Networking 101

We’ve all heard that networking is important at one time or another. Some of us however, are not quite sure what exactly networking is and why it is so important. I used to fall into that category so if that’s where you are or you’re not sure how to get into the whole networking business, I have some words that I hope can shed some light on your path. Continue reading Networking 101

5 Tips on How to Finish the Semester Strong

We all know how hectic the middle of the semester can be; the bulk of your assignments and projects are due, finals are coming up, and you’re feeling particularly lazy and just want a break. I hear you! College can be tough, especially in the middle of it all when you’re so close to the end. I’ve gone through countless semesters where I lost my “drive” towards the end.

You know how it goes; it’s cold outside, and your bed is feeling particularly warm that day. Or you have so many assignments that you can’t seem to keep up with what’s due for what specific class, so you just start turning things in and hoping for the best. I’m sure we’ve all been there. Continue reading 5 Tips on How to Finish the Semester Strong

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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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What Relaxers Really Do to Your Hair

Are you a girlie that uses relaxers?

I believe that the majority of us can live without relaxers.  Although relaxers make our hair flow straight and pretty, that is only what it gives to the outside appearance.  So lets go more in depth about what a relaxer technically does to the hair!  

What is a hair relaxer, and what does a hair relaxer specifically do to the hair strand? Continue reading What Relaxers Really Do to Your Hair

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Major Keys to Success #3: Embracing the Journey

It is very easy to get caught up in visions and dreams forgetting that the end-point is actually but a small fraction of the big picture. In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Success is a journey, NOT a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome”. It is human nature to long for something but not want to put in the work to get our desired end-product. Unfortunately, even when we do choose to put in the work, it is only for the sole purpose of getting the desired outcome, simply neglecting all that the process has to offer.

Continue reading Major Keys to Success #3: Embracing the Journey

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Eco Styler Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel Review

One day I went to my local beauty supply store and as I was browsing through the aisles my eyes glanced at a new product on the market that I have been itching to try.  Yes ladies, the infamous Eco Styler Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel.  Did I end up getting it, you ask?  Of course!  That is what this post is all about.  A review of the Eco Styler Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel.  

For those of you that may be unfamiliar with this product.  The Eco Styler Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel is a holding gel fortified with vitamin E, Fiber and Omega- 3.  The purpose of this gel is to nourish, repair and help the hair grow while at the same time, still being able to superiorly hold, provide shine and feel weightless to the hair. Continue reading Eco Styler Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel Review

Female Phenomenon: An Intro to Cardi B’s Fame

“Rapping is for males.” “You will never make it in this male dominated culture.”
“Hip Hop is for the men who need to listen and recognize their story in a musical form.”

False, False and False. Hip Hop and rap plays a major part in today’s society and of course, the industry is male dominated. I appreciate all of these men who work hard for what they have:
the marketing skills they have used to build their audience, staying up late nights,
touring city to city, and even continent to continent. A man’s hard work in the music industry will
never go unnoticed but a woman’s work always seems to be overlooked. Continue reading Female Phenomenon: An Intro to Cardi B’s Fame

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Major Keys to Success #2: Having a Close-Knit Support System

Support comes in various ways, but the sincerity of that support is most important. Sincere support only comes from a genuine supporter.  Who is a genuine supporter? Someone who knows and understands your goals and aspirations, wants you to achieve them just as much as you do and is willing to do all they possibly can to help you in doing so.

In speaking of a close-knit support system, we are going to look at two classes of individuals who play key roles in our individual lives: family and friends. Your support system should definitely consist of both these groups. It is expected that our greatest support comes from our family, our parents. Those who have watched us grow from the diaper stage to the adult stage. Parents and family have our best interest at heart. Continue reading Major Keys to Success #2: Having a Close-Knit Support System

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Drop the Scissors: Alternatives to the Big Chop

Three years ago, after my failed attempt and short lived experience going natural, I decided to give it another try. I watched Youtube video after Youtube video, read blog after blog, and was sure this time I was ready. But seven months after my last perm and four months into my natural hair journey, I was over it.

I started out well with braid outs and twistouts, (braidouts were my favorite) but as my new curls grew in, my styles would not look as nice anymore because of my stringy, straight ends. On top of that, my hair was shedding by the pounds. I was not sure if it was due to the stress I had senior year or if this is what vloggers warned me of. I am talking about the infamous demarcation line.

