To Straighten or Not To Straighten?

Illustrated By Jacqueline Davis Moranti

Every once in a while, I want to show off a new look because let’s face it: the shrinkage is real and wash and go's get boring. However, straightening my natural hair has always been a touchy subject since putting any sort of heat on it is usually a major no-no. I've experienced heat damage before, where a few of my curls wouldn't curl like the rest. I eventually trimmed it off but it was a learning lesson in what my hair could and could not take. Preventing heat damage and growing healthy hair is a big reason many women transition their tresses to natural, myself included.

As someone who has worn her hair mostly straight throughout my childhood, it feels great to rock my kinky hair in all it's natural glory. I feel a new found confidence! There is always the longstanding debate about whether straight hair is inherently "better," especially in communities of color. You don't even want to know the reactions I get when I walk into a salon and request a blow out!

Politics aside, there's no shame in switching it up (at the end of the day, it’s your hair). Whatever look you choose, just make sure you're tracking the health of your hair and understanding what works best to avoid damage in the long run. Here are a few of my best tips to straightening your kinky crown....


Beauty Bit, Self Care

Illustrated By Jacqueline Davis Moranti

A question I ask myself a lot lately is what is self- care? Is it purely just taking yourself to the spa for a massage and mani- pedi? Is it going to the hair dresser for a new cut or style? Is self- care simply just a shopping spree at your favorite mall? Something my friends, and family would ask me many times is how I was doing, and I genuinely didn't have answer. It has been quite frustrating because knowing exactly who you are, what you feel, and what your body needs all seem like things that should come to you naturally. You are, if anything, the main expert of you. But in all honesty, do any of us know exactly what we need at any given moment? Knowing yourself requires a lot of hard work. Think about it, the amount of sleep, plus physical activity, plus protein, and all the sorts of things you actually need (or need to put up with) depends on your individual lifestyle, add in any health conditions you might have, and your simple personal preferences. That's a surprisingly large amount of stuff that does take some work to pay attention to—and many of us aren't used to do doing that especially me! In the end I know it 's all worth it, because knowing exactly what your mind and physical body will react to, both negative and positive is crucial to reach whatever goals you have set in place. 

To achieve that, I've been swapping out my usual morning routine for self- care practices. 


Musical Notes

Illustrated by Jacqueline Davis Moranti

Let me start off by saying apologies for the lack in updating the past few months. I've been keeping myself pretty low key and focused. My SO and I have been busy moving into our first home and furnishing it. From new living room pieces to beautiful new, modern appliances. I've even discovered a new hobby of mine aside from interior decorating, plants! With all this movement and excitement, I've been using music as a form of entertainment, preoccupation and a soundtrack to all my thoughts.



Illustrated By Jacqueline Davis Moranti 

It hasn't been until recently that I started realizing how important family is. For me as a woman of South American descent, most of my family unfortunately do not live in the same country. As a kid I always wondered why my family's reunions were always so small and then going to friends' family reunions were such a big difference. Growing up in the Dominican culture taught me a lot, especially about mothers. As I've grown older, I've come to understand my mother so much more and vice versa. The way a family grows stronger with time, it is a beautiful way of blooming. My mother is inevitably getting older, even though her spirit is so young that she may seem not much older than myself! I know time flies and I want to make the most of the time that I have with her, she is in fact, my favorite person. And I owe so much of who I am to her. As an adult, I want to give her everything. Even more than what she has given me. Because she definitely deserves it. My family life is a unique experience, and I feel blessed to say that it is mine.


Spring Cleaning

Illustrated by Jacqueline Davis Moranti

Winter is finally looking like it's coming to an end, the days are longer, the layers are lighter and i'm sneezing a little bit more! With the dawn of the new spring season comes the daunting task to 'spring clean' and not just your wardrobe but also skin/ hair routine. As a naturally kinky/ coily haired woman, switching up my routine can be quite overwhelming because you don't quite know what to expect since naturally textured hair can have a mind of it's own! Honestly, having coily hair is a lot of work, not even going to lie! Additionally, the fact that people tend to take women of color less seriously when their hair isn’t "maintained" and there you have a nice cocktail of social, societal, and personal pressures to look "decent" at all times. Even today, in 2019, hair is still constantly politicized, which is ridiculous to say the least, but at the same time, we don’t really have a choice but to take good care of our hair because of how different it is. Hair routines are a big part of being a WOC since our hair is part of our identity. You have to take care of your waves, kinks, and curls. And adjusting your hair care routine for the season is just as equally important. This season I'm taking it a bit further by trying to stick to all natural products for my hair, for which i'm secretly telling myself, "Buckle up, cuz this venture is going to be a long ride!"