I love her. We may not share the same hair texture (her loose-looking 4B hair in her crown area is the closest we’ll ever get), but, I really love her hair and her tutorials. I’m looking to trying them out when I’m fully natural – It’s pretty rare that she does a type-specific hair style.

 - She’s got 4A as well, but, I just love her personality! She does really great hair tutorials as well, though, as some of them can be a bit drawn out/require quite a bit of product, I won’t lie and say she’s the first person I go to. She’s still amazing though, and, I love that her hair isn’t longer like Naptural’s up there (even though y’all know I love me the big and long hair), which means that when I do go natural (and my hair may be about that length), even though our textures aren’t really similar, I can still get some ideas from her.

 - I’m just going to assume we don’t have the same hairtype. I haven’t been able to tell completely, ’cause, sometimes it looks like one thing and then another time another thing. Still, it doesn’t stop me from loving her hair and her videos! And she’s got such a great personality. I know I said that about Luv up there, but, honestly, I just love how open she is.

 - She’s transitioned! What’s not to love? Not only is Nina simply amazing (though a bit dry at times), but, she transitioned! And even though she’s got more of that 4A hair going on… SHE TRANSITIONED! And she transitioned well! That’s just about all I can say for her. :)

 - I love how long her hair is (first of all) and I love how conversational her term is, it’s really easy for me to imagine that she’s sitting right next to me and we’re having a conversation.

(Now, she does appear to have a mixture of 4A and 4B hair, and, while I have 4B hair, I definitely don’t have 4A and so that’s why I say we have different hair textures.)

Hair Crushes that Do Have my Hair Type

So these lovely ladies do have my hair type and I am LOVING it!

 - I just love, love, love her. Her name is CharyJay (well, that’s another name she goes by) and Her videos have such great quality, and, though she hasn’t released an official hair type (to my knowledge), I know for a fact it isn’t 4A or anything 3C or below, so, I’m definitely constantly on the look out for her hair videos.

BlakIzBeautyful - So, she has 4B hair (and yes, she did release her hair type), and, before I had even thought of doing this list, I knew of her before that because I had come across her blog (yes, ladies, this is KinkyCoilyCurlyMe) and it was so helpful. I didn’t actually do any of the styles, but, they were fun to look at so I could imagine what I could do when I stopped being so lazy and actually worked. :)

 - I fell in love with her channel when she was doing her informative videos on transitioning and, since then, I’ve gotten into her natural videos. She’s got to be one of my favorite vloggers because we share the same texture as well as the fact that she did transition, showed the transitioning and then continued on with natural. We may not transition for the same amount of time, but, I love that she did it.

 - First off, she is not my favorite Youtuber. Let’s just get that off. I know there’s some controversy concerning her actions on Youtube (which are more than a few years old, but, hey – we like to bring up everything ’round these parts).

And, I’m not just saying that so that I can appease you guys. I just don’t like the way she comes off as arrogant – It kills me.  She’s also known for throwing shade (I’ve seen her in her videos throwing shade) and…  I’m just done. Sorry, I just have a problem with constant Youtube drama, but, I’m not going to open my big mouth any further and shove another foot up there. That’s a grown woman, I’m a teenager… There’s a matter of respect I have to uphold, so, I’ll leave it at that.

Anywho, I like the way she gets down to the science of things. And I wouldn’t have known anything about pH unless I had seen her videos, so, I’m super thrilled to watch her teaching videos.

 - So, how many of y’all were expecting me to say this? I think just about everyone, regardless of hair type, knows about NikkiMae (and loves her too). There isn’t much I can say for her, except for the fact that I love the fact that, like Nia, she transitioned, told a bit about it and is continuing with doing her channel.

She was also my first case of hair envy – Which I SQUISHED like a bug, but, yeah. I dig her hair.

 - She’s gorge! I mean like… Gorgeous. And, of course, so are the other women on my list. I would never intentionally leave them out because I thought they were ugly (I mean, have you seen Mae!?), but, it’s so refreshing to see her, because, dang…

She’s just gorgeous! And she has great videos as well, but, I tend to get caught up on the small things (like beauty and proof of transitioning), true…

Other Notable Youtube Natural Hair Channels

 chescaleigh (dreadlocks)

 (Not my hair type)

 (My hair type)

 (Not my hair type)

 (Not my hair type)

So there you have it, ladies!

My Hair Crushes from Youtube. This is a part of a small series (Youtube, Bloggers and Celebs) so, enjoy!

