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5 Protective Styles to Try This Summer

Photo Credit: Curves and Confidence
Summer has arrived! Well, not quite yet, but with the 85 degree days we've had here in NYC, you'd think we were in the middle of July! Since warmer weather is now upon us, you may be wondering what to do with your natural hair for the summer. Here are five protective styles to try this summer:

Box Braids // Box Braids are pretty much the go to style when it comes to protective styling. It gives you lots of versatility when it comes to actually styling the braids. Whether you rock it up in a high bun, or half up half down, the style options are endless when it comes to box braids.

Photo Credit: Shek Hair 

Ghana Braids // If you want to put your hair up for the summer without the hassle of sitting four+ hours to get it installed, Ghana Braids are the way to go. They're pretty quick to install, gives you access to your scalp for proper cleansing and moisturizing, and your hair is still protected. There's a bunch of cool styles to try when it comes to Ghana braids, so this is a great time to get really creative with your protective style for  the summer.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Curly Wig or Weave // If you're still into the curly look, but don't want to deal with the fuss of managing your own hair, find yourself a kinky/curly wig, or you can make your own! You can purchase natural textured human hair extensions from Xotica Hair. With Xotica Hair Extentions, you can install a sew in weave, create a wig, or clip in pieces for the days where you want to blend your natural hair with the extensions for added length or fullness. No more trying to blend silky textures like Brazilian or Malaysian with your natural hair. Xotica Hair offers five natural texture hair extensions 4A Hair Texture4B Hair Texture, 4C Hair Texture3B Hair Texture, & 3C Hair Texture. You can also choose from their Course Yaki and Kinky Straight clip-in extensions, giving you the best of both kinky and straight hair.   

Photo Credit: My Natural Sistas
Crochet Braids // The options are endless when it comes to crochet braids. You can crochet some plain Marley Hair for a versatile style option by wearing it straight one day and installing some perm rods or flexi rods for a curly look. You can also crochet in some box braids, senegalese twist, or faux locs to get the look in about half the install time. 

Photo Credit: Christian Byshe

Flat Twisted Do // My hair is in two flat twists 95% of the time, mainly because it keeps my hair protected and is a very low maintenance style. However, I've been looking into ways to spruce it up a bit, and Christian Byshe's flat twists styles have been on point! There are so many flat twist styles that you can try out for the summer that take no time to do and can be done yourself. From up-do's to swooped bangs, flat twists can be your saving grace when you want to put your hair away for the summer, but don't want to spend hours trying to get the look.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Xotica Hair. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  


Beauty | How to Beat Dry Skin with Dove

Being a mother is one of the most rewarding, yet demanding jobs ever! It can be pretty hard getting in some "me" time between all the feedings, diaper changes, and lets not forget the lack of sleep! When my husband is finally home from work and the baby is down for the night, I look forward to escaping by taking a warm shower, especially since I've been trying to get my skin together ever since suffering from dry skin during and even after pregnancy. 

It's hard enough keeping your skin hydrated as the seasons change, so you can only imagine my frustration suffering double time due to raging pregnancy hormones and the cold winter weather. That's why I’ve partnered with Dove to tell you all about their New Dove Dry Oil Collection featuring their Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar and Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash.

Did you know that 9 in 10 women are concerned about having dry skin? Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash goes beyond basic moisturizing to help women nourish and protect their dry skin - helps me beat dryness for skin that is left soft and moisturized. 

Many people suffer from dry skin because of a lack of hydration or dead skin (or a combination of both). That's why I like pairing the New Dove Dry Oil Collection with some exfoliating gloves or a bath sponge to slough away dead skin and ensure moisture gets locked in. 
What I love most about the new Dove Dry Oil Collection is the fact that it features a nourishing formula infused with Morrocan Argan Oil beads to gently cleanse while helping to replenish nutrients to the skin. The Dove Dry Oil Collection helps nourish and protect the skin from dryness in the shower by cleansing without leaving the skin feeling dry. 

