Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The devil is a lie: Hair Envy

This post is about hair envy!!!! What is it? Who has it? And how do you get rid of it?

Hair envy happens to many naturals. It is especially common when people first transition to natural. When I first went natural, I stared at other naturals' hair like Naptural 85, Mahogany Curls, Beautifulbrwnbabydol, and the list goes on, hoping and wishing for hair like theirs. I was unable to see the beauty in my own texture, and I become very unhappy with my own hair. I wanted their length. I wanted their fullness. I wanted their definition. I want! I want! I want! Does this sound familiar yet? Over the time span of being natural, I began receiving compliments from my coworkers/ peers/ friends, which forced me to look harder at my own hair. I began to explore this "beauty" they had found within my hair, and I truly started caring for the individual needs of my tresses. With time, patience, and nurturing, I began to fall in love with my own tresses and see the same beauty (that others had seen) in my hair as well. Don't get me wrong! I still see the beauty in the natural tresses of others; however, I no longer reject my own curls and coils in acceptance of another naturalista's.

What is it? 
Hair envy is the when you covet your neighbor's hair or tresses, ultimately becoming disappointed with your own hair.

Who has it? How do you know if you have hair envy?
Anyone can have it. The following is some of the symptomology of hair envy:

  • If you could cut someone's hair off and pass it as your own, you have hair envy! 
  • If you considered scalping someone because of their luxurious curls and kinks, you have hair envy! 
  • If you stare at pictures of hair in adoration, and look at your hair in frustration, you have hair envy! 

How do you get rid of hair envy?
Hair envy is real! I know first hand! I used to suffer with it in the initial months of my natural journey. If hair envy is something you struggle with, try these tips!
1. Embrace your hair. Find several styles that work for your own beautiful texture. By doing this, you will see the beauty and versatility in your own hair.
2. When someone compliments you on your hair, accept the compliment. Even if you don't believe the compliment initially, accept it anyway. 
3. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets are great ways to find inspiration through hair pictures; however, try to follow people with a similar hair type to yours. 
4. Create realistic expectations for your hair. Realize that your hair is uniquely yours, and when you strive for a braid out, it will look differently than another natural's braid out. Your Bantu knot out or twist and curl won't look like mine! Expect that your hair will be different and embrace those differences as your hair individuality. 
5. Let the hair of other naturals serve as inspiration. Tracee Ellis Ross reacted to the fact that so many women idealize her luxurious mane: “I love that you love my hair, but I only love that you love my hair if it inspires you to love your own.” Bottom line: You can appreciate the manes of other naturals as long as you love and appreciate your own first!!!

PSA: If you or someone you know has hair envy, help them out! Don't be a victim to hair envy! Lol!

No seriously, Kurlies weigh in: Have you ever had hair envy? Don't leave me hanging! 

Until next time...

Be faith-filled, fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The LOC/LCO Method + My Homemade Moisturizing Cream/Mixture

Hey Kurlies,

The LOC method is one of the most popular ways to moisturize and seal hair among naturals. LOC is an abbreviation for liquid/water based leave in conditioner, oil, and cream. I swear by this method-
sort of! I'll tell you about the LOC method in general, and then I'll share my version of the LOC
method at the end. Without further adoo, let's get started.

What does the LOC method entail?
Using your choice of LOC method products, you should apply your liquid/water based leave in conditioner first, oil second, and cream last. Sometimes the order of items is rearranged to create the LCO method, where the leave in is first, cream is second, and oil is last. Regardless, the moisture in your natural tresses is sealed by two well known sealants, oil and butter. 

Oil and butter are well known for their ability to create a moisturizing layer along the hair shaft, which prevents water from being evaporated from your hair. When water does not evaporate from your hair, your hair will stay moisturized longer. 

How do I complete the LOC method? 

  1. Apply a moisturizing liquid/water based leave in conditioner to freshly washed hair
  2. Apply a thin layer of oil to your hair for moisture
  3. Apply a butter based, creamy moisturizer to your hair to seal that moisture in
What are some of the best products to use in the LOC method? 
Moisturizing liquid/water based leave in conditioner can include pure water (lone of the most moisturizing liquids EVER), Giovanni Leave In Conditioner, Cantu Leave In Conditioner, Karen's Body Beautiful Leave In Spray, and Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In, and many more.

Oils that are great for sealing are Jamaican black castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, argan oil, macadamia oil, and grapeseed oil; however, there are plenty of other oils you can use.

