5 Things You Should Have Tried From the 2018 Charleston Natural Hair Expo

This past weekend, I attended the 7th Annual Charleston Natural Hair Expo, and I'd say it was a great event overall. I only had one goal in mind, and that was to walk away with products that I would actually use instead of buying things just for the sake of buying. In past years I haven't been as discerning with my spending and left with things that I never even used once I got home. The items pictured below are ones that I've been enjoying since this past Saturday, and I think you'll be seeing a lot more of them on my Instagram feed. 

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  1. Celestial Beauty Goddess Glow in the shade "Heavenly"- This body highlighter comes in a variety of shades, so be sure to check out the entire line to choose the most appropriate shade for your skin tone. We're looking for maximum glow up out here these days! 
  2. Unorthodox Roots satin-lined headwrap- This brand creates satin-lined hats and headwraps, and I thought that the one I purchased was great for giving my durags a break.(For those of you who don't know this about me, I often wear durags underneath my regular headwraps to protect my hair from the drying fabric.)
  3. The entire haircare line from Femme Noire- The packaging grabbed my attention, and the ingredients made me stick around. My hair likes most of the oils in their products already, so I decided to spring for the entire line and give it all a try. The Flower Bomb Hair Growth Oil is pictured, but best believe all of those products took a ride home in my bag. I even purchased their travel-sized products, so I'll be doing a post on how my hair holds up during my next trip to Seattle! I typically do protective styles when I travel across the country, so this will be a completely new experience for me. Fingers crossed! 
  4. Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner from Alikay Naturals- This is an old staple from when I made the decision to stop flat ironing my hair as frequently back in 2014. The scent alone made me want to twist my hair every night, and my hair was always moisturized and less prone to breakage because of it. Add a little oil to the ends on top of it, and it's a done deal. I like this product still in 2018 because it's a nice style refresher also. 
  5. Chewies (not pictured) from Brown Sugar Charleston- Since being in Charleston, I've developed a deep-seated love for chewies. I'm not new to Brown Sugar Charleston, but I was too excited to see their table set up at this years expo! I walked away that day with my sweet tooth fully satisfied, but you should contact Brown Sugar Charleston for your cake and dessert jar needs as well. Their key lime cupcakes are my all-time favorite.   

 

Wanna know the best thing about each of these vendors? 

They actually TALKED to me and my friends, and showed genuine excitement about what they were offering! Each one beamed when talking about how they were solving a specific need, whether it was protecting my coveted strands, nourishing them, making sure my skin was extra poppin', or ensuring that I didn't have to hunt any longer for the best sweets in town. Next year at the expo, I'd love to see more of that kind of energy from all the vendors in the room. These few from my haul definitely stole the show in my eyes, and I can't wait to see them again soon! 

 

What was your #1 purchase from the Charleston Natural Hair Expo this past weekend? Let me know in the comments below! 

A Must-Read Before Touching My Hair Without Permission

I see ya'll are still out here cutting up when it comes to black hair. Here we are, almost halfway through 2018...

AND HERE I AM STILL TELLING SOME OF YA'LL TO KEEP YOUR PAWS AWAY FROM MY FRO. 

Truth time: I don't like being touched by strangers. Who does? I don't know what kind of actual filth someone might have been rummaging around in right before coming out of the restroom and NOT washing their hands. My fight or flight was tested for the first time a few months ago when a coworker tried to 

GRAB. 

MY. 

HAIR. 

Before that day, I'd NEVER experienced it personally. I'd always heard the stories from other black women and thought "hmm...glad this hasn't happened to me. Sounds terrible." I mean, black women are already labeled as aggressors even when we speak in the calmest Toni Braxton tones in stressful situations. Often, it doesn't matter what we do anyway since Carol will always find a way to be the victim.

We're wrong for hurting a person's feelings by saying "no."

We're responsible for how you react to being told "no." 

We can say "no," but it has to be in a way that's pleasing to you.

Sounds mad predatory and kinda victim-shamey, right? Man. That's crazy. 

But back to Stacy, ya'll.

 

So here Sarah comes, asking questions about work processes.

Cool. 

Then, out of nowhere, I hear "Wow! Your hair looks amazing!"

I looked up to see a hand coming straight for me as she's simultaneously asking, "Can I tou--." 