As an added bonus, Argan Oil smells AHHHMAAZING, so it's a nice little retreat away from hubs and the baby for the few minutes I'm able to get to myself.
I also love how simple it is to achieve skin thats soft and moisturized using the Dove Dry Oil Collection. You hear of women using fancy skin creams and body washes and rubbing multiple serums on their body to achieve skin that is soft and moisturized. As a new mom, I don't have hours to spend pampering my skin. With the New Dove Dry Oil Collection, I achieve spa-like results with such a simple yet effective product. Dove is gentle, nourishing, and it gets the job done. Most importantly, I don't have to spend all my coins just to get moisturized skin! Everyone will be dying to know your beauty secret!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Dove, but all my opinions are my own.  #DoveDifference #ShowerAwayDrySkin #DovePartner

Week 30: 68 Days to Go

I haven't blogged throughout my entire pregnancy due to my blog hiatus. While I have been journaling my pregnancy week to week (or when I had the energy to remember) in my own time, I figured I'd share these last few weeks here on the blog. A "Countdown to Baby," of sorts, since I'm just a few short months away.

I am officially in my third trimester! 30 weeks pregnant.....gaaaaahhhhh!! I don't even know what to say about week 30. Time is going by so FAST! Every day I ask myself how did I make it this far along this quick? I feel like it was just last month where I was waiting anxiously for my monthly friend to come, only to confirm my suspicions of me being pregnant when she didn't come on time. From here on out, I feel like the rest of my pregnancy is going to just fly right before my eyes!

The fact that Baby Jacobs will be here in just 11 weeks blows my mind. Thankfully, my pregnancy has been a pretty smooth one! No morning sickness or extreme cases of nausea. Aside from the fatigue that never seems to go away, I've been experiencing some round ligament pain and these random shooting pains going down the back of my thighs.

This little one is sitting right on my bladder, too, so a sneeze, laugh, or bump in a car ride can be a problem. I've barely gained weight of my own, so the 5 pounds I've gained thus far has gone straight to baby and her home, for now. So, while I feel like I'm carrying a load (this belly is getting heavy!), it hasn't been too bad toting this bump around.

Just thinking of this new life my husband and I will bring into this world is both humbling and overwhelming. I'm humbled that God chose me to be this little girl's mommy. Humbled that He trusts me and my husband with her life. Completely in awe at how God formed and fashioned the woman's body to carry and nourish a child so it can grow over these ten months.

I'm overwhelmed with excitement for when my daughter gets here and I can finally see her face. Overwhelmed with thoughts about whether or not I'll be able to handle the pain of child birth (my tolerance for pain is okay...ish, but I hear labor is NO JOKE). Overwhelmed with whether or not I'll know how to be the best mother I can be to her. It's a lot to wrap your brain around, but the Lord is definitely preparing my husband and I for this new season in our lives. Most of all, I'm just overwhelmed and in awe of God's goodness.

Until then, I'll just meditate on what a blessing we have on the way, just completely grateful at God's faithfulness and Him giving me another chance at motherhood. I'll also be awaiting my baby shower in March that my sister-in law, best friends, and mom is putting together for us. Ugh! I can't wait!

There's lots to look forward to. All I can say is Thank You Jesus!

Our Miscarriage Story: God's Plan Prevails

As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I've had time to reflect on how far God has brought my husband and I and really just meditate on His goodness. I figured I'd get a little personal in today's post and share a bit of our journey.

I've mentioned briefly in a previous post that my current pregnancy is actually my second pregnancy.

My husband and I first found out we were pregnant with our first child in April of 2015. Shocked was an understatement when I took those two pregnancy tests and saw those two pink lines. Not that I didn't think I could get pregnant, but...I didn't think I could get pregnant! I knew it would happen one day, but in that moment it just didn't seem real to me. According to my LMP (last missed period), I was five weeks when I found out I was pregnant.

I was in the process of getting added to my husband's health insurance, so I ordered some prenatal vitamins from the Honest Company and started taking those right away. In the meantime, I looked into Avail NYC, a pregnancy care network that offers free clinical pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to women as well as holistic care and practical resources.

Since the two tests I had taken wasn't enough, I went down there immediately after work and took another one. Low and behold, I was indeed pregnant!

I scheduled an ultrasound appointment for a couple weeks later just to confirm that everything was okay with baby. When we went for an ultrasound at about 7 weeks, the ultrasound technician told us I was actually measuring a week earlier. She said it was normal, since it could mean that I ovulated later (or earlier. I've never understood the whole ovulation thing). Other than that, everything was fine with our baby.

