November 5, 2017

Do You NEED to Wash Your Locs Every Two Weeks?

Photo by CreateHER Stock

Now, please bear in mind that I'm not a professional. My goal with my hair posts is to share my experiences with you so that you don't feel alone, lost, or completely clueless on your loc journey. So, like I say in the video below, even when watching "experts" on Youtube, please do your research and use your discretion - take the advice that resonates with you, and discard the rest.

My reason for making this video (months ago) and writing this post is due to a realization that some people with locs, especially newbies, seem to be experiencing a significant amount of pressure figuring out regimens of loc maintenance and care. You may feel that if you don't follow certain rules, schedules and recommendations from gurus and youtube experts that your locs/hair won't be healthy, won't grow, and won't look like your loc crush's locs.

So to answer the question of whether you need to be washing and retwisting your locs religiously every two weeks? Let me just cut to the chase and say, NO.

FIRST OF ALL... you could follow every rule there is on loc care and your locs still gon' do whatever the hell they want to do. WHY? Because you grow them, but you don't necessarily control them.

No, you do not need to wash (and retwist) your hair every two weeks. However if you are washing your hair every two weeks and it's working for you, you don't need to stop!

If you want to know how frequently I wash my hair you'll have to watch (or listen) to this video. I also include a few tips for bongo or freeform locs. Ultimately though, here are the main points that I want to share with you whether you watch the video or not:
  1. What works for someone else may not work for you. Just because you see a Youtube guru saying they wash and retwist every two weeks (and you think their locs are #goals) it doesn't mean that will work for you - whether that is based on your schedule, health, capabilities, proximity to a good stylist etc.
  2. What works for someone else may not work for you - Part Deux. Those of us on Youtube and other platforms giving "advice" are often coming from personal experience. Even professional stylists on Youtube, while speaking from a background of education, training and professional experience, tend to speak generally. This is because they aren't sitting and consulting with you about the unique needs or concerns of your hair. Neither guru nor expert can guarantee that their advice will definitely work for you because your hair needs could be the exception to the rules.
  3. Overly frequent washing may lead to dry hair. I've said this before in a previous video and I go into more detail in this one about my experience in the first year or two of my locs. The prevalent advice at the time was that washing starter locs mutliple times a week with shampoo *only* would help the hair to loc faster than average. I followed this advice for a while before I realized that my hair was excessively damaged. My hair was also color treated at the time. Not conditioning & treating your hair is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when your hair is colored. Really pay attention to what your hair needs - if that means it needs to be conditioned every time you wash, then do just that!
My color-treated and eternally thirsty starter locs that I shampooed multiple times a week... no conditioner. 😩
  1. YOUR hair care regimen should be determined by YOUR specific needs. You'll often hair me mention schedule, disability, and health issues when I speak about loc maintenance. That's because those are important factors that have major potential to affect how consistent you are or can be with a regimen. I don't want anyone who, for whatever reason, is unable to say "I wash my hair every first Sunday and third Tuesday" to feel like they are failing at caring for their locs adequately. Yes consistency helps, but it isn't the end all be all of the health of your hair. There are tips that I've shared previously that can help with maintenance in between washes, use those and any other methods that work for you.
  2. An inconsistent wash schedule alone (within reason) does not automatically mean your locs are unhealthy. I state in the video the typical length of time that lapses between my washes. However there are periods when that time maybe shorter or longer. I take factors like the weather (wintry dry hair), my level of sweat generating activities and activites in general, scalp flakiness, and just really paying attention to what my hair feels like. e.g. There have been times on vacay that I washed my hair two or three days in a row after getting my hair wet at the beach. 
  3. Make sure to use products that fortify your hair ad meet your specific hair needs, especially if you are washing and retwisting twice a month. I advocate for ✌🏾boring✌🏾 styles like protective twists and braids because sometimes your hair will need that break from frequent styling. Updos and pin-ups are cute but wha dem edges saying? Are your locs getting thinner with each visit to your stylist? Are you lowkey obsessed with seeing your parts because you think your hair looks unkempt other wise? Reflect on that.
My overall message for you is please do not feel pressured to do things a particular way. There is no right or wrong or one singular approach to loc maintenance that will guarantee healthy hair. You have to do what is best for you at the time that it is best for you if it is within your means and capabilities. 

I saw a video a couple months ago of a woman who started her locs and quit after a month or two because she felt the way she was caring for her locs was disrespectful to people who take their locs seriously. She felt this way after watching a licensed stylist who has a youtube channel speak about loc maintenance rules, and since she wasn't following those rules she felt she'd already failed at caring for her locs.
My healthier locs that I do not wash religiously every two weeks.

