I know by now you’ve figured out I wasn’t doing my traditional yearly countdown.  There was so much going on and I wanted to handle this special time of year in a new way.  So, I decided to make an extra long post and bring you up to speed at one time.  I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you prefer the other way.  These are in no particular order but these are the moment that stands out in 2017. Let’s get it started.

Moving to 7732 – After a rocky and moldy ending (literally) in my old apartment, we were relocated to another unit on the complex. As you noticed through this blog and pictures on Instagram, I invested a lot of time into making that place feel like home. So when I moved over here, I didn’t even have the energy. We’ve been here since March and I still haven’t got this place organized. Let’s add that I truly thought I would be moving into the home I purchased this year but you all know what happened there. It’s a better apartment. Larger. Better views of the Detroit River. The neighbors are priceless. However, over the last half of the year, I’ve been living in a constant MAJOR construction site. They’re completely overhauling this property. This includes digging to install gas lines to offer residents forced and central air. Well, the majority of this smelly work is taking place right outside my windows and the smell is sickening. Now, the query on my brain is – do I wait for them to finish or move on to another place? I have time to think but I truly need to weigh out my options.


Year of Music – Oh, I saw some great acts this year starting with Thundercat. Chene Park offered up a few artists I couldn’t pass on. I didn’t hit the road as much this year for music but I had to see Chris Brown in Chicago. My cousin even got me out the house to see Xscape. Solange, Tyler the Creator, Boney James, Roy Ayers, Lalah Hathaway, Will Downing, Chante Moore and my jazz festival crew. In addition to those people, I saw a true legend this year – Patti Labelle. Outside of the live shows, I discovered a crew of new artists that I have every intention of seeing live – Smino, Moodchild, H.E.R, Daniel Caesar, and a few others.  My ears and heart were pleased. I didn’t make it to Paisley Park but I’ll get there in the new year.  My SeatGeek and StubHub notifications are loaded and I’m sure I’ll get around a little more in the new year.

AVMs – on Dec. 6, I called 911 to assist me because somehow the entire right side of my body went numb and I couldn’t get it to do what I commanded. As the dispatcher listened to my request for help, she asked, “why do you feel you’re having a stroke?” My response lacked no candor, ‘Bitch, because I’ve already had one. Help me.’ That was the best I could give her. The EMTs arrived and I dropped another B bomb. By the time I arrived at the local hell of emergency rooms, all my faculties were functioning. Afraid of a repeat battle with aphasia, I kept talking and reading everything. After a few hours and some rushed tests, they came back and said it was a TIA. Oh yeah, I thought, ‘fuck this I’m outta here’ and signed myself out. Then, my friend, Reggie appeared only to walk me back to the emergency room. (You never know how blessed you are until you look into the faces of your friends. My friends are unmatched. All of them are true blue. That’s only because they know the type friend I am.) As we sat there, catching up, laughing, trying to see if this nurse was worth him shooting his shot lol and talking about life, I appreciated him a little more. We were only planning to go out that night, I guess we did. Ha! He had done God’s work. I stayed in that hell hole until Friday. While I was there they diagnosed me as having another small stroke/TIA/vasoconstriction/AVMs. The reason it wasn’t a stroke is that I have no residual deficiencies. This TIA business was still up in the air but they presented 2 additional causes. These grabbed my attention and I needed to get to Dr. Miller at Henry Ford to confirm. I was active in a situation where I did NOT trust the people who had my life in their hands. After styling on them for one week in comfortable pajamas, twisting my hair daily, cleansing and moisturizing my face (thanks to Tamika) and laying on my satin pillowcase, I walked out calling my neurologist. He made room for me and I’m going to take all these findings over to him. I’ll let him tell me what our next steps are. One thing I know for sure, I’m going to live.