Your cream/butter can be your styler if you are placing your hair in twists or bantu knots. If you like 
to rock wash and go, a cream can help define your curls or coils a little more. Examples of creams/ 
butters could be shea butter, mango butter, or cocoa butter; commercial creams you can use include Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Alikay Naturals Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer, just to name a few. 

How frequently should one complete the LOC method?
The answer to this question is totally dependent on you and your hair's porosity. High porosity hair may have to moisturize more frequently. Low porosity hair may need less. 

My personal account on the LOC method....
Now, I personally have tweaked the LOC method to work for me. My liquid/ leave in is my water and Aloe Vera juice mix, which consists of a spray bottle filled with 1/3 Aloe Vera juice and 2/3 water. For my homemade moisturizing mixture, I use several oils, which include olive oil, castor oil, and several others. The cream I use is shea butter. I mix my shea butter and oils together to create my
homemade moisturizing mix, technically, combining steps 2 and 3 of the LOC method (See post on how to create moisturizing mix here). I moisturize my hair every day or every two days, depending on how my hair feels. Since I have begun using this combination, I have seen a major difference in the moisture levels of my hair. My hair was already soft prior to using this method, but since the use of this method and products, my hair is truly moisturized, easier to detangle, and overall, more manageable.

The products for my current LOC method

Kurlies Weigh In: Do you use the LOC method or some other variation of this method, like LCO (same products in a different order)? If you use the LOC method, what are your favorite staple products to moisturize and seal? If you don;t use the LOC method, what do you use to keep your hair moisturized?

Until next time...

Be faith-filled,fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Box Braid Hairstyle Pictorial: Braided Pompadour

This is a super easy hairstyle I tried while I was in Austin 
to add a little pizzazz to my box braids. Enjoy! 
Section off your hair so that you have the small front sections.

Split the front sections into two sections. 

Now, literally tie the two sections together.

Take the two sections and tie it again.

Continue to tie the two sections of hair until it looks like this. 

Then take the the "tied" hair and roll it under. Continue rolling it under until the hair is in a tied pompadour.

 Ta-Da! That's it! 

Recap Time: 

Until next time...
Be faith-filled, fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creative Hairstyling Options for Box Braids

The title speaks for itself! Enjoy, kurlies!

     Twisted Halo

Side Tuck and Roll 

Side Ponytail 

Coined by my husband as "The Tomb Raider Braid"

Side Upsweep

Ninja Bun

Simple center part

Braided Pompadour 

"I dream of Kurly Ken" side ponytail

Lastly, never underestimate the power of accessories.
Hats, headbands, hair clips, oh my! Have fun with them

Whatever you do to your braids, be creative and moisturize your natural hair. 
Let me know if you want to know how to achieve any of these styles. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Box Braids: Part 2 of My Summer Regimen

Hey Kurl Fam, 

I finally installed my braids, and I am loving them! When I was growing up and even as a young adult, my staple hair style was braids. I wore braids so much people called me Brandy! I always kept a fresh set of individuals or micro braids! Fortunately, I learned how to braid my own hair so I never went broke with my braiding session. For my box braids, I installed them myself, and I'm pretty happy about them. My hair can rest for at least a month. 

To install them, I pre-pooed with a mixture of coconut oil/honey, clarified my hair with baking soda/water mix, and deep conditioned with Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise. I let my hair air dry and used my signature products for the braiding process, which included my hair cream, aloe/water spray, hair clamps, and a hair band. I used five bags of kanekolan hair from the beauty supply for $2.99. 

The installation process took several days! My schedule was very hectic, as I was taking final exams and concluding class projects. I braided my hair over a total of four days, doing a little each day. I literally studied and braided, which led to a series of late nights and early mornings. 

I was so sick of braiding! Peep that facial expression! On this picture, my hair looks completed, but there was a giant patch if my natural hair still incomplete in the center. I always braid the perimeter first and then I do the insides last.

When I finished, I was so relieved. My hands, on the other hand, were a cramped mess! These braids are super long and took longer to do. For my regimen, I'll shampoo them every two weeks with V05. Nothing fancy! I'll spray my braids with my aloe/water spray mixture, specifically concentrating on the part of the braids where my natural hair is located. Then I'll apply my homemade moisturizing cream, again concentrating the application in where my natural hair is. Every other day, or as necessary, I plan on spraying and moisturizing my hair. That's it! Easy peasy! I plan on doing a post with some hairstyles for my braids!  

Until next time...

Be faith-filled, fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken