So I’ve decided to LOC my hair! 

Although I’ve always flirted with the idea of having them, I’ve taken some time before I published this for a couple reasons: I wanted to be sure of my decision, and I wanted to come to terms that my hair isn’t free to style in the way I’m (and my followers are) accustomed to.


I began this new journey 8/6/16, with a failed interlock attempt. My very first lesson! The size of the sections determines the final look! Thank goodness I changed my mind in time to take them down and put Miss Deva in mini twists. Much better! 


I’ve finally come to terms with my business name not exactly matching my hair anymore, yet Miss Deva is still the same. I still have to use the same care and maintenance steps that I’ve learned over the years to keep my locs as healthy as my coils! I still have to moisturize my locs to avoid breakage, because healthy locs can only come from my healthy coils! 

I look forward to this new journey, and I can’t wait to experiment with color and styling, and I’m loving the ease of daily styling. My days are long and full, so as long as my roots are neat, I’m good to go! Even my wash days no longer consume so much effort; twisting after washing only takes an hour and a half compared to 3+ hours for a natural hair style. My schedule no longer accommodates those sessions.


Needless to say, I love my new look and what it’s becoming! After my interlock fail, I found my inspiration pics (Goapele, Ava DuVernay) and I must say I’m glad I didn’t continue going blind and that I remembered to use a piece of advice I tell my clients: “Have a visual goal in mind of what you want your hair to look like” and it’s working! 


It goes without saying that I’ve started a new growth challenge, so contact me to get started on yours too!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Lush Cosmetics Made My Day!

And it can make yours, too! A Facebook friend raved about this store a while back, and with chagrin I told her I hadn’t heard of it and it wasn’t in my area. Lo and behold, it is now and I finally got to experience it! I walked in with my two children and you would’ve thought they were in an Exploratorium of sorts, and not just me! There was so much to see, smell, and try, and the associates are very knowledgeable. One even took the time to show my very-hands-on-and-enthusiastic 6-year-old around the nearby products as I moved around and asked my associate millions of questions!

Here’s what I think of Lush, and why you need to experience it too! Tiffany, this one’s for you!

If you haven’t heard of Lush Cosmetics, it’s an all natural cosmetics company based in England that has also gotten into hair care products–makes sense right? Of course I was drawn to the shampoos and conditioners, and when I saw this Kinky hot oil treatment I HAD to try it! I also grabbed the Blousey and Montalbano shampoos, which are a moisturizing shampoo and a deep-cleansing lemon bar, respectively. Since I wear makeup often I decided to give Cosmetic Warrior fresh face a try, my daughter wanted to try the Rosy Cheeks fresh face mask, and my son was so excited over the blue shower jelly (Woosh) so I obliged them both as well lol. Lush has all natural bath bombs, makeup, shower gels, henna, and more!

But they’re more than your typical cosmetics company. They do not believe in animal testing at all so they don’t partner with or buy from any company that tests on animals, and actually have a hair lab and spa in England where you can get treatments and give your feedback in a professional setting. It’s SO on my bucket list to go Poole, England! The oh-so-helpful associates included a catalog in my bag, and there are literally so many products that I want to try it’s ridiculous! But I’ll start with these for now, watch this quick video to see how they changed my hair!

Disclaimer: My products were not sponsored, I paid for them with my own money.

Have you tried Lush Cosmetics yet? Where all my Lushies at?! Did I just make that up? Lol..

Not your regular beauty supply…

Are you tired of being abused by your local beauty supply? You pop in for a few quick items, or even to just browse, and your shopping experience is littered with ‘friendly’ faces following you, pestering you to make your purchases, and making thinly veiled demands to hurry up and buy so you can leave? If you’ve never heard about this phenomenon, I dare you to Google ‘followed in the beauty supply’ and check out the results.


