July 15, 2016

Big Chop or Transition?.....Deciding to Go Natural

You've decided to go/return to natural! Now you have to make what may be one of the hardest decisions of the journey. 
Should I big chop or transition?
 Not familiar with either? No worries!

My friend O'Mareen was sweet (and brave) enough to allow me to do her big chop. I'm thrilled to share it with you. In this video I also share information on transitioning. Check it out!

It's been nearly two years since O'Mareen's big chop. 
Look at her now!

I'm so proud of her! Her progress has been amazing! 
(And yes, she's a Quench gal! Order your's today!)
Like O'Mareen, I transitioned a few months and then I did the big chop. 

Was it easy? HECK NO! You guys know that I keep it real. Going natural can be hard. In addition to (re)learning to style your own hair, you truly find the journey is about learning your hair and loving yourself!

It wasn't until I chopped all of my hair off that I realized how many lies I'd internalized regarding society's definition of beauty. 
Now I know better!

NO! My beauty is not determined by my hair. Hair is simply an ornament dressing up what is (or is not) beautiful and that is YOU- the person you are on the inside. Are you kind, considerate, compassionate, honest, generous, humble? If so, you are beautiful! But again, these are lessons you'll learn at your own time in your own way along your natural hair journey. 

I put together a video that explains the various stages I and many other naturals go through when deciding to go/return to natural hair. 

So big chop or transition, if you can do it, you're a survivor! 
Until next time my friends, namaste!!!!

June 25, 2016

Crochet Braiding 101

They're all the rave and now I understand why. Besides being super cute, crochet braids are super simple! I did a loved one's hair this past weekend and it was so easy, I decided to do my own hair as well! I've gotta admit, I'm pretty excited about the results.
What do you think?

All you need to crochet braid is a crochet needle and the hair of your choosing. 
Pick up a crochet needle at your local beauty supply store for ~$1
Next choose your hair!
While I chose a coiled more 'natural' texture, you can achieve whatever look you want. Simply pick the hair color(s), texture, and length that suits your fancy. I used the following:

Once you've picked your hair and purchased your crochet needle, you're all set. 
Learn the technique in this SUPER SIMPLE tutorial! It can't be any easier to learn than what you'll see in this tutorial. Hope you agree.
Try it! I'm sure you'll love it as well!
*** Please SUBSCRIBE, like, comment, and reshare. Tks!***

Be sure to share your feedback in the comments and be sure to head over to Facebook and join us in the conversation. While we talk hair, we talk so much more. Join us!

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June 14, 2016

Stretching Elastic Headbands #quicktip #naturalhair #relaxedhair

If you follow me, you know I like to keep it simple. Many of my hair styles involve elastic headbands. 

One of the questions I often get is:

Q: How are you able to wear those headbands without them being so tight? Mine leave me with terrible headaches!

Learn my tip to stretching elastic headbands in this tutorial video. 

Hope this helps! 'Til Next Time Journeyers!

June 11, 2016

What's in a Word? #Elevate

I'm honored that you've added your voice to the discussion. 
Your action immediately and immeasurably alters the conversation which in turn alters the universe!
 This is what #elevate is all about! 
No matter what you think, that you think is the matter! 

I'm watching The Loud House on Nickelodeon and Character A just taught/told Character B to 'throw up the goats' in preparation for his first rock concert. I’ve heard people suggest that ‘the goat’refers to the devil/Baphomet/negativity. If you Google the terms 'the goat hand sign' Wikipedia addresses this association. 

  • Is it true that holding your hand in that position suggests an understood reference to the devil/Baphomet/negativity?; 
  • Is it a simple show of support/participation similar to holding a Bic lighter/candle at concerts/events? 

  • If it is negative and understood by a wide audience, what are the implications of including it in a childhood cartoon?

Where does entertainment end and indoctrination begin?

Is this even a relevant question? 

Now let me play devil's advocate (sorry, surely a terrible pun)

Supposing one does believe that ‘the goat’ refers to the 
devil/Baphomet/negativity, is that enough to matter? 
Admittedly, I've seen two similar yet distinct hand gestures. I've been told that one represents 'hang loose' while the other is a reference to the devil/Baphomet/negativity. Again I ask. 
True or not true?

What's in a word? 

