Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Inner You

What type of a blogger would I be if I did not write a blog about the outgoing year and the incoming year? Yes, there is something about the end of those 365 days that makes people want to do 365 more! As a cosmetologist, I can not think of a better way to make wanting to live those additional 365 days again more fulfilling than looking good. 

The National Cancer Society has a program to help women feel beautiful as they recover from various forms of cancer called, "Look Good. Feel Better." I can not think of a better mantra for life in the upcoming 2018 new year. It is true. When we look good, we actually do feel better. The interesting part about looking good is sometimes we can actually look uberly attractive and physically fit outwardly; but inwardly we do not feel the same. On the contrary, mentally we can feel fantastic; yet, esthetically and physically we look a hot mess. To rectify this conundrum, women opt to change their hair. They do so because it yields great feelings and looks great. However, this  resolve yields topsy tervy results which typically goes two directions. In the one direction the result is hate. If their hair doesn't turn out right, they either hate their hair and blame the hair product. In the other direction the result is love. They love either love their hair and love the product. Either way, the objective is truly to look good to feel better or to feel better because they look good. If this type of recourse sounds familiar to you or a loved one, then this blog is for you!

One of the most interesting things I find about working in the beauty industry is how much people want to be beautiful. I kind of liking my experiences to that request to that of someone who works in the ministry or spiritual realm. People got to ministers and spiritual coaches asking for blessing and prayers when they are already full of them. God, Spirit, Universe (or whatever name you have for your higher power) has everything already made in perfection. I know this sounds cliché. But it is not cliché. It is an absolute spiritual and physical fact. Consider two things. First beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Second, everything comes from within; everything. So feeling good within automatically puts and end to the "want."

Beauty is like art. What one person thinks is junk and scribble; others see it as art. What sees as ugly, fat and jiggly; others see it as perfection. I encourage every one to operate their mental faculties from the mindset of knowing. Know that you are already beautiful. Rather your have a head full of hair or your hair is balding. Own your own type of beauty versus wanting it. 

In relation to beauty, there are many things we can do with and to our beauty. We can alter our beauty or we can leave our beauty as is and proceed. Either way, we have a divine mind called choice to do as we please.

Today beauty has turned into something with two very interesting sides. On one side of the token there is a popular notion called "natural beauty." On the other side, some call it "altered beauty." Now days we have much coming at us to persuade us to choose a side. But, one has to admit the side of the coin that alters beauty is constantly being tossed again with the hopes to not alter. The one thing in beauty that people like to alter the most is hair. People like to alter their hair with water to reshape the state of if to do things like make it curly, puffy, frizzy, curly or straight. Then there are those who like to alter their hair with tools to cut it or decorations to adorn it. Others like to enhance that by adding heat via irons, dryers and the sun. There are also others who like to enhance the beauty of their hair by altering it with chemicals to change the color or and texture. Whatever the choice of alterations, guess what? You can always have the choice to alter it again.

Thoughts are more toxic than any relaxer.
The thing I find interesting about these varying options to alter it is the negative attention given to those who opt to chemically alter their hair. If a person chooses to alter their hair with chemicals they are often warned of the dangers of chemical alterations. People are warned against internal damages to the body, hair loss, hair damage and in some cases death. Yes, I've read and listened to many school of thoughts that are utterly totally and completely against anything synthetic/manmade on hair and the body.

I am no doctor by any stretch of the imagination nor am I any sort of spiritual or wholistic guru who is affluent in the knowledge of either area. However, I am of the genetic makeup from a supreme being. So with that fact, here is the knowledge bestowed in me from my supreme maker that gives me the credibility to respond. 

Everything comes from within. Nothing comes from without. If you use any chemical on your hair and you become ill, trust me; you were ill before you even reached for the box; before  the chemical was applied. Chemicals are energy like illnesses. They all come from someone's mastermind. If the mind generates sick and ill intent thoughts; so it shall be manifested in the external. Chemical application comes with warnings just like bad thoughts. There is a contingency to both modalities. 