Later, Ladies. :*

So, as you can see, I”m too excited to give this post a proper title, so, I’ll just get right into it:

For some reason, I decided to look up oatmeal on hair and came across this post about Colloidal Oatmeal. It seemed interesting, but, I didn’t really have the dandruff thing going on, so, I kept scrolling and kept scrolling until I got to the very bottom and saw the last comment.

And, of course. I had to give it a try.

So, here I sit, waiting for the oat meal to finish boiling. I took about 3 – 5 cups, put them in a pot and an letting them boil into a nice mixture so I can follow the instructions. Wish me luck!

*after first portion*

The original recipe says:

Anjanette November 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm

All I had around the house was Quick cooking oats from making granola bars, and it still worked!

I put a cup or so of oats and about three cups of water in a saucepan and boiled it for a couple minutes. I tossed in a few mint tea bags and some dried rosemary so that I wouldn’t have to worry about any oat-y smell. I let the concoction sit for about 10 mins and then strained it through a very fine sieve into a bowl. I poured the slick goo over my hair and gently massaged it into my scalp before squeezing out the excess.

I wrapped a plastic bag around my head and left it for 20 mins, then rinsed my hair with warm water and finishing with cold water, like you suggested.

Wow! my scalp is no longer itchy (which happens every year), my hair is smoother and more shiny then it has been since i was a teenager.

I’m ready to use this treatment on a weekly basis. Thank you so much!

And I followed this recipe with a few of my own changes:

- I didn’t put in the herbs or tea.

- I didn’t let it sit; as soon as it got done boiling, it went into a bowl to go into my hair. And, yes. It was hot.

- The goo and oats went into my hair – there was no squeezing out of the excess.

- I put a shower cap on for about 20 minutes, rinsed with warm water (left 1/2 of the oats in there) & then sat with it on for another 20 minutes, this time with a towel over it, turban style.

- I added ACV, olive & castor oil.

*I’m currently in the process of the bold part.

*after everything*

I can’t lie. I’m sorely dissapointed.

I’m not sure if it’s because I ruined a perfectly good braid-out doing this, or… I can’t see any difference with my hair. I was stupid and I used OATMEAL – the “gooey” stuff would have just been good, but, I had to use the oats.

Now I can see why my decision was so stupid. I still have oatmeal pieces in my hair, even after I rinsed most of it out under the coldest water I could stand and tried to detangle it out with my leave-in.

In the end, I took it all back like I was putting it in a pony tail then two-strand twisted it (ALL of my hair) then pinned that down with a bobby pin underneath.

Eh. I’m going to bed.

So, if you’re on my other blog, you know that the shopping thing… Didn’t happen. (If you’re not on my other blog, get there.)

BUT, just because my shopping trip (and rest of the night) was ruined, doesn’t mean I can’t share with you what I prepared!

So, here’s my list:

- Mayo

- Eggs

- Honey

- Shea Butter

 - Jojoba Oil

- VO5 Moisture Milks Passion Fruit Smoothie

- Castor Oil

- Lavender, Rosemary or Tea Tree Oil

- Apple Cider Vinegar

- Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner

- Small empty bottles

- Small Tupperware containers

So, that may seem a little odd, but:

- Mayo: I was planning on mixing up my own little deep conditioning treatment. As I’ve said on the other blog, my hair is really getting dry and not holding in moisture (well, it was up until now), and, so, I was planning on doing a DC with mayo, egg and olive oil, just to add and retain some moisture.

- Eggs: Just the same reason as above.

- Honey: I’ve heard some pretty good things about it, so, I was just looking for a reason to have it around. I was going to do something with it, I just hadn’t decided yet.

- Shea Butter: Do I even need a reason for this? This is great for sealing and I don’t know a natural who doesn’t use it. I was just going to get a little to start out with so I could decide what I should do with it as far as my own hair goes.

- Jojoba Oil: Apparently when using this, a little goes a long way, it’s an excellent sealant and a great moisturizer. It’s been recommended as a daily moisturizing spritz, so, I’m excited to see what it does for my hair.

- VO5 Moisture Milks Passion Fruit Smoothie: So, I know I was getting all hyped about the Hello Hydration conditioner by Herbal Essences, but, I read around about it for a bit after I watched a review on Youtube about and saw the comments about it drying out hair, making hair break, and, even once, making hair fall out.

Needless to say, when I read that, it was not my first choice anymore.

So, I read around and read around and saw more people saying “I prefer VO5 or Giovanni to HH”. Seeing as how Gio is way more expensive than $2 VO5, after reading this comparison article, I decided to just go with VO5.

- Castor Oil: I’m already using castor oil because it works wonders for sealing moisture into my hair (relaxed ends and new growth), but, I need castor oil that’s specifically for my hair, not just for the house.

