Is Social Media Affecting Our Mental Health?

You don’t really think about it as you’re scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat, but most of the time you’re subconsciously comparing yourself to the girl with 500 likes on her latest selfie without realizing the damage that is actually being done. The saying, “comparison is the thief of all joy” has never been more true in the case of social media sites. Before social media became as popular as it is, it was common to see a girl (or guy) and get a little jealous over what they had and wish it was yours. But in today’s world it’s a completely different deal when you’re constantly fixating on someone’s page; every picture, every Twitter post and Snapchat update, because you may want the life that this person claims to live. Continue reading Is Social Media Affecting Our Mental Health?

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Juggling A Relationship in College

I know you’ve all been told at least once that you shouldn’t go to college in a relationship. It works for some, not for others. I didn’t enter college with a significant other, but I had close friends who did. And I watched them stress out over missed calls or calls that never came, long distance situations, and planning visits throughout the year. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m just saying, it’s a lot of work. And a huge distraction that you don’t need your first year on new territory.

Fast-forward a little bit. You didn’t enter college with a boo, but you somehow acquired one along the way. And I know you’re probably thinking, “OMG, this is so perfect!” And you two are spending all your free time together, having dinner together on campus, he’s coming to your dorm, you’re going to his. Everything is great…until you look up and realize that you’ve missed two assignments and have a test coming up! Continue reading Juggling A Relationship in College

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Is College for Everyone?

So, you’ve graduated high school. You’ve received your diploma, you’re no longer forced to get up at 6 A.M. for school; you’re free…so to speak. Now what?

For some, it’s already been decided for you. You’re going to get accepted (at this point you probably already have) into your dream school or the school that one or both of your parents attended and encouraged you to go to, to keep the tradition going. You’re going to major in something impressive like Biochemistry or something like that. And you’re going to excel, graduate, and begin an equally impressive career. Sounds easy, right? Continue reading Is College for Everyone?

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Is Natural Hair for Everyone?

I know some, or most of you, may look around and ask yourself, “What do you mean is natural hair for everyone? As black women, then it’s definitely for us!” And I get where you’re coming from, I do. You would think, being black women, natural hair is part of our heritage, part of who we are.

Having been relaxer and chemical free for almost seven years now, I can say that I’ve had my share of natural hair experiences with myself and those around me. And with that being said, I can truthfully say that natural hair isn’t for everyone. And I know it sounds bad, but it’s not meant to be taken in the way that you think.

There have been countless posts on Twitter with certain “naturalistas” insisting that girls ditch the creamy crack and learn to love their coils. But I agree with those relaxed women when they say that the natural life, though it’s something that could come with little to no effort, may not be for everyone. And that’s perfectly fine.

Many, if not most of us, have all dealt with relaxed hair; including weaves. To go from something that you run the flat iron through or wrap up in literally 45 seconds at night, to carving out an hour or two every night for a few flat twists, isn’t comfortable for all black women.

I hope no one thought going from relaxed hair to natural hair would be a piece of cake. I mean, you learn as you go, but the beginning can be trying. Once you transition, you begin dealing with two different hair textures; and one of them you’re seemingly unfamiliar with.

Some decide to skip the transitioning stage altogether and jump straight into the “big chop,” but no matter the route you’re still bound to run into issues. But it’s nothing you can’t get past with a little coconut oil and some patience.

Mental preparation is the only thing that comes to mind when I think of working with natural hair. If you’ve been conditioned to deal with relaxed hair, you may not be as eager to work with the unfamiliar curly stuff growing out behind it. And if you decided to big chop, you have to instantly adapt to the natural hair that took the place of those straight ends.

Some women aren’t willing to take the time and energy that comes with it, so they fail and go back to what they know. And there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. It just means that if you’re only willing to be natural when you can cover it with a weave, then it may not be for you.

Now that I’ve gotten more into it, I don’t think that “natural hair isn’t for everyone,” but more so not everyone is ready to adapt to their natural hair. And that’s OK. The journey is a beautiful one; even the days when you have no idea what you’re doing or if your hair is even growing.

For most, it’s a physical change, but for me, it was something within. It was a new confidence, something that I needed. Whether you’re loving the creamy crack or relishing in your newfound love for your curls, enjoy what makes you happy.

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‘Black Girls Rock!’ 2017 Recap

The always anticipated annual ‘Black Girls Rock!’ event, hosted by Taraji P. Henson, showed up and did way more than deliver!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Performances from SZA, who graced the stage with ‘Normal Girl’ from her debut album ‘CTRL,’ reminded us all that it’s more than acceptable to be just who you are. Other performances included India Arie, Tyrese and Anthony Hamilton, who took us all back with his Grammy Nominated hit ‘Best of Me.’ It was definitely a show for the books!

‘Cranes in the Sky’ singer, and winner of the ‘Black Girls Rock!’ Rock Star Award stole the audience’s heart with her amazing speech. “Black women make me feel invincible; it’s the way that we walk, the way that we talk, our soul, our sway, our grace.” She assured the audience, though she looked flawless with her perfectly frizzed ‘fro, that not every day is perfect and that’s OK. “Take your time,” she stated. Encouraging the younger audience members and helping them know that they’ll find their way. They’ll get there.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of the show was seeing Aunt Maxine Waters in that fierce red dress, and hearing what she had to say as she gave her comedic, yet as real as it gets, acceptance speech for her Social Humanitarian Award.

