Sunday, November 23, 2014

I Love My Fro

Left my house early today ready and dressed for my gig this evening at Dykers Golf Club with the Bartlett Contemporaries and while out earlier, the leader of the band asked me what I was wearing and how I was wearing my hair. 



When I said a fro, he said "oh no!" But I think it suits me beautifully. I love my fro! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Firsts of Many Hair Plays

There is a first time for everything. For me, it was the first time playing with scissors in my own hair.

I've made it a habit to go to the salon for hair treatments other than my own co-washing but I decided to take it upon myself to try it. Talk about snip happy but I did it.

Prior to cutting my split ends, my hair was long enough to have a decent ponytail. Now I have a premie doll looking one so I decided maybe for the first time, I'll play in my hair with a pick. Ten minutes later, I have a little fro for real. 



Not bad for the first time. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Take a Twist-Out for a Spin

I am now two years natural. 

I stopped perming a few months after working out when I noticed the lye wasn't keeping my hair straight for even a span of one month. So perming definitely was no longer for me. Nine months later , I did the big chop. 


Cutting my remaining permed ends, left me with little hair to deal with and less to worry about when it came to burning fat through exercise. That was then when my hair was short. But now, my hair is a little longer. 

I'm still not rushing for combs and literally just got out of the every day condition wash and go syndrome and have lately been trying to stretch out washes to maybe once or twice a week. 

Moisture is everything. The less moisturized, the more breakage. The less washing, the less knot balls breaking my hair off. And the more trying things out, the more knowledge I gain about my hair. 
Like for instance, I realized last week that sheen is also great for natural styles; twists, twistouts, wash and gos. I learned this at the Circle of Sisters Expo where Barry Fletcher had a display and hair demos. 


The products are pretty good. I felt obligated to get the daily hair moisturizer as well as some of his other items for home use. I learned that day that moisturizers are not just to be put on the hair but to be massaged in, strand by strand. This procedure however, should be done only after applying conditioning spray. (That is, if your hair likes it. Your hair will tell you if it does not like a product.)

So, I tried doing some of the things I learned that day for myself. I attempted to do a twist-out and am very pleased. For each parted section, I put grapeseed oil on the scalp and for each section of hair, I dampened it with conditioning spray and then did my  twists.  I did about 10 twists on the total head. 

In the morning, I untwisted and put sheen over my hair. My hair came it nicely moistened, and lasted my bust a groove spinning class today.


How awesome is that! A new style that can withstand workouts. Come to think of it, natural sweat is oil as well. Natural hair rocks. 

Disclaimer: I am not employed by nor will I be compensated for any of the products, services or events mentioned in this post. I am however on a natural hair journey and am a consumer who would like to share information that may benefit other team no lye members. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where in the world is "Brillo?"

I'll never forget my mama parting my hair in two sections to do cornrows. She would gently comb out all the knots and kinks and neatly style it, making it look beautiful; well to me anyway. 


See, when I was younger and getting caught up into the meanness of my peers, I would believe them when they were making fun of my hair and teasing me, calling me "Brillo." But that was then when I found reasons to hate the hair I had and desired to be someone other than the naturally beautiful person God blessed me to be. 


Now, I heart my hair and there is nothing that can change my mind. To all those who recently told me 


- "you need to get a perm!"

- "I like your hair better straight!"

- "why did you go back to natural?"


Thank God that I grew confident enough to love who I am. Thank God I'm natural!

 I'm now two years back into the natural journey and here we are again doing those same styles my mom used to do in my hair. 




I would call these corn rows; or corn twists. Easy to do. I applied grapeseed oil for moisture and massaged it into my hair and a little protein gel to my edges, brushed as opposed to combing and voila. Moisturized and neatly coiffed in a protective style.


I'm loving the learning of my own hair. What a journey! 


Great day everyone.  :) 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oh Honey! (All up in my Hair)

There is a first time for everything and if you never try new things, you will never try anything new. 

