Pursuit of Natural

life, levity, & the pursuit of natural

woman with short natural hair


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5 Years Natural a Photo Retrospective

woman with short natural hair

Big chop to first (successful) twistout. You can see the space (left) where there used to be damage from relaxers

18 months after going natural, a woman complemented me on my first ever twist out. I was over the moon all day. You couldn’t tell me nothin! I was ready to rock twist outs every single day, but of course my second try was nowhere near as bomb, and the travails of free hair checked me real quick…

woman with short natural hair showing mixed textues

Discovering I have swaths of multiple textures after a pick out. You can see (right) that everywhere but my crown has little visible curl definition.

She said she was natural, too, underneath, and I asked how long she’d been in the game.

“Three years.”

I thought–wooow!–that’s, like, a really long time. I couldn’t imagine it.

woman with natural hair protective styles braids and flat twists

First flat twist (left) and feeling myself! Legit plaits (top) courtesy of my momma. Getting fancy (bottom) with YouTube tutorials.

Now, here I am. This week I’ll be 5 years natural and wondering where the time has gone.

woman with natural hair updo styles

I. Love. Updos!

As far as the fro, it looks nothing like Naptural85’s hair at five years. Yeah, I said it. I watched that length check video a long time ago and secretly hoped for comparable results. We all do it!

But I ain’t mad. I’m not even disappointed. My fro is awesome and will take its sweet time being so, while I enjoy every hard-earned inch of it.

Amen? Amen!

woman with shoulder length natural hair

Nowadays, you’ll find me in cornrows or stretching my hair in twists after a wash. Take downs for detangling (top left, bottom right)are the only times I can snap a photo or two (or a bazillion) of my free hair

When’s your big chop (or gone natural) anniversary? Do you mark the occasion? Is there cake involved? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.

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One Year Later and a Hiatus

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Happy B-Day, Blog!

I launched this blog on my big chop anniversary. That means next week I’ll be five years natural and The Pursuit of Natural will be one year old. I thought, like with most blogs, I’d be writing into the void from my little unseen corner of the internet. I did not anticipate how my words would connect and those connections would become meaningful.

Sharing is Caring

If Your Dream Only Includes You, It’s Too Small — Ava DuVernay

I knew the natural hair community was an uplifting one, but still the warmth and motivation I received surprised me. I have learned a lot in this past year of blogging–from how to manage a blog schedule (ya girl was posting manually for MONTHS. smh) to finding ways to connect, engage, and spread the love.

The pursuit of natural may be an individual journey but it is ultimately a shared experience. Year two, I want to amplify the voices of others as you all have amplified mine. Spotlights, guest posts, and reblogs. If you–yes, I’m talking to you–would like a reblog, leave a link below. If you’d like to write a guest post, drop me a line via the contact form.

A Pit Stop on the Pursuit

Being natural has come to encompass a lot more to me than just hair, and my pursuit has grown deeper and wider — Pursuit Of Natural

That was in response to a question on how I came up with the name for my blog, and it’s true. Pretty much every naturalista I’ve followed has gone through this evolution where self-expression flourishes as an outgrowth of being natural. Primarily, my pursuit of natural has led me to take my self-care more seriously, which I’d like to write about. It also made me seek out and learn from other black women who did or were trying to do the same. And I began to invest in parts of myself that have been neglected for years.

That’s where the hiatus comes in. I’ve taken up old passions and dusted off dormant skillsets. The blog will go on break next month as I focus on working on these other ventures, but you can keep up with what I’m up to on my twitter and Instagram (links in the sidebar.) So be sure to follow me there.

Thanks y’all! Don’t forget to share your blogs (yes, your blog!) in the comments. Introduce yourself and let us know what you write about. And reach out if you would like a reblog on The Pursuit, or to write a guest post.

If you’re a fan of The Pursuit, please like, subscribe, and share!


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Banding

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I’d heard good things about banding your hair to stretch it. Here’s why it’s a no go for me.

