Happy Birthday naturalista Ashley with the curly crown!

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Tomorrow is Ashley Gaynor’s big day. Help me wish Ashley a happy 27th birthday and many blessings!

Ashley is from the United States and she was very willing to share her hairstory with Special Kinks.

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Special Kinks (SK): Tell me about yourself in three sentences

Ashley: I am bold. I am outgoing. I am an educator.

SK: How important is it to you that the person loves your natural hair?

Ashley: I think it’s very important because your hair represents you and you want that person to love you in your entirety. I talked to a guy who always told me that I should straighten. Let’s just say we are not together anymore. And its not bc of that, it was because he didn’t appreciate me in my entirety.

SK: Did you have to overcome any challenges with your hair? And what’s your advice to others?

Ashley: I just had to overcome growing out my relaxer. My advice is to be patient.

SK: What are the top 2 things people always ask you about your hair?

Ashley: How did you get it so long? Which I don’t think its that long lol

And is that your hair? (SK: If I had $1 for every time I got these questions too? I’d be riiiiich!)

SK: What are your hair goals?

Ashley: In it’s natural curly state my hair is shoulder length and when stretched it is below my collar-bone. My Goal? In it’s natural state I am aiming for it to be bra strap length.  (SK: Nice)

So let’s learn how Ashley even got to her shoulder length hair now.

SK: How long have you been natural?

Ashley: I started transitioning for 8 months in 2014 and I cut the rest of my relaxer out September of 2015. So it’ll be 2 years in September since I’ve been fully natural.

SK: Why did you decide to go natural?

Ashley: I decided to go natural because I was really bored with my hair. All I did to my hair was flat iron it and I knew all of the heat was not good for my hair. I saw this style this girl did on her natural hair and I tried it on my relaxed hair and it was an epic fail! Lol That is when I decided to just try something different and I do not regret it at all.

SK: Why did you choose not to big chop?

Ashley: I chose to transition because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue and I was just so self-conscious about wearing short hair.

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SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you started your transition?

Ashley: When I started to transition it was difficult to deal with two textures of hair and I became frustrated. I wanted to transition fully out but I decided to just cut it. But once I did that, I saw my curls and knew that this was about to be a bomb journey lol

SK: Did you have to deal with negative comments from loved ones?

Ashley: I wouldn’t necessarily say negative comments. They just kept questioning why all of a sudden I wanted to go natural. My grandmother was not too fond of it but she slowly began to like it. They used to tell me I need to straighten it but once they saw how it grew and how healthy it became they were very supportive.

SK: What is your hair regimen?

Ashley: I cowash my hair every week or every other week and shampoo once a month. I deep condition it once a week. I use the LOC method (leave in, oil, cream) and then I apply my styler

  1. Leave in – Mane Choice 3n1 or Camille Rose Moisturizer
  2. Oil – Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  3. Cream – Creams from mane choice, Crème of Nature or Camille Rose
  4. Style – Eco styler gel (argan oil)

SK: What is your favourite oil?

Ashley: I LOVE Jamaican Black Castor Oil (SK: We could be long lost sisters lolol)

SK: Name your favourite products.

Ashley: There are still some products that I want to try but haven’t tried yet, but so far…Mane Choice, Camille Rose and Crème of Nature

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

Ashley: It’s not difficult at all. There is a Walmart, Walgreens and beauty supply store everywhere.

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SK: Favourite style?

Ashley: Lately is been a wash n go but my go-to that never fails me is a high puff

SK: Do you do protective styles?

Ashley: I don’t do protective styles really. If I want to do a twist out, I might leave my hair in twists for a while before I take it down or I might just do a bun.

SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.

Ashley: I normally have good hair days and if not, my puff never fails me. If I do have a bad hair day, its either because I rushed a style or because it has not fully dried. A frustrating thing is when my hair shrinks up, but I’ve become okay with it lately because it just means that my hair is healthy. I love the shape of my hair!

SK: How do you detangle?

Ashley: I wet my hair first, which you should always do when you detangle, and I use a Denman brush to get the kinks out and then convert to my fingers to finish the detangling process.

SK: Do you have any hair crushes?

Ashley: There are sooooo many girls whose hair I crush over! I have a different hair crush every week/month lol but I would have to say my cousin Tori, because she was a big influence on me going natural.

SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?

Ashley: Crown – When you see someone with a crown that is the first thing you like because it is something that shines and that sits high.

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!

Ashley: I’ve always wanted an undercut for THE longest and I finally was bold enough to get it and I love it. I really want to dye my hair a purple/ blue color!

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SK: What has your hair taught you so far on this journey? (SK: Mine has taught me to ignore and have patience)

Ashley: Mine has taught me to embrace what is naturally yours. As a teacher, its is so rewarding to see little girls embrace their fros because they see me embrace mine.

Best wishes in reaching your hair goal healthily and happily. Thank you for sharing with us.

Ciao bella!

#HSW: Caribbean Jem transitioned and LOCs

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Hey guys!

Guess where we’re headed to this time around? It’s a group of islands. They sit close to Puerto Rico. Where do you think?

*crickets chirping*

Weeellll… welcome Jem from the US Virgin Islands! *loud applause*

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Jem is 31-years-old and she is here to talk hair, regimen and journey with us.

Special Kinks (SK): How long have you been natural or transitioning?

Jem: Natural 4 years

SK: Why did you decide to go natural?

Jem: I have always had thick, voluminous hair. I could never get it to grow past

right below my shoulders.

SK: Why did you choose to transition?

Jem: I transitioned for about 4-5 months while wearing weaves, and braids, then after 4-5 months I did a big chop. (SK: I still don’t know how I got past the 7-month mark.)

SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages during your transition?

Jem: The difficult parts were feeling comfortable with my hair so short and second, learning how to style my hair. My texture was so thick and course

SK: What is your hair regimen?

Jem: I wash my shampoo once a week, sometimes bi-weekly, depending on how much product build-up I have. I deep condition once a month and when styling I use the LOC method.

SK: What is your favourite oil?

Jem: Coconut and argon oil (SK: I’m now trying the argan oil)

SK: Name your favourite products

Jem: My favourite product line are: As I Am , Shea Moisture, and Giovanni

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

Jem: Very easy image1

SK: Favourite style

Jem: Braid Out/Bantu- Knot

SK: Do you do protective styles?

Jem: Yes! Faux locs are my favourite protective style (SK: I enjoyed my grey and black faux locs too for sure)

SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.

Jem: The most frustrating part of my hair is after removing a protective style that I have kept for more than 2 weeks, my hair becomes very tangled. Small knots are the absolute worst.

SK: How do you detangle?

Jem: Finger detangling and my Denman brush. I can’t live without my Denman Brush. (SK: I love my Denman too but y’all already know that *hides face* lol)

SK: Do you have any hair crushes?

Jem: Tracee Ellis Ross

SK: What would you say to employers and teachers out there who think that natural hair is not for the office or the classroom, respectively?

Jem: I have encountered this on my job. I work in a very professional environment and I was once told that my hair was too big. It was very disheartening to hear.

As a black professional woman, I strive for diversity in the work place. I will and have told management that my hair does not define my skill sets.

SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?

Jem: Crown, because I am a black queen and I wear my crown proudly.

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!

Jem: I would love to rock an extreme color. Something like blue or purple, but I could not do that in my current profession.

SK: I’m so sad at how the Caribbean naturalistas really are restricted at work it seems…sigh 😦

Oh well, that’s a story for another blog.

Thanks again Jem 🙂

Ciao!

Natural hair cakes by Ann taking social media by storm

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Meet Ann Rawls, the creative mind and amazing skill behind the Need More Cake Company in Arkansas, U.S.A.

Owner of Need More Cakes Company, this pastry chef is stepping out of her comfort zone, accepting the challenges of her clients and being an awesome mom to her baby naturalista while rocking her own natural look and talent.

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So let’s hear what Ann had to say.

Special Kinks (SK): When did your business start?

Ann: My business has been running almost a year 18768617_1856970607958359_3596398413788030402_o

SK: When did you first make a natural hair or natural queen cake?

Ann: I made the cake April 11th

SK: How did that come about?

Ann: There was this image of a natural queen cake floating around the internet and one of my customers wanted that cake, but the problem I was facing was to find that exact image and I couldn’t. So I just looked up other images and sent them to her. The one she picked was perfect! I knew then I was going to fall in love with this cake when I was decorating it.

