Event Alert and New Blog Series!

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Hello to all my followers!

It has been a few months since I last posted here, but it was all for a few great reasons!  First, the Columbus Naturalistas is hosting (for the 4th year in a row), the International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (INHMD) on May 30, 2015.  This is the most widely attended natural hair event in our city because we are committed to making it a memorable, informative, and empowering event for all.  We have some amazing things in store for the event to make it even better than the year before!  (Get your tickets HERE) Obviously, I’m swamped with planning, promoting, and managing the event details.

Second, I am starting the process of becoming a small business owner!  That’s right, I’m following my dreams and turning my passion into profits (more on that later).

During the process of planning the INHMD event, I began developing a relationship with Karen Coleman, owner of Synergi Salon, one of Columbus’s most well-known and respected natural hair salons.  Karen has been a hairdresser for 30+ years and started Synergi Salon to help women fall back in love with their natural hair (I love that!).  Not only is she joining me for the INHMD event on our panel, she is a blogger as well!  Beginning this month, I’ll be featuring some of her blog posts, which will focus on transitioning from relaxed to natural and all the things you can expect along the journey (excellent information for all of us!).

Here is the first installment:

6 Common Mistakes Naturals Make When They Go To A Salon

The modern natural hair movement has been exciting for women who want to kick the chemicals and celebrate their natural kinks and curls. However, going to a salon as a ‘natural’ – especially a new natural – can be confusing. A lot of the information can be questionable or conflicting. I’ve assembled my top hair tips here to help women unpack natural hair myths when they visit a salon.

Here are 6 common mistakes ‘naturals’ make when they go to a salon:

1. Following a trend because “everybody’s doing it”

Have you ever heard of jumping on the bandwagon? There is a lot of pressure to try out a new technique because it’s new and popular. Every month there is a new trend: co-washing, no-poo, baggying, Tangle Teezer, and so on. While these techniques can work for some women, it’s better to stick to tried and true techniques. Look for styles or products that will address your unique hair needs – and leave the fads at the door.

2. Participating in hair typing

While it’s nice to feel like you’re part of a group, at the end of the day your hair is as unique as you are. While your curls can look like someone else’s, it doesn’t mean that they will behave like them. Try to break free of hair typing and learn what works for your unique gorgeous locks.

 3. Putting length on a pedestal

There’s a tonne of pressure to have long hair. And even more talk about how to make your ziggly, spirally and or coily hair appear longer. But why should length be the goal? Short hair can be just as beautiful as long hair. In fact, short hair can be fierce and fashion-forward. It’s time we stop setting restrictive beauty standards and realize that beauty comes at any hair length.

4. Fighting the frizz

Simply put: embrace your frizz! Telling women to de-frizz their hair is basically telling them to shave their head. Hair gets frizzy – it’s just part of life. The sooner we embrace it and celebrate it, the better. What I recommend for my clients is the Synergi Glaze and Mousse http://www.synergisalon.com. It truly helps to contain the frizz.

5. African American hair requires specific products

If you think that African America women require products that are marketed for their hair, think again! Hair is hair – and your hair may have more in common with a woman who is not the same color as you than a woman who is. Embrace curly hair and give a variety of products a try. Don’t limit yourself. Hair is hair!

6. Assuming natural is hard to manage

Sure, we all have our bad hair days. But natural hair doesn’t have to be hard to manage. Natural hair definitely has its learning curves but it’s a journey that will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run. Natural hair means no unnecessary breakage or split ends. If you keep your hair regime simple and consistent, you’ll soon be wishing you made the switch to natural years ago. All hair textures have their advantages and disadvantages, and their benefits and their challenges. Embrace your natural hair and celebrate your style! Check out our new hair calendar to see where you are in the process.

Learn more about Synergi Salon: http://synergisalon.com/newsite/new-hair-care-calendar/

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Personal Reflections on 2014 & Looking Ahead to 2015

 Image - Looking Back over 2014

Looking back over 2014, I can honestly say this year was my best year yet!  I feel so proud of myself and overflowing with love, gratitude, and a deep sense of fulfillment.  With all those positive feelings, this year certainly was not expected.  The year before, in 2013 I decided to cocoon myself both emotionally and physically.  At the end of 2013, I had gone through 3 years of processing and dealing with the after effects of a divorce after 8 years of marriage.  The entire three years I was determined to make it through and come out at the end of things BETTER.  I made up my mind that I was NOT going to be defeated.  Throughout all the struggle and pain, I knew inside that I was becoming the woman I was meant to be.  After 8 years of feeling lost, I decided I was going to find myself again.  When 2014 arrived, I was ready for change and the beginning of an amazing life.  This year did not fail me!

