Summertime is great for fun in the sun and a perfect time to spend time at the beach or the pool. As a curly girl we want to enjoy the season but also protect our hair from the damaging effects of salt water and chlorine. 

The Brains over at The Beauty Brains wrote how to care for swimming pool hair and Naptural85 posted the video below:

Do you plan on spending time at the pool this summer?

I recently took out my second set of summer braids and I must admit I'm kind of disappointed with the growth for the month of July. The only thing I can determine that I did differently with the braids in July vs. June is that I spritzed my hair with water more frequently with the braids in June so maybe the lack of moisture slowed my hair growth. I also started swimming in July so maybe the chlorine contributed to further dryness. 

In addition to some dryness I'm battling dry, frizzy ends and I don't want to keep cutting my growth so I will be returning to the baggy / greenhouse method to lock in moisture. The baggy method concentrates on the ends of the hair and the greenhouse method puts emphasis on the hair as a whole. I had great success with this previously so we'll see.

My battle with dry ends is the one thing that is stopping me from lightening my hair. When I highlighted my hair in my relaxed days my ends split like crazy so I'm really not trying to experience that again especially since I'm on a growth journey. My goal is to hit bra strap length by the end of the year so if I stay on track I should have at least 2.5 inches of growth by December.

Natural hair definitely takes you on a journey of good and bad days. It is "just hair" but it is disappointing when you don't exactly get the results you want so my plan is to go back into my final set of braids for the month of August and hopefully I'll have better results.

9 inches in length

LASHON: Welcome to the for Love of Curls interview! This time, we are welcoming Marie to our interview. Hi Marie!


LASHON: So, we like to interview naturals and ask them questions about their natural journey, how long they’ve been natural. So first question Marie, how long have you been natural?

MARIE: This go-round, about four years.

LASHON: Okay. So you say “this go-round,” when have you tried to go natural before?

MARIE: Back in 2000, actually. I had been natural just by happenstance; I think I was wearing braids for braids for a while, and my natural hair grew out finally and I kept it that way for quite some time. Then I got bored and forgot that you could do so many things with natural hair and I went back to a perm. That’s why I have to say ‘this go-round’.

LASHON: Okay, well back to the curly side. How old were you when you got your first perm? Do you remember?

MARIE: I do, I believe I was about 12yrs old.

LASHON: And do you remember anything about that experience?

MARIE: I remember begging my mom “Can I please, can I please, can I please?” I knew I had to wait, it wasn’t something she was willing to let me do at a young age but I think that I finally talked her and bugged her to death and she finally let me do it. But, she did it for me; I never went to a salon or anything. We just bought a kit, and any time I needed it, she did it for me. I liked the fact that it was a good bonding experience because you know, when do you ever have your mom do your hair past a certain age? So, I think I liked that aspect about it.

LASHON: That’s cool. And what made you want to get a perm?

MARIE: I think I wanted to get a perm so that I could look like other people I believe. I was the only black kid in school, and everybody else’s ponytail moved and mine didn’t. Even my sisters have different texture hair than I do, theirs is very flowy, and I think I just wanted to look like them.

LASHON: Okay. So what prompted you to go natural the second time around?

MARIE: Well, this time around I was very concerned about my physical health, which led me to kinda look at myself in a more holistic way, and not adding known toxic chemicals to one of the most absorbent places on your body which is your scalp. It kinda just well you can say- came naturally.

LASHON: Good. What have you learned about yourself or your hair since you’ve gone natural?

MARIE: Well, what I learned about myself was, in the beginning, that I’m a bit more insecure than I thought. But about my hair, I realized that I have nothing to be insecure about. Everything is about the love, and when I give my hair the love and conditioning that it needs, it’s very beautiful and very versatile - just the way I like it.

LASHON: Yes and I can vouch for that. Marie has great hair!

MARIE: Thank you!

LASHON: Have you ever been tempted to go back to your perm?