 

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The cake at the top is Ann’s and the bottom photo is the photo sent by her client as inspiration.

 

SK: Did you expect the response you have gotten from persons in terms of clients and on Facebook and social media?

Ann: Well when I posted it on Black Artist Connected I knew it was gonna get at least a couple 100 responses, but not 4.7K likes. I WAS SO EXCITED AND HAPPY!!! To feel that much love was an indescribable feeling. Blessed? Yea that’s the right word BLESSED. I COULDN’T DO NOTHING BUT PRASIE HIM for blessing me with this GIFT!

Her creation was not identical but it is awesome in its own way. Like how naturalistas have different colours and curl patterns, that how Ann’s cake differed, it represented for another type of natural and that was great!!!

Ann and her daughter 

SK: What’s your daughter’s name and age?

Ann: Dakota is her name. My sweet smart baby is 2 years old

SK: What do you use on your daughter’s hair?

I use Shea Moisture on her hair

SK: What do you hope she learns from you rocking your natural hair, the natural queen designs and from you being an entrepreneur?

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Ann: I hope I can pass this skill down to her, but if not I want her to know education is very important and so is street smarts. I want her to know if she doesn’t become a doctor, a lawyer etc that’s fine, just as long as she stays out of trouble.

I want her to follow her dreams and whatever skill God blessed her with, be damn good at it, and make sure it makes her happy or at least makes her money.

Oh, and being natural is always better than using chemicals. It’s not you if it’s not natural!

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They are so adorable and Ann and Dakota on the job shows the love Ann has for cakes and her little adorable cupcake Dakota!

Ciao!

Chrisette Michele on a no color natural hair journey

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While many talk of going back natural, Grammy-Award winner Chrisette Michele has always been natural except for that time when she tried a perm briefly. She identifies more as one who was always natural, not one who has gone back natural.

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Special Kinks caught up with the international recording artist when she was on island in Barbados earlier this year and talked a little bit about her hair.

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Special Kinks (SK): How long have you been natural?Natural for seven years

Chrisette: Natural for seven years, but I was natural before that. I had a relaxer for a few years since I’ve been an adult, but I’ve always been natural.

SK: What do you love most about being natural?

Chrisette: Oh my goodness, first of all, my hair does everything I ask.

SK: WHAAAAAATTTT???!!! 20170114_231857#1

Chrisette: LOL… If I do a braid out it stays, and have a cool pattern. Whatever I do it stays, that’s what I love about my hair.

SK: So what’s different about your natural hair journey this time around?Now what’s most natural about my hair is that it’s not dyed

Chrisette: Now what’s most natural about my hair is that it’s not dyed. The last time I had my hair out it was blonde and bronze, so I want to see what happens while it’s plain and in its own natural state.

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SK: What’s your regimen?So my wash routine right now…I’m really into Shea Moisture, so the Curl Enhancing Smoothie is what I use for my braid out. I have my hair wrapped in silk right now, for the beach

Chrisette: So my wash routine right now…I’m really into Shea Moisture, so the Curl Enhancing Smoothie is what I use for my braid out. I have my hair wrapped in silk right now, for the beach; so the big challenge in Barbados is to see if I can keep it in a style ever. I’ll be in the water quite a bit. Vacationing while natural without a protective style is a big challenge.

SK: How do you feel about your edges?

Chrisette: My hair is long enough now that my edges are covered. I’m a huge fan of castor oil on my edges, it definitely keeps them thick and healthy and every night before I put my silk bonnet on, I do massage castor oil into my edges.

P.S. This is 10 years since Chrisette released her ‘I Am’ album back in 2007, and still to this day, when I listen to her music I know I’ll “Be OK”.

Happy 10th Anniversary Chrisette!

 

 

#HSW: Theomar has no regrets!

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She’s a mother and a teacher and took the conscious decision to go natural. Welcome, Theomar Griffith of Barbados!

Special Kinks caught up with the 30-year-old and got her hairstory and regimen.

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Special Kinks (SK): How long have you been natural or transitioning?

Theomar: Two and a half years

SK: Why did you decide to go natural?