You know what I did? 

I slid straight back in that rolling chair like she had the plague. I rolled all the way backwards to the other cubicle. Because what is you doin, baby? 

That embarrassed her (of course, because how dare I), and I swear Emily went through a few stages of grief while miraculously dodging the acceptance part of it all. 

  1. Shock- What's wrong with letting her touch my hair? Why was I overreacting? 
  2. Denial- Susie tried it again, and I leaned all the way to the left in my chair and gave her a cold ass stare that said, "Try it a third time and we're both getting escorted out of here." 
  3. Bargaining- She ACTUALLY told me "the other girl" lets her do it all the time. I'm still trying to figure out what someone else's hair has to do with mine. But...go off. 
  4. Anger- You know that typical thing all the Samanthas do. They get loud, make a little scene because you denied them, and tell everyone who will listen that you don't like them/ are mean to them. No, girl. I'm just not your pet. 

She asked me “why?” several times, and each time my response was "no." That's all Shannon deserved from me.

Sometimes it isn't just hair that people might be after without permission, and it's scary to think about how inappropriate people are when it comes to personal space. Think about how often you see grown-ups giving children kisses on the face, how the kids CLEARLY don't want to be bothered, and how these kids end up getting in trouble because they were "rude." Some of ya'll are mad cringy and need to rethink some things. 

You don't owe anyone an explanation. Your "no" is always enough.

As for me and my fro? You ain't touching us. 

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3 Winter Tips for Your Type 4 Hair

A wash-and-go in January? Chile, please. Form Beauty made it possible though, and I was feeling the definition! 

A wash-and-go in January? Chile, please. Form Beauty made it possible though, and I was feeling the definition! 

 

(Note: This post is not sponsored by Form Beauty or Curlformers. I took that 20 minute quiz and purchased my regimen and drove to Sally's for these rollers just like some of you might do after reading this! lol)

 

I'm back with another post on winter haircare!

It's a follow-up to the wig post that's inspired by a mix of old information we've heard for years and... finally accepting that you're stubborn and should have just listened sooner. 

 

  1. KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT YA HEAD!-- My mother always told me this back in middle school when I was grown and wanted a different hair style every single day. More manipulation= more breakage. You know that hair sheds naturally from day to day already, so why run the risk of shedding wayyyy more than normal? 
  2. Protect your protective styles- I'm sure it sounds silly, but don't be out here slapping a dry-behind snap back on top of your head without at LEAST securing your natural hair with a du-rag or scarf first. (YES, I still wear durags....fight me.) All the YouTubers have been telling you over and over to pamper the 'fro with silk pillowcases or bonnets at night, so why wouldn't you do the same if you're out and about wearing a hat during the daytime? Even when I wear my beanies and head wraps you can bet money that I'll have a durag underneath. #FlapsOutForeva
  3. Go easy on the product-- I'm a product junkie in remission, and my recovery journey has done wonders for my hair. I had to learn the hard way that everything wasn't meant to go in my head all at one time. Now I limit myself to two products after cleansing my hair, and I've seen it grown like crazy when combined with low manipulation and protective styling.
 

Putting it all into action means what, exactly? 

The Beginnings of a REAL Wash-and-Go Routine?

I tried out the Form Beauty regimen while taking a break from my wigs this winter. I’m super impressed with how my hair turned out! The custom regimen has been perfect for me with wintertime wash-and-gos, which I NEVER do because my hair just becomes a dry, tangled mess by the end of the week. That wash-and-go pic was from around day 4 when I really start looking like an understudy for the Felicia character in Friday. 

Around day 4 or 5 of stretched hair using only JBCO, hair butter, and Curlformers. It's getting to that frizzy point, but it was still so SOFT and SHINY! 

Around day 4 or 5 of stretched hair using only JBCO, hair butter, and Curlformers. It's getting to that frizzy point, but it was still so SOFT and SHINY! 

What About Stretching? 

I stick to Jamaican Black Castor Oil and the thickest, NOT WATERY hair butter I can get my hands on when I stretch my hair. I started paying more attention to my strands and noticed that runny product does nothing but dry my hair out faster. Using the JBCO and hair butter combo on dripping-wet hair and air-drying with Curlformers seems to be they key to ensuring that my 'fro isn't dusty-looking and sad by day 3. 