MARIE: I have, once, but it only lasted for like five minutes, and I’m grateful for that.

LASHON: Okay and what about that temptation?

MARIE: I believe it was at a time when I wasn’t really taking good care of my hair, so it got to be frustrating because when I say I wasn’t taking care of it I mean I wasn’t styling it, I wasn’t conditioning it, I wasn’t doing anything-and I just thought it looked like a hot mess because it DID! And I thought “Aww, forget it, it was easier when I had a perm I should just go back to that”. That was my reasoning on that one.

LASHON: Okay. So what advice would you give to someone considering going natural?

MARIE: I say do it! Do it, girl! It’s funny you may not even know your real hair texture and also, if it’s not the surprise you were hoping for, I say still just go ahead and still stick with it; try the styles or different techniques because hair can always be trained. Also, acceptance: it’s not a license to walk around like “who did it and ran”. If you do decide to go natural, know that you can pick it, curl it, clip it, or slick it, but PLEASE do take pride in how you look, natural or not.

LASHON: That’s very good advice. So, Marie has played with color. I know of at least three different colors that she’s done. What is it - in the last year or so? What advice would you give when it comes to color?

MARIE: Well you’re right. I have dibbled and dabbled in color. I get bored very easily, and so I like to try new things. So if you’re like me, color could be that spice you’re looking for to spice up your hair. A word of caution though when it comes to color if you decide to lighten your hair then know that your curl pattern may diminish over time if you continue to repeat the lightening process. Um, that’s my only advice, but if you want to do it, it could be fun.

LASHON: And, how would you describe your current color?

MARIE: My current color is actually back to my natural color. Not that I was able to grow it out to my natural color but I did darken it so that it’s a deep, deep darkish brown.

LASHON: And, just thinking about your hair, I know you already told us what you think about your hair growing up. I just wanted to ask if there’s anything you’d like to add?

MARIE: One thing I did like about growing up my hair growing up is that I had the ability to do different styles and have versatility. So, I have like it for that reason.

LASHON: Well Marie, we thank you for taking the time to speak with us. We always like talking to someone to who is natural and is their natural texture. We definitely look forward to chatting and catching up with you again!

MARIE: Sounds great, thank you so much for this opportunity!

LASHON: Thank you!

While perusing the Black Girl with Long Hair forum I noticed a post that really spoke to me. Forum member Brittany Williams noted 24 things she has learned along the way about natural hair which are re-posted below:

§             Not every natural will strive to have long hair, some are "a ok" with keeping it short.
§             Not every natural is or will every want to be good at doing her own hair- that's ok
§             Not every natural will accept their unique curl, some will never take heed to warnings of staying away from heat.
§             Natural hair does not necessarily equal healthy hair.
§             Healthy hair equals healthy hair.
§             Hair is like a baby, it tells you what it likes/loves/dislikes etc.
§             No style is impossible to achieve.
§             It is good to learn how to be self-sufficient when it comes to your hair because money and help is not always available.
§             It's just hair, don't loose sleep over it.
§             Everyone has their own opinion but none matters more than your personal opinion on yourself.
§             proper trimming your ends does not take away from your length
§             Oils are amazing
§             You have to get your rest
§             You have to take care of yourself
§             it's a 360 lifestyle thing- balance in every aspect of your life is key
§             Be willing to learn and ready to learn from anyone
§             share the knowledge
§             Do your research
§             Embrace new ideas
§             Find what you are good at, then work it!
§             Never doubt your self
§             styles that were once deemed ugly and childish can be tweaked and upgraded
§             some styles require more confidence than others
§             a healthy you is a better you

Do you agree? What are some things you have learned along your natural hair journey?

This hair tutorial is brought to you by LongHairDontCareLLC. She did a super cute bun and twist and I'm definitely rocking this once my braids are out. 

Sometimes you need a little encouragement on your natural hair journey so it's nice to be recognized as you discover the new, improved, healthier more natural you! 

