Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PIX! (Because I don't feel like writing)

I am super lazy today. And since I'm already having to exert energy I don't have on a paper for class Monday (yes, a paper already), I figured I'd just hit y'all with a bunch of pix. Wanna see 'em? Here they go:

twist-out from the beginning of the month

Result of a braid-out. My hair was super soft and big that day!

I realized that Miss Jessie's I bought works best for me when I do my puff.

I did a roller set about two weeks ago. I didn't care for how poofy it was...

but i think i should've just pinned both sides because I love this.

roller set: side view

roller set: back

after I played around in/picked out my roller set

twist-out. really i wanted to show off my freshly waxed brows (my first time!) & makeup attempt

2nd day twist outs are the best! (i know it's blurry, but the hair still looks great so...)

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Natural Newbie How-To Guide

So I'm natural... Now what?!

This post is a collaboration of two 31BNB challenges: Day 9 & 19.

Previously, I mentioned that I had no idea what I would write a how-to on because I am just learning "how to" myself when it comes to hair. In the comments I got a suggestion from Kimberlee Stiens:

Maybe you could write a how-to about newbie natural mistakes to avoid? Or products that are terrible? Or maybe dealing with reactions from friends/loved ones?
So here I am fulfilling the day 19 challenge (Turn a comment into a blog post) and going back to day 9 to do a how-to.This is a how-to on avoiding (most) natural newbie mistakes. Of course, with everything that you start new, you are bound to make some mistakes. My mistake so far besides doing the BC while tipsy has been slacking in the moisturizing/conditioning department. But the thing is, you want to avoid as many mistakes as possible, especially those that can be damaging long-term. After all, the reason that most folks go natural is because they want healthy hair. So let's see what we can do to avoid being counterproductive to that!
1. Don't expect your hair to do the same things it did when it was relaxed.
I'm used to having long tresses that did exactly what I wanted it to do. Since going natural, my hair rebels and does it's own thing. And I'm learning that it's okay! Don't look for your hair to do the same things it did when permed (or even while transitioning), or to react the same way to products you once used. Sure, they may still work the same and have the same effect, but be aware of the possibility that they may not.
2. Do your homework.
Thanks to the "interwebs" there is a wealth of knowledge out there. From styling to the science behind your hair, there are articles, blogs, YouTube videos, books, you name it! Empower yourself with knowledge. A word of caution, though: not everyone knows what they are talking about, and it seems like everyone on  the web considers themselves an expert. Do your due diligence to find out what's legitimate and works for you.

3. Know your limits.
Some things are better left to the professionals. As bad as I want some color in my hair right now, I'm not trying to do it myself because I know that I don't know what I'm doing. And I'm going to a salon tomorrow to get my ends trimmed because I don't have the tools or knowledge to do it properly. What I'm saying is, know what you can & can't do. Sure, you should learn your hair and how to take care of it. Know your limits, that's all I'm saying.

4. Figure out your hair type and what works well for it.
More than likely you'll have a couple different types of hair on your head, so you'll have to learn to make things work for each type. This is another area where it may be beneficial to consult a professional (if they know anything about natural hair--many don't). How do you determine the type of hair you have? The most common method is one popularized by Oprah's stylist Andre. It categorizes hair into type I-IV and then further into a,b, or c. I really like this page at that explains the various hair types.
There is also the LOIS hair system.

So that's my little how-to guide on avoiding natural (hair) disaster as a newbie. Any other tips or advice, feel free to comment!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Naturals in Advertising (31BNB, Day 17)

You know what amazes me? Even before I knew of the "natural movement" or knew anyone personally who had natural hair, I saw incredible images of black women rocking their natural hair. Where? In ads! Whether print, television, or online, natural hair seems like it's more accepted than relaxed hair (at least, from the images shown). Of course, most of the women in these ads have the kinda corkscrew coils that most see as favorable... but still, natural is natural.

So from time to time I want to share images/video of women rocking natural hair in advertisement. Let's see just how much I can find... We may not even realize how often we see naturalistas doing their thing!

on Regions Bank's website today

Lane Bryant model


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

31BNB: Days 12-15

As you may or may not know from my sporadic posts, I am participating in's 31 Days to a Brand New Blog Challenge. Once again, I am playing catch up. (Days 16 & 17 coming later today or tomorrow with 18)

Day 12: Get Business Cards for your Blog
I considered this a while back, but never followed through on it. I came up with a really cute design, though. Two, actually (one for this blog and one for The Eclectic) but I'll probably only get the cards for this site. My soror/naturalista/fellow blogger L. Michelle from My Hair...Is Me mentioned that she hands her cards out when people ask about her hair or when she meets other people with natural hair. Shoot, a business card would've been handy when I met the next person I'll be featuring. (Interview coming soon, I promise!) Sooo yeah, I'll be getting that taken care of.

Day 13: Promote Your Blog on Twitter
Finally ahead of the curve on something! I promote two of my personal blogs on my "personal" twitter account, and my business blog on my "professional" account. (One of my blogs is semi-anonymous so people just happen to stumble across it...)

