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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Relaxers are Evil!

This is a woman who has suffered alopecia due to relaxers.

Awhile back, I received an e-mail regarding my statement "Relaxers are Evil." Particularly, a woman who was contemplating Sisterlocks as an alternative to perm because to quote her "Sisterlocks look more relaxed looking than other natural hair", asked me about the medical implications of having a relaxer.

Here is the data I found:
This is an article from the Boston Globe specifying relaxer not related to breast cancer. I would like to note that Black Women are at a higher risk for many other cancers not just breast cancer. And also, researchers say hair relaxers can enter the body through cuts or lesions in the scalp (this is why perm burns and your stylist tells you not scratch); but these products are not fully monitored by the FDA. Since manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients (some are considered to be trade secrets), they say there is the potential for harmful ingredients.

I would like to expose you to this wonderful website
that ranks beauty products by level of hazardous materials along with in-depth ingredient lists detailing their hazards. For example, Dark & Lovely No-Mistake No-Lye Childern's Relaxer has a hazard rating of 10 out 10 with 10 being the most hazardous. The other relaxers in this category appear to be children's relaxers or "kiddie perms". Here are some stats on this product alone:

TITANIUM DIOXIDE - possible human carcinogen

CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, D&C ORANGE 4, DISODIUM EDTA, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SUCCINIC ACID - One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results (YES, you are a mammal!)

D&C RED 33, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, PHENOLSULFONPHTHALEIN, PHENOXYETHANOL -One or more in vitro tests on non-mammalian cells show positive mutation results

LAURAMIDE DEA -One or more animal studies show tumor formation at high doses

D&C ORANGE 4 -One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at low doses
Virgin Strand of Hair- No Chemicals Added

I admit that many other products like some shampoos, make-up, and toiletries are carcinogenic and unhealthy too. My argument is for total health and well-being. We have the tools to make the right decisions in regard to choosing products and also in what we ingest in our body. In my honest opinion, using carcinogens to change the texture of your hair is unnatural.

In addition, we should make the healthy, natural decision in regard to the products we choose as much as we can afford too. Many women have argued with me about my firm anti-relaxer stance, saying that I really should accept my sisters. And to them I say, I do accept them and love my sisters which is why I want them to make good, health decisions. Follicle of Hair with Chemical Damage

Another argument I hear often is about the cost of buying natural/organic beauty products. My question is "Are healthy products cheaper than medical bills?". Yes, of course. For example, a gym membership may be high but not higher than having hypertension and diabetes due to being overweight. Furthermore, I invested in Sisterlocks, which is a several hundred dollar investment, when I could have kept my loose natural hair for free. With that logic, why would I not invest an extra $10 in a shampoo that does not have hazardous materials?

I am officially off the soapbox. LOL! If you have any thoughts (good, bad, or ugly), I'd love to hear them.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jean-Michel Basquiat

A few weeks ago, I had a rather uneventful weekend. Well until, my best gal pal called. We went to the local Borders and I found a little gem waiting in the $3.99 bin. I found an up-to-date, accurate biography of the late, Black painter Jean Michel Basquiat. I completed reading it in a day or so.

Artist shown here photographed by the late James Van Der Zee, noted Black American photographer, in the Armani suits that Basquiat wore while painting

Here is an interview with the painter before his untimely death due to a drug overdose in the late 80s. At his time of death, he was a mere 27 years young. His life was varied and interesting though short. He was the boyfriend of Madonna, a sex worker, bisexual, and a punk rocker in addtion to being a painter. He was also a high school drop-out, dated White women exclusively, and was allegedly physically abused as a child. Basquiat, by Phoebe Hoban, is definitely worth reading if you are interested in the life behind the art.

He was also Haitian and Puerto Rican with wild locks sprouting around his very artistic mind! His art now retails for over $10 million a painting. I really like the rugged, raw way he approached sociology and racism in his art in ways I can't accurately articulate. Here is my favorite Basquiat piece:

Click me! Then scroll to the bottom. This is Sophia, Naturally's favorite Basquiat. You likey?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sisterlocks Curly,Braided Bob

I took the Bantus out and got a sort of asymmetrical curly Sisterlocks bob. I have never been a fan of more than 2 hairstyles in one, but here I think the SLs, bob, curl and asymmetry go well together. Here my hair is still braided in sections; but the Bantus acted as rollers, giving it added curl.

