Wednesday, November 15, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: The End!

Hello!!!!!

I hope that you all are doing well!

Excuse me for the brief MIA (missing in action), the last week or so has been kicking my butt (work, adulthood, and life) :).


This post will be a short one, but this will be the final post of the K.I.S.S. Natural Series! I just want to thank anyone that stumbled upon my blog, shared, liked, or commented on my natural hair blog. Even if you felt that it didn't relate to you (someone actually told me that lol), you still checked out my site.



It is thoroughly appreciated. I hoped to inspire and provide some insight and encouragement to women (even men!) who wanted to pursue natural hair. I wanted to provide a series of posts that provided a simple guide amidst the vast amount of information out there. I wanted to provide anyone with the tools to feel empowered on their natural hair journey. Hair is not supposed to be an overwhelming stressor. It is not complicated.



So again, this is the last post of the series. I hope that you enjoyed! I will be back on November 29th with a new post. Enjoy your holidays!



Talk to you soon.
Brie.
Always #KISSANATURAL ;) xoxo

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: Natural Hair Resources

Good afternoon!

I hope that you guys are having a great week! We are getting closer to the weekend, thank goodness!

This is going to be a fairly quick post, mostly composed of links about natural hair. Most of them are blogs, and of course YouTube. Be careful with YouTube: it can be a rabbit hole. You start with one video, and it can turn into a few hours on YouTube LOL

Blogs:

http://www.afrobella.com/ (the OG of natural hair blogging!)
http://simonedigital.com/
https://www.naturallycurly.com/
http://www.4chairchick.com/
http://www.curlynikki.com/
http://blackgirllonghair.com/

YouTube (natural hair bloggers):

BeautifulBrwnBabyDol:  http://www.youtube.com/user/BeautifulBrwnBabyDol
MahoganyCurls : http://www.youtube.com/user/MahoganyCurls
Naptual85: http://www.youtube.com/user/Naptural85
Sporty Afros: http://www.youtube.com/user/SportyAfros
Nappy Headed JoJoba: https://www.youtube.com/user/nappyheadedjojoba
My Natural Sistas: http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNaturalSistas
Nikki Mae: http://www.youtube.com/user/Nikkimae2003
Chime (Hair Crush): http://www.youtube.com/user/HairCrush

For my Loc Sistas: 

Jasmine Rose: https://www.youtube.com/user/JazzyTe007
Keisha Charmaine: https://www.youtube.com/user/OverXposedKC91
Franchesca Ramsey: http://www.youtube.com/user/chescalocs

Of course there are many more people out there in the internet, but these are the people/sites that I check out from time to time. Also, a lot of the natural hair bloggers were starting their careers when I first went natural. It is pretty cool to see their careers and lives evolve. <3

I hope that this helps you start and feel more encouraged to become natural!




Talk to you soon.
Brie.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: Confidence in Natural Hair

Hello!! Are you having a great week so far? I hope so!

One of the main concerns that I hear often, is how difficult it is being comfortable or confident wearing natural hair. I cut off all of my hair at the end of 2009, and did not fully wear my hair out for four months. Frankly, I was scared and I did not like the reactions that I received with my natural hair. I was used to my hair length, and I did not know HOW to style my hair.

Quick backstory: I am from Mississippi, and grew up in a very sheltered, conservative, and deeply Christian based home. I also grew up having my relaxers every 6 weeks like clockwork lol. When I cut my hair, it was assumed (by some relatives) that I was a lesbian, and going on a downward spiraling path to destruction. -__________________________-
I was also made fun of for having nappy hair, being told that I should use my hair to scrub tubs and mop floors. It also didn't help that when I went out in public, non-blacks did not hide the fact to gawk at my head. People (black, white, and in-between) were being rude, and OBNOXIOUSLY ignorant, only intensifying the insecurities that I hadn't yet sort through.

I installed twists, and even the stylist (who was African) had something to say. I was OVER IT DO YOU HEAR ME??!! After four months of twists, I literally said, "F*CK THEM. I'm wearing my hair out and I DARE A M*THAF*CKA have something to say". I decided from that point on, I was going to wear my hair out REGARDLESS of the responses it would incite. I figured that, "Hey, it's MY hair. If people are THAT bothered with my hair, they are more than free to pay for a relaxer (fun fact: they never did)." At first wearing my hair out was uncomfortable, but it became easier. I learned that people tend to play on your insecurities if you let them. People will also back off when they realize that their opinion doesn't stand up next to your convictions.

