No Mud. No Lotus.

 Thich Nhat Hanh

Each petal opens one by one.

Flowers need dirt to grow.

I started this blog because I needed a place where I could be messy and honest and real and disheveled. Because that's who I really am and the complexity of life intrigues me. Because I was tired of trying so hard to be bright and clean all the time but inside feeling dirty. Waiting to be found a fraud, my imperfections revealed. I decided to own up to all my insecurities and passions and bad habits and stand tall in them.

I haven't had a clean and clear and uncomplicated life (who has?) and I wanted to be free to express the effects of that. Sometimes I need to shut people out. I'm not always smiling and shiny and easy breezy. But I am still a source of joy and light even when I'm in the mud. Digging things up, finding treasures. I feel beautiful when my hair is messy and my truth is unsettling and my eyes look a little crazy. I have opened my heart and made space for the dark and the heavy. And that's why I am free now. At home with all the shades of my nature.

We are programmed to seek perfection and make everything look easy.

Read On!>>>

5 Story Books for Little Brown Girls with Natural Hair

I’m inspired to share these books after a recent encounter with a mom; she told me her four-year-old little girl, who has gorgeous, kinky-curly golden coils, was starting to notice and questioning the difference between her hair and other little girls. It was at that moment I remembered all of my insecurities while growing up in a Hispanic neighborhood, where best friend had silky, bone-straight hair which easily grazed her tailbone. The difference for little girls now is the plethora of positive reinforcers to encourage them to be just who they are — beautifully kinky-curly.

Lola has really really REALLY big hair, much bigger than the other kids at her school, but that doesn’t stop her from telling anyone who will listen just how much she LOVES her hair! It´s not always easy being a kid. Designed to boost self-esteem and build confidence, this beautifully illustrated picture book is aimed at boys and girls who may need a reminder from time to time that it’s okay to look different from the other kids at their school.

CharyJay Reveals Her 'Naked' Hair!

CharyJay writes: 

Usually, my videos are focused on how to get super defined hairstyles and ends with a full face of makeup to complete the look in order to look FAB. Obviously there is nothing wrong with that, but as I was reflecting on a lot of my past style tutorials, I noticed there wasn't one single video where I was just focusing on my hair, and myself in the raw; stripped down; naked.

I'm aware that there are people of all ages who watch my video and send their praises, wanting to achieve the same hairstyles and learn makeup techniques to get the same look, which again, is also fine. But I thought it was time to show myself sans all the glamour to prove that we're still beautiful in our natural state.

It's just a little something different that I hope will help those who are possibly struggling with their natural hair or confidence issues when trying to be themselves.

Watch Now!>>>

Natural Hair Influencers: Can You Admit Yours?

 by Amber of ThePsychologyofStyle

My husband convinced me to go natural. There. I said it. Over the past year and a half, he’s given me the confidence to walk around with my … well … natural naps. It’s fair to say that he was a major influence in my decision to expose my texture.

Today, my curls are at a sexy stage of being. They’re wild, long, thick and reddish violet. Nothing to complain about. I proudly rock ‘em. When I was transitioning, on the other hand, I’m not sure I walked around with the boldness I possess now. It was my husband’s compliments on the days that I felt like a recalled rag doll that made me feel comfortable.

Read On!>>>

Be Encouraged: Embrace Your Natural Hair

pRoy discusses the physical and mental transition needed to embrace her natural hair. Watch now!


Natural Hair in the Business World- "So are you really going to wear your hair like that?"

Dr. Kimberly Nettles writes:

I will never forget my first time preparing for a pharmacy job interview. "So are you really going to wear your hair like that?", my fellow colleague asked peering into my Afro as if it were a foreign object. I had never given a second thought to the idea if my hair would be "acceptable" to wear to a job fair. I always put more emphasis into making sure my makeup didn't look too bright, my business suit wasn't too tight, or that my heels weren't too high. Professionalism was something I always took pride in, but the concept of how I would style my hair was never a concern.

Read On!>>>

Your Natural Hair Is Beautiful.

by Winnie of Three Naturals

It’s another typical day and I just got home from work, changed into house clothes, threw my hair back in one to make something to eat when I realized I needed something from the grocery store. Like most of us, not being concerned with my appearance I threw on some sneakers, jumped in my car and headed to the store.