Rocket Love – After 4 years, the relationship I thought was going to mature into spending the rest of my life with Gino S., is over. Yep, that’s his name. I kept that real close, lol. himThis is the main reason I’ve gone missing over the last part of 2017. I don’t even have the energy to type it out. Bottomline: The feeling he had was that I was spying on him for the UAW or someone more powerful.  He’s being psychologically manipulated and I’m helping them do this to him. He doesn’t trust anything I say or even being around me. Trust me, I’m still confused but hey – maybe entering the institution of marriage – isn’t in the cards for me.  I still believe in love but at this point, I’m not sure if I even want to go through this again. This one hurt more than any other. The reason for this is because I’ve done none of what he believes and I truly felt I had found my best friend and life partner in this man. I stayed single for so long and when I opened myself up again, BAM I got hit. Understand this is the one thing I was protecting myself from and it still happened. Feel free to listen.  There is more but I just wanted to share a piece. My truth is all that matters to me.  Something that I’m not aware of happened (mental health issues) and he needed to push me away.

Book Author Ambitions – This year I decided to write a book. After writing this blog for 5 years and putting this idea on the back burner, I’m finally going to dedicate some time to finish it. If you follow me on Facebook, you can find out the title. I can promise you – it won’t be a short story. 🙂

New Assignment – In June, one of the best bosses I’ve ever had transitioned to the next chapter in his professional life. We truly had a great working relationship and you all know how much I enjoy stability but I had to accept this. His transition spearheaded mine and that included me moving away from everything I was familiar with except my parking garage. Lol, that had to remain the same. I may have started kicking and screaming. Moreover, this was my opportunity to show my worth on the team. Display that I had grown from the time I had joined the company. I had become more proficient and knowledgeable in the role. More importantly, this showed me they trusted me to transition seamlessly and learn about the new business organization I would be supporting. What I didn’t know was, this was only the beginning. At the end of November, I was informed I would be supporting our newest Senior Executive Leader. Wow! As word got around, the congratulatory messages and visits came and none was more surprising than that from Captain Stadwick. I still call him boss and always feel like I represent him and Rebecca. That’s the type of person I am – I just don’t want to disappoint the people that believe/support me. My new director seems nice and I’m sure we’ll build a great working relationship. Do I see you on the horizon STABILITY!? 🙂

Kid Graduating – I’m still excited about that kid graduating. He’s sincere about getting a degree. I think my sermons about making a life for yourself got through to him. With one img_4230semester under his belt, he’s still excited about school. We’ve experienced some bumpy roads but it was time for me to let him go & grow.  He’s becoming his own man and there’s not much I can do for him at this point.  He needs to work those things out for himself. I’m a little nervous about some military conversations he’s been having with some soldiers. I mean who would want their child to be in the military with a leader like 45. I’m not putting that guy’s name in my post but feel free to figure out who I’m talking about. Him graduating was certainly a major highlight of my life.

Lance – Y’all remember when I 1st start talking about getting a new car. I still love Cole but it was time for me to move on. After talking to our Technical Assistance Team, I settled on the CTS. Let me just tell you – I really love all the bells and whistles included in this vehicle. Eff all that – I love this car as a whole. The connectivity is unmatched. I haven’t even had it one year but I know I’ll be a repeat customer. It’s perfect for me. Don’t get me wrong there’s a vehicle from each of our brands that fit me. Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Yukon Denali. This Cadillac just spoke to me. Now, to try out the manual features when the weather breaks and only God knows when that’ll happen around Detroit. Lance

This hair – I still have my edges, more silver strands and it’s getting thicker. My plan is to wear wigs for the entirety of 2018. In addition, I will be doing chebe, hair supplements and deep conditioning on a regular basis. Some essential hair care practices were neglected throughout the year. My goal is APL by the end of 2018. I believe I can do it. So many stresses that were buried in my mind have eradicated themselves or I’ve made a pact to not allow them to drain me anymore. My complete health is important to me and that includes my hair. It may not be billowing curls like Tracey Ellis Ross but it’s all mine. I heart my hair, still.

