Breaking Barriers: The Beauty Edition

Breaking Barriers: The Beauty Edition

Simply put, I want to tell you all how transitioning my hair to it’s most natural state helped me remove and break barriers that I had been trying to get a hold of for years but I just couldn’t make any headway. 


Let me start by explaining what transitioning really means in case this is a new term. A lot of women with curly, kinky hair go through a process of relaxation to get soft straight manageable hair. This is called a relaxer, or most comedically known as ‘Creamy Crack’. Less time doing your hair, no one makes fun of you in school, and now you fit the beauty standard set by society. But, what does this do to some people? Or more pointedly, what did it do to me?


I got to a point where if I didn’t have hair extensions or relaxers – I didn’t know what to do with myself. It became my costume. I even had ridiculous thoughts like if I didn’t look on point, everyone was going to talk about me and I was gonna be miserable as a result. You know why? As a kid some really close friends did exactly this. So at 14, I established a learned behavior about how I presented myself to the world. 


I took these behaviors with me in my professional carrier. Always hiding this big secret. One time I was told I looked like Beyoncé. I laughed so hard out loud because I thought it was the most ridiculous thing. Inside, I said “hells yes”. The world was sending confirmation that I looked like a package. Why did I need that validation from people that don’t know my heart? Or my story? I had no idea. I just knew for a long time that I wanted to be pretty. And pretty looked like everyone else, to me.


Fast forward to a new job. Where now my look was bringing me attention but not how I wanted it. You know, look beautiful but still be a wallflower. You don’t want anyone to say anything to you about it but just to see it is enough. That’s not how it was going. I had a male coworker who liked men so he didn’t give a damn about me in that sense, but he always made comments about my look. He gave his approval and disapproval whenever his mouth felt the urge. Next to him, was an older white woman who also felt the need to take this route.


By now, maybe even a little before them – I was starting to reject chemically processing my hair because I became a mother and didn’t want those chemicals in my body, let alone my child’s during an already high risk preganancy. I danced with the idea of what would happen if I stopped paying $$$$$$ (yes, a lot) for these things I’ve begun to associate with as improving my look?

I blew people’s minds when I walked in one morning with my natural hair. Some didn’t care,  some thought it was awesome and the two from above couldn’t not say anything:


“ I have a black friend, she has a hairstylist. Would you like their number?”

“Why’d you do that to your hair?”


Almost crushed at this point. But still standing. 


I went home and made a video saying I will not conform to someone else’s standards. 


Being on this journey, has built me up from the inside. I feel good about me. Finally, it’s not because I was trying to look like or be someone else. I started paying attention to myself. Discovering that my hair should be cared for with love, natural products and it will flourish. All of that has transitioned into the way I live life, the way I raise my child, how I support my husband and my family. 


I am thankful for being grounded in the best way that I know how and it being from a place of complete submission and authenticity to my truest self. This abundance I’ve been searching for could only have come from me finding my own way and not trying to blaze someone else’s trail. Going on a loc journey was everything I imagined and more. Even on my worst hair days, I still feel beautiful because there is so much more to me than I ever could have imagined. 


Be inspired to be your whole self.

Turmeric Takeover

Turmeric Takeover

I began actively seeking out turmeric after I became a mother. My body went through a very painful and drastic state that left me quite out of balance. My high risk pregnancy was quite the affair, the delivery was a grand production, followed by a prolonged hospital stay due to a septic vessel experiencing several surgeries, a night in the ICU and 8 transfusions. Needless to say, but I am saying it;  I had to take a proactive approach into helping my body recover at every level possible. My hemoglobin count was low, I was dealing with poor autoimmune responses while trying to produce breast milk and stay on top of all my other obligations and responsibilities. I wouldn’t call it failing speaking on my own behalf, but that is the best description I can offer at the moment.

This tropical golden root spice has so much to offer that it’s nearly impossible for us not to want to work it into our personal self-care routines.  Powerful healing properties are encased within cucurmin, the active element that gives turmeric its divine coloring and provides cell protection that makes the root such a sacred commodity.  The uses are multitudinous – allergies, depression, cancer, gut health, muscle aches and hyperpigmentation just to literally name a few. Again, you can thank curcumin for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant features.

