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Monthly Archives: June 2012

CurlSpotting: Wendy Williams’ Curly Audience Member

“What could possibly be wrong? I mean really, you’re cute!” Wendy Williams complements a curly audience member … and her mane. You know she was checking out the mane!

Curlspotted at Wendy Williams!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see you curlie! Shaking that mane. Shaking that mane.

It happened to me once before when watching Bethenny Frankel’s talk show, and now again at Wendy Williams’ June 27th episode. Another great curly mane is spotted! That’s twice in one week that a naturally curly haired audience member stole the show.

This curly girl, Sasha, stood up to ask Wendy a question. Her picked out fro was in full display. Wendy proceeded to say, “What could possibly be wrong? I mean really, you’re cute!”

I, like Wendy, proceeded to stare at Sasha’s hair (see photo). Her style appears to be a picked out afro. I just hope her dilemma (can’t remember what it was, blind sighted by her mane) was finally solved.

Did you see her curly mane?

Ultimate Curly Hair Tutorial, Indeed

I nearly died when I watched this tutorial by a vlogger named Mya aka frugalartist on Youtube. Reasons why I-die (you’ve got to say it like my undercover curlie girl Rachel Zoe!):

  1. Her hurrr is fiiiiiierce
  2. Love the throwback Hilary Banks hair style at the end
  3. She says “hurrr” a lot (like me)
  4. Hi-la-ri-ous (very witty!)

Now, I’ve had misses with Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie, which has proved successful for this curly girl. She makes me want to revisit this, especially since I have a whole jar remaining under my bathroom sink.

Her mane is different from my own, but her technique includes all the essential steps: wash, leave-in conditioner, oil, style, DON’T TOUCH, dry. The key takeaway, which I mention in my 10 steps for a wash and go, is to not touch your hair after applying products and before drying. Mya/frugalartist also infuses Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil, one of my products staples, into her hair. She uses it to seal in water or a leave-in conditioner. I occasionally skip this step and just add oil after my hair is dry (to moisturize and soften hard holding products).

Sit back, watch this amazing mane, and feel free to droool as I did.

If you watched this tutorial and are now feeling blue, remember the following:

I will embrace and celebrate other curlies as well as my own hair. I will use their gorgeous tresses to motivate and encourage me to respect and nurture my curly mane.” ~Nay

Nicole Richie’s Curly Mane

Nicole Richie and her curly mane, courtesy of Glamour magazine

I haven’t had much time to indulge in my deep love of fashion, but this month’s Glamour magazine caught my attention, “manely” (yes I went there) because it features Nicole Richie. In an interview with the fashion trendsetter, Glamour shares 5 Fab Beauty Ideas To Steal From Nicole Richie, including details of her curly mane.

“I have naturally curly hair, so ‘natural’ beach waves are not so natural for me. I like to braid my hair at night and then let it out the next day. And I also curl my hair with a flat iron,” says Richie.

While Richie’s hair is clearly stylized for the above photo, the self-proclaimed hair pro has naturally curly hair. Although she often rocks a mean blow out, I would like to see Richie’s natural texture. Fat curls or skinny ramen noodles?

What are your thoughts on Nicole Richie’s curly (or straight) mane?

Kudos to the photographer for the beautiful spread!

CurlSpotting: Bethenny’s Talk Show Gets Captivated By Curls – Part II

In part one of this installment, I literally drooled over an audience member’s mane at Bethenny Frankel’s talk show. In a desperate attempt to share this amazing head of hair with you, I took a photo of my TV. Thanks to Bethenny’s show, we now have liftoff video! Our curly girl makes her entrance at approximately 5:00. All together now: Aaaa-maaazing! Oh, and Bethenny’s food tips are fab too.  :)

CurlSpotting: Bethenny’s Talk Show Gets Captivated By Curls – Part I

Blake Sunshine's curly hair on Bethenny talk show

“Look at that sexy hair!” exclaims Bethenny Frankel during her talk show. Blake Sunshine, a studio audience member, steals the show with her captivating curls. Please excuse this pic’s quality, but you get the gist—A-maaazing!

You may have heard that the June 25th episode of Bethenny Frankel’s talk show featured Kris Jenner of the infamous K-clan (fun interview), but if you’re a curlie like me, you caught the real star of the show–curls!

A random studio audience member named Blake Sunshine (she clearly and maybe purposely stated her name) asked Bethenny some question I can’t even recall. All I can remember seeing was a glow, literally a sun-shining halo of amazing, blond curls.

Miss Sunshine was working it and rightfully so. Bethenny even took notice, saying, “Look at that sexy hair!” Miss Sunshine was later invited to join the show’s cooking segment. Perhaps this isn’t the last time we’ll see those curls again!

Read updated post/Part II (video clip included)

 

10 Steps For A Wash and Go

It’s summer time! Woo hoo!

It’s the perfect season to lay out in the sun and usher in your wash-and-go routine. There’s no better way to showcase your curls than through this technique. Not to mention, this basic, natural hairstyle for natural hair can also help some curlies maintain healthy hair and experience growth.

My wash and go results using Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream

Pros:

This easy hairstyle showcases your natural texture. It creates faster hair growth (for me), keeps your scalp cool and hair clean on hot, sticky days

Cons:

Wet hair (if you air dry), single strand knots (for me, some people do not have this problem), unpredictable results based on how your hair is feeling that day or reacting to the weather, shrinkage (for me)

Please note that the steps provided below work for me. You may want to adjust these wash and go tips to suit your curly mane’s needs.

Before you begin, repeat the following:

I will respect my hair in all its states, even if this style proves to be unsuccessful. I will remain patient and pay attention to its needs, but most importantly, I will continue to love my curly mane.”

Tools:

  • Spray bottle (filled with water)
  • Hair clips (for sectioning, I use two clips)
  • Leave-in conditioner (that works well with your styler and does not produce white balls)
  • Styler aka your holding product or gel (some curlies are able to skip this). I used Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream in these photos.
  • Oil (if it works with your styler)
  • Blow dryer (Turbo Blow Dryer)
  • Afro Pik (optional)
  • Diffuser (optional)
  • Denman D31 or Denman D41 Volumizing Brush(optional)
  • Fingers (just kidding!)

Blow drying my mane after washing … so I can go!

Steps:

  1. Wash your natural hair with a moisturizing shampoo or co-wash. If you use a product that builds up on your hair, please use a clarifying shampoo. Always follow shampoos with a moisturizing conditioner. Key word = moisture!
  2. Squeeze out excess water and begin working on your damp hair (don’t allow for air drying just yet). This will allow products to easily absorb into your hair shaft. Keep your trusty spray bottle at hand to rewet areas that dry faster.
  3. Apply a leave-in condition all over hair. Don’t forget to section your hair and smooth the product in as needed. I apply extra conditioner to my ends (to prevent split ends).
  4. Part hair into small sections, beginning in the back and working your way towards the front of your head. I gather together the large areas that I’m not working on by using a clip.
  5. Apply styler onto hair in sections, using the rake and smooth method (literally raking and smoothing products for African-American hair or afro textured hair with your fingers). Some curlies prefer to whip out a Denman brush to help their curls pop. I have had hits and misses with this brush, so it’s out of my routine for now. You can also coil stubborn strands around your finger to help achieve a defined look.
  6. Do not touch!!
  7. Use a blow dryer to dry your hair, using high heat and speed. It is recommended that you use low heat, but I increase this because my dryer is older and gives off less heat. Point the nozzle down your hair shaft (to prevent frizz) and move it around your hair. Don’t dry one spot for too long, or you will damage your hair. Use a diffuser if preferred. I don’t. For the first 6 minutes, do not touch your hair. It will create frizz. You can gently part sections or shake your head to help reach your scalp area with the dryer (and also separate curls as needed). After 6 minutes, shake hair and use dryer to reach the inner sections of your hair. It takes me approximately 10 minutes of total drying time when using Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls or Fantasia IC Polisher Gel. With some other products like Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream, it take me 15-20 minutes. Your drying time will vary depending on your hair length and products.
  8. Smooth oil onto hair in sections after your hair is about 90% dry. This helps to fight frizz and also aids in de-stiffening stylers.

    I like to use a tug-and-stretch method to lengthen curls.

  9. Blow dry for a few seconds while flipping hair about for volume (literally whipping hair back and forth). You should do this as/if it suits your desired look.
  10. Tug and stretch sections (about mid length) that you’d like to stretch and briefly blow dry the first 2 inches from your roots (adjust according to your hair length) for a few seconds per section to help elongate your hair. Optional: Use an afro pick to lift and stretch sections you’d like to volumize (typically the top and front of your hair). You will only need to literally pick up the first ½ inch to 1 inch of hair from roots and blow dry this area for a few seconds.

You’re now done with washing and styling. Off you go! Weeeeerk!

Find out how to preserve your curls through nighttime routines and sexy sleeping techniques.

Nay’s Product Staples

MyCurlyMane.com Product Staples

Nay’s All-Star Products in June 2012

Click here to view the most recent products that I am using and recommend.

All-Star products that I consistently use are indicated by an asterisk*. You can find my product reviews on this blog.

If you are interested in purchasing items, click on the links below. If you’ve tried these items, please share your thoughts, tips, and experiences!

Shampoos:

Conditioners:

  •  Herbal Essence Hello Hydration*
  •  Herbal Essence Hydralicious

Leave-ins:

Stylers:

  • Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls
  • Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding
  • Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream
  • Fantasia Polisher Gel With Sparkles 16 oz. Olive Oil
  • UPDATE (9-22-12): I now adore Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel*and have great results with Eco Styler Gel*

Oils & Butters

My Hair Story

Nay from MyCurlyMane_CurlyHeadShot

My curly mane circa 2000. Still healthy but note the slightly elongated/damaged strands at the ends. This was just the beginning.

Welcome to My Curly Mane!

I started this blog to help inspire others and share stories about naturally curly hair, spirituality, and life’s journey … as well as to quit boring my non curly victims family members and friends with the joys and challenges of having naturally curly hair!

Today, it is not unusual to see a lot more curlies embracing their natural textures. Thank you! By embracing your natural mane, cosmetic companies and other curlies are taking notice and creating products suited for our hair. Halleloo!

You may be wondering what has driven me to write about my hair (of all topics!). As I always say, there’s just so much more to it than just hair.

Here goes my (slightly long) hair story:

For me, it’s been a bit of a bumpy journey before I’ve gotten to this state of fully embracing my hair… again. As a child, my hair routine was driven by my mother, who like most Jamaican mothers, would sit me between her legs as she slowly plaited up my hair each night. This consisted of meticulously sectioning off my hair and oiling my scalp with a generous amount of oils like the infamous Blue Magic. In the morning, the plaits were freed, brushed out, and re-plaited into pigtails. My hair was washed each Sunday like clockwork. This routine seemed to work, as my hair grew quite long, although I couldn’t tell since I always had lots of shrinkage and had never straightened it. I just knew that when it was tugged on, it was much longer than in its usual, shrunken state.

Short Natural Hair

Achieving longer, healthier lengths in 2010

Sixth grade ushered in what I like to call “the rite of black girl passage,” as the majority of girls in my school started straightening their hair. Out with the “coarse, nappy” hair and in with straight, “mature” look. I remember drooling over my friends’ fresh presses and perms and praying (Are You There God? It’s me and my afro.) that my mother would also let me relax my hair. Oh, how my girlfriends’ silky, kink free hair swung with each head toss. They had what I wanted—movement and length. I begged, pleaded with my mother to also let me join the masses, but she refused, insisting that I didn’t need it.

It took a lot of persistence and promises (I swore I would polish the furniture more often!) until one day, when she finally gave in and took me to the hair dresser. This time, instead of sitting for hours on a Saturday watching my mom and sister perm their hair, I was finally getting my hair pressed! It took all day (and endless complaints by the hairdresser about my coarse hair) to wash, deep condition, blow out, and hot comb my hair. Still, I felt that it was all worth the wait, as I finally had straight hair!

It was long (past shoulder length) and bone straight. I don’t know how I didn’t get whip lash from the amount of times I swung my hair about. The icing on the cake–everyone in school loved it too! All my girlfriends oohed and aaahed. I finally had it—acceptance. I looked just like everyone else … until three days later when my hair reverted due to the heat and lack of information on sustaining the style. It was the last time my hair would meet a pressing comb for a long while. My mother didn’t like the look or the fact that it “shrunk up” my hair. I was devastated. Why oh why was this woman doing this to me? Of course, at the time I didn’t know that her infinite wisdom would also apply to my hair.

Straighten Naturally Curly Hair

Above: My straightened and curled hair in 2012.