I can think of nothing more toxic than a person who personifies, represents and promotes that the external is responsible for the internal. Nothing in beauty could be further from the truth. When you add anything external to an internal that is compromised, predisposed or is at risk, then consideration to what you choose to use externally should be considered with scrutiny.

My mom had this to say about surface beauty, "Beauty is skin deep. But, ugly is to the bone." In other words, a toxic mentality permeates. However, one chooses to alter their hair or image is a very personal decision. What is toxic to one person may not be toxic to the other. Everything is not for everybody. As we adorn ourselves externally, get to know ourselves internally. Discover what is really on the inside that you want the world to see daily. If you wanna fry it, dye it and lay it to the side; in the infamous words of the Rapper Debonair, Shock Gee - "Do what you like."   
Just grab 'em in the biscuit!

And for those who insist that chemicals or altering one's beauty beyond their view or opinion of how it should be done, understand that it is their energy of judging, their undertone of excessive persuasion and harsh words that begins the formation of the toxic thoughts that makes women, girls, teens and men sick from within long before any man made chemical touches and enters the body externally. 

The human body is amazing. Contrary to popular belief the human body wants to be alive. The divine made us so intricately well that it has organs that are designed to rid the body of toxins and even regenerate themselves to keep us living strong healthy lives. If and when the body becomes toxic, please know that you have the power of your mind through choices to change behaviors and affirm healing thoughts that will manifest any kind of healing. You know; what some people call miracles! 

The new year is approaching. Use this magical time to truly begin something beautiful in your mind. While you do have the option to do this at any and every moment in your life, feel free to use the incoming year and date of January 1, 2018 to do so.

According to numerologist Simone Matthews, of, she writes this about numerology, "Numerology is a most ancient and mystical art form for understanding our own personal cycles of growth & evolution AND becoming conscious of ourselves in the greater context of planetary & cosmic evolution." As for the meaning of the new year 2018, she goes on to write this edifying passage to translate the meaning of the master number 11, "Firstly… in a Universal 11 Year we have the FREEDOM to really SEE ourselves from a greater level of awareness or consciousness.  Just like looking at our reflection in the water, we are drawn during 2018 to take a good hard look at areas in our life where we have held ourselves back, stayed small for fear of rejection, or limited our growth for fear of failure.  What do you ‘see’ when you take a deep introspective look at your life in this  moment, what is the universe reflecting back to you in this Universal 11 Year." To get more information on this topic, please visit her website. It is awesome.

There is only one you. When the maker made you, he broke the mode. Everyone has a divine mind that allows them to only create from within.  How you want to create or alter your beauty including hair is a part of that divine mind of choice. Even if you relax it, color it, loc it, braid it, cut it off, sew it on or glue it on, it is your prerogative to do so. If and when folk go to express their opinions about it; that's ok! They have the choice to use their divine minds for whatever they like or dislike.

Tap into the inner you. Continue to ask your supreme source how you can you express your beauty. Use that information to express yourself and should you choose; your beautiful hair.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Have Knots

Hide ya wife, hide your hair!
The history of cleaning textured hair is yet another telling story of the downright mean treatment of the Africans who were enslaved. When the story of slavery is told, it has an undertone of people of color who came from a dark continent who were void of content, character, spirit, and purpose. It reads as if the people they stole and enslaved were merely dark colored slaves. This leads into the confusion in caring for textured hair today.

The history of slavery in America tells the story of devaluing human life abusively. This abuse was hash. It was from extreme physical and mental abuse to the subtleties of denying slaves simple human hygiene; such as hair care.

When the Africans were enslaved most don't realize they brought them over with nothing. They were not allowed to practice any rituals of any sort. Many were from different regions and did not speak the same language. So the ability to communicate with one another on how to carry on any sort of ritual was out of the question. Zoe Olivia Rhodes, a student at the University of Warwick in the UK writes this in her dissertation on textured hair that brings to surface the above-mentioned fact, "historically, Afro hair was denigrated by European slave masters. Slaves hair was referred to a wool; contributing towards black slaves being treated as animals and not being human beings." Her research argues, "this behavior came as a response to racist ideology and was meant to devalue the physical attributes of black people in order to sustain white supremacy. Indeed this denigration affected how slaves perceived themselves and resulted in them disguising their hair so it appeared more European or it was covered up." This affliction still haunts many Africans and people with textured hair today. So begins the woes of the haves and the have knots.

