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.

img_1120

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.

img_1120

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.

dc

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.

Happiness
Deep Wave Marti

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.

img_0512

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.

img_0922

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.

img_1040

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.

img_1112

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 😉

 

 

 

I really don’t know how long this “natural hair journey” is going to last.  The first big chop took place April 2, 2013 and I was making good progress.  A pretty good balance was created between protective styles and heat.  However, I developed a pretty nasty habit and it has been frowned upon.  After my appointment had to be cancelled, I had to figure out another plan. The results are bittersweet.  Stay around for the deets.

Let me start by saying, the time and effort that goes into natural hair care is underrated and appreciated.  These last few weeks have proven to be more stressful than any other week in my journey.  Every morning I’m brushing, twisting, fluffing, blending and styling to look presentable.  When I get home I’m thinking of a way to style it so I won’t have to manipulate it in the morning.  If the Mista wants to have a little QT, I’m out the game.  This whole routine had become very stressful to me.  Not to mention my almost non-existent wash days.  I’m up for work then out until the evening.  The domestic chores I need to complete are done during this time.  Then with extreme pleasure I head off to the football field for the games on Saturday.  On the seventh day, she rested and tries to get things together for the coming week.  Can you find the room for the detangling, pre-pooing, shampoo, condition, deep condition and style?  Right!  I couldn’t either.  I will honestly say that this journey has become very frustrating to me.  I wanted to do something about it and check the health of my hair.  You’ve seen the pictures of my hair over the year – it’s been growing.  It was time for someone to confirm the visual professionally.

I reached out to the 1st stylist to set up an appointment on a day I was planning to treat myself to a day of beauty.  She responded with her regrets due to travel.  Then I scheduled services with another stylist that I trust.  As we get closer to the day, I receive a text requesting I select another time due to an unforeseen event in their lives.  If I reschedule, I’m not going to do it at all.  Once I have my mind set on something, it’s either yay or nay.  I cancelled my appointment and was on the hunt for someone with education and availability.  I was recommended to a young woman in the Metro Detroit area that was familiar with the healthy hair practices. With faith the size of a mustard seed, I awaited for my appointment.

The location was nicely tucked away and welcoming.  I described my practices and the things I was interested in with my hair.  She talked with me about the products she was using on my hair and educated me on some of the things I have learned.  What I didn’t have much stomach for was her up sell of my need for a stylist on a regular basis, the phone conversations held while completing my hair and the amount of time used to complete the appointment.  The highest offense I took was her disparaging tone with regard to the education some of us naturalistas have adhered to on our journey.  Yes, all of these practices may not work to the favor and glory of everybody but they have guided and taught so many of us along the way.  Yes, my hair wasn’t in it’s best shape and I hadn’t retained as much lengthy as possible but I did grow my hair to collar bone length with no help.  I held my tongue and allowed her to do what I came for.  Wait, let me not forget how she talked down on the products I was using at home.  I knew in that chair I would never come back to this shop again.  Leaving crossed my mind several times but I was committed to the plan I created for the day.  She commenced to straighten my hair and it had grown tremendously.  I could have been prude and just figured it out for myself but I knew I needed to do this.  I had some problem areas and I needed her to resolve them.  She offered me a suggestion for Manetabolism.  I’ve never taken a vitamin for my hair but it’s worth a shot.  Let me give you the final diagnosis on my hair from the good doctor.

Even though my hair had grown substantially, I have been snapping the knots, split ends and being very rough with my mane.  It was discovered that there were multiple area of my hair where some strands were long and others were shorter in length.  She told me it may be “nervous energy” and you all know I had a lot going on over the past few months.  So she may have hit that disorder on the head and I told her to cut.  I’ve never been afraid of cutting my hair.  There’s another idea brewing in my head to retain as much length as I can in the next year.  Thant’s why I’m calling this BC #2.  Here are the final results.

image

Does it look like mom hair?  I like it but I miss my fluffy 3c-4a hair.  The feeling of the wind blowing through my hair and wrapping it up every night brought back some old memories. I’m going to stretch this until Thanksgiving and then I’m getting back on the wagon.  After I straighten my hair I’m always worried about it not reverting to it’s natural state.  It’s so soft!  I refuse to fall in love with this because I can’t wait to see is all curled up.  Speaking of curls… those Lee beauty supply stores are only good for 3 things to me:

I was going to say 4 and add my wig but I just found some amazing placed to purchase from online.  Which I just ordered because I will need it in the off season coming up!  I didn’t even mention her “don’t wear wigs everyday” spill.  I think that’s what keeps my hands out of my hair most.  Anyway, I went and picked up some new flexi-rods because my sister lost the other set I owned.  In addition, I got some smaller perm rods for the shorter hair in the back and can’t wait to style it.  So, if you asked me if I like the cut?  I’ll tell you, yes, only because I’m thinking of every imaginable style I can recreate.


image

I’ll post some style photos as I have a little fun.  The point of it all.  I’m still on the journey, experienced a setback but I’m positive it’s in prep for my comeback. 😉 Keep smiling!