If this was your reaction, yes it happens all the time, even to me…that is, until I walked into Elise Beauty Supply. The nice, open space eliminates the need for following customers around, and gives it a wonderful boutique feeling. You can buy your virgin hair there, packaged hair, and regular beauty supply and barber products without the hassle of someone breathing down your neck. She’s made the experience more personal like in a department store, as she comes over to help make selections as needed, and have interesting conversations with whomever walks into her store.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Elise the other day to connect and understand her vision, and to share it with all of you!

What is your mission with Elise Beauty Supply?

EBS will be the premier beauty and barber shopping destination for all of Antioch CA and surrounding areas. I provide 100% virgin hair extensions, frontals and closures to local salons and individuals, packaged hair and wigs, barbering supplies for area shops and their clients, and hair care products that nurture my community’s hair.

How did you get into the beauty industry?

It started with my virgin hair business, and it has blossomed to help give my clients more access to take care of the hair they buy from me. I know how uncomfortable it is to be followed in the traditional Asian stores, and I’ve heard and seen customers curse the owners out for doing the same and worse; now I have a store to help me help others avoid that experience!

If you could share just a few things with aspiring businesswomen, what would they be?

  • Study, study,  study! I started preparing in 2010, and subscribed to my industry’s trade magazine in 2011 after it offered an English translation. Before then, it was only offered in Korean. Always be on the lookout for new trends, because target markets can change and when they do, their needs change. You have to be there to fill them, and that helps you stay innovative and adaptable to change.
  • Focus on solutions! If you try to drill a hole through an obstacle, you will waste precious time! I’ve found that if you focus on something else, you’ll either find a better way to do what you were trying to do, or that you didn’t need that avenue at all!
  • Read these 3 books! The Bible is full of business tips; my favorite one is about the ‘man with the talents’ (Matt 25:14-30) as it always keeps me in check! Follow this up with Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki and they will change your life!

This is just a snippet from our interview, I couldn’t include everything! Elise is really a beautiful soul, and really has a heart for the people she helps! We’re in the same industry, and it really is a beautiful feeling to connect with like-minded folks. As a business woman, I absolutely love picking the brains of other successful businesswomen! My daughter accompanied me on this interview, and I’m so proud to be able to show her that she can be successful in life too! Chase dreams instead of money, and the money will come! 

Here’s her link to get your Virgin Hair ladies, and be sure to connect with her and her store on Facebook!

xoxo

How to Stop Fighting With Your Hair!

Here’s the scenario…

You want to join the growing community of proud naturalistas who are embracing their natural crowns, you want to take control of the standing, biweekly appointment hours that’s currently blocked off for the ‘beauty shop’, you want to free up money in your budget to spend on other necessities and still be a Deva…

But your hair WON’T ACT RIGHT!!!

Congratulations for finding this blog, because since you are here I know you’re looking for answers. I sat where you are now, trying to figure out why my hair journey was ‘so hard’ …the steps weren’t laid out for me, but I’m going to lay them out for you to save you the trouble!

This is a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but this post will surely make sure you’re in the proper mindset to continue your journey. If you are tired of struggling with your hair, look no further!

 

Here are my 5 Ways to TURN YOUR STRUGGLE INTO PARADISE!