Your hair, much like your life, cannot be done for the benefit or approval of others. It is very much a personal choice and journey. As a black woman, and as a person with very kinky hair, I'm very familiar with the pressure we experience from others about the state of our appearance, and by extension our hair. Do not fall into the trap of letting other people project their feelings and insecurities onto you. Their feelings about your hair are not your responsibility. Even if the critique is coming from folk who look like you? It's still none of your business and not your responsibility to make them feel comfortable about your hair. Exercise patience, enjoy the process, and release the stress.

How often do you wash your locs? Do you reloc and style everytime you wash? Have you ever felt self conscious about going long periods not washing your hair?  Let me know in the comments, Or hit me up on Instagram @LanomRah.


October 29, 2017

How I'm Getting My Skin Ready for Winter - Skin Care Haul & Review

This post is not sponsored. This post contains affiliate links -
this means that if you shop through these links I may earn a commission at no added cost to you.

As the temperature drops and the dry, cold air rolls into the tri-state area, I'm reminded that 👏🏾 this 👏🏾weather 👏🏾 ain't 👏🏾 loyal to my skin

The transition from the warmth of summer to the indecisive nature of fall plays with the skin's emotions as it clears the way for winter. This can be rough on the skin... or should I say my skin. Any whoo, like the proactive and prepared planner that I am not, and the skin care doomsday prep-er that I may or may not be,
I do not have a stockpile of skincare products in my domecile. I swear.

I made sure to pick up a few skin care items from Marshall's over the summer months to help me gear up for the unpredictable skincare road ahead of me for the fall.

Shopping the beauty aisle/section at Marshall's is always a treat because you never know what you'll find, the prices are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and if you go to multiple Marshall's in one day (don't judge me, judge yourself), your selection could vary significantly (moarr choicesssss!!!). Every item on this list is Under $10 at Marshalls.

In this video I share what I picked up and why. Some of these products are restocks of faves I've fallen in love with this past year. In this post however, I'll also be letting you know my thoughts and experiences so far with these products. Spoiler alert: some of these products might don't make it.
My skin after using some of these products
If you want to find out what I'm digging and what I'm not, read on! Or just watch the video if you want to remain untainted by my opinions. :-)