Starting Honoring Our HAIRitage

I started Honoring Our HAIRitage in February 2014 with only the goal of adding my voice to the natural hair movement.  What has happened over this year was more than I expected for a first time blogger.  Continue reading

The break is OVER! Plus, I have a new feature to share

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The past month in a half has been stupid busy for me!  I’ve been traveling for work, started working with young women for an after-school program, and I’m managing a planning committee for next year’s International Natural Hair Meet-up Day, all while planning a retirement party for my mother!  Obviously, I had no time to blog and needed a break to handle personal goals.

Thankfully, I never lost my motivation for this blog and for staying connected to you all.  I am grateful for your patience.

For my return, I’m excited to start a special new feature for this blog!  I am a very visual person, and I love all the motivational quote images that are popular today.  So, I decided to start creating some of my own for this blog.

Starting this week, I will begin a feature called, HAIRitage Haiku’s with inspiring poems, words of wisdom, and encouragement for naturals, all created by ME.

I hope you enjoy them!

Please feel free to share any ideas you may have for how I can make the feature meaningful for you.

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One Lovely Blog Award!

 

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I was given the “One Lovely Blog Award” (OLBA) by the wonderful D’Aller Natural who loves all things natural hair and natural living and Missfresh who is a fun loving Nigerian wife and mother.  I’m always grateful to receive support and recognition from other bloggers!  Thank you D’Aller Natural and Missfresh!

The purpose of this award is to show appreciation to small or new bloggers/blogs to help them reach more viewers.

The rules for the OLBA are simple:

  • Thank and link the person(s) who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 Bloggers & comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

Facts about me:

  1. I love the show Orange is the New Black. Crazy Eyes in my favorite character.
  2. In elementary school, I learned how to play chess and won a tournament against my whole class. Today, I can’t remember a thing about how to play chess!
  3. I know how to play 3 instruments: the organ, flute, and guitar. Although I can’t play any of them very well.
  4. I believe in the power of meditation and belly breathing to relieve stress and calm the mind.  You should try it sometime.
  5. I have a growing fascination with blaxploitation films from the 70’s. Some may say they are an embarrassing representation for Black people, but I also think they are an important part of hair history and can tell us a lot about the fashion of the time.
  6. I think I might be addicted to ice cream. Every time I go by an ice cream shop, I get a strong itch to stop in and by some mint chocolate chip – my favorite.
  7. I still can’t get a handle on using Twitter regularly!

Blogs I nominate (in no particular order) are:

  1. Antiguabarbudagirl 
  2. Naturally Curly Me!
  3. Wax’s World
  4. Kurlfriends
  5. danne UNSCRIPTED
  6. I’ll Be the Judge
  7. Eleanor J’Adore
  8. Recreating Herstory
  9. 5Naturelle
  10. According to Moriah
  11. Nature’s Sparkle Now
  12. Embrace the Chaos
  13. My Curls
  14. Hazel Eyed Beauty
  15. Iamnaturallykinky

Please check them out and send them some support because they are all wonderful blogs!

Peace and thanks,

Jane

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And the winner is…Me!

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I am normally not a fan of chain letters masked as online awards, but I am a fan of spreading the love!  With that, I am excited to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by two of my fellow bloggers, Spirit Grind and HeyBetterMe!  I thank you both for believing I am pretty amazing!

Here are the rules for those who are nominated and want to participate in the Liebster award process:

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 500 followers
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog

Questions from HeyBetterMe:

  1. Where are you from?

I am from the Buckeye State, Ohio.

  1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

Montreal is definitely a place I would love to live one day.  It is diverse, culturally rich, and full of the arts.  It’s also not too far from New York (where I also love) and Ohio so I can get back home quickly if I needed to.

  1. What is something you have always wanted to do?

I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  I’ve always admired women who play the guitar, it’s so bad a$$!  I took lessons about 5 years ago but stopped when I got too busy and never returned to learning.  One day I know I’ll continue my lessons though and hopefully become the next Bibi McGill!

  1. What do you do to relieve stress?

I do a ton of things to relieve stress!  Exercising and reading a good book always get’s my mind off of whatever I’m stressing about.  Journaling has also helped me tremendously.  When I write down my thoughts, it literally feels like they are leaving my brain and traveling to the paper.  It is very relieving.  Laughter is also the best medicine!

  1. Where are you presently?

Do you mean where am I physically located or where is my perspective in life?  Okay, I think I read too much into that sentence…anyways, I’m at a conference for work but not paying attention at all while I write these answers!  I’m so bad sometimesJ

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being right where I am in life at this very moment!  I have been through some tough situations and experienced very difficult times, but I am still grateful, compassionate towards others, open, and optimistic about my future.  With that kind of mindset, success, ease, and joy will come naturally.  To me, that is a tremendous accomplishment!