My favorite Asian – On a quick getaway to Battle Creek, Michigan, I bumped into an Asian store owner. I’ll be the 1st to tell you, I only remember 25% of what he said. The thing that will remain with me until I die is something he said about time. “To waste time is to waste your life.” Even one minute is waste…. I share this message with you, don’t waste one moment of your life.

LIVE…. I’ll see you in 2018 with more smiles. 🙂

Told you I’d be back with a post about my hair.  I’m going to keep this post very sweet and short. I haven’t lost any hair.  My hair is growing. A strict regimen is needed. The wigs may get a revival.

So, I’ve been growing my hair out since my cut last summer.

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I can tell you it has grown since this picture. That’s solely due to my three girlfriends and flat twist.  My comfort level with my natural texture has grown immensely.  Straightening my hair almost brings me no joy beyond the initial day.  I worry about heat damage and hair reversion, lol. I think you’re familiar with all my protective styles.  I embraced the shorter wigs as well.  My next will be a long straight model.

Over the summer, I decided to allow a stylist to wash and condition my hair once a month.  This would allow me to keep up with trims and get a little relief from the dreaded wash day.  I noticed my hair wasn’t shedding as much as normal. But, I was still messing up in an area or two.  I wasn’t keeping up with my wash days. Allowing weeks go by without washing my hair or deep conditioning. Recent stress had snatched two plugs of hair from my scalp and I wasn’t happy about it.  Back to the peppermint oil, I ran and added lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary essential oils and black seed. More importantly, I still had my edges!

The hair was recovering and I noticed a few more grays around the perimeter.  Then I decided to get my hair straightened for a wedding and my anxiety was high.  My stylists I absolutely trust with my hair were booked, one was preparing for a big show and the other was styling a wedding. (You better have multiple stylists you trust and I’m not about to argue.) DAMN DAMN DAMN! So, I remembered a stylist that was close to me and specialized in natural hair care, Meah.  I set up an appointment and I put my tresses in her hands.  Praying all would be fine when I washed my hair the following week.img_4815-1

She gave me a protein treatment, which I hadn’t had in ages, and proceeded to blow dry my hair. I felt safe when she pulled out the heat protectant and the Wild Growth hair oil. Then she hit me with the one line women hate to hear from any stylist – “you need a trim.” Wtf! Everybody tells me that- fuck it do it.  I hate raggedy ends more than single-strand knots.  After she finished, she showed me the remains on the floor.  It wasn’t much and it appeared she just dusted the ends. I dared not show it on the outside but I was overjoyed.

Finally, I got caught in a light mist at the King HS homecoming game and the hair started to curl. 🙂  Then I made the choice to wash and DC like I had always done in the beginning of this journey and within minutes ALL of my curls and coils were accounted for.  Meah, definitely had my stamp of approval and considering I only wanted my hair washed/ blow dried once a month as a treat she certainly could be added to the rotation. I don’t remember how long it took me to wash my hair, condition and style it but it felt good. For the 4th time during this journey has a professional placed a pair of sheers to my mane and not chopped most of my hair off.  I twisted my hair in those flat-twists and made a vow to never miss wash day for the remainder of this journey.

#Mission2020 has begun.  “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan to fit the goal.” My goal certainly has changed and I’m going to focus on doing my part to ensure I have the healthiest head of hair. Now when you see me in a few years with long Pippie Longstocking twists, remember I never gave up.  🙂

Have you had to re-evaluate your hair care regimen? What are your go-to methods for retaining length?

 

 

I’m just as tired of talking about my hair as you may be of reading about it.  The setbacks, the accomplishments, and regimens can all become too much.  I’m literally months away from my initial cutoff.  However, I know that someone somewhere finds a little inspiration in my honesty about this healthy natural hair journey.  Some things have changed.  So, grab your deep condition or pre-poo, set it and read on.