What’s Good

It really stretched my hair way more than my normal two-strand twists. I was actually astonished at my length. Installing the bands was quick and uncomplicated and I could do larger sections. Of course, not having to use heat is always a plus.

How to Do It

Some people use multiple hair ties along the length of the section. I decided to cut up my favorite t-shirt into strips long enough to do the job. (The t-shirt had been ruined prior to that, of course.)

Starting at the root, grip one end of the band and the section of hair together, then start wrapping the free end of the band all the way down the section. It’s really simple. When I got to the end, I just tied it off onto itself. It took a bit longer to dry but was overall comfortable to wear.

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The Disastrous Takedown

I wanted to stretch my hair using the banding method so that I could flat iron without blow drying and raking a comb attachment through it. I thought!

My hair was matted, so I had to spend an extra two hours combing it anyways. With so many hairs fused together, my patience was running thin and my temper running high. I thought it was because I didn’t have any product in my hair, so I tried again at a later date with my regular products. It was only marginally better but there was still matting.

So banding is a no go for me, but that’s how it is on this natural hair journey. It’s all about the trial and error. Let me know in the comments about your trials and errors. Have you discovered any methods that left you pleasantly surprised at how well they worked?

If you like this post, please take a second to “like” this post. Share, subscribe, and follow me on my other platforms via the sidebar.

 


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Pantyhose is a Hair Accessory

pantyhoseTHUMB

Yes, pantyhose. Not to be confused with stockings. Oh, you didn’t know there was a difference between pantyhose and stockings? There is. We’re all learning together!

The Puff’s Main Squeeze

I would never have thought to cut up my pantyhose until I went natural. NaturalMe4C and others used theirs to tie their puffs and since I wasn’t using mine, so did I.

It’s actually more comfortable than the large hair ties and headbands I own. It’s adjustable, so I can easily reduce the pressure. I don’t have to force my delicate strands through a small opening, so the tension and breakage is also reduced. I’ve also found it has a better grip and doesn’t roll around as much.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Besides being  practical, it’s thrifty, and y’all know I’m a thrifty natural. I got two ties from one pair that I use anytime I need to gather all this big hair. If you’ve got individual knee-highs you’re good to go. If you’ve got a pair with an attached panty, just cut the legs off. Personally, I like to cut off the toe seams as well.

So, in case you didn’t know pantyhose was a hair accessory, now you know. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found any other new uses for old personal effects. And if you like this post, please take a second to “like” this post. Share, subscribe, and follow me on my other platforms via the sidebar.


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Don’t Let Your Ends Ruin Your Look

The whole point of twist-outs and braid-outs (and bantu knot-outs) is to set your hair into some type of defined curl pattern, but then there are those annoying times when your ends just do not want to act right. What can you do?

Your Ends Demand Respect

They don’t call them your elders for nothing. They require an extra spritz of moisture, another dab of oil, and often that they be detangled first. Your ends are always trying to tell you something, and if they don’t act right no matter what style you’re attempting, it may be time for a trim. When it comes to giving my ends special attention with a twistout, I have 2 go to methods.

The Bobby Pin Curl

Urban Bush Babes put me on to curling my ends with a bobby pin. This worked great when my hair was shorter. It also doubled as a way to secure my hair as it dried in stretched twists. This will give you a tight curl, so if that’s not what you want, try the next method.

Cocoons and Hanging Bantu Knots

There are a lot of tutorials on how to do this one. The one above is from MyNaturalSistas and here’s another one from NappyFu. You do need some length for this or it will just unravel. I didn’t use this method until a few years after my big chop. It’s more comfortable than bobby pins to my sensitive scalp. It also gives a larger, rounder curl.

Many naturals love the way their ends fall on their own, but if you are more particular about your aesthetic give these methods a try.

Let me know in the comments how you treat your “elders”. And if you liked this post, take a second to “like” this post. Share, subscribe, and follow me on my other platforms via the sidebar.


