Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Right Brain vs Left Brain

So I was having a discussion with a friend about how I feel I use my left brain as equally as the right side of my brain (which would explain me being a Software Test Engineer but wanting to be a Makeup Artist). For those who don't know, your brain has a right side and a left side (obviously) - but the right side is the more creative side while the left is more analytical. I took a quiz on this website to see which side was more dominant for me, and what do you know -- it was almost the same! I got 16 points for the left side and 15 points for the right!! I feel like being almost equal on the left & right can lead to some confusion - Lol. Maybe that's why I question myself sometimes! Part of me wants to be logical, the other part is so random! (This is evident for those who follow me on Twitter).

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life.  Realising your right brain/left brain tendancy will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 16(16)
Right Brain Dominance: 15(15)
Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz


Take the quiz and find out where you stand! :)

Different Types of (Toxic) Friends

**Disclaimer: This is not targeted at anyone. This is simply something that MANY, if not ALL, people experience at some point in their lives at any age.

As I get older, I am witnessing this more. "This" being toxic friendships, the different kinds, and how to avoid and/or get out of them once you realize what's happening. I read an article on iVillage entitled: 6 Types of Toxic Friends and How You Can Deal with Them. Below, I copied and pasted the two that I've had the most experience with. In reading this, and also in experiencing what I have experienced, in addition to ending such toxic friendships, I also take the opportunity to evaluate myself and make sure I'm behaving in a way that I feel a friend should behave or as a friend I'd want to have. It's always important to take responsibility for our actions and not allow ourselves to be "the victim".

The Self-absorbed
Certainly the Self-absorbed is a tamer type of negative friend than the Risk-taker. Still, especially over the long haul, a friend who does not make the time to listen to you will eat away at your self-esteem. For you to feel good about yourself, and for your friendship to thrive, you have to be more than a sounding board. The Self-absorbed does not care; she listens to you only because she is waiting to speak.

Self-absorbed chatter is a way of covering up an inability to tolerate silence which some, especially those who have intimacy problems, may find excruciating. You may ask your friend to try to become more aware that she is talking non-stop, and about herself, when it's really a nervous habit designed to fill up the time and space. Could your friend learn to relax more? Enjoy silence? Learn how to ask questions so that you don't feel like a dumping ground?

Once again, is this a trait your friend is aware of and choosing to ignore, or is she unaware of it but once aware of it, she will be capable of changing it? If change is not possible, is there enough that is positive about this friendship that you are willing to continue it even if it is decidedly lopsided?

Perhaps, in a gentle and non-offensive way, you could ask the Self-absorbed friend if she seems to notice that the give-and-take is unequal, that she shares more about her life than you get to share about yours.

With the Self-absorbed friend, you might want to plan an activity to share that minimizes this problem, such as playing tennis, going to the movies, or taking a class. You might want to carefully consider sitting next to the Self-Absorbed on a five-hour train ride or having lengthy meals together, just the two of you. As with the One-upper, whose profile revolves around excessive jealousy, involving more friends with the Self-absorbed might help to offset her nervousness as well as create some additional 'air times' that will even out the balance of power.

The Discloser

When you say to this friend, "This is just between us," she nods her head but unfortunately that promise will last only as long as it takes her to get to her phone or e-mail. Although there should be an assumption of confidentiality and trust between friends, this friend can't help herself. Telling this person a secret makes her feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Like the game "hot potato," she has to pass the hot secret along to someone else in order to relieve the anxiety knowing the secret made her feel. There are also some Disclosers who simply have a big mouth. If someone you know has this personality trait, avoid telling her your innermost secret
-- unless you don't mind if it's shared with the world.

This friend quickly gets a reputation for being a gossip. Unfortunately, there may be some secondary gains to having that distinction. Maybe the primary friend is annoyed by the betrayal and the secret sharing, but everyone else, including other friends, may be delighted by the confidential information that is being shared.

You also have to be sure that your friend understands that you consider the information that you are sharing should always be confidential or secret. Spreading the news that you just got a raise or are expecting a child may seem like information that is fair game for retelling. If it is something you do not want retold, or if you want to be the one retelling it, let your friend know before you mislabel her the Discloser.

How do you know if someone will betray your confidence? If you suspect someone has this trait, share an unimportant secret that you could live with her spreading and see how fast or widespread the confidence is shared.

If you suspect that your friend is unaware that he or she discloses secrets, start by bringing this behavior out in the open. Pick a specific instance when your friend revealed a confidence, and see if he or she acknowledges his or her transgression. Does he or she apologize? Does he or she deny doing it? Does he or she ask your forgiveness, explaining that he or she was unaware the information was privileged?

If you suspect your friend is incapable of changing this pattern and you want to maintain the friendship, protect yourself by being more careful about exactly what information you share. You might also want to reconsider the level of intimacy for this friendship; if you want to maintain your relationship, perhaps it should be on a less frequent or less confidential basis.

You can read the article in it's entirety using the link above (1st paragraph). Please feel free to share your thoughts/views. 

