This past Sunday, I attended two events celebrating natural haired beauties. In various cities across the country, there are meetup groups for napptural women to gather and share tips and inspire and support each other along the journey. It’s also often an opportunity to promote and patronize entrepreneurs that create products with the natural woman in mind.

I became a member of DMV Naturals earlier this year but this meetup was my first event. Organized by Jamesha of Ebony’s Braidery, it turned out to be a truly wonderful event filled with women sharing their personal journeys towards freedom from creamy crack; natural care practitioners answering questions and providing tips; and an update on the actions being formed against Six Flags for their natural hair discrimination practices.

This little one is getting an early start on the journey.

There were several vendors selling body and hair care products, t-shirts and jewelry.

Shawnta of TayButta’s Natural Remedies shared a poignant story of dealing with two devastating illnesses, one that required chemotherapy. She didn’t lose one hair on her beautifully locked head.

Monica of CurlyChicks was on hand with lovely apparel and accessories.

Check out this curly-haired walking advertisement.

I am also loving the sista’s twists sitting beside her. If mine would have looked like that before I locked, I probably would have put off my installation for a bit. Simply beautiful.

Blaque Beauty Mama was also on hand selling her lips balms and sharing beauty tips.  Her blog profile says she is the mother of SIX sons. And she has time to make beauty products? And write a blog? And look this good? What am I doing with my life? Seriously.

Jamesha gave away this beautiful journal to a newbie just beginning the journey to capture her feelings and thoughts – just as I’m doing here.

Of course I had to seek out the other Sisterlocked women.

I hope to be here with my growth by the end of the beginning of winter, if not starting to lock already.

I wished I could have stayed for more discussion but I had to head out to the second part of my Happy Nappy Day. I look forward to more events with this group.  The organizer already has another event in the works – a gathering where we would do each other’s hair.  Obviously, I won’t likely be doing anyone’s hair. However, I’m all for finding a stylist I can barter with.

I first heard about Happy Nappy Day/Poets in the Park at the Baltimore Hair Show. This is the 7th year for the day of community-wide celebration of the arts, poetry, music, and natural beauty.

It’s always good to see Sarenzo Beads in the house. You already know I’m a fan. This woman is a model for the female entrepreneur. Please check out her hair ties and hand crafted jewelry.

I’ve been looking around for these silver Afro-woman earrings I’ve seen a few sistas rocking. I didn’t find them but the ones I saw at On-Que will do nicely in the interim. Unfortunately I was only able to purchase one pair because they were cash only. In an ode to my other online presence (and the greatest album ever), I got a pair of Songs in the Key of Life album cover earrings. I plan to get a pair or two of the afro or locked woman earrings. The green ones are speaking to me.

This man knows where it’s at.

A little loc po.rn for you.  If I had gone traditional, this would have been the perfect size. Absolutely gorgeous. I already know that red is my color but this brown/honey blonde sure makes me reconsider for a minute.

It was a perfectly happy nappy day. As I sat watching these little natural haired beauties running around in the sunshine without a care in the world, it didn’t matter that my hair was misbehaving that morning and I had to tie it down with a scarf. This is a journey and I have to take step by step. I’m happy to have events like these to remind me that I’m not alone and that I should celebrate every step of the way.


I tried the two Kinky Curly products that I purchased during my recent hair product shopping spree:  Knot Today Leave In Conditioner and Curling Custard. I was skeptical about how my hair would turn out after reading more reviews that said the product didn’t work that well for 4B hair. I actually have no idea what my hair type is. I’ve been saying it’s 4B or up. However,  from my understanding, that type has little to no curl pattern. When my hair is wet, I have a very defined small wavy pattern, particularly in the front. So I’m thinking I have a combination of types, as most people probably do.

I was almost obsessive with watching instructional how-to videos on YouTube before starting this process. I’m so glad I did. I would have ended up with a hot mess on my hands. I have a tendency to be heavy handed so my hair would have probably still been drying as I wrote this post!

Here are the videos I found to be most helpful.

I decided to follow Str8isis method and do most everything in the shower to ensure my hair stayed moist.

I shampooed first with Taliah Waajid’s Total Black Earth, My Crown and Glory, and Giovanni Direct Tea Tree. I got the hair very clean and then deep conditioned for 45 minutes with Avalon Organics Lavender Nourishing and a dollop of good ole Queen Helene’s Cholesterol. After reading the label on the Queen Helene, I see that it contains sulfates so I’ll likely stop using it. I smoothed the conditioner through by repeatedly finger combing. It made detangling very easy. I love the Avalon. Smells great and left my hair very soft.

I rinsed my hair for about 7 minutes to be sure I got all the product out. Kinky-Curly doesn’t play well in the sandbox with other products and I didn’t want a head full of white flakes.