Day 14: Add/Remove Widgets
I don't know how! Okay, I take that back, I know how. But my blogroll has turned into a monster, so I'm trying to figure out how to arrange that... Some other things will probably get the boot as well, so this little site will look a bit different. And it won't be long!

Day 15: Assess Your Blog's Progress
7 posts since August 1 (not counting this one).
8 comments (not counting my own)
71 visitors.
Not sure of the exact numbers of new subscribers (I want to say 4?), but I do know that it has gone up. (BTW: hello and thanks for following! Feel free to comment, follow me on twitter, or drop me an email!)
When comparing this blog with the ones that I am not doing the 31BNB for, I can tell a difference in the bounce rate, time on the site, page visits... Basically, people are reading this blog as opposed to scanning the others. I don't know if it's because others who are a part of this challenge are visiting or because this blog is more focused while the other personal blog is as random as I am. The business blog is hard for me to get going, I admit, so I'm not too surprised that it has the highest bounce rate. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the progress so far. I don't have Google Analytics info to compare last month, but I know I wasn't getting this much traffic and comments from readers. Hopefully it will keep up even after 31BNB!

The grass always looks greener....

Seems like no matter what you're born with, you always want other features.

Many (not all, of course) dark skinned women wish for "fairer" skin, sometimes even resorting to deadly methods to get it.
Meanwhile, our white counterparts risk skin cancer to be darker.
People pay big money to get the full lips and hips and booty, while I'm sure many of us at some point wanted to trade it all after some form of ridicule.

We straighten our hair in attempts to look more "mainstream."
Then others do this:

The grass always looks greener on the other side, eh?

Thanks to KinkyCurlyQueen on Naturally Obsessed for posting this. I'd never heard of/seen "afro perms" before.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Unlikely Inspiration

I've been carrying these pictures in my phone since January and haven't posted them yet!

The last time (or time before last) I went to the salon, I was sitting under the dryer thumbing through a magazine. I think it was American Salon or something like that... I dunno. Anyway, as I was going through, there was a series of photos that caught my eye. These two were the most stunning:

I love these looks! From what I can remember (and my memory is a bit hazy... after all, this was seven months ago) the style is basically a very high ponytail that has been combed/brushed forward, then tucked & pinned under. The second pic is a variation of the same style, with the ponytail veering slightly to the side to give it a more angular look.

As soon as I saw this, I envisioned myself with this hairstyle--with poofy natural hair, of course. I think the texture and thickness of my hair would take this to the next level! Although I like the hair in the pictures, I think it looks a little too flat. A bit more volume, some banging earrings, & some smokey eyes... Mississippi couldn't handle me! LOL

Unfortunately I'll have to wait a while (years maybe? OMG Imma cry) until my hair is long enough for this. But if any readers or other natural bloggers try this style out, please send pix! I'd love to show off how this already gorgeous style looks once you put that natural twist to it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

31BNB: OMG WHAT DAY IS THIS?! (Day 7-11)

I am playing maaaaajor catch up today. I have posts in draft on every single one of my blogs (I have four blogs, total). So today I will (briefly) try to cover the challenges that I've missed... I envy and admire those of you who are participating in 31BNB and actually doing all the challenges the day of. One day I aspire to be that focused and committed to something that doesn't involve a check!

Day 7: Self Host Your Blog
This is something that I have thought about, but for now it's still on the back burner. Right now I'm not serious enough or consistent enough for that. Plus, with the 1001 other things I'm trying to do, every penny has to be accounted for and time is a precious commodity that I just don't have enough of. (I swear, y'all get 24 hours, but I'm getting shorted like 5 hours in my day.) Anyway, once I get some room to breathe (December maybe, after I become Tori D., MBA?) this will be on the agenda. More than likely, it will involve combining my three personal blogs, getting someone to do a hot lil design/theme for me... it'll be great! If you have more immediate plans for hosting your own blog, check this post and video tutorial on how to do just that.

Day 8: Tweak Your Blog's Theme
Unfortunately I have to wait until I get home to do this. My work computer won't let TGHD be great! But I have an idea already in mind ^_^

Day 9: Write a How-To Post
I'm gonna have to come back to this one. I've been thinking about this since the 9th. My issue is that I really don't know how to do much of anything hair-wise! After all, this blog is not coming from a hair expert or someone who has been natural for a long time. This is a "watch the newbie" type thing. What could I say that would actually be beneficial to someone that hasn't already been posted all over the beloved interwebs?
But I'll come up with something...

Day 10: Respond to Comments
I think I'm pretty good about this (usually) but I haven't even looked at this blog since the end of last week so.... yeah, I'll get on that.

Day 11: Add a Contact Page
Darn, I started to do this the other day when I did the About page! I would've felt so far ahead of the game LOL Dah well, it's going up in a few minutes. And I expect to be contacted! Hmph!