Enjoy the rest of your holiday and have a great day!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Before it gets even busier, I want to wish you all a great Holiday (if you celebrate) and a Happy New Year! Enjoy the time with your loved ones, remember all that you are Blessed with and be sure to appreciate those who love & care about you. Time for new beginnings! I hope to post again before 2011 but just in case... Lol

Thanks for following my blog, I appreciate you all :)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Look... New Blog Name

First, I want to say "Hi" to my new blog followers. I see you! :)

Well, in lieu of my 2 year natural hair anniversary, I got my hair straightened and trimmed by my sister when I went home for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I loved the results. She blow-dried and flat ironed my hair to achieve the look. ic Fantasia Heat Protecting serum was used, along with Str8 Away Sufle' from Alt Haircare. 

You can also see my "hair in action" via my YouTube vid.

My hair lasted about 5 days before it started to frizz slightly. I pulled it into a low bun with flat twists in the front to disguise the frizz. I was not willing to go over my hair again with the flat iron for fear of heat damage.

Another update: I am changing my Blog Name from "Just me... and my thoughts" to "Not Just Hair" ;-)

Funny that this particular post is about hair. Lol

Have a blessed day, everyone!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Importance of Positive Thinking

I've been reading a lot over the last few months to a year, a lot more than usual. Many inspiring and thought-changing books like Joyce Meyer's "Power Thoughts" and Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life", to name a few. I truly believe, and KNOW, that self-development is key. Sometimes, you have to get quiet and just focus. In our daily lives we are so distracted by things like TV, radio, gossip, etc. At one point in my life I used to think very negatively and was very down on myself, and my life reflected those thoughts. What you focus on begins to manifest. Slowly I began learning new ways to think, having more confidence and being more positive. And my life began to change dramatically. I met so many positive people, who were doing great things in their lives. And I learned from them everyday. I still am :) I appreciate all of the blessings and learning experiences. I just wanted to share, and to let you know that positive thinking is KEY. Life is life and we will still have struggles, but I am in such a happy place now that I have changed my mind-set.

Keep your head up, count your blessings, and STAY POSITIVE! It works :)
Be blessed.


Monday, October 18, 2010

"I Whip My Hair Back 'n Forth..."

Earlier today, Willow Smith's video for "Whip my Hair" premiered on BET. I love this song. Will and Jada's kids are too cute. I like the video. Looks fun and age-appropriate. Ok, Willow! ;)

**I don't know how long the video I posted will work since they are pulling it off sites, so if it ends up not working that is why.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Out with Friends!

This past Wednesday was my birthday, so I went out with some friends last night to celebrate. I wore a twist-out pinned up on one side.

I had a really good time out playing in DC! ;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today's Natural Hair Question: Which products are good for biracial hair?

Hey, everyone! A close friend of mine recently asked me which products I thought were good for biracial hair to reduce/prevent frizz and hold the natural curl. Granted, I cannot speak from experience here, BUT I have a few biracial friends who tell me what they use and their hair always looks great. I'll share the top 2 product lines they use, and also would like my readers who can speak from experience to weigh in, as well.

The first one is Mixed Chicks. Now, I use Mixed Chicks and personally love it even though I have a kinkier hair texture. I've tried the shampoo and the leave-in. However, I know it was created for those with biracial hair in mind. My friend who uses it LOVES it. Here is their website: www.mixedchicks.net. The leave-in prevents hair from frizzing and also gives a nice, light hold to your natural curl.

The 2nd one is Hair Rules. What I love about Hair Rules is that they have products specifically for kinky hair, curly hair, and wavy hair. Full product lines for both - shampoo, conditioners, and styling products. I've tried them, also - GREAT results. And my friend who has a looser curl pattern also loves them. She is the one who reccomended them to me. Here is the site: http://www.hairrules.com/

Please leave comments with other products that are great for naturals with a looser curl pattern or hair that is more fine so we can all learn. I love to learn about all hair textures, not just my own. Natural hair is beautiful!! :-)

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Today's Natural Hair Question

From time to time, I receive questions from friends, family, and friends of friends regarding going natural. What products did I use when transitioning from relaxers to natural hair, what products I use now, what is best for holding styles like twists without flaking, etc. What I will do is start to post the questions on my blog and answer for all to view and weigh in on. No two textures are alike, so while I love to give advice and share what has worked for me, it may not work for you. So, if others give their take along with my own opinions/experiences, we can all learn so much more :)

Today's Question: Does mousse work well for holding twists for a twist out? I've tried gels but they flake and make my hair hard.

My response: I have never tried mousse while natural, so I cannot say if they work for me or not. However, I've found that using a good leave-in conditioner and an alcohol-free gel work great for me to hold my twists and give great definition for twist outs. Here are my faves: For leave-ins I use Cantu Shea butter leave-in (purchased at Walmart or Target), or Kinky Curly Knot Today (purchased online at www.kinky-curly.com, at Whole Foods, or your local natural hair salon). For gels, I have two favorites: Eco Styler Gel (the clear one) or ic Fantasia Olive Gel. You can get either one from your local Beauty Supply Store or Walmart or Target. They don't have alcohol so they don't dry your hair out or cause flaking. They also don't have protein (like "black gel", which can cause flaking).

