Virgin Hair

After returning from a short visit to the UAE, I have come to the realization that I am so in love with who I have become. I do not know exactly what may be found in my rich ancestral lineage, but I am in love with every bit of me.  I am in love with the extremely tight curl in my hair. My gumball sized eyes are so big and round; not to mention my large nose. I love all of me from my hair follicle to the creases on the bottom of my big feet; yes I love me!
Most of us must have, at one point in our lives, come to the realization that we must love who we are. If we don’t, then tell me how can someone else love the person we don’t. Let me put it to you like this; how can I expect someone to love me and “I” don’t love me. Well enough about the love of oneself, let’s talk about hair.

My first attempt, as an adult, to do the natural thing was back in 1999. I cut all my hair off and began to let it dread up. My mother told me I was a rebel. She hated the way I wore it and she never hesitated to tell me. I must admit she was right. I was at a very rebellious stage in my life.

Dread Head

After wearing dreads for about two years I decide to relax my hair again. Yes I gave in to the “creamy crack”. I wore my relaxed hair for years. Then it hit me…. I wanted to be natural again. Round two! In 2010 I cut all my hair off once again. This time I wanted to try the twist and go styles. Obviously I was doing something wrong because it wasn’t at all looking like the girls on the YouTube videos. Look at the picture below. It at first looked like a hot mess, but the more I looked at it the prettier it looked.

I wore this natural hair style for about three years. Then I decided to relax my hair again because my career was not moving in the direction I wanted. I have conformed to the way society say’s I should wear my hair for some time and now I’ve decided to go back to my root-tee, root, roots. You know – that curly, tight of a curl most of us African America women are embracing today? That’s what I’m going for. I’m excited to go on this journey with my hair and see where it takes me this time.

From 2013 until about four days ago I wore relaxed hair. I did the “big chop” ( cutting most of the relaxer out) and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but here I am.

So I’ve been using Curvaceous by Redken. It’s a hair styling agent used on curly hair. The “full swirl” is a sculpt and shine serum that helps control the frizz and good for dry hair ends. The “ringlet” is a lotion that helps transform the unruly spiral in our hair. I love it! I’ve been getting so many compliments on this look. However I don’t know how long I will wear it because if you know your local Cosmetologist, that would be me….. I’m always trying something new. The products cost about $19 each. A bit costly, but well worth the price. I shampoo my hair with the Curvaceous low foam shampoo then follow with the conditioner. It’s the best thing for right now.

I have not tied my hair up before going to bed since cutting it. In the mornings before going about my day, I wet my hair and put about a quarter sized amount of the “Curvaceous full swirl” in the palm of my hand, emulsify it and rub it into my hair. Then I take the “Curvaceous ringlet” and squirt about three pumps in my hand and distribute it evenly throughout my hair. I like the way it defines the curl in my hair. As you look at the front part of my head, in the picture below, you will see some relaxer on the ends. I will cut that out gradually. But overall I am digging this product.

Cocaine Addiction

Here try this….


“But first – let me tell you what it will do to you…. How it’ll make you feel” (Little did I know – I would become addicted to snorting cocaine).

These were the words he said to me that night.  I had a long drive ahead of me after working for ten hours behind the chair. He told me it would keep me alert and I didn’t have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel. I trusted him because I knew he loved me, or at least that’s what he said. Skeptical, but I tried it anyway.

A slight ringing in the ear…. Feeling a sense of relaxation and stimulation both at he same time; and oh so keen to my surroundings.

It was hard for me to welcome the fact that I’m addicted to coccaine. When I tried to test the effect of quitting or at least slow down, I could, but only for a little while. The cravings would then come back and I was on the “dependency roller coaster” all over again. Then one bump after another turned into a spending frenzy.  When I wasn’t doing it…. I was thinking about it. And the more I snorted, the more I wanted. I must have known I had a problem because I began to hide how often and how much I spent on doing it. ADDICTED? I guess I am.

The roller coaster of chemical dependency happens when we experience some sort of problem in our life from the use of mood altering chemicals but fail to change our using behavior. I did not connect my use of cocaine with the problems which resulted from that use. I denied that any of my problems were the consequence of my drug abuse.