“I am you, and you are me,” she told the audience as they roared in agreement of her strength in the political world. Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a force to be reckoned with, and she doesn’t take mess from anyone!

“If you come for me, I will come for you!” Couldn’t have said it better, Aunt Maxine. She’s the perfect example of what it means to ‘reclaim your time’ and we’re here for it.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Did anyone catch Issa Rae and her Star Power Award acceptance speech? Issa let us in on what it was like growing up in her middle school shoes. She shared experiences that taught her, even though she may never be the funniest, the coolest, or the prettiest, she found her lane and is currently living her best #BlackGirlMagic life and you can too! She discovered what it was that made her who she was and caused her to stand out in the best way. Don’t give up, because black girls do rock!

Some of my favorites highlights were of Ibtihaj Muhammad, introduced by comedian Tiffany Haddish, describing her as a “pillar of resilience.” Activist and Black-ish rising star, Yara Shahidi, who’s heading to Harvard exemplifies some real #BlackGirlMagic and continues to be a great example to black girls worldwide.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BET

Who could forget Beverly Bonds, creator of ‘Black Girls Rock!’ gracing the stage?! No one, that’s who. She spoke so eloquently and proudly as she let the world know why us black girls do rock! “We’ve defied the odds, we’ve worked miracles.” Beverly left us with something we should all write down on a sticky note and stick on our bathroom mirror. “Conditions can only change if we’re the authors of our own stories.” Every last one of the award recipients, guests and performers are all results of writing their happy endings despite everything that goes against black women. But she persisted.

 

 

 

Am I Wasting My Time Living Through the TWA Phase?

What is a TWA?

For those of you who don’t know, TWA stands for “Teeny Weeny Afro.” It normally describes natural hair that is about ½ to 1-inch long, typically describing the post “big chop” style. This is normally the most annoying stage for most naturals because you can’t really do anything with it. It’s kind of just there. But that doesn’t mean it’s pointless or as plain as it sounds.

The biggest question that I’ve gotten would have to be, “how long does the TWA stage last?” Honestly, there’s no set time frame on how long you’ll have to withstand the TWA, but you can definitely have some fun with it! The most common time frame for TWA’s is anywhere from 1-2 years, maybe. I know that sounds like forever, but it goes by faster than you think. And when you’re dealing with the dreaded shrinkage, it may feel like you’re still in the TWA phase when in fact your shrinkage doesn’t reflect your hair’s true length.

The TWA phase can be a tedious one. Your hair is just starting to come into its own, and as it’s adapting, your hair continues to grow, your curl pattern can change as well, and sometimes that can mean different struggles and new findings when it comes to styling your new TWA. Some do absolutely nothing and just let their hair do its thing, some try their hand at a two-strand twist-out.

I know exactly what that feels like. For the first year or so of my TWA, I didn’t know what to do. I had previously become so used to styling my hair on an everyday basis, so when this came along I didn’t know how to not style it. I couldn’t style it! I barely had two inches of hair. That didn’t stop me from trying though.

My advice to anyone thinking of big chopping, or maybe you already have, just have fun. Don’t grow accustomed to one look or one curl pattern, because believe me, you’ll get used to seeing and styling a certain texture or curl pattern and then you’ll wake up one day with something completely different. A new struggle. Don’t let this discourage you because it can be a lot of fun…it IS a lot of fun. But it takes your patience to new levels for sure.

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Curly Hair 101: How to Tell the Health of Your Natural Hair

As curly girls, we know the amount of time that goes into maintaining and growing our natural hair. But are we taking care of our coils as best as possible, or are we doing the bare minimum because we know how tedious #WashDay can be? Check out the four indicators of healthy natural hair, and I promise you’ll never skip a deep conditioning treatment again!

1. Shrinkage

Your hair’s ability to draw itself in or “shrink up” as we call it, shows just how healthy your curls are. Seeing as though it hides our true length, shrinkage has proven to be one of the most annoying things for curly girls. But don’t worry too much, textured hair that shrinks up proves that your hair is at its strongest and most moisturized. Help to ensure the continued health of your hair with a weekly deep conditioning treatment to seal in moisture!

2. Elasticity

Elasticity or the “stretch” in our curls is closely related to the keratin in our hair. Think of healthy natural hair as a brand new scrunchie or rubber band; you can pull it as far as it will go and it still bounces back into its original position. On the contrary, unhealthy coils tend to be and look more lifeless, break easily, and struggle to spring back, if they do at all. Want to see if your curls can withstand the test? Gently tug on a strand or two. Do they bounce back into formation, break off, or struggle to get that curl back?

3. Shine

Shiny hair is normally hair that has a lower porosity and easily retains moisture. Healthy natural hair will shine without the help of oils and sprays because the shine comes from within. The next time you have the dreaded #WashDay, put your hair to the test by taking a curl and patting it dry (with a t-shirt or microfiber towel of course). Is it dull and lifeless, or springy and full of shine?

4. Fullness

The true fullness and thickness of natural hair can sometimes be a little hard to see, being that every curl is different and we tend to use so many different products, which can manipulate the look of volume in our hair. For example, certain cream based products can wear the hair down, making it look thinner. Naturally, fuller hair tends to “clump” together when it is combed or brushed. The best way to determine the fullness (or lack thereof) of your natural hair is to look at it in it’s natural, product-free, unaltered state.

How do you maintain the health of YOUR hair?

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