Theomar: Many reasons… the main one was coming to the realization that my toddler was obsessed with long, straight extensions because I wore them so much. People often told me how lovely her natural hair was but I simply couldn’t convince her.

SK: So your daughter definitely factored into your decision to go natural?

Theomar: BIG time!

SK: Why did you choose to big chop or transition?

Theomar: It was my intention to transition but detangling became too time-consuming and I cut it off myself to avoid missing a hair braiding appointment.

SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?

Theomar: It became the easiest thing when I discovered crochet braids. Nobody knew just how short my hair was and I could still have access my scalp.

SK: Did you colour or get heat damage at any point?

Theomar: This head of hair is currently a colour virgin but I did have some heat damage from a blowout. IMG_20150218_152700

SK: What lessons have your hair taught you?

Theomar: My hair has taught me that I inspire more people than I thought so be true to myself.

SK: What is your hair regimen?

Theomar: To be honest, I am no product junkie and I really keep it simple. Depending on how busy I am, I may wash every week or every two weeks and conditioning is essential.

SK: What is your favourite oil?

Theomar: I can’t choose. Rosemary, jojoba, cinnamon and castor oils are permanent parts of my oil mixture.

SK: Name your favourite products.

Theomar: As I said, I’m no product junkie but Kinky Curly Stellar Strands hydrating deep treatment, Biosilk Silk Therapy and Sisterlocks Moisture Treatment are great. Gorilla gel mixed with bergamot hair grease also give me a nice hold with no residue.

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

Theomar: It’s not difficult to find some of these products in the hair stores and I retail the Sisterlocks line of products.

SK: Do you have a favourite style?

Theomar: I absolutely loved finger coils when my hair was short but now I love a curl defined fro. A recent Olaplex treatment has redefined my curls.

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SK: Do you do protective styles?

Theomar: Of course I do. Crochet braids are my favourite, Bantu twist-out to be precise. Crochet braids are excellent for tension-free, long lasting, accessible hair styling. My schedule is crazy and nothing beats the 45minute installation time. I can also easily access my scalp and I can wear a style that’s very similar to my own hair.

SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.

Theomar: A great feature of my hair is the strength of its natural curl pattern recently. No matter the style; my hair always reverts to it.

SK: How do you detangle?

Theomar: I only detangle my hair after it has been washed and conditioner/treatment has been applied. I also use a comb with medium-wide teeth and then a small-tooth comb. YES, a small-tooth comb. I twist my hair as I detangle it and even rinse out the conditioner with the twists still in. P_20170307_170508_BF

SK: Do you have any hair crushes?

Theomar: Not really… I just love big curly hair.

SK: What would you say to employers and teachers out there who think that natural hair is not for the office or the classroom, respectively?

Theomar: I am a teacher by profession with almost a decade of experience. One thing that I have noticed is that my ability to give sound academic instruction accounts for only part of the influence that I have on students. My overall appearance and demeanor influence students and the mindset they develop. My natural hairstyle has inspired my colleagues and students to start their journey. The journey of truly loving and embracing all facets of the skin they are in. My natural hair, like the colour of my skin, speaks to who I truly am. It’s one package! I would hate to have to label anyone who attempts to re-enslave people of colour by mandating that we wear our hair like some other race. In the innovation age who has time to live in the past?!

SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?

Theomar: My hair is “Pride”… It’s evidence of a step that I have taken to influence my daughter in a positive way. Since I returned to my natural hair, she has started to appreciate her own hair. She has embarked on a Sisterlocks journey. A choice that she has made in an effort to maintain her natural hair while eliminating combing. People stop me all the time to ask about our hair. We are both quite happy and proud.

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!

Theomar: Sisterlocks! I have had the pleasure of seeing some Sisterlocks journeys, which have enhanced self-confidence, style and the overall appearance. Most importantly the style options, hair growth and manageability are limitless. However, the installation time with my current hair length, will be quite long.

SK: Do you have any regrets since you went natural?

Theomar: The only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.

SK: With your daughter, having to deal with your own natural hair do you think it makes you more aware of what to do with hers and how to treat it?

Theomar: Of course. Before her Sisterlocks I realized that I had never spent enough time caring my natural hair in the past so managing my daughter’s became a new experience. Styling hair has always been easy for me, but true hair care techniques were something new.