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I got this haircut in June and after a few weeks of just wrapping and forgetting it, this was a needed break.  In September, I straightened my hair again.  Wrong move!  I suffered some heat damage, not too much but it happened.  Afterward, I said, “I’m done.”  I’ll just focus on reducing the heat.  Yeah right!  I love my kinks and coils.  The love affair I have with the wind blowing through my hair is often short lived because my hair starts feeling and looking greasy.  The duality of it all was too much.  I couldn’t give up.  Like for real, I’m so close to my April deadline for this experiment.  In all actuality, I should have retained at least 12 inches of hair.  That’s 1/3 of the hair I’ve envisioned for myself.



My hair has grown since the last cut and I can tell because I’m able to put my 2 flat twists in, again.  In the meantime, I needed to incorporate more ways to amplify my progress.  I’m sure most of you know Mahogany Curls (if you don’t check her out).  Well, she started a year-long growth challenge.  This includes no cutting, coloring, and simplistic regimens to see how much hair we can grow in 2017.  I’m totally on board for this.  More importantly, there is a forum for us via Facebook to gather knowledge and vent, congratulate and encourage each other through the year.  Within the first couple days, I discovered what my real issue was with my hair.  It’s de-fuckin’-hydrated.  I’m not moisturizing my hair enough which leads to breaking and snapping.  OMG!  How have I lasted this long without this critical point?  Only one answer comes to mind – I’ve been doing the bare minimum. Thank you, God, for protecting my edges.  🙂

Here’s what I’ll be doing until November 2017.  It seems pretty basic but it’s more than I have been doing in the past year, for sure.

vitaminsTaking vitamins these certainly helped me last year and I appreciate that I can get them from Target or CVS.  It also helps when I find a coupon in the Sunday paper for these.  That allow me to stock up.  I mean I’m a girl looking to save money on everyday stuff to have lifetime experiences.

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Deep conditioning hasn’t been as present in recent months due to the overwhelming task of wash day and being pulled in so many directions in life. I remember how well my hair was responding in the early days.

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This lady will be back.  The braids didn’t work as well as I hoped but I know without a doubt.  My hair succeeds under the protection of weave. So, as much as I like my hair, it’s time for me to take my hair goals serious.  The hair won’t be long or cost a million dollars.  It’ll give me the protection I need and assist me in retaining more length during this challenge.butter

In addition, I’ll be using hair butter and returning to the LOC Method to keep my hair moisturized in between installs and on wash day.

That sums it up.  I’m positive next year IF this hair makes it to the countdown – it’ll be to brag on my new length.  The April deadline is out the window.  This natural hair journey is here to stay.  Sometimes you need to change the plan to fit the goal. The goal is long healthy natural hair.

The #HealthyHairJourney is one of the most recognized tags in the world, right now. Everyone is embracing their natural hair or at least acknowledging those who have made the choice to take this journey.  Earlier this year I celebrated my 13th-year relaxer free and 3rd year with limited heat.  I’ve come to a very tricky fork in the road and the jury is still out with the verdict.

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Start of the year, my hair was booming.  Here it is after wash day in a flat twist. I noticed it was getting thicker and longer.  No one had touched my hair since the cut I received in November.  It was thriving and I was getting more excited about my next straightening and trim.  Time got away from me and I felt I needed to hold on a little while longer to retain a few more inches.  So, I decided to get some braids.

These felt comfortable.  The 1st set of braids I kept for 3 weeks.  On the next try, I called in the swift professionals at one of the local African braid shops.  Morning after morning, I jumped up, got ready for work and made sure my scalp was oiled.  I hadn’t had braids in a long time and I thought this would be the break I would need this year.  This had to be the best protective style for me.  My classic wig was starting to frustrate me – only because of its synthetic composition and the limited availability around town.  In addition, during this time I discover my hair is officially BLACK in color.  Not the same 1B it’s been my entire life.  The 2nd set lasted for 6 weeks.  I knew I needed to give my hair a break from this pulling of the braids.  This was my hair after removal.  I was in love.

