I can’t do anything right this week.

This week is really one of those weeks that I cannot do a single thing right.  I fielded nasty emails, my house looks like an explosion rocked through it, and I could not, for the life of me, get anything done in a timely fashion this week.

Including my brother’s haircut.

My sister is getting married tomorrow.  Actually, let me back up.  Debbie actually got married in York, South Carolina last June, and she’s doing the reception/party thingie tomorrow.  Which is awesome, great!  And of course, when you’re overbooking yourself (sure, a staff meeting the same weekend of my sister’s wedding?!), it all seems great a few months out, but I’m completely freaking out and not sure how I’m going to accomplish everything and still emerge with my sanity this weekend.

Two words.  Xan-ax.  Jk jk!

So, in today’s episode of what did I manage to screw up, I was trying to be helpful because I knew my parents were running around and I offered to figure out somewhere for my brother to get his hair cut.

Now I get it.  We’re black, our hair is a little different to manage, however, I went to this kinda hipstery place that gives you a free beer when you come to get your hair cut, and asked if they cut black hair.

The guy was all “OMG of course we cut black hair!”

“Like, black PEOPLE’S hair.  You can do that, no problem?”

“Yeah, of course!”

Course, at that point, I feel like I’m being a jackass for even asking, because hey, they studied hair right?  How dare I assume that a black man’s uncomplicated haircut may be a challenge? So I made my brother an appointment, dropped him off, and waited for the result.

It was a freakin nightmare.

My brother looked actually worse than he did when he walked in.

Exhibit A:

Derek Haircut

Derek Haircut 2From what Derek says, the poor girl had no clue what she was doing, could not so much as brush his hair without pausing to ask him if she was hurting him, and when he asked for a “fade and a shape-up,” she looked at him like he was speaking cat.  Which I speak well, but he does not.

::sigh:: I get it.  Our hairs are textured differently. And you didn’t study black hair wherever you went to.  HowEVER, can we all just agree, at that point, that we won’t tell Cheri, whose sanity is already hanging by a thread, that we can do a fade with an edge-up, when obviously that’s not true?

So, if I go missing, you know my entire family is responsible because I did this to my brother’s hair a day before my sister’s wedding.  The good news is, it’s fixable, and my dear husband is going to take my brother somewhere in the morning while I teach a class and fix this mess I made.

OMG.

OMG.

Anyhoo, Happy Saturday!  Stay tuned for some pics of my sister’s nuptials!

If you were thinking natural girls don’t need maintenance, think again.

When I made the transition to natural hair, I was probably about 17-years-old.  I had been traumatized by repeated trips to the salon, where, in an effort to tame my naps, the stylist would pour chemicals on my head and allow them to sit until my hair would lie in fear of the chemicals.

Safe, right?

Eventually, the chemicals took their toll and my hair was not looking too well off by middle school.

Then, I graduated to having my hair braided all the time.  Which was fine, except the place where we went in Charlotte would pull our hair so violently, I ended up in her bathroom in tears once.  And I was too scared to ever tell her that my head usually hurt for two days after the box braids were put in.  Plus it smelled weird there.

So finally, at the tender age of 16 or 17, I got fed up with it, and I somehow decided that I was going to wear my hair in dreadlocks.  My mom gave me a really hard time about it – locs were not yet super mainstream, and she associated the style with marijuana use and dirt.

But I was really persistent, and wore my hair in a short style, and nearly 10 years later, here I am!

If any of you are thinking of going natural, and you feel moved to do it, DO IT!

Locs fit my lifestyle.  Most people assume I’m from California, largely due to my demeanor and the fact that I sound like Hilary Banks when I talk , and the locs fit the Cali lifestyle.  I’m also semi-crunchy, and I work out a ton.  But just because the locs fit my lifestyle doesn’t mean that they’re not work.

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After weeks of running and working out and washing, my hair was in a state.  I didn’t have a ton of time, so I made an appointment with someone local to maintain my locs, but she abruptly canceled on me.  My mane couldn’t wait.  It was begging for maintenance.  And the fact that she abruptly canceled on me made me a little leery.  I don’t normally let anyone touch my hair, and I’m not letting someone touch my hair who doesn’t show up for her appointments.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it was time for John Frieda’s Smoothing Shampoo + Conditioner.  I’d read reviews, and black women had said some good things about the way it had left their hair feeling.  (Normally I go for Giovanni, but I needed heavy-duty artillery for this mess).

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Post-shower + wash, the hair was already looking better, and felt a lot softer.

photo 5

 

And I set to the task of twisting with a few clips, since my growth was so soft and not really wanting to stay, with this.

51fz89Vs6GL._SY355_

 

 

Which leaves the hair feeling light and soft.  And there’s no smell really, which is good, cause I hate smelly hair stuff.

photo 1 (3)

 

Work those clips honey!

photo 3 (1)…And ta-dahhhhh!  Here is the finished product.

photo 2 (3)Soft, manageable, looking much better, and cheaper than getting it done!

