Tag Archives: natural

Smoke Unfurling: The Hidden Effects Of Incense

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If you’re like me, incense lighting is a daily ritual. I come home from a exhausting day at work, make a pot of chamomile tea, and release the aromatic “Egyptian Musk” or “Amber” smoke into the air to unwind for the night. This practice is super relaxing, not to mention the scents are addictive, but coming home from the polluted air of a bustling city to a room filled with scented smoke can’t be good for respiratory health. Our lungs require fresh oxygen as much as possible. When this need isn’t met, an array of health issues can arise, from asthma flare ups to lung infections and many other annoyances you’d be wise to try and avoid.

Globally, incense burning has been practiced for thousands of years for various uses such as invoking gods, purifying the atmosphere, entering into transcendental states, and to drive away demons. With origins in Ancient Egypt, this ritual can be found today in highly spiritual places like China, India, Japan, Tibet, and even here in America. 
Eygptian-God-Ra-WorshipWhile the exact contents of all incense aren’t fully known, most incense is made from a combination of fragrant gums, resins, wood powders, herbs and spices. This include its various forms from powder, cone, soil, and sticks. Current clinical studies have revealed many contaminants within incense smoke, including pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur, formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and volatile organic compounds, all of which wreak havoc in the body’s respiratory & nervous systems when overexposed and cause people to be at a higher risk for developing cancer in the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms of overexposure include, but aren’t limited to the following: nose & throat irritation, dizziness, headaches, nausea, asthma inflammation, and weakness. 

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I love incense and wish to continue safely burning the herb & spice based aroma sticks for relaxation. Avoid the symptoms of chemical overexposure by opening windows up wide and turning on fans while lighting the strong smelling mixtures in your homes or sit outside while using to avoid the negative side effects, which can mimic those of inhaling second hand cigarette smoke. Practice ventilation when lighting incense and let fresh air be the main healing substance you inhale on a daily. 

I Am Not My Natural Hair.

Since I cut my hair I have had a lot of people compliment me on my cut and express their love for natural hairstyles. Occasionally afro centric individuals will approach me on the “Sista” tip assuming because I cut off my hair that I am into being afro centric. It always makes me wonder what individuals thought of me when my hair was natural yet pressed. Did they view me as another conformer to society by having straight hair. Did they feel I was wasting my time being natural if I did not want to embrace certain hairstyles?  So I pose the question ‘does having natural hair always mean you have to wear an afro or twists?

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My answer to the question is no. Having natural hair is a healthy hair choice not a lifestyle. Too often we associate hairstyles with lifestyles and that is not always the case. I know plenty of women who wear their wear straight who are heavily involved in being afro centric. On the other hand, I know women who wear afro centric hairstyles who could care less about empowering any one let alone African Americans.

 

Too often people feel the need to dress the part to show they are involved in certain things. For example, a lesbian does not have to dress like a male to prove she is a lesbian. Women do not have to have afro centric hairstyles to prove they are involved in afro centric activities. We need to learn how to embrace diversity in every scenario.

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Similar to African American women being judged on their hair in the workforce we have adapted the same mentality in our every day lives. We longer assume someone with natural hair may have other reasons for having the hairstyle other than to be afro centric. We have to start asking questions and finding out about the person instead of assuming they are a certain way based on their hair. I know for certain I am not my natural hair.
~B.R.A.T. (Black, Radical and Thorough)

Bad Weather: Great Hair

As most people know rain does not discriminate when it comes to ruining a hairstyle. Today I am here to shed some sunlight on my a quick do for my natural sisters and support to fellow natural sister who I admire.

 

The second quickest hairstyle after a ponytail is a bun. Some may believe making a bun is easy. Yet when your hair is thick and a little wild-then the bun becomes a morning project. So my friend, Huneyb Flyy created a Youtube video on how to create a Natural Hair High Bun.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLtRgY8fkRo

 

 

In her video she mentions the actual bun you use to wrap your hair around. There are a few ways to get that bun.

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1. They sell them in beauty supply stores

2. Use 2 old socks (more socks depending on how big you want your bun)

– Cut off the toes of the 1st sock

– Now continuously flip the sock in and out until it makes a little bun

– Take the 2nd sock and wrap it around the 1st sock

– Continue the 2nd step

– Lastly take a knee high the color of your hair (just in case the bun shows it will blend in with  your hair

– Wrap it around your socks the same way you did for your socks

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Tweet us pics @afromadu to show us how well Huneyb Flyy’s tutorial helped you out.