Where does power reside? 
Isn’t a hand gesture only as powerful as a person
 1. KNOWING and
 2. ACCEPTING a definition? 
Could one argue that the hand gesture is a symbol? 

Let's take another, less emotionally charged example:
While many persons recognize the above symbol as a reference to 
the organization called 'Red Cross', others do not. Absent that 
understanding, what power does the symbol have? 
Does the lack of universal acceptance negate the power of a symbol? What about a word? 

Renowned philosopher Confucius famously stated the following:

And this brings us back to the original question. What's in a word?

What do you think?

Chime in in the comments section below. And please, reshare. The more that read and chime in the better! 

Again, what you think its not the matter! The matter is that you think! - K Gray

Join me for conversations such as these in the new #elevate tab @journey2myroots.blogspot.com

Wondering what #elevate is all about? Hear me out in this overview/introduction video. Please chime in and please reshare and invite others. The more the merrier!

May 19, 2016

The ABC's of Hair Speak

Sometimes it feels like a fad. Sometimes it feels like a club. For me it's just another life choice. No matter the reason you started the natural or healthy hair journey, you've likely run into a lot of terms that make you go, 'Hmmmmm?'

Do you know the difference between cowashing and nopooing? Do you know about ayurvedics? What does TWA stand for? What's the difference between a carrier and and essential oil? What is the neutral pH of hair? Don't know? Find out this and more in my latest video, The ABC's of Hair Speak!

Admission: The video is a bit long. HOWEVER, it's much quicker to watch this single ~45 minute video than it is to search countless blogs, videos, and Google to find and piece together information that may or may not be accurate. 
So all things considered, it's actually a time, sanity, and strand saver! 

At the end of the day, the mission of 'Journey to My Roots' is to give you the education/information needed to make your journey easier and more successful! Hopefully, this video proves my commitment to this goal! Please SUBSCRIBE, like, comment, and reshare. THANKS!
And please leave your comments below!

Til next time Journeyers! See you on Facebook! Be sure to join the Journey to My Roots Group! 
Click the picture to head on over!
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May 15, 2016

Pinned Back Braidout....Another Simple Style!

If you've followed my journey long enough, you know I readily admit to being a lazy natural. While I always want to look nice, I never want to spend a ton of time doing it. That said, I've found that at every length, I've had a go-to, two minute hair do. Right now it's the pinned back braidout!

* When I was still in the TWA (teenie weenie afro) stage, I found that the pony-puff was my best friend.
* When I grew a bit length, the banded updo became a savior to my strands.

While nowadays I'm into the pinned back braidout, I truly hope to help you no matter where you are in your journey!
I have video tutorials for each of the styles above. Just click the blue live links!

For my latest lazy girl style, the pinned back braidout, check out my NEWEST video style tutorial . It's super simple, super sassy, and great on natural or relaxed hair! I call that a WIN/WIN!

Also, please head over to Facebook and join us in the Journey to My Roots Group. Not only will you get all the hair advice/caveats/ laughs you want, you'll get much more. And why not? 
Life is about so much more than hair. 
God Bless My Friends!

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May 3, 2016


They say the first step to recovery is admission. 
So (GULP) here goes.....
My name is 'Journey' and I'm addicted to scarves. 

Why scarves? 
Why not? Much like jewelry, shoes, and handbags, a scarf can take an outfit from 'not' to 'hot' in the flick of the wrist. They dress an outfit up or down. They keep you warm. And while it sounds bad, we all have those antisocial moments when we just don't want to talk. Pulling a scarf just above your mouth is a passive aggressive way of saying 'please keep it moving'. 
If you travel on business, you have probably seen someone use a scarf to shield themselves from the unwanted invasion of talkative busy-bodies and germs. Not familiar? This image is a great guide:

Try it!
In addition to being stylish, scarves are simply fun! One of my FAVORITE videos is a YouTube tutorial that shows you 25 different ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 minutes! Check it out!

Getting started!
Nowadays you can find scarves everywhere from Target to specialty arts and crafts shops such as Michael's, AC Moore, and JoAnn Fabrics to online boutiques across Etsy. One of my favorite places to purchase scarves is White House Black Market 

I have scarves for every occasion- warm weather, cold weather, or simply because!

Most recently, I'm in LOVE with the scarf my friend and his new bride or 'Pellam' brought me from Andrha Pradesh, India!