Natural Hair Journey

My natural hair journey has definitely got me trying new things. I got my first perm at 13 years old and prior to that, my mother was combing my hair, so I never really started learning my own hair without a perm in it until now. 

Oh Honey!



I am always exploring different natural hair blogs and follow a few natural hair boards on Pinterest to get ideas about treating my own hair. That's how I came across a treatment using honey and since I heard so much about honey treatments, I decided that I wanted to try one on my own. My goal was having softer and more manageable hair.

I took a tablespoon of honey and added olive oil to it. So many boards talked about adding oil to conditioners for softness of hair. I combined the two ingredients and microwaved it so I could make it a hot oil-honey treatment and applied it to my hair and left it in for about an hour under a clear shower cap. 

After I rinsed it out, I was happy because my hair was soft and really manageable. That is until . . . 

My hair started bunching up in different areas. I kept getting all these knots that can only be removed with hair falling out. And this happened for the rest of the afternoon, until I got back in the shower and did a new cowash and finally, my hair was in good condition.

Trying New Things

Nothing wrong with trying new things because you never know if it will be great or not so great for your hair unless you try it. My advice, make sure you wash treatments out very well or you might face the possibility of losing hair. 

I am however excited. Besides the honey thing, I realize how much moisture my hair needs and after two years of not perming, finally; soft!!! 



Natural hair is all about discovering and learning about the beauty of your own hair. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Beautiful Straightened Mess

It's been three months since I used shampoo. 


For every shampoo, I head to the salon and let them wash, deep treat and then blow dry. Usually comes out beautiful and silky, as it did today. 




That is until sweat from the heat and humidity started messing with my great hair day. And then came the rain. 


Can anybody say proof ball? 


Disappointed because I sat in my hairstylists shop for two hours letting her tend to my hair and straighten it only for life to happen and poof it out. 


It would have been great to have been at home in the comfort of my own home when this happened; but no! I was on stage singing with the amazing Bartlett Contemporaries and singing before an amazing crowd. The hair that once fell neatly to the right now was half sticking up and bunched up curly. Ay yay yay!!!


Embarrassing I guess! I think that's a sign to change my hair straightening pattern to even less frequent than I do now. Upset because of all the time and money spent to get my hair so pretty, but only for the few hours it was.  Funny how short it looks when shrinked up and curly. But it really is short. Had to figure out something to do to get it to not look so crazy as it started to. Frustration I say.


So I let my frustration out with a little bit of scatting over a cover of "You Send Me" at the open mic at Essence Bar hosted by LaRose and Black Pearl. Music always seems like a great cure for anything. 


Do's and Dont's 


Don't get your natural hair straightened when the weather is shaky. 


Do always have a song in your heart to uplift your own frown.


Don't forget to carry a brush and comb and hair accessory with you after straightening. Normally I don't comb my hair unless it is wet, but when straight, you might have to push it back. 


Do take pictures of it when first done because life cannot predict what your hair will look like in the next two hours.


Don't hate your own hair so much that you decide not to take care of it. 


Do love your hair and learn what products your hair loves and/or doesn't and find out how to maintain and nurture your own beauty. 


Results


Now after my hair has been blow dried and fried to capacity and my hair smells like heat and I have a poofball;  still not so mad. I can actually learn from this moment. Care to see the end result? 


You can see it by checking out a short clip of my attempt at scatting over the blues on my Instagram  http://instagram.com/p/sZTchGCPaG/

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It’s Only Natural . . . (A Poem)

It’s Only Natural . . . (A Poem)

By Stephanie Jeannot

 


Its’ only natural that
I twirl and curl and twist and clap
And to and fro on the melodic zone
I feel music from head to toe
 
It’s only natural that
I fall right into the musical stacks
And the products that condition my ears to listen
Seem like energy which is more than just a blessing
 
 
 
It’s only natural that
My curves, they flex to where the beat is at
And I get locked into the groove that’s silky smooth
And I always feel the urge to bust a move
 
It’s only natural that
I release myself onto an empty track
And double-dutch my voice around it like I would pitty-pat
And the song gets stronger because I flax over that
 
 
 
It’s only natural that
I appreciate these blessings of God
 And to be thankful for the legacies of those who came before I 

For every singer, rapper, music, genre. I love you all for you inspire!
 