So, I'd like to pose the same question for my readers. What do you all think? What products are great for your twists and twist outs that give great definition and hold?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Style Rut! :-(

Could it be!? Almost 2 years natural and... NOOOOOO!!! I think I have run out of styles! :-/ Wait, no... That's impossible. I have so many options. Someone, help! I need ideas. Tired of this bun and I'm in no mood to do mini-twists... and although I LOVE LOVE LOVE my twist 'n curl styles, I'd like another option. Any ideas?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Favorite Styles

I can't believe it will soon be 2 years that I've been natural (this November). The time went by really fast. My staple style is the twist 'n curl - I posted on that a little bit ago. But my other fave now is my bun! When my twist 'n curl gets old (or I get lazy with my hair), I put it in a high bun. It's cute and easy, and I can leave it like that for a few days until I muster up the energy to do my hair again. Lol It's also a great protective style.

What are some of YOUR favorite hairstyles?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Changed my mind... Just a HIATUS.

Hi, Everyone!

In my last post I stated that I'd be ending this blog. Well... after thinking about it (and slightly missing it), I decided to keep it up AND update from time to time. But the updates will probably be less often and the next one after this won't be for awhile. Let's just call it a brief hiatus. I've been so busy with the new job and my business and LIFE itself. So when things slow down a bit, I'll be back. Until then, be BLESSED and I appreciate you all!!! :)


Monday, August 9, 2010

Blog Change!! - It's the end of an era...

Hi, Everyone!!

The sad news is... I am "ending" this Blogger. The good news is... I have moved to Tumblr! You can find me here: KeetaRay's Tumblr. I'll keep this blog up for the information it already has as a reference, but new posts and updates will be on my Tumblr site. Please follow! :-)


Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Week's Natural Hair Feature: Lateshia

1. How long have you been natural? Did you transition, BC, both?
I Transitioned for 3 months, lol I couldnt take transitioning any longer than that!!!
I was looking in the mirror one nite and just Chopped it all off. January 16, 2009 was my BC date.

2. What reaction have you received since going natural? Did you announce your decision or did you just do it?
I Just Did it No announcement, I actually didnt wear my hair out after the BC, I already had a scheduled
 hair appointment the next day, But when people were finally able to see what I had done, the remarks I got were mainly
" Oh natural looks good on you", or "it fits you", or the "my hair to nappy to do that."

3. What are your current fave styles to do on your hair? Do you have a staple style? Please share how you achieve it :)
I dont do alot of styles lol my hair is still short due to all the cutting (for a while i loved it short!) but I mainly do fro hawks and  some
updos . My staple style is my fro hawk.

4. What has been the most significant change within yourself that you've noticed since going natural?
Im alot more confident and out going. Willing to do certain things i'd never have done with relaxed hair. lol
Like getting caught in the rain :). I feel free.

5. What do you love most about being natural?
Honestly, lol I love that my hair stands still where the wind blows lol no more adjusting or pulling out
the comb or brush to fix it. lol

6. What are your must-have products? Any favorites that you cannot do without?
Water, essential oils, shea butter, herbal essence conditioner (hello hydration), oyin handmades' juices and berries, lekair cholesterol
deep conditioner and my Eco styler. hmm I'd say the herbal essence condition is a MUST!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

STOP Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People

Good Morning, Everyone!

The Body Shop (a store that sells bath/body/home fragrance products), is running a campaign to Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People. PLEASE SUPPORT.

You can sign the petition either in-store or online (www.thebodyshop.com/stop) in order to greater protect our children & young adults who are vulnerable to exploitation. Also support by buying Soft Hands (hand cream), Kind Hearts Hand Cream, or Bag for Life & gift bags & you'll be helping campaign partners.

Spread the word!!

More information available on: The Body Shop

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Who is your fave celebrity MakeUp Artist?

Good Morning, Readers!

I was watching TV last night (very rare for me, I rarely have time to watch much TV) - and I saw my FAVORITE makeup artist Mally Roncal on TV. I love her spirit and she does an excellent job. Seeing her and listening to her renewed my spirit and my love for MUA (makeup artistry). I had gotten away from it a bit, but that is my ultimate career goal. I took the "safe route" and got my degree in Computer Science. While I like technology, I have a love & passion for skincare and makeup that I cannot ignore. So I've decided I'm going to take the necessary steps to achieve that goal. I also have my own business which will be a vehicle to fund this dream. So tell me... do you have a favorite MUA? Who is he/she? And what is YOUR dream?

Do share... :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This Week's Natural Hair Feature: MsButtahFly!

Denyelle, better known as MsButtahfly to those who know here via Twitter and YouTube, has been one of my main natural hair inspirations and her videos helped me through my transition and early natural months. Here, she shares her story with us :-)

1.       How long have you been natural? Did you transition, BC or both? 
I have been natural for 4years; I chopped on May 10, 2006.  I did not transition, my chop was an impulse decision, and I was hot one day and just decided to cut my hair because I was tired of dealing with it. (I had APL relaxed hair)

2.       What reaction have you received since going natural? Did you announce your decision or did you just do it? 
I did not announce it, I was about to cut my best friends hair, and said “You know what? I’m going to cut my hair too!” She and my son thought I was just playing until I walked out of the bathroom with one inch of curls.  I was in shock and thought I looked like a little boy, didn’t like it at all. The next day, I went to my local beauty supply store and bought all kinds of fancy earrings and sunglasses. I also started to do my makeup a little differently. By day three my confidence was through the roof!! I received a lot of “OMG I can’t believe you cut all that pretty hair!!” and “Why did you cut your hair??”, but I didn’t let that bother me, I was becoming a new me.