Read On!>>>

Frustrated with Your Natural Hair?- Let's Get Through it Together!

by Jess of

So this past Thursday night, I came home at 8:30, made something to eat real quick, and then went straight to the bathroom to start doing my hair. I knew that Friday was going to be super busy and my boyfriend’s play was at night, so of course I wanted my hair to look good!  So I planned to do two-strand twists and then curl them with flexi rods. I spent an hour detangling and styling my hair with about 12 rods and then went on with my night. The next day I woke up and my hair did not come out how I expected AT ALL! I think I didn’t wet them enough or something. And granted—this was only my second time doing them so I really had no business trying them when I knew I had a big day the next day, but that’s besides the point! Lol. I was soo frustrated because I was thinking, “What am I going to do now!? I can’t wash it because I don’t like ‘1 day hair' (too flat).  I can’t do them over because I won’t have enough time for them to dry.

Read On!>>>

Again With the Cutting!- Natural Hair Big Chop #3


Remember Trenell? Curlfriend from my NaturallyCurly forum days (circa 2005)? Well homegirl just big chopped... again!  She first cut off her relaxer back in 2000 and chopped it all of again in 2006 when she was 'pregnant and crazy'. She says, 'I think I'm over long hair for a while... maybe forever...'. 
 Watch Her Chop!>>>

Viola Davis: 'I Took My Wig Off Because I No Longer Wanted to Apologize for Who I Am'

Viola Davis is known for embracing the skin she was born in, and she’s bringing that natural beauty to the cover of this month’s Essence Magazine.

On the cover of the October issue, the 48-year-old Oscar-nominated actress rocked her natural hair pinned up in a pompadour and caught up with the magazine about the joys of marriage, love and motherhood as she tries to keep things positive for her husband, Julius, and their adopted daughter, Genesis.

Read On>>>

Do You Really Love Your Hair?

by Evelyn of Salon Naturelles

Many of us profess to love our hair. We talk about it, blog about it, make videos about, and even buy the t-shirts. But do we really love our hair? How many of us are content in the day-to-day trials and tribulations that come with natural black hair? How many of us long for longer, curlier, wavier hair? How many of us are missing the trees for the forest as they say? I'm guilty. I believe that I do love my hair, but I often find myself pondering how it will look a few years from now or how it may respond to a certain product. I often find myself in envy of the hair of others. A lot of us have hair goals and while I think that is great, I think that we sometimes decline to embrace the current state of our hair.

Read On>>>

The Most Natural & Cost-Effective Hair Method Of All Time: LOVE!

by Bonnie of The Culture Pine

Looking back, I remember the low tolerance attitude I had towards the hair on my head, and instead of showering my mane with love and affection; I treated it like the enemy. Patience was lacking when it came to caring for my hair, and who can forget those unwanted moments of spotting that dreaded regrowth?! There was no dedication to achieving great hair over time - just a need for instant gratification with heat styling, poor product choices and simply worrying how my hair looked today rather than the long term effects.

Read On>>>

She'kia Renea Big Chops... Again!

She'kia Renea shares her insights on the big chop and takes the plunge again! 

On the Couch with Bonnie- Long Term Transitioner Gone Natural!

by Bonnie of The Culture Pine

 Drum roll please...

I would like to announce that I have graduated from a dedicated 2-year long transitioner, to a fully fledged natural :)

Woop Woop!!

Read On>>>

Bow Down to Beyonce's Pixie Cut

It’s about time that someone in the public eye went for a pixie cut without all the baggage. Recently, it seems like every celebrity big chop out there occurs for one of three reasons: mental illness a la Britney Spears, coming of age a la Emma Watson or a rebel stage a la Miley Cyrus and arguably Rihanna.
Save Viola Davis, the big chop doesn’t have a very positive image in Hollywood, which is a shame because the big chop can be exponentially powerful.

Hair has a way of shielding us from the outside world. It becomes part of our identity, something that we must touch and utilize on a daily basis. Our hair garners comments from strangers and lovers alike. Our hair is, to some extent, who we are, which is why it is so important to cut it off.

Read On and Chime in!>>>

On the Couch with Erika- "Give Yourself a Chance"

Dear Nikki,

I’d love to start this letter out by saying “you changed my life” – but the truth is I changed my life and you are an important part of making sure that this change sticks.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

On July 1, 2013 I wore my own hair for the first time in five years and six months! Yep, that’s right. For five years and six months the world never saw my real hair. Wigs, weaves and scarves adorned my head all 2,007 days.

Now, only a few days after my decision to start wearing my hair again, I remain on a cloud of self acceptance and dare I say—self-love. A love like never before.

