Save the Date: Bay Area Meet Up March 25th!

It’s been far far far too long since I’ve hosted a meet up on the West Coast and I’m thrilled to announce that in just three short weeks, we’ll be having some NorCal Naturalista fun hosted by myself and Karen of NaturallyBeautiful Hair Blog! The meet up is going down on Sunday March 25h from 2-6pm at The Omni Hotel in San Francisco (500 California Street).  Sponsored by Beautiful Textures, “Texture Talk” will feature:

  • Complimentary admission, healthy snack and goodie bags for all attendees
  • G-g-g-giveaways!
  • Q&A panel for you to answer any and all of your natural hair questions by we the hostesses and special guest, Beautiful Textures Brand Ambassador Felicia Leatherwood
  • Personal scalp health analyses by Felicia herself!  (spaces will be limited so stay tuned to learn how you can sign up for a slot!)
  • Cash bar if you feel so inclined!  (it’s always happy hour somewhere, right!?)

I’ve been at events all over the place these days and I’m really excited to bring it back home where it all got started!  Make sure to RSVP HERE to secure your space!  Yay!  See you all soon!!

 

 

 

Naturals Night Out: The Full Gallery

Welp.  Its finally here: the full Naturals Night Out gallery. Enjoy! I think that these snaps truly capture the beauty and spirit of the evening. If you’re bummed you missed this one or you want some more Bay Area Naturals action, be sure to SAVE THE DATE of Saturday May 21st for our next Naturals Night Out, which will be taking place at Madusalon in San Francisco in partnership with Jessicurl! Hope to see you there! Now without further ado, the pictures:

Naturals Night Out ROCKED! Wrap Up + Picture Preview

What can I say? We came, we saw, and we got our natural on!! Over 60 naturals from all over Northern California came out en masse this past Saturday to Head Designs Salon for an evening of natural community, learning, and fun! The event was hosted by Natural Selection and sponsored by Komaza Care, a Sacramento-based natural hair company, and NaturallyCurly.com, the web’s leading resource dedicated to textured hair.

This was Natural Selection’s 4th event and as such welcomed many old friends as well as new faces into the fold! The main features of the evening were three styling demos by Ms. Sheila Head, owner of Head Designs Salon, and Gracie, expert loctician of HDS. These master stylists brought it with over 30 years of experience and true passion for caring for natural hair. Styling demo’s included a two-strand twist and twist out, a curly shaping and growing-out cut, and a loc updo.

The entire Komaza Care family came in for the event from Sacramento and mingled with guests and answered questions about their natural hair products. During the styling demos, Jenn and Rene, Komaza’s co-owners provided an in depth overview of their products and how they were being used in the styles being demonstrated.  While Komaza has a seriously extensive product catalog, their Califia, Coconut, and Moku product lines were the  starlettes of the evening.  It was truly a sensory experience for all attendees as jars and cups of products were passed around the audience during the demos so that guests could smell and feel each of the products as they were being used.

Together, Komaza Care and Head Designs Salon dropped some serious natural hair knowledge! I think I can speak for all attendees when I say that I really did learn a lot about ingredients, what to look for in a stylist (a consultation!), cutting techniques, and styling strategies for ALL curly hair textures!

There was a photographer on hand at the event who captured the evening beautifully, but I know y’all don’t want to wait TOO long for those pictures, so I wanted to share just a few of my own until that gallery is up and running. Here you go!

 

Komaza's display. Attendees eyed their gift baskets all evening, but only three were lucky enough to walk home with them.

 

sisters from Belgium who are living in the US for a year.”] s

Posing with Diane and Nancy - two natural [biological

 

Jenn, co-owner of Komaza Care, explains the Coconut line as Sheila prepares to cut the model's hair and style with the product

The audience watches on as Heather settles in to be styled by loctician, Gracie

 

Sandra shows off her new NaturallyCurly Curly Cocktail - a box filled with great products catered for highly textured hair

 

Even my Nana came to support. (she lives in Minnesota and I was so jazzed to have her there!)

