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Redefining Beauty

So our daughters grow up in a world in which wearing their natural hair is just natural.

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Headlines on The Web
  • "With 4C hair, highly textured hair, it was actually used as more of an art form," Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, assistant professor of psychology and researcher at the University of the District of Columbia, tells Bustle. "Our hair was supposed to grow up towards to the heavens as a way to connect to the spiritual world."
  • ... the guidelines specifically mention the right of New Yorkers to maintain their “natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.”

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    Just the other day, I was surfing on LinkedIn - the popular jobs and career network, when I came across a shared post unlike anything I've ever seen on that platform. One of my connections had shared a post by one of hers announcing that she had just published a children's book centered on Natural African Hair. Her primary aim with this book is to boost self acceptance and self esteem in kids who've been blessed with Afro hair. As you can imagine, I was immediately excited; but I wasn't the only one. Here's a screenshot of a comment on the post in question. As you can imagine, I simply had to share my excitement about this new book; which is particularly close to my heart because it is written by a Nigerian. I'm Nigerian too :smiley: A look through the book's Kindle sample and its reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads left me with the conviction that an interview with the author was mandatory. The book is just that good. The illustrations are beautiful - thumbs up to the illustrator, Debopriya Banerjee. And the book seems to stick with positive depictions. Talk about a steady flow of "good vibes".  The autour, Mrs. Marietta Iyinbor hearthily welcomed the idea of an interview piece, and we did the question and answer exchange via email. Below are all my questions, and the answers she gave. Hope you draw loads of insight from this; and some inspiration as well.    Q : What's the inspiration behind your book, "I Have Good Hair"? A : Good day all!  So, I got inspiration for my book when I decided I wanted to start writing for children. And because the kinky curly natural hair movement is very dear to me I thought “why not write a book to help build self- esteem in children” and I came up with ‘I Have Good Hair’.  Q : What was it like creating this book? Especially as a first time, self-published author? A : Oh! Good question. The experience was exasperating, but very rewarding. I was completely drained of energy by the time I was done with writing, editing and the illustrating process. But then again, every time I think I’m drained, I find a renewed strength to continue with the process of publishing and promoting and making sure parents and children and friends and uncles and aunties know about my empowering book. But all in all, it was a great experience and I’m glad I went through it. Q : Your kids, did they play a direct role in driving you to push through with the creation of this, your very first book? A : Uhm … Not really. Before I had kids, I was a Mandarin and ESL teacher, so I’ve always been around children. Q : And what do you most fondly hope the book gets to achieve now that it’s out there?  A : I truly hope that children and parents read the book and it resonates with them. Q : If you were to write a very succinct introductory piece on yourself - targeted at Naturalistas and Natural African Hair Enthusiasts, how would it read? A : Haha! Good one! I’m not sure … maybe something like “Marietta Iyinbor believes we are all born equally brilliant and beautiful, regardless of your tightness or how lose your curls are. Is that good enough? Q : As an Author, how would you like to be remembered? This might change over time. However, right now, what do you identify as being at the very core of the legacy you want your books to create? A : Wow! That’s a tough one. Uhm, right now, I think I would like to be remembered as someone who decided to write, to go through the process and finish a children’s book all by herself. Q : What's your favourite page in the book, "I Have Good Hair"? A : The part second page where she says “Here feel my hair…” and her robot friend goes on his toes and reaches out his hand to feel her hair. It’s such a simple moment but a defining one because if you’re a female you’ve been in that position where after you’ve done your hair right, gone through something like wash day, and you know your hair is looking and feeling amazing, you go about looking for someone to touch it and tell you what a great job you’re doing. Haha! It’s vain, but trust me, that validation from your hair, yourself and a friend is the best feeling ever. Any person who takes care of their hair will relate to that line, I believe. Q : And would you be willing to share an image of that page with readers?  A: Yes!! I have dozens of photos of the one photo! Lol! The book is currently available both in print and on Amazon Kindle. You can go grab your copy here. If you also want to get to know some more about the authour, why not check out Marietta's Author Profile on Amazon - simply click here. And because you just might want to look up the reviews on Goodreads as well, here's a link to that - click here. 