  1. Look at it – I know, it sounds a bit elementary since you do see it everyday in the mirror lol…but in this context, really LOOK at and inspect your hair. How does your hair look to you? If you’d prefer to wear your hair out, discover the real reason why you don’t by assessing your hair’s physical state. Is it because your hair is frizzy and all over the place? Or is it because your hair is thin and lifeless? Either way, (and whatever else you see is bothering you) these visual assessments are what will put you on the path to freedom.
  2. Touch it – Here’s another one that seems obvious, but again, really touch your hair. Roll some strands between your fingers with your eyes closed to really get a feel for it. Does it feel greasy, hard and scratchy, or round and smooth? (Mine used to be in the former category)
  3. Inspect your current products and regimen – Now here’s where the real work begins. It’s more difficult in the beginning because you’re basically learning a whole new language, but it gets easier once you start applying this knowledge in the next steps. To make this transition easier, I have listed common ingredients and practices here and below that will surely get you started!
  4. Swap it out to test for a difference in your hair – This part is more fun, because here is where you get to be hands on! The first two steps is where your hair ‘told’ you what’s wrong, now here’s where you get to fix it! This non verbal communication with your hair is where the physical transformation will take place, as you try different products and processes to listen and watch for your hair’s reaction! Miss Deva inherited her name during this step, because she’s stubborn and wants what she wants like me! Lol
  5. Repeat step 4 if necessary – This may be obvious too, but it’s needed because I hear so many stories of those who are either planning to give up or have already given up natural hair if they try/tried a few products and none of them give them what they’re looking for. The common reason is because 1) they didn’t happen across this blog first (shameless plug lol) and 2) they were looking for a product to change their hair instead of listening to and watching for what their hair needs. My goal is not to be a Natural Nazi, but I’m here to let you know that being natural doesn’t have to be ‘so hard’ and you don’t have to ‘give up’ if you’re truly interested in wearing your crown! These are what I found makes Miss Deva happy, read on for help with Step 3..

 

Ingredients to look for and why:

*Note: the following should not be close to the beginning of the ingredient list. Ideally look for products that have water as the first one, along with as many ingredients as you can realistically pronounce.
  • Petrolatum/Mineral oil based products – These work for some naturalistas, but I’m including them here because for the most part they’re used incorrectly. A grease and water regimen only works if you’re consistent and generous with the ‘water’ part if your main hair concern is dryness. This is true because these types of products are major sealants; they seal everything out, and nothing can come in. So if you don’t moisturize your hair WITH WATER you’re sealing dryness in!
  • Parabens (ending in -paraben) – Excess estrogen exposure contributes to cancer, so Parabens are linked to cancer because they mimic estrogen in the body.
  • Silicones (ending in -one) – Not all silicones are bad because they fight moisture loss and help hair stay straighter in humid environments, but some are very hard to remove and contribute to buildup over time. The silicones to avoid are the ones with -amo, -amino, or -amine in their name. Dimethicone copolyol is water based and easy to remove, while dimethicone is not and hard to remove. If your products have silicones in them, just pay attention to how they make your hair feel and act accordingly.
  • Sulfates/Alcohols (ending in -ate, -ol) – Extremely drying, they’re mostly used as cleansing agents and should be used sparingly (if at all). Read why directly below!

 

Regimen-busting practices:

  • Too-frequent shampoos – Contributes to dryness (especially if your shampoo has sulfates in it), either co-wash between clarifying shampoos or use a moisturizing shampoo for light cleansing and restrict clarifying shampoos for when your hair really needs it.
  • Infrequent trims – I know, length. Is. The. Goal. The truth is, split ends will eat up any length you do get. They will make your hair look as if it isn’t growing when in fact it is. Regular trims are very necessary, and the longer you’re natural, you will be able to know when and how to do them yourself between official shape cuts by a professional.
  • Thinking a product will make your hair curly – Today’s society conditions us to expect drastic changes by only addressing symptoms instead of underlying issues. If you want that ‘curly hair’ look like I did, you’re not going to get it from a product. You have to address the ‘why’ behind your hair’s unmanageability to reveal its natural curl pattern.

If you’re tired of the daily struggle, I pray this read gives you tons of value you can immediately use to give your journey a brand new start! The rules we followed before will no longer help us now, so it’s important to avoid wandering in the wilderness because that will certainly lead to frustration and quitting! If you really don’t want to quit, try this first!

xoxo

Recreation!

They say imitation is the best form of flattery…I remember watching this girl (@thechicnatural) when I had less hair than I needed to try her styles, and now that I’ve got a lil hair it’s time to dive right in!

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Here’s how I achieved my first rendition!

