Talking Hair with our new Beauty / Style Editor, Valencia Pearl

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Valencia Pearl, Beauty / Style Editor at Live In Color blog
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

By now you know Shannon and I love style, but we cannot write about it all the time (yes, we wish we could, too). So, we decided to add another member to our team. Say hello to Valencia Pearl, our new Beauty / Style Editor.

This hair stylist and fashion maven is a one-woman dynamo and working mother; she effortlessly juggles a busy life, while looking stunning. We thought who better to talk about all things beauty? She’ll be posting regularly (bi-weekly and/or monthly).

For today, she is answering your questions about hair. There are still a few others to respond to so this will be an ongoing series.

Read on below, and feel free to leave comments!  We love hearing from our readers.

Live In Color! – Valencia, Emelda & Shannon

Q: My teenager has two different textures of hair as a result of a texturizer from a year ago. It damaged the hair, and we did not texturizer again. Now she has natural coils with 1-2 inches of textured straight ends. Should we cut the texturized hair, or just trim it?

What is the best daily routine for natural hair? Where can we find age appropriate hairstyles for naturalistas?  

A: In my opinion, texturizers are more harmful than chemical relaxers. If the ends are weak, frizzy, or split, I would recommend cutting it. If the ends are in tact, a trim would have the same effect as cutting. Eventually,  she will have a head of healthy natural coils.

Natural hair (hair that is void of chemical straighteners) is extremely diverse and resilient. But remember my mantra: “Hair is Hair.” You must take very good care of it; coiled hair is also extremely fragile. Some natural divas do wash n’ go, co-wash, flat twist outs, and then with a spray of  leave-in-conditioner, and finger manipulations, they are off!

As the hair gets longer, styles become more complex. Combing, brushing, pulling and stretching are all things we do on a daily basis, but protective styling will help relieve your scalp, and hair of this tension.

You can find beautiful, free ideas on Pinterest, and tutorials on You Tube. Feel free to check out this helpful article for cool teen natural style ideas that are age appropriate.

Q: What are the best “box relaxers” on the the market?

A: Before my huge plunge into “professional beauty/cosmetology,” I’ll admit, I tried a variety of relaxer kits from Dark and Lovely to African Pride. I substituted what I thought I knew about hair care for professional expertise. I was a “box relaxer queen,” and it looked like it, too. My hair was dry, dull, and severely damaged.

It may seem like a simple process, but it is very complex. Chemical straighteners should be left to beauty professionals. Nairobi and Design Essentials are great relaxers, but shop around for stylist pricing and get referrals. Spoil yourself and book an appointment with a cosmetologist today!

Photo Source: Design Essentials
Photo Source: Design Essentials
Photo Source: Nairobi Professional Salon Systems
Photo Source: Nairobi Professional Salon Systems

Q: What is the best way to treat a dry scalp?

A: Your scalp is home base for healthy hair. Maintaining a clean, healthy and moisturized scalp is imperative to the vitality of your tresses. Shampoos strip your hair and scalp of natural oils. Limit the number of shampoo washes to no more than twice a month, and use a sulfate free shampoo, e.g. Organix Moroccan Argan Oil. Condition, condition, and condition. Still, don’t over do it. Another recommendation is Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner.

Avoid hot blow dryers and other heat tools. A light product like Kemi-Oyl is a excellent emollient. If the scalp is extremely dry, flaky, itchy or inflamed consult a physician.

Photo Source: Organix
Photo Source: Organix

 

Photo Source: Giovanni
Photo Source: Giovanni

 

Why I’m Crying and Not Apologizing (Guest Blog Post – Michelle Dowell)

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo courtesy of author, Michelle Dowell
Photo courtesy of author, Michelle Dowell

So I was watching a television show today, and it awakened the thinking bug in me. Now my juices are flowing, and I have to bring up something that has been bothering me for a while now.

There were two ladies on the TV show who were talking about the difficulties of juggling new motherhood, “Wife-Life” (as I so fondly deem marital bliss) and their careers. Then one of them, the new Mom, broke down in tears because she felt that she wasn’t enjoying being a new Mom, because all of her responsibilities were keeping her from being able to slow down, and take a baby breather, slowly adjusting to her new role. But here’s the thing that bothered me, and we all do it, too. She apologized for crying. She apologized a couple of times actually, while she explained away her tears to her friend.

As I felt my own tears welling up in my eyes (because c’mon, you know we moms have been there), in mid-sniffle, I realized something. Why was this beautiful, accomplished new Mamma apologizing for crying?

She has EVERY right to cry, she just had a baby, for crying out loud! She’s worrying about: breastfeeding on time, sleep schedules, pumping milk, getting back to her career after her maternity hiatus, appearing sexy to her hubby again, finding time to do “the do” with her hubby, and then getting her home in order, laundry done, pets groomed, etc. As a matter of fact, if she wasn’t crying, I would be worried. So why apologize for showing emotions, especially to another woman?

Getting deeper into my thoughts at this point, I realized that, as a woman who cries at the drop of a hat (no, seriously, I do) and as a mom, wife, pet owner and entrepreneur, I know what its like to feel overwhelmed. It’s not just a Mom thing, though. I tend to think that all women get harried at the prospect of their hectic lives and the insurmountable tasks that loom before them, needing to be done a.s.a.p., simultaneously, and perfectly.