  • Jeju Volcanic Clay Sheet Masks (Approx. 6 months) : I love these things! Like I mention in the video you can't go wrong with incorporating some kind of sheet mask into your skin care - they can aid in improving texture, tone, radiance, and diminishing blemishes. 
    • PROS: The fragrance here is not as strong as other sheet masks I've tried, AND I really love that the serum/liquid does not dry down to a sticky, tacky feel like others I've tried before. 
    • CON: These sheet masks are thinner than most so just make sure to be careful unfolding and applying them to your face as it doesn't take much to tear or stretch them. Use once or twice a week or every day if you like. Your skin will thank you.
  • Measurable Difference Vitamin C Serum (Approx. 1 month) :  I attempted to do as many googles as I could without spending a whole afternoon in Marshall's. During this time I saw this serum has good (albeit few) reviews on Amazon (there's also very little info on the serum there as well). I should've been a little more skeptical as I remember from my days working at the Body Shop that it's important to store products with antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C in opaque bottles. This is due to them being photosensitive i.e. exposure to sunlight can make them less effective/potent (despite Vit C working to correct/prevent skin damage caused by the sun). This serum comes in a transparent bottle *side eye*. 
    • PROS: I like that this serum is not oily/greasy. It absorbs into the skin well enough (especially if applied to damp skin) but nothing to rave about in my opinion. It doesn't slip and slide off the face. It also works well with other moisturizers, and under makeup i.e. it doesn't cause any slippage or block absorption of any products put on afterward. No overpowering citrus fragrance.
    • CONS: I'm still trying to figure out if this serum broke me out or my hormones are playing some twisted acne games on me. Also the transparent bottle makes me concerned that the shelf life of this product is way shorter than I think it is or what it says on the bottle. Usually (transparent) Vitamin C products will start to take on a yellow tinge when they are done for so I'll keep my eye out for that. Protip: Vitamin C products don't always cooperate with other ingredients or products in your routine so prioritize researching any new products (& their interactions) you intend to add to your routine. I try not to use this serum after chemical exfoliants, and use it mostly at night.
  • The Body Shop Vitamin C Energizing Face Mist (Approx. 1 month) :  I've loved the Body Shop's Vitamin C line since I worked there over a decade ago. As noted in the video, it's perfect for the occasional spritz  for rejuvenation when travelling. Air on planes, trains and buses can dehydrate the skin and leave it looking dull.
    • PROS: This face mist is bang for the buck because it also can be used as a toner, a damned good one at that (and that is exactly what I've been using it for!). The citrus fragrance is obvious but not obnoxious, and within a week or so you may start to see a noticeable glow where your skin may have been lacking lustre before. 
    • CON: Due to my concerns about using Vitamin C in close proximity to chemical exfoliants, I tend to either alternate or only use one when I'm not using the other, and because of this it's not the most convenient.
  • Marina & Demme Deep Cleansing Facial Wipes (Approx. 10 months) : These wipes come in handy for make up removal, and for quick cleansing when washing your face maybe not be an option. I don't necessarily buy into all the hullabaloo of looking to get the benefits of any highlighted ingredients like berries or cucumber 'cause I'll most likely be washing my face after I use these wipes. This is my second or third pack and at this price for 60 facial wipes (that don't dry the face out) I don't really have any cons or complaints.
  • Dabney Lee French Clay Konjac Sponge (Approx 1.5 months) : I'm not mad at the Konjac sponge concept. It's a way to incorporate very gentle physical exfoliation into your everyday routine. 
    • PROS: For this reason I found I didn't have to be concerned about using it too soon after chemical exfoliants. Gentle enough for all skin types. I like that it shrinks when complete dry, makes it good for travelling.
    • CONS: You have to replace your konjac sponge every 1- 3 months, which is a huge time range but it is up to you to determine when you've used it enough. I can't say if this is typical for all Konja sponges since this is my first time, but I have noticed that when I use the sponge I have to use more face wash to get the lather I'm used to without the sponge. So you may want to reserve your Sunday Riley or other expensive ish for your face brush.
  • Oliology 100% Rosehip Oil (Approx. 1 month) : I was really excited about this Rosehip Oil, if you couldn't tell. 
    • PROS: 100% rosehip oil according to the label. No base oils e.g. soyabean oil, like in other brands
    • CONS - For some reason this oil just sits on my face and doesn't absorb. I can't say for sure yet that it does or doesn't work because I've been so off put by just how slip 'n slide-y this oil is. When I've used this in my night time routine, I wake up in the morning looking like a disco ball in the face - just shining shining shining *beyonce voice* During the day I have the same mirror ball experience. I'll keep trying to incorporate it in different ways to see if it works. It might don't make it, but I don't want to give up on it yet 😩.
  • Lanoliné Rosehip Oil Night Recovery Creme (Approx. 10 months) : My first purchase of this creme was motivated by all the rave reviews I've heard or read about Rosehip oil. As an intro to a rosehip oil product I was not dissappointed. A little goes a long way. The lavender oil, sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, and salicylic acid in this creme let me know that my skin should be getting the benefits of moisture, hydration, balance, even tone and texture.
    • PROS: This is the perfect night creme for anyone with dry skin, or anyone who deals with dry skin during cooler weather. Although it is a creme it does not feel heavy on the skin and doesn't leave the skin super oily or greasy. I love the way my skin feels when I wake up the morning after using this, especially on nights I use a sheet mask or do deep exfoliation. I've also scooped out a small batch into a small pot/jar for weekend trips. 
    • CONS: Personally? Zero. However, someone who doesn't like creme products at all may not like this.
That's it guys, gals, skin care buffs everywhere! Leave a comment and let me know what's your favorite summer to winter skincare product. Do you have a holy grail product you swear by? have you tried anything recently that might don't make it?


October 22, 2017

How I Make My Protective Loc/Dreadlock Twists Last up to 2 Months

Hey Loves,

In today's video I'll be showing you the method I use to twist my locs/dreadlocks into protective Havana/Senegalese/Rope twists that allows them to last for up to 2 months at a time if necessary.

Fist and foremost, like I make sure to mention in the video, these twists will last up to two months if your lifestyle consists of low to moderate (strenuous) activity. If you are more active e.g. exercise, physically demanding job, etc. Your twists may not last as long.

What I forgot to mention in the video is that the method of twisting isn't the only factor that contributes to long lasting protective style. I also make sure to:

  • Cover my locs at night - by now you know the #1 tip is never go to bed with out your locs wrapped/covered up
  • Oil my scalp - maintaining a schedule of oiling my scalp (and hair) helps in keeping flakiness at bay
  • Hydrate my hair with hydrating sprays - as you see in the video I will either use a mix of conditioner and water, or a hydrating hair mist like the Naturalicious Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Hair Mist I show you in the video.
  • Clean my scalp while my hair is in these twists.

As with loose natural hair sometimes locs can suffer healthwise due to overmanipulation, particularly if your hair is fine, thin, or tends to be dry. Protective loc twists will allow you to:

  • Let your hair rest and recover from frequent styling and retwisting (which can lead to breakage and thinning edges)
  • Be versatile with styling with less risk of damaging your hair
  • Save time. If you have a busy schedule, disability, chronic or sporadic illness that may leave you unable to function, protective loc twists are a useful way to maintain your locs when it gets challenging, and your hair is the last thing you want to worry about.
  • Get dope ass twist out results at the end

For some people it may be unfathomable to keep their hair in a style for more than 2 weeks. Das ok! Everything ain't for ehrybody. But sometimes your hair reaches a point that leaving it alone for the most part is necessary. If it ever does, you know where to find this post!
Loc Twist Turban Tutorial
Loc Twists styled into a Loc Turban. Click the pic for a turorial.