It’s only natural
To realize that I’m trapped in love
Within parameters of these musical walls
And the only key to out the box is when the music calls
 
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Natural Hair Questions Answered

I am in my 20th month of being perm free. As the days go by, even though I am becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin and being a naturalista, I am still learning my own hair. 

I got my first perm at 13 years old. Before that, my mother used to braid and take care of my hair. So I never really got a chance to learn the beauty of natural hair care until now, more than twenty years since getting my first perm and 13 months since doing the bold big chop and being totally perm free.

I always feel obliged to try new hair products, search for hair styling tips and more. I believe that with this new movement, there are definitely others who can share stories or ideas based on their natural hair journey. For this reason alone, I decided one Saturday in May to check out a natural hair show that was being hosted at Nicholas Brooklyn, which is where I met Cynthia Williamston, natural hair expert and editor-in-chief of Bridal Tribe. I am grateful that she took some time out to answer some of my questions about hair. 

Interview with Cynthia Williamston




SJ: How do you determine your hair texture? Thin or thick?
CW: Texture is about the quality of hair structure, and that is determined by a few factors. Heredity, health, and chemical treatments are the most common factors to consider. Hair can be either Curly, wavy, straight or a combination of these and I believe the most people have a combination. If you were to part your hair into four quadrants and check the different sections, you would find different textures and hair patterns. I’m sure you have had the experience where one side of your hair styles perfectly and when you try to do the same on the other side it just won’t cooperate. This used to frustrate me with my own hair and still does...lol I think that a professional cosmetologist or hair expert is the best person to help you determine your texture, even if you do most of your styling at home. That information will help you make better styling choices.

Health plays a major factor as well because healthy food intake, dehydration, medication, aging, and diseases can affect the blood which is what brings the needed vitamins and protein to keep hair healthy and growing.

Chemical treatments alter hair structure so getting a relaxer or permanent color can stretch out naturally curly hair changing it to wavy or straight. Any combination of these factors can cause the hair to become dry, thin, overly porous, and hard to style. Maintaining healthy hair takes the work of a hair professional and you.

SJ: I co-wash every day. is that too much?
CW: Co washing is using conditioner as shampoo so that hair isn’t stripped of the natural oils that can protect your strands from sun damage and everyday styling. It can also deposit a lot of oils into the hair creating build up so you want to be careful about how often you do this. If it is working well for your hair then it may not be too much, but keep an eye on how your hair responds to it. If there is a need to change your routine you will know by how healthy your hair is. Just check in with a professional at least bi monthly for an evaluation.

SJ: How do you grow your sides? Is there a method to the madness?
CW: If your sides are always thin, the first thing I would ask is, were they always thin? If your texture is very fine your hair has a thin structure naturally, and can look thinner while wet. If your hair normally grows nicely but seems to be stagnant, then I would have you take a look at outside factors. Once again I recommend looking at how you are treating and nourishing your body and hair.

Eating live foods full of vitamins, avoiding stress and styles that can stress the hair is a start. A great shampooing and scalp massage can help get healthy blood flowing to the scalp and stimulate growth so treat your scalp well. Make an appointment to see a trichologist to help with any scalp issues and proper diagnosis of ongoing problems.

SJ: What is a good moisturizing leave-in?
CW: Before choosing a leave in conditioner, you must determine why you are using it. Is it for dry hair, breaking hair, or something else? There are many leave in conditioners in the market today so it can be difficult to know without trying it first. If you have a professional stylist that you see, ask for a recommendation and track how the product is working for you. The most important thing is to make sure that the product is helping to strengthen your hair.

You can find out more about Williamston by checking out  http://mynaturalreality.com/?p=5858 or visiting Bridal Tribe's Website http://www.bridaltribe.com

I Heart My Hair 

Be a part of the natural hair movement and express the beauty you are. Natural beauties, visit http://www.buttaflyunltd.com where you can get some really neat and original items by Kissa Starr. 


For if it had not been for her shirts inspiring me, I never would have started this blog. Thankful to her, to Cynthia Williamston and to everybody who took the time out to read this post. 

I heart you all!!! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

One year since the big chop

It's exactly one year since the big chop. Can't believe it has been that long already. But loving natural hair and it's diversity. 


I have been asked why. I have been told that I need to perm again. Been made fun of about having peasy hair. But then at the same time, been compliment. Been told I have beautiful hair from family, friends and random individuals who stop me on the street to ask about going natural. And it's great.


I stopped perming in October of 2012. That is when I decided to go natural. But with permed ends you are simply transitioning, I did the big chop on June1, 2013. 


To the experience; great. You can do so much with it; wear it curly., wash and go, twist, braid, straighten for a day or two. But for the most part, natural hair stays healthy and I live that. I actually do heart natural hair.





Saturday, May 3, 2014

This is How My Hair Grows


This natural hair journey has driven me to take a chance on a natural hair show and what an experience.
Saturday, May 3, 2014 was the “This is How My Hair Grows 2nd Edition” presented by Locs-of-Royalty and Nicholas Brooklyn and held at Nicholas Brooklyn located at 570 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, NY from 6:30PM to 11PM.

 
With all the questions I had about my own natural hair, it was a great gathering place for natural beauties to share concerns, get answers and also discover new practices, products, hair styles, fashion and more.


So here is how the program went:
Hair/Fashion show
Natural hair prizes and giveaways
Discussion panel led by natural hair experts
Natural youth talent show
Free wine
Unique vendors
 
Music by DJ Hassan Shabazz

Hair/fashion show
natural hair prizes and giveaways,
discussion panel led by natural hair experts
Natural youth talent show
Refreshments:
food will be for sale.
Free wine.
Massage therapist
Unique vendors


With Natural hair expert,
Cynthia Williamston
What I noticed is that though we may have all had natural hair, everybody had their own way of taking care of it.  And I realized it is not just based on what you think might work, but what actually does based on your own hair journey and experience. And so, the message that I was left with that affected me the most was from one of the three panelists who were sharing their natural hair stories. Cynthia Williamston said, “let your hair do what it do and love it. Love your hair.”
The “This is How MY Hair Grows 2nd Edition” event left me with smiles as I watched dance performances by the Divine Princesses, heard the dope poet, Joshua Sa-Ra, do his thing and got hair advice from Lydia Baird, CEO and founder of Heavenly Creations.  Here are some pictures from the event.

Panel discussion on natural hair

Dorcas Meyers, founder of Roc-A-Natural
Save the Date: April 2015 Naural Hair Expo coming to Brooklyn
http://www.rocanatural.com/

Divine Princesses doing a dance routine
 

Lydia Baird
CEO & Founder of Heavenly Creations
"Experience a true blessing" - Matthew 6:9-13

Naturally-Naturelle
www.naturally-naturelle.com
 
 
Nicholas Brooklyn always seems to have something cool going on. Like next Saturday, May 10, 2014. 2nd Mass Mic Poetry & Music hosted by Jashua Sa-Ra & DJ Hassan Shabazz from 7 to 11 PM.  The night will go like this, from 7-8 PM, join me, Jeannot, on a musical journey as I share with you some of my favorite covers and some of my original songs.  Then from 8PM to 11PM, open mic, prize giveaways and more. Admission will be $5 and the night will be awesome. Calling all poets, singers, rappers, acoustic musicians; you are invited. For more information on the store itself and about this event, check out Nicholas Brooklyn website here: http://nicholasbrooklyn.com/ 
 
 
 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I Gave Into the Heat and I'm Straight

Definitely time for a shampoo and treatment. It's been 10 months since my cut, four months since I been to the salon or used heat products, and two months since I've used shampoo. 

