Confessions Of A Product Junkie

I don’t have to be a rocket scientist or see constant natural hair memes to realize I’m a product junkie. The photo above (featured image of the post) is a picture of some, I REPEAT SOME, products that I have. I have more than that, but I couldn’t carry all of that to the table LOL.

So, I’ve come up with a few questions for myself about the product addiction I have.

  1. Why do you buy so many products?
  2. How much have you spent on products so far?
  3. How often do you use your products?
  4. Do you have a favorite or your choice of favorites?

 

1. I have so many products because I’m also a shopping addict. I can’t go into a mall without buying something because I feel the need to always buy something! Every time I watch a hair commercial on TV or on YouTube, I want to try the product out and use it for myself, try it on my mom’s hair who is natural as well, or do a product review on it. Also, it seems like a lot to someone, but to me… each product has its own purpose.

2. Honestly, just on 5 bottles of Organix I’ve spent $26. So I know I’ve spent about $250 -$300 on the hair products shown in the picture. The beauty store in Charlotte that I go to, prices their products a little high.

3. Honestly, I only wear my natural hair out about half of the year because summer is CURL SEASON (to me at least lol) and because I enjoy wearing protective styles (wigs) more.

4. My favorite products are Aphogee 2 Minute Protein Reconstructor, Organix Kukui Shampoo, and Pantene Cowash.

 


 

 

 

Photo Source: http://www.letmeletyouknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Product-junkie.jpg

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Naturalista Spotlight with Aliya Jones

Name and Age?

Aliya Jones, 20

Why did you decide to go natural?

I decided to go natural because I got sick of relaxers breaking my hair off.

How has your natural hair journey been? (childhood til now)

My natural hair journey has been interesting to say the least. The first six years of my life I was natural but my hair became too thick for my mom to handle so she relaxed it. My hair then broke off and when it grew back it stayed the same length all the way through high school. When I graduated high school, I cut my hair to a cute bob and began transitioning for six months. Because my natural roots and permed ends became hard to manage, I braved the big chop. Now I am about a year and a half in and loving it.

When was the moment you fell in love with or accepted your natural hair? Explain.

I began falling in love with my natural hair around March of 2013. After the big chop, I had family members and so-called friends who hated my hair and it took a toll on me big time. I began to watch natural hair videos on youtube where women who don’t necessarily have “fine” hair loved their hair and weren’t afraid to show it. I realized being natural was liberating and fun!

What have you learned about your hair since you’ve been in college?
Since being in college, I’ve learned that my hair is very versatile. I can do so much with it than I thought. I love it!

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What is your biggest hair challenge?
My biggest hair challenge is keeping it moisturized. My hair literally eats up everything!

Why do you love your hair?
I love my hair because it’s mine. All of the different textures in it and the way it grows is my very own. It’s a part of who I am and I show it off proudly.

Who is your hair crush?
My hair crush is none other than Whitney (Naptural85 on Youtube) I just love her!

What are your go-to or staple products?

My go-to staple products are water, shea butter, and Cantu leave-in conditioner.

How do you feel about the natural hair community?
I love the natural hair community! I feel that we all are embracing our natural beauty concerning our hair and we’re all willing to help one another out. I wish we could stray away from trying to figure out which hair type is better, though. That’s something I can really do without.

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Who Runs The World? College Students

A lot of times when people get recognition in the media, they’re extremely famous or rich. I noticed that there are some PHENOMENAL young leaders about to tackle the American workforce and they need recognition as well!


 

Photo Source: http://www.ncat.edu/news/news-archive/2013/04/goldwater-scholar.html
Photo Source: http://www.ncat.edu/news/news-archive/2013/04/goldwater-scholar.html

Nadine Jansen

” The first N.C. A&T student to ever win the Barry Goldwater Scholarship,  (Nadine) Jansen, a junior mathematics student, proved that success is not measured in the number of years a person has been alive; success happens when “you have the drive, will and need for it.”

“You have to want it, you have to want to push yourself, want to do better, want to be the best you know you can be,” she explains.

Anna Whiteside, scholarship coordinator in the University Honors Program said that the Barry Goldwater Scholarship application “is an intensive application.” Jansen was required to answer a loaded questionnaire and submit a two-page research essay.

Jansen wrote her application essay on the mathematical research she conducted during a summer program at the University of Maryland–College Park in combinatorics.  Combinatorics is a field of math that investigates “different ways to count items,” the student explained.”

“The Stoneville, N.C., native boasts a cumulative grade point average of 3.96. Jansen has always excelled in academics; she even skipped the seventh grade.

