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I am Not an Influencer

March 18, 2019

"I am no Influencer."

When I originally started the ‘Ask Me About My Hair’ blog in 2012, it was simply to share my journey – what I was using on my natural hair, how I cared for my natural hair, and tracking the health and growth of my natural hair. I didn’t know you could blog for money, and I certainly did not intend to make a living from it. Just like my natural hair care, the blog was a hobby.

I loved that blog and was constantly evolving it to make it better, cleaner, more informative for my readers. I wanted to share as much knowledge as I could as quickly as I could.

More natural hair blogs and vlogs started appearing, as if coming out of hyperspace. As I read and subscribed to other blogs, I wanted to update the look and feel of this blog while still keeping its individuality; so I did. I fell into the trap of accepting sponsored products for reviews, and soon my social media became a place for showing new products and highlighting companies. Granted, I was using all of these products, but I was also becoming a product junkie. And a social media junkie: I was tracking stats and following popular YouTubers and Instagrammers wondering why I wasn’t as popular or had as many followers than they did even though I was the veteran blogger. I became obsessed…

And then I became angry – I was mad at natural hair companies for not accepting my proposals for ambassadorship, I was mad at other “influencers” for not being honest in their reviews and for even getting more sponsorships to begin with, and I was mad at the natural hair community for becoming what I thought was a huge reality-TV-money-hungry-conglomerate of over-priced products, methods, and money-centered blogging/vlogging.

Did anyone even care about natural hair care anymore?

And now?

I want to re-re-define this blog for all of you. And I want to be perfectly clear about what this blog is and isn't.

What this blog isn't.

Let me first say who I am not: I am no Influencer. I am not into sales, product junky-ism, or self-proclaimed natural hair 'guru'.

You will not find an overhaul of natural hair products here. I am into finding the products that work for my hair and sticking with those. I won’t lie, though; I love trying new things, so I will share new products I’m trying. However, this will not be a consistent part of this blog. And if I don’t like something, I will let you know – honestly and without hesitation.

You will not find experimentation with every natural hair method that rears its ugly head. I am not into foolishness when it comes to my natural hair; meaning I don’t want growth so much that I will try anything. Especially things that bring me discomfort, inconvenience, or are just stupid. I’m brutally honest and that is what you will find here.

You won’t find paid advertising here. Money does not run this blog. If you see a product in the sidebar, it is because I am using and loving it; but it will be a rare thing. I hate when I visit a blog so laden with ads and popups that I spend more time clicking them away than I do finding meaningful content. I do not want that to be your experience here.

You won’t find detours here. Meaning, this site is about natural hair and natural hair only. I was dabbling in too many other things before my hiatus – makeup, fashion, terrible products – just a bunch of randomness… you get the gist. So I will stick with the thing that drove this blog for so many years – natural hair. The thing you come here to find.

What this blog is.

First and foremost, this blog is an ode to natural coils in all their kinky curly glory, and the beauty of natural hair.

A safe place. Ask your questions and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge and ability.

A place for natural hair, period.

A fun place. I love humor and having fun. And I’m a nerd, so sometimes you may find a Star Wars reference here and there.

I am a natural hair geek, and I believe there’s science caring for your natural hair. But I also believe it’s common sense and knowing what your hair likes and dislikes. We will look at both of those here.

This blog is about my natural hair journey. And yours. So tell me what you want to see, and what you want to know.

Natural hair care shouldn't be a burden. It should be fun, and it should be yours.

Your hair is a great way to showcase your personality, so do YOU. Don't do anyone else's journey, or color, or product,... find what your hair likes and do that. Even if it isn't 'popular'.

I hope you like the old-new blog. Always let me know what you think in the comments!

Product or Process?

March 13, 2019

Which of these makes the biggest impact on your natural hairstyle?

product
process
price

I am a born-again natural hair product junkie… a reformed collector of conditioners, shampoos, creams, and gels. And since finding my staple product and strict wash & go routine, I’m starting to wonder if it has ever been the product or the actual process that has given me the results I have either loved or hated.

For the entire summer I have worn a wash & go. And I finally perfected the style enough to where I have loved rocking it, and have been able to wear it for days at a time. I always wash and style in the shower, and then apply my gel while still in the shower with my strands soaked and dripping. I get better slip, better coverage, and no drippage when I get out to lightly shingle for more definition. Plus, I found that this has actually drastically decreased the styling time and given me more wear from one style. Shaking it throughout the day while it’s still wet gives me the shape and clumped curls that I love so much. Needless to say, my hair has thrived and my wash & gos are now my favorite style.

So this question popped into my head when the hubs and I were discussing my last wash and go and the results that I raved about. It was a Saturday and I washed before going to church. We’re driving and he looks over and reminds me, “don’t forget to do your shake thing.”

LOL!  He’s learning!

So I did – shook my hair while in the car. He then complimented me on how nice my hair turned out and how much it’s grown, and I thanked him, glanced in the mirror, and wondered aloud if it actually looked the same as the last wash & go with a different product.  He agreed that while wet, it actually looked the same as it always does.