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Liebster Award

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The fabulous OlenaRosanne nominated me. Y’all. She’s awesome and I’m humbled to receive this award from her. If you aren’t subscribed to her already, go do that and come back. I’ll wait. You can find her at olenarosanne.com. She blogs, vlogs, tweets, and ‘grams about natural hair & beauty, and she still finds time to show support for others.

Thank you, Queen!

The Rules:

  1.  Answer the questions you were asked.
  2.  Tag 11 people who have under 200 Twitter followers  *adding Facebook followers / Email subscribers.
  3.  Create 11 new questions.
  4. Recognize who tagged you.

OlenaRosanne’s Questions

Q1.  How did you come up with the name of your blog?  I brainstormed it out, really. I asked myself what my natural hair blog would be about and I said “life, levity, and…” the pursuit of nappiness was taken. Ha! So the Pursuit of Natural was born. Being natural has come to encompass a lot more to me than just hair, and my pursuit has grown deeper and wider, as I become the person I need to be to achieve the things I need to do.

Q2. What is your favorite color?  Red

Q3.  What advice would you give new bloggers? Don’t limit yourself. Stay open and flexible–this includes finding ways to take a break from the blogging grind. Be willing to learn from others and try new things. Most importantly, find ways to show support for others in your blogosphere.

Q4.  Do you have any children? Nope.

Q5.  What was your favorite subject in school?  Reading and writing

Q6.  Do you currently play or have you ever  played any instruments?  I play the piano.

Q7.  What are your hobbies outside of your blog?  Programming, composing music, drawing.

Q8.  Why did you decide to blog?  Introvert here, too! I thought blogging would be a good opportunity to push myself when it comes to engaging other people, expressing myself, being disciplined about my interests, and sharing my ideas. It also helped break some of the negative cycles of my depression.

Q9.  What is your drink of choice?  Girl, choice would be a luxury the way my diet is set up! When it’s not water, it’s mostly green tea infused with some fruit for extra flavor, and the occasional glass of orange juice.

Q10.  What fruit flavor do you gravitate towards when choosing something to eat or drink?  Gotta be apple–pies, jam, candy, apple dapple, apple crisp, apple apples. Alas, I can’t have most of those anymore.

Q11.  What nationality do you identify as?  African-American

 

My Questions

  1. Does your blog have a message, and if so what is it?
  2. If you could describe your relationship to your blog in one word, what would it be?
  3. Can you share your other social media handles and how you feel about doing self-promotion, if you do any, in these other places?
  4. What is your favorite way to de-stress and relax?
  5. What are some of your sources of creative inspiration?
  6. Big or small, can you share one thing you’ve accomplished recently that you are proud of?
  7. If you could have an all expenses paid vacation anywhere, where would you go?
  8. Are you multilingual, and if not what language would you like to speak?
  9. What’s something you used to do for fun and don’t anymore, but would like to get back to ?
  10. What’s your favorite time of the year?
  11. And because this is an important question OlenaRosanne asked, I’ll pass it on: What advice would you give new bloggers?

 

My Nominees

  1. NaturalMuse
  2. NaturallyHappyKinkyHair
  3. WhetstoneEditor
  4. DoingItNatural


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Versatile Blogger Award

 

versatile-blogger-award

NaturalMuse nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award, and I am so grateful for this recognition. Thank you! She writes about natural hair, beauty, fashion, motivation and inspiration, and more. So, there’s plenty of reasons to go check out her site.

The Rules

  1. Thank the bloggers who nominated you and share their links.
  2. Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
  3.  Inform them about their nomination.
  4.  Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

7 Facts About Me

Let’s talk sci-fi

  1. I love sci-fi
  2. I used to write a lot of sci-fi short stories–some of it is out there somewhere on the internet
  3. My favorite Doctor Who is Matt Smith.
  4. My favorite YouTube channels for explaining weird and trippy science things are Vsauce and Vihart
  5. Last sci-fi film I saw: Interstellar
  6. Favorite classic sci-fi film: it’s between Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still
  7. Last sci-fi book I read: Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Word for World is Forest

The Nominees

  1. OlenaRosanne
  2. Delly Bie
  3. JustBrittanyMoments
  4. MyYeka