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  1. This is what I had to work with…stretched hair with a little shrinkage, and I ended up combing it again (I don’t use combs lol) to make it easy to braid. Like last time, it wasn’t hard to comb!
  2. Then I made three sections, and
  3. Braided the back in two French braids, and pinned the ends.
  4. Then I braided the top in Ms. Celine style braids, making the sections about an inch wide and randomly shaped. Didn’t get a pic of the braids, (they weren’t fluffy since they were so long, and I immediately switched to ‘how can I save this’ lol) but here’s what they looked like after I decided to twist them and let them set overnight.

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The next morning, I untwisted the braids and took them down. I like them down, but all that hair in my face would eternally irk me so I pinned it up in my rockstar way! This style will keep my hands out of my hair for a while, so I’m happy with how it turned out! I’m sure it’ll be different the next time I try it! Thanks @thenaturalchic for the inspiration!

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How did you save a hairstyle that wasn’t turning out like you wanted? Leave a comment!

Update! Hope My Journeys Help Yours!

I have to admit, I’ve come a long way! I had no idea my physical life would change so much, and it all started with me being tired of leaving my hair in someone else’s hands! To be honest, my journey to a healthier lifestyle began with my desire to produce my own head of full, healthy hair! I had issues with fluctuating weight and acne, but my hair was the bane of my existence. You see, I had worked as an assistant of an upscale hair salon and was able to help others with their chemically straightened hair, yet I didn’t want to deal with the expensive drama of getting mine done any longer. I could also appreciate the craft and science behind the chemicals so I didn’t want  to over process my hair, so I was in quite a pickle.

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So my natural hair struggle began; it happened in 3 stages, and I’m thankfully in my last one!

  1. My first pregnancy (BC) – I became aware of the chemical/pregnancy connection, and I tried to ‘go natural’….I lasted for a few months, but switched to presses and then texturizers because I got so tired of my then-fiancé’s family talking so bad about my hair and suggesting ‘solutions’ that do not even work on natural hair. Self esteem during this time: LOW
  2. 2nd pregnancy (BC) – I had given up the presses and texturizers, and exchanged them for wigs, weaves, and quick weaves. During this time, I was primarily focused on growth and then my edges were ripped out by my birthing braids and then by hair glue! Mama Mia was I frantic! Oil challenges that didn’t work and biotin that horribly aggravated my longstanding acne issues prevailed during this time. Self esteem: LOW
  3. Creamy Crack relapse – After two years, I tried a pixie cut that chopped all my hair off and I loved it! …for like 3 months. I loved my new look, but I couldn’t shake the vision I had for my hair; plus I didn’t like having to go back and spend so much time in the ‘beauty shop’ again. So I did another BC a few months later. Self esteem during this time: IMPROVING

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During this last stage, I did so much research to figure out why my hair frustrated me so during the one before and became determined to make it work this time! Not only did my edges come back, but I found ways to make it so much more manageable and retain length!  I was so happy with my progress, I looked to clear up my skin too! I’m in my 2nd and final stage, and this journey overlaps with my the last and current stage of my hair journey and starts around the same time as my health journey:

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  1. Surface – I discovered my large pores were awfully clogged, and I had to learn how to wash my face properly to address my cystic acne. I invested in a Clarisonic brush and used my Castile soap faithfully day and night to keep my face clean. I learned to keep new breakouts at bay by using my brush. At this stage, I’d wake up with a pimple if I skipped a nightly wash. Self esteem during this time: GETTING BETTER, and IMPROVED DRASTICALLY
  2. Within – I discovered my underlying causes recently as I switched my focus from merely losing weight to living a healthier lifestyle. I discovered toxins were coming out through my face and getting rid of them really keeps the acne away, not just under control. The oiliness is gone, and I’m able to really use more gentle facial products that really help my skin stay supple without over drying it. I’m sure that’s why I kept getting pimples if I skipped that nightly wash, because it doesn’t happen anymore! Self esteem now: ON FIYAH!!