Share your favorite tips for maintaining your hair type in the comments!

We Are NOT Your Costume.

Y'all. Halloween is still one of my favorite times of year, even though I'm a smooth 26 years old now. And even though I enjoy myself, I always have to stay on guard and prep myself mentally for the inappropriate and downright ignorant ways that some of your friends out there try to outdo themselves from the previous year. This post isn't about your obvious blackface that happens every year like clockwork, because #idiotsgonnaidiot. I'm not wasting my time on y'all this year. 

Who I DO want to address, though, are the ones who run from criticism and choose to belittle the feelings of others by hiding behind the shield of "I'm a person of color, too!" I want to address those of you out there who try to drown voices like mine out by saying things like "I'm black, and I don't find this offensive." And let's not forget those of you who run to support your tone-deaf friends in their public "apologies" in droves by further drowning my voice and others like it out by saying: 

"You don't need to apologize for anything! ESPECIALLY when it wasn't your intention to hurt anyone." 

"People these days are always trying to find something to be offended about." 

"Haters gonna hate. I think your hair looks amazing in this picture!" 

Let's be VERY clear: NONE OF YOU SPEAK FOR ME. None of you speak for anyone except yourself. It's pitiful to see how black voices respectfully (because y'all always stress that we have to be, right?) share their real, valid feelings repeatedly just to have them square-danced around in order to enthusiastically acknowledge those voices that support a dry afro wig for the sake of getting in touch with an inner "soul sister (look that one up if you don't know the origin of the term)," and even going as far as using the AFROPUNK hashtag to widen the reach of said tomfoolery. Use that same energy to respond to feedback like mine, because it's all about learning from each other, right? Or is that just something y'all like to say that sounds good? 

When you know better, you do better. Or...you delete posts and go into hiding until you've come up with a good enough angle to make yourself out to be the victim "attacked" by fed-up individuals who simply want you to pay more attention to what the hell you're doing.

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In the spirit of not speaking for anyone else, I'll just say that I, myself, am tired. Do with it what you will, but please make an effort to make it positive instead of pretending to build bridges by starting one-sided "conversations."

After all, "We are community that needs to come together to move forward," right? 
 

You NEED A Puff Cuff

I had time to wear the fiery fro out this day! I made these earrings, and you can check out my current list of handmade items at  Homegrown Melanin . and the (AMAZING) lipstick is from  Trenique Beauty  in the shade Guilty Pleasure!  

I had time to wear the fiery fro out this day! I made these earrings, and you can check out my current list of handmade items at Homegrown Melanin. and the (AMAZING) lipstick is from Trenique Beauty in the shade Guilty Pleasure!  

I kept seeing ads on my Facebook timeline about the PuffCuff, and each time I would scroll past it. It seemed like a cool idea, but I just had zero faith that this clip would work for my hair at all. I mean, this is someone who still hasn't found a gel that will keep her edges in place all day long. I just pictured my hair not staying inside the PuffCuff or looking like much of anything. One day I finally broke down and clicked the ad. About a week later, I had an Original PuffCuff in my hand. 

I was running late for work this day, and didn't have time to do anything to my hair besides throw it up. my PuffCuff was right on time this day!!! My puff was bigger than my head and POPPIN'! 

I was running late for work this day, and didn't have time to do anything to my hair besides throw it up. my PuffCuff was right on time this day!!! My puff was bigger than my head and POPPIN'! 

Ever since, I've been serving looks. My favorite way to wear my hair is in a high puff, and I feel like my puffs have been even bigger since I got my PuffCuff. I get more compliments on my hair, and I'm not worried about my hair breaking the accessory or bending it out of shape (I'm looking at you, banana clips. I don't have to worry about the PuffCuff showing, because it's ROUND, meaning that you don't get those unsightly bumps that stick out to the side of banana clips. Needless to say, I'm a fan because my puff actually has LIFE now. 

Every now and then, I try to go back to that stretched elastic headband just to try and tell myself that it's something I can always fall back on, but each time I regret it. The puff looks good, true enough, but the headache at the end of the day simply isn't worth it. I'll stick with my PuffCuff, because I know exactly where home is now! 

Get a PuffCuff, and let me know what you think about it in the comments below!