Natural Hair for Beginners: Six Tips to Help You Get Started

Are you thinking about going natural, but after one Google search, terms like transition, big chop, and co-wash have your eyes crossed in confusion? Don’t worry my friend, I’ve been there too! It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed in the beginning.

I’m no natural hair guru. Hardly. But I’ve done a lot of reading, internet surfing, Tweeting, chatting and such about natural hair. After two years and lots of experimentation, I’ve come up with some six basic tips to help all of us newbies get started with going natural.

 

Before you get to washin’ and twistin’, consider the following:

1) Why are you going natural? Is it to grow your relaxer out or stop getting your hair pressed? (My decision was the latter) Is it just to see your hair in its natural state or challenge mainstream standards of beauty? Is it because everyone else is doing it? Really stop to think about all of that. Understanding your reasons for going natural will help shape your decisions and attitudes about being natural later.

2) Do you have support in your decision? Having a significant other, friends, family members, or co-workers you can talk to and share your journey with will be invaluable. My husband’s thoughts? “As a black man married to a black woman, I have to say nothing is sexier than natural hair and chocolate skin.” See what I mean? Support makes a difference, trust me.

3) Research, research, research! Like so many other women, I attended the “Youtube School of Beauty” when I first made the decision. There are thousands of videos on Youtube, from novices to experts that offer information on natural hair. Take the time to watch a few. Or five. Or a hundred. Once you start, you’ll discover it to be a new hobby! Seriously though, I’ve been learning a lot and it really is helpful. I don’t religiously follow one person’s advice – I just take a little bit from those that interest me the most and see what works for me. Stay tuned later this week for who my favorite vloggers are!

4) Get to know your hair. Treat it like you’re in a new relationship! Find out what it likes and doesn’t like. Start with small changes that work for you. Not interested in chopping all of your hair off? Then don’t! Only do what you’re comfortable with.

5) Patience is everything! Getting to know your hair takes time. I wanted my hair to be fabulous at my first try with a twist out. But, uh…it wasn’t. I tried it again some time later and things got better! Duh!!!! It all takes practice. The more your practice, the better results you’ll see.

6) Keep it simple. It’ll be tempting to run out and buy a bunch of new products at first. I suggest that you only try a couple of new things at a time so you can see what works for you and what doesn’t. That way you won’t waste your time or money on products that will only collect dust underneath your sink.

Any more tips to add? Was this post helpful?

Hit me up in the comments!

*Note – the pictures above were 6 months apart, not overnight. Don’t want to mislead anyone!!!

My Plate is Full and I’m Hungry for More!

I have a lot on my plate. Not a literal plate of food, but the imaginary plate we use to describe how busy our lives are.

Between my full time job, teaching part time, blogging (even in its current limited form), family life, and a host of other things I’m working on…I’ve got a lot to do these days.  I’m not complaining, just acknowledging that fact.

Driving home the other day, I went down my “to-do” list and it seems to be growing by the minute. Everything is such a balancing act for me right now. It’s a bit overwhelming. But as I think about everything on my to-do list, I realize this is par for the course on the path to greatness.

I put so much on my plate because I have an appetite for success and I’m going to tackle each portion of my life’s meal one by one, until I reach my goals. I feel so hungry!

I’m hungry for more out of life!

I’m hungry for a new lifestyle – the one of abundance that I’ve always dreamed of having.

I’m hungry to be a better me.

I’m hungry for God.

I’m just…hungry! Ready! Willing!

The first half of 2012 is coming to a close. What are you doing to help you achieve your goals?

What are you hungry for?

 

5 Reasons Why I’m Inspired by Beyonce’s Photo Diary

If you’re a Beyonce fan, today is a special day for you. We’ve arrived the moment that we’ve all been waiting for; and it’s not a new album, a new concert, or DVD from Bey. Through a photo diary, or Tumblr page, Beyonce has finally given us the chance to get to know her better – in a way that her music never could.

I just finished clicking through what seems like at least 100 photos and I’m feeling unexpectedly inspired.

Here are five things I’ve learned from just my first view of Beyonce’s photo diary.

Experience  life: I may never have the funds to travel to the Amalfi coast or any of the other exotic locations we see her frolicking in throughout the photos; but that doesn’t mean I can’t travel within the confines of my own budget and see the world. That vacation with my husband I’ve been putting off because we’re too “busy”? Yeah…that’s getting booked soon. I read a quote recently that said that it’s better to spend money on experiences than on things. I’m all about that concept!