“I don’t know what it is,” she exclaimed “I think I just have a good memory!” She thoughtfully credits great time-management skills for her success. In the near future, Jansen plans to apply for the Fulbright Student Award to continue her love of research abroad. After that, she intends on getting a master’s degree and then going after the prestigious American Rhodes Scholarship.” To read more about Jansen, read the original article here: Goldwater Scholarship Winner


cdep  Moriah.CDEP_  cdep1

Scholarship Recipients:

Jordan Ray , Moriah Banks, Kyra Eady, Mercy Grace Browder, Rocio Castillo, and Wesley Collins (not shown).

“After all, Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Developmental Energy Program, or CDEP, scholarship is anything but a run-of-the-mill student award. Six minority and female students from across the nation received Monday a total of $300,000 that will cover tuition and fees over five years of college. Students will receive dual degrees — one from FVSU and another from a different university — in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. Local recipients included Eady, of Bonaire, and Jordan Ray, a Houston County High School senior from Warner Robins.

“The United States, as a nation, is under-represented in STEM, but under representation in minorities and women is acute,” said Isaac Crumbly, founder and director of CDEP. Students begin their studies at FVSU, where they receive the first of two degrees, and end at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Texas-Pan American, Pennsylvania State University or the University of Arkansas. Their degrees range from chemistry and engineering, to biology and health physics. On Monday, officials also recognized four FVSU students who are transferring to Georgia Tech, seven who are going to Arkansas and two who are transferring to Penn State. In addition to Eady and Ray, this year’s recipients included Moriah Banks of Mount Holly, N.C.; Mercy Grace Browder of Albany; Rocio Castillo of Anchorage, Alaska, and Wesley Collins of Glenn Dale, Md.”” To read more about this scholarship, read the original article here : FVSU CDEP Scholarship – Although I chose to attend North Carolina A&T State University, I was one of the ‘awardees’ of this prestigious scholarship. Dr. Crumbly, Dr. Jackie Hodges, Dr. Aditya Karr, Ms. Rasheedi and Ms. Patrice (and other CDEP MSEA staff I didn’t mention) are truly amazing people.


 Sources: 

macon.com

ncat.edu

(All credit given to original authors and publishers)

 

Top 11 Naturals On Social Media

It always helps us naturals to see someone with similar hair to ours to encourage us to continue our natural hair journey or just for entertainment! Here are a few naturals on social media that you might enjoy taking a look at!


 

Photo Source: http://hairscapades.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/mahoganycurls.jpg

MohoganyCurls 

 

This long-haired beauty has amazed us all throughout her natural hair journey. On her YouTube channel, she allows us to follow her journey from a fresh TWA to waist length hair. She is definitely inspiration to a lot of naturals whose main goal is to have have healthy long natural hair. She also gives us a peak into her personal life through her Instagram by showing us adorable pictures of her family. Both her username for Instagram and YouTube are MahoganyCurls.


Photo Source: https://root2curl.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/70bd649da23ae964691fc58e94fd6ba3.jpg

 

jouelzy

 

I first saw jouelzy while watching her video on YouTube – Realistic Expectations For 4C Hair. Ever since subscribing to her channel, she hasn’t left me disappointed. Her vibrant personality and uplifting voice is what I love about her videos. She’s never scared to try new hair styles. Both her username for Instagram and YouTube are jouelzy.


Photo Source: https://ionehellobeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/solange-knowles-gucci-cosmetic-launch-hello-beautiful.jpg?w=630&h=378

 

saintrecords

 

Solange. Solange Knowles. Sol Angel. Just the unique name is enticing! Now this lovely natural made it clear in a few statements that she is not a natural hair spokeswoman, but who could resist her authentic style? No matter if you’re following her for fashion, music, or like the rest of us, in awe of her natural hair, follow this Saint Heron artist on Instagram under the username saintrecords.


Photo Source: http://www.natreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/beautifulbrwnbabydol.jpg

 

beautifulbrwnbabydol

This woman is all around phenomenal. Not only does she have a Ph.D, lost over 100 lbs, have an amazing fashion sense… but she’s natural! She inspires us to be fit physically, mentally, and emotionally. She practices what she preaches and shows us that healthy hair starts from within. Both her username s for Instagram and YouTube are beautifulbrwnbabydol.


Photo Source: http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Alicia-James-Flat-ironed-natural-hair-December-2012.jpg

 

msaliciajames

 

She’s a singer, wife, mom, vlogger, and naturalista. Not only are her vocal skills amazing, her natural hair style tips are enlightening. Ever feel like you have no more options when it comes to your natural hair? She will help you get on track with your regimen and tell you tips on what made her hair grow healthy, strong, and long. Both her Instagram and YouTube usernames are msaliciajames.

