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.  (For context, 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, 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 styling product to my hair which often times leads to my scalp flaking so having a product like this is a God-send. 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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Summer Noir (feat. Foxblood)

It is rare for me to have a moment when I see something and think to myself that “I must have this” and immediately buy it without much of a second thought, but it when it does happen its probably because  Foxblood dropped something new on their site.  (Even if it is something that I have to purchase via Afterpay, I make it mine.)   The minute I saw this wide leg, tie top jumpsuit as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I gagged.  It is everything I’ve ever wanted in a summer outfit that I didn’t even have to look for.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 

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I Am Black and Latina Enough!

I navigate my life by doing two things consistently – explaining and apologizing. Its as frustrating and annoying as you can imagine, yet it becomes necessary when you navigate through life being constantly asked which one of your parents are white (the answer is neither) and how someone of my complexion is of Latino descent. In the United States skin color is your only identity so the moment that I enter a room the confusion starts.  Latinos come in various shades as we are the most racially diverse people in the world. As I mentioned in a previous post, it just goes back to history – 95% of the slave trade took place in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Wearing an authentic Panamanian Kuna mola headband my mother bought for me at a Latino Heritage event in Washington DC last month.

Panama, my parents’ native land, even has two significant waves of African/Black migration* that helped shape the culture as we know it today. The first is known as the “Afro-colonial” wave in which slaves came with conquistador, Vasco Núñez de Balboa as he settled this territory for the Spanish crown during the 16th century. The second is the “Afro-Antillean” wave which took place around the time that Panama gained its independence and West Indian immigrants from neighboring countries like Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica, came over to build the Panama Canal. On my mother’s side alone we have family members that are Black (primarily of Jamaican descent), white/European, Asian and Indigenous. I think that is actually part of the reason why people have issues with Latinos, because unlike most ethnic groups we are just so diverse that we can’t be categorized easily. Not that we should be doing this but it is a reality, at least in the US. Continue reading