I learned that there is something called the “pleasure connection”. During the time I snorted, I never thought about what activities I used to do, in the past, that had truly given me a natural pleasure. For me – chemical dependency produced an artificial sense of pleasure. And one way of looking at chemical dependency is – as an attempted quick way to, feeling pleasure.

Coccaine was my friend for ten years. I never missed a day of work. I made sure my kids were clean, fed, and well dressed. And oh yeah…. I never got in trouble with the law. I would say that I didn’t know how to live life on life’s terms so I self medicated to numb the feelings. Then one day as I was getting high, I came to the realization that I was no longer in control. The cocaine had taken over. I was chemically dependent on cocaine. In the beginning I felt free, excited, happy and believe it or not….. Smart.

“Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, creating a quick, intense euphoria, accompanied by a decrease in hunger, indifference to pain and fatigue, and illusions of great physical strength and mental capacity.” This is what I learned in therapy and this is how cocaine made me feel. When I began my therapy, I was given a phamplet which told me how and if my treatment would be successful. All I had to do was to meet several criteria. I was not at all one of the perfect ones meeting all seven bullet points outlined in that phamplet, however my therapy was successful.

Reality Therapy was the best part of my therapy. The name, although catchy, can easily be improperly interpreted as having to do with giving someone “a reality check” but, it is not at all like that. There was no “ten step” process however I did do a “Step One” workshop. And in this workshop I learned that “the pathway to clean and sober living begins with the first step. Until you are able to accept the first step, contented sobriety is not possible”. That first step is at first admitting you have a chemical dependency or an addiction. Every dependency starts with an underlying problem and being honest with ones self is key during therapy. After overdosing, I finally admitted, to myself and the ones I loved, that I have a problem. So if you’re fighting with some type of chemical dependency I encourage you to seek therapy…. I did.

Just a taste of what helpes me….

“Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

“All you have to do to change your world is change the way you think about it.” – unknown

“Every morning you are handed 24 golden hours. They are one of the few things in this world that you get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn’t buy an extra hour. What will you do with this priceless treasure? Remember, you must use it, as it is given only once. Once wasted you cannot get it back.” -unknown

“Man cannot always control the conditions with which he is confronted, but he can control his responses to them.” – Viktor Frankl, 1969

“When you change the way you look at things…. The things you look at will change.” – unknown

True Friendship Endures

When trying to become someone’s friend, the first thing someone may do- is ask what their name is or introduce themselves. Answer this question, “Does God have a name?” Some of you may say he has many names, some of you say he has no name and yet other people say that it is “God” or “Lord”. Before you answer, considered what the Bible says. “You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”  – Psalms 83:18 (clicking the link below will take you to the bible verse of Psalms 83:18 as well as the other verses quoted in this blog)

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/american-standard-version/books/psalms/83/#v19083018

Now that we know what the book of Psalms eighty three and verse eighteen says, we can also learn that “although God has many titles, he has only one name” – taken from Exodus 3:15. We can learn so much about our God, Jehovah, by digging deep into the bible. Do you think God wants you to become his friend? The book of Acts 17:27 helps us appreciate one fact; God does not want to remain unknown. He is not a mystery; He wants us to get to know him. Having knowledge of God’s name can be the first step to having a friendship with Him. Below you will find a link to a video that will enlighten you. I’m sure you’ll find the video very interesting. Just click and enjoy. If you have a question please ask. I will do my best to reply in a timely manner.

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/good-news-from-god/who-is-god/video-gods-name/

 

 

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Hair

Define Me…

My hair doesn’t define who I am! My hair doesn’t say I’m not qualified! My hair does not say I’m a rebel. My hair says I am who I am and that I am African American. I was raised to love who I am. I have always loved my hair. It was always long, thick and black. From a toddler, my mother has always told my sisters and me that we are beautiful. Not to sound conceited, but we are.

I can remember when I was probably between the ages of eight and ten. Someone was always making a comment about my hair. Those comments were never derogatory. The one thing I didn’t like about my hair was that when I got old enough to style it myself I couldn’t. From the sixth grade all the way through high school I had to rely on my oldest sister, Precious, or my younger sister, Lisa to style my hair every morning before getting on the bus to go to school. And if one of them were mad at me for some reason, I was going to have to tackle my head myself. I guess I was never really in tune with the needs of my hair. I was more concerned with how my big, crooked feet looked in my shoes more than anything else. At that age I had it backwards. I actually thought my feet defined who I was.

