Pursuit of Natural

life, levity, & the pursuit of natural


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The PON Gallery: Proud Afro

I got inspired by the color palette of the movie poster for Proud Mary. Art can be found anywhere–including on your mobile device or desktop! So download these wallpapers and enjoy.

Proud Afro


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The Deceptive Pick-Out

 

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The one thing I couldn’t wait to do when I went natural was pick out my fro. And pick it, I did, but unbeknownst to me I was obscuring some major issues beneath a kinky halo.

A Kinky Cloud of Awesomeness

For the first two years after my big chop, I applied my products and went to town with my black fist afro pick. I picked and patted until it was uniform, and I rocked that glorious kinky cloud of awesomeness every day. And when you make your hair look uniform, it’s impossible to tell just how not-uniform your true texture is, let alone how to work with it.

Cloudy with a Chance of Mixed Textures

It wasn’t until I stopped picking out my fro long enough to examine my curl pattern that it really sunk in I had mixed textures. And when picking and combing my hair in general became detrimental, I had to figure out how and why my hair shrunk differently and shaped itself differently than when I manipulated it.

Clear Skies Ahead

For a quick demo on how combing can change the way hair behaves, check out Cynthiarf’s video on the matter. Once I understood that, and came to understand how to work with my real textures, I developed a set of techniques to get those varying curl patterns to work together in harmony and look good.

These days I rarely wear my fro, and when I do it’s my full-shrinkage or banded-overnight 2nd-day fro. In fact, I just unleashed it of recent after an extended protective styling period, and it looked more amazing than I remembered. I don’t use a pick (or combs) except to part my hair, but if I did, I’d go with Naptural85’s afro tutorial which uses minimal combing on the ends, and which I’ve written about before.

Let me know in the comments if you pick your fro on the regular and what, if any, changes you see in the way your hair behaves. And if you liked this post, take a second to “like” this post. Share with your friends, subscribe to The Pursuit, and follow me on my other platforms via the links in the sidebar.


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Treat Yourself to Mini Twists

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When me and my hair need some time apart, I treat us to a month long hair vaycay with mini twists. At first blush, the idea of installing this style myself seemed anything but relaxing, but I picked up some techniques to make the whole process, from start to take down, go smoothly.

Why Mini Twists?

Mini twists are great for length retention and they save so much time in day-to-day maintenance. I can style them like loose hair, wash in them, and did I mention I can take a break from my regular regimen?

But That Time-Consuming Install, Tho

My first set (above) took 9 hours over 3 days. My second set took 3 hours in one. The difference was in which instructions I followed. Google implied it was best to allot three days so that’s what I did. Originally, I made my twists really tiny and my parts precise. To prep, I stretched my hair in regular twists, which has always taken time to separate into a new style when dry.

It Only Took Three Hours

For my second set (below), I followed the advice of a different YouTuber, ProtectivePrincess. I stretched with rollers, which meant all my sections were ready to go when dry, no extensive separation needed. I didn’t bother with perfectly straight parts, and I darn sure did not make extra small twists. Three hours, ya’ll. I save way more than that in the month I don’t have to detangle my hair every week.

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But That Time-Consuming Takedown, Tho

The main source of angst with the take down is matting. It is bound to happen when you don’t free those shed hairs for a whole month. Keeping your hair clean can reduce the problem but just cancel all your plans when detangling day arrives. And pray for extra patience.

Prepoo With Coconut Oil First

Again, ProtectivePrincess’s after care videos for long term protective styles saved me so much stress. I followed her advice and let my hair marinate in coconut oil (you could probably use a substitute with slip). I left mine in overnight and tackled those matted roots the next day. Most of them came apart with careful detangling. Some needed an extra dousing of melted coconut oil with an applicator bottle and then they, too, loosened up.

Give it a Try

It’s always a good idea to follow up a long-term protective style with deep conditioning, and I usually take the opportunity to snip any split ends or knots. I did a set after some heat damage and a major trim, and by the time I came out of mini twists, I’d recovered a lot of my length. It really is a style that lets me focus on giving my hair extra TLC before and after, and in between I can just get up and go, and enjoy all the hard work I invested in being natural.

Let me know what you think about mini twists, whether you do them yourself or pay a professional. If you liked this post, take a second to “like” this post. Share with your friends, subscribe to The Pursuit, and follow me on my other platforms in the sidebar.


