Tuesday, February 24, 2015

N.I.C.E. Salutes Zendaya's Response to Culturally Incompetent Nonsense: Proudly, #MyNaturaHairSmellsLike Frangipani Oil and Shea Butter, What About Yours?

There is some nonsense taking place in response to Zendaya's decision to sport locs on the Oscar Red Carpet.  To add insult to the injury of the outcry that there were limited Black nominees, per the Academy, a culturally incompetent statement was made about Zendaya's locks by an individual who shall not be named so as not to give credence to her "notoriety seeking comment" through ignorance. Zendaya responded to the comment which was that her locs made her look like her hair "smells like patchouli oil . . . or weed." First, Let's begin by considering Zendaya's intelligent, culturally competent, factually relevant and gracious response to such negativity:

    Secondly, let's address the notion that it was just a joke so everybody calm down.  When you choose to denigrate someone because they are not mainstream or mimicking the majority race in terms of their choice of hair style or any other quality and make comments that are hurtful with an ignorant, culturally incompetent comment, historically inaccurate and a comment based on a generalized inaccurate association, at that point, laughter is not what you have sought but rather, you have decided to willfully hurt.  I am not even going to get into micro-agressions and other terms that have arisen to try to explain how constant badgering of individuals because of their race, creed, color, hair texture and beyond is hurtful because that has been established and boils down to lack of common sense, racism and greater problems when it is done. If it is unclear what I am referring to here, feel free to check out my books in which I address cultural competency and break down the harm of not being so, in both, with case studies and more information specific to natural hair and beyond:

    Zendaya looked beautiful! Her response says it all so there is no need to reiterate or try to take it too much further because from my vantage point, she handled it making it clear that Natural IS Cool Enough in any venue, especially on the red carpet at the Oscars!  It is not just about hair.  It is about respect.  It is about valuing and appreciating that our kinky textured hair, in the form of locs or any other curly texture, is beautiful.  If you can add straight extensions because you want to have length, why not add them in the forms of locs or braids?    Of course, your hair from your scalp, in it's pure and natural form is the most beautiful but if you are going to change it up a bit, the locs that Zendaya chose are just lovely.  
     So, in short, as a sister with locs, I will add my name to Zendaya's list of accomplished Black women as I hold a Master's from Yale, a Doctorate from Teacher's College, I have been a Professor, a Vice President, President of organizations and held many other positions with my locs and I am an Entrepreneur, Author, Blogger, writer, mother, sister, aunt and wife....doing it all with locs! By the Way, I'm proud to say that #MyNaturalHairSmellsLike Shea butter and frangipani essential oil or whatever I choose, naturally, on a given day.  Deal with it haters of African American/Black natural hair. Natural Is Cool Enough and always will be and is here to stay, on and off the Red Carpet. Thank you Zendaya, for your cogent, clear, conscious and culturally competent response. N.I.C.E. Salutes you!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A N.I.C.E. Update and New Info. About How to Get Inexpensive 100% Shea Butter, the Use of Castor Oil for Your Hair, for Moisturizing and Growth and My New Naturalista Video!

     First, let me begin by telling you about my new video venture.  It is entitled "Mandarin Language One--Learn With A Naturalista While I Learn (Intro., Numbers and Colors)."  Since I am studying Mandarin,  I thought I would add this to my repertoire of things to share with N.I.C.E. readers. I hope you enjoy it as there will be many more as I will be sharing my travels in Asia from a naturalista's vantage point with more videos to come on language and more!


     Next, I want to share  my shea butter find!  Each week I go to a natural market in my community. There is a man from Senegal there, who sells 100% African Shea Butter.  He has given me permission to share his e-mail address because he will mail it to anyone who places and order.  So below are images of the shea butter and his information.  If you need it, now you have a place to find it, at a very good price.

E-mail address to order Shea Butter: africorganics@gmail.com.