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I also decided to stop being Oprah and get the weight off for good. I actually invested in a trainer for about two months, who introduced me to the world of clean(er) eating. I got really fit, learned how to meal prep, and how to sculpt my body with weights. Yes, I paid attention to everything he said so I was able to carry on when my finances didn’t line up. (Don’t worry, I’ll get you back Devin!) Although I haven’t been able to go to the gym in a year due to a couple of injuries, I’ve been able to maintain my figure pretty well! I make sure I drink enough veggies, drink plenty of water, watch what I eat, and I’m on my supplement game instead of medicines! My hair and skin are thriving, I’m cleaning my insides, and working towards maintaining a clean slate because I only get one temple, and I’ve got little ones depending on me!

The past couple of years have been so eye-opening for me, and I’ve learned so much about myself that I’m still amazed! No matter where you are on your journey, I realize it may seem as if you’re on a lonely road to nowhere. But if you stay the course, the more plain your road will become! Keep going, keep researching, keep trying new things to know what doesn’t work! This is the way your body will tell you what DOES work! Who’s with me?!

Finally put a comb in my head!

So this happened yesterday lol…

I’ve been fancying the two french braids I put in my daughter’s hair, so I decided I want them too lol…but I don’t use combs 😁.

But really tho, there isn’t anything more frustrating than trying to Frenchbraid with a bunch of tangles! So I bit my lip, took my rat tail comb, held my breath and proceeded to make my main part. It was easy! Although my hair had shrunk a little from my last light blow dry, it was still mostly stretched and made parting a breeze!


So I felt gully and thought combing it would be just as easy….WRONG! I had to run my wide toothed comb through smaller sections (starting from the bottom). Overall, it was SO much easier than trying to comb a WNG tho, so that’s my recommendation to anyone who needs to comb their hair for a particular style!

Make sure your hair is stretched first! Lol

After I combed the right side, and before I combed the left side!

Is life imitating art yet? Thankful for my regimen, loving my vitamins!

If I Knew These 5 Things Back Then…

….Miss Deva would be SO much further along! You see, although there is a steep learning curve when it comes this natural hair thing, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it!

I speak of her in 3rd person because this has been quite a journey (now that I think back, its really been since 2005)…I’ve had to get to know Miss Deva and what she likes; she loves moisture, not oil and absolutely NO GREASE. I’ve learned which hairstyles put too much tension on her (anything with pulled edges), and I’ve learned that my edges are the driest parts of my hair and require special attention, which I’m getting more consistent at providing.

Now that was what I’ve learned about Miss Deva, here’s my current TOP 5 LESSONS I’ve learned so far:

  1. Healthy hair comes from what you put IN YOUR BODY, not necessarily from what you put on it (although it certainly helps). I’ve learned that length may come from vitamins if your diet lacks certain hair-friendly nutrients, and although I have a favorite, our regimen will either support or negate their contribution. I love my hair vitamins, and I take them religiously! Not only because they boost my length, but they actually nurture and nourish my hair from the inside. My regimen is what makes Miss Deva DANCE, and ensures I keep all the length I get from my vitamins!
  2. Everything you knew about relaxed hair, WILL NOT HELP YOU NOW, so focus on learning everything new. Especially when it comes to water and greasing your scalp.
  3. Product does not MAKE your hair curly/coily, MOISTURE RETENTION does. Being a product junkie is NOT cool either. It’s EXPENSIVE and frustrating, and shows that you haven’t found what works yet. I’ve been addicted to YouTube University, watching countless product reviews to get my hair to be ‘curly’ when Miss Deva is coily. Once you address the issues you’re having with your hair, she’ll continue to ‘act out’.
  4. Your hair is NOT, and WILL NOT behave like just anybody that you found on YouTube because you like their hairstyle, and hair typing is NOT the end all be all. It’s just a great way to estimate how your hair will respond to different products.
  5. When you settle on a regimen that makes your hair DANCE, she’ll look AMAZING, like you bought her! For real, folks ask me if Miss Deva’s a wig when I take her out for a spin lol..

