Saturday, May 29, 2010

New blog address:

I went on over to Wordpress.  Just like the features more.  Check me out there:

Tips to Loosen Curly Hair?

Kimberly recently emailed me with a request for tips on how to naturally loosen curly hair.  Other women might give her the verbal side eye, wondering why she has issues with the tightness of her texture.  I have no such agenda.  My shrinkage is so extreme, I live for second and third day hair.  And my favorite days are when I sport a twist out and -- yay! -- my hair is shoulder length! One day I had a fresh dry wash and go after wearing a twist out the day before and a colleague asked me "Wasn't your hair shoulder length yesterday?"  So Kimberly, I sympathize.

Dry styled second and third day hair is one of the very few ways to loosen my hair.  Somehow the act of loosely pulling my hair into a scunci overnight stretches the curl a bit.  It also gives me a wicked case of bed head, but scrunching with Devacurl Set It Free and a dab of shea butter or a tiny bit of castor oil will fluff out the dents.  Adding water or using a spritz simply results in more shrinkage.

The only other way I know to loosen curly hair is twist outs, braid outs and bantu knot outs.  I like the dry twist and curl method as it imparts volume to my fine and fairly thin hair.  If your hair is thick, twisting on wet hair will likely work better for you. 

I do a dry twist out on second or third day hair that was air dried or diffused on wash day.  I do add product to my dry twists and usually do between 11 and 14 twists. The products I use are Devacurl Set It Free for the length.  For the ends I use Afroveda Curly Custard or a similar product (Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Honeybutta leave in or Botanical Spirits Kinky Coils pudding). It is important to saturate the t wist ends with product.

I don't comb or brush so my texture is incorporated into the twist and subsequent twist out. The trick is to not get the hair wet or even damp really (except for the ends), just soft enough to finger separate. I aim for smooth, not necessarily detangled hair.

Dry Twist and Curl How to:

  •  With plain water in a spritzer, lightly spritz the entire loose head of hair 3-5 times tops. This softens the ends since I'm not combing or brushing.
  •  Isolate a section to twist, sectioning off the rest of the hair with duckbill clips. Spray two or three sprays of Set It Free in palm and smooth that down the length of the section to be twisted. Separate with fingers and twist.
  • Towards the end of the twist, smooth some of the thicker product down each end to saturate and completely detangle, then finish twisting to the ends
  • Optional: roll the ends with small foam rollers.
In the morning, I undo and gently finger separate each twist 3 or 4 times. That's it!   How do other curlies fight shrinkage and loosen texture?              

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The First Mother: Inner Beauty Trumps the Hot Iron

Doesn't matter whether FLOTUS straightens or is natural.  And there are very few women I would say this about.  In photo after photo of Michelle Obama what shines through her skin is the beauty of her spirit.  I don't gush, but I don't think I'll stop admiring this woman. 

However....if she wore her natural texture and didn't have to straighten the bejusus out of her hair; if she had the freedom of that natural beauty, imagine how much more powerful she could come across?  Just sayin'...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't Quit Your Day Job

I didn't. Instead, I got laid off today. I'm sharing it here because a few weeks or months from now I want to return and see in print exactly how I felt this day...surprisingly, pretty darn good!

Yes, there was shock. Being in a room with five others experiencing the same thing. My mind distanced itself from my body a bit and went into auto-pilot.  It became difficult to write my information or hear what the outplacement guy was saying. My body just wanted to stay still and recover.

After that -- I felt free. My body recovered, my mind linked back and I started to feel almost--exhuberant.  My mind was planning, checklisting...thinking, even as I packed my stuff and talked with the operations manager and my supervisor. No awkwardness whatsoever.  It also seemed that each person involved was doing their part in a caring, thoughtful way.  The only jarring note was the HR Director, who is always on-site during layoffs, was linked in by phone due to some plane issues (Icelandic volcano-caused, I think).

In the coming week, I'll be updating my LinkedIn profile and requesting the recommendations my managers offered (while the memory and the guilt of laying me off are still fresh). I may do a Youtube elevator pitch or introduction.  I'll contact the outplacement firm and begin to update my resume. I already called my former life coach and asked her to work with me again for 3 months. And I have a spot reserved in an upcoming small 6-week peer support group of career changes/job seekers called Success Teams.

I will also be grieving the loss of the physical act of going to work and working with the wacky, strange and wonderful guys on my team.  After almost 11 years of working for this company, I know I need to find or create a new structure, fast. It helps that I have a fast approaching deadline and an article to write.  Check out my latest on -- I interviewed  three rockstars of the curly world on curl highlighting techniques -- Christo, creator of the Curlisto haircare line, Denis Da Silva of Devachan, and Antonio Gonzales, master stylist at Orlando Pita Salon and a blogger and columnist for

I got laid off, but I feel like life is good. I feel taken care of.  It feels like God cleared the decks, gave me a soft landing and created a safe, open space for me to do...what? Follow him, and create whatever he tells me to.