 

Gracie demonstrates a two strand twist technique on lovely hair model Savon'a

 

All eyes on the cut

Fatimah shows off her fantastic transitioning style!

The grand unveiling: Heather's loc updo!

 

Savon's final twist out (objectively one of the best I've ever seen!)

 

Rene, co-owner of Komaza, and Tonia, hair model,

 

 

Its all in the family: Heather is my Aunt and her husband, Andy, came out to support. Showing off her final updo style here.

 

The models and stylists pose for the paparazzi

Thank you shout outs:
NaturallyCurly.com – for their generous sponsorship of the super cute totes and samples that all attendees took home and Curly Cocktail giveaways
Komaza Care – for coming to the event and sharing their products, hair care knowledge, and passion for “Encouraging Growth” (that is what Komaza means in Swahili)
Head Designs Salons – for welcoming us into their space and demonstrating their styling expertise
Sheena’s Events – for making Naturals Night Out (and me) run smoothly
Miss Fatemeh – for the cute sunflower accessory giveaway from her Etsy shop
Heather, Savon’a, and Tonia – for lending their heads for the evening’s demonstrations
Bubba- por la musica
YOU – for reading, coming, asking, engaging, supporting, watching, and learning. That’s what we’re all about!

***MARK YOUR CALENDARS***

Sunday April 17th – Afternoon Curl Talk for STL Naturals, St. Louis, MO

Saturday May 21st – Naturals Night Out – San Francisco, CA

All in the Family: My Aunt Heather’s Locs

While my sister Skya is new to the locs (and still loving them), I have a couple seasoned loc veterans in my family.  One of them being my Aunt Heather who has had locs for over a decade now!  There’s a lot of focus on loose naturals over here so I asked Heather to do a guest blog on her lovely locs!  (Gotta love my curly cousins in the snaps too!) Read on readers!


It’s been 10 years since I took my $125.00, had-since-high-school, human-hair, shoulder-length, braid extensions out and made an appointment with “Rory” a guy who “can twist it up for you real nice”. It’s been 10 years since I walked into Follicles on Grand Avenue in Oakland, took off my hat, sat down in the chair, looked in the mirror, winced in horror, shampooed, conditioned, trimmed and finally twisted. It’s been 10 years since I walked out of that salon and showed my real hair, my REAL hair, to the world. Yes, it’s been 10 years and I haven’t looked back. I love my locs.  My locs came with a freedom I’d been yearning for for decades! My locs came with a reality-check that I desperately needed.  Happily, I can say that my locs grew with me as I grew into myself.

Living with locs

Most of you probably already know basically all there is too know about locs, they are that easy to care for. At least for me. Upkeep is at a minimum. Especially if you have some length to your locs, which means ponytails, clips, bandoos, and headbands make it really simple.  I suppose caring for your locs could require some work. I see plenty of folks around here who obviously give their locs much more attention than I, but for ME, a mother of two who likes to exercise, I keep it fairly simple.

The breakdown: I go to Michelle, (my loc specialist, owner of Naturally Yours hair care in East Oakland) every 4 weeks. (3 weeks is nice, 5 week is too long). She washes, conditions, twists, and sets. That takes 1.5 hours. Then to the dryer I go – another 1.5hrs. A quick spritz of glosser/conditioner when I’m dry and that’s it. I’m on my way until next month.  My routine at home is also pretty straightforward. Because I often sleep with a nightcap on, the frizzes are kept to a minimum. In the morning (*I shower at night usually), I use a braid sheen spray to “freshen” my locs and moisturize my scalp. I run my fingers vigorously through my locs to even out the spray. Then depending on my mood, the weather, the position of the sun, and how much time I have, I may add another product or two. I rotate between: Oil sheen, Murray’s Beeswax or Miracle gro hair pomdade. I run one, maybe two, of those generously through all of my locs and things look pretty good. The aforementioned products are my tried and true. These I always have on hand. And I’ve tried A WHOLE LOTTA things over the years, but always come back to these. They are affordable and reliable and my locs, on my head, with my hair texture, like ‘em.