 


 

Photo Source: http://www.thevinylbridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Ari-Lennox-La-La-La-La.png

 

arilennox

 

After listening to, and downloading, her song Cascade and I Do, I had to see what more this artist had to offer. I pulled up her Instagram expecting to see “common things musicians post,” and was pleasantly shocked to see that she flaunts her natural hair with ease! Her carefree afro is breath taking and looks amazing at the beach and in the streets! Both her Instagram and YouTube username are arilennox.


Photo Source: http://api.ning.com/files/GiJqgbF7cCF4y-qZhMzkLzEQzNmztBVFrmMNnB15ei422kL*oJS58upyJgxl0ma1g0VnlMjZWQWffks1-rh6jp7EDLjwgSuT/ScreenShot20130731at5.34.05PM.png

donedo

 

Hair Color Alert! Right now I have a screenshot in my phone of a picture I found of her on Pinterest because I loved her hair color that much. The day I saw her natural hair is the day before I dyed my hair. Her Instagram consist of selfies, professional photographs she’s taken, and different styles of braids. What can I say? – She’s got a lot going on in her life but it’s all under control. Her Instagram and YouTube usernames are donedo.

 


Photo Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-o1bYH8q8qls/T4EzNi-hj8I/AAAAAAAADLM/_xY5RCNHy_I/s640/edde16de78d311e180c9123138016265_7.jpg

neffyfrofro

 

London’s very own taught me one thing: All naturals have single strand knots. I encountered her YouTube channel during the time period of my life where I didn’t know if single strand knots were normal or if my hair was being attacked by them. Not only did her video reassure me that it was completely normal, but she introduced me to the Shea Butter train and I haven’t looked back since. Both her YouTube and Instagram are under the usernames neffyfrofro.

 

 


Photo Source: http://scontent-a.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xpf1/t51.2885-15/10401773_247843628754354_1953442193_a.jpg

 

pashtash

 

I don’t even have an entrance for this unique spirit. I automatically knew when I was making this list, that I COULDN’T  make a list without including pashtash. Her hair length is close to mine so I felt that I could relate to her hair journey. I love how in one selfie she’ll post a 4×6 photo full of a picked out afro, and in one picture she had a defined twist out. Her fashion is unpredictable, yet incredible, just like her hair. To see more of her, check out her Instagram at pashtash.


 

Photo Source: http://edgemagazinesite.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/AndreaLewisintro-640×250.jpg

 

andrealewis

 

Yes, we ALL know her as the girl from Degrassi, but that girl is no longer here. This woman is gorgeous and talented in everything that she does. She flaunts her natural hair and makes the funniest YouTube videos with her best friend. She always posts pictures of her natural hair, her love for natural hair, and products she uses on her hair. She shows us that even while being young with a busy life and very promising future, you can still take care of your natural hair. To see more of her, her username on Instagram is andrealewis


Photo Source: http://www.turn-it-up.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/beautycon3.png

 

mayasworld

Long hair don’t care… No, Seriously.. Long hair don’t care. Maya proved to us that going natural should not be about length when she randomly cut off all of her hair! When she cut off all of her hair, her short hair styles were simple yet eccentric and bold. She showed us colors we never imagined dying our hair and hasn’t slowed down! Besides her natural hair, she does PLENTY of makeup tutorials. Her recent tutorial was to the video Flawless by Beyonce. Looking at her pictures, we can definitely tell that she “Woke Up Like Dis.” See her flawless pictures on Instagram under the username mayasworld and on YouTube under the username shamelessmaya.

A Black & Sexy Summer

Black folks and our representation in media has taken an interesting turn throughout the 2000’s. In the 80’s and 90’s black and brown folks were speckled across big and little screens like a neutral toned rainbow. With shows and movies like A Different World, Martin, Living Single, The Best Man, and Crooklyn the everyday experiences of being a black person in America were pretty well illustrated, not to mention we were killing it in other media arenas including music and print magazines (because be honest Vibe hasn’t been the same since 03’ and the 90’s-early 2000’s provided us with the quintessential rap and R & B collabo’s).