Keep family close: The pictures of Beyonce and her sister Solange are so pure and sincere. Sure they’re megastars, but at the end of the day, they’re sisters and people forget that. It was heart warming to see Beyonce surrounded by her husband, sister, nephew, and other close friends and family. Quite honestly, no matter your level of fame – family is everything. Keep those you love the most around you. I’m sure that’s been her secret to staying grounded all of these years.

Be beautiful: By this I don’t mean just physical beauty. Her inner beauty is apparent, both with makeup and without. You can tell she’s happy. Inner beauty can’t be hidden!  I try to do all I can to take care of myself and keep my mind and body at peace. That’s not always easy, but today I was reminded of how important that is.

Rep for your man! Many times we see Bey throwin’ up the dynasty sign, saluting her husband Jay-Z. They’ve been together longer than both of Kim K’s marriages and they’re still going strong! I’ve always respected the way they have kept their relationship private – as it should be! So to see them holding hands, celebrating special occasions, vacationing, and working together was refreshing. They’re as powerful and as successful as they are because they’re a TEAM. There’s your lesson on marriage for the day.

 

Work hard & Be in control: We’ve all watched Beyonce’s ascent into stardom from her earlydays as the standout in Destiny’s Child. For those in my age class, we’ve grown up along with her. Her work ethic is unmatched and she grinds harder than a bag of coffee beans at Starbucks! The result of that is: when you work hard, you can play hard. Moreover, the fact that she released these pictures on her own accord, in her own time, and in her own way (just like she did with the debut of Baby Blue) speaks volumes to how in control she is of her life and her career. She’s an artist, a wife, a mother, sister, friend, daughter, and entrepreneur. She does it all with style and grace. She knows what she wants and goes after it. Just like me. Just like you.

 

*All pictures were sourced from http://beyonce.tumblr.com/

The Business of Being Natural: Why Kim Love (Kimmaytube) is a Friend in My Head

Have you ever singled out a person or public figure that you don’t know personally, but would like to? You truly enjoy or even admire their work (be it music, writing, or business) and in your head you and that person are like, complete besties??!!!

Well, I have a few of those and I want to share them with you. Ever so often I’ll write a post to introduce you to some folks that I’ve been watching and following online via Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook. If you’re a long time reader, this is another version of my “Blog Obsessions” that will span beyond some of my fav0rite blogs.

So let’s get to it!

The first friend in my head is a woman named Kim Love. If you’re natural, you know her as Kimmaytube.

I found out about Kim when I first enrolled in the Youtube School of Beauty, and was starting out with my natural hair research (about a year ago). You can’t ignore her videos as they pop up in almost any natural hair search on YT.

I was hooked at first view because it was obvious that she put a great deal of effort into — not just her hair, but the quality of her work. That impressed me and I soon found myself watching countless video after video (at present there’s 113 of them!), soaking up lots of valuable information.

To say that her channel is popular doesn’t really seem sufficient. She has over 10 million views to date and she just reached 100,000 subscribers. Yes, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND people have clicked that precious subscribe button to learn more from Kim about how to grow long and well preserved natural hair. Through focus and discipline, she has grown her hair down to her waist! Her results are proven and well documented.

If you’re natural or thinking about taking the plunge, I strongly encourage you to check her out!

Once she joined Twitter, I immediately followed her there. Like me, she was reluctant to join Twitter at first, but I’m so glad she did! She tweets on a buffet of topics that expand beyond natural hair – ranging from politics, socio-economics, finances, relationships, to pop culture! No subject is off limits.

She has a lot to say and hers is a voice that is refreshing and exciting.

What I appreciate most about Kim is that she seems to genuinely want to use her experiences to help others. For those like me that are watching closely, it’s evident that she is an ASTUTE businesswoman that is meticulously building a brand behind the name Kimmaytube (no, seriously – she trademarked the name!). I remember her saying in one of her videos that she wanted to be the global leader/voice for natural hair care, and I believe she will achieve that goal.

She’s not interested in becoming a natural hair celebrity – it’s all about business with her and I respect that! Her online store, Luv Naturals is booming and she will be releasing a product line and an original hair device/tool in the near future. Kim is one to watch in the world of business and I think those of us that follow her recognize that we’re watching greatness unfold.

I know that I’m gushing a bit here, but she’s like the virtual big-sister-mentor we all want to have: educated, highly successful, cultured, and ambitious. She’s also married and a first time mommy-to-be!

What I’m learning from her, above all else, is that you must chase your dreams with focus, determination, and a deliberate plan. You do not have to make apologies for having (or pursuing) the life and success you want to have.

And that my friends, is why she’s a total friend in my head!

Photo Credit: http://kimmaytube.tumblr.com/

 

Here’s one of her most viewed videos on Youtube. Enjoy!

 

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