Product or Process?

See, our curl pattern never changes…right? Our curls are what they are, and a curling/styling product just enhances what we already have, naturally.  So – freshly done – wouldn’t every wash & go look about the same? Same curl, same shape, etc.? And when you have a consistent process – the same way you apply the curling product each and every time you do your hair – then your strands will lay the same, etc. (for the most part).  When I was shingling my semi-wet / damp / almost dry hair with curling product, it never turned out right.  I spent years hating, rather detesting, wash & gos and wouldn’t even touch the style for a year or so.  But as I learned more about my natural hair, that I have low-porosity hair, I know that, for my hair, soaking wet and dripping is the only way to apply my product – no matter which product it is.  This would mean that the primary indication of a successful wash & go, or rather a keeper-worthy product, would actually be how the hair looks the day after, or after every strand has dried.  Right?  And an even better indicator would be day-two-or-three hair and how well the product holds up through day 4 or even 5.

This was especially evident to me after using a super inexpensive gel instead of the more expensive stuff I’d been using before.  It’s a more generic product, albeit pretty popular in the natural hair community, that costa me a fraction of the more popular natural curling products, and last me three times as long.  After stepping out of the shower this morning, all clean and curled, I shook my hair out and noticed that it looked exactly the same as after I’d used one of those pricier products.  In fact, 9 hours later, this wash & go looks fantastic!  Granted, I will really know in about 36 hours (omg) after my strands have completely dried and been stretched a bit; but for starters, it is looking just as good as the other stuff.  So my second thought begs the question…

Product or Price?

Natural Hair Product A costs $20.00; and promises to give shiny, elongated, defined, bouncy curls (::epic side eye::). Natural Hair Product B costs $4.49; and simply promises definition, body, shine, and no flaking. Product A comes in a 16 oz jar; while product B comes in an 32 oz. jar.  Product A has lots of ingredients, some I don’t really need for a simple wash & go; and product B has like 4.  Standing in the store, trying to decide which product to pick up, natural hair products all look the same after a while.  They all promise the same things, all claim to have natural ingredients, and they all cater to natural tresses.  The one biggest difference is usually the price; and one would think that the higher the price…the better the product.  Right?  But are you paying for the product or the name?

What makes one natural hair product pricier than the other?  And what makes people purchase products that will cost them nearly $20, even sometimes $30 or more coins?  For many, I believe that it’s the name. Or how popular it is. Brand recognition and product persuasion is a powerful thing and many times we see natural hair products being used on YouTube, on television commercials, or in magazines; and we just have to try it – whether it is because this well-known person claims to use it, or because it is new to the market.  So we identify a product on the shelves that we’ve seen somewhere before and just have to try – we pay the cost and get it home to try it out.  Sometimes it does what it promises – what we expect; and other times we toss it in the products basket under the sink and forget about it – moving on to the next-new product that promises the next-best-thing.

On the other hand, can a product that costs as little as $5 work?  We often think, ‘Well, it costs significantly less, so it probably doesn’t do the job of the name brands that are much more expensive.’  And if they do work just as well as the expensive brands, why are we even still considering those prices?

So do we consider the product or the price when we’re purchasing products?  What is in the product?  How long will the style last?  How is the product made?  Does the product do what it promises?  Or are we considering price – the more it costs, the better it will work?  And this brings on my third question…

Process or Price?

Which is most important when considering your natural hair product purchase?  Do you consider that your process, your consistent application of products in a certain order or consistency, will determine how your style turns out?  Or do you use price as a heavier weight in your decision to purchase a natural hair product?

If we are to follow the theory (for instance, for a wash & go) that any natural hair product you use can give you similar results as long as your routine or regimen remains consistent, then it really doesn’t matter how much the product costs.  It really doesn’t matter whether you pick up Miss Jessie’s or Eco Styler… Kinky Curly or Suave… Shea Moisture or Mixed Chicks.  You can use any group of products and your natural curls will turn out the same.  Process will determine the immediate result…

But what about the long-lasting result?  Does price determine how long the product will allow the style to last?  Or does process?  Again, I vote for process.  See, it shouldn’t matter how much a natural hair product costs, or the name you find on the outside of the container (unless a product is truly b-a-d – and I have tried truly horrific products that even my trusty process couldn’t combat!). Your hair pattern, porosity, and other such particulars will determine how any curling styler works on your hair.  And yes, I will agree that the product can affect your results, as well – especially the formulation of ingredients, too much of, or the lack of certain ingredients can determine how your curls will react even with a perfect process.  It may turn out that a product has a better result on your strands and costs much, much less than another that does not.  Or vice versa.  However, I cannot get behind the theory that price has much to do with any of it.

What do you think? Product? Process? Price? Does it matter?

(originally posted September 11, 2014. Ask Me About My Hair Blog. All Rights Reserved.)