Shadra’s hair story

I’ve been natural for almost two years now. My head is rather large so I was afraid of doing the big chop. Instead I grew my relaxer out in a ponytail. Every morning I wet my hair and brushed it down with Carol’s Daughter’s Healthy Hair Butter. I loved the smell of it and how much it moisturized and tamed my hair without it being too greasy. After the first year I cut the relaxer out and rocked my curls for all the world (a.k.a. Brooklyn) to see! My routine is still the same, I wet it in the mornings and used Healthy Hair Butter to moisturize. Eventually I began trying other products. I found “Mixed Chicks” leave-in conditioner and have been in love ever since. Most days I’ll just pat out the excess water drop in some Mixed Chicks and go. Now in my second 1/2 year of being natural I twist it in larger ponytails and let it set a little before shaking out the curls. My hair is sooooo much healthier now than when I was perming it. It’s the longest I have ever seen it and my ends are rarely split and broken. Plus, I am so much more liberated. I don’t have to worry about sweating my hair out when I workout. I don’t have to worry about what my hair will do in the rain and Georgia humidity. And I don’t spend nearly as much money on my hair as I did when I had to keep it permed every four months. I detangle once every week or two.

I am so grateful to Motown Girl, Curly Chronicles (youtube), and Urbancurlz for their commitment to offering great hair advice and inspiration and to the streets of Brooklyn, where natural hair care and styling is taken to a whole new level.


shadra strickland



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Rockin’ My TWA with an LA (lil attitude)!

Friday was my first time out with the girls, I believe, since having the baby! Wedding receptions and family gatherings don’t count! It was also my first time out–foreal foreal–with my TWA (teeny weeny afro). And I’m proud to say I rocked it with a lil attitude–just a lil! As a new mom, I will admit I’m often conscious of my looks, particularly my body and hair. Part of the reason I cut it in the first place (the first time) is because I didn’t want to be a plain jane or start “looking” like Bryce’s mom.

So it felt good to get a little cute and dolled up this past Friday to have sips and dips and the best dang on bbq beef cheeseburger I’ve ever had with my girls Keetra, Fiona and Heather–all of whom are “naturals” too! But I got a long way to go to catch up with them. (None of them started with a TWA either! LOL!) I remember Curly Nikki asking a question on her blog like “Now that you have a TWA, do you feel the need to get dolled up more?” I do feel that way sometimes. But I’m starting to get over it more and more 🙂


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“If you can eat it then you can wear it”

I just had to turn part of Teresa’s comment into a post today 🙂 Thanks Teresa!

She writes:

As I embrace my very short cut (the shortest I have ever gone) I am constantly in search for products to manage the softness and shine.  I typically only apply olive oil, which from talking to a natural hairstylist at Odunde, is the best thing to use.  She advised anything from the earth is good to use, “if you can eat it then you can wear it”  was her exact phrasing.  And to think about it, it makes perfect sense.

As you search for products keep in mind, they don’t have to take all your money to be good for your hair. You are not chemically treated anymore so the additives in products to help maintain chemically treated hair is not an issue now.  Look for products that enhances the natural nutrients your body already provides your hair.

I love that: if you can eat it, you can wear it! It’s funny  because I was talking to my girl Aaliyah, who form what I can see is natural from head to toe–inside and out, just this week about her “secret” hair recipes. When I first asked her what she uses, she said she makes everything herself (hint: be on the lookout for products or samples from Aaliyah’s Kitchen, which is the brand name I have given her! gotta claim it!). She makes the stuff for both her hair and her daughters’ hair. She also said Olive oil for moisture. Said mix some jojoba and coconut oil with it and it will be all that. She agrees; it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, or even a fingernail! LOL! She said to always check the ingredients, too, to ensure that it’s 100% pure oil, too. I thought the selection at Whole Foods was cool, but on the recommendation of my girls, I’m going to go my neighborhood beauty supply to compare prices and ingredients. I may decide to try out my own hair recipes! If I do, I will keep you posted!

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Happy Anniversary to Me!

