A Quarantine Hair Story

I’ve been #teamnatural my whole life but I am far from perfect when it comes to knowing and doing what’s best for my hair.  I have type 3 hair (though I’m 100% not sure if I’m A or B if I’m totally honest) and it has suffered through some major heat damage in the last 10 years due to straightening with heat. Since my sophomore year in college it has become a sort of traditional to straighten my hair every fall/winter, be it via a roller-set or blow out. It started out as something I did for internship/job interviews but later it I realized that having straight hair also made things much easier for me during the colder seasons as my curls are not fans of winter outerwear, hats or scarves.  (My hair tends to get a bit matted and seriously frizzy under any kind of duress from wool and other winter knits.)

How it started (March 2020) vs. How it’s going.

Quarantine began around the time I would normally begin transitioning back to my natural curls, however once it became obvious that I wouldn’t be working at the office anytime soon, I started to change up my weekly hair care routine in order to give my hair the care it desperately needed after so much neglect. By the time my birthday came around in May, I started to see an improvement so I fully committed to staying curly for the rest of the year. No heat styling at all.  (I even went so far as to packing my heat styling tools deep in storage so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep up with my old ways.)

While it did take some trial and error with products as well as patience, my hair now is the healthiest it’s been since probably high school. I know that all curls are not the same, but I wanted to share the products I’ve used  (in the order that I received and tried them) that helped get me to this point. I hope you find it helpful whether you have curly hair or not, as some of these work on all types of hair.

Disclaimer: Some of the products listed here were sent to me as samples for review. All opinions are my own. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Ok first let me just say  that this is probably the priciest product I will ever share on this blog ever, but I had to. I got a sample of this product last May as my Sephora birthday gift and from the first time I used it I was in awe. In an attempt to limit frizz, I tend to be pretty heavy handed when it comes to applying product to my hair which often times leads to my scalp flaking so having a product like this  I immediately went to see about getting myself a full size bottle only to see the $42 price tag.  It would be months before I could convince myself to spend that kind of money on my head but I don’t regret it for a second.

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5 Ways to Add Self Care to Your Daily Life

With everything that has happened over the last year it has been difficult to not sink deep into my usual stress response of survival, and coping mechanisms.  I am so guilty of not taking care of myself when things were “normal” and this has only gotten worst between dealing with the possibly of being laid off (again), financial insecurity and the logistics of having to move during a pandemic to name a few. I know that I’m not alone with this, nevertheless I’ve been actively trying to find some sense of peace in chaos.

And yes, things may seem a bit quiet and boring being under quarantine for so long, yet that too can be a form of chaos for some of us. (Yes, even for introverts.) Today I’m sharing five ways I’ve been incorporating more self care into my routine. While some of these may seem obvious, some are still hard even for me, but I’m trying and I hope you’ll join me.

1.) Get cozy and cute (but only if YOU want to)

I’ve taken to treating myself to some new sleep and lounger wear to bring in some changes to my overall dull WFH wardrobe. Most recently I got this black sleep shirt from the Modcloth-exclusive collaboration with Hello Kitty. It has a classic pajama silhouette with lapel collar, cuffed long sleeves and curved shirttail hem, red heart-shaped buttons down the entire front, piping throughout and an embroidered patch of this Sanrio icon on the chest pocket.  It is adorable and soft though also chic enough that I deemed it worthy of including a few accessories and makeup despite the fact that I’m just staying home because, why not?

I’ll admit that like most people that have been working from home,  I really haven’t been dressing up much, though I try to make an effort at least on those days I have a scheduled  Zoom call.  Somedays I’ll do this and other times I simply don’t care enough to try. Both are fine. The important thing is to do what is comfortable for you.

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V-Extra for V-day

It may be because I’ve been re-reading old chapters of Lore Olympus on Webtoon, but when it came to thinking about Valentine’s day this year the only thing that would come to mind is Persephone. For those of your who may be able unfamiliar with Classical Mythology, Persephone is known to be a Goddess of adaptation being that she is both the Goddess of Spring and, due to her marriage to Hades, Queen of the Underworld. So with her contradictory nature and role, we have the light and feminine along with the dark and edgy, all in one.For me this train of thought wasn’t about recreating a look from the aforementioned webcomic (though I really want to for Comic Con one day), but rather give myself a chance to be “extra” just for the hell of it which doesn’t happen too often.

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Let’s Get This Straight! – Natural Curls in the Workplace

Five years ago when I told my mother I had an interview for an internship position with a renowned fine art and antiquities auction house, her immediate reaction was, “go straighten your hair.” I had really long waist-length tightly curly hair—a gift from my mother’s side of the family—that tends to get a lot of unwanted attention. Though choosing to retain my natural texture for most of my life, I had a love-hate relationship with it- until I realized that my hair wasn’t a curse but something that made me more unique. Maintaining my curly hair was long, tedious process so as a child I often complained about my texture, while my mother was always the one championing  its natural beauty, so hearing her “go straighten your hair” declaration threw me off a bit. What did my hair have to do with my qualifications for the position?

A lot apparently.

2015 Office Selfie

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Why Fa(t)shion?

I have been very fortunate to have major support for what I do here on this blog. I’ve had friends and family help me pick out blog shoot sites, take pictures and point out new industry updates that I may have missed due to my hectic schedule.  And every once in a while they question what I decide to feature in my posts, but with recent events being what they are, I’ve noticed that these private exchanges have shifted. I’ve begun to get messages saying that with my academic background and intellect, my time and efforts would be better spent writing about social injustices instead of fashion. To be honest, I have been anticipating that comment for a while now. The very act of  getting dressed is considered to be a necessary, yet  frivolous, part of everyday life, so the pointing out that  fashion plays a central role in society is met with denial and ambivalence. The thing is culture, race, socioeconomics, gender, capitalism/consumerism and even politics all intersect in fashion.

why

Everyone whether black, white, rich, poor, male, female, adult, child or teen interact with it in some capacity.  Just think about  the amount of effort we put into figuring out what to wear for everyday occasions like going to work,  job interviews, graduations, dates,  quinceañera parties and of course weddings. Fashion, even at its most simple, conveys culture, social status, income level, education, age, sexuality, and even nationalism.  Continue reading