Comment below if you have tips to make loc twists last!

Thank you!

April 7, 2017


I received this product complimentary from Influenster for the purposes of testing. Opinions are based on my experience using the product.

For those of you strapped for time,the tl;dr short answer here is... YES! This line is all it's cracked up to be and then some.

For everyone else here goes...

My skin is oily and quite acne prone so I tend to approach new products with a bit of skepticism, particularly if I've found a regimen (finally) that works for me. As you guys may know, prior to testing out this product line I was completely committed to, and generally pleased with my results from the Alba Botanica Acnedote line - I'd basically found my sweet spot high-low combo of Alba and Borghese products. Now? Let's just say that I'd have absolutely no issue switching completely to Ole Henriksen Balance Line. 

You can check out my first impressions blogpost for more details on ingredients in the Balance line. Quick recap: this line is eucalyptus and peppermint scented, plant based, free of parabens, sulfates, & phthalates. Noncomedogenic. Contains a proprietary complex of botanicals called Green Fusion Complex with natural antiseptic and hydrating properties. Contains ingredients geared toward gentle exfoliation, renewal and hydration like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids. Let's hop right into my thoughts, experience and results after testing these products since March 1st.

I'm quite pleased with this Balance line, and the cleanser does not disappoint. I mean really, how much can one expect to get from a cleanser, right? This peppermint and eucalyptus infused oil control face wash is the first step in a regimen that claims to lead to clear skin; and it did just that for me. The ingredients are all geared towards gently but effectively toning and refining the skin while clearing acne, and as with most cleansers is best used as part of a system of complimentary products. 

The size of this cleanser gives extreme bang for your buck. The quality is so high that you only need enough cleanser the size of a green pea to effectively lather up and get a nice refreshingly clean face. I predict this cleanser will last me another 3 months (4 months in all) at the very least, but I think it's more likely to last for 6 months. 

What's worth noting is that after using this facial cleanser, and even after my face has dried, there isn't that tightness or ashiness that occurs when you use a cleanser that is too drying for the skin. My skin actually feels soft and supple. My skin is clearer, with acne blemishes that haven't completely gone disappearing faster with use of this line & product.

The first time you use this toner you may be surprised at how strongly the eucalyptus and peppermint factor into the fragrance. There is no denying the scent. However, what may be even more surprising on the first go is how effectively the toner lifts residual dirt off the skin without causing dryness. After my first use there was this tacky(not the most accurate word)/dewy feel to my skin that I'm not very used to with toners geared toward acne prone and oily skin. The peppermint and eucalyptus fragrance is potent here, and these two create a cooling and soothing effect, however it does not sting or burn the skin. This is a good thing! I see how this product could be easily recommended for acne prone yet sensitive skin. I think this toner will last me at least another 2 months at least. 

Even though I love my Alba Botanica, I find the toner to be inconsistent formula wise, with some bottles feeling and smelling higher in alcohol content than others.

The more I used the product the more I appreciated that this toner was not only cleansing my skin, but actually and factually infusing it with all the goodness it contains AND moisture. 

The ingredients are geared towards refining the skin's tone and texture, clearing blemishes, balancing moisture and oiliness, and brightening the skin. And it did all these things for me. 

People tend to underestimate the importance of a toner in their routine because the see it as an unnecessary or useless step. But if you think about the fact that you don't rinse toner off your skin, and it consequently is allowed to absorb into the skin, this is actually an opportunity for you to get the right ingredients in a toner and boost the effectiveness of your skin care regimen. DON'T SLEEP ON THE POWER OF A GREAT TONER TO BOOST YOUR REGIMEN, regardless of your skin type. Find the right one! Search #theregimenchallenge over at for guidance on how to find the right products for your skin.

In my experience, it can be a challenge to find moisturizer for acne prone and very oily skin. This is because most moisturizers that claim to control oil or mattify either don't last past 4-6 hours or they end up causing you to be more oily because they can't find the balance between moisture or oil/shine control in their formula. Essentially leaving us to chose between not enough and too much. 

This moisturizer has found the balance. And I'm not trying to be corny here. Within the past month, temperatures on the East Coast (I've been traveling) have ranged from as low as high 20's to low 70's ºC, and this. Moisturizer. Lasts. All. Day. By the end of the day I have a slight shine, which is more like a glow, compared to my usual (which is basically me looking like I sprayed cooking oil on my face). 

Even though the price made my eyes bulge from my head a bit given the size, I'd have to say it's totally worth it. One pump was all I needed for each use and I'm pretty sure I have at least another 2 months before I need to re-up. 