“I like your hair sistah,” he said to me. It was one of the dad’s at my step son’s baseball game. Clearly, he knew I was “natural.” “It looks so nice on you. I love seeing sistahs with their hair like that…so healthy…so much you can do with it, too.” I said, “Thank you! I just did it recently…I hope so…”  He went on to say he wasn’t knocking relaxers or chemicals, just thought that natural was better. I told him I actually had healthy relaxed hair previously, but wanted something new. He proceeded to tell me about Odunde, an African festival in Philly on South Street tomorrow. Said I’d see all types of natural women there, both attending the festival and selling natural products, wearing all types of styles. Perhaps I will check it out.

Well his compliments made me feel good. Especially since today is one month since my BC! Yea! Forever to go! I hope…

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Not Today–literally!

So today I decided to skip the Knot Today Leave in Conditioner by Kinky Kurly. I had just co-washed; wasn’t that conditioner enough? Apparently not. Just using the KK Curling Custard did not look so hot or curly, but still smelled good! I asked my friend Kelley about this and she said her experience was the same.

Hmmm…I don’t know how I feel about that. Especially considering the price tag on KK products. I think products should work well regardless of if you use the whole line or not. Maybe a little different but not drastically.

I think I’m going to wait and see what my girl Aaliyah comes up with. I asked her what she uses on her natural tresses and she said she makes all her stuff herself. I’m hoping she’ll give me the “recipes” or start selling it! But I don’t know about getting her whole line! LOL

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I Tried Kinky Kurly Today!

My gracious coworker, Kelley, surprised me yesterday with some Kinky Kurly Knot Today and Kinky Kurly Curling Custard samples–homemade samples packaged and labeled with kindness for sure! I will admit that at first I thought it was some snacks or something (I’m always down for snacks!) But was pleasantly surprised at the contents and her generosity.

So this morning, I washed with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo (ok, so I’ve read all about co-washing, but I knew some soap to feel clean! Perhaps when I get more length I will consider just co-washing, as well as being more selective with the ingredients of my products) then, which in the shower, I put in the Knot Today, then the Curling Custard, which smelled sooo good!

Well I will say, I got more curl with KKCC than I do with the Polish & Shine Curling Mouse, which is what I’ve been using. But I need to use it a few more times to see if a few more curls is worth $20+ (P&S is $3.99 vs KKCC at $26). While both provide good curl, they also provide good hold–but I don’t necessarily want hold right now. I’d prefer softness. I’ll try some HE Hello Hydration conditioner on top of the Curling Custard next time. That’s what usually helps with the P&S.

Well this is my first mobile post, so let’s see if it works!

Comparison Pics

3 weeks in! Polish & Shine

4 weeks in! Used Kinky Kurly stuff here (today!)

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We went natural…just because…we wanted to!

Welcome to my new blog! After recently doing the “big chop” I discovered that a few of my other friends were also going natural. Some did the BC and others transitioned. But the common theme–for most–was not that they did it because they wanted to make a statement, or go back to their ancestral roots, or for political reasons, or so they could “discover” who they really were behind their hair, or even because their relaxed hair was damaged or unhealthy. Most of us did it just because we wanted to! Because we wanted something new. Different. Natural. One thing is for sure–it was not because we wanted to spend less time, energy or thoughts on our hair. Because that has not changed. I am quickly learning that you have to spend almost even more time caring for your natural hair than you ever did before for your chemically treated hair–albeit you don’t have to spend all day Saturday at the beauty shop or call in sick just to get your hair did. You may still spend all day Saturday on it, but it would probably be at home, in between watching a movie and twisting your hair, or just staring at it in the mirror hoping, wishing your curls will come in or it will grow faster. But whatever your reason or decision, my hope is that this blog will encourage, support and educate you on caring for and loving your natural hair. And trust me, I didn’t plan for this to be a “hair journey” for me, as so many natural sistahs call it. But indeed, that is what it is turning out to be!

So please be sure to come back to the blog to share your stories, hair routines, other resources and inspiration, product reviews, upload your photos and show your beautiful natural hair. You will, of course, be able to do all that once I figure out this template and set things up! I’m new to blogging!




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