Last Saturday, September 26 was Naturals in The City 12 and it was awesome!
The sun came out for us in full force, and the energy at Social Place that day was super. (Read “super” in a French accent)
Thank you to all the lovely ladies, and gents, and little ones that came to gather with us. Thank you Ebun, for helping us with registration. Thank you to our vendors, our speakers, and our ghen ghen caterer, Kitchen Butterfly. My friend Anu was our MC for the day, shout out to her for holding it down. And a special shout out to my wonderful fellow organizers, Natural Nigerian, Sherese (Carib Health) and @Ms_Isioma 🙂
It was a beautiful day. We started on time, people were actually early! And I think we recorded our biggest number so far- about 200 people! So amazing! I cannot give you a play by play of what went down at the meet-up since I was busy running around, but I’ve got about 50-something thousand words in pictures! Continue reading “Naturals in The City 12!”
It’s another Friday! How quickly did the weekend get here?! It has been a somewhat weird week over here, but I am learning, as one does in this interesting arrangement called life, that we can fully control nothing. Before I go off on a long rant and attempt some philosophical undertaking, I shall jump right into my reason for being here today! Two words, Debra. Cartwright.
I am admirer of the arts in all its forms, really. I think that the ability to express the intangible in ways that appeal to various senses is a great gift that was bestowed upon humanity. I love it, I love it!
I found out about Debra’s work from the girls over at nik-nak. It did not take much to convince me to stalk her and her illustrations. The art speaks for itself. It really does. It is with so much fan girl excitement that I give you Debra, her art, and her hair for your ogling! Enjoy!
We wanna meet you! Where are you from? What is one random fact about you?
Hi! I’m from Annapolis Maryland. I learned to sail around 10 but I’m terrible at it. I do love fishing though. So much.
Let’s get right into it. Your art… how did it begin?
I’ve always drawn. Usually cartoons and paper dolls for my little sister and cousins. My mother noticed and put me in after school art class.
What do you love the most about what you do?
The ability to express myself through imagery. It’s nice to be able to get out my emotions visually.
What do you like the least? What are your challenges?
Never thinking I am good enough. I’d say about 90% of what I post I go “well this sucks but, I want to track my progress so I’ll put it up”. I’m my biggest critic.
What are the things that inspire you?
Entrepreneurs, black women, our history.
What is the best compliment that you have received?
This lady once told me my paintings inspire her daughter to feel beautiful. That really hit home.
Now, your hurr! How long have you worn your hair natural?
About 2 and a half years!
Are you a less-is-more girl with your hair or do you go all out?
Less is more for sure. I’m a minimalist from my painting to my hair products.
Shrinkage- do you fight it or embrace it?
Depends on what I feel that day. I like to let my hair do whatever it wants for the most part, so shrinking doesn’t bother me, but I’ll twist it when it gets too dry.
What’s your regimen like?
Depends on how dirty it is. I try to stay away from shampoos unless necessary. For shampoo I’ll use mixed chicks or devacurl no poo. Then I continue with my regular routine. Finger detangle in four sections with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner, add some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, then some Olive oil Eco Styler gel and out the door.
I do the routine above about every four days (minus the shampoo). If it looks dry I’ll spritz it with some water, my hair loves water.
Night time routine
I just sleep on a satin pillowcase and fluff in the morning
Go-to hair style?
Wash and go
Hair product or step that no woman should ever skip?
Detangling with Hello Hydration! Love that stuff
Two absolute hair DON’TS
Comb or brush when dry (unless you’re teasing it for a music festival 😉 Blow dry from wet! (I’m so against direct heat) I really don’t do anything to my hair that feels like its straining it. I feel bad for my curls lol.
If you had one hair regret, it would be…
I didn’t go natural sooner!
Two things your hair cannot do without?
Hello Hydration and water.
Share your favourite styling tip/secret?
A lot of times to look fancy I’ll roll the back up into a French chignon and twist the top ends into a hair sculpture with 500 bobby pins. It looks sleek but it only takes 15 minutes and is really just an organized mess.
Greatest discovery in your hair journey that totally changed your hair game.
My hair hates oils! I know they are everywhere but they start to clog my scalp and face pores and just sits on top of my hair. My hair loves butters and water though.
Any hair challenges or bad habits you’re trying to break?