But since I AM a mother, I’m going to focus on us mammas right now. Why is it, that as a woman, I am expected not to utilize all of the perks that come with that title? After all, the whole women’s lib movement was birthed out of the fact that women were seen as the ‘weaker’ sex. It was proposed that we were the gentler, sweeter half of the human race, and therefore should be treated accordingly.

Now I’m not condoning all pre-women’s liberation-attitudes, albeit not wholly. I agree with some gals who think that in asserting our independence, we’ve also slid under the rug our femininity, which grants us the privilege of the “little things.”

What are the little things, you ask? Well, crying at the drop of a hat for one. Being emotional, high-strung beauties, was our role in the past, and while I don’t condone flitting around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, and acting nonsensical, I do think that we should have the right to display our emotions at will. We don’t have to replace the “I am woman, hear me roar” saying, but maybe we can make an addendum and add “or cry.”

Other niceties that are now pegged “old school” for a man to afford a female are holding the door open for us, holding our hands, picking up the check at dinner, taking off their hats around us, letting us walk on the inside of the sidewalk when walking down the street with us. When a guy does all of those things women go insane, and label them a great guy, when this is the treatment that men should be granting us anyway because we are ladies.

Being a lady, one should be able to express emotion at random, don’t ya think?

And being a woman, we certainly shouldn’t be apologizing for displaying those great qualities that make us the femi-feminists we were born to be. In other words, I have the choice and the right to be a lady, and show off any form of my femininity at all times.

And yes, as moms that right comes with the territory. Cry if necessary;be late if you need to because your little one pooped in their outfit right before you were leaving the house for a play-date. Laugh out loud at nothing because your life is so crazy that if you don’t laugh for a minute right now, you’ll be laughing for years in an asylum.

Get angry at your kiddo in public and threaten them with NO TV in front of the entire supermarket. I am a phone call or email away if you need someone to back you up to complete strangers in the potato chips aisle.

Ladies, let’s stop trying to match up with everyone’s idea of the perfect mom or woman and just be yourselves. Because guess, what? It’s who God meant us to be.

The next time you feel like breaking down, and sobbing in your SUV because your laundry room looks like a mini landfill, your pets have chewed or peed on your sofa, your little one is screaming for chicken nuggets in the backseat while your hubby asks you on the phone to buy a car thingy that you have no idea what it is or where to purchase it, do it.

Cry, sob, scream, laugh like Daffy duck, turn the music up, dance, turn on the DVD player; let your kiddos zone out to cartoons. Just be a woman! Who cares who is looking? Blame it on your cycle, your birth control, or menopause (yes, even if you are 20 years old).

So no more apologizing for being a female, gals. Embrace your irrationality and hormones. Flaunt your feelings as you would an economical (but HOT) outfit or a new pair of heels. Tell your hubby where he can go if he looks at you wrong (just kidding, maybe). Strut your stuff, because when you’re a woman, you have options.

We are women, hear us roar, or cry. No apologies needed.

About Michelle:
I’m Michelle, owner of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique on Etsy and mom to a 5-year-old boy & 4 crazy cats. My hubby and BFF of almost 7 years is my biggest supporter, encouraging me to keep at my craft.

I am currently writing a period-play set in 1939, two novels, and a children’s book series. We reside in Frisco, TX. I’m inspired by Harvey the White Rabbit & Elwood P. Dowd to always remain myself.

This post was originally published on E-Zine where Michelle shares some of her writing.
Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Im-Sorry,-Im-A-Woman:-The-Crying-Game&id=7010341

Here are some awesome sites that further expound on some of the post:
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/good-to-cry
http://blog.kyria.com/giftedforleadership/2007/11/what_our_femininity_means.html

What Judging my Hair Says about You

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo credit: Carrie Mae Weems

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”

 bell hooks

If you are a woman of color, no matter how you style your hair, someone will be offended. Rock a perm? You have no idea who you are. Love your weaves? Well, you just don’t love your hair. Embrace your natural hair texture? Some women and men of color label it as unattractive. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on women of color and our hair.

This topic remains a staple in conversations with my girlfriends, Mom, co-workers, and of course at beauty salons across America, and no doubt, around the world. Countless books by renowned authors such as bell hooks, and profound visual artists like Carrie Mae Weems address how beauty for women of color is defined in a Eurocenteric and patriarchal culture.

The Afrocentric among us view loving our natural hair as a panacea to the lack of self love. If we begin by understanding history, and reject the chains of self hatred, we can change so much in our community, they proclaim.

Folks on the other side of the argument articulate, at times, a kind of historical amnesia. It’s just hair, they scream. How I choose to wear my hair has little to do with white supremacy, racism, capitalism, or any other ism. This of course ignores the real impact of colonization on the collective psyches of people of color.

Still, for me, both of these perceptions are somewhat limited; human nature and our view of ourselves is richly complex with multiple layers. Any kind of fundamentalism, which by its nature must define one or several kinds of behaviors as wrong, limits our humanity and freedom to empathize with others.

When you place me in a box, because I do not adhere to your myopic definition of beauty or self acceptance, you speak volumes about yourself, and a need to define an “other” as inferior to your “enlightened state.”

We are all on a journey of self love, whether you are walking along that road with an Afro or weave, it remains a journey none the less. My way is not your way, but why is that wrong? Rants never produce more understanding, only greater division.

Live In Color – Emelda

Photo Credit: Emelda  De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda
De Coteau