Natural Hair and the Workplace

Tell me something my naptural readers… how does your boss or co workers react to your natural kinky/curly/coily hair?

This isn’t coming from a place of my boss hates my natural hair or chastises me for having Luquisha out e’ryday. My boss is totally loves everything about my natural hair and encourages me to remain natural. #mostawesomebossEVER

But seriously, I know I’m not in the majority in this topic of discussion.

Tons of bosses don’t understand why women AND men would rather wear their kinky/curly/coily hair out than straighten, cut or wear it in a more “presentable” fashion. Many of them don’t understand the “process” in which it takes to be “presentable” by their standards. Many of them don’t even care to understand and just want to impose a false standard of how people should appear in the workforce.

Again, I have not experienced any backlash from anyone at my job about my hair. My co workers, both male and female, tend to compliment my hair. However, there are also a few other natural folks in my building so maybe that’s why I haven’t had the experience as some other people I’ve read about or seen on YouTube.

But still I am curious and really want to start a positive conversation about this because I think it affects more than just black people. I feel that just because a person [of any color] should not be defined by the hair that grows out of his or her head. But I know there are people in Corporate America that would define my abilities solely because upper management may presume that I’m not as educated as I am because Luquisha has a damn mind of her own.

I dunno. I’m just curious. I think as more people return to their natural hair texture, the more employers will hopefully start to look past appearance and view the person, his or her resume and the work experience as what really matters.

Anyway.. I’m just putting this out there. Please comment below and let me know your views or experiences.

 

Thanks for reading and stay fro-tastic…

 

the southern yankee

 

Luquisha Renáe Update: 2 years 8 months Naptural

So y’all know me and Luquisha got issues with each other. She’s stubborn. I’m stubborn. I’m lazy and she don’t be acting right 95.5% of the time.

Since my last Luquisha update, which was last June, I feel Luquisha has grown a quite a bit. My last “trim” was I believe in May or June 2014. I don’t really remember cuz I hated it. I love my beautician but I feel like she cut waaaaay too much off when I saw her last year. Yes I know it had been prolly since before my baby sister’s wedding last January but DAYUM!!

I was really just unhappy with my cut. I’m usually really excited about my trims but this time not so much. Plus sigh my beautician is old skool. She does natural hair but she don’t do natural hair. And since this is my second stint at being natural, I really wanted her to do more and play but I mean I understand cuz she’s really popular at the salon especially on Saturdays. So outta fear, I haven’t been back since. I thought I was suppose to go in October but turns out the appointment was set for December 27th. Needless to say I cancelled the appointment.

However, what I did do was try a new salon and stylist. Look if you know me well I’m really particular about who does my hear. I can go pretty much anywhere but I usually ask for black beauticians. I usually only go to salons that employ black beauticians. Well for my birthday last month, I not only did I try a new salon but the stylist/beautician was not ethnic. It’s possible that she may be a percentage ethnic but I am not sure.

Anyway. Her name is Stephanie and she works at Planet Curls off Main St in the Houston Heights. She came highly recommended by my big sis who probably now has a 3b/3c curl pattern. My big sis would never stir me wrong so I went and loved it! Stephanie gave me what’s called a DevaCut.

Now lemme just say I’ve read quite a few articles about DevaCuts and how other black napturals have liked and disliked this style of cutting natural hair. Honestly, I liked the way my hair looked and felt after Stephanie was done cutting, shampooing/conditioning and styling Luquisha. My curls POPPED schun! Popped like they’ve never really have before. That could possibly be because of the gel she used on Luquisha that day.

Speaking of gel, I thought I would a gel convert but alas I am not. I have Miss Jessie’s Coily Custard at home and I likey but I don’t. The DevaCurl Arc AnGEL Stephanie used was great at first application buuuuuuuut after it was fully dry and sitting on my hair for a bit, it became filmy and too stiff. Way more stiff than the Miss Jessie’s and not as soft. I tried breaking the gel cast with oil but it just sat there. It also made my scalp really unnervingly itchy. Ugh it itched worse than not washing my hair for more than two weeks. It was just ratchet!

I finally had to co wash my hair to make it feel better. But that was not even a few days after the appointment. So that was disappointing. But that was the only disappointment about the appointment. Stephanie is really knowledgable about ethnic hair and made really good recommendations on what to do with my hair as well as products. I will be returning to her in the summer.