It didn't take long to undo the Bantu knots, but taking down the braided Sisterlocks will probably be a long ordeal.

I love playing with Sisterlock styles. What shall I do next? loc loops? a punky shaved look? crimps? an updo? The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bountiful Bantus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me Likey! Don't You?
So, I decided to do this style because I feel asleep extra early last night and woke up at 3am. As I was watching reruns and infomercials, I did this style in about 2 hours. I can't exactly remember the last time I spent this long on my hair.
So without using a mirror, here it is. I braided them first; then I twisted them around the base and tucked them under the buds.
Everyone seems to like the short look. Who knows, I might cut it this short afterall...stay tuned.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lock Style of the Day

Very Regal! Don't you just love locks? This took her less than 5 minutes with no mirror, products, or tools!

Classic, Simple, & Naturally Beautiful

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another Locking Journey

So as I am bartering to do natural hair styles, this time for groceries (LOL!), I have yet another locks convert. Heartbreaker Decepticon 's relative.

He said he liked it. I certainly hope so. Stay Locked! Keep It Natty!

Bee-yoo-ti-ful Micro Sisterlocks

I was at a festival that was wonderful, by the way, where I saw the smallest micro SLs I have ever seen in person. Aren't they beautiful? I appreciated seeing her locks then. I was debating splitting my locks smaller all over especially in the crown and back; however, I am content just undoing the locks that were combined by certain consultants . My hair is thick/voluminous enough without adding to the time and effort of retightening which I plan to take over myself.

Onyx Cherry told me at the time, that my locks look very similar to this size only that I have more hair and a different texture. Sometimes I think my locks are bigger than they actually are.
I really like the color too. The next picture could be better. She was trying to have a conversation while Onyx Cherry and I were stalking her. I am thankful that she gave permission to be photographed. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sophia, Naturally Got Glasses

I have needed glasses for a long time. So I finally got glasses. You likey?

I really enjoy seeing everyone and myself clearly. I am slightly near-sighted. This means things far away look fuzzy or blurry without my glasses. My prescription is slight so I only wear them when reading (not on the net), driving, doing my hair, or when they look fabulous with my outfit (lol).

It has made my life so much easier. No more mistaking textile/fabric prints, sitting in the front of meetings, squinting, or aimlessly looking at far off objects or for friends in the distance. On top of all that, my out of pocket expense was very low. Sweet!

I also love my eyeglass case. It's a rich burgundy leather that's very sturdy. I just want to put a gold chain through it and wear it as a purse.

I think I will buy another pair as a back up just in case, and I will definitely use the new pair as a fashion accessory.Right now I have my eye on these Green (my fav colour) Pradas. Me likey!

Please comment if you are so inclined. I love constructive feedback!

Monday, August 4, 2008

You Can't Win Them All

“Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded...”
~Audre Lorde

Mom- Your hair is looking much better. It looks more curly like your hair used to or maybe I'm just now getting used to it.

Sophia, Naturally- Thanks mom! I'm happy it's looking better to you.

Mom- It doesn't look as "kinkybe" as it used to look. Maybe you'll get it together before I die.

Sophia, Naturally- Quietly smiles and is reminded of mom's earlier request to have bone straight hair at mom's funeral in the very far future...changes subject

Sunday, August 3, 2008

SL Sister's SL Dilemma

I received an e-mail from SL Sister about her newly installed Sisterlocks. It turns out that her locks were installed with the center part looking something like this:The consultant charged her $50 more dollars than the price that was quoted on the website in addition to this. SL Sister didn't realize that her hair was uneven until after she left. She contacted the Sisterlocks Consultant who was unapologetic and stated nothing was wrong with the parts in the first place. The whole right side of her head appeared curved, and, in my honest opinion, it was simply lazy work. She went back the next day (an almost 100 mile drive) to have it corrected.

The consultant did attempt to correct it though she left it jagged the first time. Then when she corrected the center part finally, she combined free hair from taking down locks and combined them with existing locks instead of redoing the whole section properly. As a result, she has loose hair outside of her pattern.

This ordeal struck a nerve with me as you all may remember I have had problems finding good consultants in the past. I advised her to gently explain to the consultant that she would like it fixed since she already paid her for the initial install. If the consultant continued with the same behavior, I would personally contact the home office. Of course, beyond this, she should NEVER go back to her. She advised that she planned to retighten her hair herself. But I know from experience, it is better to have a consultant and not need one than need one and not have her.

What would you advise her to do?