After ensuring my hair was product free, I applied the Knot Today leave-in liberally. I worked it through thoroughly and used a comb to detangle. Then I parted my hair into four sections and started working in the Curling Custard. I kept running back to the shower to re-wet it as I understand it works best when your hair is dripping wet. Next time I’ll likely just use a spray bottle.

I didn’t use a lot of curling custard at all. Less than I probably should have for the density of my hair. I also don’t think I spent enough time really working it into each section. The whole thing probably took me about 10-15 minutes. Although I had my usual 80% shrinkage, I still think I should have spent more time on it.

As I started in the back where my pattern seems a bit looser, I was pleased by the curls that were forming. Some would say they were jheri curl like. But I loved them.

When I was done, I followed Bronzeqt and CoilsKinksCurls advice and parted and pinned my hair as I wanted to wear it. I also kept shaking it out because I prefer the big and wild look. It definitely shrank even more as it started to dry. I left it alone and didn’t touch it as advised in the videos. I would give it a shake every once in a while.

Here’s where I think I made my biggest mistake. I should never have done this on a weeknight when I had to go to bed at a decent hour. It only had about 3-4 hours to air dry before I covered it with a satin bonnet and went to bed. It was only about  60% dry. The back was definitely still damp to the touch.

When I woke up this morning, it was matted and dry looking. It looked like a texturized fro. I put some Waleda Rosemary Oil on it, tied a hair scarf on and kept stepping.

The more I kept looking at it, the more I liked it but I knew it could look better had I done things a little differently.

Here are some other photos up close.

On the right, you can see my little test locks hanging in there. Only four survived a washing though. I was surprised they aren’t fuzzy. So I guess one of these is my correct pattern.

This is the front of my hair.

This is a view from the side.

Pardon the wackness of these photos. My “photographer” has the night off.

You’ll see that my tight curls are somewhat defined so it did what it said it would in that sense. The smell of both products wasn’t overpowering or bothersome. My hair isn’t crunchy or hard to the touch. I do wish I didn’t have such major shrinkage and that it loosened up my curls a bit more but I can’t expect miracles. You can’t expect the Kinky-Curly to take you from a 4 type to a 3. If I had more time or the inclination, I’d try some other products to compare results. However, I refuse to have a closet full of stuff I just used once or twice.

I’m going to do a co-wash on Saturday or Sunday and try this again. I’ll post photos of the results after it’s fully dry.

So obviously, I’m in denial.

My name is Danielle and I’m a product junkie.

I went out today with the intention of picking up a few products to maintain my hair over the next few weeks until my installation. This is what I came back with.

It’s like when you go into Target for just one thing and come out over $100 poorer. Or am I the only one?

After paying for two unsatisfactory sets of two strand twists, I am determined not to pay anyone else to touch my head until April 24. My plan is to try to do my own styling so I got some product recommendations and knew I could get almost everything I need from Smile Herb Shop. While in there, I ran into one of my favorite people, Kat, a lovely locked goddess who is also a herbalist. I told her the products I needed for the twists and she said they would likely make my hair feel weighed down and sticky.

Instead, she recommended African Formula: Super Grow Hair Gel and said that’s all I would need to form the twists. I also picked up some small bottles of My Crown and Glory shampoo and conditioner, Waleda Rosemary Hair Oil, Nature’s Blessing Hair Pomade, and some loose rosemary and sage tea. I’m going to steep it overnight and use it as a rinse after I wash and condition. I’ll report back on how I like these products.

I also picked up some Paul Mitchell Seal and Shine to protect my hair whenever I choose to blow it out. This is definitely a product I’ll be getting rid of when I lock! I’ve used Taliah Waajid’s products for some years now and I love the Total Body Black Earth Shampoo. It’s gentle, all natural and leaves my hair feeling soft.

My last stop was Whole Foods. I was originally just planning to pick up Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner which was recommended for wet twist outs. They are having a sale this week on select Giovanni products. I was dismayed to find it was sold out. I must have stood in that aisle for thirty minutes looking over the other products and checking reviews online. They had a huge selection of Kinky-Curly products. I’d vaguely heard of the line but hadn’t done any investigation. The store associate working that section told me that they were very popular and practically flew off the shelves. I wasn’t about to take her word for it. I knew if it was that popular, Afrobella would have the skinny. After reading her review and the numerous comments, I decided to try the Knot Today and the Curling Custard. We’ll see how they work.  I’ve always wondered about Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding and whether I could really achieve a head full of curls. I got some rough stuff going on up there. However, I’m just not willing to spend $50+ (on one product) to find out!

The last addition to my cart was Avalon Organics Lavender Nourishing Conditioner which I will use for deep conditioning. Another impulse buy since it was on sale. Another product I won’t be able to use for a while after my installation.

As I shopped for these products, I found myself taking much more time reading labels. Not only was I looking for the presence of sulfates, which are bad for natural hair, but I was also looking to avoid products that contain too many ingredients I can’t pronounce. I’m much more concerned about what I put in my hair these days.

Now if I can only get to that same level of concern with what I put in my body!