Friday, July 23, 2010

What finally made me decide to go Natural

My hair in Aug. '08
After using a relaxer to straighten my hair for 20 years, there I was trying to decide if I should go Natural.  For me this would mean "re-learning" how to do my hair.  The last time my hair was Natural, my mother was still doing it for me.  I even called to ask her about my hair texture back then.  It wasn't so thick and crazy that she didn't know what to do with it.  I also remembered how long it was. 

Then it was like a light finally went hair was long back then.  I also thought that it was pretty sad that I couldn't even remember what my own hair texture was before the relaxer.  So, that was it, I had my mind set on growing out my relaxed hair.  I figured, I spent twenty years wearing it straight, so why not spend the next twenty natural?

Of course I had to talk it over with my husband.  He and I have known each other since High School and this would be new for both of us.  For weeks I kept asking him if he was okay with it.  Finally he just said, "I didn't marry you for your hair!"  He was behind me 100 percent.  Even now, when I look at how fast it's growing, he keeps saying how he knew all along that it would be healthier if I just quit putting all that harsh stuff in my hair. 

My hair in May 2010
So there you have it.  The last time I used a relaxer was in July of 2008 but I didn't actually decide to go natural until October of the same year.  I waited until May of 2009 to chop off the relaxed ends. 

To watch my video on how I did it, check out my YouTube channel, mitchellzee

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chataqua Park--Boulder, CO

The view from the park entrance
With the mountains so close, there is always something to do that involves nature.  Normally we settle for hiking close to home at a nearby resevoir or nature reserve.  Since we were in Boulder to see the Celestial Seasonings tour, we just had to stop and take a hike at Chataqua Park.

Colorado University campus down below
The park is located off Baseline road which makes it pretty easy to access.  It sits just west of Colorado University, home of the Buffs.  What I love about the park is that all of the trails are easily accessible (without getting lost) and have great views of the city below.  Near the entrance there is a nice open park and playground where families can picnic.  There is a Ranger station where you can learn more about the trails and pick-up maps and a restaurant for a bite afterwards. 

Flat Irons
I have hiked Chataqua with just my oldest son (8 yrs old) and myself before, but this was the first time at the park for the twins who are 5.  My boys and I have been hiking ever since they were very young and now hiking is just how we roll.

The only way to get to the trails is up.  I noticed right away that I was huffin' and puffin' a lot more than the last time I was up there.  I'm glad my husband was there because the boys were jumpin' on every boulder in site. The outstanding views made for a great payoff.  I figured, "What the hay, it'll be awhile before we make it back," so I trudged on. 

Celestial Seasonings Tour

Boulder, CO
Nestled in the Foothills of Boulder, Colorado is the headquarters for Celestial Seasonings Tea.  The company was founded in 1969 and has been producing herbal teas ever since.  Here in Colorado, it is common knowledge that the company offers a free tour of the facility.  So, we packed up the kids and made the 40 minute drive out to Boulder. 

Our "Tickets"--Packets of Herbal Tea
While waiting for the tour to begin, we sat down and enjoyed some tea samples.  The visitor area was decked out with lots of original artwork and information about the companies' history.  Next, we viewed a short film about how it all began during the, "Summer of Love," when life (and the company) were much simpler.  It went on to talk about all of the places throughout the world where the tea leaves and botanicals for the herbal teas are produced.

After the viewing, we were led on a tour through the factory.  We were all fitted with lovely hairnets prior to entering.  My husband laughed when I could just barely fit my curly fro into mine.  I got my revenge when he was outfitted with a "beard net" for his facial hair. 

One of the highlights was the much anticipated Peppermint room.  The smell was so intense from all of the Spearmint and Peppermint stocked to the ceiling, that it cleared the sinuses and irritated our eyes a bit. 

Lastly, we ended up in the Gift Shop where we bought a few boxes of tea at discounted prices.  We love drinking tea on a daily so we were in "tea heaven". 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stay Relaxed or Go Natural?

So there I was without a flat iron and wondering how on earth I was going to start growing my damaged hair longer.  I was already certain that my hair was suffering because of the lighter hair color I decided to use for two years.  What else was I doing wrong?

I jumped on Google and did a search on growing african american hair longer.  I found a site called "".  I read about how the site's founder, Robin Woods, grew her hair to about waist length by using the "Crown & Glory" method.  She talked about using braids as a protective style to help retain hair growth. She also gave suggestions on how to care for the hair like, how to comb it and deep conditioning.  The thing I remember most was how she explained that she only did a relaxer 2 times per year.  Say whatShe would go 6 whole months without a relaxer!  That seemed like an extremely long time to me considering the longest I went between relaxers was 8-10 weeks.                  

My hair after my 1st pregnancy

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summertime Lemon Iced Tea

My husband and I love Iced Tea.  I came up with a recipe that is quick and not too sweet.