 

In order for us as a people to become united as a race we must support one another. Please support my friend Huneyb Flyy:

 

Website: huneybflyy.com

Twitter: @huneybflyy

Instagram: @huneyflyy

Youtube Channel: Huneybflyy1

 

 

~B.R.A.T. (Black, Radical and Thorough)

 

 

 

 

Quick Tip: Split Ends

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It is hot! How many styles can we put in our hair to stay cute, cool, and cunning to make our hair grow? There are dozens yet one thing most people forget after washing their hair between styles is to clip their ends.

 

Clipping one’s ends helps hair to grow strong and healthy. Similar to grass, if one does not cut it the grass will get long but it will look stringy and unhealthy. Our hair is just like that. If we do not cut our ends then our hair will look stringy and unhealthy-that is one style you do not want for the summer.

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Recommendation: Get your ends clipped every 6 weeks or at least between hair styles that you keep in for months. This way your hair will grow and flow once the winter comes around.

credit:

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2012/08/7-ways-to-prevent-split-ends/

http://healthveda.com/how-to-get-rid-of-split-endshome-made-hair-packs-and-useful-tips-1376

Beauty of Braids

The process of becoming natural after having a perm can be extremely hard. The journey is long and tiresome at times. Many attempt, but only few survive. I’m here to help increase survivors during this transformation of weather.
There are plenty of sites which give advice for transitioning between perm to natural hair. One suggestion given is to use eggs, vinegar, and mayo to help grow out of a perm. According to a cosmetology teacher, the best way to grow out a perm is to get braids.
Types of braids:
-Box Braids
-Corn Rows
-Senegal Twists
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Styles while your braids are in:
-bun
-if you have micro braids with human hair you can wash and set your hair to have flowing curls
-up-dos
How to take out your braids:
When taking out your braids do not immediately comb out your hair. Have you ever noticed that nasty little circle of dirt that is between your hair and your new growth? If that isn’t combed out properly it can break off your hair.
Once all of your braids are taken out put conditioner on your hair (recommended brand: Cholesterol). Let the conditioner sit for a few minutes then begin to comb out your hair. Remember to always start combing at the bottom and work your way up. After you have combed out your entire head then proceed with rinsing it out, shampooing it, and conditioning it.
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Maintenance:
If you keep your braids in for 2-3 months (or longer) you must trim your ends after each time. Additionally, if you would like to use a leave in conditioner during this journey the best leave in is “placenta. Placenta (contains after birth) has natural nutrients which helps hair grow strong and healthy.
Keep an eye out:
1. If your hair begins to look matted together this is an indicator that your braids may be in too long.
2. Be extra gentle with micro braids because they can pull out your edges.
3.  Keep your hair moisturized while in braids-your hair still needs moisture.

 

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Credit:

Miss Jessie’s: Product Recommendation

During our preparation for finals I decided to try a few products by Miss Jessie. As most know, Miss Jessie’s is on the expensive side of the natural hair care products. However, as I was browsing around on their website I noticed they had a “Free Samples” tab. Everyone loves free samples-especially college students. I clicked on the tab immediately and discovered I could select two different products for free (you have to pay for shipping and handling which is $1). In addition, they will let you try their new shampoo “Super Slip Sudy Shampoo” for free. I selected the famous Curly Pudding and Curly Butter Creme. 

 

Curly Pudding

39_mj1As the instructions stated I washed my hair (I use KeraCare Shampoo and Conditioner) and while it was still wet I applied the Curly Pudding. The instructions recommends for it to dry naturally or use a diffuser (fancy name for blow dryer) for quick dying and added volume. This particular day i had a meeting to attend and inserted the Curly Pudding about 30mins before I needed to leave-it did not dry fast enough naturally. So I had to use a blow dryer.

 

As the first day went on my curls looked amazing. Actually, for the next few days my curls looked amazing. However, I did not like the way my hair felt. It was soft but not as soft as my hair would be without any products. Curly Pudding for me gets a 4 out of 5. I loved the curls but did not like how long it took to dry and the difference in the texture of my hair.