What type of hair texture do I have you ask? I would say your average run of the mill, standard coarse, but not too coarse, black hair.  After my fist visit to Rory it pretty much locked all on it’s own. The new growth took right away to it’s new life and continued to be happier and healthier than it ever was before. I was on to something.

*If I shower in the morning, I use the same process, but perhaps blow dry a bit so they are not so damp.

A Natural Natural Redhead

When I discovered that this fellow Bay Area Natural’s natural hair color was red, I knew I just had to feature her.  At first I was a skeptic: “send me a picture from when you were little.” She did.  And here you have it, Nicole– a true natural redhead with a head full of gorgeous natural curls! Read on for the interview!



C: Tell me about your curly hairstory.

N: Well, I always remember getting relaxers. My mom attended cosmetology school so she applied my relaxers and kept my hair healthy…as healthy as you can keep relaxed hair. My hair was always long, but during my last year of college I noticed that my hair started thinning at the crown. My mom encouraged me to see my dermatologist and my doctor said that it was bubble hair and she suggested that I stop putting chemicals in my hair until the spot grew out. Well, my hair was in the middle of my back and the patch of hair where the hair broke off was about 1/2 an inch long. I looked at my doctor like she was crazy! No more relaxers?! After pouting for a few days I started doing some research on going natural. That was November 2006 and I really didn’t know where to begin so after 3 frustrating months of trying to blend my new growth and my relaxed hair and my patch of confused hair I decided to chop it all off. My mom and I experimented with every and any product out there and I learned to love my TWA. But then one day my TWA wasn’t so TW anymore and a friend suggested getting my hair pressed. VOILA! Straight hair without the chemicals!! Hallelujah! There is a huge natural hair scene in Atlanta, but most women I know get their hair pressed. I started pressing my hair in 2008 and I didn’t stop until I moved from Atlanta to the Bay area almost 5 months ago and couldn’t find a stylist. I feel like I’m back at square one, reading the natural hair blogs, buying products and praying that they will work and dealing with 2 different textures (my curls and my heat damaged ends). I’m falling in love with my natural curls all over again. I will probably give my mom the honor of doing BC #2 whenever I go back to Atlanta.
C: When and how did your “learn” how to do your hair?

N: I was forced to learn how to do my own hair in October 2010 because I couldn’t find a stylist in the Bay area that could press my hair without burning it and leaving me bald. My mom tried to explain styling techniques over the phone and I was confused so I watched YouTube for hours on end and learned how to flat twist. Natural hair care blogs have really saved my hair!

C: What’s your current regimen and what products do you use now?

N: Oh, where should I begin! I wash and deep condition my hair every Sunday then I do flat twists and wear a twist out during the week. I usually have to re-twist my hair every other night because my straight ends like to do their own thing. I sleep with a bonnet or satin pillowcase to avoid spit ends.

Pre-wash oil treatment: jojoba, olive, grape seed oil

Shampoo: Chagrin Valley shampoo bars (butter bar & ayurvedic bar) or Giovanni Smooth as Silk

Conditioner: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle & Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose

Deep condition: Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning treatment

Leave in: Paul Mitchell The Conditioner & Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner

Style: Curl Soufflé & Komaza Coconut Curl Pudding

Moisturizer: Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Buttercream & Komaza Coconut Curl Hair Lotion

C: Any tips/tricks/techniques you’d like to share?

N: Tip–If you can, find a curl friend or a blogger with a hair texture similar to your own because it really helps. I think you (Cassadie) and I have similar curl patterns and I’ve found that products that you like typically work for my hair. So you’ve saved me some money and have helped me to find some products that really work with my curls.

C: Can you share a curly anecdote or memory with us?*

N: I have one favorite curly memory that comes to mind. When I did my 1st BC my then 3 year old brother said “your hair! What did you do?!” My mom said “what’s wrong? You don’t like your sister’s new hair?” and he said “It’s fine. I like it. I love her.” I wasn’t a cry baby until he arrived (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and that memory makes me smile and cry every time.

C: Redheads are pretty rare, black redheads are even rarer.  What was it like growing up as a redhead?  And what’s it like now?

