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Let’s Celebrate Mrsphatandnaptural Turns 3!

Mrsphatandnaptural Turns 3 years old today! Whoo hoo! I may not be where some have risen to in 3 years, but I’m still here! Over these 3 short years I have found many new friends both online and in person. I’ve attended, held, and hosted many events. I’ve even traveled to 2 states that I had never been to for just to attend Plus Sized Fashion and or Natural Hair events. I’ve have also been featured on a few online sites, namely Essence.com.

Still I’d have to say the biggest “get” from the last 3 years of blogging has to be tapping into a supportive sisterhood that I didn’t even realize existed. They are an encouraging, loving, creative bastion of knowledge and experiences that I can’t seem to go a day without…( okay so I’m a social media junkie) lol. That aside I love being apart of this collective!

 

As I move forward with Mrsphatandnaptural some things will change. In the spirit of serving those who need what I’m cooking up, I will commit to staying honest, current, and open to God using me. I will continue to give you all the tips tricks and styles of the latest conversation. I will do the product reviews and include you into my battle with this belly! But I will also share with you my love for God and all things good for your soul!
Remember to celebrate yourself! And just know God doesn’t make any mistakes, and that includes you!

What I Know For Sure: Five Things Every Woman Needs To Have by The Time She Reaches Her Forties

imageBy this stage in your life, you have probably spent a great deal of energy living up tosomeone else’s idea of you. Your parents, spouses, children, and society’s views and standards all impact how we see ourselves and or how we measure our successes or accomplishments and the lack thereof. I recently celebrated my 42nd birthday, and like most people I always contemplate my position in life as well as my future around my birthday. I am a real number weirdo, meaning I always look up numbers and see what they mean or correspond to. I remember when I turned forty and I looked it up, as I always do, and I was surprised to see all of the biblical references to new beginnings. I found one article that correlated a woman turning forty, to the Israelites making it to the promise land. This was so eye opening to me because I had spent my entire thirties in a mild state of paralysis and depression. Which to me felt like wondering in the wilderness. I had allowed people and events around me to drown out my inner voice.

I was everybody’s something, and my own nothing, but then came my forties. There was something invigorating about believing that turning forty was the beginnings of my new life. I began to pray for God’s presence and direction like never before. It actually took me sometime to remember what it was that I enjoyed. I tasked myself to come up with 10 things that I enjoyed that did not involve serving anyone else. I realized that everything I liked was because of my husband, kids, or father. It took almost an hour but I did it. From that point I began to seek my own happiness first. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-love way. I still have to remind myself that I am too important not to be a priority. Putting myself first is a learned behavior but I’m learning. But what I know for sure is, that I’m worth it!

Here are 5 things every woman needs to have by the time she’s in her forties.

God– A relationship with your creator. I don’t mean just going to church. I mean a constant conversation, prayer, or meditation between you and God. When you are in a relationship, the most powerful tool is communication. Developing your connection with God is very important.

Right look– This is that look you can pull together in an hour, to land your dream job or captivate your dream mate. Know what silhouettes look good on you. Have a “quick face” so What I Know For Sure even if you are just going to get coffee, you can look pulled together.

Affirmation – By definition the word means emotional support and encouragement. Need I say more?

Cause – A principal, idea or belief that you are willing to work towards insuring its success. I am tempted to say what drives you, because I also believe your “cause” will inspire you into action.

Expertise – That one thing that you do, when you are doing you so well. Even if it’s just a certain dish or a way you pack luggage. You should be able to identify your strengths, and be able to turn it into a profit if necessary.

These words are an acronym for G.R.A.C.E. Which reminds me to give myself grace. Existing by the grace of God, with grace & style, living in his grace and mercy.What I Know For Sure

Be blessed.

Straight Talk

Hey Curlies, We are going to have some straight talk this time around. Straight hair that is, lol probably not what you’re thinking, huh. Now, I know some of the natural knotzi might tell you that if you manipulate the curl pattern it’s no longer natural, o.k we’ll let them think that.taraji To me as long as you are not chemically relaxing or texturizing your hair, it’s natural.

One of the benefits of being natural is having the ability and versatility to go from straighttaraji 2to curly to froed out. Some naturals wear only weave or crochet. That doesn’t make them any less natural than the ones that literally wake up and do nothing to their hair.  It’s all about preference, and I prefer to have plenty of options. Which brings me to my point, what are we doing with our hair for the holidays? We are now days away from the official “Holiday Season” and I like to do a little something different around this time of year. So I’ll be doing my second blowout and straighten since going natural.  I got it done last year for my birthday, which was about 5 months into transitioning and this will be the second time I’m doing it.  That being said, I feel this is a great time for us to have some conversations about straightening our hair. In general the most important thing we can do for our hair is proper protection. This process is no different.  In fact, it is more important that we use the proper protective products and practice good basics when using heat to avoid damage that can lead to hair loss.

One of my main reasons for returning to natural was to have healthier hair. It took some time to perfect what was right for me, and I am still learning new things every day. Although my hair grows fairly quickly I don’t want to do anything that will cause undue hair loss or that will cause me to have to start over.  There are naturals that never wear their hair curly, they strictly wash and straighten their tresses and they have healthy full heads of long hair!blow out2

As naturals we may not see eye to eye about all hair regimens (let’s face it we’re women we don’t see eye to eye about a lot of things lol.) But each preference is to each naturalista. No matter what she’s doing or not doing to her hair, we should not attack or insult her. That was the prelude to my topic, because I know the natural knotzi will not agree with me…but believe it or not straightening your hair is really not all that bad, and YES its best if you use silicone to protect and coat your tresses.  There I said it, sometimes silicone is helpful on this natural journey to hairvina! You just have to take the steps to avoid damage.FullSizeRender (1)

And guess what? The steps are really simple! Protect your hair, use a good tool, and wrap it tight. Yes it is just that simple, I promise you! I know from experience. I do not wear my hair straight often but I try to be knowledgeable on hair care and have researched everything that I share.  Whether we are straightening or not, protecting your hair should always be a main concern. So let’s start with that. And for good measure I have some Sister Science to back me up. Check out her video “fry Eggs not Hair”

  1. Heat no harm no danger

Protecting your hair should always be your number one priority. By applying the right products you can avoid heat damage as much as possible. I definitely swear by hair milk! Naturalistas always ask me what to use when straightening their hair and I always tell them to grab some hair milk. Just like milk, hair milk gives your hair great nutrients! Personally I use hair milk even when my hair is in its naturally curly state, because it’s also a great detangler! I fell in love with hair milk a long time ago when I discovered Biolage by Matrix and it was love at first feel.31XhxNqJjdL._SY300_  As the years continued on I discovered different brands that work just as great (and may be more cost effective for you!) I like to apply the hair milk after I apply a leave-in conditioner. You really only need to use a small amount of leave-in conditioner because you don’t want your hair to be heavy! The leave-in is an important step because you want your hair shaft to be conditioned before applying heat. If you don’t already know, I always swear by leave-in(s) and we have discussed great leave-in conditioners already; B’leave-in by CarmaCare, Cantu’s leave-in conditioning repair cream, Palmer’s leave-in, etc. Any leave-in that works for you is the right choice. I bet you know what is next.  Yes of course you need to seal all of these nutrients and moisture with oil. I did a post recently on God’s oil (olive oil my ride or dry) and the benefits, but there are so many sealants out there you can’t lose! Whether you use olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or a mixture of different oils it doesn’t matter. The key is to just a dime size amount before blow drying so your hair has movement. There are also some good products that specifically fall under the label of “heat protectants.”images

 

 

This step is what I should have lead with, but I got so carried away (you know I am a product junkie!) But the number one step to maintaining moisture is using the right shampoo! Shampoo can make or break your hair. Literally how much moisture your hair retains no matter what product you may use starts with your “wash” routine. Certain shampoos will completely strip your hair of everything, product build up and natural oils. Of course we all want our hair to be clean as possible, but we don’t want to dry our hair out! Dry hair breaks! So you definitely want to purchase a shampoo and conditioner that has humectants.humectants-and-moistureHumectants cling to H2o, thus soaking up water and allowing the hair to keep water on the shaft during the cleaning process. As long as you retain water your hair will not dry out and break. Always, always, always deep condition when using heat on your hair, as a curly anyway a deep conditioning regimen is always your best friend!

 

  1. Know How to Use Your tool

Believe it or not the type of blow dryer and flat iron can determine the amount of heat damage. Choose a ceramic tool when straightening your hair. These tools may be more pricey than most, but it is truly an investment worth your coins! A ceramic tool distributes heat evenly throughout the shaft. This guarantees less heat damage because no section of the hair will be more distressed than the other! I personally really like BabyBliss Pro Styler as a flat iron for ethnic hair.babybliss No matter what texture or how dense your hair is, BabyBliss will have your hair straight! BabyBliss also brings out your natural shine, and because it is ceramic you will have less chance of burnt hair, giving you maximum movement. Invest in a good blow dryer also to make sure you are getting maximum heat distribution. Another great key to good movement is to blow your hair out with a good brush using the medium heat setting! Not only does using a good brush guarantee great shine, but brushing stimulates growth cells so your hair will grow! It’s a personal preference if you want to use heat protectant before blow drying or after blow drying and before flat ironing (if using product on your hair before flat ironing and after blow drying apply a light amount to guarantee you will not fry your hair). It’s just very important that you use protection on your hair. You can go with the hair milk, grape seed oil, or even a commercially marketed product, just use a heat protectant.

