Why Is Your Penis On A Dead Girl’s Phone And Other Things I Adore About Annalise Keating

Annalise Keating Main PicMysterious, sexy, and powerful. Annalise Keating possesses all of these qualities and more. She is a star in the courtroom, as a criminal defense attorney and in the classroom, as a criminal law professor in Shonda Rhimes’ newest show, How To Get Away With Murder. Annalise Keating is mesmerizing. I love watching her in character and here all the reasons why:
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#100HappyDays: Day 5

wpid-20140504_201042.jpgNo one holds their head higher than a woman with a fresh ‘do. I am no different. Believe me when I say that when I get my hair done, I feel like a brand new woman. I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I feel more confident. I feel more loved. I feel more respected. Women, and Black women especially, spend hundreds of dollars each year to get their hair to behave the way they want it to. You can tell me that it’s outrageous to spend $200 on a new ‘do, but if you understand the feeling a woman has when she gets out that chair and steps into the world, you’ll understand why a woman feels tempted to spend half her rent on a new look.

In a world full of unrealistic size 2 models shoved in our faces, a woman is always second guessing whether she looks good enough. She compares herself. She puts herself down because she feels like she can’t look like Beyoncé or like the airbrushed model on the cover of Allure. No one can place a dollar amount on body image, self-respect, and self-esteem. There are no limits to what a confident woman can achieve. I’m not saying that a new hairstyle is the answer to self-esteem issues, but I am saying that it helps.

Today on my 5th day of #100HappyDays, my new hairstyle is what made me happy. Now, I’m not going to delve deeply into the 8 hours it took to achieve this look and the pain I endured from the yanking and pulling that braiding requires. But I will say that once I got out that chair and looked in the mirror, I was in pure bliss.


Natural Hair Woes: Thinning Edges

I took down my sew-in during the weekend and discovered that my edges are thinning. Alopecia and thinning hairlines run in my family and I’ve inherited it too. The stress of a full-head weave on my edges was not helping my hairline; in fact, it was making it worse. Because of this, I am giving my hair a little time to relax, rejuvenate, and re-grow. This sounds good in theory, but I am having the toughest time styling my hair in a manner that will not put stress on my edges.

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Meet My Natural Hair

I want to start sharing my natural hair stories because Lord knows us natural sistas need to create a network and exchange natural hair tips. It’s not easy being au naturale. In order for you to learn something from my stories, I’d have to introduce you to my hair.

I get a kick out of treating objects as things and giving them a personality. For instance, my car’s name is Lexi. My Toyota Corolla S is sexy, cool, dependable and is good on gas. We get along great. In fact, I recently named a friend’s Hyundai Blantra “Byron.” He was well pleased with it, and I’m happy to name your car, if interested. But I digress.

My hair is no different from other inanimate objects. She has a personality too. The only thing about my hair is that her personality is interestingly similar to mine. Let me explain.

She likes to be left alone.

Like me, my hair likes to be left alone. Don’t bother with it too much; it’s cool kickin’ it with little maintenance. In other words, my hair is not the type of hair that likes to be fiddled with daily. I can’t flat iron it everyday and expect for it to be healthy, shiny, and bouncy. What my hair does like, however, is moisturizers. Just put some moisturizer and let her go. She’s happy, healthy, and grows fast in her natural state.

Urbanella Signature Series hair products work the best for my hair. I use No. 7 Non-Lather Cleanser (shampoo), followed by No. 4 Hydrating Conditioner. These products are excellent; they give my hair the moisture it needs. Particularly the shampoo is awesome because it does not strip my hair of moisture like shampoos typically do. I can use it each day and not notice a difference in my hair’s hydration. I am still searching for a leave-in conditioner, however, I was using Phyto 9, and it was working wonders two years ago, but when I recently purchased it in November, it didn’t work anymore.

It appears strong, but don’t let that tough exterior fool you; it’s extremely sensitive.

When most people see my afro they think it’s tough. They think my hair can tolerate heat and the daily combing. But they’re wrong. Given the extreme coarseness of my hair, it breaks easily.  To prevent breakage, I keep it as hydrated as possible and comb gently. The edges of my hair are in fact the weakest. Like many of my other sisters out there, my hair has been the victim of brutal-hair-braiding. You know, the hair braiders, usually Africans, who braid your baby hair, that’s meant to lie in on your forehead. Heck, they’ll even braid your eyebrows if you let them.

Thanks to years of tight hair braiding, I have a bit of breakage around the sides. I treat it with Peppermint oil. Two times a day, I rub some peppermint oil on my temples. It has been a slow process, but I do see some improvement around my sides. I also take try to take Biotin vitamins everyday. Biotin vitamins keep my hair healthy. When I use them frequently, I notice a change in my hair’s fullness, hydration, and shine.

It has expensive taste.

I used to try to shortchange my hair by only using  products like Suave and Patene Pro V. When I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, a friend who is also natural said to me, “If you use cheap products, you’ll get cheap hair!” And she was correct.

I spend a lot of money on my hair because it’s only the pricier products that tend to bring about the results I want. I truly believe that if you want nice healthy hair you have to invest in quality products, and unfortunately the quality products are expensive.

It gets bored easily.

I am always trying new products because the product that once had an effect on my hair, later loses its effect (like Phyto 9 mentioned above). This gives me an excuse to go out and experiment with new products and before you know it, I’ll turn into  a connoisseur of all things natural hair.

It needs some TLC.