N: I actually didn’t realize how different I looked until I moved from Massachusetts to Georgia when I was 7 years old. I am the only redhead in my family (that I know of) and I thought it was odd that people asked questions about my hair color, but as a child I didn’t think much of it. My balding Grandfather would tell people “she got it from me! Her hair is just like mine”. When I moved to Georgia the kids at school would say “both of your parents aren’t black because black people don’t have red hair” or “how do you know that you weren’t adopted?” And those were harsh things to hear as a child. My mom told me that she prayed to God for a healthy baby with a unique feature and she was blessed with a healthy, redhead. Now that I’m older people assume that I dye my hair so they just ask “what color do you use?” It used to be annoying, but I’m used to it. I’ve noticed that my hair is much brighter now that I am natural so when I see pictures of my hair sometimes even I am shocked at how bright it is.

C: If you could use three words to describe your hair, what would they be?

N: Coily, red, amazing!

Styling a Lil Curly Girl: Simone

A few weeks ago I had the delight of spending the afternoon hanging out with and doing the hair of Simone, a super cute and crazy sweet 4-year old girl.  Her mom, Elizabeth, and I connected to help Elizabeth acquire more tips, techniques, and product knowledge specifically catered to her daughter’s highly textured, mixed-heritage hair.  Upon arrival, Simone’s ponytailed hair was not at all in bad shape, but I could see that with a healthy dose of moisture and a bit of styling product, we could have those curls poppin in no time!

Simone Before

I selected a few products from my own arsenal to test out on Simone’s hair, but immediately after she sat down and I saw her looser blackboard chalk sized curls and fine strands, I knew that a regimen of heavy oils, creams, and butters would weigh this little lady’s hair down just a bit too much and that gels were going to be the way to go.

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Rock Your Natural! This Saturday Oct 23rd

Well I sure am getting quite excited for this Saturday’s Bay Area Naturals Meet Up we’ve got going on!  A lot of people have been asking me some questions about the event, so how about we do some FAQ’s, hmm?  Great.  Here goes:

  • Can I bring my kids/husband/partner/friend?

Please do!  We’ve had kids at these events before and they LOVED attending.  Plus I think its great for the little ones’ self esteem to be surrounded by a bunch of natural heads.  The mentality here is the more the merrier!!

  • Should I bring cash?

Please do.  Entry is $15 at the door.  Plus there will be a couple vendors selling crochet hats, earrings, and skincare delights so you’ll want to be sure to snag some of those too!

  • Can I take public transportation?

You sure can!  Levende East is just 3 blocks from the 12th St/City Center BART stop in Oakland.  AC Transit has several lines that run close to there as well.  As for me, I’ll be biking from SF, so if you want to hop on two-wheels with me, let me know!! :)

  • Do I have to be a full natural to come?  What if I’m transitioning/just curious about being natural/a natural supporter?

Nope!  All are welcome to the event!  For those that are thinking about going natural or just starting in on the transition, there will be plenty of veterans around to answer your questions.  If you’re a supporter, that is so cool of you to want to join and you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

  • What’s on the menu?

Light hors d’oeuvres to  the tune of  mac’n'cheese, mini sirloin burgers, chicken tacos, cheese plates, roasted chicken wings, and eggplant dip.  Deewishis!!

  • Will you do a styling event soon pleeeease?

Sure will…soon…very very soon.  And I’ll be announcing the details on Saturday alllllll about it!

  • Is this going to be fun?

Oh yea.  Hella fun.

See you Saturday y’all!!!

with sponsors

From Frustration to Free Flowin' Curls!

Back in June I received and responded to a letter from a desperate transitioner, Worn Out in SF, who was so fed up with the process of going natural that she questioned not only her ability to rock her natural, but also if “going natural” was for everybody.

Well guess who is three months natural and LOVING IT!  Seems like today she is less “Worn Out” and more “Wearin’ it Well”!  I wanted to share with you this letter and photos that this formerly frustrated transitioner turned full-fledged, fellow natural sent over to Natural Selection.

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