My Hair is a Sassy Lover | Fro’ Tales

My relationship with my Natural Hair

My hair has way too much attitude for her own good. Let’s call my fro Freddy. Freddy and I have been going steady for about 3 years. When I first met Freddy, I was still involved with my ex but that relationship just wasn’t working anymore. I felt I was getting burned too often and over time it became clear that we couldn’t weather the cold winters so slowly I stated cutting my ex out of my life.

Freddy and I have been through a lot since then. I’ve learned what makes Freddy happy and in return she’s helped me see myself in a completely different light. The longer we’ve been together though, the more Freddy and I don’t seem to see eye to eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces but lately I think she’s taking my love for granted.

I’ll take some responsibility for this; I got a little lazy with our relationship. I started moisturizing less and using heat more. Things got so bad that I couldn’t even remember the last time I deep conditioned. That’s when Freddy started to pull away. I noticed my first heat damaged piece and only then did I step back and look at how much I was hurting her. I didn’t just want to apologize because I knew she would respond just like one of my best friends, “What are you sorry for?” while maintaining her salty attitude. I decided to change completely and start paying more attention. I started with a good trim, stopped leaving her out as much and started conditioning more. I thought things were getting better until she started acting up.

Now I’ve been a lot busier with work so I need Freddy to stay put till the weekends when I can give her my full attention but three days into the week she’s already begging for a wash. Now I know this is all a clever ruse to get me to condition her again because she’s gone much longer than a few days without any problems but now she’ll go dry and matted on the ends if I don’t answer her call for moisture.

I have tried new conditioners and even locking her in with her favourite shea butter mix but she insists on misbehaving unless I’m giving her undivided attention at least twice a week. Things really came to a head two washes ago when I hadn’t detangled properly after our last wash day and she wasn’t having any of my nonsense this time around. My arms hurt, the bathroom steamed up and I practically had to beg her to release the knots. Grudgingly letting one knot out after the other, it was like she was daring me to repeat the same thing. I promised her (and myself) that she deserved better than that and I thought we had both agreed to collaborate more.

Three days later we were back to an itchy scalp and that’s when I decided I had had enough. I told her it was time for some braids and even though she may not understand right now, I think we both need the break. Surprisingly she didn’t put up much of a fight going in and I had even started to question whether I had reacted too harshly but by the end of my first full week with these braids she’s already wiling out and trying to get itchy. I miss her but its probably best that we give each other some space for a couple weeks just to gain a little perspective.

Even with her attitude though she still makes me happy. Something about her keeps things interesting and speaking to other naturals I think they’ll agree, when you look at your thriving fro, it makes (some of) the stress worth it :p

 

 

 

 

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Fro Tales: Natural hair Confessions

The Natural Girl’s DONT list

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Bantu Knots Kickin

Hi Guys!

So its been a while since I posted about my hair and I have some serious confessions. Don’t worry it’s nothing wild like considering a perm or flat-ironing every week but these are some pretty deep confessions.

Wash-day doesn’t take all day

GASP! I know!!! I just don’t have time for all-day-wash-days. Yes of course there’s still the drying process which could take an eternity but that certainly doesn’t stop me from carrying on with my day. I’ve had to cut out some of the lengthy pre-poo processes and just reserve those for days when my hair really needs the extra tlc but my life is no longer scheduled around my washes. It’s truly liberating to say the least.

I’m not up-to-date on all the latest hair trends

Once upon a time, I knew every new natural hair trend ever posted on YouTube. Whether it was a new product, tool or hairstyle, chances are I probably had watched at least four reviews. Now however I’m so behind that I didn’t know what a vixen part was let alone a silk press (which I still think is just straightening your hair but okay)! Thank God for friends who keep putting me on to trends and keeping me fresh. <-who still says things like this???!

I don’t always read the ingredients list for my hair products

Well I make my whipped shea butter myself so I know everything that goes into that, however with all my other products, I really just go with brands that I know and well what my wallet can carry. I’m not about that spending $50 on conditioner life. Mainly because conditioner finishes so quickly that spending a fortune on one high-end brand just isn’t worth it to me.

I have slept without my satin scarf a few times

Of all my confessions this is probably the one that gives me the most anxiety. Wearing my scarf to bed is like sleeping with a blanket, it may slip off before morning but it had to have been there before I went to sleep. Some days however (especially if I’m not home) I may forget to bring my scarf. Nevertheless my edges have survived, I think…*nervously strokes nape hairs*…Yup I’m doing okay.

There is no secret hair growth potion that I own!!!

