My Natural Hair Routine + Several Hair Textures

I’ve been a part of the natural hair [online] community since there were only, like, three videos from two youtube channels. This was before natural hair became a movement. Granted, I was only 13 so I pestered my mother to get me the newest hair products ( which, at the time, was barely a handful of products).

However, since the “revolution” of natural hair which brought with it countless hair products…I’ve lost interest. I’m the type of person who is only interested in things that not everyone is interested in. So I barely use that many natural hair products anymore and my regimen isn’t as exciting as it once was.

♠But First,♠

  • I wash my hair once a week. If I don’t, on the 8th day my scalp will feel like it is on fire. This could be because I have scalp eczema which is the bane of my existence! Therefore, I’m usually timely with hair wash days.
  • I flat iron my hair twice a year- Christmas and my birthday. But I’ve convinced myself to never flat iron my hair again… or at least for 2 years.
  • Though it may look like I have coloured my tips brown, I don’t use chemicals like hair dye or anything of the sort.

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Pictured above is two week old, very grimey hair. Yes, my scalp was on fire.

♣Products I Use♣

IMG_0367  Shampoo                          IMG_0369 Conditioner

IMG_0360 Leave-in           IMG_0361 Moisturizer

◊◊The Process◊◊

  Shampooing 

  • I use a whole lot of shampoo because my head is big and my hair is thick. But I try to lather only once, maybe twice if my hair is extra grimey. I put shampoo directly on my scalp only. The ends get washed while I’m rinsing.IMG_1692

♥Detangling♥

  • I use HEAPING SCOOP FULLS of conditioner along with a wide tooth comb to detangle.
  • I divide my hair into smaller sections.IMG_0381
  • I then rinse the conditioner out of my hair.

♦Moisturizing♦

  • I use shea butter and my leave-in conditioner as moisturizers. I don’t have a set amount that I apply, I just put as much as I feel is necessary without making my hair feel sticky.IMG_0415
  • After I’ve moisturized thouroughly, I braid my hair in what I suppose is a “protective style” but in reality, I braid it in several sections because it’s a bit intimidating otherwise.IMG_0418

⊗Dealing With Different Textures⊗

My hair has changed since I was a child. I have more hair textures than I did then and it makes styling a nightmare. I have the same amount of water and hair products in all sections of my hair shown below.

  • The first 2 inches at the front doesn’t really have a curl pattern. It’s very frizzy.IMG_0378
  • The rest of the front/top section is has the loosest curls.IMG_0375IMG_0392
  • The back half is THE KINKIEST section and the hardest to detangle. It is not defined at all . The back contributes to about 70% of the thicnkness of my hair.IMG_0399
  • The last two inches at the back are way looser than the rest of the back section but not as loose as the top section.IMG_0408IMG_0407

♣Styling♣

I’d love to pretend that I have my life together and my hair is always styled. But the truth is, it’s almost never styled. I pretty much rock my wash day “protective braids” for the whole week until it’s wash day again. But for the sake of the blog and trying to seem like my life is together, I attempted to style my hair after wash day.This is what I came up with:IMG_0480

 

 

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If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comment section and I’ll reply. Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

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How I Became Powerful

A lot of factors play a part in me recognizing and embracing my power as a female and as a human being. I’m sure it sounds crazy that I’m calling myself powerful but that’s perfectly fine. Being empowered means you understand that you contribute to the world and have an impact on the people around you. It means you cannot be stopped by any force because you determine the outcome. It means you acknowledge your strength.

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The Start: My Mother Allowed Me To Be Me

For as long as I could remember, I didn’t want to be a girl. Dresses, lip gloss, purses- not my thing. I wanted trucks, climbing trees, boy’s clothes. This could have easily been a disaster in my family because my mother was raised under STRICT gender specific rules; girls clean and cook and wear dresses, boys…did everything else. But here is where my mother became my hero without me even knowing it:

When we would go shopping, she would naturally take me to the little girl’s section and try her best to engage me. However, I had my eyes set on the boy’s section. She never ridiculed me or tried to force me to like girl clothing. She just sighed and took me to the boy’s section.

 

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She never inhibited my tom boyish behaviour, regardless of how she felt personally. She defended me to any and everyone who said “Pretty little girls shouldn’t be playing football and marbles with boys”. This was certainly the beginning of my empowerment.

Actively Searching For My Power

One day, I caught myself being mediocre (which is completely satisfactory for some people and if that’s you, go ahead and embrace your mediocrity). My initial thought was to just stop being mediocre. But I soon realized that I was too deep in it and I was going to have to put in work to rediscover my power. So I started my search with an “Empowerment Project” which lived in my journal.

 

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A few weeks after I declared the coming of an empowerment project. I put pen to paper (literally).

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It took many more “Empowerment Project” entries over the course of a year in addition to determination and desire to fulfil the goals I set out for myself.

I’m Powerful!

I don’t claim to have  it all figured out. I don’t claim to be some sort of all powerful super human. I just want to claim control over my mind. Recognizing my power has been incredible for my self esteem and drive to be a better person.

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A Jamaican Day In The Life

As Jamaicans, how often do we stop and take in our surroundings? Like really see the people and environment around us?

“Let’s go to the farmer’s market” is all my mother needed to say to get me excited to whip out my camera. Though I’ve always known that the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning was a typical Saturday for many Jamaicans, It was never typical for my family until recently. Being introduce to the farmer’s market has allowed me to meet some of the most colouful, wonderful people. We also made a few stops at some shops and along the way I snapped some pictures of, well, everything. When I was looking back at the photos, I realized It was literally a ‘Day In The Life’ in picture form:

Heading OutIMG_9502

As we headed through the gates, for the first time ever, I noticed the way the once”ugly forest bush” met the clouds and how pretty I found it.

 

First Stop, THE MARKET!

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My favourite market vendor Charmaine and her son Enrique. These two are my favourite ever. It’s all instant smiles when we show up and hear “BRITTY, HEEYYY GIRL”.

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Charmaine’s fresh produce!

 

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It’s not the farmer’s market without coconut and sugar cane trash.

Bike Boys

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There was a line of about 7 boys riding their bikes across the bridge that sits above the lake. This was especially interesting to me because it reminded me that not all kids in this generation spend all day on their computers. And it also signaled the beginning of summer!

Our Homeless Friend

 

He’s been at this plaza more than likely everyday since I was 8 years old. He calls my mother “Mummy” and it’s almost as if he has a radar for finding us. We’ve tried to learn more about his life, but he has some mental disabilities and doesn’t communicate clearly. But we’ve learned that he either 1) Lives with his grandmother or 2) Lives in an abandoned house. Either way, he’s always smiling when we meet. (P.s- my mother isn’t sulking, the sun is shining her eyes).

Off To The Shops, A.K.A- The Hustle

 

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You can buy a TV in the same store as a pair of sneakers.

Policemen and Crab Vendors

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Policemen trying to get their ticket counts up. Sorry, I mean, doing their jobs.

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Another sighting of Jamaicans hustling.

Heading Home

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This day taught me a lot about perspective. You go about your day looking at the world with your normal pair of eyes and you don’t see anything special. But  there is so much to see if you really look, and even more to see when you capture it! I appreciate Jamaica and our people so much more that I’m older and I didn’t even realize how beautiful the everyday goings on was until this day.

 

Confession: I Love Girls

Girls are amazing. I can remember being 8 years old  and being in awe of a grade 6 girl. I followed her everywhere, I did everything she did. I wanted to be just like her. In every stage of my life I have been inspired and amazed by a number of females. Now, at 21 years old I am intrigued by females more than ever.

 

Am I Gay?

No. The love I have for girls is not romantic. This love comes from a place of respect and admiration. And from always wanting a big sister but being stuck with a big brother (the best big brother, but a brother non-the-less). If you’re a part of the female population, you know that it’s not an easy road. We have to try twice as hard to be considered as good as males. So when I see females who embody empowerment and have all the qualities I dream of having, I become obsessed.

 

The Qualities

  • Empowered
  • Kind
  • Determined
  • Audacious

 

The Girls

I’m inspired by all types of females; famous ones, little ones, elderly ones. Some of the more well known girls I love include:

  1. Elizabeth Banks- [empowered,determined]- I like to call her an “undercover empowered woman” because she’s a triple threat who works her butt of without demanding recognition. She’s an actress, director and producer. Sometimes she’s all three in one movie.                                                                                    rs_634x1024-140904140344-634.Elizabeth-Banks-Effie-Trinket-Hunger-Games.jl.090414
  2. Lana Del Rey- [kind]- my favourite type of people are kind people. With millions of fans falling at her feet Lana still manages to be the sweetest, kindest human being ever. She disregards safety regulations just so she can hug/kiss/chat with her fans.                                                                                                                 Tumblr_n7yds6Tp4F1rdpjfqo1_500
  3. Lilly Singh-[audacious,determined]- This superwoman ignores all the cultural and racial boundaries that tell her what type of woman she should be just so she can be the woman she wants to be.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lilly-singh-cover-portrait-nikki-ormerod-compressor

 

My Dream

I believe that all girls should love girls. We have so much to offer this world and if we can find inspiration in or be an inspiration to other girls then we’re one step closer to spreading empowerment throughout the female population. I was a little girl who looked up to several incredible females and my dream is to one day be an inspiration to at least one little girl.

 

 

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(Disclaimer- The lack of black females included in my list does not mean I am not inspired by black females. My actual list comprises mostly of incredible black females but they are mostly unknown and from my real life so I’d rather keep them to myself… for now)

A Rant: My Battle with Hair Nazis

In our society,  we feel entitled to make comments about other people’s appearances. We scrutinize each other so easily as if we’re completely okay with being scrutinized ourselves.