With that being said, its safe to say I was NO WHERE near as knowledgeable about natural hair as I am now. I’ve BC‘d 3 times now, and the 2nd time was out of pure FRUSTRATION. I’ve consumed information that wasn’t meant for Miss Deva and found a whole lot out by trial and error. I’ve even resorted to regular presses to ‘train’ my natural hair, and even texturizers to turn my natural undefined/frizzy/dry coils to ‘curls’. All because I didn’t know how to make Miss Deva dance. And my mission is to save you the trouble I went through….

How long have you been natural, and what has been your biggest lessons so far? Or your biggest gripes? ….if I could give you a personal consultation, would you redeem it? Just curious…

Touch Test for Your Perfect Oil and Cream!

There are SO many oils and creams out there, how to choose the right ones your hair needs for your LOC method? Good news, there are just 2 important arguments to consider when choosing the oil and cream that’s best for your hair!

  1. Thick or Thin: Common thick oils and creams are regular castor, JBCO, EVOO, and shea based butters. Common thin oils are coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, almond, and creams with a ‘whipped’ type of consistency. The perfect one for you will be in either one category or the other, and if one is not quite suitable to your liking, try a different one in the same category.
  2. Absorption vs. Coating: Remember the couch scene from ‘Coming To America’? You don’t want that! Your best oil will not leave your hand looking wet and feeling slimy if your scalp itches or if you need to fix a strand that’s gotten out of place. The oil should absorb into your hair strands, not just sit on top of them and make them greasy.

It may sound like a bit much, and for that I apologize. To remedy that, take a look at the oil you’re already using and start there. How does your hand feel after you touch it? If its greasy, chances are your current oil is too thick and it just coats your hair. How does a section of your hair feel between your thumb and forefinger? If they feel rough as you roll them against each other, again chances are your current oil is too thick and its coating your hair. Follow the same touch test for your perfect cream, and voila! You’re on your way to your staple oil and cream!

P.S. Moisturized hair does NOT come from the oil you put on it, and grease does nothing but act as a barrier–nothing comes in, and nothing comes out! WATER (or liquids like aloe vera juice and leave-in conditioner) is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for moisture.

Have you found your perfect oil and cream? Tell us in a comment!

What’s My Hair Type??!

Is a question most new naturals ask us old head naturals…it’s a natural texture system that ranges from 1 (bone straight) to 4 (kinky) that refers to the owner’s curl pattern, or how tightly coiled/curled their hair’s natural texture is and has benchmarks between each number. Although you do get a certain kind of esteem from knowing your hair type(s), I learned very quickly that the knowledge is to be used for a different purpose than I had naively intended.

Now that I try to think, I don’t really remember why I initially wanted to know what my hair type is…honestly it seemed like the thing I needed to know since I saw so much talk about it.


Knowing your approximate hair type is handy though. When you settle on the ballpark of your hair type, it sort of narrows the type of information you’ll spend time on reading. There’s SO much information out there; from product reviews to snippets of helpful info, it gets really hard to weed out the info YOU’RE meant to digest REAL QUICK. Knowing where your hair falls on the scale and how it behaves makes weeding out pertinent info a bit easier.


Familiarity with the typing chart also helps when you watch product reviews. Seeing a review on a similar hair type as yours saves precious time, unless you’re just curious about the product. I’ve found myself absent mindedly watching these hot brush straighteners just to see the result, knowing they will most likely never work on Miss Deva. The way Type 3-4 beauties straighten hair is NOWHERE near the way Type 1-2 ladies do. Our process is just…different. They’d have to give me one to try it because I haven’t been impressed with what I’ve seen so far lol.


In short, think of it like this: knowing your hair type is NOT like reaching the light at the end of a tunnel; it’s more like finding the key that opens the door to your very own secret tunnel that leads to happy and healthy hair! This, my friends is the real reason to know your hair type!

Here are just a few of the many charts out there, some are more helpful than others depending on the models they feature. If you don’t know why your hair isn’t behaving the way you’d like and you’re tired of spending countless hours watching random product reviews, narrow it down by getting to know your hair a little bit! 

And if you need a lil help, I’m here for you 🙂

Xoxo