It is a LOT easier now to become natural compared to when I first started. This is due to the social media communities encouraging natural hair.

So to condense this post, I will give you some tips for how I learned to wear my natural hair in confidence.
  • Remember your reason why you decided to become natural
  • Keep in mind that your natural hair is in fact beautiful. No matter how short, nappy, or kinky the texture. 
  • People's negative opinions are just that: OPINIONS. Some people will solicit opinions or comments because THEY are scared, choose to be negative, or are jealous that you're doing something that they may want to do. Their comments/opinions can also stem from a place of insecurity
    • While you strive not to take negative opinions seriously, please do not hesitate to let a person know that you are not the one for disrespect. Yesterday. Today. Many days. Always. 
  • Find people who are on the journey along with you! There is comfort and support in numbers. 
  • Find inspiration! I was always on YouTube trying out new hair styles and reading articles. 
  • Natural hair is a process. Being uncomfortable with the length, and the learning curve of figuring out hair styles. It is all a process: the awkward stage of natural hair is only temporary
  • Confidence takes time. For me, it was deliberately placing myself in places where I KNEW that I would be gawked at. For you, it may be different. And that's okay. <3

This picture is so cute! <3 

If you have any tips, please comment below! If you read all of this, you are appreciated. lol 

Talk to you soon. 
Brie. 




Thursday, October 12, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: Hairstyles!

Hey! I hope that you are doing well. Excuse the late post, I had some technical difficulties yesterday. But I am back! :) This blog post is going to touch on the different hairstyles of natural hair. One of my pet peeves is hearing about how black hair is not versatile when it comes to hairstyles.  I also hear a lot of people mention how they are hesitant to become natural because they don't know where to start when it comes to hairstyles. Contrary to popular belief, natural hair, specifically black hair, can be very versatile. Creativity is a MAJOR KEY for hairstyles!


HEADS UP: This is going to be a picture heavy post. And quite frankly, full of hair porn. LOL. Please use this blog post as inspiration for your hair whether you are a newly or seasoned naturalista. You can incorporate one technique or multiple! And I BETTER not hear any more whining about not knowing what to do with natural hair (slightly joking)!!!!!! LOL




 











Popular Hair Styles
  • Bantu (think of Jada Pinkett Smith in the Matrix)/bantu knot outs(unraveled bantu knots)
  • Braids/ braid-outs (unraveled braids)
  • Twists/ twist-outs (unraveled twists)
  • Updos
  • Afros
  • Puffs
  • Buns
  • Wigs*
  • Locs
  • Weaves*
  • Straightened Hair*

*Try to wear sparingly, if you can; if you opt for these styles for an extended amount of time, please tend to your hair! Neglect can cause dry, brittle hair ultimately causing stunted hair growth.

Bantu knot out. Current fave. Throwback pic from two years ago :)
OMG I love BLACK HAIR. Our hair is so amazing like... I can't even! lol Natural hair is FUN! Experiment! Don't be scared or intimidated! Try new hairstyles!

And if it doesn't work out, throw it in a puff and start again at a different time. NO WORRIES! <3
What are some of your favorite hair styles? And it doesn't have to be natural. Let me know in the comments below. :)


Talk to you soon.
Brie.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: Determining a Hair Care Regimen!

Good Morning!

Two things: I hope that you guys are having a nice week so far. It is Wednesday, and you're also closer to the weekend! AYEEE! On a serious note, I am sending my thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families in Las Vegas. <3

This blog post is dedicated to hair care regimens! Hair care regimens tend to be very essential if one is trying to achieve hair growth. Hair care regimens also help newly naturals (even more seasoned naturals) practice discipline. It also challenges one to practice consistency as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some who are against hair care regimens, preferring a more carefree approach to their hair.