The autumn winds have been a welcomed event and I’m going to bring you up to speed.  I’ve adjusted, recognized and featured on The Edge.  When I’m away from you there’s traditionally a great deal going on.  It’s only been a little over a month yet I don’t know where to start.  Bare with me if I start rambling but something tells me you won’t leave until I get to the end of the story.  Let’s get right into this leg of the journey.

At the end of September, I got a call on my desk phone.  It was the recruiter about the job I interviewed for a few weeks prior.  While holding back my excitement and a few gratuitous tears, I was offered the position and I accepted.  It seemed like things were starting to look a lot better in this very moment.  I couldn’t tell anyone because the process wasn’t complete.  It was hard trying to hold it in but I had to tell my day 1 friends that started at this company with me.  On October 5th, I was transferred to my new workstation and gained a new perspective of the company I was hired into.  Over the pass few weeks, I’ve been trying to get my area in order and adjust to my new responsibilities.  The 1st week was the hardest because I kinda missed tweeting at customers but as time went on I recognized it was time for me to do something different.

Meanwhile, during this time the Mista requested some time alone and I really didn’t know how to process this.  Why would he need time away from me?  What could I have done wrong?  So many questions were running through my head but I had to remember something that I determined earlier this year.  As long as we follow our own rules, who can can judge us if we fail.  The questions ceased and I went on enjoying this time in my life and getting reacquainted with my “me time.”  I like the time I have with myself.  Some time ago, I resolved I would probably never get married and started becoming comfortable with that.  Of course I’ve considered it since being with him but I can’t let go of the idea that it may not happen.  After a solid month, we reconnected on our own terms.

I haven’t mentioned the FOOTBALL!  That’s right if you follow me on Instagram (@bmisunderstood) you already know the kid plays for the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School varsity team. We’re still enjoying an #undefeated season after the controversy.  Some of you got the story from my Periscope and the news. Check it out.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/students-parents-pack-meeting-to-overturn-detroit-king-forfeit/35935402

Division 1 Champions

The decision was overturned with suspensions of players involved and we went on to get the W against Cass Tech at Ford Field.  Last week we defeated U of D Jesuit and are scheduled to play Wyandotte this weekend.  This has been an exciting season and I’d like to think it’s destiny.  If you all remember, the kid use to wear the number 19 when he played for the West Side Steelers in PAL.  He holds number 80.  We both observed the relation on the day he got his number. 19 – 80, the year I was born.  I’ve been to every game and with this photo in my back pocket.

1980

I’ll keep you posted on our results.  LET’S GO CRUSADERS!!!

In the background, the kid went to the homecoming in a throwback look from the 90s.  This picture does him no justice.  He wore a Coogi sweater, Levi’s and Clark’s wallabees. I didn’t even have to argue with him about it this year.  However, I did call my friend, Marv Neal, to give light on the significance of the Clark’s (thanks 😉 for the assist).  So, I think he’s growing up a bit.  True to my thrifty heart, I purchased the sweater on eBay.  Let’s give acknowledgement to the high top fade or Bart Simpson as the NEW kids call it.  I think he looked rather nice.

Homecoming

A doctor’s visit for my annual exam deemed unnecessary until they told me I have a Vitamin D deficiency.  How the hell do you get that?  Here’s what I found may have been my cause:

Researchers have also noted that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in adults of all ages who always wear sun protection (which blocks vitamin D production) or limit their outdoor activities.1 People with increased skin pigmentation (such as those whose ancestors are from Africa, the Middle East, or India) are also at risk, as are the elderly.

Let me also include that my normal dairy intake is not what it use to be considering I’m not as local to the products I trust from Meijer.  So they gave me a prescription and I’ve started to make that journey to purchase the groceries I love which can assist me in turning this thing around.  Don’t worry about me, I’ll be just fine.  Other than that, I’m healthy as can be and headed back to the gym.  Yes, we’ve been through this gym break-ation (Comes from my new addiction to Wendy Williams, lol) before.  However, I never internalized the importance of the gym in my life.  Working out helps my attitude about myself and it’s helps me release tension.  My body feels like I was in one helluva fight after the first couple days but I’m determined to stick with it.

