July 15, 2016

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

CONGRATULATIONS! 
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!

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! 
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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

Scarf-a-palooza!

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. 
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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 
SUBSCRIBE, SUBSCRIBE, SUBSCRIBE!

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 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.

 BoutiquedeBandeaux

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!

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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!

November 30, 2015

Product Review: Softee Argan Oil Styling Gel

If you know me, you know I have been a looooooooooooooooong time fan of EcoStyler Olive Oil Styling Gel. 


Matter of fact, it's one of the items on my list of 'natural hair necessities'. What else is on the list? Check it out....


This list has come with time and test so while it's hard to get on the list, it's hard to get off as well. Nonetheless, I am willing to try new things. I'm a woman. It's our prerogative to change our minds. 


To that end, I recently tried Softee's Argan Oil Styling Gel. It was $1 at the Dollar Tree so I figured why not. So what's the verdict? Check out the product review below:


Have you tried this product? What did 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!

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November 11, 2015

Product Review: Suave Macadamia Oil and White Orchid Infusion


Suave Macadamia Oil and White Orchid
Natural Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner


If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for a  heavenly scent and a pretty bottle. Add the fact that these products were on sale for only $2 and surely you can understand why I just had to try Suave's NEW Natural Macadamia Oil and White Orchid Infused Shampoo and Conditioner. 

See my review in the video below. If you haven't, PLEASE subscribe, like, comment, and spread the word! THANKS!


So what's my verdict?
 You'll have to see the video but I'll remind you of something I say ALL of the time. The more you know, the healthier it will grow! Being able to read ingredient labels is of the utmost importance if you are to have a successful hair journey. My experience with this product only confirms that assertion.

Check out my blog on the mislabeling of 'natural' hair products by clicking the picture or link below:

 Reading Product Ingredient Labels

http://journey2myroots.blogspot.com/2012/01/mislabeling-of-pure-natural-and-organic.html

What about you?


Have you tried Suave's Macadamia Oil and White Orchid line before? What about their Rosemary and Mint  or Almond and Coconut line? What did you think? Share in the comments section below and then come on over to the Journey to My Roots Group on Facebook to chat it up even more. 

Much love curlfriends!




October 22, 2015

Andre Walker: Master Stylist, Healthy Hair Guru, and Natural Hair Icon

Master Stylist, Healthy Hair Guru, Natural Hair Icon
Andre Walker
Source: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/andre-walkers-natural-line-will-you-buy-it/
This weekend I had the opportunity to watch Oprah's 'Where Are They Now' on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). If you've seen my videos 'Hair typing 101' (https://youtu.be/DmM4QrPTI1Q), you've heard me mention Andre Walker. If you haven't you may be asking yourself, who is Andre Walker and why should I care? 

The embodiment of a master stylist, Andre Walker is the man who has styled Oprah for 30+ years. We have Andre to thank for the following looks: 

Source: http://theamericanparlor.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html
 By her side for 30+ years, in last week's episode of 'Where Are They Now', Andre shares his favorite and not so favorite looks over the years as well as what he's up to now. 
 Missed it? No worries, you can catch it below:




Always one with an opinion, hear my thoughts in this short video:


What about you? What did you think of the interview? Have you had a chance to try Andre's new hair line? What did you think?


Source: Google Images

There's no denying that Mr. Walker has what the old folks used to call 'growing hands'. While she wears wigs to protect her hair from the damage that would be caused by daily blow drying and styling, Oprah Winfrey has a head full of GORGEOUS natural hair. 
Source: Google Images

Chris Rock was absolutely flabbergasted when he learned that Oprah has a head of long, thick, natural hair. He was so shocked, he had to check it out for himself. LOL! 


Filmed in 2009, Chris was on the show to discuss his award-winning documentary 'Good Hair'. If you haven't seen it, you absolutely must! Wigged, weaved, relaxed, or natural, it encourages us to have a healthy dialogue about 'hair' including the social norms for acceptable styles, the market for 'human hair', the increasing rift between Asian and Black-owned beauty supply stores, and so much more. 
Want to hear more about the challenges of being black opening a beauty supply store in the historically Asian dominated market? Check out Janice Frederick's story below! Click the picture to hyperlink to the article.

Fabulous Freddy founder Janice Frederick
Beyond Oprah's hair, I think Andre is due much respect for coining the lingo of hair typing. See my tutorial on hair typing below:

Hair Typing 101 Part 1


Hair Typing 101 Part II

Learn more about the 7 (yes, SEVEN!!!)
 time Emmy Award winner @ http://www.andrewalkerhair.com
While most often associated with Oprah, did you know that Andre has styled our current first lady, Michelle Obama as well as previous first lady Barbara Bush? Learn more about Andre, his new product line, and more http://www.andrewalkerhair.com

So what do you think? Share your thoughts and show some love and respect to legendary hair icon Andre Walker in the comments section below.

Afterwards come on over to Facebook and chime in as part of the group! 
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