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Thank you so much Theomar for taking a minute.

Ciao!

One is the devil

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Dear Readers,

When your big chop disappears and your TWA grows enough for you to put your hair in one or a ponytail or a puff… uh oh! Hold the celebrations…you have no idea what’s in store if you are not very careful and purposeful.

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You have to dig on some determination which mimics that of Jesus Christ when He walked this Earth to keep up with a hair regimen and styling when the storms of life kick up. (This is if you want to deal with your hair yourself especially. If you go to the salon or the braider every two weeks, your hair will love you more and these problems are not yours.)When your workload increases, staff cuts start, resignations start flying left and right, children have homework and extracurricular activities, your significant other needs a listening ear and you have sleep to catch up on, there goes

When your workload increases, staff cuts start, resignations start flying left and right, children have homework and extracurricular activities, your significant other needs a listening ear and you have sleep to catch up on, there goes pineappling, nightly twists, where oh where are the rods and ouch the tangles!

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After the beach hair. #Tuckedunder

Life throws you challenges, time management is tested and you fall into the ponytail trap…sigh!

Maybe it’s just me. Truthfully I pray I’m alone with this one [pun intended] but I would not wish this monotony on an enemy.

And a ponytail has major drawbacks. 20160828_004346#1

  1. Your hairline wants a break [and break it does].
  2. Your edges thin and start to take leave all around, especially at the back, the kitchen/nape.
  3. The center of your hair begs to be combed.
  4. Your tangles go unnoticed and untreated
  5. You can get breakage in the spot where you always put your ponytail.

These are only five disadvantages out of the many, but the damage is real.

People always stress about the length of the Wash Day [hours to all day] but my real struggle is after the wash. If I don’t twist my hair over the course of two to three days, a wash n go becomes a ponytail and before I know it, it’s been a week and a half of ponytails.

No solution, but a band-aid

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I think what I will do though to cut down on tangles if I fall into this rut again is stretch my hair, so at least I do buns and protect my ends. Though the major bun struggle is that then I look the same every day of the week and feel bleh! lol (I just can’t please me lolol)

But that’s another struggle for another time.

I’m off to wash my hair and blowdry it [I got a new one and a diffuser 🙂 #Excited to try it]. This will be a first since my big chop. Since I big chopped in September 2015, my hair only got heat when I got it coloured this year!

What hair rut are you stuck in if not one/ponytails?

#HSW: Ife 360 went from short to long, long, long natural hair.

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She has her own YouTube channel and gorgeous natural tresses. Meet Ife SmenkhKaRa from Trinidad & Tobago!

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We caught up with her last year and believe it or not, this interview got lost in the email pile. I’m sooooo sorry because it was so good.

But don’t take my word for it. Read and see.

Special Kinks (SK): Tell me about yourself

Ife: I am a Trinidadian mechanical engineer, married to a Bahamian and I am currently living and working in China.

Even though I have a YouTube Channel (ife360TV) it will be surprising to most that I am actually a very private person.

I created a YouTube channel because many friends and family members were constantly asking me for tips and techniques on how to maintain and grow their hair when they saw that my hair had tripled almost quadrupled in length after being short for many years prior.

Ife is one of the natural unicorns. She has been natural all her life.

 

Ife before:after

Before and after setting out to grow her hair

 

SK: Would you ever big chop? It seems to be trending this summer. Yes or no, why?

Ife: I have always been natural, I have never had to do a big chop. Would I return to a shorter length? No!

SK: What are some of the most memorable responses you have gotten to your natural hair?

People are always shocked when I go from a bun to a braid out and ask me “Where did all that hair come from?!?”, I tend to disguise how much hair I really have in a cheeky way when I meet people for the first time. When I unleash the curls at later meet-ups it is always a shocker! LOL

SK: Are responses different in the Far East?

Ife: In the Western part of the world, most people ask if it is all mine or if it is real. But in China older Chinese women ask me in Mandarin, “How do you get it like that?” Ironically, older Chinese women consider it a fashion statement to have their hair curled and textured in the salon as they age. When I explain that it is just how my grows, they really don’t understand. They think I went to a salon to get my hair textured.

At the time of the interview, Ife was 31, but she may be 32 now.