By high school, I started to take over the hair plaiting and scalp oiling role. In those early years, my hair styling consisted of a single pigtail with a bang that I rolled up each night (accompanied by the plaits). The bang, as puffy and off-centered as it looked, was essential for hiding my forehead (teenage issues). By my junior year, I started to experiment with braid outs. I found that my hair actually didn’t fall out when leaving it loose (crazy natural hair myths), although it did occasionally fro out due to lack of information on holding products. Braid-outs gave me a little more versatility and little more acceptance of my hair.

College was a turning point. Freshman year, I snuck around my roommate’s schedule before plaiting up my hair at night. It just seemed too much to explain to her why my hair didn’t behave like her stick straight tresses. In hindsight I would have taken greater pride in my hair and seized the opportunity to enlighten her, but these are the things you learn as you grow.

As college hours kicked in, my hair routine just wasn’t working for me anymore. There was also a new development. One day, I stepped out the shower and took a hard look at my hair in the mirror and noticed something new—my hair was curly! It wasn’t just curly. It was springy, kinky, and wavy all in one. I never really paused before plaiting to really analyze my natural texture. I knew I liked my hair in the shower (and took loooong baths to play in it), but I never knew how to capture that look on land.

If college is for experimentation, I passed with honors. I tried washing and going fully natural, sans products—fail. Trial and error taught me that my hair likes conditioner. Left that in. A half Dominican, half Puerto Rican hall mate with envious curls took one look at my hair and suggested that I use black gel. Wha-la! Black gel transformed my life. It ushered in the era of my signature afro curly pigtails, with slicked down hairline. Everyone on campus knew my piggies (yay!). It even garnered a following, with a few ladies rocking pigtails and one girl inspired to go natural. I was overjoyed. I had finally began embracing my natural tresses. It unfortunately took other people’s acceptance before I began to think kindly of my hair, but at least I began embracing my uniqueness.

Above: My shortened length of hair in 2009, when I cut off all the damaged ends.

The experimentation continued, and my piggies were self-bleached and died all shades of the rainbow—red being my go-to color. That was until one day, my hair threw in the towel. I stepped into the shower, picked up my brush to detangle my hair, and watched as chucks of hair easily slid off my head and into the brush! A few other hairs plopped into the drain! I was shocked and devastated. Looking back, I applaud my hair for not peeling out, given the fact that I bleached and colored it on a monthly (sometimes bi-weekly) basis.

A combination of the need for hair rehab and entry into the working world led me to dye my hair blackest black monthly (was still hooked on coloring) and press/flat iron it on a weekly basis. The combination hid the damage and allowed me to re-grow my hair to mid-back length … It also led me down the path of straightening addiction. How did I go from loving my curly mane to weekly blow frying and daily burnings, including one incident in which I literally burned off my hair with a hot comb due to an overheated oven?? I got so used to the look and feel of straight hair (and the approval it brought me by co-workers) that I began to resent my natural hair. Any sign of puffiness was met by my flat iron. Years of excessive heat combined with a bad highlighting job took its toll, and eventually my hair threw in the towel again and started breaking.

Above: My curly mane in 2012.

That year, in 2008, I noticed more and more curlies in the subway. Once spotted, I would stare at each and every one of their hair, analyzing the look, texture, color, and movement. You name it. I wished my hair looked like theirs … wait my hair had once looked like theirs! I wondered if I could get my old hair back again. Curiosity led me to hair boards, blogs, and videos. I cut my damaged hair from armpit length (when straightened) to shoulder length (about ear length natural). I also went fully natural and didn’t straighten my hair for a year. This drew a lot of questions and back-handed compliments by those who more than hinted that I looked better with straight hair, looked like a boy (ouch!), or questioned my “afro-centric look.” I wasn’t intending to make a statement. I just wanted my hair back! However, it did allow me to question the power and image of natural hair vs. straight hair and how this affects self-esteem and the way people treat of you.

By looking within and finding self-acceptance (life lessons), I eventually learned to turn down the volume of others and started listening more to my hair, not the heads of others. Instead of just slapping products on my hair and believing in miracles, I paid attention to what works for me, like more conditioning and less heat. My hair has been thriving (much healthier = more manageable). I still straighten it, but this is balanced by times spent all naturale. I’ve also learned that every head of hair not only looks different, but it may also react differently to products and techniques. You’ve truly got to listen to your curly mane and yours alone. Relish in your own comfort zone and not the lane people place you in. Learn to embrace yourself, your hair, and your journey. You hear that? … It’s your hair speaking!

This is my hair story, and I’m sticking to it!

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