 

  1. The Wrap Up

This is the step that will determine how long you get to keep this look. Good night time maintenance is the basis for longevity in almost all hairstyles. I shouldn’t have to say it but make sure you are wrapping your hair with a satin or silk scarf or a bonnet. In general I wrap my hair around my head in a circular mold because this helps to add a little body to my hair when I do the comb down in the morning.alicia-keys  Some people put a roller in the middle and wrap the rest of the hair around it. I’ve even seen women who have fairly long hair just pile it on top of their head in a loose pineapple ponytail and wear a bonnet. So there is no wrong technique here, whatever works for you and best preserves the hair is what you should do.

Every naturalista loves to wear her hair differently and we just want to insure your hair is as healthy as possible. Always protect your hair no matter which way you choose to wear your hair, but let’s just remember to take extra good care of our hair any time we apply heat! So again remember these simple rules to achieve an awesome blow out with minimal damage:

  • Shampoo and condition with humectants
  • Deep condition (at least 15 minutes with heat and 45 minutes without heat)
  • Apply the right products; Leave-in conditioner (dime size amount), hair milk (nickel size amount), and oil (dime size amount) *Remember when straightening your hair less is more. Too much product will weigh your hair down leaving you with flat heavy hair!
  • Protect your hair from heat
  • Use the proper tools! (Ceramic! Ceramic! Ceramic!!!)
  • Wrap it up with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet

Using these simple steps should allow you to maintain good moisture and less damage. Dry and brittle hair looks good on NO ONE, and flat heavy blow outs are not flattering! Always wrap your hair every night and try to use the least amount (if none) bobby pins to avoid indentation marks (especially if you have finer hair).2013 American Music Awards - Press Room Ladies we just want you to look good but also keep your hair healthy! So let’s stay on the straight and narrow, or not! LOL

See Ya later Phatty!

Wash Day and Four Shampoos under 12 dollars

WD = Washday #Poo

Every natural needs an effective hair routine that includes a good shampoo for WD (Wash day). It took me several months of hard times and dry hair to figure out what works for me and my mane piece. Coincidentally the most common question I get asked is what type of shampoo do I use…so I gather this is a very common issue for transitioners, and the newly natural. By the way I did not BC (Big Chop)I transitioned. This choice poses a unique set of obstacles depending on what condition your hair was in when you decided to check into CCR (creamy crack rehab). Therefore I decided to share the information that has gotten me to this point.

The frequency of your WD depends on your hair texture, the styling products you use and the condition of your mane. You may poo (shampoo) as often as you want too. Naturals that use heavier products, stylers and
butters may shampoo as often as once a week or prior to every styling session. Clean hair works best or me. So I like a WD just before I get a new style.

If you are the minimalists (one that uses lighter products) you may need to shampoo less frequently. Using the wrong products is a sure way to get to an unscheduled WD. If the product is not working well on your hair or makes it too kinky, greasy, or crunchy for your liking…a quick WD will give you a restart.

I shampoo when my is hair sticky or if I am getting a new style. Usually this is about every other week. Then I co-wash (use conditioner as a shampoo) at least once a week. I saturate my hair with conditioner, then rinse until the water runs clear. Usually I do this twice then spray my hair with vinegar and water then rinse out. I know a lot of people frown about not using shampoo but all I can say is don’t knock it until you try it. I may do a post about co-washing in the future. There has been so much said about it, all I can do is speak from my point of view. It works!

Additionally I will share some information about reasonably priced shampoos that work great for natural hair. Here are four shampoos under 12 dollars that you can get anywhere.
If you have chemically-treated hair, one of the best shampoos without sulfates is by Carol’s Daughter. This moisturizing shampoo not only reduces frizz, but it also gently cleanses and adds moisture to thirsty tresses without weighing hair down. You’ll love the hydrating properties of this gentle shampoo and the addicting vanilla fragrance! You can get it at Target for under 11$Shampoo

Naturals with curly locks will love this sulfate-free shampoo from Shea Moisture. Shea Moisture makes a great line of organic hair care and skin care products for the family. Try this curl and shine shampoo to moisturize, protect hair from heat and chemical damage, and strengthen add shine to thick, curly hair! Find this at most drugstores for about $10.

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Organix is another line of sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners and body care products. Their newest product from their line of hair care is Biotin & Collagen. This shampoo without sulfates also does not contain any parabens and is gentle on color-treated hair. If your hair is thin or feeling lifeless, this shampoo can help add volume and strength to your hair. It is often between 8 and 10$

organix

I also love Mane ‘n Tail shampoo. It is an expensive shampoo. This one is not free, but it has co-surfactant (sealers that prevent drying. I have been using this since High School, and yes it really is intended or horses. Although there are many claims about this product making you hair grow, I can’t verify that. What I can say is it certainly softens your hair after just 1 or 2 uses. You can find this at most drug stores for under 10$mane

No matter how often you shampoo, moisture retention should be a top priority.

Pre-poo or not to pre poo, deep conditioner treatments, moisturizers, and leave-ins’ these are some of the topics I am researching now. Please stay tuned and feel free to share any questions, suggestions and comments. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.