3.       What are your current fave styles to do on your hair? Do you have a staple style? Please share how you achieve it. 
My favorite style for summer is a low curly ponytail with bangs accented with a headband or flower. For winter, my favorite style is a Bantu knot twist-out which is achieved by twisting hair, Bantu knotting it leaving it in overnight and fluffing out in the morning. The bigger the better!!!

4.       What has been the most significant change within yourself that you've noticed since going natural?  
I have noticed that I’m more outgoing and carefree. If I get caught in the rain, who cares??? ;)

5.       What do you love most about being natural?  
The flexibility that natural hair gives you is ongoing, as long as your hair is neat and clean, you can just about wear any style. 

6.       What are your must-have products? Any favorites that you cannot do without? 
My MUST HAVE products are Econ clear gel, for my slicked back pony puffs, Africa’s Best Curl Keeper, for twist outs and any twist or braided styles, Shea butter/olive oil mix, water is also a must, and my big stretchy bands…I could go on and on. :-)

7.        Finally, any advice you'd like to give to women who have just BC'd or are thinking of going natural? Please share :) 
If you are leery or afraid to show your natural hair, do your research online via Natural Hair Blogs, Natural Hair websites, and YouTube, you will see how natural women exude a beauty and confidence that’s like no other. If you have the guts to just go for it and cut it all off then GO FOR IT!! Otherwise, transition with braids, cornrow styles, or weaves. I also recommend that you see a natural hair stylist in your area for that first chop, that way you’ll get it right! Also, don’t worry about what people think of you, you are doing this for YOU and the well being of your hair, not for anyone’s approval. Be patient!!!! This is really important because everyone hair grows at a different pace, and we all don’t have the same hair texture. Embrace what you have and rock it!!! 
 MsButtahfly is also a HOT makeup artist. You can follow here here: MsButtahfly on Twitter, MsButtahfly on YouTube 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Keep Going!! Quitting is NOT an Option

Hi, Everyone!!

I've truly been inspired today. I mean, seriously inspired. Some people are inspired by words from positive people, or good things that have happened. And that is fine. I am usually inspired by the same. But TODAY... today I am inspired by a minor setback. It isn't necessary to go into detail about what it was exactly, but know that I am just fine. I am ALWAYS blessed, no matter what. But the setback inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, get out of my own way, take ownership of myself and my business, and TAKE ACTION. I already have EVERYTHING in me necessary to do what needs to be done. It's time to do it. I have a goal to reach by September 18th and I WILL reach it.

That being said, I hope you are ALL having a blessed day. Please choose to let small issues to be stepping blocks and NOT hurdles. Let NOTHING stand in the way of the future you want to have. Trials build character, and when I reach my goal I'm going to have a hell of a story to tell!!! ;-)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meet Naomi! This week's natural hair feature!!

1. How long have you been natural? Did you transition, BC, both? I have been natural 2 years (anniversary was July 4th), Yes I transitioned for 6 months before the BC, I had about 1/2 a inch to 1 inch of her left :) By the way my hair is back where it was when I cut it.

2. What reaction have you received since going natural? Did you announce your decision or did you just do it?  I was telling everyone I was going to do it I had (bsl) relaxed hair, I took pictures and sent them out as I was doing it the BC everyone was shocked but said it looked cute on me.

3. What are your current fave styles to do on your hair? Do you have a staple style? Please share how you achieve it :) Well my staple or favorite is my chunky twist out I use Bonner Brother moisturizer to set it and each night I pull my hair in a loose pony tail on top of my head without retwisting by the end of the week it is HUGE and beautiful.

4. What has been the most significant change within yourself that you've noticed since going natural? I have more SWAGGER, it has been the biggest confidence booster and people are always asking me if it's a wig or telling me that they are thinking about going natural and ask for advice.

5. What do you love most about being natural? The FREEDOM, the $ I am saving (my savings account is thanking me) and the time that I can never get back because I was sitting in a SALON for 2 to 3 hours.

6. What are your must-have products? Any favorites that you cannot do without? Must have is my shea butter mix that I make,WATER, and I must say that 3.99 Bonner Brother moisturizer.

7. Finally, any advice you'd like to give to women who have just BC'd or are thinking of going natural? Please share :) I can san just take the plunge but you have to be ready and do it at you own time, don't let anyone talk you into or out of it. Because when I do my mini twist and it takes me 5 hours nobody is helping me. Most importantly be happy and accept you texture don't wish for somebody else hair because more than likely someone is wishing for your. Just DO YOU!!! :)

(1st picture twist out, 2nd press, 3rd front braided with twist)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Product Reviews: Curl Clouds & Pop Curls Curly Jelly from SafiHaircare

The lovely owner of Safi Hair Care, Alex, was gracious enough to share 2 of her wonderful hair products with me to review for you all. I currently use her Avocado Shea Hair Butter for twists/twist-outs and absolutely love it.

The first product I tried is called Curl Clouds. It's described as a light mixture that is great for curl definition, daily moisture, and styling. It can also be used directly on the body to moisturize your skin. It has a very light and pleasant scent.

Ingredients: Raw Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Extracts of frankincense and myrrh, aloe vera gel, sweet almond oil, unrefined coconut oil, honey, and agave nectar.