The heart beat was normal and our appointment went fine, so we had no reason to think otherwise. The next day, however, she gives me a call and tells me that I may want to go see my doctor since me measuring a week early could mean a possible termination on pregnancy.

We were still waiting for my health insurance to clear, so we couldn't go to a doctor without having to pay out of pocket for the services. Even then, we rebuked it, prayed against it, and went on with life.

Fast forward to May 25th, 2015  when I turned 9 weeks, I woke up feeling fine that morning, but late morning into the afternoon, I started feeling light cramping. I didn't pay it any mind, since cramping is normal during early pregnancy, as long as it's not accompanied by bleeding. However, the cramps got stronger throughout the afternoon, feeling like the cramps I'd get when my monthly friend comes around. In my mind, something wasn't all. Of course, my husband and I prayed that everything would be okay and our baby was okay. But in the back of my mind, I just knew something was off.

I started spotting, but as the afternoon went on, the spotting was becoming heavier and heavier and the cramps were becoming stronger, so we went to the hospital when my husband got home and just prayed for the best.

After finally meeting with a nurse and getting an examination, the bleeding had gotten very heavy. They couldn't tell me what was wrong, so we had to wait to see an ultrasound technician, which took hours...literally. We were waiting.....and waiting.....and waiting! After a couple hours, I had an urge to use the bathroom. Once I sat on the toilet, that was it...

I called my husband and told him to come to the bathroom, and once he came and looked, he went to go get the nurse that was helping us. He told us what I already knew, that the fetus had passed. What I wasn't prepared for was him telling us to just flush it (which we later found out he wasn't supposed to instruct us to do that...they actually needed to run some tests to see what went wrong). That was the absolute worst feeling ever. May 25th, of the worst days of my life, and one of the toughest things my husband and I have ever been faced with.

It's easy to question God when these things happen. It would have been easy for me to ask God "Why us? What did we do to deserve this?"

Instead, I just said, "Okay Lord. Your Will be done." We really had no choice but to just accept what had just happened. The physical pain from the miscarriage was just a reminder of the child that was once there, but had passed. It was a little hard getting through that.

Even though losing our first child was unfortunate, I made up in my mind that I had to be at peace with what had happened. I mourned the loss of a child, but I refused to allow feelings of depression and anger overtake me. We rested in the assurance that our child had gone on to Glory to be with the King, and that's what gave me peace.

We also rested in the assurance that our joy is in Jesus. Our peace is in Jesus, because that's who He is. I take my experiences as an opportunity to be a witness to God's moving and goodness in my life. To be a source of encouragement to others, and to show others that it's possible to keep living after a personal tragedy. And it is! If He could do it for me, then I know He can do it for someone else.

Fast forward to today, I am now 30 weeks pregnant with our second child. Our Pastor prophesied that conception would begin immediately after we had lost our first baby. While I was in agreement, I also wasn't sure if I wanted to wait or not to have another baby. There were certain things I wanted to have in place before we tried for another baby, but I guess the Lord had other plans.  Before you know it, I turn up 5 weeks pregnant in early August.

If this isn't a testament to God's goodness, His faithfulness, and His Almightiness, then I don't know what is. We may never understand why certain things happen, or why certain things don't happen. But God has a plan, and His plan always prevails, no matter how much we try to plan out our lives.

I'm just thankful for all that my husband and I have been through. If anything, it has taught us how to rely on God even more and not on our own strength and abilities. Just knowing that everything is a part of His perfect plan, and that He is working things together for our good helped me change the way I viewed the loss of our child.

Everyone suffers from something in their life, but it's how you choose to cope with those things that can make or break you. God is just shaping you and preparing you for something even greater!

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; 
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.

Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."

Psalm 30:11-12


7 Tips for the Lazy Natural

Let's face it: taking care of a head full of kinks, coils, and curls can be a lot of work....but it doesn't have to be! One of the main reasons why some women are opposed to going natural is because "it's too much work."

We've heard it all before: "I can't go natural because it's too much work," or, "Your hair is so beautiful, but my hair can never do that." 

Besides, between our already full daily schedules, who has time to spend hours upon hours on wash day maintaining those curls, right?