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I did a YouTube search to find alternative protective hair styles to reduce the stress on my strands.  With an extra pack of braid hair on standby, I pulled off a high bun (but I didn’t get a picture).  I wore that for about a week but something wasn’t right with my hair.  It wasn’t performing as trained.  It felt harsh but I wasn’t plucking the knots anymore.  I knew I needed to get it trimmed.  Two flat twists with braid hair bought me a little more time.

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A subsequent wash day displayed some disturbing news.  I found several patches of hair in my head that were the length of my pinky finger.  WTF!?  When did this happen?  There were areas of my mane that are touching my chest, neck, and chin.  My heart and spirit sank – NOT AGAIN.  Let’s add this to the mix, I stopped taking the vitamins.  I was under the impression they were the cause of an acne breakout on my face.  I had no motivation to continue taking them.  I started to look into a salon near me to assist in getting my hair diagnosed.  My frustration with the possibilities was getting the best of me.  I conceded to the defeat with more flat twists and the shit still wasn’t feeling right.

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Can you see the difference from the beginning of the year?  I’ll answer for you – YES!  Even if you can’t just act like you can.  🙂  By the time of this picture, I had an appointment to get this shit resolved and see the true damages.  Let me just tell you – I had a severe breakdown when I saw it up close.  The hair was gorgeous in some areas and look like a rat had been chewing on it in others.  I held the tears back but I knew what needed to be done.  The truth of the matter is; I’d rather have healthy hair over long hair.  I ran my fingers through my tresses one last time and in one stoic breath I said: “cut it.”

img_1120Now, I’m back to the drawing board.  I’m not completely warmed up to this idea of entering salon life, again.  In this first week, has been so conflicting.  I miss my coils, curls, and the fullness of my hair in its natural state.  However, on the other hand, I like running my fingers and feeling the wind blow through it.  The compliments have helped immensely.  I hate this happened but I’m glad I’m strong enough to know when to let go.  More than anything else – I still had my edges!

I know what my signature look is and I’m going to achieve it.  The vitamins may get thrown back into the mix.  It looks like I need to go back to my old ways – mixing my hair products and staying on schedule.  Another old friend will be making a few appearances. Can you guess who it might be?  I know it’s just hair to some of you – to me, it’s another accessory to set your look apart from the rest.  Staying focused is the name of the game.  The rules might change but who’s going to judge me.  This one head of hair is a small portion of my own happiness – I don’t care what India Arie says.  LOL 😉

 

 

 

Every couple of years a product hits the market that promises great results and financial growth.  You remember Noni juice, Body Magic, Mary Kay and Amway. I might be aging myself but these were companies that kept personal selling alive.  On my hair journey, I had researched all the supplements for hair growth.  I decided to give It Works a shot after hearing a few reviews about the limited to no side effects from taking the vitamin.

On New Year’s Day, I purchased a one month supply of the Hair Skin Nail vitamins.  The shipment seemed to take longer than expected but I took into account that I placed my order on a holiday weekend.  After my order was released from a hostage situation in the leasing office, I started me supplements on the 15th of January.  I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging.  (While I’m writing this, I’m sure there is another shipment being held in the leasing office. #MajorSideEye)

The vitamins are a pretty decent size.  I don’t have a problem with ingesting pills.  The problem I do have is taking them daily.  The instruction require you to take 2 a day with plenty of water.  I’ve been managing to stay the course.  All for the opportunity to create a gorgeous halo braid with my natural hair.  Another bonus, they DO NOT smell like vitamins.  Y’all know what I’m talking about – that almost medicinal yet herbal smell.  They feature a minty aroma which is somewhat inviting.  This has helped me immensely.

This is a close up of the ingredients contains in the supplements.  Recognize any familiar components from your healthy hair journey studies.  Trust me they’re all here.  Over these past few weeks, I have not experienced any breakouts on my skin.  In addition, some hyper-pigmentation I was experiencing on my face is healing faster than expected.

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Supplements were the last thing on the list of things to promote greater length retention and growth.  I’ve already been on this journey for almost 3 years.  Even before the setback, I wasn’t where I should have been in terms of length.  However, I’d rather have healthier hair than longer hair.  Please don’t hold your breath waiting for me to post a picture of my current hair length.  I didn’t take one.  There are several reasons why I didn’t.

  • I haven’t straightened my hair since November 2015.
  • I didn’t want to become consumed with measuring the results.
  • I wanted to be surprised by the results at the end of my 90 days.
  • I have a difficult time taking proper images of my hair.
  • Plus, I know how damaging those images can be for the another person on the journey.

In reference to my last reason, I feel that sometime progress images can be more harmful than good.  I understand they are meant to be motivating.  Some people like to see the results of remaining on this journey.  There have been times when I have wanted to call it quits because my hair is growing slower than others.  So once I finish the 90 day supply, I will show you my results.  Let me know if you’re interested and smile.

 

 

 

Before I started using Coconut oil for everything I bought a small bottle of lavender oil from this local herbalist Mical. I loved it! The smell was good it didn’t leave me feeling and looking like a pork roast (shiny) and was good for my skin. I paid $15.00 for this bottle. Still have it to this day. In the course of me doing what I so often do, surf the web. I found a recipe to create the same oil if not better. So, I made a batch and it’s simple enough for you to create as well.

The only things you’ll need are:

  • Glass bottle with lid
  • Few Sprigs of fresh lavender
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

That glass bottle almost gave me a hard time until one night after I finished an individual serving on wine and looked at the bottle screaming “BINGO!” But you’re more that free to use a mason jar or buying a new bottle. (I had to wait after I cleaned it to make sure all of the alcohol was gone.)

Push the sprigs of lavender into the bottle. You can tear the leaves from the stem or place them whole. Carefully pour the EVOO into the bottle on top of the herb. Seal tight with the cap and place in a dark cool area of your home. Within 2 days you will begin to smell the aromatic oil. The infusion process has begun.
Currently, I’m using this oil as a pre-poo on the days I shampoo my hair. In doing this I just saturate the hair with the oil cover and let sit as long as I want. This step makes my hair a little more manageable during this process. Another use I have for it is as a moisturizer for my hands. The lavender intensifies with proper storage and time. In the end this oil smelled and felt better that the product I purchased.

Here’s to the beginning of living a Beau Miss Lifetyle.

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Merry Christmas from Detroit

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I pledge to my strands for as long as I write this blog you will never be forgotten. There’s always room to talk about my hair & yes it fell a few spaces from last year. It didn’t fall off. We experienced more drama & fewer trips to the salon. I’ve only been twice this year!

As I told you I began my full natural journey April 2. It was a little scary because I love changing my look out of boredom. So I knew I had to protect my hair from me. The decision was maid to get a sew in weave. I think I wanted the box braids but the stigma on them was too much for a lady like me.

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The Same Girl Different Hair was sent from The Lord to help we win the battle for my hair. After 20 weeks underneath the braids, caps &wefts! I freed my hair from the man made bondage I place upon it. Drum roll please!!! Minimal breakage, head full of hair & longer by 3.5 inches! I was over excited because a trouble area of my mane had suffered for 10 years to grow & here it was thriving! Toward the end of having the install connected to my hair. I was over it! I wanted to see my hair & everything it had been through. I was pleasantly surprised. Confused about what to do next I opted to wear a wig for the next couple weeks. A length check is definitely in order! We’ll see how every thing measures out on NYE.. Yup! I’m going to straighten my hair.

I may do this again to retain more length but it probably won’t be for the same amount of time. I am not my hair but I love it. 🙂

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