Personally, my hair has been the subject of countless criticism from people I call “Hair Nazis”. Hair Nazis are those who have invested too much of their time in telling me how I need to fix my hair and those who have gone to great lengths to show how much they do not see it for my hair.

BABY NAZI

My very first Hair Nazi came into my life when I was 8 years old. She was a bully at my school. She started off mildly by telling me (everyday) how ugly my huge plaits were. Then she moved on to pulling my hair and soon after, embedding her chewed gum in various areas of my hair.

Other Hair Nazis after that were only armed with their comments which hardly phased me. It wasn’t until my final year of high school that I was faced with the MOTHER OF ALL HAIR NAZIS ( the Adolf Hitler, if you will).

HITLER

It is important to note that she was a teacher and she had about one and a half solid inches of hair. I could tell that she had been harbouring very specific contempt for my hair because when she let it loose, it POURED out of her like hot lava. She was spitting fire as she told me how much my hair bothered her. She explained that she would much prefer it under the constraints of scrunchies (preferably a bun). She described how much my curls bothered her and how combing out the curls would be so much better. Her abhorrence became evident when she ended with ” and why is your hair light brown?, you need to go and dye it black”.

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THE RESOLVE

The famous opening line of every hair Nazi I’ve ever encountered is ” Why can’t you comb your hair? “. It’s interesting because every vocal Hair Nazi never has more than 5 inches of hair. BUT since I am cognizant of the fact that my hair often appears to be uncombed, I will help the Nazis out.

  1. My hair is easily 2 times thicker than the average hair. Thoroughly detangling my hair everyday is very close to impossible. Then to style it in accordance to your comments would be an added 2 hours (the least). That is FOUR WHOLE HOURS that I would much rather use to walk Charles (my dog), watch Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue on Netflix and get caught up on my IISUPERWOMANII youtube videos.
  2. FRIZZ MY FRIENDS, FRIZZ. An entire jar of gel couldn’t aid in my war against frizz. Frizz = looking uncombed.
  3. I have about 4 different hair textures. Because of this, my hair will always look disorderly. Some parts cooperate, other parts don’t.
  4. Yes, sometimes I’m just too lazy and I just wet it and brush the top. But, IT.IS.MY.HAIR. This means I can literally wear it anyway I choose. Frankly, every Hair Nazi is way outside of their business. I mean, once YOUR edges stay laid you have no worries.

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TIP FOR THE NAZIS

Do not concern yourself with whether my edges are slayed. Stay inside your business.

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My Natural Hair Journey + My Love/Hate Relationship With My Hair

I’ve pretty much always hated my hair. I can’t actually think of a time in my childhood where I felt anything other than hatred for my hair. Even though I was getting comments like “your hair is so pretty” or “people must love playing in your hair” and my personal favourite ” That must be fake” (how kind of you to say stranger), I still thought of my hair as a curse. It was only after I relaxed my hair at age 13 that I realized how beautiful my natural hair was. And thus, I started to love my hair.

 ♥ MY HAIR STAGES ♥

  • LOOSE PUFFY CURLS

    For the first 3 years of my life my hair could be described as “loose-puffy-curls”.


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  • THICKER THAN THICK

    My loose, almost-straight days were short lived because after age five my hair got SUPER THICK. Along with this came 2 hour long detangling sessions that had me in tears every single time plus an added two hours to style that came with it’s own set of tears and agony. Thus, my hate/hate relationship ensued.


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  • RELAXER MISTAKE

    I was so excited to get my hair relaxed. Naturally, I thought this meant my hair would be more manageable. NOT SO MY FRIENDS. This only meant more hair-handling; treating, setting, relaxing,repeat. Note- I am not the typical hair loving, hours in the mirror fixing my hair type of girl.


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  • HAIR LOVE

    I knew after my two month relaxer stint that I was done with the relaxer life. So I left that congregation for a curlier sort of community…YOUTUBE. Granted, there were barely 3/4 Youtubers who had videos about curly hair but I got my ENTIRE life from those videos. I fell in love with natural hair and more importantly, MY natural hair. So my journey began. I “big chopped” which wasn’t as drastic for me as it is for others because I had already stopped relaxing my hair for more than 6 months.


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  • SUCCESSFULLY NATURAL

    I was so invested in this new natural hair love that I became a curly hair product junky, protective styling pro, co-washing  queen!


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  • MY CURRENT STATUS

    As of right now (January 2016) i’m pretty settled into my routine ( of which I’ll blog about soon).  My hair is healthy, I still have lots of fun with it and though the “hate” part of our relationship occasionally resurfaces, I’m mostly in love with this natural mess I call my hair.