Aside from going to a new stylist, Luquisha and I still fight on the regular. She’s even more stubborn as before. Or maybe I’m the one who’s stubborn. whatever none of you can prove that

Wash day was yesterday as usual. I did a ACV, coconut, olive oil and distilled water rinse to get rid of the build up. I hadn’t done that in quite some time. After letting the ACV mixture sit on my hair for a bit, I washed Luquisha with SheaMoisture’s SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Shampoo. This shampoo smells sooooo good. Gawd I love the smell. The SuperFruit shampoo usually makes my hair feel soft but I think she felt even softer after the ACV rinse. I could be imagining it but Luquisha definitely felt different.

After shampooing, I deep conditioned with the SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque. I have the masque for the 10-in-1 but I decided to try to finish off the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil masque. I forgot how much Luquisha loves the MHMO masque. Unfortunately, it took longer to apply this masque as it felt like it had been a damn month since I detangled Luquisha. That was not fun and excruciatingly painful. So many damn knots and not enough patience to take them out. This is why Luquisha and I fight so much.

Anyway after application, I sat under the SoftHood blow dryer attached my sister in law and brother got me for Christmas. Soon happy they got that for me. Talk about a ma zing. I sat under the SoftHood for about 10 or so minutes with a clear plastic shower cap. I would’ve stayed under the dryer longer but my tummy was talking rather loudly. So I just put on my satin bonnet over the shower cap to let the masque “bake” some more. I finally rinsed it out about an hour and a half later.

The rest of wash day was consumed with more detangling, applying styling product and twisting my hair which always takes the longest but I’m happy to say I finished before Downton Abbey came on PBS.

So here’s the finished product…

  

Thanks for reading…

 

the southern yankee

 

Note to Self…

…if you’re a napturalista, do NOT ever wait longer than two weeks to wash your hair. Not only will your hair be pissed off at your neglect but knotted beyond the usual level of knot tolerance. Luquisha had small knots. Large knots. Knots on top of fucking knots. What a pain in the fucking ass.

I started my hair around 20:15CT last Tuesday night which lemme just say I hate washing my hair during the week. It’s sooooo dern timing consuming as it is but it just seems to take up so much more time on a weekday. But regardless of the time, I neeeeeeeeeeeeded to wash Luquisha so bad. She felt so über nasty and grimy from all the product and sweat buildup. Ugh why did I wait three weeks to wash my damn hair?! Such a stupid idea!

I washed Luquisha with the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthening, Grow & Restore shampoo. I leave mixed feelings about this shampoo. It cleanses my hair well buuuuuuuuut it feels like stiff and rubbery when I rinse after an intense scratching session. I dunno. I need to figure out how to tweak it a little bit because it costs too damn much to not use the entire bottle. Maybe I’ll add some coconut or olive oil.

Speaking of olive oil, I used it for the first time well intensively on my hair last night. I mixed it with the the ACV rinse as well with the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk and the Miss Jessie’s Leave In Condish. Oh man Luquisha was so easy to detangle with the olive oil. I definitely recommend adding olive oil to your regimen or even just when you’re detangling your hair. Of course, let me just say, it might not work the same on another naturalista’s hair. For me, being natural takes a lot of trial and error, start, stop and repeat. I’ve yet to find a regimen or method that Luquisha likes for more than four or five months. rotten needy heffa

Anyway… Luquisha is somewhat happy now. I woke up early Thursday morning to moisturize her before getting ready for work. Thank gawd Luquisha still likes everything coconut oil based cuz I’m not quite sure what I’d do without it. It’s like crack for the hair or some shit. I’m thinking about deep conditioning her triflin butt today! I need to cuz it’s a fucking minute but we’ll see how lazy I’m not feeling later. Don’t side eye me you understood exactly what I was saying.

 

Thanks for reading….

 

The Southern Yankee

So I Did a Thing…

Sooooooo as you guys know, this is my second stint at being natural. I started my transition in January 2013 and big chopped for the second time in May 2013. If you go back through my posts between then and now, you’ll notice Luquisha has grown quite a bit. In fact, she’s growing far faster than I ever than I thought she would. Of course, I think a lot of her rapid growth is due to me actually taking care of her and being mindful of what she likes and doesn’t like.

I’ve also stopped being so dern lustful over other people’s luxurious kinky/curly/coily ringlets. Yaaaas I said lustful. During my first attempt at being natural, my biggest downfall was wanting hair like my then co worker. I want big hair that covered my ears in the winter and that I could put up in a bun during the summer. I wanted the soft bouncy curls my baby sister has currently and so many others I saw out and about and on the blogs.

