Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big Chop: No more relaxers...

 Are you planning to big chop, in order to go natural, but you're just a little scared? Don't worry, it happens to a lot of us..
My Big Chop! (9.27.09)

It's hard to ignore that there are a lot of women going natural at the moment(or choosing to wear their naturally kinky-curly hair). Some are choosing to have long transitions, some short, and some not at all, they just buzz cut it all off!  Whatever you do,  or however long you choose to wait, it's something you will have to mentally prepare yourself for.  I've met very few naturals who were "not" afraid to chop off their relaxer, and unveil their natural kinky curly texture to the world!  I have learned that most of the fear is from within. What I mean by that is, we automatically think that most people will respond negatively to our newly  natural hair.  But I've found that more people were accepting of my  natural hair than what I expected.  (many others come to find that this is the case as well..)I transitioned for 9 months, with the intention of going a full 12 months) I was so ready to be 100% natural but I was definitely afraid of what my natural hair would look like because I had no idea. On the day of my big chop I was excited and very nervous.  I had strong convictions on why I wanted to be natural, so I knew nothing was stopping me.  During the transition I learned a lot that I didn't know about my texture, and I was ready to see it fully without the relaxed ends.  So I called over a friend and she helped me chop off, a LOT of hair, and what I saw starring back at me in the mirror was a little unsettling at first.  I mean wow?  I really didn't expect my hair to be that short, it was so short and cottony, that I didn't know what could be done with it. I immediately wondered if I'd made a mistake in cutting it so soon.(Chop only when you are ready, because your hair will in most cases be shorter than what you expect.) It only took me a couple days to get over how short my hair was. To be all natural was so refreshing! No more wasting time and product on the damaged relaxed ends. I soon became more & more intrigued with my natural hair. I couldn't stop staring at it, and I couldn't keep my hands out of it, I went from being scared to in awe of the hair  God has blessed me with. 
Days following my Big Chop

Many of us are afraid because we don't know. We don't know what our hair will look like, how "WE" will look attached to our natural hair, or how others will respond to this hair that is attached to our heads. But I'm hear to tell you that the accomplishment and the freedom you will feel after you decide to big chop or wear your hair 100% natural will completely wash away all of those fears.
Last week was so awesome I did 3 big chops.. count em, 1..2.3 in one week! (on 2 sisters, and a friend.)  They all had different reasons why they wanted to do the Big chop, and go natural.  They all were a little anxious, or nervous about it, but soon after ended up being in awe, and actually liking their newly chopped heads!     Here's what they had to say below...

                                          My Sister Lasharus....She transitioned for 1 year

"I typically wear a lot of wigs, so I wasn’t really relaxing my hair or found it necessary. So I decided why not go ahead and try to go natural. When it was time to chop it off I wasn’t really afraid to do it because I plan to wear my wigs during the growth journey. I think it’s the best of both worlds! My long term goal is to see how long I can grow my natural hair!"

   Sis N Law Jackie..she transitioned for about 19 mos

"I wasn't so sure about going natural in the beginning, because I didn't know what my hair was going to look like. My hair is baby fine, and I knew relaxers weren't good for it.  I would see my Sis n law Chan's hair, and knew I liked it, but didn't know about it for my self. I eventually just stop perming it, and that went on for almost 2 years. I was really afraid to chop it because I'm accustom to wearing my hair one way, back in a bun or ponytail. And with doing the BC, I  figured I may not be able to do that.  I stalled for a while, when I finally got enough encourage, I was glad I did it. I'm loving my new curls and I started wearing my TWA out the same day!, and I'm still wearing it.. I love it!"

                                              My Friend V. She  transitioned for 3 Mos.
"The reason I decided to  big chop is because once I decided to go natural the premed hair over my new growth or natural hair was beginning to become a nuisance, so the big chop sooner than later was the only option for me.   I wasn't sure about it at first because I had quite a bit of hair and I enjoyed my ponytails!  But now that it's done I feel completely liberated and I'm excited about my natural hair journey!"
* All of these women were  attached to relaxed hair, and or wigs. Neither of them thought they could ever chop off their relaxed hair to go natural, but they did. (And their hair turned out beautiful).  So see, there's nothing to be afraid of, according to the bible, we are all wonderful and fearfully made! So embrace God's wonderful creation, and that would be you and your hair! So, if  big chopping is really what you want to do, I'm here to say that you can, and 9 times out of 10 you'll look great!

Until Next Time.. Keep It Healthy and Happy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Product Usage/How to use heat: Chan Said Q/A Series

Heeey, Healthy Happy Hair enthusiast!..So, I'm really excited about this post.  It will be the first of many Chan Said: Blog Posts.   I came up with this post name through an inside joke that my friends and I have going.  Most of them have come to me for hair advice throughout their natural hair care journey, and whenever they share with their spouses or other people  in their lives what I've shared, It's Chan Said, this or that..  
a few of my natural friends

One of my friends said it became so frequent that her hubby start to make fun at her by saying.. Chaaan Said, Chan Said.....meddling her...funny right?   And then some of my other friends shared they were guilty of the same thing.. So it actually became quite funny in our circle of friends every time someone would say Chan Said, when sharing natural hair care tips.... I thought it was quite funny..  and since I'm ALWAYS getting asked so many questions, GOOD questions about hair care, I figured I'd start sharing what I said, with you! : )   So, I'm starting this sort of "Ask Chan" Blog Post series....

Other natural friends

  Most questions on healthy hair care, I feel I have solid supported answers for, and when there's an area I'm  not sure about, I research and give "my opinion."   Overall most people find the information helpful and I'd like to share their questions and my answers with you.  My answers will be comprised of personal,professional, and scientific data that I've collected, researched, and experienced.   But, most of us know that the best way to figure out what our hair like and does not like is to safely experiment with it, my info should always be taken as a loose guide, no natural hair police here! Do what your hair responds best to..period...SO with that being said, lets get started with my first  Chan Said:  Blog Post!

Anonymous:  " Hey Chan, What natural hair care products do you use, and when using heat, what temperature should  you set your flat iron to when straightening your hair out?"

Chan Said:  Hey Anonymous, My product selection, I use a lot of things.(because I love trying products)  But my favorites are:  Aubrey organics conditioners, Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie & their deep treatment mask, and Shidnaturals Moisturizer..(I love Bee Mine also but Shida's is more cost effective for me)    

Heat Styling Temps:

That is a tricky question because it depends on each person's hair, (and their hair's current condition). But do know: that your hair should be clean and very moisturized before heat styling. Let it air dry first-(stretched, instead of blow drying to lessen the heat exposure).. use a heat protectant and try a very low heat first to see how your hair responds. Start with 300 degrees Fare. or 140 degress Cel.. If your flat irons don''t have these ranges just go round about or set to the lowest possible temp. The bonds in the hair start to melt at 233 C or 451 F(source: The Science of Black Hair)    I would not use a flat iron that does not have a temp gauge.. Also, if you are trying to transition to natural hair, it's best not to use flat irons to straighten your roots because it can affect your hair texture and maybe even damage it.  (Another great tip that I recently received from Anthony Dickey of Hair rules, is to wear wash a goes every day for a week leading up to a heat styling session to make sure the hair is extremely moisture conditioned)

I hope this Q & A session was as helpful to you as my Anonymous reader,

Until Next time beauties! Keep it Healthy and Happy!

If you have any probing questions, don't hesitate to send me a quick note: Your question very well may end up in the next Chan Said:  Blog Post!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Natural Hair Expo in Dallas and My Birthday!

Jane Carter(owner of Jane Carter Solutions)

Finally a natural hair expo close to home! Nappiology Dfw(a non-profit organization) had their 3rd Annual Natural Hair Expo, and I was more than happy to be in attendance. I've been dying to get to the one in Atlanta for 3 years now.  So it felt great to have one in our own back yard. 

Breakfast at the Cracker Barrell/Celebrating my Bday!

My friends and I entering the Expo

Me hanging out with my friends and attending this expo was basically my birthday gift to myself! It was so much fun, and we were really excited I don't think any of us had been to a natural hair meet up of this size..  They had a lot of good vendors  booths too.   But, Jane Carter was our Favorite! Her items were selling for $10 & $5.00 It was amazing.  Her booth stayed busy!

There were also a lot of informative classes and workshops, I was only able to attend  1 because all my friends wanted to do was shop. lol...I think next time we will attend classes before shopping, because they weren't trying to hear me on those classes, they had shopped themselves silly and tired!

Hair Rules..Anthony Dickey's Class

He was very informative regarding our hair texture, he also has years of experience with our hair.  I personally had a question about heat damage. He prides himself on helping our women experience the versatility of our hair from Coily/Curly to Straight successfully without heat damage. I was all ears because this really seems to be hit or miss with a lot of naturals. More of trial and error.  Anthony says, curly hair that's already dry and under moisturized is more susceptible to heat damage.  He recommend that you wear wash n go's at least a week prior to having a heat service done because the hair will then be moisture trained so to speak.  I got in there late, but I enjoyed the part of his class that I did hear.  I LOVE healthy hair Talk!

Hair Rules: Hair Model & Anthony Dickey

A little pose before leaving

I thoroughly enjoyed my entire day from my birthday breakfast, to the expo, to dinner at Bayou Cat.  We were so tired and hungry when we left that expo, that we had to stop by a local Cajun food favorite, to rest and fill our bellys!    

Mmmmmh, that fish was SO good!

Til Next Time.. Keep it Healthy and Happy!