If you want beautiful curls, but don't want to spend all day trying to get it, then this post is for you! Lazy doesn't have to equate to an unhealthy head of curls. What it does mean is applying smart, practical, and consolidated techniques that are sure to leave you with moisturized and healthy curls without spending hours trying to get the look. 

If there's anyone who knows about being a lazy natural, it's me. As I explained in my last post, 2015 has been nothing bur pure laziness when it came to caring for my hair.

Also Read: Natural Hair Mistakes I Made in 2015

This year, I'm turning over a new leaf and really just seeking out practical and consolidated ways to keep my hair as healthy as possible while retaining length instead of falling into a pit of laziness. Here are seven tips for the lazy natural:

1. Make Time for Your Hair

I get it: we all have busy schedules, and it seems like it's not possible to fit everything in one day. However, if you don't make the time, you'll never have the time. Period. Take a good look at your weekly schedule, and see where you can fit in some time to show those curl some TLC.

2. Pre-Poo & Finger Detangle Before Shampooing 

First thing's first: Lazy or not, you should NEVER start shampooing your hair with tangled, dry hair. That's a recipe for disaster, and you're asking for tons of breakage. Even though I know better, I'm guilty of this myself. Pre-poo with some coconut oil and a cheapie conditioner and lightly finger detangle to melt some of the major knots and tangles away to help save some time with detangling, and so you're not ripping a comb through your hair. Don't forget to add heat so the products really penetrate the hair shaft! 

3. Find a Deep Conditioner with Slip

Something that will also save you a ton of time is finding a conditioner/deep conditioner with ridiculously great slip. There is nothing worst than spending a half an hour detangling your hair, when it can literally take about five minutes with a really good conditioner. Look for conditioners that have great ingredients that will give your hair everything it needs, while also providing the necessary slip to detangle in a breeze. 

4. Shampoo in the Shower

Why not kill two birds with one stone? If you need to be somewhere the same day, tackle your hair while showering to save yourself some time. 

5. Wash in Sections

To keep your hair detangled prior to styling, it's best to wash your hair in sections. For one, you use less product. Instead of using two-three handfuls of product for your entire head, washing your hair in sections requires you to use just enough for that section, preventing you from wasting unnecessary product. Second, you're able to ensure that each individual strand gets coated with product. You're also able to access your scalp better while washing, which is super important since a healthy scalp is essential to healthy hair growth. Most importantly, washing in sections prevents less breakage and tangles.  

6. Use Multi-Purpose Products

Maintaining natural hair can be enough stress as it is. You don't need a cabinet full of products to add to the overwhelm. If you can find a product that works as a deep conditioner, rinse-out conditioner, and leave-in conditioner, I say go for it! The less products you have to use, the easier your wash day becomes and the faster you can get things done. 

7. Find Your Signature Style

You've spent some time prepping your hair using the above easy steps that's sure to cut your wash day time in half. But, let's face it: No one has time to re-twist, bantu knot, or set their hair with perm rods every night. That's just the reality of it! Instead, finding a signature hair style to rock throughout the week that's functional and keeps your hair moisturized days at a time until you're ready to unleash those curls is ideal for the lazy natural.

So there you have it: Tips that'll make the lazy natural's life that much easier!

Photo Credit: Talking Texture


Four Natural Hair Mistakes I Made in 2015

Four years ago, I took the plunge and decided to go natural. I was tired of relaxing my hair, only for it to break off severely just a few short months later. While I have several years of natural hair expertise under my belt, when it comes to my hair sometimes I make so many careless mistakes that I often find myself asking, "Why did I just do that?"

Caring for natural hair requires a bit of maintenance and lots of TLC to flourish - washing, detangling, conditioning, moisturizing, and styling. There's mistakes along the way, but that's part of any journey.