(photo credit:http://f0.bcbits.com/img/0001638393_10.jpg)

But than came the mid 2000s when black and brown folks became scarce in TV line-ups, and our favorite minority actors and actresses were deduced to being the token friend in the means of “diversity”. Needless to say, the lack of black stories has not gone unnoticed. Many years and think pieces later, there has been a rise in black directors and actresses taking things into their own hands by creating venues for media content featuring black voices, one of those being the crew behind YouTube TV channel, Black & Sexy TV. Dennis Dortche, Jeanine Daniels, Numa Perrier, and Brian Ali-Harding have come together over the past 3 years to tell the comedic, romantic, intelligent, inspiring, and sometimes unfortunate everyday stories of black twenty-something’s, and it makes for brilliant television. I live for Black & Sexy TV because it peels back the stereotypes of blackness and in turn provides real life stories that I can directly see my friends and myself in. Black & Sexy TV provides me with great narratives, awesome music, eclectic aesthetic, and surprisingly a host of amazing hair crushes. In celebration of the  July 4th season premiers of two of my favorite shows on the channel, “Hello Cupid” and “RoomieLoverFriend,” I wanted to share some of my favorite naturalistas of Black & Sexy TV.

Ashley Blaine Featherson
Whitney (Ashley Blaine Featherson)

Hello Cupid is probably one of the best shows on Black & Sexy TV. The cinematography, editing, and styling are amazing for such a noble production company. While falling in love with the show, I also fell in love with leading lady Ashley Blaine Featherson, also known as Whitney. On “Hello Cupid”, Whitney is the queen of effortless chic. She can usually be seen rocking a sleek puff or twist out. She makes a little go along way with her hair and it constantly makes me jealous. One of my favorite styles from her is featured in the double date episode (which was sponsored by Kinky Curly products) where she has a high bun accentuated with added in Marley hair.

Jeanine Daniels/Deon
Deon (Jeanine Daniels)

You ain’t never seen a Caesar cut rocked by a lady so fly until you have seen Deon of “That Guy”(except maybe Erykah Badu, but she’s THE Erykah Badu…she’s in a league of her own). Jeanine Daniels plays Deon, a fun loving, attitude having, big earring wearing girly tom-boy who is the third musketeer to leading men Mike and Judah. Mike and Judah are the guys your mother warned you about, but Deon attempts to keep them humble. She keeps her hair closely cut and neatly edged up, and occasionally accentuates her features with flashy earrings or simple make-up. I love the fact that she can make a low cut so versatile and feminine.

Chick (Numa Perier)
Chick (Numa Perrier)

“The Couple” features the cutely dysfunctional nameless couple, Chick and Dude. Of the 8 Black & Sexy TV shows, “The Couple” has been the most tangibly successful as it is currently being developed into a series for HBO. Chick, played by actress/director/co-creator of Black & Sexy TV, Numa Perrier, is another Black & Sexy girl who does a lot with a little. Her hair is often worn in a twist out, parted on one side, or pinned back. It’s very grown up, but also very care free and fun. Chick is most notable for her ability to make a simple hairstyle look formal as seen in the premier episode of “The Couple” and the Valentine’s Day episode.

Nia (Shawanna Davis)
Nia (Shawanna Davis)

Shawanna Davis is Nia in “That Guy,” Deon’s best friend and the mother of Judah’s child. Up until recently she was referenced more than we actually saw her in the show, but now she is getting her own spin off this Fall. Nia is a fashionable, conscientious, and sassy single mother who goes between protective styles and allowing her natural hair to fly free. My favorite style from her so far has been her long brown highlighted Marley Braids, which she usually wears down or in a bun. Check out BeBeautifulLA.Tumblr.com, Shawanna’s beautifully curated blog.

Robin (Hayley Marie Norman)
Robin (Hayley Marie Norman)

 Robin is the other leading lady in “Hello Cupid” and a total opposite of Ashley Blaine Featherson’s character, Whitney.  Robin is a vegetarian, yoga aficionado, who probably serves on Solange’s e-board for the Coalition of Carefree Black Girls. Her tresses are usually worn in a simple curly fro, and occasionally pushed back with a headband. Her golden blond hair color makes her stick out in a crowd and compliments her skin tone beautifully. Her most memorable look is her picked out fro at a 70’s party in the most recent episode of “Hello Cupid.”

You can watch all the Black & Sexy TV series on YouTube here. Don’t forget to check out the recently premiered episodes of “Hello Cupid” and “RoomieLoverFriend” that premiered on July 4th.

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Naturalista Spotlight with Udodilim Nnamdi

Name and Age?

Udodilim (U.d.) Nnamdi, 19 years old

Why did you decide to stay natural?

I didn’t really make a conscious decision it all just worked out that I’ve always stayed natural. It was more of my mother’s decision. She didn’t have time or energy to take me to the salon, to relax my hair, and take me for touch ups while growing up, so I rocked box braids or puffs all the time.