Why?

When I was in Abu Dhabi this past February, I came to the realization that my hair does define who I am. I saw many women, young and old, of color who were proud of their rich heritage. I don’t know what country they originated from, but they walked tall, heads held high and their hair was not Americanized. I am American and with all the “Natural  Girls Rock” campaigns you would think we, as an American race, would not stereotype or define a person by the way their hair is naturally. LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN….. “N.A.T.U.R.A.L.L.Y”! It is who we are. It is who I am.

Why does some of white America define who we, me, or should I say, I am before getting to know WHO I AM first?  You like who I am on paper. (My resume) But wait until I walk through the door. Look at her hair…..”She’s too Black! Maybe we can find someone the customer can connect with.” My hair, natural hair, closed many doors for me. I was very qualified for the job, but my natural hair was not getting me the job. I wanted to see exactly what would happen if I gave in to the “creamy crack”. (Sodium hydroxide hair relaxers) So I relaxed my hair and on another interview, with the same person, I was hired. Yes, hired just like that. I’m not saying that this is the case for all African American women. All I’m saying is this how it happened to me and for me.

Today

Twenty days in the United Arab Emirates was very enlightening. I am on a new journey with my hair and I am so excited to see what lies ahead. I am inspired by my baby sister, Lisa. She had been natural for six plus years and has no problem cutting it off and starting all over again. I admire her for that. I want to tell you that my hair does define who I am. My hair says I am qualified! My hair says I am as beautiful as the day my mother told me I was. My hair is who I am. I love my hair and always have.

My sisters & me

The look that got me the job (relaxed hair)




She has my approval….

There’s this beautiful lady whom I admire so much, she my baby sister. When I owned my salon, some time ago, she was the best assistant any stylist could ever have or want. She knew what my left had was going to do before I did. She was my right hand gal. Those were the good ole days. She has come to the realization that even though she fight’s with depression she can still see light at the end of the tunnel. I admire her for that. Amo a mi familia!image

Love Everything Hair

I love everything “Hair”. I have been doing hair since I was eighteen years old. I owned my first salon at the ripe young age of twenty-two and it was fabulous, or at least I thought it was. So I have had this love affair with all things “hair” since. While in Dubai, someone very dear to me booked three of us gals a mani/pedi at this Day Spa Haven called “Tips and Toes”.

As we arrived I had expected to pull up at a mall of some sort but, it was a villa! It was nice looking from the outside and I was dying to get inside. As we walked up the steps to go inside there was a sign right outside the front door on the building stating the services they offered. And they offer a sweet variet of services.  I wish I had gotten a shampoo and blow dry style while I was there but, fear stopped me. If you’re anything like me you have to see what a stylist can do before jumping in head first.

Reaching for the door handle we went in. The front area was unusually interesting  and so was the greeting. However the spa was pretty.  We were then called into another room, one by one,  where we were asked to have a seat. I must tell you that my experiences with the nail salons in the U.S. are somewhat different than what we experienced in Abu Dhabi at “Tips and Toes”.  Each of us had one Filipino woman doing our manicure, one doing our pedicure, and one doing our back massage. Can I say I felt like royalty! I was very tense before getting the massage and very relaxed afterwards. I will most definitely go back! If you’re planning a trip to Abu Dhabi  put “Tips and Toes” on the itinerary.  Oh and one more thing, the nail tech’s are super nice. Here is their website http://www.tipsandtoes.com

 

Dubai

It was February 8, 2016 and I was on my way to meet you for the first time. It was the night of February 8th when we landed and I was so excited to be on vacation for the first time away from the U.S. I wanted to see everything you wanted to show me and I wanted to see it all at that very moment. The first thing I wanted to experience was a salon/spa atmosphere however my first sighting, from afar, was the “Burj Al Arab” and it looked just like it did on my goggle search. Here’s a picture of my first sighting, the “Burj Al Arab”.
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