Final Thoughts:
Over the past month I've been able to go from constantly oily through out the day to barely oily at the end of the day. The ingredients have helped to also refine my texture and tone, minimized my pores, and helped fade blemishes and give me an even glow without lightening my complexion. 

I don't want to sound like an Ole Henriksen evangelical (because while I did get these products to test for free, I'm not getting paid for gushing about these products and I'm not getting sponsored with a free lifetime supply of products... although that would be nice.... SO anyone reading at Ole Henriksen, please holla at ya girl😉). But I was actually able, for the first time in many years, to go out with no make-up and not feel self-conscious about blemishes, pimples, breakouts, scarring, or excessive oiliness. 

I'm not gonna say that it was solely these products that lead to this. I've been working hard at finding a regimen that can bring my skin to a level of health that I could be happy with. I continued to include products like my BHA liquid exfoliant, Borghese Cura Forte and Equilibrio, sheet masks, clay/charcoal masks, and tried a sample of the Ole peel from Sephora. However I'd be lying if I didn't say that I noticed a definite difference with the introduction of the #OleGlow products verses my results with Alba Botanica. 

I would recommend the entire Balance trio of Cleanser, Toner, & hydrator for anyone looking for a more natural, gentle, yet effective approach to addressing acne prone and combo/oily skin. You can purchase these items on the Ole Henriksen website or at Sephora, and there is a travel set you can purchase to try out before you commit. 

Look out for a video review coming soon!


March 8, 2017

International Women's Day 2017 #IWD2017

For the women who came before me. Known and unknown. Seen and unseen. 
The women whose existence put them in danger and rendered them invisible in the same glance.
The women whose silence was forced by hands over mouths and boots on the neck. The women who learned what a weapon silence could be if within it there only resided faith the size of a mustard seed.
The women who did what they had to do so I could be.
The women who bore strange fruit when black love was forbidden and they were not free. 
The women who learned to love themselves, the women who didn't.
The women who thought that putting everything they had into other humans would get them into heaven.
For women who did the work.
For women who did the time.
For women who did the work and never got paid a dime.
For women who did the same thing every day and put their dreams aside
For women who were worth more to you dead than alive.
Women without a tombstone
Women without a grave
Women who the history books said were not worth saving.
Women whose labour built everything around you
Women whose DNA resides inside you.
That means their pain, their hurt, their love, their dreams.
Women who hoped for you in a time only their hearts could see.
The women who came before.
Image by  Carl van Vechten

The women who are me.
The women with invisible illnesses
Women with disabilities
Women who grin and bear the pain because the price of fighting death is too high
Women who are fighting the world just to get by
Women fighting addictions including men and their afflictions
Women fighting in project hallways, schools, prisons
Women fighting in hospitals & ICE detention centers
Women fighting at jobs where equal pay is actually double the time

Women who want to get ahead but feel safer at the back of the line.
Women who march. Women who don't. Women who can't. Women who won't.
The women who take their bodies back by saying yes
The women who take their bodies back by saying no.
The women who are killed for saying either
The women who are murdered for saying neither
The women who give birth 
The women who can't
The women who raise children because it's the right thing to do.
The women who don't want to
The women who choose not to
The women who die trying.

The women you loved first
The women you hate forever
The women who survived to create you
The women who survived you to create you.
The women who survived you.
The women who survived.
The women who thrive.
The women at the intersection of life and death.
To the women who know life as a thousand tiny deaths each day
To the women who know this but still wake up everyday
The women whose intersections have intersections.
To women who chose a path that made a way for me.
To the women who keep going despite not being able to see
To the women who walk by faith and not by sight
To the women who spit razors and stay strapped because faith without work is dead
To the women prepared to die.

For the women who make much out of nothing, and greatness out of something.
For the women who spin air and water into life.
For the women who watch fire consume it.
To the women who rise from the ashes time and time again.

Thank you.

March 1, 2017

OLEHENRIKSEN x Influenster #OleGlow VoxBox Unboxing & First Impressions

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for the purposes of testing, and sharing my honest review.

Can we say EXCITEMENT?! I received my OLEHENRIKSEN x Influenster Voxbox a few days ago and I really can’t wait to see what this #OleGlow gonna be hitting for. Less than two weeks ago I was perusing the shelves of Sephora with the intention of spending these coints I was gifted for the holidays with Sephora’s name on ‘em. I was a gift card lol. Initially I went in with makeup on my mind but after being told that the shade I just knew was gonna be the perfect shade of Kat Von D foundation for me was not available for testing because there were only 2 left in stock?? *disappointed side eye*... Yeah I just wandered over to skin care.