I used to whine and complain, and ask her [my mom]  to straighten my hair but she told me that when I got to college I could perm my hair if I wanted. When I came to college I realized I wasn’t ready for the hair commitment, and the whole “natural movement” was already sweeping college campuses. I saw girls chopping off all their relaxed hair to attain the natural hair I’d taken for granted, so I didn’t perm my hair.

How has your natural hair journey been? (childhood til now)

My natural hair journey has gone from unimaginative protective styles (box braids), to a period of flat ironing my hair regularly in high school  (which caused my hair to break off because I did nothing to protect it), back to box braids, to experimenting with my first weaves senior year of high school. Now I constantly mix it up. I’m finally comfortable with letting my natural hair out for long periods of time as I try out natural styles (bantu knots, braid outs, twist outs), but 70% of the time I’m trying more adventurous protective styles (marley twists, crochet braids, diff weaves, etc).

When was the moment you fell in love with or accepted your natural hair? Explain.

The moment I accepted my natural hair was when I tried my first braid out because I was bored one day. I actually had amazing definition (to this day I have been unable to replicate that perf twistout ). I threw some makeup on, put on a cute outfit, and made the picture my profile picture. This was a big deal for me, and I was stunned by the overwhelmingly positive response from friends and family.

What have you learned about your hair since you’ve been in college?

I’ve learned a lot about my hair since college. I’ve experimented a lot more with products, and done my research by watching my favorite natural hair gurus. I learned things like: I have 4c hair, my hair is naturally very soft, which is a blessing and a cure (less combing but doesn’t hold styles as well), bantu knots or wash and go’s don’t work for my hair, and so much more.

 

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What is your biggest hair challenge?

My biggest hair challenge is trying to achieve the natural hairstyles I see from the gurus without breaking the bank, or spending so much time making my own concoctions. Learning not to get frustrated and give up when I cant get my hair to match another naturalistas is a constant struggle.

Why do you love your hair?

The thing I love most about my hair is how soft it is. I like how I always get a response or reaction out of people when I try new creative styles; it’s like a conversation starter.

Who is your hair crush?

My hair crushes would be YOU [Brianna M. Williams], Naptural85, and Taren Guy, to name a few. I follow so many inspiring naturalistas on Youtube & Instagram that it’s hard to pick a few.

What are your go-to or staple products?

My go-to hair products are the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner and Curls Unleashed Curl Defining Creme. Oh and perm rods!

How do you feel about the natural hair community?

I have a love-hate relationship with the “natural hair community” on one hand they’re always willing to share tips and tricks, and are very encouraging of people transitioning. And they’re also very knowledgeable about products and natural hair remedies.

However, I feel there is a condescending nature that pervades the community. Some naturalistas have a tendency to look down on any woman who chooses to have relaxed hair or wear a weave, etc.

Introspection:

As a black woman I believe we have to be accommodating of all hairstyles, and not pick and choose who to support and who to look down upon just because of hair choices and texture. The outside world already looks down upon black women for making certain hair choices, so why should black women continue to participate the vicious cycle? We need to acknowledge that our beauty, value, sense of worth, and self-esteem are not tied to our hair choices and stop viewing women as sell outs if they have relaxed hair or as “more authentic” if their hair is natural. Also, just because a person doesn’t have natural hair doesn’t mean their hair is unhealthy (and vice versa), and we need to stop acting like “natural hair journeys” are the equivalent of some path to enlightenment, self discovery, and emancipation. For some, it is that deep. For others (like me) it was just an easy choice. Finally, just because I use products that are not all natural (because of money, time , etc) does not mean I’m not natural. We need to stop using a million and one different hair products in an attempt to get our hair super shiny, defined, bouncy, etc., if that’s not out how our hair NATURALLY is. There is a lot of hypocrisy in the natural hair community.

 

Photo Credit: Udodilim Nnamdi

Curly Qs: Natural Hair Bloggers & Gurus

Everywhere you turn another girl is natural, turning natural, attempting to be natural, etc. But being a naturalista isn’t just a fad, it’s a lifestyle. I, myself am natural, and I love my hair, but it took a long time to get to loving my “beautiful monster”. She (as in my hair) tends to do her own thing most days, but that’s what makes everyone’s hair different, and special, and quirky. The versatility in the natural community never ceases to amaze me. Here is a list of a few naturalistas I follow on social media on a daily. Now these naturalistas aren’t just well versed in hair, but also in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. They have also helped me learn to love and appreciate my hair, as well as become the naturalista that I am today. Hopefully, they can help you too. Continue reading Curly Qs: Natural Hair Bloggers & Gurus

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