When I tested this product, I used it on damp hair for curl definition. I applied in small sections from root to tip. It left me with a soft hold and good definition.
I also tried Pop Curls Curly Jelly. This is her new curl definer that she plans to release when the summer is over. It's a curl definer that gives a medium hold.

Ingredients: Water, organic flaxseed gel extract, rosemary e.o., pepperment e.o., and vitamin E.

I tried this on wet hair (dripping wet, right out the shower). The wetter your hair, the better the curl definition. Smooth it in from root to tip in small sections. You can scrunch, shake, or diffuse your hair once you're done with the application. I just let mine airdry, as I usually do with wash and go's. My hair was not crunchy at all but definitely had a good hold.

I give both products an A!! I will be purchasing in the future. I posted the link for Safi Hair Care's online store below.

Safi Natural Hair Care Online Boutique

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meet Tamara! This week's natural hair feature!!

1. How long have you been natural? Did you transition, BC, both?
My 4 yr nappiversary is in October.  I transitioned for 5 months and then BC’d.  It was the most liberating thing, I’ve ever done in my life.  I recommend it because it give you the opportunity to learn your hair as it grows. 

2. What reaction have you received since going natural? Did you announce your decision or did you just do it?
Many people were more shocked that I cut my hair than anything.  I believe the natural thing was a bonus.  I received a lot of positive responses about going natural but my mom was concerned that I made the conscious decision to BC rather cut all my hair off. People were aware that I was transitioning but the BC was a huge surprise.  Most people said they liked my natural hair and ‘it looks cute on you” was the typical response.

3. What are your current fave styles to do on your hair? Do you have a staple style? Please share how you achieve it :)
Currently, I love twist out, it’s easy, cute and helps  me to effective moisturize both my hair and scalp. My staple is the curly puff.  You can find information on my Curly puff here

4. What has been the most significant change within yourself that you've noticed since going natural?
I’m more confident and it’s a sincere confidence more than a superficial self-esteem that was a consequence of other’s opinion of me.   Many times I was identified as the girl with the long hair.  After I cut my hair, I could no longer hide behind my hair.  I really had to take a long hard look at myself.  When I went natural I removed the mask of societies and others definition of beauty.  I was afford the opportunity to define my own individual beauty.  I feel free to be me, uniquely.

5. What do you love most about being natural?
I love the individual beauty of it and how comfortable I am in my own skin regardless of the weather.

6. What are your must-have products? Any favorites that you cannot do without?
The Original Fragrance Shop moisturizing shampoo and hair pudding conditioner. Giovanni Direct Leave-In Condition, Olive Oil and Shealoe.

7. Finally, any advice you'd like to give to women who have just BC'd or are thinking of going natural? Please share :)
For those thinking about going natural, naturality is a lifestyle change and it’s a journey you must have patience and faith that your hair is growing perfectly for you.  Your natural hair is like a finger print it is unique to only you.

Tamara is the creator of the site www.naturalhairrules.com - Be sure to check her out :)


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Meet Evelyn! This Week's Natural Hair Feature

Meet the lovely Evelyn!! She is my first blog feature for Natural Hair and shares her story... Check it out :)

1. How long have you been natural? Did you transition, BC, both?
I've been natural for 5 months, relaxer free for about 17 months. I transitioned for maybe 11 months (i didn't keep track of my starting date because i didn't know what "going natural" meant...). Then I cut the remaining relaxed ends in my dorm room with the support of my closest friends!

2. What reaction have you received since going natural? Did you announce your decision or did you just do it?
My friends thought it was cool and "me", but my parents didn't quite get it. I made it very clear that I was through with relaxers, my friends and family could either be excited with me or not.

3. What are your current fave styles to do on your hair? Do you have a staple style? Please share how you achieve it :)
So far, no style beats a simple wash n' go! My two strand twist-outs are few and far between, because I personally prefer the "shrunken" look to stretched out styles. I co-wash with Hello Hydration (for now) and run Kinky Curly Curling Custard through my wet hair. I get shiny, springy coils every time! 

4. What has been the most significant change within yourself that you've noticed since going natural?
I'm more comfortable with myself. I don't feel like I'm competing with anyone anymore. I'm on another level altogether. My level. I'm more secure in myself.

5. What do you love most about being natural?
Being able to try any product, any style, WHENEVER i want. Although i'm really simple with my routine/regimen, i like having the option to switch it up at any time.

6. What are your must-have products? Any favorites that you cannot do without?
Kinky Curly Knot Today & plain ol' unrefined organic Shea Butter! My hair treat (it's costs $$$) is Miss Jessie's Super Sweetback Treatment - it has done wonders for helping me reduce breakage and retain my length, so it's well worth it! 

7. Finally, any advice you'd like to give to women who have just BC'd or are thinking of going natural? Please share :)
Whether a shaved head or a 2-year long transition. Just remember, you look beautiful when you feel beautiful. Simple as that :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tomorrow's First Blog Feature...