- Lavender, Rosemary or Tea Tree Oil: I had been reading up on these oils and decided that any of them would do. They work great for dandruff, and, even though I’m not really experiencing dandruff anymore, I made this list before I started investigating my hair today and noticing that my dandruff problem was 98% gone.

- Apple Cider Vinegar: I was dead-set on doing an ACV rinse. I want my hair clean. Though, I’m not so sure how to feel anymore, now that I’ve been hearing rumors that it’ll make your hair (and whatever you do your hair with) stink for an extremely long time.

- Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner: I know I said the products were expensive, but, this works so well for so many other naturals, I figured that, depending on the price, I might just splurge a little on it. I still have my Motions though; haven’t given up on that.

- Small empty bottles: Like I said on my hair blog, I’m devoted to becoming a Mixtress. And a Mixtress must have empty containers to do her mixing in.

- Small Tupperware containers: Same reason as above, just different size containers.

So, yeah. That’s it. Just my shopping list. I’ll do a full “haul post” when I’ve actually gone, inspected the prices and bought things, as well as showing you guys the cute-ish spot I’m working on to put everything up.

Later Ladies. :*

(This is a more serious blog post.)

That’s right. The “N” word.

Nappy.

I’m a bit conflicted on how I should feel about this word. In one sense, it was used to degrade our hair texture. Then again, while it was used to degrade our hair texture, it has become a word aptly used (by us ourselves) to describe our hair texture.

One part of me feels like I should treat this like the original “N” word. Though I understand where the word comes from (and the fact that it was used to differentiate our skin color/mark the “cargo” that was being “shipped”, not necessarily be an insult), I still don’t use it out of respect of the fact that later on it was used to be an insult, and, I feel like to use it (or tolerate it) would be a big slap in the face to all of those that fought so that I could go to work and legally not have to face those discriminatory comments.

Then again, the other part of me just feels like… Well… That’s my hair. It’s strange; I grew up so long with “nappy” not being an insult if it was used by black people to describe their own hair or the hair of someone else of their race (sound like a familiar situation with any other word?), so, I got used to using it to describe my hair – I don’t know how I let that slide with that “N” word and not the other, but, right now, that’s not the point.

Something in me says “Just like there are other ways to describe black people than using that word, there are other ways to describe your hair”, and, the voice is like “So, it’s your hair. And it can be nappy. What’s the big deal about a word?”

Conflicting and hypocritical (because, if you know me, you know I flip out if the “N” word is used to describe me or anyone else near me – I’m black, not that).

Maybe this is what people that hear me harping on the “N” word feel like – It’s just a word. So what?

And then, another part of me is thinking… Why has it become atypical for blacks to discriminate against their own selves in such a manner? I wouldn’t dare utter the “N” word, but, I’d use “nappy” in a heart beat, not really realizing that I was just trading one derogatory remark for another.

And I guess in my mind I was thinking “I’m taking the word back! I’m changing it, making it positive!”, but, I never really considered to look on the opposite side of the spectrum – Maybe that’s how people feel when they use the “N” word. Still, why try and “change” or “take back” something that was meant to belittle and harm you in the first place?

Why can’t we just practice leaving it where it is, coming up with new ways to describe ourselves and our physical attributes? “Dark”, “glorious”, “beautiful”, “natural”, “fearfully and wonderfully made”, “kinky”, “curly”, etc. Why do we reduce ourselves to servicing insults and trying to change them as if that makes them better.

And, you know, this wasn’t supposed to be a post about both of the words, but, it wasn’t until I started typing that I realized how hypocritical a mind-set like mine could be, as well as how dangerous. And it wasn’t until I started typing that I realized how similar and almost inter-changeable the two terms could be. They were deadly.

Then there’s the whole mindset “Oh, there’s black people and then there’s [insert "N" word here]“. I typically didn’t entertain those thoughts (I don’t believe any person deserves to be called that, no matter how much of a lazy, good-for-nothing bum society believes they are), yet, in a heart beat, I would point out a girl on the street (most likely transitioning now that I think about it now and examine my own experiences/hair appearance), and say she had a head full of “nappy” hair.

I just realized… I’ve been using the “N” word and Nappy together throughout this whole thing. They’re not really synonymous in meaning, but, perhaps they are in intent and effect.

Either way… I’ve decided to eliminate the use of “Nappy” from my vocabulary; I worked out how I felt about it while I was typing this, and, I won’t use that word anymore. It may or may not have been created to demean the hair of black people, but, it has been twisted and used as such, so, no longer will it be apart of my vocabulary.

And that’s just how I feel about it.