Fancy, huh?
Want to step your scarf game up? Add a broach or try wearing your scarf as a headwrap or waist piece! 

So there, I've admitted my 'problem'. 
Funny thing...after writing up all the pros of scarves, I've decided I'm not an addict at all. I'm an aficionado
The real pros!
While I like my 'beginner' level attempts to use my scarf as a headwrap, I have nothing on the real pros. Check out these beauties from the lucy44 blogsite! With any luck, I'll graduate to this level of the game any day now!

Your turn to share..
Are you a scarf aficionado? Share in the comments section below or head over to Facebook and share your pictures! Be sure to join the Journey2MyRoots group while you're there. 
Click the picture below to head over. 
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Til next time, be blessed my friends! 

April 3, 2016

Natural Hair Options for Covering Gray Hair

Regal, Distinguished, and Elegant!
Those are just a few words that comes to mind when I see women proudly rocking their naturally graying tresses. 

Since the days of Clark Gable, gray hair suggests a certain gravitas among men. The same is not said of women. When women go gray, society starts apologizing to her and explaining that she's entering a new 'season' in life. HUH????

Well call it 'season of life' or plain ole sassiness; whether 100% natural or helped along with color, these women prove that black is beautiful and gray can slay!
Source: Google Images

Gray hair runs in my family. It typically starts in our crown but by early 20s' genetics of gray hair strikes us all. However unlike the we women, when I see my gray hair, the words that come to mind are much less possible. Rather than regal, distinguished and elegant, my gray hair is wiry, untamed, and unattractive in my eyes.

Perhaps its' the fact that it grows in single strands/small patches here and there that I can't find it attractive. Heck, I'd love to have a single area/patch that grew and could be styled as the natural beauty in the picture below.
Source: Google Images

But such is not the case. Over the years, I've been able to manage my gray hairs with simply hair dyeing. While my own hair is a natural dark chestnut, I LOVE the reddish lift I get through dying. 

See me dye my hair using my ole reliable, L'Oreal Feria in this video tutorial. I've been using it for more years than I want to admit. 

While I thank God for the years, I'm tired of fighting these gray strands in my crown. Having lost my last bit of patience, I tried something new. 

I saw a product called Kiss, brush in gray color touch up in the beauty supply store recently. Since nothing else is working, I figured why not give it a whirl. 

See the results and learn the science of hair; specifically gray hair in this video tutorial. 

Please like, comment, and 

Have you tried Kiss? Have you tried another brand? Leave  your comments in the comment section. I look forward to hearing your experiences.

Until we meet again. May God bless you and keep you my friends!

March 26, 2016

Redefining Natural Hair Success

Hello Journeyers! I hope all is well. I've been wanting to address this topic for a while so I'm pretty excited to finally get to it.

Before I start, I think this picture speaks a million words:

Some call it a fad, others a lifestyle but either way, I'm thrilled to see that wearing our own natural hair has become a more acceptable option in areas where it was once considered risque (school, corporate work environments, the military, etc). I was and remain thrilled to be part of a movement of curly-haired, brown diaspora women who have decided to unyoke themselves from the ideology that 'white is the only way to look right'. We're all God's creatures so while I see beauty in the tresses of blondes, ringlets of redheads, and bounce of brunette bobs; I also see and LOVE my brown sisters and brothers wearing their crowns of kinks, coils, and curls with unapologetic pride.

That said, it seems that we've now reached a place where a lot of women feel they've only had a successful natural hair journey if they can wear one of these.

Don't even get me started on the second picture. It's cute but do you really need a picture to know this information? I think it was more helpful when it defined the acronyms sometimes thrown around by naturalistas (i.e. BSL- bra strap length). 

All this said, my frustration is borne out of what seems to be a mindset. Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems that all of this is a confirmation that whether relaxed or natural, we as a community still idolize a certain 'look'.

Having been natural a while now, I certainly understand the desire to know one's hair progress. I get it. 

What I do not believe and hate to inform you is that you can try all the products in the world and try every technique known to man, not everybody is going to have curls like the picture above. Beyond the coils, it's the length that many have mentally designated as the sign of success. Well curlfriend, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. 

I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying it's idealistic. 

Why you ask? 
One of my natural hair faves, Kim Love of Luv Naturals explains it perfectly in this video. Summarily, hair growth is determined by many things including but not limited to age, diet, exercise, genetics, medications, hair practices, etc.