Is Evelyn!!! Stay tuned for her interview :)


Friday, July 2, 2010

How I Did My Twist 'n Curl

If you follow me on Twitter (@1KeetaRay), you know I promised you a "How-to" of the style I twit-pic'd yesterday of my hair.
Here is the look:
Here are the instructions:
  • Washed my hair with Mixed Chicks Shampoo to clarify/remove product build-up. This step isn't necessary.
  • Cleansed with Hair Rules Creamy Cleanser to add extra moisture before conditioning. Clarifying can really strip moisture from your hair.
  • Conditioned with Hair Rules Quench Conditioner & detangled in the shower in sections. Rinse conditioner out. Note: I never wash my hair with hot water. I make it lukewarm & rinse with cool water.
  • Applied Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In throughout.
  • Section hair to twist (doing single two-strand twists all over)
  • I have in a container a mixture of pure, unrefined shea butter with about 2 teaspoons of orgranic extra-virgin coconut oil mixed in. This is what I always use when twisting for moisture.
  • In addition to moisture, you need a product that will give some hold. For this twist out I used Miss Jessie's Silkening Cream (just a fingertip amount) to each section to twist. Note: You don't necessarily need to use both the shea/coconut oil AND Miss Jessie's. You can use just Miss Jessie's but my hair tends to get dry fast.Or, instead of Miss Jessie's you can use a small amount of alcohol-free gel for hold (I like EcoStyler or ic Fantasia olive gel).
  • After I'm done each twist, I "finger-roll" the ends & secure them with bobby pins so the ends are curled. You can use rollers/rods to curl your ends. I only did this b/c I cannot find my rods and had to get creative. So if you don't have any, you can do it this way. (See pic)
Please understand, I know these twists are NOT cute. They are not meant to be "seen". Lol This is just while your hair air dries :) **CHECK OUT THAT SHRINKAGE**

  • When you're done twisting, let your hair air dry. I do this overnight & take them out in the morning. IMPORTANT: Make sure your twists are completely dry when you take them out. If not, it WILL frizz.
  • When dry, I take a small amount of coconut or jojoba oil, rub into the palms of my hands and unravel the twists carefully (after removing the rods/rollers/bobby pins, of course). Be careful to prevent frizz. I usually then separate each unraveled twist into another 2-3 sections to make my hair "bigger".
  • Do this all over until you're done. Finger-style, add accessories... MAKE IT YOU. :)
In the winter, this style would last me 3-4 days without having to retwist. But due to the humidity and to keep definition, I will retwist every other night. Remember to sleep with a satin bonnet/scarf, or a satin pillowcase!

Hope this helped you ladies :) You can substitute products, of course. Let me know if you have questions.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seeking Lovely Naturals to Interview for Features!

OK Ladies... Like I said in my last post, I want to start featuring many of you on my blog. I want to start this coming Sunday, July 3rd. So, for those of you who follow me on Twitter (@1KeetaRay), or maybe even Facebook, please RT or post a link to my blog to make our naturalistas aware :) I'm going to post the questions below that I'd like women to answer. In addition, when you respond please email me at: tayah97@gmail.com, with "Blog Feature" as the subject,  and attach 2-3 pictures of yourself that you'd like to accompany the feature. Remember to select pics that show off your beautiful hair.

Here are the questions (you can copy and paste them into the email along with your pics, to make it easier):

1. How long have you been natural? Did you transition, BC, both?

2. What reaction have you received since going natural? Did you announce your decision or did you just do it?

3. What are your current fave styles to do on your hair? Do you have a staple style? Please share how you achieve it :)

4. What has been the most significant change within yourself that you've noticed since going natural?

5. What do you love most about being natural?

6. What are your must-have products? Any favorites that you cannot do without?

7. Finally, any advice you'd like to give to women who have just BC'd or are thinking of going natural? Please share :)

Thanks, ladies!! I look forward to sharing your stories so we can help encourage other women, letting them know it's okay to be natural :)


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Something New...

Good Morning! :)

I want to try something new with you ladies... I'm going to start posting natural hair interviews every Sunday evening. But I need your help! I want to ask 7-10 questions, what types of questions should I ask? Feel free to throw your ideas out at me. Once I get the questions set, I'll write them up and post them here for anyone who wants to participate to be included :) So, please - JOIN IN!! I'd like to start posting interviews/features by Sunday, July 4th. I know I've been MIA these days - so much has been going on but I am getting back into the swing of things. I don't want to leave you ladies hanging, there is SO MUCH INFORMATION out here for us! I want us to all stay encouraged on this journey and be here to support each other. Soooo... LET'S GOOOO!!! ;)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Product Review: Smooth & Shine Curl Activator Gel

Long time, no hear! :)
I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. Just wanted to post a quick review on a product I tried. It was recommended by my friend, Alex (see her on Twitter: @AisforAlex). It's called Smooth & Shine Curl Activator Gel and I got it from CVS. It is low-priced - I think I paid about $2-3 for the 10.5 oz jar. It gave me good definition with the perfect hold - not too hard, but not so soft that my hair frizzes up. I did a wash-and-go puff today (my trusty "It's-too-humid-for-twistouts" style).

The first few ingredients listed in order: Water - Glycerin - Propylene glycol - aloe leaf extract

Here is how I applied it:
I co-washed in the shower using Suave Coconut Conditioner (lightly detangled with wide-tooth comb). Squeezed excess water from my hair - I didn't towel-dry or blot my hair with a towel. I wanted it to be really wet. Next, once out of the shower I applied KC Knot Today Leave-In throughout my hair. Then, I applied the Smooth & Shine throughout my hair, in sections. I used small amounts of product on each section (maybe a quarter size). Gave my hair a good shake to separate the curls, then put on my Goodie Ouchless headband for the puff, and that's it. It didn't take my hair long to dry at all. Maybe a couple of hours.