Considering Africans were brought here forcibly with no ties to the resources to care for their hair and the belief that they were not humans worthy of soap, water, and a comb; explains the present day mass confusion. In addition, it explains the refusal to ensure that all who are licensed to do hair know how to care for and sometimes style Afro-textured hair.  To reiterate, in the Americas, the start of hair care for Afro-textured hair people started from the mindset of people who controlled them and did not look like them. Remember they believed the enslaved Africans hair was of no pertinent value. Because they believed they were not humans; they taught them all to not clean their hair, not comb their hair or to cover it up.

From there, the madness in caring for textured hair began. Africans and Black people in the Americas pretty much hold on to this belief and practice today. Just as many who practice the ritual of placing a lost tooth under a pillow in exchange for money from the Tooth Fairy. Demanding Africans and Blacks in the Americas to clean their hair more often is like asking them to not believe in the Tooth Fairy. Many still hold on to the belief that cleaning hair frequently is for Whites. Cleaning hair infrequently from 2 weeks to two months is fine for Blacks, bi-racial or people with textured hair. They believe this to be a very effective ritual and practice simply because of the color of their skin, the texture of their hair and the local of where they reside.
This blog aims to debunk both belief and practice. Hair for all humans is an appendage of skin, regardless of race, texture, region or nationality. Hair grows individually from a regenerative organ or tiny hole called a follicle. Every seven years, the body gives each tiny hole or follicle a new strand of hair. The scalp; like the mouth, ears, nose, vagina, and mouth is self-cleaning. Therefore, like those other orifices, the scalp and hair need to be cleaned regularly with appropriate cleansers per the scalp, hair texture, and type.

To clean knotty and textured hair effectively, you must know what kind of textured hair you have. Is it curly, wavy, kinky, Afro or a combination? A trichologist or dermatologist is qualified to identify hair textures and types. You can opt to do one yourself by using a magnifying glass to see the direction the hair grows from the scalp and a simple tug of one strand of hair. If the hair grows straight from the scalp, it is straight. If the hair grows in an angle, it is wavy. If the hair grows in an obvious "c" pattern, it is curly. If the hair grows close and flat to the scalp, it is considered kinky. If there is frizz accompanying any of those growth patterns, it is combined with Afro. Thus making it combination between Afro and the textured growing from the scalp. If you tug the one strand and it snaps quickly, it is fine weak hair. If you tug the one strand of hair and it takes a while to snap, it is medium or normal hair. It is not too weak or strong. If you tug the one strand of hair and it never snaps, it is coarse or very strong hair.

Because slavery was such a money-making venture, the practice of making money made its way into everything; including hair. So, here is where the masses continue to have cleaning hair wrong from White slave masters. How you ask? To clear things up, the semantics used to explain and justify cleaning hair are wrong. For starters, the word shampoo is wrong and used interchangeably. This means more confusion which means more money.

Washing hair, cleaning hair and is NOT shampooing hair. The all have different meanings. Washing hair is a method of cleaning hair with a mild to vigorous scrub with shampoo, but not the scalp. Cleaning hair is to use the proper techniques to ensure that the scalp tingles and the hair squeaks; which means both scalp and hair are properly cleansed. A shampoo is a Hindu word that translates to massage. A shampoo is also the name of the soap people used to apply to hair and scalp to clean it. Let the madness continue as they get rich off the stupidity of the masses.  Shampooing hair and scalp really does and means nothing as it relates to washing or cleansing, again because to shampoo hair and scalp literally means to massage it. So why you may not be getting either cleaned, it sure feels good to get a good massage!