    In order to go from relaxed hair to natural,you have two options.transitioning or the big chop..i just want to emphasize on transitioning because transitioning from relaxed hair to natural is very sensitive and tends to break at the demarcation line which is the point where the natural hair meets the relaxed hair..In order to be sucessful you must stop getting perms now.Wash your hair with sulphate free shampoo..Sulphate strips the hair off its natural moisture and leaves your hair dry and dull.I had to learn the hard way..I prefer shea moisture.Make sure you deep condition your hair once every two weeks but for me i prefer weekly..this leaves your hair soft and moistured..I also recommend a good leave in conditioner which contains natural ingredients.Its all trials and error with some conditioners.Once you find a conditioner that works ,stick to it. Now,styling your hair into protective styles are very important.If you want to go without weaves and braids,try twist out,braids out,pincurls or roller sets.These styles will help blend in your two different hair textures and you wont have to keep doing your hair everyday..You can make your style last up to a week by doing the pineapple method.You basically pull your hair upwards and wrap a satin scarf around it when you go to bed. Lastly avoid heat as much as possible.Blowdrying,flat ironing,curling irons can screw up your natural hair pattern and damage your hair even more..Also,if your hair feels dry,dont hesitate to spray a little water mixed with your essential oils like castor oil,coconut oil,flaxeed oil,jojoba oil,etc..Natural hair loves water.... During the transitioning period,try to avoid manipulations as much as possible to retain as much growth without doing the big chop...REMEMBER,ITS ALL ABOUT DETERMINATION...
    Dear All, In my last post I talked about Guava Leaves as a natural remedy for our hair. Well I have used it (on Saturday) in my last wash routine and I have to say that it was a wonderful experience. After I applied shampoo, as usual, my hair felt hard,. When I applied the Guava leave rinse, my hair didn't only feel soft but I felt so relaxed and... I don't know...it just felt wonderful. And i saw my baby hair laying down when I run my hand through (while it was still wet in the Guava leaves water). For the first time, even though i never thought I had "baby hairs" :smiley: Always used to say I was bald because my hair starts very far from my forehead. I really like the way I and my hair felt when i applied the Guava leaves water; and as thought, I will be including it in my wash routines. I was screaming in the bathroom in satisfaction. Wish I could upload some pics but my cable isn't working. Nana Ama, now I can comfortably say that yes! the Guava leaves worked, really. And congratulations on the new born! Blog image courtesy to:http://www.wellordie.com/ Bye...Have a great week ahead! :kiss::wave:
    Common Hair Mistakes Whether new or long time Naturalist, there are some mistakes we make or have made previously. This post is to make us aware of these mistakes and help us avoid them. Here are a few mistakes we make: * Trim, Not Chop Off A lot of people make this mistake. Just because you have read a lot of natural hair blogs and watched so many videos and the say trim your hair for it to grow does not mean you should. Except it is necessary don't trim it. I have been growing my hair for two years plus and I have never trimmed my hair. Some people would argue with me that it is not right but I disagree with that. My hair is perfectly fine and the tips are fine and stand along, it hardly tangles….like ever. So I do not see the need to trim. Do not get me wrong if your hair tip tangles a lot you may need to trim it. Not every month or every two months. Maybe once a year or twice a year. And it should be trimmed not chopped off. * Moisturize, Not Over-Oil When it comes to this there is a thin line. We use oils while we moisturise our hair to help lock the moisture along with all that natural oil the hair produces. Sometimes i touch someone's hair and it is not moisturised at all. It is just oily. Just oil. No moisture. We must understand the difference. Applying too much oil does not help your hair at all rather it stunts growth. We must understand the difference and apply the products we use moderately. * Wash, Not Strip Off Oil When we wash our hair the purpose is to remove dirt from the hair and scalp. But the truth is when most of us wash our hair we wash so hard and use insanely hot water that all the natural oil in the hair which ought to be preserved is washed off. Totally gone. Why?! Washing does not mean you should kill your hair and scalp. Always use non-sulfate shampoos and warm water. And focus on the scalp. Wash calmly. The hair will come out clean. Trust me. * Comb, Not Yank Off I see how so many people comb their hair and then complain about how their hair has refused to grow. I'm like "are you kidding me?" You don't comb that hair, you try your best to pull it out of its roots. We create so much stress and pull on the hair when we comb it sometimes, that it's like we want to pull it out. Comb your hair with love and patience. You should read more about combing your hair in one of my previous posts “Combing That Hair” * Protect, Not Cut Off Edges & Pull Out Hair When I see some people and their protective hair styles I want to scream at them "Noooo!!!!" You are not protecting it at all. You should never make hair styles that pull your edges or even your hair too much. You find out when you loosen your hair that your hair breaks so much. What is the essence of making a so called protective style if it is doing the total opposite to your hair. * Pack Your Hair, Not Pull It Out Puffs are beautiful and so are buns. I love them so much. But a lot of people go about getting these styles done the wrong way. Don't pull so hard. Dont do that. You would just dress your hair too much, when you lose the bun it would just break. Why all that stress. Pull moderately. Use styling gel to get the sleek relaxed look. Not pulling. Don't hurt your hair and yourself. If you do not know how to do it ask someone who can to do it for you. These are the few which I thought are real pressing and must mention. Feel free to add others in the comments section. Thank you.
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