I have to admit, 2015 was NOT a good year for my hair, from the heat damage I experienced earlier last year, to having to do a tapered cut to get rid of the damage, and then just not taking the best care of my hair overall. This year, I'm over making careless mistakes and not-so-smart decisions when it comes to caring for my natural hair so I can truly see it flourish.  Here are some of the natural hair mistakes I've made in 2015:

Neglecting My Hair // 2015 was such a tiring year for me. I finished my final semester of undergrad and graduated with Honors in the Spring. I've also been pregnant for the majority of 2015. From my first pregnancy in April, and then getting pregnant a second time in August (and still being very much pregnant), 2015 has been a little rough. Because I'm tired ALL THE TIME, my hair has been neglected quite a bit. I haven't been keeping up with wash days like I should,  or moisturizing properly. While my hair has grown out of its tapered cut quite a bit and has gotten thicker (thanks to pregnancy), I do blame my lack of proper maintenance and TLC to why I haven't retained as much length as I could have. This year, my focus is creating a regimen, and sticking to it! It's important to make time for your hair, no matter how busy your schedule is.

Lack of Patience // Because I've been so tired, the amount of patience I've had to even deal with my hair has been zero to none. When I actually found the energy to do my hair, I never followed through with the right steps, and I was rough with my hair, which led to lots of unnecessary breakage.  I should be ashamed of myself, considering I'm a natural hair blogger!

Not Experimenting with Styles or Products // My hair has been in the same protective hair style for the majority of 2015. I've done little experimentation with products or styles last year, and I truly regret it. Though I'll be busy with a little one in a few months, I still want to make a conscious effort to test out new products and experiment with different hair styles so I can really see all that my hair can do.

Not Visiting a Professional Stylist // I'm making it my mission to find a really good natural hair stylist in NYC that I can visit one-two times a year for a good professional trim. After last year's bout with heat damage from a "professional blowout," I'm a little leery about visiting hair salons for the simple fact that not all stylists are educated enough on how to deal with kinky textured hair. The popularity of natural hair is on the rise,  and there just aren't enough trained professionals that meet this demand, especially since Texture/ Natural Hair education isn't taught in cosmetology school. Nevertheless, I am learning the importance of having a professional stylist care for your hair at least once a year, and then just maintaining your hair as best you can in between salon visits. It's good having a fresh set of eyes examining your hair and scalp because to be honest, we can't see everything, and we can't do everything.

So, there you have it! What are some of the mistakes you've made with your natural hair?


Life | Conquering Your Fears

Conquering Your Fears

Happy New Year! Can you believe it? 2016 is officially here, and the new year just brings so much hope and promise. I plan to make 2016 a good year in every area, living a life that is fulfilling, enjoyable, and completely purpose driven.

So, I guess this is the part where I say, "I'm sorry," right? And then I explain why I've taken yet another blog hiatus and promise that I'm back for good. I'll save us both the headache. But, to be completely and 100% real - Life happens, no matter how much we plan and despite some of our best intentions.

What I will do is be completely open and honest about what's been going on lately.

First thing's first.....I'M PREGNANT!!!!! If you follow me on social media, you might have known this already. My husband and I are expecting a baby girl in April, and we couldn't be more excited for this new season in our lives. I am one week shy of seven months pregnant, and I'm feeling excited and anxious now that time is winding down.

Now, on to the more serious stuff. 

While part of the reason why I stepped away from Napturally Dany was because of early pregnancy fatigue and just not being functional enough to think and produce meaningful content for the blog, it was also due to feelings of discontent and confusion.
I felt stuck when it came to creating content for this space. I wasn’t sure what my next move was going to be. I wasn't sure what to write about anymore. More than anything, I wasn't sure how my itty bitty blog would stand up to the success of some of the big time bloggers and vloggers out here today. 
What I want more than anything is to be able to make a living doing what I love to do. I love to write. I love to create. I love to blog. When I first started blogging, I didn't even know that this could be a career where people can make a sustainable living. Since I am bringing another life into this world, my heart's desire is for me to be able to stay home with my child and just be apart of her growth and development every single day. I want to be the one, with the help of my husband of course, to shape and mold her in the way that she should go - not someone else. And to be quite honest, there's not too many people I'd trust watching my child that would instill in her the values my husband and I hold while they watch her. Being home with my children while also being able to blog full time and pursue other business ideas with my husband is my ultimate goal.