  1. What is something you cannot do without?

I cannot do without my imaginative spirit, some daily creative endeavor, and a strong belief in myself and the impossible.  I’m lost without those things.

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory.

When I was younger, every weekend, my Aunt would take me and my cousins roller-skating.  I loved roller-skating and having fun with my cousins.  Also, my parents were very religious so it was the only time I could listen to “worldly” music!

  1. What is your favorite book/movie?

My favorite book is a tie between two books.  Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston was the first book that I fell in love with and still enjoy reading to this day. Also, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps, is my hair Bible!

10. Sugar or Salt?

Definitely sugar, I have a huge sweet tooth!

11.  In one sentence, talk about your blog.

Honoring Our HAIRitage is a place where I discuss our history and politics and connect them to today’s Natural Hair Movement!

 

Questions from Spirit Grind:

  1. At the end of your life, what would you like others to know about you?  How would you like to be remembered?

This is a tough question!  My hope is that I am remembered for bringing positivity and compassion to the world and others.  I would like to use my blog as a platform for adding a fresh new perspective to the Natural Hair Movement and be respected for creating content that reveals the truth about our story as women of color.  I want everyone who experiences my blog to have a renewed sense of self-love and awareness.

 

My nominees are:

  1. http://kelzbelzphotography.wordpress.com/ – For photography that is so beautiful
  2. http://louisebleger.wordpress.com/ – For poetry that is inspiring
  3. http://augustrosepress.wordpress.com/ – For paying tribute to African American authors
  4. http://sunnydelyte21.wordpress.com/ – For being vulnerable and brave
  5. http://theartjunkie.wordpress.com/ – For amazing art education
  6. http://sewingstardom.com/ – For combining natural hair with health and wellness
  7. http://angirach.wordpress.com/about-lux/ – For the variety of posts
  8. http://new3creation.blogspot.com/ – For helping people create a new and better you
  9. http://maybemamablog.wordpress.com/ – For a fabulous blog idea
  10. http://naturesparklenow.wordpress.com/ – For photos that are so calming and healing to view
  11. http://aim4natural.com/ – For combining natural hair with great food recipes

Check them out and spread the blog love!

 

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Multiply Into Many

[Today’s post is based off the Zero to Hero Challenge, Day 16 “Make a Prompt Personal.”  Since I wasn’t inspired by the actual Daily Prompt for the day I will use the example given in the Zero to Hero article which is, Two plus two equals four: yes or no? I will develop a personal interpretation of this prompt and create my post based off my blog’s theme.]

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When I read this prompt, my thoughts immediately went towards the concept of how an idea can multiply and become normalized once one or two people believe it, start to promote it, and influence others.  Their ideas go from two people believing it, to four, six, eight, ten…until it becomes a part of our cultural fabric.  Depending on the goal of those ideas, it can have either a positive or a negative outcome.

Part of why I started the blog Honoring Our HAIRitage was to fight against the idea that African American’s hair texture was ugly, unsightly, unmanageable, and somehow wrong.  I chose the name to counter those ideas and instead honor our natural textures.  Those negative ideas about African textured hair started many years ago and spread by those with influence to become the predominate opinion of today.  They started out with a small group of people, which multiplied into many.  This was done in a variety of ways.  A historical quote by Martin Freeman in an 1859 article in the Anglo-African Magazine gives one such example based off the socialization process of young children:

“The child is taught directly or indirectly that he or she is pretty, just in proportion as the features approximate the Anglo-Saxon standard.  Hence…kinky hair must be subjected to a straightening process-oiled, and pulled, twisted up, tied down, sleeked over and pressed under, or cut off so short that it can’t curl, sometimes the natural hair is shaved off and it’s place supplied by a straight wig.”

Things have not changed much since 1859.  Freeman made this quote with the individual in mind, but it also takes structural racism to create ideas that weave themselves into the fabric of our culture and become normalized.  Examples of structural racism include hair discrimination in the workplace, school systems, and most recently in the military, which labels African textured hair as “unprofessional,” “against the dress code,” or “a safety hazard.”

Overcoming internalized oppression and structural racism can be hard to do.  However, William J. Wilson, gives us a way to triumph over them by writing in the 1853, Frederick Douglass’ Paper:

“We must begin to tell our own story, write our own lecture, paint our own picture, chisel our own bust, acknowledge, and love our own peculiarities.”

Honoring Our HAIRitage is my platform to tell our own story, re-frame those negative messages, and spread a more positive affirming understanding of African American beauty by starting with understanding our history.  I want other women and men of color to know that you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are perfect, just the way you are!  We can start with just a few of us, and together, multiply into many.

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