To help us all out the men of Brown Audio have released an awesome single - Ms. Natural that sings the praises of natural women.

LaShon: Hey Joanna, welcome to the For Love of Curls interview

Joanna: Hello!

L: So, we are interviewing Joanna about her big decisions to BIG CHOP! So Joanna, what brought you to this decision?

J: Well, I wanted to, um, have my hair-I wanted to see what my hair was like in its natural state. I haven’t worn it like that since I was 6, or seven, 8. And then after my mom started putting perms in my hair; and so I was never able to see what my hair looks like curly. So, I decided to cut it off, it was a fast decision, it wasn’t premeditated at all; it was just, you know, my girlfriend did the big chop. So she said ‘You should do it, you should do it!’ and I said “Okay, let’s do it now!” And so she chopped it; and that’s kinda what my motivation was. I wanted something fast, something easy, and I wasted to see my hair grow out curly.

L: Okay, so initially did the big chop, how did you feel?

J: I felt naked. I felt like a boy. I did not have very high self esteem at all since I did the big chop.

L:. But how long has it been since then?

J: It’s been about two weeks.

L: So how do you feel since then?

J: Well the first time I got it chopped my girlfriend did it for me; and then, my mom went up and shaped it, cuz it wasn’t shaped very well; so it got shorter since she cut it off a little shorter. It’s taking some getting used to, I’m ready for it to grow out a little bit more and then I think I’ll be good. But I said ‘okay, I’m starting to feel sexy with it,” with earrings, a little makeup on, but so far I feel better than I did when I first cut it. And I also colored it, so I like the color that I have as well.

L: So, your husband was the first person to see you after; what was his reaction to it?

J: He was shocked, he was shocked. And that’s the only response I can tell you, that ‘he was shocked’.

L: (Laugh) And your friends, family???

J: Everybody was pretty much shocked as well. They were like “oh my gosh, you cut off all your hair. What’s wrong with you? Are you going through a midlife crisis?” But I guess so many people are doing it, I think people are starting to get used to it. You know, black women talk cutting off their hair, so they were like “Oh, so you got that syndrome now?” They’re pretty much accepting of it; some people just don’t say anything at all. And then most people are just like ‘Oh, it’s cute, it fits your face.”

L: (Laugh) that’s just funny. Would you recommend others to do the chop?

J: It depends, because not everybody needs to do the chop. I would say it depends on the texture of your hair; it depends on your look. It depends on your self confidence, because if you don’t have self confidence and you have long hair, or you have a weave, then when you chop it off your hair you’re gonna feel like you’re gonna die. You’re gonna feel awful, and you’re gonna want to weave it up, which is pointless. So I would say it depends on the person; I wouldn’t say yes, and I wouldn’t say no. I’m kinda in between on recommending people.

L: And, what have you learned about yourself since you did the big chop?

J: Oh my, I’ve learned that I’ve been very tolerant. It’s funny, now that my hair is shorter, I’m more into my hair. But I’m a product junky, which is awful. I’ve spent more on my hair now that it’s short than I ever have in my entire life. That includes all the weaves and the braids. But umm, I’m learning, actually I’m not sure what I’m learning since it’s only been like two weeks. But, I am learning that, hair doesn’t matter, you know? It’s okay to start over, and to just be you!

L: Okay, and what are you learning about your hair?

J: Oh gosh, I’m learning so many different things. I’m learning, first of all, that different products do different things for my hair, which is awful because now I’m spending more money. And everything that people recommend, I’m looking them up and reading all these blogs and all these websites about what to do with the type of texture of your hair, what type of products to use; and it’s just like “UGHH!” I just wanna scream. So, If you look in my cabinet right now, I have at least 30 different products, and like two or three of them are working really well for my hair. So, I want to try out one or two more products. But other than that, I’m learning about my hair, what not to do so I don’t break it off. I still can’t wait till it grows out cuz it’s gonna be really cute.

