Monthly Archives: July 2011

Event This Weekend: Kurls and Konversation hosted by The Mane Source

Hey there Chicago Naturalistas! As promised I’m committed to keeping you up-to-date on happenings in the natural hair world. I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Briana McCarthy A.K.A. “BreeUnique” her blog The Mane Source is hosting ” Kurls and Konversation.”

It sounds like fun. If you decide to go, check back in here on Love Your Naps and tell us about it. If you know of a natural hair event going on be sure to let us know.

Hanging at the Chicago Naturals Meetup hosted by Black Girl With Long Hair featuring Titi and Miko Branch of Miss Jessie’s

The morning started out dark and raining, surely I thought the day was going to be a washout. Then the clouds broke and the sun appeared, shinning down on hundreds of naturalistas from across the Chicagoland area at the Chicago Naturals Meetup hosted by Black Girl With Long Hair featuring Titi and Miko Branch of Miss Jessie’s Products on this past Sunday. As I walked from two blocks away to the Little Black Pearl Gallery where the event was held, I saw afros, twists, puffs and twistouts coming from the east, west, north and south. It felt like we were on a long-awaited pilgrimage to a place where our natural beauty would be celebrated.

We were welcomed by smiling vendors selling everything from t-shirts to oils to broken vinyl record earrings. (Don’t forget to check back in as I feature some of my favorites in future posts). Stylists from Miss Jessie’s Salon were on hand to answer questions from the audience. Some of the questions included: How to determine which product is right for you?, What’s the best type of hair for braids?, What’s the difference between a texturizer and a silkener? What’s the best way to detangle hair and prevent knotting? (We’ll be tackling these questions here over the next couple of weeks.)

There were also live demonstrations on doing dry twists and finger-styling with Miss Jessie’s products. After about an hour of Q&A and demos, in walks the two powerhouses Titi and Miko. I was really surprised when Miko took over and started twisting one of the models hair…and that woman is fast! They were gracious enough to stay there and answer everyone’s questions. I must say that was the highlight of the day (not to mention getting to take home free product to test out…)

QOD: “My hair has grown a lot and it’s super thick and curly!! I have …”

…to use A LOT of conditioner and olive oil to keep moisture .. I usually cut it but I want it to grow long.. I like the dreds but don’t want to commit to that style.. I like change too much .. What to do???
Another confused nappy head”
Dear “Another confused nappy head” (Lol/smh)
There are a few approaches that I would use to accelerate hair growth. The main thing is to protect the hair at all costs. You are doing a good job at keeping it well conditioned and moisturized. However, make sure you are not getting too much gunk build up in the scalp, because that can actually inhibit hair growth. As for styling I would say two-strand twists every 2 weeks or so to protect the hair from the daily styling damage of combing and heat styling. You don’t have to do this forever, but the hair needs a break every now and then. You also may want to get it blow-dried straight about once every one to two months and have your ends clips. Split ends cause breakage and though you may see a lot of new growth at the top, if your ends keep breaking off, you’ll never see any length.  Hope that helps you be more happy nappy!
-Love, Cj
Feel free to share your suggestions for her as well! Contact me if you would like to post your hair question.

5 Essentials Tools for Maintaining Natural Hair

“You’re only as good as your tools”
When I heard Miko Branch say this quote the other day at the Chicago Naturals Meetup, it reminded me of the fact that because we, as black women, have been straightening our hair for so many decades we don’t even know where to begin when going natural. Our hair is not unmanageable. We just don’t know how to use the right tools. Our tools will empower us to reclaim our natural hair. Here’s a few that I find especially helpful in my daily routine:
1. Combs
This might sound simple, but just like a handyman needs different types of screw drivers, you need different type of combs. You’ll need a wide tooth comb with round, not sharp tips for detangling, a rat-tail comb for parting the hair and maybe a pick comb if you plan to “fro” out your hair or just want a little more volume.
2. Satin hair bonnet and occasional scarf
This tip goes even back to my days of wearing a relaxer. I could never go to bed without putting a scarf or bonnet on my head without my hair falling out. A satin bonnet or silk pillow case will help prevent the breakage and dryness that normally happens when you lay or your head on cotton. Furthermore, a bonnet is great for maintaining loose hairstyles, while a scarf is better when you need to tie up a style that needs to stay neat and in place.
3. Your fingers
Whether you are detangling, finger-styling, twisting, parting, braiding your fingers are like little machines at work in your hair. Like a machine, you can “program” your fingers into doing styles quickly and without having to spend so much time in the mirror. These days I don’t need to stand in front of the mirror and do my two-strand twist styles. I can sit on the couch with my family and watch a movie while my fingers do the work. Also, when detangling your hair, it’s best to “finger detangle” since your fingers can best feel for knots and tangles and maneuver better than a comb can. This will reduce the risk of breakage while detangling.
4. Water and moisturizers
Okay, technically these could be two separate points. However, the combo of water and a light moisturizer or hair milk will keep your hair from drying out, and keep those kinks and curls nice and springy. Depending on how fast your hair dries out, you may need to use this dynamic duo every day just to restore the sheen and moisture that you lost throughout the day or night.
5. Bobby pins, hair pins…and lots of them.
These little helpers are like the “glue” that hold our styles together. Any piece of hair that needs to be held in place, stick a bobby pin or two, or three in there and it’s done. Hair pins are great for securing “poofy” styles like pomps and french rolls. A word to the wise…do not use bobby pins after the rubber tips fall off because they will tangle up in the hair and cause breakage, plus, you may scrape your scalp as you push them in place—ouch!
Well, there are lots more tools we use to stay looking pulled together. What are some of your favorites?