I could have been well on my way to full time entrepreneurship....but fear got in the way.
Over the summer is when Periscope came out, and you heard nothing but “MONETIZE, MONETIZE, MONETIZE!” While it lights a fire under some people’s behinds to get them moving, it intrigued me…and scared the crap out of me at the same time!
I was too busy comparing myself to others and just thinking way too much! I had not a clue where to start, and I just didn’t have the energy to start either. Truth was, I stopped believing in myself. It's one thing to be inspired by what it is that other people are doing, but it's another thing to let other people's success scare you out of going after what it is you truly want.
I started to doubt EVERYTHING about my blog. The blog's mission, what it is I'd be writing about. I was so focused on comparing myself to others and trying to become like every one else that I began to lose myself in this thing we call blogging. I’ve been getting in my own way of success. Being afraid to take the next step and go at it full force is what’s been holding me back. Fear of the unknown and moving into uncharted territories. Not knowing what’s gonna be on the other side once I jump completely in. Not knowing if this thing will soar and do well or not.
But gosh darnnit it’s about time I start truly believing in myself and the gift that God has given me! While all those things scare me, what scares me even more is to see my potential go to waste in completely giving up something I really love to do. What scares me most is 10 years down the line and I look at my life and I say "I wish I could have done X,Y, and Z." 

My husband and I have had plenty of talks about this where I'd say, "Okay, I'm gonna start next week," and it's been five month since I've written anything for my own blog! He's my biggest supporter and motivator when it comes to anything. To be honest, there have been times where he wants it for me than I want it for myself! We just recently had a conversation and he said something that really resonated with me: "I just want fear to die. You have to want it to die too. But the only way to do that is to step out."
Can I say both ouch and Amen? It's about time I start believing in myself. It's time I start seeing my potential, and just do it!
I recently came across this post from LEI Lady Magazine about Stepping Out on Faith to Become an Entrepreneur. The author shared a scripture from Mark 9:23-24:

Jesus said to the father,“Why did you say ‘if you can’? All things are possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father shouted, “I do believe. Help me to believe more!” 
Mark 9:23-24
Reading this got me thinking to myself, "Girl, where is your faith!" Even with faith, I still had to act on my faith, because I know that faith without works is dead. 
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:17
I have ideas. Lots of them. It's time I start acting on those things, and truly believe what Philippians 4:13 says, no matter how scary it seems:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13
So what does that mean for Napturally Dany?
Well, when I first started blogging, I wrote about my own experiences with my natural hair and the things I was learning as a means to encourage and inspire others to learn to love and embrace their kinks.  
Then I got lost in trying to be a hair authority in the natural hair community…and that’s where the confusion came in.
While I want to continue to motivate and encourage women to stay the course in their natural hair journey and truly accept and embrace their God given beauty, I also want to uplift and encourage women through stories and testimonies like this one.

For my lovely readers, that means you have more to look forward to than just natural hair tips and advice. I want to inspire others through my own story, whether that be about hair, beauty, life, motherhood, etc...

I'm leaving fear and doubt in 2015, and really just going all out for 2016 when it comes to chasing after my dreams. This year, I just want to be completely intentional in everything I do and become closer to the woman I know I could be. This year, I'm really just dedicated to become the best version of myself.

I've been hearing a few buzz words for 2016 that really resonated with me. Mattie James of Mattieologie talked about having audacity in 2016, and Krystal Scott of The Feisty House talked about executing in 2016. 2016 is all about having the audacity to execute, fear and all, success or failure. I'm betting on myself this year. How about you???


Natural Hair | How to Recover from Hair Setbacks

natural hair setbacks

It happens to the best of us. One day, we have serious #curlpoppage and your hair is behaving as it normally does. Next thing you know, curls start feeling limp. You start getting tons of breakage. Your hair starts to feel dryer than normal. Things happen, and it will definitely make you feel like all of your healthy hair care practices are done in vain. No need to lose hope yet, ladies, because recovery is possible. It may be time to be more diligent in your hair care practices from here on out. 