I need to get up the courage to get a trim! I’m terrified of beauty salons, which is crazy because I was so dependent on them about 3 years ago. I love having control of my hair now and I don’t want to give it up.
One of the things that drew me to your illustrations is the representation of hair. Is this something you do consciously?
Most definitely. I love fashion illustrations and noticed the majority of them never showed natural hair, same with media representation of beauty standards. My work was to combat these facts. Create the images you want to see.
Where can we follow your work? Where can we buy your work?
Thank you to Debra! Are you guys in love yet?! No? Ok, here’s more for you to appreciate:
Ok. Ok. To view more of Debra’s work, visit her website. I hope this has put some sunshine into your hearts this Friday and has got you magically more excited for the promising weekend! Until next time, beauts.
Hey beauts! Happy Friyay!!! If you aren’t already, I hope today’s hairspiration will put you in the right mood for the weekend!
Hello! Tell us about you, girl!
My name is Jensine, aka Jungle Naps on Youtube. I live in California with my handsome husband and one very curious kitty. I’m a cycling instructor and I love to whip my students into shape! You can often find me yelling, “Sprint like you stole something!” during class.
Have you always been natural?
I went natural at the age of 17. Almost by mistake really. I was going off to college in a nondiverse part of California. With no car and no motivation to keep up with a relaxer and high maintenance press and curl, I put my hair in box braids for 5 years. Looking back on it now, I’m so proud of myself. But I still had a looong way to go. I had no idea how to properly detangle or wash my hair in its natural state between braiding. Flash forward to 3 years ago, I came across natural hair tutorials online. I literally thought, “If they can do it, why am I paying all this money to braid my hair?” I wanted to embrace my natural beauty and leave behind the pressure of what society expected me to look like. I am so lucky that I had such a great support system. My friends and family embraced my wild and free hair with open arms.
Tell us about your hair!
My hair is definitely a free spirit. A good hair day never happens the same way twice. If I had to officially categorize it though, I have 4C hair. My parents are both from Haiti, deep in the country, hence the name Jungle Naps. It has low porosity, so I usually deep condition under a hooded dryer.
How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?
I’m always switching up my regimen. Currently to effectively cleanse my hair, I use Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo. It smells divine and it’s free of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. I follow that up with a deep conditioning treatment under my hooded dryer for 3060 min. I alternate between: Giovanni Smooth as Silk, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist, and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. I like to mix my conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor oil. It literally gives my hair life! Afterwards, I apply my leave in (As I am Leave In Conditioner) and detangle with a denman brush. For styling, I love using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie for twist
outs and bantu knot outs. It gives my style hold while keeping it moisturized. Plus what’s not to like, when you smell like a tropical paradise afterwards.
What are the things your hair cannot do without?
Water and aloe vera juice! I spray it on my hair every night before bed. Oh and shout out to my silk scarf! Can’t live without that one either.
What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?
Oh this is an easy one! My hair hates tight buns. I used to shoot for the “laid edges look,” but that left me with some balding spots around my hairline. Lesson learned.
How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?
Twist outs and buns with a nice flat twist to frame my face are the usual for me. If I really want to get real fancy, I’ll do a curl former set.
How do you feel about shrinkage?
I love it and hate it. On the one hand, it’s part of what makes natural hair so beautiful. On the other hand, sometimes, I’d like to have a little more control over when it will happens.
Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?
Nope, no negativity allowed in my section! Haha but seriously. I went natural to make myself happy so no one can tell me how I should present myself. I find that those that feel the need to be negative are usually projecting their own insecurities on you. I just keep shining bright and come back with my hair wilder and bigger than before.
Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?
My challenge lies in developing the proper trim regimen. When I lax on trimming, my ends start breaking, but if I over trim, I don’t see much length retention. I’m experimenting to get it just right.
Do you have any hair goals short or long term?
Yes! I’m trying to grow my hair down to waist length (stretched). I’m almost at bra strap length currently.
Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?
If you’re not sure if you want to go natural, in the words of Nike, Just Do It! It will be the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself. If you’re newly natural, just know that there’s a steep learning curve. You’ll spend many wash days confused as to why a certain product hasn’t worked. You’ll even grimace after more than a few failed Youtube tutorials. Just know that you’ll find your way.