OLEHENRIKSEN skin care was among some of the brands that peaked my interest. Some of those brands also peaked my heart beat. Fast forward to a few days later and up pops this Influenster opportunity to test out this skin care line and whaddya know, I qualified!!! 🙏  (Praises be!).

OLEHENRIKSEN IS notably very focused on including plant based, and therefore more naturally occurring, ingredients in their products. The line I received is the Balance line, which is geared toward oily/combination & acne prone skin. The tag line for the Balance line, "Why Shine When You can Glow" sets up my expectation for oil control with adequate moisture. This particular line has a proprietary combination of botanicals referred to as the Green Fusion Complex™, the main stars of which are neem oil and AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids). The complex also includes green tea, algae, Irish moss extract, natural antibacterials (very important for acne prone skin), as well as eucalyptus and peppermint. The last two power the fragrance profile of this entire line, so if minty fragrances aren’t your faves you’ll either have to put inhaling on pause when you use this or not use it at all. The fragrance is pretty strong - not a problem for me, but I’m just giving you the heads up. If you’re looking for an invigorating skin care line? Say no more.

The Find Your Balance™ Oil Control Cleanser boasts “deep cleansing action” to help “unclog and purify pores without stripping the skin…

February 18, 2017

Ginger Tea Rinse to Treat Dandruff and Flaky Scalp

It's officially winter! In case being in the middle of February wasn't a good reminder, if you're anything like me then your flaky scalp has pretty much done the trick.

The air outside is dry. It's really dry, and quite brisk. For someone who has trouble maintaining a consistent moisturizing/hydration regimen for their hair, Winter is one of the last things you want to add to your list of concerns *raises both hands in surrender*. The cold, dry air can take the occasional dry scalp problem into "OMG I just washed my hair last week and now when I scratch my scalp there's asbestos falling out. WAHHH😭" territory.

It's for this exact reason that I'll be sharing this DIY remedy for dry flaky scalp that can easily be incorporated into your wash routine for the rest of the season.

This Ginger Tea rinse is great for combating flaky scalp and dandruff due to the natural properties of ginger:
+ Ginger has natural anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. This helps with inflammation or bacterial concerns at the scalp.
+ Ginger naturally stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which encourages and aids in hair growth. You will definitely feel this tingle when you use any at home DIY ginger remedies. Along with the previous benefit, you may want to try incorporating ginger into your hair care routine for a few weeks if you've experienced dandruff-related hair loss.
+ Properties of ginger may help to strengthen hair from the roots, therefore improving not just scalp health but hair health as well.

February 2, 2017

The Self-Care Series: Can Black Joy Have a Moment or Nah?

So by now you've heard. You must know the news because even your transitioned ancestors have heard the news.

An oompaloompa is President! Just kidding! (Not really)

No shit, right?! But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the news that the Beyhive's lord and savior, Beysus, is pregnant with not one, but two... read it, TWO little christ childs! Too much? Ok. My bad. I meant beybies, she's pregnant with two beybies at once. She's having twins!

Bey shared her announcement with the rest of us via a lovely post on Instagram - a seafoam green tulle draped over her head, wine colored translucent bra with tiny pink bow accents, and powder blue satin undies with ruffles as she kneels before an altar of lush greenery and flowers, tenderly embracing her belly and the lives in her womb. Mother Beyonce. Resplendent! Gazing into our souls with the smeyes of a million Tyra Banks. Bey, the veritable Patron Saint of Slayage, matriarch of the house of Knowles-Carter, carries three hearts and shall give birth to twins.

Do you understand what I'm saying? The internet exploded yesterday, the very first day of Black History month.  Even for those of us who do not call ourselves Beyonce fan-atics, don't pay membership dues to be part of the Beehive, and sometimes critique or debate about Beyonce's authenticity, this was undeniably good news. Regardless of what or how you feel about Beyonce as a person (or avatar as some of the great debaters/critics suggest), you cannot deny her significance, nor can you deny her impact on the culture. And by "The culture" I mean all a dem! Seriously, where can we go in the world that at least one human being isn't aware of who she is or what she's done. And if you aren't aware, who gives a damn right? Because homegirl has got the receipts!

As the news spread and our collective hearts filled with joy, it became obvious to me that we, black people, need to have a sit down. A face to face, heartfelt discussion about why some of us feel the need to shit on the joy of others, and then take so much pride in the shitting.

I'm choosing to address us because gahdamn have you seen what's happening?? We are watching our human rights go up in flames in this house called America, and throughout the rest of the world.

Illustration from Gun Show Comic by KC Green

Somehow though, there seems to be a number of us out there who think that any energy or attention not spent publicly addressing the political tragedies unfolding before our eyes, but spent celebrating the joy of another human being's good fortune or happiness means that we are doomed.

I've heard and seen evuhrythang within the past 24 hours:
1) Black people are gullible and always allowing themselves to be manipulated by the media.
  • Let's say this is true. Have you been sharing resources to help us get ✌🏾unmanipulated✌🏾? Is it because Beyonce is a celebrated pop icon and anything pop and celebrity news is fluff that we're being manipulated? Or is it because you can't stand to see people, mostly black women, divert (even if momentarily) from an agenda that YOU think is most important for them to be focusing on? Have you ever self reflected on why your immediate response to collective black girl joy, via Beyonce, is almost always negative and critical? Is it possible that you yourself have been manipulated and conditioned to respond to the joy of black women with disgust and disdain? 🤔
2) As soon as Beyonce does anything y'all lose your minds and your focus. Beyonce is a distraction to keep black people ignorant and placated while the fascists take over!
  • Let me ask you something. Do you hold your breath while you wipe your ass or do you exhale?  Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? Do you dance or do chores as you listen to music or do you sit and watch the track time on your cd player, or watch the wheels of your cassette tape spin as the music plays? Is this 2017? Can you do more than one thing at a time? Can we have a respite from the Drumpshit for two minutes before you whip out your superiority complex to force us back into caring about what you want us to care about when you want us to care about it? You think we don't know that we're sitting in a burning room and EVERYTHING IS NOT OK? We know that. But if good news gives us a moment to breathe deeply and restore ourselves, aren't we more useful for the fight ahead? Even and especially in moments of crisis, it is important that we are able to step away and pour joy, goodness and positivity back into ourselves. That practice keeps us alive. And if Beyonce's pregnancy announcement is that for some of us, then who are you to say other wise. If there's anything that I've learnt in the past two weeks it's that there are tons of things that we take for granted and regard as frivolous. But to someone else somewhere that frivolity could be the difference between life and death, sanity and insanity, tears or a smile.
3) Y'all so dumb! Beyonce don't even know who the fuck y'all are and here y'all are acting like she care bout y'all.
  • LeBron, Steph, O'dell, Migos, Drake, and not nan player on the Man U team don't know you either... Sooooo? 
4) Y'all keep posting capitalist Beyonce's picture but you won't repost a pic of someone you know to support their work.
  • I'm not necessarily mad at this accusation. I mean we can write an entire post on this another day. I may most certainly need to dedicate a post sometime in the future to my thoughts on how we spend black dollars, on black things, with black businesses and hold those businesses to a more strict standard than we do established multimillion dollar corporations who aren't pouring back into our communities. But, again, thats for another day! I also have my beef with capitalism as an oppressive system, and what that means for black folk but right now that ain't got shit to do with me being happy for Beyonce. I can critique Beyonce within the context of capitalism, or disagree with her, but that doesn't take away from me or anyone else having a genuine positive response to a black woman just out here winning at life. But right now? Right now y'all need to take up that beef with your friends and loved ones. It may be fair to say that sometimes we find it easier to openly express positive regard for things and people out of our reach. And whether that is out of fear of rejection, jealousy, envy, or our own personal struggles with self esteem or mental health issues it's definitely something that we'll need to work on collectively. But what irony befalls us here that, we could be looking at this out pouring of love and support for Beyonce as an example of what to do in our personal relationships and how to cheer each other on. 
One of the most influential sisters alive right now is carrying two black lives within her, and they are coming into this world at a time that shakes the most hardened of us to the core. A time where black bodies, talent, culture, contributions, intelligence, art, thoughts - our existence as a whole is devalued. We are often stomped out with little regard for the gaping holes left in the universe when our lives are taken. If we can collectively recognize the power and beauty, in all of us deciding to LIVE FULLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY, with all that that entails at this particular time in history, and allowing our love and will to live to fill the gaping spaces... where is the harm in that?


Look. All I'm saying here is Let Black Joy Live. This will be very important as part of a holistic strategy for surviving the next four years, because moments that warrant shared public joy may be forced out of the national awareness.

We need to hold spaces for each other in ways that allow our happiness and bliss to flow unbridled and without judgement. This is an integral aspect to self-care - collective self-care.

I'm not a Beyonce stan, which you probably couldn't tell from this article, but what I do stan for is our freedom to experience joy and happiness collectively. So if you were annoyed by public support for this announcement, and felt the need to shit on people who publicly expressed support, just remember next time that keeping your cynicism and unsolicited opinions to yourself is free.99. No taxes. No fees.

January 28, 2017

Don't Make These Mistakes With Your Locs (& How I Fixed Them)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I know, I know! January is almost over and this is my first post of the year. Shame on me... maybe, but regardless of my tardiness to the dancery I mustn't discard my manners. so before we go any further I want to wish you and everyone you love and know the best for the year ahead - health, wealth, safety, joy, love, stability and mental wellness. That last one is especially important in these political times.