Here are a few things you can do to help recover from a hair set back:
  1. Don't Beat Yourself Up About It: Listen ladies, things happen! No one has the perfect natural hair regimen or perfect hair. We're definitely not trained cosmetologists either. Though we may be experts when it comes to our own hair, there's at least one time where absolutely nothing seems to be doing your hair any good. Don't panic, and don't be too hard on yourself when it happens. After all, its just hair! Setbacks happen in life, and they're going to happen with your hair too! Panicking and being hard on yourself won't solve the problem. 
  2. Find the Root of the Problem: Stop wasting your time and money going out to buy hair products to rectify the issue if you don't know how the problem started. If you're hair starts to take a turn for the worst, its time to assess some things, like the types of products you've been using, whether you've used heat on your hair recently, the manner in which you're handling your hair. 
  3. Update Your Hair Care Routine: If you haven't clarified your hair in a long time, it may well be time to start incorporating that into your wash day routine. You may just be suffering from product build up, making your twist outs limp, and making your hair impossible to retain moisture. If it's been a while since you've had a trim, it may be time to get rid of those scraggly ends. Figure out what you haven't been doing in your natural hair care regimen, and think about  whether or not your hair would benefit from it. 
  4. Stay Consistent: It happens ladies. We get lazy. I know I do! There are those times when you just don't feel like washing your hair, or you're too lazy to moisturize. Or, work has left you completely pooped, so you knock out without re-twisting OR protecting your hair. If you want to see your hair truly thrive, its time to get out of your funk and stay consistent in your natural hair care regimen. That's the only way you'll see results. You can find the root of your hair setback and update your hair care routine, but it's all pointless if you're not going to stay consistent in maintaining your hair's health. If you know what caused the setback, don't keep making the same mistakes! If you know that clarifying your hair once a month gives your hair a fresh start, keep doing it! If you find that moisturizing x amount of times a week really has your hair feeling like everything, keep it up! You guys, staying consistent in your natural hair regimen is so important! Once you've discovered the root of your setback, develop a hair care regimen and stick with it to nurse your hair back to health and maintain it. 

Have you ever had a hair setback? How did you recover from it?

Image Source

Natural Hair & Length Retention

Why You Aren't Retaining Length

I’ve been natural for four years. Four years! If you take a look at my hair, you probably couldn’t tell because I just tapered my hair in April because of heat damage. However, even if I didn’t cut my hair, you would still ask why my hair was so short, yet I’ve been natural for so long. It’s not that my hair wasn’t growing, because it definitely was. The problem was that I wasn’t retaining any length. I must say, its high time I stop being such a lazy natural and get it together! I know what needs to be done to retain length, but I need to practice what I preach! So, this isn’t only for you ladies— it’s for me too!

Here are 10 ways that will help retain length as your hair grows:
  1. Wash in Sections: Washing hair in sections is a must. It helps prevent knots and tangles, especially if you have #shrinkageonfleek like me. My hair shrinks up like nobody’s business! Washing your hair all at once leads to things like single strand knots and breakage, and is one of the reasons why you don’t retain length. Washing in sections also helps with detangling.
  2. Comb/Detangle on Wet/Damp Hair: You should NEVER, I repeat, NEVER comb your hair when its dry. You’re just asking for your hair to snap, crackle, and pop. You’re hair doesn’t need to be soaking wet when you comb or detangle, but it should also never be bone dry. You need some type of moisture on your hair so your detangling tool can easily glide through your strands. You’ll thank me when you no longer see those tiny pieces of hair all over your sink, floor, and shoulders!
  3. Trim as Needed: Here’s the thing: In this natural hair game, people will tell you that you need to trim every three months or whenever! Do what works for your hair! If your ends look fine after three months, do you boo! Don’t just cut hair just to cut hair. Examine your own hair, and go from there. You know your curls better than anyone!
Read the full post here on the Kinky Curly Yaki Blog.


Life | Things I Learned in my First Year of Marriage

Life | Things I Learned in my First Year of Marriage

This past Sunday, my husband and I celebrated our one year marriage anniversary! Sheesh! Its definitely a bit scary when you think about how fast time flies because it literally doesn't even feel like it's been a year! I feel like it was yesterday when I shared my testimony with you guys leading up to the wedding day.

Anywho, I wanted to share with you guys some of the things I've learned in my first year of marriage.

I'm not at all saying that this is the end all be all. I'm most certainly sure that some of these things I'll continue to learn and re-learn five, ten, and fifty years down the line as we grow.

