Every Naturalista’s Must Haves!

If you are currently going through or have gone through the natural transition, you’ve probably become addicted to the following: YouTube and product shopping! Having gone through my initial transition 5 years ago, it has been a true learning experience. I began my transition with the keratin treatment and gradually cut the straight parts of my hair (3 inches every 8 weeks) until it was all back to my natural state finally last year. While my decision to go natural was a medical one (the relaxer was too harsh and caused very bad scarring to my scalp in addition to my hair thinning), I have truly enjoyed my journey. It has made me feel more comfortable in embracing myself as a woman and has definitely made life easier in a lot of ways! I’ve never been knowledgeable in how to manage my hair. Even when I had a relaxer, I could not even use a curling iron much less learn how to roller set! The only tool I mastered was the flat iron. By no means have I become a hair guru with my natural curls, however, I find natural hair to be more forgiving. No matter the hairstyle that you are trying to achieve, the following will definitely help you pull a very stylish look:

  • Oils: one of the most important ingredients that all hair especially natural curls need is oils! Olive, argan, avocado, shea – any of these oils are very helpful to your hair but my must have oil is coconut oil! It is non greasy and helps with scalp health, shine, and nourishment for your curls.
  • Hair ties: these should be purchased by the hundreds! For some reason, no matter how many you think you have, you can never seem to find one when you are really in need. So buy them in high quantity and keep a few in your most frequented places: in your personal drawer at work, in the glove compartment in the car, and definitely in your purse.
  • Hair pins: just like the ties, hair pins are a must. Curls tend to be unruly therefore a few pins are always needed to help secure them and help you keep your polished look intact.
  • Hair gel/ custard/ jelly: in the spirit of keeping flyaways tamed, these different types of products will definitely be lifesaving. Remember, a little goes a long way.
  • Spray bottles: use them to mix your favorite LOC method (liquid, oil, conditioner), or simply to have water easily accessible while doing your hairstyle, spray bottles are important. I also suggest having a travel size which you can carry with you when travelling to keep your hair looking fresh!

When it comes to your journey in the natural hair process, no two stories are alike. Some of us have been very fortunate to quickly learn how to effectively manage the transition while some of us may continually be conducting research on YouTube on the best methods to address various natural hair dilemmas. Here’s my suggestion: don’t worry so much about achieving a professional status within the first few months of transitioning. The first years will be tough as you will be dealing with various textures of hair unless you did a big chop. Plus if you chose to transition, you will have to pay closer attention to maintaining your hair healthy. However, a full year into being fully natural I’ve come to heavily rely on some of my favorite YouTube channels such as Moknowshair, MahoganyCurls, and Naptural85. These ladies share short videos on hairstyles, various processes for natural hair and most importantly do some product reviews which can help you make a decision when considering a new line.

I hope these tips will help you conquer your transition and no matter what, don’t give up!

Reese

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Dear High School Graduate

As the school year is coming to an end, many of us will be attending graduation ceremonies. This is one of my favorite times of the year as I love to watch students get recognized for their hard work. College was a great time in my life and while I did not have the traditional college life, I wouldn’t trade that experience for another as I believe it helped shape me into the adult that I am today. While graduates are usually told to expect become more responsible, learn independence, how to do laundry etc. There are some advice that I wish graduates would hear more often. Here are some of the advice I wished someone had told me (I discovered some of those on my own and fortunately took advantage):
– Select a major that you are passionate about – the worst thing that you can do is pursue a degree in a certain field because it is lucrative. While you may complete it (some students don’t and end up switching majors two to three years into the program), chances are you will become miserable once you enter the workforce. Every career has some requirements that are less desirable, however, if you are if you are passionate about your career, you will enjoy even the downfalls.
– Take advantage of all of the interest clubs and organizations – especially while in your first two years, it is the easiest time to participate in all types of organizations while still taking your general education courses. Clubs and organizations help you explore different careers and help you decide which path you want to take (if you are unsure) but they also provide you with further exposure in that field and hence increase your chances of obtaining internships and scholarships.
– It’s okay to attend a two year college first – choosing to attend a two year college after high school is the ideal choice, unless you have secured a full ride scholarship to a four year institution. Two year colleges not only facilitate the transition from high school into college, they eliminate having to sit in an auditorium where you are nothing but a number to the professor. Furthermore, they share plenty of the clubs and organizations present in a four year university and many of the times they also share faculty with nearby four year institutions. However, the best advantage of two year colleges is that they are less expensive! So if you (or your parents) are paying out of pocket: this should be a no brainer.
– Travel abroad – this is probably the cheapest method for you to travel around the world! Most of the time, travel abroad costs usually include airfare, lodging, and transportation. So this only leaves you to cover your with meals and even those are sometimes covered in the fees. So pack up that suitcase and take that trip, you are bound to have the experience of a lifetime and if you can do so with some friends, even better!
– It’s okay to have a goal – while in college, I was determined, I had waited a year after graduating high school to start and decided that it had been vacation enough and wanted to recuperate the time lost by attending school year round full time including the summer. Meanwhile, I had former classmates who decided to “enjoy the college life” and skip terms instead. Needless to say, by the time they graduated, I was already in my second semester of graduate school.
– Do not stop at your bachelor’s – the workforce is becoming more and more filled with individuals with degrees so the more specialties you can learn (certificates included), the more marketable you will be.
Remember, these four years will definitely change your life! You will grow and may even adopt a different lifestyle (hopefully in a positive way lol), however, they will forever leave an imprint in your life and will also shape you for the workforce. Be sure to enjoy yourself but remember to keep your eyes on your goal. Ultimately, there is only one person directly affected by your choices and that is you.
Congratulations graduate, the world is yours to conquer!!!
Reese