Four years ago I lost 60 pounds. This feels better than that.

Reading your story online made me smile. Much like you, my husband was my motivator for wearing my own hair. Forget natural or permed, he just wanted me to wear MY hair.

I had just given birth to our daughter when the question came. After nearly two years of dating he looked at me and said “Babe, I have a question for you. Do you ever wear your own hair?” I promptly said “nope.

But of course, the question stuck with me. He never pushed me on the issue, only made subtle (and not so subtle :)) suggestions. But all in all I thank God for him because in that moment I decided that my journey back to me had to start soon and this time I wouldn’t dive back into the foxhole of faux hair.

One week after our conversation, I cut all my hair off. I mean all of it. Think about any black man you know with a fade and add about a centimeter to that. That was my hair. I wore scarves until my first beauty shop appointment where I had my stylist do a quick weave and I made the decision to grow my hair out until July 1. No turning back.

Two quick weaves and one set of kinky twist took me through the six months. All of a sudden I was at the end of June and it was time. I undid my twist on a Friday night, deep conditioned all day Saturday and spent Sunday cutting, combing, twisting and praying. On Monday morning—July 1—I woke up to see what I was working it.

I had previously coined this day “D-Day,” but had since changed it to “Me Day.” Me Day was here.

Read On>>>

Tuesday Inspiration: 2 Years of Natural Hair Growth

Whoever Said Natural Hair Does Not Grow Fast…Lyed!!!!

I remember just two years ago, I was sitting in a salon chair about to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. I had decided the morning of May 15, 2011 to cut off all of my relaxed mid-back length hair to a short boy fade. Yes, I was one of those few bold ladies who didn’t see the point in transitioning… Just cut it & get it over with.

Read On>>>

Back On the Couch- Moniero's On the Grow!

super fly Summer 2010 haircut 

Moniero writes:

It's been a while, and my hair has grown so much. I just wanted to come through, and provide a quick hair update. My regimen includes co-washing weekly, clarifying with shampoo once a month, and deep conditioning weekly. My staple products include Shea Moisture shampoo (I use them all), Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner, Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner (I also use this as a leave-in), and extra virgin olive oil for sealing. My favorite style is still the braid-out! As always thanks, CurlyNikki! ♥

Instagram: @itsmeitsmo

Hair Today-

Solange Slays at 2013 Grammy Awards

image via NecoleBitchie

CN Says:
Head to toe... I'd rock the hell outta this. 

Alicia Keys 'Big Chopped'!

Since it seems that hair trims and cuts are the subject of the day, shall we take a moment to admire Alicia Keys' big chop? According to Necole Bitchie she chopped just in time for her track release, 'New Day', and tweeted the pic below along with the message-

“Look what I done did!!;-))) its an ‪#aknewday‬ in EVERY way!!!! ))

Whatcha think?!

CN Says:
I'm in LOVE!  *puts on stalker shoes*

***Edited To Add***

I originally titled this post, 'Alicia Keys Big Chopped!'  I hadn't thought twice about the word use until I read the following comment on FB-

 "THIS is NOT considered a BIG CHOP! Alicia is of mixed races. She has ALWAYS been natural. This will contribute to the uneducated (@natural hair) who THINK when they. Do BIG CHOP their hair will look like this & be THIS texture. NIKKI PLEASE CHANGE TITLE!! It should say great hair cut or something. She looks great!"

While I don't agree with the statement as a whole (really though?), we've most certainly defined 'Big Chop' as the cutting off of one's processed hair.  Assuming Alicia was natural, the phrase 'Big Chop' in the way we normally use it may be inappropriate, but seriously, y'all, this was a 'Big Chop' indeed. Homegirl cut off hella hair!  

This reminds me of another debate in the natural hair community... I've often posted stories from 'long term transitioners' that cut after 2 or 3 years. And boy, when they refer to their 'cut' as a 'Big Chop', folks go HAM.  There's a sentiment that if you're left to rock and style more than 3 inches of hair, you're not in the club.   In my humble opinion, if you had what most consider long hair (there's a damn debate about what that consitutes too, lol!), I feel that that cutting 'hella' is still a 'Big Chop'... it's a personal thing.  And we won't know if Alicia considers her cut a 'Big Chop' until we talk to her!

I understand the controversy, so for that, I'll add some some quotes to the title, but that's as far as I'll go because cutting your hair is cutting your hair, no matter your race, creed, or curl texture. #thatisall

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