This powerful cousin to ginger has the ability to heal and change lives. But only if we use it wisely, and vet our sources. Turmeric can be found just about anywhere – but a good product knows not only how to provide but also to advise. For instance, black pepper aids in the absorption of the compound; which is extremely important since Turmeric metabolizes in your body very rapidly. I wish we could give you better recommendations, but as always get professional advice when healing and treating your body. But we are absolutely not going to leave this blog without some great ways to take in magic:


1. Drink it!

  • For those that have a serious tree nut allergy, I got you. The nut free vegan has a spicy recipe that tastes a bit like a chai tea latte. Love nuts? Try this recipe with almond milk http://thenutfreevegan.net/turmeric-golden-milk/ . Also, insider mom tip; I mixed my milk or formula with chamomile and turmeric on fussy nights and the result for my little was heavenly.

2. Pills

  • On days where my body feels sluggish, nauseous and bloated, I go right to my capsules. I did purchase a brand from the grocer, however when this bottle is out I will be going for something I make at home so that I have less fillers and more of the good stuff.

3. Face Mask!?

  • Let me tell you, you may not need to see an esthetician’s ever again. Try mixing turmeric, greek yogurt and honey into a thick sticky paste when your face humid feeling hot and inflamed. It will cool it down and the honey will cleanse any bacteria away. Want to level down your fancy? Simply purified water and turmeric mixed into a paste can wipe away dry skin and hyperpigmentation in as few as 5 days.

4. Savory recipes

  • Potatoes can be eaten anytime of the day and year. Enough said.

https://ascensionkitchen.com/turmeric-roasted-potatoes/

5. Teeth Cleaning!

  • Not only can it whiten your teeth, it can enhance your gums and enamel! I haven’t tried this yet but I promise when my activated charcoal toothpaste is gone, I am going take a walk on the wild side and deviate from my plans to see if this really works. Surveys say that it’s tried and true!
  • making your own simply takes baking soda, high grade turmeric and great coconut oil.

Try these and share! Hashtag #bloomingdreamers

Bare Skin Beauty

Bare Skin Beauty

Some of us have fallen victim to pollution, allergens, sunlight and other irritants that come in contact with our skin.  While I adore sunny days and cold weather seasons, I was just never consistent about caring for my skin to enjoy these without consequence. My habits for taking care of my skin have been bad my entire life and for someone who grew up with chronic eczema, I should have been more on top of quenching my thirsty hide. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and in some cases, we accept what we know because we just don’t think things could be any better. Even when I was having my worst outbreaks, I learned to live with it. Sometimes I complained enough to get a steroid cream or try a new lotion. But it would never be enough because not only was I inconsistent, I didn’t know what to do beyond what the prescription label said.

From normal skin to severely sensitive, we owe it to our largest organ to treat it well. Usually, when something is going on on the outside, it’s because something is going awry on the inside. We have just accepted topical creams and heavy medications as the cure for our momentary visual disruptions. Shouldn’t we all be thinking of lifestyle? Longevity? Health? Sustainability? Beautiful youthful skin was always thought of as an indication of social and financial status. These days those words are synonymous. Scary. Anyway, holistic alternative methods are back and accessible. They’re in your health food stores, online mass distributors and anywhere else you can get your hands on some organic produce and herbs.

I personally was getting sick and tired of my skin. It was throwing tantrums like an insatiable two-year-old. I would buy products and use the whole container thinking maybe I have to buy another cycle before it will work. There is nothing more wrong inside of that irrational logic. I started making some life changes around my diet, water consumption, and the products I was choosing to put on my skin.

Challenges

  • Diet – Tons of processed food and not enough vitamins.
  • Product junky – Buying things simply because the labels are attractive aesthetically.
  • Full sun Exposure – Not taking enough time to prepare for a change in the environment.
  • Not enough Water – For every pound you weigh, there should be an ounce of water consumed per day.

Building consistency takes time. Setting small goals and deciding to do something easy and delicious for your skin will be the best thing for your personal self-care routine.


-Akilah