Are any of you guys thinking about going natural?  Why or why not?  

 

 

We’ve all thought of cutting our hair short, right ladies?

Especially during the summer.  As my huge bun slaps me in the back of the head when I run, yeah, I’ve thought about it.  Whenever I wash, and I have trouble getting some of the soap out of my locs, I think that things may just be easier if I cut it off.  And whenever I retwist my locs after a long run and a shampoo, only to sweat it out in the next day’s workout, I think about it.  But…

How would I style it if I cut it short?

Would my face look too skinny if I cut it?

Would I look like  dude if I cut it?

Would I have to invest in a lot of makeup and earrings so people wouldn’t think I was a boy?

A lot of thinking.   And then Beyonce just DID IT.

Beyoncé and her new pixie crop

Okay, before I weigh in, let me say this. Beyonce could fart in the mic, and I would buy the record.  I used to cut out magazine and newspaper clippings of her, and post them inside my closet door (because my mom wouldn’t let me put posters up in my room).  I would get offended when anyone disagreed with anything she did, included whenever she made a worst-dressed list.  Including this gem.

Bey

This photo appeared in black-and-white in the Charlotte Observer in like 2002, with some rude like “WORST DRESSED” tagline. I got so mad, I cut that thing out, and pretended to like the outfit so that Beyonce wouldn’t get her feelings hurt. I care girl.

But this haircut?  Which I’m sure is more practical for all of the physical activity she does?  I can’t co-sign.  I’m sorry.  I’m still a huge fan.  But I cannot cosign on this mess.  And that is what it is.  It is a MESS.  I feel so bad saying that.

That said, I’m continuing to grow my locs out for my wedding.  And then what?  That means at least one more summer of running and swimming and yoga with all this hair.  Do I keep it?  Or cut it?  What do you think?  (And what do you think of Queen Bey’s cut?)

Taking Care of your Hair When You Work out 5 Million Times a Week

First off, Merry Christmas!  I hope everyone had a great holiday!  I didn’t break from running, as you’ll note on my ticker.  On to the monster post!

I work out a fair bit between teaching Zumba, running, running for Haiti, and working in a shop completely dedicated to running. I also was blessed with a huge full head of hair. Not a complaint at all…usually people think it’s pretty cool, ask to touch it, stare at it, and on one creepy occasion, a guy asked if he could cut a piece of it off for his personal enjoyment. Yikes. Working out make me feel good, keeps me looking decent, and emotionally balances me. The only complaint I have is it wreaks havoc with my hair. But we can’t let that stop us, right? So here, a few lady friends of mine gave me their best tips on how to care for your hair in a workout situation.

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This is the hair I’ve been growing since I was about a junior in high school. That was 2004ish, so about 8 or 9 years. I love it, but when I’m working out, I’ll be darned if it isn’t a little hard to manage! I wash about once a week, and moisturize with a hair gloss to lock in natural oils whenever I can. To freshen up, I spritz with water and tea tree oil on days when I know I can’t wash.

Joy (a Zumba teacher!), says CUT IT OFF. A little extreme if you’re attached, but hey, it does the trick right?

Arielle, a fellow camp counselor of mine, rocks a gorgeous, thick curly head of hair. She wears it pulled up during the exercise, conditions every day, but washes only 3 times a week. Among women who work out, I see this a lot, (not washing every day).

Kimmy is my adorable younger sister. “I rarely ever flat iron my hair, moisturizer everyday, wash once to twice a week and I’m about to put it in twists for my internship bc being in the ocean everyday and out in the sun is gonna dry it out I don’t need the agitation of combing and washing everyday on top of that.”

Kimmy Hair
So this is Kimmy, the youngest of my sisters.

Lauren Elliot, Kristin Jones, and Samantha Seeberg all seem to be big fans of some version of dry shampoo after a workout to stave off having to wash all the oil out of their hair after every single workout.

Miss Carly Swanson is firstly, one of my running inspirations.  I met this teeny beauty a few years ago when we both worked for North Carolina State University, and I am honored to say I know her.  She’s incredibly motivated.  Carly a fan of tying her long hair up in a cute Jasmine (from Aladdin) style braid thingie in order to prevent her long hair from getting in her way when she’s running or lifting.  We hope to have Cary’s two cents in here a little more often.

And finally, Whitney Saulsberry and I, the two black girls who work out, have mastered a way to go about 5 days between washes.  This involves a lot of conditioner, natural styles, braids, dreadlocks, and as little heat as possible to protect our dry hair.

And there you have it.  In this monster post, I hope you can pick up a few tips to keep in moving despite wanting your hair to look fly in your off time!

Sisters
The three of us, all rocking distinctly different textures and styles in Auburn, Alabama.