I've tested out the regimented and carefree hair care routines. As for me? I am fully aware that I am a lazy naturalista who prefers regimens lol. Natural hair care can take a lot of time and work. However, many of us have jobs, children, school, and everything in between. Many of us do not have enough time and or patience for styling/taking care of natural hair. Honestly, truly. Maybe it's just me, but I want to be efficient and effective with my small amount of time. Also, there are SOOOOOOOOO many regimens out there, it is overwhelming. I narrowed down my current regimen like this:

When you are figuring out your hair care regimen, 
FIRST
  • Ascertain (Based on YOUR lifestyle!)
    • Time/Availability 
    • Frequency of styling (number of times per day(s)/Week(s))
SECOND
  • Determine (How do you EXACTLY style your hair? Do you need all of the following below? Yes? No? How often?)
    • Wash/Condition 
    • Co-Washing
    • Treatments
    • Styling**
      • This is going to be trial and error. The best way to figure out your regimen is to take note of your GOOD HAIR DAYS. What did you do? Do you notice a pattern when styling your hair? If so repeat, and adjust as needed! 
For example, I wash, use a protein treatment, and finally style my hair once a week. As of late, my style lasts until my next hair wash day. If it starts to look old, I will style it. I preserve my style by using a satin bonnet cap at night. I do not co-wash often as my hair is mostly hydrated and moisturized. This works for me due to my busy schedule

If you are inspired by other regimens via social media, try it out! But please. PLEASE. Be realistic with yourself. You know yourself better than anyone. If you decide to stick to a regimen, make it work for you. That way, it will be easier to commit, and it will coincide with your life style. Regimens can always be adjusted as well. So, RELAX! 



Talk to you soon. 
Brie. 




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: Hair Care Products!

Helllooo!!!

How is the week going so far? Mine is great! Work is work, but I now have a friend who is married, and I am praying that the rest of them find their prince charming soon enough! :)

Okay, so you  now have a great idea about what products should work for your newly beautifully cut hair (if you haven't big chopped, what are you WAITING FOR?!?!?!?!). We officially get to the best part of the K.I.S.S. Naturals Series: SHOPPING!!!!!!...well more specifically, shopping for hair products lol. Shopping for hair products should not be stressful! Shopping for jeans, is stressful. Not hair products. :)

This post is going to be a guide on hair products that I like, and have had success with. I also will provide tips for purchasing products.
There is a more in-depth blog post HERE. A lot of my hair products that I use are still the same, with the exception of a few that I am testing out. HERE WE GO!!

  • Shampoo/Conditioner-These shampoo/conditioner combos have been moisturizing for my hair. I also would recommend that you stick to the same line when it comes to this combo. This has to do with the combined products being pH formulated to work with your hair. 
    • Alba Botanicals Drink it Up Coconut Milk 
    • KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Line
  • Deep Conditioner/Moisture Treatments
    • TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Masque (recently purchased; will update you guys soon!)
    • Aphogee Curlrific! Texture Treatment (quick, yields great results, and effective!)
  • Oils
    • Argan
      • It moisturizes your hair DIVINELY
    • Castor
      • Great for coarse, thick hair. A little goes a LONG way
    • Jojoba
      • Lightweight.  Similar to sebum: An oil that your scalp naturally produces.
    • Coconut
      • Lightweight. Gives hair incredible shine. Please DO NOT USE if you are allergic to coconuts
    • Leave In Conditioner
      • ElastaQP Olive Oil & Mango Butter
      • Aphogee
        • Curlrific! Moisture Rich
        • Pro-Vitamin
      • Jane Carter Revitalizing 
      • Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries (honestly, ANY of their leave ins)
    • Moisturizing/Styling Creams
      • Oyin Handmade 
        • Burnt Sugar Pomade (holy guacamole this stuff smells AMAZING)
        • Whipped Pudding 
        • Shine & Define
        • Hair Dew
      • Qhemet Biologics 
        • Amla & Olive Heavy Cream
        • Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm
      • Taliah Waajid
        • Curly Curl Cream (The #1 product for BUN hairstyles)
      • Homemade hair cream
        • I am still experimenting, but it looks VERY promising! 
    • Styling Gels/Pomades
      • Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste
      • TGIN Curl Bomb 
      • Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity (This gel has changed my life. No, seriously.)
      • Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    • Styling Foams/Mousse (used mostly for bantu knot outs)
      • Jane Carter Solution Natural Twist Out Foam
      • Big Sexy Hair Mousse