Shampoos are basically soaps with fancy ingredients and names that are formulated to clean hair or/and scalp. All shampoos are not formulated to clean the scalp. Be sure to read the label and instructions before you buy. Conditioners are formulated to help with manageability and appearance of hair. So both are created by scientists who specialize in cosmetic formulations to create a cleansing and softening agents according to hair textures. Those are called shampoos and conditioners.  Both products affect the performance of hair as it relates to cleanliness, volume, shine, sleekness, manageability, color protection, chemical altered fibers, artificial fibers and so on. Again race and nationality are not included in this formulation. Marketing and advertisement are responsible for the introduction of race and nationality to help sell the shampoo and conditioner.

The technique to clean textured hair is different from the technique of cleaning hair that is straight. To clean textured hair effectively, you must part and section the hair, then apply the shampoo (soap) directly to the scalp, scrub the scalp vigorously and conclude this cleansing process with a mild to aggress massage (shampoo). To shampoo straight hair effectively, you can either section the hair into parts and apply to the scalp, then scrub vigorously and conclude with a massage (shampoo). You can also, squeeze the soap (shampoo) into your hands, apply to hair and scrub vigorously into scalp. This process can be repeated 2-3 times if hair and scalp is cleansed within 6 days. If the hair has not been cleaned in over 7 days, the steps must be repeated 4-5 times to ensure flakes, fibrin and yeast are cleansed away from the scalp and hair properly. Hair must squeak in order to be considered clean. If hair does not squeak, then the hair is not clean. If the scalp does not feel tingly, then the scalp is not clean. The scalp must tingle in order to be considered clean.

To condition all hair textured and types effectively, use conditioner according to you hair type and texture just as you do when selecting a cleanser (shampoo). I suggest the language on the bottle speaks close to the language you use to describe the goal you want to see with your hair. Do not purchase conditioners according to your race or nationality. Apply conditioners to the ends of your hair first, then work your way up. Because the ends of your hair are the oldest part of the hair, they need to be conditioned first. After working the product up towards the scalp, use a comb to comb product through hair thoroughly. This assures the product is on every strand. Rubbing conditioners onto hair at the scalp area first does nothing but mosh the product around; thus making it settle to the scalp causing more flakes and itchiness. That will also inhibit the performance of the product giving it bad reviews and making the hair look and feel coated, dull and difficult to manage.

Be sure to use the proper comb for your hair texture and type. Straight hair typically requires larger tooth combs. Textured and Afro hair requires combs with more teeth that are closer and longer to prevent tearing and ripping of textured strands of hair. Using this kind of comb also reduces cramping in the hands and ensures even distribution of products throughout the hair. Lastly, using the proper comb will not damage the scalp.

When cleaning hair be sure to use warm water. Do not use hot water. Hot water will dry hair out, thus making it more difficult to comb and look nice. When conditioning hair, use cooler water. Cooler water causes the tiny hair scales called cuticles or keratin layers to lie flat. This will certainly make hair very easy to comb and shine more. Do not use cold water. Using cold water makes rinsing away the product ineffective and leaving hair difficult to comb and manage. Therefore, be sure to use cooler temperatures.

As you can see having knotty hair requires more than the mere act of purchasing something with images and words that are similar to you and your physical traits. Knotty hair care requires scalp care as well. The methods to cleaning and caring for knotty hair and not so knotty hair has three simple steps in no given order; the right products, the right tools, and the right technique. End the racist practice in hair care, starting with yourself and your family today. Embrace your hair and the time it takes to care for it. Having textured hair makes you unique not a money bag. Understand, people are getting very wealthy off of your ignorance, refusal to change and belief in the hocus pocus magic of the Tooth Fairy. We all know how the money gets their now. It comes a point and time to tell your child there is no such thing as a tooth fairy. There also comes a point and time to tell Africans who have resided in the Americas and have a lineage to slavery that not combing your hair, using a wide tooth comb, co-washing, infrequent shampooing are wrong as well. Instead, follow these three steps. They are as easy as 1, 2, 3. To not follow those rules only results in you being amongst the haves and the have KNOTS!

Peace out!