I condition wash everyday however, until today. I gave into the heat and discovered, my hair is longer than I thought. 

So here is how I did it. I started at home last night with an overnight oil treatment consisting of castor oil, Argan oil and lemongrass oil. 


My stylist at Fradelens in Brooklyn, Miriam, washed my hair using Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. I like it because I have color in my hair and it is sulfate free which is perfect for my hair.

Following the shampoo, Miriam applied an Argan oil based reconstructing treatment and massaged my scalp for about five minutes prior to washing it out. 

Once rinsed, leave in and heat protection treatments were applied and the blow drying began. 


I refuse to blowdry my own hair because I won't do it as gently as a professional will. So to protect my hair from heat damage I let a stylist do it and don't use heat products often. This is my first time using heat in my hair since early December 2013. 

Miriam then trimmed my ends and then flat ironed my hair. 


And here we have, straight hair that I'm loving. Didn't know it was long because my hair is always curly and I comb my hair wet but maybe once a week. 

One thing I noticed was that of all the permed individuals doing their hair, it was the natural hair that appeared the healthiest. Not trying to make a joke but, in honest truth. Weird right? 

Perfect day to be straight. And it feels real good. Especially knowing the diversity of natural hair. In all actuality, this is the reason I heart my hair. 



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Natural Beauty

Poettues is always a good day to write a poem. And the mere fact that it is National Poetry Month in that awesome spring month of April that God created, inspires me to write about a topic that I enjoy talking about; hair talk.

 

Natural Beauty

© By Stephanie Jeannot


 

Natural beauty with your

Afrolicious waves.

Wash, go and moisturize well

except for on them don’t care days.

We heart our hair

that is sometimes left bare

without even a comb and brush treat

that still beats scalp burns from perm heat.

 

Shiny twirls

and conditioned curls

all around the world

are flowering hair of natural girls

with afro puffs

wearing leave-in stuff;

and locks and braids

and untamed manes

and perm-free

from shaving it off

to cut  out the creamy crack

out our strands of course.

 

From wet hair showers

to co-washing hours

to no-heat blows;

just towel dry and go

with the wind;

adding a spin

to the madness:

hats, flowers and accessories of attractiveness;

only to enhance the beauty

of what some call nappy;

What they don’t see

is the reason for this natural frenzy.

healthy strands and natural beauty!

We’re just happy to be

hearting the magic;

and like so many, back to the basic.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Bottle of Conditioner a Week. This week. . . NUDE

I am constantly in the store looking for a new conditioner about every 10 days because I go through about a bottle of conditioner per week. 

Seems like a lot right? That's because as opposed to shampooing daily, I cowash daily meaning I use a conditioner everyday. Shampoo, I use about once every month and a half. Ironically, when I made my way to my salon the last time, even after a day of just cowashing without shampoo, my hairdresser told me that my hair was so clean. Hmmm?

Every night I cover my hair with a satin sleeping cap. My morning routine goes like this: 

-remove sleeping cap
-get in shower
-dampen hair



-massage in conditioner
- leave in for duration of shower
-comb once every two weeks while conditioner is in (or when doing protective styles)
-rinse out 
-towel dry
-moisturize well and massage; especially edges
-ready to go

With this process in mind, I guess you can say my conditioner usage is more like trials. One a week. Sometimes the same conditioner, sometimes something different. Like this week!

Last Tuesday, March 25, 2014, I made my way down to Center Stage Cut, a cool natural hair spot that also has a stage for live events like the People's Open Mic that was hosted by my boy, Sean Battle.

Always seeking new products, I noticed their hair line called Nude. And so, I took a chance on it. The conditioner that is.  



Nowadays, I look for conditioners that are sulfate free because I dyed my hair copper and do not want my hair color to fade or for my hair to be dry. Moisture means everything to natural hair. 

Nude is sulfate free which is perfect. It is made with Shea butter, silk protein and Argan oil. The conditioner is creamy and white. 