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Curly Butter Creme

Once again I followed instructions (I do that well). This time Curly Butter Creme instructs to insert the product in one’s hair either wet or dry and can be used as a daily moisturizer. After I washed my hair and dried it the best I could-I inserted the Curly Butter Creme. This product has a minty smell to it. While applying I felt a cooling sensation (please let me know I am not the only one to feel this sensation). However, once the sensation went away my curls looked amazing once again. I was a little nervous on the first day that I would smell extra minty. So Curly Butter Creme gets a 4 out of 5 from me. Yet again I loved the curls but did not like the uneasy feeling of smelling extremely minty all day.

 

History on Miss Jessie’s

Unknown-11Miss Jessie’s was founded by two sisters, Miko and Titi Branch, in 2004. They named their product after their paternal grandmother, Miss Jessie, who would use an egg and mayonnaise treatment for their curly natural hair. In 2000, the sisters decided to open a natural hair care salon together. While the salon was becoming a success, Titi realized there were not any products that catered to their clients needs. So she worked hard and created Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. From there multiple products came about, such as Curly Butter Creme, Baby Butter Creme, and Curly Meringue. The products have been featured in multiple magazines and received numerous awards. Miss Jessie’s has sustained a prominent place in the hair care world and it plans to stay there for years to come.

 

My Recommendation

Of course every product compliments every texture of hair differently. As African American women our hair naturally curls up (some call them n**** naps). If we allow our hair to fall into its natural state before placing multiple natural products then we would not have to buy products to make our hair curly. If wanting to enhance the already natural curl I would recommend Curly Butter Creme. Despite its cooling sensation, the product left my hair much softer than the Curly Pudding. Would I use Curly Butter every day like the package suggests? No. However, I would consider using it once a week. Lastly, please support Miss Jessie’s (www.missjessies.com) even if it is ordering their free samples to see what works best for you.

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If you are a Miss Jessie’s fan or just trying it out for the first time-let me know how it compliments your hair.

 

~B.R.A.T. (Black, Radical and Thorough)

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For This: Protective Styles for the Heat

The warm spring weather is fast approaching and no one has time for this…

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So it’s time to find ways to save our natural hair during the heat. Before I cut my hair, I too struggled with how to preserve my natural hair from sweating out. One style in particular that complemented me was 2-strand twists. As you will get to know me-I am all about getting the cutest styles with the smallest amount of work. So after washing my hair I would twist it while it was still damp. If your hair begins to dry out while twisting simply spray water on it to get the moisture back in it. The beauty of 2-strand twist is the versatility of having 2 different hairstyles. You can keep the twist in for 1 week then rock the crinkle/fro look for another week.

Most African Americans have dry hair whereas; Caucasians have oily hair. This explains why they need to wash their hair multiple times throughout the week. Our hair being the blessing that it is, we do not have to wash our hair every week but we do need to keep it moisturized. For example, putting grease, oil sheen, and moisturizers in our hair on a weekly basis helps it to grow, remain healthy and shine. While you are protecting it from the sun-remember to nurture it as well. 

Check me out…

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For those who may not like the 2-strand twist some other styles are:

Medium sized box braids

 

Box Braids

 

 

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Yarn Braids

 

 

 

 

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Senegalese/ Kinky Twist

 

 

 

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Quick Weaves

 

Styles to avoid every day are buns. Even though buns are most convenient for natural styles it wears and tears on your hair. The pressure of the bun breaks off your hair slowly which leads to breakage. Save your bun for those days when you do not have much time to do your hair at night or in the morning.

 

~ B.R.A.T. (Black, Radical, and Thorough)

Next week: Highlighting III Sisters of Nature; The “Cleaner” Hair Care Products

 

Credit:

http://www.delux-mag.com/black-tea-rinses-for-breakage-shedding-and-gray-hair/

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wild_hair.jpg

http://stylesbyelaine.blogspot.com/2012/07/10-bad-things-to-do-to-black-hair.html

http://diynaturalhaircare.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-are-box-braids-and-box-braids.html

http://www.butlerafricanhairbraiding.com/YARN-BRAIDS.html

http://media-cache-ec2.pinterest.com/originals/c3/ba/63/c3ba638ae26857fd5027cc8c63b4397b.jpg

http://filescafe.com/2012/11/hairstyles-long-at-front-shorter-at-back/30-quick-weave-hairstyles-which-are-astonishing-slodive/