Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Just Beeyoutiful! - Spotlight on Akia

It’s time to highlight another Just Bee You'ser and their experiences with the products! This spotlight is on Akia who was able to benefit from our customization services and have a product that was created just for her! Read on to find out more… 

Tell us about your hair…

I have always had natural hair. I have never experienced anything else. My parents, especially my dad, never believed in chemically-treated hair especially when I was a child. I have dreadlocks now and I have had them since 2001; September to be exact. 

Describe your hair care regimen (including the products you use)? 

My hair care regimen is not a very long one - my hair is washed once per month (no, it doesn't smell because of how I treat it), steamed every three (3) months and dyed every six (6) months. I had been using 'Sunsilk' Shampoo and Conditioner (particularly for colour-treated hair) and about two years ago I switched to 'Suave Professionals' Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner (Moisturizing). As for my dye products, I use 'Clairol' Textures and Tones (because of the length of my hair, I usually use 6 to 8 boxes to get that rich colour).

How long have you been using “Just Bee You!” products? How has your experience with the product line been so far?

I have been using the “Just Bee You!” Oils ‘n’ Herbs just about a year now and I recently began using the Baby Bottom Balm (recent as in last I love the way the Oils ‘n’ Herbs make my scalp feel and not to mention the is just beautiful. I have two boys: 4 years old and 4 months old and the Baby Bottom Balm has been working wonders on them both. It is not too greasy and their skin feels so soft.

What is your favourite “Just Bee You!” product?

My favourite product is the Oils ‘n’ Herbs (I guess as it was my first). What I really like about this product is that it is tailored to suit me. I cannot use Olive Oil in my hair; it would itch and that itching is enough to send me crazy. The olive oil was replaced with grape seed oil and that combination has done me well. Even my hairdresser has commented on how healthy my scalp looks whenever I use it.

What are 5 hair items / products you can’t live without?

1. My customized Oils 'n' Herbs
2. Let's Jam (this is what I use to twist my locs)
3. Mango and Lime Moisturizer (I use this one to moisturize to my ends)

… okay, so I don't have 5.

What are some of the lessons you've learnt on the journey to healthy hair?

Be careful who puts their hand your hair. When I started my locs, I had many admirers who would like to touch (most of the time without permission) and in 2003, I thought I would have had to cut off ALL of my hair because my hair began to drop. My hairdresser told me that, if anyone wants to touch my hair they have to ask my permission and I can say no if I don't feel comfortable.

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone trying to maintain healthy hair?

You would not know which product is the right one for you until you have tried them all; experimentation is a key factor. Not all maintenance processes are good; I never interlock my hair because it damages my roots however, another person may do it because that is the only way their hair would stay. Again you have to figure out what is the right process/product for you.

What do you love most about your hair?

I love the fact that although my hair is natural, I can style it just like or even better than chemically-treated hair. I love its versatility. I also love the reaction from my husband when I have a hot, new style! India.Arie said, "I am not my hair." I think she got it wrong, I am my hair and my hair is me.

(Remember, if you'd like to be featured as an "I'm justbeeyoutiful" spotlight, give me a shout!)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Protective Styling 101 - the basics

A Protective Style is any hairstyle that keeps your hair (especially your ends which are the oldest part of your hair) safely tucked away or protected from:
- outside elements (extremely cold or hot weather) 
- rubbing on your shoulders or clothing 
both of which can cause weathering or wearing down of the hair strands and thus breakage. 

Many times we feel like our hair is not growing, when in reality our hair is breaking off at the ends, so that we are not retaining length. Ideally a protective style is something that is low-manipulation or doesn't require you to mess with your hair too much everyday, reducing the breakage that can occur from daily combing/styling. 

Some protective styles include twists, flat twists, finger coils, box braids, cornrows, buns, wigs and extensions (braids, crochet braids and weaves).

Are weaves a protective style?
There's been a lot of discussion about whether extensions, and weaves in particular, are truly protective styles. Simply wearing a style which is deemed ‘protective’ but not taking the time to care for your own hair during that time is where the danger lies. You can't just throw your hair in a weave for 6 weeks and call it protective styling - if you don't have a proper moisture regimen during that period, or you never wash your hair or at least cleanse your scalp, then you may not have the positive result you were expecting from the protective style. In a case like that, the weave is not the culprit but the fact that you neglected your own hair during the process. 

large parts, loose braiding and a solid cleansing
& moisture regimen help keep braids 'protective'
The manner in which a protective style is done can also determine whether it works for you or not. If you put your bun or cornrows in too tightly, or you twist your hair using a drying hair product like gel which contains alcohol, or glue the weave to your scalp, then it ceases to be "protective". I've had great success with braids (using synthetic hair) as a protective style because I never make the parts smaller that half inch squares (even if it looks spacey!) and I do not braid the hair tightly. Do my braids get fuzzy faster? of course, but they don't rip the hair out of my head either!

Protective styling can help with retaining length and maintaining the overall health of your hair (I find that my hair is less dry/brittle when I protective style more regularly than go loose/fro'd out) but be sure that you take the time to maintain your hair while in 'protective mode', you may also want to experiment with a few protective styles to see which ones are best for your hair type and your lifestyle.

twists - my 'go to' protective style
Do you do protective styling? What are your 'go to' protective styles?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How free are we, really?

Today (August 1st) Trinidad and Tobago (and many other countries) commemorate the abolition of slavery - Emancipation Day.

There are so many theories as to why Emancipation happened, how it happened ... whether it was really about granting slaves their freedom or it was just an economic convenience, I think we can use this day as a day of reflection and introspection.   

I saw this Harriet Tubman quote online, which really spoke to me: 

It made me think that about some of the negative mindsets which may be keeping us enslaved up to today - Fear, Self-Hate, Self-Doubt, Low Self-Esteem, Negative Thoughts ... so many of these things hold us back, often without us being fully aware that we are being held captive by them. 

Owning up to these negative thoughts is half the battle in overcoming them. This Emancipation day, why not make an honest evaluation of the way you perceive yourself and then reject those negative ideas and perceptions. 

Stop saying things like: 
"I can't wait for my hair to be longer, it will be so pretty!"
NO! your hair is pretty now! and it will be pretty when it's longer too 

"When I lose this weight I will be so hot" Sure you can exercise and lose the weight and be healthy, but get some really cute outfits that flatter the body you have right NOW and ROCK them!

Don't let a negative mindset hold you back from loving YOU today!

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.