This post is a public service. I will be sharing with you 5 Huge (to me) mistakes that I made with my locs. This list is by no means exhaustive as it won't include every single mistake I've ever made or that anyone could possibly make. My goal for sharing this list of mistakes that I've made is to ensure that you won't have to deal with the loc maintenance challenges that some of these mistakes will inevitably cause. For this reason I'll also be sharing with you some of the methods I used to address any damages that occurred as a result of my mistakes. Again, this won't be an exhaustive list of all the solutions I've used, or even all the possible solutions to the problems that I mention, but these solutions worked/work for me.

As you read or watch, please bear in mind that what may be a mistake for me may be something that works for you. Do you boo! I'm not here to rain on your parade. To each their own!

Watch the video and share in the comments if you've made the same mistakes with your locs, and what solution, if any at all, did you use to fix the damage. What mistakes have you made on your loc journey so far? How did you resolve the issues the mistake created? SHARE what you've learned in the comments so we won't all be out here in le struggle with our locs! 😊

  • MISTAKE #1: Using Beeswax to Retwist (1:58)

Yes, in the baby stage of my locs I used beeswax on my hair. Not Murray's beeswax, which is literally like softened candle wax. No, I used The Body Shop's Honey Beeswax to retwist my hair. To be fair, it is one of the best beeswax formulas I've ever encountered - it has mostly wholesome & natural ingredients, soft, melted into the skin (due to warmth), and far easier to work with than typical beeswaxes. However no matter how great a wax is it's still a wax, and by nature will have a greasy consistency, therefore encouraging build-up and residue in your locs.

SOLUTION: Washing with shampoo  doesn't always do the job of removing buildup caused by greasy waxes and butters. I've found that with my very kinky hair texture, greasy residue will set up shop, house, and home in my locs, and invite the lint in to stay FOREVAH *Cardi B voice*. One thing that really addresses this a warm apple cider vinegar rinse.

December 17, 2016

What Have You Done For YOU Lately?

Photo by CreateHerStock

At the beginning of the year I made a pact with myself to be more intentional about practicing self-care. It's an absolute necessity not only for my physical well-being, but more importantly for my mental health.

There is the obvious narrative of those who work too hard - women, millennials, under employed, over worked, underpaid, never a moment to catch a breath etcetera etcetera. The physical tolls of hard labor, long work hours, little to no sleep, poor diet, and sometimes completely forgetting to eat. We are clear on the physical tolls the desire to survive takes on the body. And while we are becoming more open about the invisible strain that is often par for the course, I believe we still have a long way to go with how we receive and react to openness about mental health issues and struggles in certain communities.

This is not a finger pointing post, and I intend to go into more detail about my own personal experiences at some other time. My intent for this post (and others to follow) in #theselfcareseries is to share small rituals or practices that help restore me either physically, mentally, spiritually or some other -ly. Lol.

The hardest bit is being consistent with the practice of self care. I certainly haven't been consistent, but I can give myself credit for being more conscious of when the need to take a moment to reset, restore, remove myself, or recuperate was necessary.

For some of us it's about too little time or too little energy after the exhaustion of a work week. But for all of us it's ultimately about seeing ourselves as worth the time and effort. It's about valuing ourselves enough to say, "I need to pour into me so that I can give my best self to my life, my work, my family... myself."

What I hope resonates over time with this series is that acts of self care are a way to practice and build self-love. And self-love isn't always about some grand expensive gesture like a spa day or vacation ( ballin' on a budget, anyone?) Sometimes it's as simple as reading your favorite book again for the umpteenth time, locking the bathroom door so your toddlers can't interrupt your few precious minutes of solitude while taking a shit, or netflix and chillin' by yoself in yo robe with your favorite beverage.

As I'm laying here typing this I'm struggling with feeling like I haven't been treating myself well. It's the end of the year and my diet has been shit the past few weeks, I've been battling with insomnia for over a month, there's a tangled and matted afro at the base of my locs, my anxiety is too damn high, and I really need to do some laundry. 

So today, I'm going to rededicate my Saturday to grooming: I'm tackling my hair and my really involved skin care regimen (yes, even more involved than the one I just posted). 

At this point I want to offer to you, whoever needs the reminder, that you don't need to feel guilty for feeling better when you think you look better. Society sends conflicting messages, asking us to "always look our best" in order for people to take us seriously, or respect us, while calling us vain, shallow or self involved for dedicating time to our looks, aesthetic, or physical presentation, and deriving any pleasure or sense of self from the aforementioned. You can't win, so I say fuck em and do what nourishes your wholeness.

It's currently 5:45 am as I type. I've been up since 3:20 am because insomnia. So I'm going to go ahead and carpe my diem by tackling this mess on my head, and in my head. Join me. 

What are you going to do today to take care of yourself? What have you done for *you* lately?


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