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Thank You

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Recently, WordPress notified me that I had reached 50 followers on this blog, alone. It’s a modest milestone, but a milestone that I felt should be celebrated nonetheless. Because that number represents months of personal growth and some really wonderful people in this corner of the blogosphere.

So, thank you to everyone who took the time to read, like, comment, share, and follow. A special thanks to all the supportive women who have made this community so welcoming. And a very special thanks to the women featured in the image above, who have engaged, encouraged, and inspired me in their own ways to keep going.

Please check out their blogs and other platforms, where you’ll find great content on self-love, inspiration, health, beauty and, of course, natural hair!

I’ve gifted these five ladies a full color background and a full black and white illustrated portrait as a show of my appreciation. And I’m definitely going to do something like this again in future, because the Pursuit of Natural has been hard work and a learning experience, but ultimately a blessing.

 

Thanks for rockin with me. If you liked this post, please take a second to “like” this post! Share with your friends, and follow me on my other platforms. Links in the sidebar.

 

 

 


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Coconut Oil

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Errbody and they mama were singing the praises of coconut oil. Meanwhile, I’m checking the price tag (you know Organic ain’t cheap.) Five bucks wasn’t much, but would it last through all the prepooing, oil sealing, and DIY deep conditioning? I decided to give it a go to see if it proved more protective for my ends and the integrity of my strands.

I slapped it on. Every time I remoisturized I oiled up. Then came wash day. I still found the stuff clinging to my ends. You know, the ones I dabbed with coconut oil for a little extra TLC. It was just sitting there not penetrated into the hair strands.

Clearly, I’d overdone it and had to scale way back. I recommend looking through some of NappyFu’s videos for your coconut oil and natural hair education and tips. Y’all, she breaks it all the way down. I definitely could’ve benefited from these videos at the time.

These days, I only use coconut oil occasionally and lightly. Once a week, if at all. I also mix it with my regular oil (pretty sure that was a NappyFu tip), which works just as well by itself and my hair is doing okay. I used coconut oil to detangle and prepoo after a month long protective style, and I will again if I ever return to that style. It works wonders on matting and complex tangles.

But for everyday use, I stick with my tried and true regular degular oil. Coconut oil builds up too fast. It may melt in my hands but it re-solidifies on my hair.  Like grease, I found it attracted dirt and trapped odor. That being the case, I also wouldn’t apply coconut oil to a long-term protective style. It’s hard enough to get rid of buildup locked into braids or twists, let alone buildup as water resistant as coconut oil.

Rather, regular use of coconut oil is probably most effective for those who wash more than once a week. Frequent washing could mitigate buildup and this oil will mitigate hygral fatigue.

So, that’s my experience with coconut oil so far. It’s good used sparingly and on occasion, amazing for detangling, and probably best for regimens that include frequent washing.

What’s your experience with coconut oil? Share in the comments. And if you’re a fan of The Pursuit, like this post, subscribe, and follow me @edinPON


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Natural Hair Tag

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I’ve been tagged! *runs around in circles freaking out* Shout out to Yeka over at MyYeka for creating the tag and for nominating me. Thank you, lady! Y’all check out her site.

The Rules:

It goes for all hair types… From straight to the coiliest, kinkiest strands.

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  •  List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  •  Mention the creator of the Hair Tag and link their blog.
  •  Answer the Hair Tag Questions plus the additional question asked by your nominee
  •  You have to nominate 5-10 people.
  •  Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  •  Ask your nominees 2 questions of your choice.
  • Post your picture on Instagram and Tag @De_naturelle for a repost or use the hash tag #denaturelle .
  • Reblog their Response (optional)

The Questions:

1. Tell us a little about you? What do you do with your spare time? I blog, I draw, I create music, I code, I read, I write, I am quite apparently an indoors person.
2. Are you a natural? How do you feel about your hair? I’m natural and I love it.

3.  How long have you been natural? I’ve been natural nearly five years

4.  Why did you go natural? My relaxed hair was a broken, unwearable mess

5.  Was anyone against your decision? If yes, how did you surpass it? No one objected, but when I went natural I had to ignore the negative remarks and keep in mind all the reasons I chose to wear my hair natural. Eventually, the negativity faded away as I wore my hair proudly and beautifully.