Now one of the questions I get most often is “How Do I Grow My Hair??!!”. I wish there as some potion I could prescribe as the magical ingredient for hair growth but alas friends, I am still searching for that potion. I usually offer people my shea butter cream recipe but I don’t think that would necessarily make anyone’s hair grow to Rapunzel like lengths. Growing your hair is all about constant care and lots of time. Lots and Lots of time.

 

Flower Bomb

Reversible Bomber Jacket

reversible jacket

Hi Guys!! and Happy new year!

New year, New theme and fresh goals :D. It feels great to be blogging and sewing again!

ankara jacket

 

Now let’s talk about this jacket real quick…I know I’ve said a bunch of times that some project or the other has been “the most challenging” blah blah blah but this is the project that rules them all!

african print jacket

It’s been a pretty mild winter in Toronto, (I say this now then watch it drop to -22 *knock on wood*) so I decided it might be nice to have a fun coat for the warmer days. I would share my first attempt at this in a future post, however it didn’t take me long to realize that a fleece lined “cardigan” is no match even for Toronto’s mildest days. Also keep in mind that I shiver at the slightest gust of wind so I’m not sure why I thought that would work.

african print bomber jacket

Anyhow, I decided it was time to ramp things up so off to King textiles I went and I bought this quilted lined fabric so it would be a little warmer. I would recommend buying about a yard and a half for a bomber jacket just so you have wiggle room for any unforeseen mishaps.

bomber jacket

In the past I would have kept it simple and just lined the outer Ankara layer with the quilted fabric from the store but BEHOLD! old things have passed away (Amen somebody) and I decided to make this a reversible jacket.

diy bomber jacket

For difficulty I would rate this an 8/10 if you don’t really know what you’re doing and maybe a 6.5/10 if you’re a sewing savant and you just make quilts for breakfast. WithWendy‘s varsity jacket tutorial was a great help with helping me figure out where to even begin and how to cut my fabric.

bomber jacket detail

The part I found most challenging though was adding the neck band. I must have taken it out and sewn it back at least 6 or 7 times before deciding to let it be.

jacket neck band

Still in the process of modifying the long-cardigan-coat-thing that I made before this one but I thought this was too good to not share right away 😀

enang ukoh jacket

I would say that this jacket can withstand -3 at the coldest but that’s good enough for me.

supermaksy

Pictures by Willyverse

Fro Tales: New Lessons

5 things about longer natural hair

Hi Guys!

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Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating! :). I have loved Christmas for as long as I can remember; the food, family and presents. So although I can not give a tangible present to everyone reading this I figured now would be a good time to share a few more things I have learned about my hair.

In February, it would be four years since I last relaxed my hair.  A while ago I shared some things I had learned since being natural and now that I am almost four years in, here’s my updated list.

  1. Long hair=More time
    As my hair has grown, the “hair goals” comments have increased.   I’m not going to front and act like I don’t like those comments but sister, it is not easy to have a “hair goals fro”. Detangling takes longer because all of your shed hair just clings to other strands. Drying takes longer because well there’s more hair to dry. As a result of these two things, overall styling takes longer so you cannot afford to be re-doing your hair every other day. As such, I have found a few key styles that I rotate and anything I do to my hair starts from there.
    matching set- ibegan
  2.  What is the actual length of my hair anyway???
    This question is deeply rooted in the magic of shrinkage. I did a very basic length check on snapchat just to get a sense of where I’m at. [I tried uploading said video but it didn’t work :(. I will do another length check at some other point if it’s requested.] The thing about this is that when my hair is wet it is more elastic so it stretches longer than the length in the video [My hair in the video is just about bra strap length]. So if you’re looking for a little encouragement on your journey just check the length of your hair while it’s still wet :P.
  3. What worked in the past may not work anymore
    I don’t know if this is just me but I may have a conditioner that works wonders on my hair and then after 6 uses I no longer feel the silky softness I once did. I don’t know if that is just me getting used to the effect of the conditioner or if my hair truly gains immunity after a couple washes but I definitely feel the need to switch things up fairly regularly. I however have not allowed this to turn me into a product junkie. I just flip flop between my regular conditioner and my deep conditioner.

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    When those kinks stay poppin!
  4. Naps or nah?
    As my hair started getting longer I started to feel that my roots were a little dense and incredibly difficult to comb through. At first I thought this was new growth cause you know how when your hair is relaxed it gets harder to comb your roots as it grows out. But something about this theory just didn’t make sense to me. Remember those shed hairs I mentioned? Yea those little bad boys think they can just chill wherever they like and make your hair harder to manage. I realized this when I took the time to properly detangle only to be sliding out shed hairs that had been making my life difficult for goodness knows how long.
    mustard dress
  5. Combs? LOL!
    I never thought it would come to this friends, but I almost exclusively finger detangle my hair now! With shorter hair, combs work and you can be gentle and keep the breakage to a minimum. However, when combing my hair brought on flashbacks to my childhood I knew it was time to stop. I remember cringing every time my mum said it was time to do my hair–I know most black girls can relate to this–you’re sitting there begging for mercy while your mother keeps trying to convince you that it doesn’t hurt -_-. combing hair

Despite the struggles, I still love my kinky-frizzy-sometimes curly-has a mind of its own-sassy-fro. ❤

 

Fro’ Tales: Blog feature

Hey y’all!

I have been under a rock for a minute and that’s going to change at the end of the month when school ends but I thought I’d share some pretty dopesome news.

I was feature on a hair blog!!! 😀 (I know eh! little ol’ me). Karina has an amazing natural hair blog and you should all check it out ^_^

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‘Fro Tales: Curl parfait

Edible Conditioning 2

Girrrrrllll! Let me tell you! I’m officially in love with Greek yogurt

First of all, shout out to heramerpersandhim for suggesting this to me in my last post. She said; “I stopped using banana because it was too hard to rinse out. Even when I used the baby formula. I switched to full fat Greek yogurt and never looked back.” For this you the real MVP. I absolutely loved it.

I never thought I’d become a “Kitchen Natural” as I like to call them, so as I went to the grocery store to grab a small tub of Greek yogurt I was saying a silent prayer that it would work or I would have been very upset with myself. With no exact measurements, I mixed Greek yogurt, honey, coconut oil and a few drops of Argan oil. The first thing that stood out to me was that the consistency was smooth unlike my lumpy bumpy banana mix. Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

I started off with a week old twist out that was more than a little dry. I left the conditioner in for about 30 minutes and rinsed with hot water. Everything rinsed right out! I wasn’t too confident until I could see my hair for myself though. I partly imagined my hair looking dull for some reason. Anyhow I came out of the shower and BAM!  Soft shiny hair. Now I was really excited. Detangling was a breeze and I braided my hair into two cornrows as usual.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Normally I would have to do a twist out on my damp hair when I take the cornrows down to get a really delicious fro, but not this time. Instant gorgeousness the minute I let the braids loose. I just had to fluff and move it around to frame my face better.

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Overall I was very happy with my results. The only con that I can identify is that the softness was not the same as when I did the banana condition. It was definitely nothing to complain about but the banana seemed to give a lasting softness. That said, I love love love it 🙂

 

ps. I define a kitchen natural as someone who can operate their entire hair regimen out of their kitchen. Nothing wrong with it, I just never thought I’d be one 🙂

‘Fro Tales: Bits and pieces left behind

Edible conditioning

Kimono--Begin

Hey guys!

so as promised I have another fro tales story for you! This is actually based on a very recent experience so I thought I’d share while emotions are still high.

I’ve never really been one to go grocery shopping for my hair if you know what I mean. So all the hair tutorials that suggest that you should only use edible products on your hair have never really appealed to me. However, my hair has been feeling a little dry and brittle lately and my regular conditioner just wasn’t cutting it so I decided to ramp it up with a banana deep conditioner.

As they say hind sight is 20-20 so there are several things I ought to have done differently but here’s what I did anyway…I got myself one banana, a few oils and some shea butter. I mashed up the banana with a fork (I don’t have a blender), added my oils and shea butter and whisked with my mixer. I figured that the mixer would make it smoother; which it did. I still expected the one or two lumps that remained but I wasn’t too worried. So I applied the mixture to my hair and left it in for about 30 minutes as instructed.

Everything was fine up until this point. I hopped in the shower to rinse it out, but it wasn’t all coming out so easily. I figured some of those lumps I mentioned earlier had gotten caught in my curls so I washed and rinsed again. Still feeling a few lumps, I decided to give it one final scrub with some conditioner and rinsed out. By this time I was certain I had gotten most if not all of it out. so I walked out of the shower. To my absolute horror my entire head was still very speckled with banana bits.

I remained in denial until I got into my room and tried to comb it out. Alas since I had washed my hair with hot water, the banana bits had cooked on my strands so just combing through wasn’t going to cut it. Two days of brushing through my hair and I finally managed to get most of it out. I currently still have a few pieces here and there that I find when I’m going through my hair.

The highlight of all of this is that my hair really did feel very soft and moisturized afterwards so I will definitely try this again, BUT there are some things I will do differently.

1. rinse with cold water

2. strain the crushed banana to get rid of the bigger lumps

3. find a way to blend the mixture to an even smoother consistency.

I hope this is a more successful experience on my next try 🙂 wish me luck!

 

picture by: Willyverse