     The next tidbit of info. that I want to share is the use of  Castor oil on your hair.  In my quest to minimize/eliminate the use of product, I found an approach that really is wonderful for moisturizing. When I was a young girl, my mom would give me a hot oil treatment on occasion.   This consisted of her taking some type of oil (I don't know what she used) in  a small bottle, warming it up in hot water,  putting the warm oil generously in my hair and then rinsing it out about an hour or two later. So, I have returned to this approach for my locks with fantastic results. After reviewing some information and and trying it out, I mixed  a small jar of one part extra virgin olive oil and one part castor oil (cold-pressed). Both were in my house, so there was nothing to buy.  I then warmed it up, put it generously in my hair, put a plastic cap on and went about my business for two hours doing things around the house and then I rinsed it out in the shower.  My hair felt silky smooth and wonderfully moisturized afterwards!  I towel dried my hair and then added 20 drops of essence of frangipani (the flower that Hawaiian leis are made from) oil (that I had acquired in my trip to Bali last summer) to the castor oil and olive oil mixture and twisted my locks with small amounts of it, giving my hair a little more moisture and a beautiful smell.  I have to say, this was a true gift to my locks.  They are shiny and smooth and the moisture has lasted for days.  I will not do another hot oil treatment for awhile and I will intermittently use shea butter or the remaining castor oil, olive oil and frangipani mixture after my next wash and beyond.

Basically, that is all I have to share today.  Below, you will find a very informative video about Castor Oil and natural hair so check it out to see what you think!  As for me, I think this is in line with my product minimalist approach to using only what is natural on my hair and that is definitely N.I.C.E.!

Here is a fantastic Video about Castor Oil:

Monday, February 2, 2015

KICCN (Kickin') It by "Keeping It Clean, Cheap and Natural": Easy Natural Do's with a Product Minimalist Approach!

     In our fast paced society, what most Black women want is to be able to style their hair in an attractive way, efficiently and effectively.  There are so many ways to do this but if you spend time on-line, especially on YouTube, trying to sought this out, you can get overwhelmed quickly.  So in an effort to help, I am undertaking a search for N.I.C.E. and easy do's that anyone should be able to handle, for short, medium and long-haired tresses.  I will not get into locks for this piece because that will be a separate post.  I have locks and play around with my styles all the time but for now I am speaking to the unlocked sisters.

KICCN (Kickin') It

     Per the prior post to this one, I shared information and posted videos about washing your hair, cornrows, 2 strand twists and simple, individual braids.  These are the essentials, which all Black women should learn how to do for your natural hair. But I want to begin now by discussing products.
It is my belief that the discussion of products is out of control and that in a nutshell, we all need to calm down about them.  For some reason, when we decide to go natural, all of a sudden we get into a product frenzy and begin the search for the "holy grail."  I wrote a post or two about the "holy grail" hair product before but in this year, I am abandoning that notion.  The new approach that I want to suggest is to Keep It Clean, Cheap and Natural (KICCN--pronunced Kickin') in terms caring for your hair.  The acronym KICCN is a variation on a term created by some young naturalistas from the UK who started a website, which is all about natural hair.  Check them out here: http://www.theunitedkinkdom.com/2014/06/video-updates-kickin-it-with-kinks.html  I actually found them on-line after I came up with KICCN, but nevertheless I want to give these fabulous sisters credit as we are definitely in sync, naturally!


     What I suggest is finding an inexpensive and hopefully all natural creamy shampoo and conditioner (if you can get them combined that's great). Also, I suggest getting some 100% coconut oil or 100% shea butter for a moisturizer and call it a day. Some prefer olive oil, but I personally think the smell is too harsh so it is my third choice, but the key is a natural moisturizer that you like. Shea butter can be a little on the expensive side bu the good thing about shea/coconut oil is that you can use it on your hair and all over your body and coconut oil has a lovely, sweet smell. If you search around, you can find both at a very reasonable price.  I buy my shea butter from a local Farmer's market and it is excellent and 100% natural. Whole Foods and other stores also sell shea butter and coconut oil.  So, the key is wash, condition and moisturize with minimal product. The goal is to become a product minimalist.  Once you have done this, you are ready for styling.

KEEP IT NATURAL ( 5 Videos Below of Easy Do's and an Encouraging Natural Hair Journey!)

Below, you will find videos that I have selected which all represent the notion that Natural Is Cool Enough and they provide simple ideas and adhere to the concept of KICCN it!   I also added a video of a young woman's fantastic natural hair journey.  She used to be one of my students so I'm delighted to showcase her very interesting journey.  Enjoy!

1. High Messy Bun For Thin, Short, Natural Hair

2.    Twist Out Method 101: How-To and Maintaining

3. Wash-N-Go

4. Natural Hair Braid-Out (No Products Used)

5. An Encouraging Natural Hair Journey