Pics are below. If you try it, Let me know how you like it! :)

BTW - Usually to refresh wash-and-go's in the morning (because I know how it gets flat and just doesn't look good the next day when we wake up), I typically spray my mix of water & veggie glycerin throughout my hair to re-wet it enough for the curls to pop again, shake it and re-style. I usually do this for 2-3 days and will wash it again after that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Update for Saturday's Natural Hair Meet-Up

A small change has been made to the meet-up this Saturday, June 19th. Instead of meeting at 3pm, we will all meet at 4pm.

Please RSVP via email to dmvnaturals@gmail.com for location address. It will be in Laurel, MD.

Hope to see you all there!!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Call it Writer's Block!

I know I haven't posted in a LONG time but I've been really busy with my business. All of my focus and attention has been going to that, but I hope to have something to post SOON. I hope...  Thanks to all my blog followers for hanging in there! I appreciate ya. ;)

Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rest in Peace, Lena Horne

Sadly, Lena Horne has passed away at the age of 92. She will always be remembered for not only her acting but her activism. Truly a remarkable woman. Please click the following link for the story: Lena Horne

May she Rest in Peace...

DMV Natural Hair Meet-Up!

Ladies! I am helping to organize a natural hair meet-up on June 19th!! That's a Saturday. The time is TBD, but it will be in Laurel, MD. If you're interested in attending, please RSVP via email: DMVnaturals@gmail.com -- Please don't RSVP via this blog, we (I am doing this along with @Safi_HairCare on Twitter) are tracking all RSVPs using the above email account.

I hope to see you there!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do You Make Your Own Hair Products?

Hi, Everyone!!

I was checking some sites out earlier today and realized (again) that I should/could be making my own hair products for my natural hair. I came across a few sites that I wanted to share with you all.

  • You can buy Wholesale Shea Butter from this site: http://www.sheabutterweb.com/ (as well as Black soap, if you're interested.)
  • Find several oils (essential oils, vegetable oils, etc.) here: Oils by Nature
  • Do you like mixing your own products but don't have containers to store them in? No problem!! Buy them here, at a LOW PRICE! www.specialtybottle.com
Here's an EASY recipe for making shea butter souffle (great hair moisturizer and/or sealant, much easier to apply then shea butter alone):
2 parts coconut oil, 1/2 part shea butter, and 1/2 part castor oil. I came across this online today and plan to try it in the next week or so.

Feel free to share your own recipes or anything else you'd like to add :) We can all learn from each other!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What is a friend, anyway?

So, lately I have been asking myself this question. What exactly IS a friend? Sometimes, I feel I may put a lot of weight on this word. I mean, I take "friend" very seriously. I expect a friend to be there for me, not just when times are good and it's time to have fun, but when times get rough. I look at a real friend like family. Yet, I am always surprised at how other people, even those I've considered my friends, take that word so lightly. There seems to be no loyalty, people are dishonest, and take you for granted. I try to be there for my friends, but I am only one person, so I do the best I can. Maybe they're doing the best THEY can? I don't know...

I have friends and associates - they are two different things to me. Friends are the ones I can talk to about serious issues, who I know will be there for me, and I know without a shadow of a doubt they have my back and for the most part, they can be trusted (I never trust anyone 100% because people are just human and all have flaws). Associates are those I may chat with here and there, go out with, maybe shop with. You know, just the fun stuff.

How do you all view friends/friendships? I'd love to hear and get all your opinions, whether you agree or disagree :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

No Regrets...

Just wanted to share this super-cute pic I saw online! I love it. Wish I could have it in a painting and put it up in my place... 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Twists - Revisited

I've decided to put the twists back in. I did these the exact same way as I did them back in January (see this link for instructions). I love twists. They're a great protective style and you can do so many cute up-do's (which I personally love) or just wear them down if you want. I think I will keep re-doing the twists every 2-3 weeks for the next month or two :)

If YOU plan on doing twists, let me know how yours turned out!

Some pics:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

When We Do Too Much to Our Hair...

I've had so many conversations with friends and family members, asking why their hair "won't grow" and what can they do or what products can they buy to make it grow faster? I have some friends and family who always come to me asking what I did, as if I did some magic trick or something "special" to get my hair to be healthy and/or long (even in my relaxed-hair-days). Let me just say, I get the best results when I do LESS to my hair. I truly believe less is more, when it comes to our hair. No need to try all these different "potions" and tricks to create this fabulous head of hair. The key is: STOP DOING TOO MUCH.

So, what is "too much"? Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for someone else. You have to stick with what works FOR YOU. Which brings me to #1.

1. Stop trying different products every week and wondering why your results are not consistent. If you find a product that gives your hair sheen and body, and makes it feel good, keep using it. No sense in trying something new just because you heard someone talking about this new product on youtube or on a hair blog if what you're using already works.

2. Low-manipulation. Try not to do too much to your hair as far as styling goes. What I mean is, if you style your hair, try to keep that style for at least a week without manipulating it too much. For example, if you do a twist-out, if you can preserve it for a few days, do that. The longer you go without manipulating your hair too much, the better off your hair will be. Trust me, I know how we like to have different styles all the time. I, too, get bored VERY easily. But it's worth it.