This will require a whole post of its own but I wanted to be let you all know.  This natural thing is almost at the end of my rope.  My mindset – I’m fidgeting with this hair everyday, back and forth with the idea of a sew-in and do not want to damage it.  It’s getting very exhausting and I need a change.  Yes, I’m coming up to year 3 of the 4 year promise. At this time though, I’m over it.  I’ve made an appointment for next Friday with Maya Mitchell and will follow-up on what happened.

I believe those are all the highlights.  If I think of anything else you should know, I’ll be sure to inform you. At any rate, I hope you all are well and smiling! 🙂

I left you all hanging on the “Between an Equinox and a Solstice” post.  Let me see where I left off.  There may not be much to fill you in on because I’ve been posting on the regular again, lol. Keep in mind a lot of time passed and I really remember what I need to post through my camera roll.  This should be exciting.


Yep, if you picked her you’re correct.  They became the Ruckers on June 19th in the state of Michigan.  The ceremony was beautiful and she was a stunning bride.  Once again, the original SoMe musketeers were together.  After battling a cocktail hour and dinner line, I headed back to my home for a relaxing evening.  Congrats are in order to the bride again for keeping the drama to a minimum.

It takes a lot for me to ask someone for help. You can blame my foolish pride for that trait.  Over the pass several years, I’ve needed a friend on more than one occasion and you wouldn’t believe they all came through for me.  However, I thank God for sending Melanie into my life.  She’s been a genuine friend.  From my days of underemployment when she would whisk me off to the show or dinner until now.  Words can not express my appreciation for her friendship.  So when she said she was celebrating her burfday, you know I had to be there.  She looked beautiful and happy.


Now, I may not be turning up like I use to, hell I’m 35 and have done the most.  Add this to the facts, I really just adore quiet nights at home, now.  In some cases, I find it imperative that I get out to spin around on the dance floor every once in a while.  Here I am with my original crew and Eva (I forget the young lady’s name that was with us).  If you see a pattern in my clothing you’ll be on point for my next post. 🙂



Sleeping Beauty Hair Garments expanded during the 2nd quarter.  In addition to our staple bonnets, edge tamers and scarves, we added something a little more weave friendly – Bundle bags.  Yes, our Beauties can rest their wefts in our satin & silk bags in between installs.  Let’s put this in perspective, a lady can spend upwards of $200 on virgin hair.  Once you take it out to allow your natural hair to breathe, are you suppose to throw it in a zip-lock bag to preserve the freshness? No!! These bags are constructed to give the same effects of our worn hair garments.  The response has been phenomenal. Just a little something to round out our product line.  If you’re interested in a quote for hair garments or bundle bags, please email sleepingbeautyhairgarments@gmail.com.



You could say I had a good time during my break.  You could also say I didn’t do too much out of the ordinary.  What you won’t be able to say is I wasn’t smiling! 🙂 #AllTheWay like Frank Sinatra!

I apologize for the tardiness of this post.  There was a little anxiety surrounding this one.  I’ve done it all: travel, party, club and dinners.  This year I wanted to do something different.  I celebrated my 35th year on this planet.  The inquires were coming in and all I wanted was to be thankful that I was here.

35

The plan went as follows – dinner at the amazing 24 Grille for my favorite food – salmon.  Yes, I know I went there last year and a few other times in the year, lol!  Hair would  be in it’s natural state and I would push the envelope to wear something I had in my closet.  This wasn’t even going to happen on the day of my birth.  During the evening, a hypnotic selection of music played through the sound system, which felt like it was just for me.  I later found out it was The Foreign Exchange Pandora Station.  We talked, laughed, drank and ate multiple times after a routine visit to Sweetwater Tavern.  To much avail I drank all and drove home to the sounds of the R. cd from the 90s.  Talk about a good time.

WilMa

Family

Monday came and everyone wanted to know “What are you doing?”  What they didn’t know was I had a plan for something special and unexpected.  It was going to be explosive.  With my main guy in tow we headed to Phantom Fireworks in Livonia, MI.  I had the store all to myself and we bought exactly more of what I wanted.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, my greetings were coming in non stop.  Calls, texts and post on every social media platform warmed my hear all day long.  After dinner and a nap, my guy walked me to the Detroit River and we had our own fireworks show.  It was a pure spectacle – one I thoroughly enjoyed.  On the walk back home, we encountered a woman screaming. “Do y’all know where that big boom came from?”  Uh no!  This will be my new tradition from now until.

Due to the milestone of this year, I have decided to celebrate every month on the 27th.  Some people have stretched their celebrating to the entire month of birth.  Who could possibly challenge me for celebrating all year?  All major events will be attended dressed in blue (my favorite color).  I’ve taken this opportunity to also switch up the image of my blog in direct relation to my Blueprint year.  I’ll keep you updated on all the festivities.  This is my fourth birthday we have shared together.  I know it won’t be the last.