So the moral of the story: 
STOP defining your success based on the results of someone else's hair journey!!!

While I love to see beautiful hair of varying textures, color, styles, etc. I do not allow their pictures to discourage me or define my goals. What is great FOR THEM, may not be reality FOR ME.

So how SHOULD I define success? 
If your hair is shiny, thick, strong, and healthy- your journey has been successful. What more could you ask for?

'Til next time my friend....
May God bless and keep you!

Be sure to join us on Facebook. We have a lively group where it's not about ad, advertising, model searches, product sales. It's just an open forum to ask and share information about your healthy hair (or life) journey. Come on over!

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March 25, 2016

The NEW Journey to My Roots...#thepursuitofhealthiness

Hi Journeyers!!! 
I hope all is well and that your journey is going well. 
Guess what! I've grown, and I'm not just talking about my hair!

First let me thank the many of you who have followed me and stuck with me through the ups and downs of Journey to My Roots and my love child, Quench Moisturizer by Journey to My Roots

If you've been around from the beginning, you may recall my 'promise' to keep Journey to My Roots it about all and only hair. I'd say unfortunately but rather I'm saying Glory to God. I'm going to have to ask your forgiveness because I can no longer keep that promise. As I said.....I've grown!

Over the last few years, my life has changed beyond measure! While I'd always known God, It was not until recently that I truly began to walk with Jesus. Since beginning that walk, EVERY aspect of my life  has changed. Has it been a cakewalk? No! But iron sharpens iron and my time with Jesus has made me a much better person! While I could keep this over-abundance of joy to myself, it's impossible. My cup truly runneth over with the love of God. I couldn't keep it to myself it I tried. It's for this reason that Journey to My Roots has become a new thing.

I could go on and on but I think this video explains everything. 

Now that you understand the change, you probably understand the recent posts on social, political, and other issues that impact our thoughts, our community, our world.

Here's a link to the my latest social commentary blog; 


Please check it out and comment. The only rule to engagement is RESPECT. We can disagree without being disagreeable but fact is, it's time that our community address these hard issues head on. If you get to a stalemate, agree to disagree and keep it moving. 

NEW CHALLENGE! #thepursuitofhealthiness
All this said, the community cannot be healed absent the healing of the individuals. To that end, I've begun a new challenge/initiative called #thepursuitofhealthiness. 

As part of the #pursuitofhealthiness, I am going to make my best effort to eat better, exercise more, and live better. It pains me to post this picture but fact is, we can't change things that we're not honest about and quite honestly, I need to lose weight. 

Sure, there will be people who will laugh and leave hateful messages but again, go I found this in Google Images and thought it was a perfect response to this and many other issues on life; 

Lesson: Stop caring about the hateful words of people you don't know who's opinion doesn't matter. At the end of the day versus being angry, we should pray for people who have nothing better to do with their time and talents than sit online trying to diminish the life light of another human being. 

So what does it mean to join the #pursuitofhappiness?
Not much at all and it will vary by person. To pursue means to be in chase of. Daily let's try to be in chase of better health, kinder hearts, and more giving spirits. Personally, I'm going to start with diet and exercise. While there are countless trainers and tools available online, I feel better tipping my toe in the water before jumping in the pool. No pun intended but it's for this reason that versus traditional aerobics, I've started water aerobics. I LOVE swimming so this was a win-win and a no-brainer for me! As the summer/warmer months come around, I'll restart personal training. I go to NShape Fitness or Souled Owt Fitness

Keep in mind, exercise alone is not going to do it. Bob Harper, guru to the stars and host of of the Biggest Loser stated the following about body weight while on a recent episode of Oprah's 'So Where Are They Now': 
"It is about 80 percent your nutrition; it is 20 percent fitness."

With that in mind, I picked up two teas made by Argo the other day. They're healthy and they're DELICIOUS! Unfortunately, they're also about $3 each. 
While they're absolutely worth it, I decided to try my hand at a DIY or Do it Yourself recipe. See how in this video tutorial. 

So there you have it folks; all the cards are on the table. 
Journey to My Roots is headed in a new direction.
Will you stick with me? I trust God that you will. He told me you would and unlike man, he cannot lie. 
His word will never return void.