3. Small-tooth combs are NOT your friend. This is more for the natural chicas. I hate to see rat-tail combs used on our hair to comb out sections. And really, the only time naturally curly hair should be combed (with a wide-tooth comb) is when it's wet and preferably with conditioner so that it glides through your hair easier. You get less breakage of your hair strands that way, therefore maintaining length.

4. You don't need a ton of products on your hair everyday. Remember that natural hair loves water. I find that my hair keeps moisture better if I apply my oil/moisturizer while my hair is wet, rather than dry. But you typically don't need a lot of product piled onto your hair every day.

5. Lastly, remember that kinky/curly hair is fragile. Yes, it may look strong & tough, but it really requires care and consistency. It's important to keep it protected as much as possible - ESPECIALLY at night. Sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf at night, or if you're like me and don't like the bonnet too much, sleep with a satin pillowcase. The key is to be consistent. One or two nights on a cotton pillowcase with no bonnet/scarf can cause lots of unnecessary dryness.

I hope these tips helped. It's the small things that count. Just take care with your hair and be consistent in your efforts, and the growth and health of your hair will come!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Natural Hair Expo 2010

Ladies! If you live in the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area, you really should come out to the Natural Hair Expo this Saturday and Sunday (March 20-21). It's in Baltimore, and it's $10 admission (I am not sure if that covers both days or just one). I will be there on Saturday for most of the day. Let me know if you plan on coming out, so we can meet up! :)

Here is the link for more information: Baltimore Natural Hair Expo 2010 . Check this site for: times, classes, schedule, what time the event starts/ends on each day, vendors that will be there, etc.

Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Favorite Hair Products

In my 16 months of being natural, I've tried quite a few products. Well, I have a NEW list of staples that I cannot live without. Some products are the same, while some I've recently discovered. Here they are, below:
  • Mixed Chicks Shampoo - I've tried using shampoos without sulfates, etc. But I had so much build-up and my hair wasn't responding well. It's true that sulfates can dry out natural hair. HOWEVER, I am a true believer that if something works for you, keep doing it. THIS shampoo works very well for me. It cleans without stripping my hair - it never feels dry, just... clean. I love it!
  • Mixed Chicks Leave-In - This is a creamy leave-in. Love it! It provides so much moisture AND hold, so now I use it for my twist-outs after washing my hair.
  • Herbal Essence Hello Hydration - When I do co-washes, I just use this conditioner. Works very well. Low-cost, keeps my hair moisturized. Great slip, too.
  • Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner - I use this as my deep conditioner.  This is the best one I've tried and alleviates all hair dryness issues for me. I use this once every 2 weeks.
  • Pure, un-refined Shea Butter - I get this from my local beauty supply. LOVE IT! I've been using this since I BC'd. It's inexpensive, and just does the job. One jar/carton lasts me months. 
  • Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil - Another staple that I've been using for quite some time now. A little goes a LONG way. Perfect, light oil. What I typically do is mix a small amount with shea butter, melt it enough to mix/whip it together, and apply it to my hair when damp as I two-strand twist. I take the twists out once dry and my hair is moisturized and soft.
Those are the products I use, folks. I love simplicity, so less is more when it comes to maintenance for me. You can find Mixed Chicks at local natural hair salons (check to see if they sell it there) or go their site: www.mixedchicks.net. Aubrey Organics and Coconut Oil (any brand is fine) I've gotten from The Vitamin Shoppe. Herbal Essence Hello Hydration you can get at your local Target, Walmart, CVS, etc.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Raheem DeVaughn Interview

For those who are Raheem DeVaughn fans, here is his recent interview with Mo'nique on her show. He is such a great and underrated artist!! Pick up his latest album, "The Love and War Masterpiece", if you haven't already.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The BB Natural Hair Chat is FULL


It appears that we now have the maximum 30 members and the chat is now FULL. Unfortunately, unless someone leaves the group, no one else can be added at this time. Congrats to those who were able to join!! You'll get great info and get to chat with like-minded ladies!


Natural Hair Chat on BlackBerry

Hey, everyone!!

I recently joined a BlackBerry group on BBM started by @CurlyNewGrowth on Twitter, called "Natural Hair". It's fun! You can share pics, give advice as well as receive it, talk about products, etc. There are currently 24 members which means there are only 6 spots left, so if you'd like to be a part, let me know!! Send me your BB pin via email (tayah97@gmail.com) OR, the easiest and fastest way would be to the scan the following barcode if you if have the newest BBM. :) Hope to see you on the chat!!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Motivation: From Ralph Marston

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I RT Ralph Marston a lot. I love his motivational and inspiring tweets. Well, he also has a site where he posts his Daily Motivators and here is today's. Just wanted to share :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Let yourself know

Those who achieve, do not know that they can't. Those who fail to achieve, do not realize that they can. What do you believe you can do? What do you think you cannot do?
Whatever it is, you are right. Now imagine what would happen if you raised your expectations.
Make your dreams so compelling that you forget about what you thought you could not do. And sure enough, you'll soon find yourself doing it.
Consider each skill, each ability, and realize that those skills and abilities can grow. Look at the accomplishments you've already reached, and see the possibilities for building on them.
See the very real continuum between the value you've already created and the goals you wish to reach. Let yourself know you can, and you will.
-- Ralph Marston