I didn’t realize or shall I say I didn’t want to realize that every natural haired person has a different texture. Seriously, if no two strands of my own hair was the same how could I expect to have hair like the next Napturl? So I promised Luquisha that I wouldn’t get to outta control with the hair envy and that I’d be more patient. And I have uhhh for the most part.

Buuuuuuut then I did a thing. It’s important to mention that I don’t do this ummm thing often nor would I contemplate doing this thing more than maybe twice a year; primarily because of cost. Look at the picture below. See the top right picture labeled “after”? Yeah. That happened two maybe three weeks ago.

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My baby sister got married on January 3rd and I wanted to do something different. I also wanted to see exactly how much Luquisha had grown in the last year and months. She’s pretty dern long. At least long by my standards.
The back is right below my collarbone. The sides are almost to the middle of my neck. And my bangs reach my top lip. Yooooo shrinkage is REAL! It amazes me how shrinkage that sounds so durty makes natural hair appear so much shorter than it is in actuality.

For two solid weeks, Luquisha had bounce, flip and moved effortlessly in the wind. Miss May trimmed her into layers which looked nice and defined prior to leaving the salon. But once I left, the wind sorta destroyed the definition. Stupid Texas weather really put a damper on my little hair straightening experiment. It was nasty and/or windy all the way up to the day of the wedding. I wore beanies and hats throughout the two weeks but they didn’t really prevent the moisture from frizzing out my hair.

Anyway for the wedding, lower left picture, I did an up do with a right bang scoop. The scoop was on point… before I left the house. But outside the house, it didn’t stand a chance. I put the remainder of my hair into a faux bun by putting it into a high ponytail then tucked and pinned into the shape of a bun. It was quite cute. I wish I had remembered to take pictures of it tho. It was really really cute. I was so proud of myself for thinking of it because Luquisha wasn’t going to behave if I wore her in a bob. It was just too windy that day. Plus I wasn’t trying to use too much heat on my hair as I didn’t want to have heat damage later.

—–

So let’s discuss the pros and cons having my hair flat ironed.

Pro: allows for a pretty accurate length check

I get my hair trimmed maybe once a quarter (every three months). In doing these quarterly trims, I am able to see how long she is but she’s not completely laid and she shrinks back up after a day or two. So by having my hair flat ironed, Luquisha lays flatter so I can really see the actual length without any assumptions.

Pro: flip and bounce

If there’s one thing I absolutely loved about having straight hair was the fact that Luquisha had flip and bounce. My hair is soft, light and very airy when it’s straight so I love flipping the ends and having bounce when I walk. Don’t judge me. Luquisha can be very bougie sometimes.

Con: frizzy pointy ends

Ugh! Luquisha was LAID everywhere else but the ends. As soon as I stepped into the moist air, my ends went wild and crazy. It was annoying as fuck. Plus when I’d have on a beanie or hat, my ends would make my neck itchy. You know what I mean. Don’t you? They weren’t as soft or laid as the rest of my hair. This prolly could have been rectified with product that would coat the hair enough to make it heavier but I didn’t want too much buildup.

Con: product placement

So it’s been a good five minutes since I had straight hair. I forgot how to maintain straight hair. The majority of my products are water based and I was afraid the water would cause Luquisha to revert back to curly. So I used mostly oils the week of the wedding. I found some KeriCare oil moisturizer in my product basket as well as apricot oil and the Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oils I bought a few months ago. These worked for a little bit but caused slight buildup.

Con: cost is a muthafucka

I’m sure what I paid is nothing compared to how much some women of any ethnicity and hair type pay to get their hair done. My beautician is employed by JcPenney Salon and is a Master Stylist. So the cost is going to be pretty comparable to getting a relaxer because she shampoo/deep conditioning, blow drying, trim/cut and flat ironing are all separate costs. A regular appointment for me costs around $40 with tip. This appointment was $100 with tip but I knew it was going to cost a lot so is by far not a complaint. But if I wanted to get Luquisha straightened more often it would end up totaling the amount I would spend a year on relaxers which is not an option for my wallet anymore.

—-

There were some other pros and cons but those mentioned above are what really stood out to me. Despite the cons, I would probably get my hair straighten again because it’s a way for me to see my hair’s true length. Well at least until she gets longer and heavier. Like I said, the shrinkage is so very real and Luquisha looks so much shorter than in reality. The good news is when I deep conditioned my hair the other day my 4c coils came back almost instantly. I couldn’t believe how quickly Luquisha soaked up the water. Cheeky heffa was prolly waiting for me to wash her. Grrr… Anyway stay tuned for an updated regimen post as I had to change how I moisturize Luquisha because of the frigid spastic Texas winter.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee