Thursday, January 31, 2013

The "Holy Grail" Natural Hair Product: Found!

Yesterday, we had a wonderful gathering of naturalistas at our monthly University, Natural Is Cool Enough Meeting.

 The conversation was lively, positive, introspective and significant as we realized that wearing our hair natural is not just about a style but a level of consciousness.  We talked about the journey of transitioning from what society expects of us as Black women, in terms of our hair, by using words like "professional" and "polished" and other terms that imply that if our hair is not straight, we are not considered to be in those categories and we concluded that we don't buy that perspective at all.  There is nothing unprofessional or unpolished about wearing your hair naturally as well as letting it be free and untamed.  You can't tame natural hair and why would you?  The beauty of it is that it is representative of who you really are.

But, our primary purpose for meeting yesterday was really about product.  What natural hair product is best to keep your natural tresses moisturized, healthy and naturally beautiful?  N.I.C.E. had a contest recently, to identify the "Holy Grail" of natural hair products and it just so happens that the N.I.C.E. winner came to the same conclusion that was the common denominator for all of us in our meeting.  So here is the list from our meeting at at the end, the holy grail reveal.  Do you agree?  If not, tell us about yours as we continue the quest of knowing and believing that without a doubt, natural is cool enough!

Products that were mentioned in discussion:
Knot Today
100 % African Shea Butter
Olive oil mixed with lavender oil
Essential oils to add fragrance to shea butter:  jasmine lavender peppermint
Flaxseed oil to make gel
Organics Coconut Conditioner
Kinky Curly Custard
Morrocan oil
Jamaican black castor oil

The Holy Grail Natural Hair Product Revealed:  Virgin, Organic Coconut Oil!  Kawanda Foster, the Winner of the N.I.C.E. Holiday Contest suggested the brand below, which is great, and  we also concluded that as long as it is organic, you should be fine and don't hesitate to get it in the "cooking" section because it is cheaper than if you buy it in the hair products section.  It is also great to use as a moisturizer for your entire body.
Kawanda Foster, Winner of the N.I.C.E. Holiday Natural "Holy Grail" Hair Product Contest

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tourists and Braided Styles on Caribbean Beaches: What does it mean?

Recently,  I took a trip to the beautiful location, Punta Cana, of the Dominican Republic.  It was truly a relaxing, ideal environment for a lovely vacation break with my husband.  As I strolled the beach at our resort, I noted, as I have often noticed at other resorts in the Caribbean, that European women (both American and from abroad) were getting their hair braided and adorned with beads on the beach by Black Dominican women.  This always strikes me as interesting because my question is why?  Natural hairstyles, including braid,s are becoming part of the mainstream at this time for Black women, but are generally not worn by women of European descent in America or abroad leisurely or in the work place in their non-vacation life.  So why are braids with beads embraced during resort vacations in the Caribbean?  The braiders are obviously trying to earn income from tourists.  So, I clearly understand why they offer this service but the question is what about those who get the braids?  Does this mean that there is an actualfondness for braids and beads that only surfaces while vacationing or what?  Seriously naturalistas/everyone,  I actually don't have an answer for this. It seems that what happens in the Caribbean, for some, stays in the Caribbean in terms of natural hair.  Any thoughts that you have will be enlightening!

Model Heads Advertising Braided Styles

Exampled One After Braiding

Example 2 After Braiding