L: Yeah, so what were the three products that you’re really liking?

J: So far, the main product that I like is the Kinky-Curly Custard; that has been working SO well, and I’ve noticed that if I use that, I don’t have to wash my hair for like four days. I can rock it, and wet it with a little conditioner, and then it gets curly and I put my coconut oil which also works really well. Kinky-Curly Custard, coconut oil and then my natural Tresemme conditioner, those are my favorite items. Later on, when my Tresemme runs out, I do want to try Mix Chicks Conditioner, but I promised myself I wouldn’t but any more until I finish most of the other products I but even if I don’t like it cuz that’s a waste of money.

L: I can totally relate. (Laugh)

J: And then I slick my edges down with the Eco Style Olive Oil.

L: Okay. So when was your last perm?

J: My last perm was maybe four or five years ago. I haven’t done any perms in four or five years. I’ve been doing braids, bantu knots, flat ironing my hair, just different stuff to try and keep my hair without perm. It’s been working pretty good.

L: So, did you have heat damage? Is that why you wanted to cut it? Or, you just wanted to start all over period?

J: Yeah, what happened was I wanted to go naturally curly all over. And maybe four or five inches of my hair was super curly, and the other three inches was super straight, and I couldn’t get it to be curly all over and it was just crazy. So I was thinking about a year ago to do the big chop, but I thought “Okay, I need to lose weight. I can’t be fat in my face and have short hair, that’s just not gonna work for me. Another reason was I had super straight ends and tips, and it didn’t look right for going all curly. So that was another reason I decided to chop it off.

L: Okay, and how would you describe your texture? Do you use the hair typing system, or how would you describe your hair?

J: I would say I’m about 4A; I think I’m 4A, I’m not sure. It’s really fine, but I’ve noticed that in the middle its more coarse than the front, there it’s more fine.

L: So now that you’ve done the big chop, what’s your next step? Do you plan on rocking your TWA, your teenie weenie afro?

J: I do plan on rocking it for a while, although I do get major impulses to weave it up, put it in braids. Although, I cannot put it in braids anymore, since it breaks off my edges. My hair is too fine on the edges, so I’m trying to keep braids out but I am HIGHLY considering doing it again. But for now, I’m motivated to rock it out, let it grow BIG BIG BIG!!! That’s my goal, to have super curly wavy hair. And, we’ll see how that works.

L: Cool well congratulations on your big chop, and sitting down with us to talk about it. We look forward to talking to you again!

J: Thank you!!!

If you haven't peeped the Mahoganyknots YouTube channel please do. Her YouTube videos are just ridiculously funny. I don't know what she's on but she is one funny chick. 

The video below is the funniest to date. It makes no sense but I'm sure you'll be laughing out loud just as I was as she rhymes about the fact that she hates doing her hair! I'm just laughing thinking about it. Lol

So come to find out I'm not able to embed the video (Ugh) so you'll have to click here.

Do you pre-poo?

When I first went natural my hair was dry, dry, dry. Even though I was using a sulfate-free shampoo and using oils nothing seemed to cure the dryness. My hair would feel good at the beginning of the day but by the end it felt like tumbleweed.

In my search to cure my hair's dryness I came across the pre-poo method. Pre-pooing is the act of applying oil to your hair the night or hours before you shampoo to reduce the amount of oil stripped from your hair by shampoo.  Because shampoo by nature is a detergent, it cleanses your hair of dirt and buildup but it can also strip your natural sebum leaving your hair feeling dry.

The first time I pre-pooed I noticed a difference. My hair was left feeling soft and moisturized. The ends of my hair didn't feel dry and my hair had a nice sheen.

I usually pre-poo with coconut oil because it's one of the few oils that can penetrate the hair shaft but you can experiment to find an oil that works for you. I have also used olive oil which left me good results.

If your hair seems chronically dry try pre-pooing before you shampoo and you might be pleasantly surprised.

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