So now I'm kinda sorta caught up..... Okay not really, I still have work to do. But know that I am getting on it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

31BNB Challenge: Day 5 & 6

Today's Yesterday's challenge was to comment on three blogs that I've never commented on before. I took it one baby step further and decided to comment on three blogs I've never even read before. I checked out's list of bloggers that participated in the day 4 challenge and picked the following three:

  • 5 Steps to Begin Your Nonprofit Career: chosen because I eventually plan on having two non-profits within the next 5- 10 years (maybe I've mentioned this on The Eclectic, I'm not sure).  In this post Madelyn outlines five valuable steps to kick start that. My Nonprofit Experience will definitely be a blog that I frequent, especially as the time draws closer for me to put my plan into action.
  • 3 Reasons Why I Can't Be Your Shrink: I knew from the title that this was going to be a fun post, and it was! And oddly, I could relate to it...
  • Lola Gets a Life: A List Post: Miss Lola lists her favorite things in her post, and I have to co-sign on a lot of it! Added bonus: she has beautiful natural hair! She makes mention of the Jane Carter Solution. I've never heard of that product line, but she's used the styling products. If any of you know about it/have tried it, let me know!
So there you have it! If nothing else, this 31BNB challenge has exposed me to some awesome bloggers... My blogroll is looking real fat right about now!

*I linked the blogs that I commented on & am now following as my activity for Day 6. Look at me working smarter, not harder! Now I'm all caught up!*

It's not just the hair! (#31BNB Challenge: Day 4)

day 3's challenge is the new about page... I never know what to say when talking about myself....

It's amazing that something as "trivial" as hair can bring about changes in other areas of life. No, I'm not saying my whole world has changed and I'm a brand new person after getting rid of the perm! But small changes here and there... Here are a few of the things that I've noticed are evolving along with my look.

1. PATIENCE: You cannot rush natural hair! Sometimes, like last night, I can spend 35 minutes just detangling my hair. It's tedious; it's time consuming. However, taking care of each section and making sure it's done right is well worth it. I'm learning (ever so slowly) to take my time with some things. Not everything has to be rushed. Some have to take a while to do right and to truly enjoy.

2. SELF ASSURANCE: Even though I've gotten a lot of positive comments from others regarding my new look, I still get hit with negativity and criticism. If I wasn't confident in what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and who I am, some of those comments could make me falter. In learning to defend my decision and advocate natural hair to those who think they "can't do it," I feel a little more confident when talking about other ideas and decisions that may be met with adversity.

3. MY PERSONAL STYLE: I often used my long straight hair as my sole accessory. Earrings were a maybe; necklaces were almost never even considered. Now that I'm rocking short tresses, I'm becoming a little more experimental with my jewelry as well as my makeup. Not only that, but I'm trying to take more risks as far as clothing is concerned. I'm not trying to be disingenuous to who I am and my style, but why relegate myself to the "safe" colors and styles that I have? Especially when I see cute outfits on others or put pieces together in my mind and think "I could rock that." I'm already going against the grain here with the natural hair. What's to stop me from playing with everything else a little more?

4. APPROACHABILITY: Okay, I don't know if that's quite the word I'm looking for, but it'll have to do for now. These days, I get a lot of opening lines about my hair, from men and women alike. Now that's not so new, because that happened pretty often before. However, where I used to just say "Thanks" and keep moving, I'm now eager to discuss my hair regimen, style ideas, why I went natural, etc. And I'm more apt to approach another natural haired lady to pay her compliments, ask what she does to it/uses on it, whatever. And yeah, we're just talking about hair, but it's not just the hair! That intro could lead/has lead to various networking opportunities to use to my benefit socially, professional, etc.

So, have you recognized any changes that sort of corresponded to your natural hair journey?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pix: The Puff!

Y'all, I was seriously serving up some fierceness last night! I was headed to revival and for some reason the fro just wasn't looking right. I remembered a style that I did when I first started transitioning, and a lightbulb went off in my head. What I had was basically a relaxed poof! (Sounds like a contradiction, I know.) So I pulled my hair back, stuck what seemed like a hundred bobby pins in my hair to form a sort of crown, then doubled up my elastic headband to hold it taut. I was so pleased with the results!

And if you're wondering: yes, I was in the church foyer snapping pix. That's me, all day boo. I takes pix anywhere son! #thuglife LOL

*Dress & necklace: Lane Bryant

Monday, August 2, 2010

31 BNB Challenge: Day 2

*I'm participating in's 31 Days to a Brand New Blog Challenge, so for the month of August I'll be posting these in addition to my regular hair posts. Hopefully this will help me improve as a blogger and a writer. We will see!*

Yes, I know I don't have a Day 1 post. Unfortunately I didn't have Google Analytics set up until last night, so I couldn't really tell anything about the traffic that this site sees. Maybe I'll loop back around to that near the end of the month. Anyway, on to today's challenge:

Purpose Statement for The Good Hair Diaries

This blog is meant to be a tool to share not only what I learn about natural hair, but about myself on my natural hair journey. I want to discuss attitudes towards African Americans with natural hair and regimens, products & styles that do & don't work for me. I'd like to encourage discussion concerning beauty in America and Black America, with the occasional diversion for makeup or rants... I would most like this blog to be known as a place for other black women who are transitioning or who have recently transitioned to natural hair to network, share stories, encouragement, advice, etc. without fear of judgment or ridicule.