6. What’s your hair type and How do you manage your it? 4c/4b. I have distinct patches, not all mixed together, so it was one of the first challenges I had to learn to manage. I have a post all about styling mixed textures here.

7. How do you keep your hair moisturized and healthy? Wash regularly, remoisturize midweek, trim and snip knots, keep it protected.

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8. What are your goto natural hair products? Are you a DIY fan? Do you have hair goals? I’m not a DIY fan. I’ve used the same products since the beginning. My leave-in. My oil. My shampoo and conditioner. My hair is already longer than I can remember it ever being, so my goals are to just keep it healthy and keep it growing. I stopped doing length checks a year or so ago.

9.  How do you style your hair? Currently doing cornrows and missing my fro

10. What’s your favorite protective hairstyle to do? Has to be the halo/crown twist as it is easy to do and hard to not look good in it.

11. Do you use heat on your hair?, how do you prevent heat damage? Not anymore. To prevent heat damage, I used a low setting and a heat protectant spray

12 Do you hairxperiment?, How crazy can you go with your hair? Nope. I don’t have time to play around with my hair, and I get easily frustrated when styles don’t turn out right (that’s time and energy I can’t get back,) but I do like to try different braiding patterns with my cornrows, and I like to test different techniques for stretching and setting my hair.

12. Have you faced any challenge as a natural? Fairy knots. Breakage. Disappearing edges. The usual.

13. How do you manage bad hair days? I plan so I won’t have them. That means long term protective styles or transitional styles. Things don’t always go according to plan, but I can’t remember the last truly bad hair day. Even when I need to throw on a beanie, it’s usually because I haven’t completed my styling rather than it looking bad.

14.  Can you share with us your thoughts on natural hair and relaxed hair? Your hair is yours, and not anyone else’s. Wear it however you want but wear it first and foremost for you. If you educate yourself on how to care for your hair properly, you can look good natural or relaxed.

15. What hair rules have you stuck to as a natural? Finger detangling instead of using combs.

16. Can you share with us some pics of you counting your Hair strands? Be creative😋 I don’t think I’ve ever taken pics of me counting my hair strands. 😉 But I really do look like my logo!

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Upper-right: last flat iron (2015), Others: 2017

 

17. Where can we find you?  I blog at pursuitofnatural.wordpress.com, I tweet @edinPON, I share art @pursuitofnatural on Instagram and pinterest, and reshare my interests at plus.google.com/+EdinPursuitOfNatural. Links in the sidebar.
18 . What do you have to say to the new, upcoming and already naturals? We’re all here to learn and to help. Watch, read, and reach out to other naturals online. Add your story and experiences to the community. Thanks if you already do. Check out my blog and my Dear Newly Natural Me series–and thanks if you already do!

Nominees & My Questions:

  1. Adeyoola at Doing it Natural
  2. Lee at Woeful to Frofull
  3. NappyHeadedJojoba

What hairstyle took you the most attempts to get right?  If you could have someone else do one step in your hair care regimen for you, which step would that be?

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post as much as I did, please take a second to give it a “like”. Share, subscribe, and follow me on my other platforms via the links in the sidebar.


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That Time I Used Body Wash on My Hair

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Girl, what? What had happened was…

I had my protective style take down all planned out: replenish my product stash as I was running low on everything, detangle, prepoo overnight, and then the next day wash and set.

So, I take out my protective style, douse my hair in coconut oil, detangle, and sleep in a shower cap. Next day, I get an early start, hop in the shower and WHERE THE HECK IS MY SHAMPOO?!

I didn’t buy any. Got all the extra ingredients that went into that DIY deep conditioner but totally and completely forgot to buy shampoo. I’m standing in the shower wondering what I’m going to do with a head full of coconut oil–that stuff won’t come out with conditioner. Sometimes it even takes a second wash to get rid of all the build up.

I stared at my body wash.

And stared.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. I’d go HAM with my regular conditioner afterwards, just to be safe.

Yoooo. My hair has never been so furious with me. It was so stripped. So rough. No amount of conditioner could’ve appeased my fro. It took two weeks to fully recover.

I stock up on conditioner and shampoo now.

The end.

 

Have you ever done something stupid to your hair when you knew better? Spill it in the comments! If you liked this post, then “like” this post. Subscribe and follow me @edinPON