  • Submission: One of the things I've had to struggle with in being married is submitting to my husband and respecting the authority that God has given him as the head of our marriage. I like to be the one in control sometimes, but  I've had to learn that that doesn't work in a marriage! Don't get it twisted: submission does not mean that your husband controls you, tells you what to do, and makes ALL the decisions in your marriage. You're not a dog, and that would be completely abusing God's intent for the covenant of marriage. Ephesians 5:23 says that the man is called by God to be "the head of his wife, as Christ is also the head of the church" (Ephesians 5:23). In submitting to my husband, I place myself under his protection and provision since he now has a responsibility over me. In submitting to my husband, I let him know that I trust the authority that God has given him, and trust that he will make the right decisions as the head of our marriage. Most importantly, I trust the Spirit of God that lives on the inside of him that guides him and directs his path. Let me tell you: it definitely becomes easier to do as you learn to submit yourself to Christ. At the end of the day, that's what it's really all about - your love and reverence to God by trusting and obeying His commands.
  • Love & Respect: With submission comes the idea of love and respect. By submitting to my husband, I'm showing him that I respect his authority as given to him by God, and in that, I'm displaying my reverence to God in my obedience to His commands. Even aside from that, sometimes I have to check my attitude: Am I being snappy when I talk to him? Am I talking in an unloving tone? Is it too harsh? That's why its important to think before you speak because I admit, sometimes I'll say the first thing that comes to mind, and it may not always be the right thing to say. Respect is everything for men! In the same sense, husbands are commanded to "love [their] wives as Christ loves the church." Women need love and affection! Of course, I know my husband loves me, but sometimes I like hearing him say it, and I also need to feel it!
  • It's Not All About You: When you're married, you have to shift out of that "me" stage and focus on "us." There is no "I," "me," "my," or "mine" when it comes to marriage. You have to learn to take the focus off of you and your wants and desires and focus on doing whats best for the both of you, even if that means you can't get those shoes you wanted this week!
  • Compromise: Compromise is a huge part in marriage. Without compromise, everything would be difficult. This comes with getting out of the mindset that it's all about you and everything has to be your way or the highway. [raises hand] Yep...that was me! I've gotten better with this, but I'm still a work in progress, as we all are. 
  • Communication: I can't tell ya'll how important it is to TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE!! For a VERY long time before we were even married, I had trouble with talking to husband. I've always held my feelings in and internalized everything without dealing with whatever the issue was. I'll even admit that I still have that issue from time to time. I'd tell myself to just spit it out. It's hard saying what's on my mind sometimes because I don't always know how to say what it is that I'm feeling. I think part of it is me being stubborn, and the other part of it might be stepping out of my comfort zone and dealing with the issue straight out the gate instead of just sweeping it under the rug like it never happened. Ugh! I'm working on it ya'll! Thank God I'm not where I used to be!
  • Continue Dating: It's so easy to get caught up in the busyness and monotony in life. You definitely don't want that to spill over into your marriage. I think it's important to keep dating your spouse even after you've won them because that's how you keep things fresh! Setting aside a specific day during the week for date night, watching a movie at home together, talking, cuddling, etc... Don't stop dating and having fun just because the union is official. Keep it going.
  • A Day with the Girls is Far & Few In Between: I definitely don't get to spend as much time with my girls as I would like to, especially because we all have different schedules and different lives. They may feel like doing certain things that I'm not willing to do either because its not my thing, or I have no business doing it as a married woman. Thankfully, my girls respect the things that I'm not willing to do and we find something to do where we can all be involved whether it be movies, dinner, a sleepover, or a day out of the city somewhere. 
  • Take Time For Yourself: It's definitely important to take time for yourself & having something that you love to do outside of your spouse. At the end of the day, we're individuals. For my husband, he likes to go out and play basketball. For me, I love to blog and I also like to treat myself to a mani + pedi. Whatever it is, find something that makes you happy. 
Some people say the first year of marriage is the hardest. Honestly, it wasn't all that people make it seem. Yes it was tough because you're adjusting to everything. I see it this way: If you allow certain things to enter into your marriage, and if you're not willing examine yourself first instead of always pointing the finger, you will always have a problem. If you allow a bunch of negativity and frustration to take over your marriage, that's all that it will be. Marriage is work, ya'll! I definitely don't know it all, but my goal is to be the best wife I can possibly be to my husband.
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