Tips
  • If there is a product that you've been eyeing and it is E X P E N S I V E... Shop online! Amazon, BeautyLish, NaturallyCurly, CurlMart, AveYou are popular websites. 
    • You can find a coupon code, there may be a promotion, etc. Save money as much as you can! 
  • Some hair care companies offer promotions periodically. Follow them on social media or check out their website! 
  • Seasonal promotions are clutch if you are looking to save money, especially around the holidays. For example, Miss Jessie's were KNOWN for their 50% off promotions back in the day lol.
  • Samples! I cannot stress this enough! Try a sample of a product FIRST! Then invest in the product if you like it. 
  • Try looking for products that emphasize moisture and richness: I've noticed that those products typically have better ingredients and work better for curly hair. 
If you guys have any products that would be helpful for anyone that is newly natural, sound off in the comments below!  FUN FACT: These products also work for men as well. <3


If you made it to the end of this blog, congratulations! I hope that this helps you! 

Talk to you soon. 
Brie. <3

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

K.I.S.S. Naturals: Why Can't I Use Certain Ingredients?

Hey! I hope that you guys are having a great week so far!

Okay. So you've decided that you are becoming natural! YES! 
You've set realistic goals about your natural hair.....GREAT!!

Now what? (insert thinking emoji)

When I cut off my hair in 2009, I bought hair products, trivializing the importance of the ingredients. So the next thing that you should do if you are a newly natural is to look at the ingredients

Fun fact: The ratio of ingredients and the ingredients themselves, play a major role in the health of your hair. They also can be instrumental when it comes to styling your hair as well. There are some naturalistas who are huge opponents of using these products in their hair; that is fine. However, I believe that products with these ingredients should be used RARELY (depending on the situation), if not at all. Speaking from experience, you will experience the effects in your hair after a period of time. 

This post is to give you a QUICK guide of products that you can use rarely (depending on the hair style), or avoid altogether.


  • Mineral Oil (a.k.a. Petroleum)
    • Leaves a film on hair that makes it difficult to remove
    • Clogs hair follicles
    • Containing impurities linked to cancer
  • Alcohol (a.k.a. Isopropyl Alcohol)
    • Dries out hair, dissolving its oils
    • It can hinder hair growth
    • Can be found in hair mousses
  • Parabens
    • Preservatives for hair products
    • Have been linked to cancer, and negatively affecting your reproductive system
  • Formaldehyde
    • Used in Brazilian blowouts
    • Used to preserve deceased bodies
    • Can irritate your respiratory system
    • Irreversible damage to hair
    • Banned in Europe due to being a skin irritant and a potential occupational carcinogen
  • Silicone (a.k.a. Dimethicone, any name ending in -cone)
    • Used in heat protectants and "frizz-free" products
    • Use only if you are straightening your hair 
    • Causes build up over time; Difficult to remove from hair
        • Water soluble & Non Water Soluble products available
  • Sulfates (a.k.a. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth)
    • Can be a skin irritant
    • Formerly used as an industrial detergent and engine degreaser 
    • Dries out hair follicles by stripping the hair of its oils

Again, I try to avoid these products as much as I can unless I am looking to achieve a particular style. Over time, these ingredients will dry your hair out, break off, resulting in stunted hair growth

These six ingredients seem to have a negative effect on your hair regardless of your hair type. There are more ingredients that are considered to be bad, but they can be contingent on your hair type (in my opinion). Aside from the six ingredients that were discussed, experiment with caution. For example, mineral oil doesn't work on my hair, but polyethylene glycol (which is considered bad) tends to work for my hair type.

There are exceptions to the rule: what doesn't work in my hair, may end up working in yours. Your hair will show you if the product is working by the way it feels, and how it reacts to a product. Use this post as a guide to help you when you're choosing products. 

If you guys have any questions, product recommendations, etc., please feel free to leave a comment, tweet me, or message me via Instagram (brieuntitled)!




Talk to you soon!
Brie.


Links used for post: 

http://www.curlynikki.com/2013/07/silicones-natural-hair-good-bad-ugly.html
https://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/20-toxic-ingredients-avoid-when-buying-body-care-products-and-cosmetics.html
http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/banned-europe-safe-us/
http://livingprettynaturally.com/ingredients-to-avoid/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/171916-ingredients-to-avoid-in-hair-products/