Whatever it was, I was sick of transitioning. I wanted to be fully natural already, but I was not ready for the big chop. And for the ladies reading this blog who are finding themselves in the same position I was in, I have a few words of advice that may help ease your natural hair journey.

Instead of going for the big chop and heading straight for the TWA, I decided to do a mini chop, multiple ones. As scared as I was, I got the scissors and handed them over to my sister (there was no way I could trust myself) and she cut about 1/3 of my relaxed hair into the trash bin. The next day I got braids for the first time. I was not used the heaviness of it on my neck but I got used to it. I left them in for a tad bit too long, but when I took my braids out in March, I could not believe how long my hair was. It made me wish I just went for the TWA instead.

After taking out my braids, I worked with a bun for a few weeks. Soon it was time for prom. At that point, I cut off what I thought was the last of my perm and had a weave installed. I had leave out, not realizing that I would have to re-straighten it every, single, day, but I made it work. I left my weave in for graduation and then tossed it. I realized I still had a few relaxed ends leftover. I cut those off and had braids put in one last time for the summer, which resulted in my hair growing incredibly once again. I straightened it in August for my sister’s wedding and a year and a month later my hair was down to my shoulders.

So rather than doing the big chop, I chose the mini chop instead. Thanks to protective styles, I was able to maximize moisture and retain length throughout the entire process.

For ladies who are not ready to go for the big chop all at once, I definitely encourage you all to take it step by step, cut little by little, or in increments. If all else fails, remember, it is just hair. It will always grow back.

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LaToya’s Natural Hair Journey

In November of 2013 I received my last relaxer. I did not realize it would be my last until a feeling of guilt came over me as my hair dresser applied the chemical to the very intriguing waves that had started springing out of my scalp. I felt bad for my natural roots. I felt like I was denying them or like I wasn’t giving them a chance.

As I sat in that chair I decided that it would be my last relaxer. I was going to give the “natural” thing I try. Mind you, before I made this decision, I was that girl that declared I would never go natural and would continue to use relaxers until they stopped manufacturing them.

My relaxed hair: Dec. 2013
My relaxed hair: Dec. 2013

I had a negative opinion of my natural hair because I didn’t like my hair when I was younger. I didn’t understand why it didn’t lay flat like the other girls in school. I guess I felt too different. I viewed my hair as ugly and not beautiful. When I was in 7th grade my mom allowed me to get a relaxer. I continued to relax my hair up until my sophomore year of college, November of 2013.

I decided that I would transition instead of doing the BIG CHOP. I wasn’t comfortable with having super short hair. My plan was to transition for two years but just after the one year mark, it became too difficult for me. I was wearing weaves or braids throughout the majority of my transition, but I became tired of that. I wanted to have my own hair out. I wanted to feel my own scalp.

So around the year and four months mark I tried to wear my hair out, but it just did not look right. My roots were super thick and my ends were pretty much see-through. It was not a cute look. So I decided when the semester came to an end, I would do my big chop, or transitioning chop, and I would finally be completely natural.

Leading up to the day, I was really excited but super nervous. I did not know how I was going to look with shorter hair. I had no idea what my hair texture would be, but I was determined to learn to love it.

In May of 2015, I invited some friends over and we had a Transitioning Chop Party! I ordered pizza and we played music. I think this was the best way for me to shake my nerves and to celebrate this turning point in my life.

Before big chop vs. after big chop
Before big chop vs. after big chop

And it turns out, I loved my hair! I was so surprised to see curls on my head. I had no idea that my hair was curly. It’s weird to think you’re 21 years old, and you are just discovering what your hair looks like.

That’s why I think this natural hair movement is so important. Although everyone has the right to wear their hair in a way that makes them feel beautiful and confident, I think it is important that we all learn to love and embrace the hair we were born with. There is only one you and we are all unique in our own way. So embrace every part of you.

It has been 5 months since my big chop and I can still say that I love my hair. My hair is not like anyone else. My curls are just for me and I love them!

Photo by Siu's View. www.siusview.com.
Photo by Siu’s View. www.siusview.com.

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