SK: So why did you remain natural when you got old enough to choose a relaxer or texturizer?

Ife: I remained natural as a child because our parents never believed in chemically treating our hair, thanks to the Black Power movement in the 1970’s. I continued with my natural hair into adulthood because I love my curls.

thumb2SK: You mentioned that you drastically grew in more recent years. Explain.

Ife: I never big chopped but my hair remained at 3 to 5 inches until about 25.

SK: So what did you do?

Ife: My hair was 3 to 5 inches for most of my life because of how poorly I treated my hair. I used to use wide toothed combs trying to detangle every knot essentially ripping through my hair causing breakage. I used shampoos that dried my hair out, I wasn’t retaining length for years – here is a video that I did that outlined my bad habits that prevented growth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkrqrp3w48g (SK: WOW! Readers, how are you treating your hair?)

SK: What is your hair regimen?

Ife: My hair regimen is very simple. I co-wash every 2 to 3 weeks, during the week I spritz to maintain moisture balance and deep condition once a month.

SK: What is your favourite oil?

Ife: Coconut oil. Ever since I learned how to make it at home, I use it for everything. It is such a nourishing oil, to consume, use in our hair and on our bodies

SK: Name your favourite products

Ife: Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner, Shea butter, coconut oil and homemade flaxseed

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

Ife: Currently in China there is a very big natural hair community comprising of people from the Caribbean, America and many African countries. They sell many products here in China. We have access to shea butter from countries in Africa readily available. Also there are quite a few natural hair start-up companiess within the community.

SK: Favourite style?

Ife: Braid out

IMG_20160712_134155SK: Do you do protective styles?

Ife: Box braids, it is so easy to do and doesn’t take much work.

SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.

Ife: A great hair day for me is big, voluminous hair that stays moisturized and doesn’t dry out. A bad hair day would be dry, thirsty frizzy hair that was caused by dryness.

SK: After her pointing the detangling and combing every knot, we had to ask, how do you detangle now?

Ife: Finger detangle because I lose very little hair that way.

SK: Do you have any hair crushes?

Ife: Diana Ross – I always wanted hair as big as hers.

SK: What would you say to employers and teachers out there who think that natural hair is not for the office or the classroom, respectively?

Ife: It is a shame that our hair naturally grows this way but it may not be accepted in the workplace or at school but as an engineer I never had to deal with that. As long as you are capable of doing a great job, why does it matter if my hair is natural? I had natural hair all throughout primary and secondary school and I was always asked by schoolmates with their turned up noses, “When are you going to straighten your hair??”. Thankfully I never bent to their criticisms and jokes! Hopefully natural is hair to stay and that schools and companies conform to our lifestyle instead of the other way around. (SK: Amen!)

SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?

Ife: Bold – It is as fearless as I am, it expresses my innermost thoughts without saying a word.

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!

Ife: Do a frohawk or faux locs

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Thank you so much for sharing. Guys go check out her YouTube channel for more details.

Coloured hair in a corporate world

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Dear Readers,

Let’s face it; being a naturalista in 2017 is getting slightly easier as many get on board with the natural hair movement but there are still some precautions that must be taken.

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I got highlights and lowlights in my hair recently and when I sat in the chair at the salon, I was trying to think of the healthiest thing for my hair and the best thing for my job. As weird as it seems, yes in this day and age, employment has an impact on the freedom you express through your hair.

So what did I do?

  1. Pick warm tones mainly – honey and brown hues.
  2. Dreamed of lighter blondes and asked for those in the crown and center.
  3. Left my roots untouched as I had no intentions of recolouring my hair anytime soon and I didn’t want the bleach damaging my hair so far up the shaft.
  4. I have little to no colour around the edges of my hair, so when my hair is a ponytail it is almost as my all the colour is on the ends. (Thank you to my hairstylist Gigi at Zena & Co. she understands and was right there recommending the same. She is AWESOME!)
  5. Not planning to recolour frequently, I also bought a great no poo shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair with Vitamin C to boost colour and cause no fade.

I am all about getting my money’s worth while toeing the lines that still exist in this world.