May God Bless and keep you my friends!

March 12, 2016

Vintage Updo...Sassy & Simple Style for Natural or Relaxed Hair!

If you know me, you know I love all things vintage! Be it Madam CJ Walker, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Billie Holiday, or Coretta Scott King, these women and the styles they wore scream class, culture, and distinction. While history tells some very ugly truths about this time, it paints that truth behind an enghanting picture, a picture that includes elegant updos, curls adorned with flowers, and jewelry as hairpieces.

When I first went natural, one of my FAVORITE Youtubers was Curly ChroniclesShe has some of the most gorgeous yet creative and simple vintage styles ever.

So given my love of vintage, I'm thrilled to share this video tutorial. 
Natural or relaxed, this simple updo is a great vintage style! Check it out then like, comment, reshare, and please SUBCRIBE, SUBCRIBE, SUBSCRIBE!

Please share your comments below and if you try this style, please share your pictures. I'd love to create an album and reshare them. You can reach me at journeytomyroots@gmail.com

Want more vintage looks. Click on the picture below to check out a throwback tutorial from Curly Chronicles.

She's grown her brand since the original days as Curly Chronicles. 
You can now find her as The Retro Natural @ http://theretronatural.blogspot.com
Definitely check her out. She's a real thinker. 
She's funny, intelligent, and beautiful beyond words. You'll learn a lot of science with her as well and you know I LOVE that. Say it with me, 'The more you know, the more you grow!'

Til next time, much love and God bless!

March 6, 2016

The Simply Straight Straightening Brush on Natural Hair- A Product Review

They're all the rage but do they work? Simply Straight is a ceramic straightening brush. Check out my product review and find out the following:

  • Does it work???????
  • How does it compare to flat ironing or using a hot comb?
  • How do I use it and what do I need to know before getting started?
I cover all that and more in this product review video.

Please like, comment, reshare, and most importantly

Thanks for checking it out! If you try or have tried the Simply Straight (or any other brand), please share your experience. I'd love to see your pictures too. Email them to me @ journeytomyroots@gmail.com

Thanks and God Bless!

January 29, 2016

DIY Hair Accessories

Is that a necklace; a necklace and hair pin; or an ornate hair accessory? Yes! It's whatever my heart fancies!

I don't know about you but I'm completely shocked by the cost of a simple headband or decorative hair comb these days. You can call me cheap. You can call me wise prudish. But if there's one thing you cannot call me it's wasteful! I simply refuse to pay exorbitant prices for flimsy flowers on cheap plastic bands!

That said, I do love a high-quality, beautifully-made, hair piece. 
Such is the specialty of BoutiqueDeBandeaux (BDB) on Etsy!
Click the picture below to check out her offerings.


BDB makes GORGEOUS hair couture especially designed with thick, curly, hair in mind. I love that many of her items are silk-lined- a must for us natural girls who know that cotton absorbs the moisture right out of your hair.

So while some boutiques, create ornate items that are worth paying for (i.e. Boutique Bandeaux), you too can make beautiful hair pieces. It's super simple and best of all....it's practically free!

Check out my latest video, DIY (Do it yourself) Hair Accessories to learn how to fashion your own hair pieces with a bit of creativity and ingenuity. I don't know about you but I have more pieces of jewelry than I'll ever wear and more flowers than I'll ever decorate with. Why not put them to good use? Learn how here:

In addition to the pictures on the video, you can head on over to my Facebook page to see even more ideas in my album, DIY Hair Accessories. Please be sure to 'like' my page. I truly appreciate your support.

Here's a couple of other ideas:
  • Have spare weave or Kankelon hair? Braid it and wrap it around your head as a headband.
  • Got tons of buttons you've collected over the years from the clothes you've bought? Use a glue gun and glue all different kinds to a thick ribbon and tie it around your head as a headband!
  • Be sure to check out Dollar Tree. They have tons of great clip on decorations such as these butterflies. Clip them to a stretchy headband and viola, you've got another cute hair piece!

So what do you think? Share in the comments and then come on over to the Journey to My Roots Group on Facebook to chat it up. See you there!

Trouble connecting? Click here>>> 

I'd love to see what hair accessories this video inspires you to make. Email your pictures to me at journeytomyroots@gmail.com
I'd love to post them!

Thanks again Journeyers. God Bless!