1) 2 quart Pitcher
1) 2 Cup Measuring Cup

2 Large flow thru Iced Tea bags
Luzianne or Lipton brand
2 Cups water (for brewing)
1/2 Cup sugar
4 Lemon slices

Place the two tea bags in the measuring cup and fill with water to the 2 cup line.  Brew tea in the microwave for 2 minutes and 45 seconds.  When the microwave stops, leave the cup and teabags to steep in the microwave for 12-15 minutes.  While the tea is brewing, slice a small lemon in half and thinly slice one half to make 4 slices.  Place the slices in the bottom of the pitcher.  Add in the sugar.  Once the tea is finished brewing, pour into the pitcher covering the sugar and lemons.  Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves.  Fill the pitcher to the top with cold water.  Slice up the remaining half lemon for garnish.  Serve and enjoy!

Why I Went Natural

My hair was neck length to shoulder length and back again for as long as I could remember.  My husband kept telling me that the reason for this was that I kept cutting my hair so often. To that I would say, "I have to cut it. Look at all these split ends!". 

My hair was relaxed and had been since I was 11 years old.  I never even considered that there was any other way.  Once I saw new growth, I went out for another relaxer. Of, course I was doing it all on my own; Haircolor, trims and applying the relaxer myself.  My hair was in a state but I always knew how to mask the damage so that it looked presentable. 

I never thought about the exact cause for my lack of hair growth.  I honestly thought that having long hair was not possible because of my ethnicity (ridiculous, I know, but it was how I thought then).  I didn't start to question it until I watched my husbands hair grow to nearly Mid Back Length in as little as a year and a half.  I asked myself what does he do?  The answer?  Nothing!  He washed and conditioned each day (his hair is straight and will get greasy if he doesn't) then applies a leave-in.  Then he would put on a hat or put it in a ponytail.  That's it!  Then I thought, "What do I do to my hair?".  Let's see there were relaxers, haircolor, blowdrying and using heat daily.  No wonder why my hair was so damaged!

Then, out of nowhere, my flatiron broke.  I am still not sure what was wrong with it but it just quit working.  My first thought was to replace it, but then I thought that it was some kind of sign (I'm funny like that).  I decided to hold off and began searching for an alternative.  Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my natural hair journey.

Next time...Stay relaxed or go natural?

Decoder Ring

In my posts I'll be using some hair terminology and abbreviations that are common on other sites and forums.  Here is a brief list for future reference. There may be some additions to the list in the future.

BC/Big Chop--The point when you "chop" off any chemically relaxed ends to finally expose your natural hair texture.

Co-wash (ing)--Using Conditioner to cleanse the hair instead of Shampoo
DT/DC--Deep treatment or Deep condition sometimes done overnight or using a hooded dryer/heating bonnet.

Pre-Poo--Prepping the hair prior to Shampooing using conditioner or natural oils
Search & Destroy--Method used to trim splits or knots from individual strands of hair
SSK--Single Strand Knot; common with natural hair. These usually occur when the hair is worn in naturally curly styles often.
Transitioning--Growing your natural hair out from a chemical relaxer. During this time you will have both natural new growth and relaxed ends.

Henna--Natural hair dye that is derived from the Henna plant. Lawsone is the active ingredient and has a red/orange tint. It attaches itself to the keratin in the hair leaving the it with a permanent reddish tint and added strength.
Indigo--A natural dye that can be combined with Henna to produce shades from brown to jet black.
Cassia--Sometimes called "clear henna" provides conditioning to the hair and will impart a yellowish tone to light hair (leaves no color on dark hair)

*Braid-Out--Setting the hair overnight using braids for a crimped, wavy look
*Twist-Out--Using two strand twists to set the hair for a wavy/curly look
*Also used to stretch afro textured hair to show more length and fullness
Wash n' Go--A style where the hair is left curly after washing and conditioning. It is common to use Conditioner, gel or other products to help define the curls and
minimize frizz
Roller Set--Using rollers (mesh, magnetic, perm rods) on wet hair and using a hooded dryer to "set" the style. The result; curls with a silky feel that lasts for days.

Hair Length Abbreviations
NL--Neck Length
CL--Collar Bone Length
SL--Shoulder Length
APL--Arm Pit Length
BSL--Bra Strap Length
MBL--Mid Back Length
WL--Waist Length

Welcome to my Blog, Curly in Colorado!

I'm excited to have a new blog where I can share what I know (and am still learning) about Natural Hair.  I have been Natural for over a year now and transitioned for 9 mos before actually doing the Big Chop.

Why I started a Blog
I have a YouTube channel called mitchellzee where I post videos on how I do my own naturally curly/ kinky hair. Editing video is pretty time consuming so I'll be sharing some things here that I may not have time to put into video format.

Upcoming Posts
I really like all things hair and makeup. I plan on doing some product reviews on items that I have discovered that work for me. I'm also a mom...a little bit of a Domestic Diva if you will so I'll also be sharing some of what I've learned over the years raising my three sons (we call them the "Curly Hair Crew").

Stayed tuned for info on hair, beauty, shopping, food, and just plain tips on what I do to make it all work.


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