It has a faint smell of lemongrass. Washes out pretty clean without leaving any residue behind. Leaves hair soft and manageable. 

Here are some pics of my experience using this product. 





A less than 30 minute process which gets me to work with enough time to sit back and truly enjoy my coffee without having to rush to start my 9 to 5. 


I've used Nude a week now and my bottle is done. Would definitely try it again. Because my conditioners are all trial uses since I go through a bottle a week, I try a lot of different products and that's how I find what works.

If you'd like me to try one of your products, I will for feedback based on my experience in a blogpost. Why? Because I heart my hair. 

Seeking ideas, experiences with products and hair advice so please leave feedback. 

Thank you for reading my blogpost. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I Am Changing

It started on a wing and a prayer about my weakness for food that got me to 230lbs seeking a breakthrough. Grace changed my life to enter a new body. Literally; this is me 80lbs later. 



It isn't easy to give up rice, meat, pasta and bread at the same time. I mean, think about it; everybody else around you eats those things. So you have to stand strong without caving in. I mean. I'm haitian and rice is part of our everyday. I loved it most with saus pwa as my parents used to call it before I gave up the carbs. So without the rice or meat, I just had the saus pwa and the veggies and I was in heaven even without the meat as well because I loved my bean protein. 

Went through about  three or four wardrobe changes; by that I mean, going from a size 20 dress to a size 4 or 6, comes with lots of sizes. And fast; just within months. Maybe it was the nutritionist that told me that sticking to a 1200 calorie diet would help me to lose my weight. And I had just started a fitness challenge with friends as well; a month long challenge of treadmills, Zumba and walking; including one walking challenge that had me thinking I had it in me to walk a 10.5 mile or three and a half hour walk from manhattan to home. I lost most my weight through walking because I was also trying to overcome my car accident and instead have one on ones with God while walking and shedding inches. If God is love, then I started loving cardio fitness. 
 


That's where my no more perm days began. If I put in a perm that gets sweated out after a month and a half because I work out, it makes no sense. So I went perm free since then; 18 months ago!

But, I cut the perm totally out of my hair almost 10 months ago. 





Actually that was the same day I was blessed with an opportunity I'll never forget. Would you believe my year; June 1, 2013, that was the day after I lost my aunt. 

We were close and I loved her. The day following, I had an opportunity to sing with the Medgar Evers Jazz Ensemble. My mentor, professor Roman Mitchell, allowed me to sing at the graduation ceremony for the 2013 graduating class of Medgar Evers at Jacob Javits Convention Center before 5,000 people; the graduates and their family and friends. The song selection, a classic made popular by the fabulous' Jennifer Holliday, I Am Changing. That hair change came about an hour after singing that song when I cut my hair; the same day. Long hair to short; permed to no perm. Just like that! But. . . I Heart My Hair. 

-cowash daily
-don't comb everyday
-brush often
-do protective styles sometimes
-moisturize everyday; especially the edges
-very little heat product usage
-cut split ends as needed


I colored my hair once though; had tried blond in the past but wanted to try copper this time for something different. And here we are just discovering through trial and error new hair practices from experience and from other natural beauty inspirations. 

Who would have thought almost exactly 8 months later, I would be sharing the stage with the very same woman who helped me change back to natural and find myself;  JENNIFER HOLLIDAY. 


What a blessing!!! Singing with the Dreamgirl herself while with a dream of my own; to sing wherever God graces my life with. 

Change to who I am. Discovery was right. To know what love is, is to know who God is. I do!

I'm working to complete my album. My name is Jeannot, and I'm a singer, songwriter, performing and recording artist from Brooklyn, NY and my mission is to sing across the globe and give God's people a reason to believe in themselves because with God, anything is possible. 

Please watch my performance of I Am Changing here on YouTube: http://youtu.be/lIyQEJgnWuE

I am definitely changing. And look my hair is really growing. So happy!



 Yes I am! God is amazing.