What do you find yourself not doing or doing to your hair so that you can keep your job without hassle?20170313_121400

7 Things they don’t tell you when you go natural

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Dear readers,

Did you know this stuff before? Be honest

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  1. The TWA struggle

When you have a TWA you will go through that “Ughhh…I always look the same!” struggle. You want to get pretty and look fancy to go out but your TWA is the only style you can rock. It’s no tapered cut or buzz cut that you can go get some razor marks to add an edge.

  1. ‘Staying on edges’

Your edges are hard to grow but easy to go. Be very careful when pulling back your hair, getting weaves and installing braids. Weekly try to give your edges an ease. Even if your hair is braided, just leave them down instead of putting them into a ponytail.

  1. Ponytail lifesavers

When all else fails, once you start to get length, putting your hair in one (a ponytail) is sometimes the only thing that saves your life and gets your through the week.

  1. Tangles

Detangling your hair is over-rated but necessary. When you can rock and refresh a wash n’ go all week then transform into a fohawk or a curly ponytail, who has time to come or detangle, and then it’s two weeks after wash day and your hair wants you to bug off and leave it to just curl, tangle and knot up on its own in a ball.

  1. Changing curl patterns

Bleaching loosens curls. It always decides to loosen your biggest curls to the point where some become your annoyances as they always fall too far down when you do your wash n’ go. Also, if you identify as a 4C and it is part of your character, avoid bleach because you can move to 4A or even 3C, believe it or not.

  1. Night-time routine

A satin pillowcase would help you by leaps and bounds because let’s face it, who remembers to grab the sating headtie or satin bonnet every night and what about when you sleep away from home and forget your night cap…sigh! If you have natural hair and people love you, they’ll invest in a satin pillowcase just for when you sleepover wink wink lol

  1. Beware of jewellery snatches

Take care with your bracelets when washing and styling your hair. I have a Pandora bracelet and as much as I adore it, I have to remember to take it off when I am doing hair or best believe I will snap a few strands and feel like crying. It’s the same for earrings, necklaces and chains. Take extra care with your jewellery or you’ll be losing strands constantly and totally by mistake.

What else did you wish they told you before?

#HSW: Flexi rod set loving Kimberly Lawson

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Dear readers,

Let’s travel to the United States of America, South Carolina to be exact. Meet 39-year-old Kimberly Lawson and hear about her hair journey so far.

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Special Kinks (SK): How long have you been natural or transitioning?

Kimberly: 2 years

SK: Why did you decide to go natural?

Kimberly: I decided to go natural after noticing that my hair was thinning.

SK: Why did you choose to big chop or transition?

Kimberly: I transitioned, only because my hair was cut in a short style, which made it easier to transition.

SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?

Kimberly: It was fairly easy … 254377_10152204931265045_1315364547_n (1)

SK: What is your hair regimen?

Kimberly: I really have no regimen. I wash my hair every two weeks, sometimes every week depending on what style I’m wearing.

SK: What is your favourite oil?

Kimberly: No special oil, but I do use Fructis Sleek and Shine.

SK: Name your favourite products.

Kimberly: I love Crème of Nature Strength & Shine leave in conditioner.

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

Kimberly: It’s very easy to find products here in the city where I live.

SK: What is your favourite style?

Kimberly: I absolutely love the flexi rod set

SK: Do you do protective styles?

Kimberly: I do protective styles 85% of the time. My work schedule requires me to wake up at 3:30 am… so there is little to no time to do my hair every morning. I wear crochet hairstyles the majority of the time. I can wash my hair and get to my scalp, which is why I love the synthetic hair.

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SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.

Kimberly: A great hair day is when I flexi rod my hair at night and the results in the morning actually put a smile on my face. I love that my hair is now very thick and it’s pretty easy to manage without a lot of heat.

SK: How do you detangle?

Kimberly Lawson flexi

Blowout and flexi rod set

 

Kimberly: I normally spray the leave-in conditioner and comb my hair. It doesn’t tangle at all.

SK: What would you say to employers and teachers out there who think that natural hair is not for the office or the classroom, respectively?

Kimberly: I think that your hair is a reflection of who you are in the inside.

SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?

Kimberly: My hair is ambiguous… it changes from day to day.

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!

Kimberly: I think I have tried about every style… I would love to try sisterlocks though but I love change and wouldn’t want to be stuck with a style.

Thank you Kimberly for sharing!

Ciao!