Everyone needs some tender, love, and care. My hair is no different. My hair regimen is a lengthy one.

  1. Rub Urbanella’s No. 4 conditioner in the hair and take down Kinky twists
  2. Wash hair, using Urbanella’s No. 7.
  3. Rub Urbanella’ No. 4  hair conditioner throughout the hair, combing product all the way through
  4. Leave conditioner in hair from anywhere from 20 minutes to 6 hours. I often put on a plastic cap and sleep with conditioner in my hair
  5. Wash out conditioner
  6. Use Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream or Urbanella No. 9 Hair Shine Butter to twist hair
  7. Spray twists with Organic Root Stimulator’s Sheen
  8. Freshen up the twists with No. 9 Hair Shine Butter throughout the week.

It’s slightly off beat

My hair hears the beat of a different drummer. I will curl my hair to the left, it will fall to the right. I will twist it and it will come loose within seconds. It’s full of various textures, a loose curl in the back, tightly coiled in the middle and a medium curl in the front. To top off all of these eccentricities, my hair is not even black. It’s off black and brown. Even a gallon of hair sheen won’t make my hair shine. To me, it often appears “ashy.”

I am still working to find the appropriate color to make it appear shiny. If you have any suggestions, help a sista out!! And since my hair has the tendency to do its own thing sometimes, I have stylish hats and scarfs in my wardrobe. When it’s being unruly, I slap on a hat and scarf and leave it alone.

I tell people who want to make the transition from permed to natural hair that they’ll need two things: a hat and a sense of humor. A hat to put on when the hair doesn’t want to behave and a sense of humor so that she’ll be patient enough to endure the hairs unique tendencies.

One thing that I’ve learned is even though my hair might resemble that of another, but it is does not have the same personality. Gone are the days that I follow people’s hair advice who think have the same hair as me. I have to experiment and create my own solutions to my hair’s extreme dryness. And as the reader, you may notice that these products don’t work for you as they work for me. You’ll have to find what works for you; I am only sharing what my hair likes.  What works for one Black woman with kinky hair will not work for another. That’s what I find so amazing a Black woman’s hair. The texture is never the same across many people. It has been a long 6 years discovering my hair’s personality. But I’m glad I have finally articulated it on this blog.

Natural Hair Lover vs. Permed Hair Lover

I love changing my hairstyle. Since going natural in 2006, I’ve embraced a variety of different hairstyles: long, straight, curly, kinky, locs, and twists.  I recently decided to stop straightening my hair. I have to admit: initially, I was hesitant about the decision. Would men be attracted to natural locs and an afro? After much contemplation, I’ve come the conclusion that type of man who are attracted to me with natural locs are completely different from the men who are attracted to me with long straight hair. Bottom line is this: if a guy won’t approach me because he doesn’t like my natural hair, well, he’s not my type.

What better way for me to convey that difference to you than to let you read a script of me conversing with a Natural Hair Lover (NHL) and a Permed Hair Lover (PHL). The difference is quite evident. Enjoy and please have a sense of humor 🙂

NHL is rockin a Angela Davis tee, with an arm band that resembles the colors of Ghana’s flag – yellow, red, green, and black. His hair in long locs, that reach the mid-part of his back.  He meets me at my Spoken Word Night at one of my favorite spots in Richmond, VA called Tropical Soul.

NHL: Is this seat taken, my Beautiful Black Sista?

Me: Sure. There’s no one sitting there.

NHL: I have to tell you, my African Queen, I love my sistas sportin their natural hair (puts his “Angela Davis” fist in the air) All these years, the White Man has been trying to get you to hate yourself – that your hair ain’t beautiful. But let me tell you, my Beautiful Black Queen, you are beautiful. Your hair is beautiful. Don’t ever change it.

Me: Thank you. (Returns the fist love.)

NHL: So, my Beautiful Black Queen, what brings you to Tropical Soul this evening?

Me: Well, I love poetry and spoken word. You can find me here every Tuesday night. How about you?

NHL: I come sometimes. These are some positive Black folks. Too many White people trying to keep the Black man down. Too many. I’m just trying to be positive.

Me: Yes. Trying to look for the show. So what are you planning for the holidays?

NHL: I’m a part of the African Revolution’s Party. I don’t celebrate the White man’s holidays.  Christmas with that White Santa. Why can’t Santa be a Black Man?

Me: Gee, well that’s great sir. It was nice meeting you.

Permed Hair Lover (PHL) walks into Tropical Soul with an entourage of 5 other females swinging their long straight hair. They look like they just step off a set of a rap music video. He has his shades on, and displays a swagger like no other. We meet at Tropical Soul for Poetry and Spoken Word Night when he sits at my table.

Me: Hi, I’m Jessica and you are?

PHL: I’m Antoine. (Looks away)

Me: So you come here often?

PHL: Not really. She (points to the girl with the longest hair among his groupies) invited me this evening. Not crazy about being in places like this; I’d rather be hanging out in my mansion in Beverly Hills.

Me: That’s great. (Unimpressed by his boastfulness)

PHL: And one of my girls, she gave me this expensive watch for my birthday. I’m a balla. Haha.

Me: Wow.

PHL: Yeah, you know. Everyone wanna be like me or with me. So tell me what’s up with your hair?

Me: What do you mean?

PHL: (Touches my hair and snickers). You know this whole Angela Davis get up. Why don’t you just get a perm. You’d prettier if you did that.

Me: You mean straighten my hair like them? (Pointing to the his groupies.)

PHL: (Smiles.) Yes.