I thought when I started this blog I would be “doing” a blog. Coming up with posts, figuring out exciting topics and headlines, keeping a basic record of my tasks and taking those wonderful pictures that look professional yet completely random at the same time. That has not been the case. In the past 3 months, this blog has become a place I can’t wait to get to, update, read, or share something that I’ve learned or discovered about natural hair. Although this is a new field, this is the 3rd time I have gone natural in my life but the first time I’ve stayed natural. Experiencing the type of damage I did to my hair this year, let me know how strong yet fragile it could be. A healthy hair and skin care regime was now a necessity, not an option.
I have officially started on my natural hair journey (again:), thanks to Michael Ellsberg, who has no idea who I am. But it was his article, 8 Step to Getting What You Want…Without Formal Credentials, that was the inspiration for Lavishly Natural (I’m pretty sure he’s natural too so it totally works).
It wasn’t the title that caused me to read the article actually. It was the third line in the introduction before the article that caught my attention, Michael “Overcome a debilitating case of bipolar II” WHAT? He linked to the article where he discussed in detail how he did it. This is no small feat. I know because I thought overcoming clinical depression was a big deal, until I read THIS article! With a natural and organic diet, aromatherapy and exercise, I was able to come off medication for depression and sleeping pills for the anxiety in 1997. The same year I started graduate school, but all of this is a post for another time:) The point is, overcoming bipolar disorder was one of the catalysts to many new, positive amazing experiences he’s had including interviewing the top entrepreneurs in the country!
Michael outlined 9 steps to conquering the informal job market within a year. This inspired me to pursue a career in natural hair and skin care.
The steps are:
- Choose Your New Field of Learning (1-2 months)
- Showcase Your Learning (Months 1-2)
- Learn the Basics of Good Networking (Months 1-2)
- Within Your Budding Social Economy, Start Working for Free (Months 3-5)
- Develop Case Studies of Your Work (Months 3-5)
- Develop Relationships With Mentors (Months 3-5)
- Learn Sales (Months 6-7)
- Sell and Deliver Your Services Within Your Social Economy (Months 8-9)
- Optional: Rinse and Repeat (Months 10 and beyond)
Wha Have I Been Doing?
Timeline: Month 1 (Starting out)
My field of choice is: Natural hair and skin care
Time: An ah ha moment doing my hair one night before bed, and again when looking for a natural product for dry, itchy scalp
Catching myself looking at natural hair photos and styles online
Mom and family members asking me questions about how to go natural, how to transiton
Compliments from my husband and kids on how beautiful my hair is and how good it smells
Step 2: Showcase Your Learning
Timeline: Months 1-2
Started blog on October 8, 2011 here on Posterous. I already have CheatDayChronicles here and it’s easy to update (and looks good) so I registered the domain LavishlyNatural.com with NameCheap and started the blog–YAY!
I’ve ordered and read:
The Grow It Method
(part 1 of the review is up along with a video). I use this model with my own homemade and purchased products. I have video up , video set up to post automatically, showing how I use this method. I’m so happy I found this book at this time because I probably would have chopped most of my hair off again which would have taken away from my opportunity to “preserve” the growth of my hair. This is a key ingredient in retaining hair growth.
The Science of Black Hair
This book is a comprehensive guide for healthy hair care regardless of it’s texture (straight, curly, natural, relaxed, kinky, nappy, cottony, wiry, and all of the other beautiful ways hair grows). It is a little more scientific (which the scientist in me loves) and detailed. I love this book also because the author started her own online community and created the book from her expeience…very cool! I still need to post this review. It’s complete but the video needs editing.
Milady’s Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary (more of a reference book).
This is one of the books Chicoro, author of The Grow It Method, suggested. This has been an EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT resource in helping me understand what the heck is in my products! I’ve been able to look at the ingredients of some of my favorite products and I discovered a pattern. Castor oil, ylang yang, nettle, vegetable glycerin, shea butter, some of the ingredients kept showing up. Extracts and oils that I know very well from my aromatherapy work (ylang yang for example, has antidepressant and sedative qualities that help you feel more calm and balanced). Noticing patterns and getting ideas for what to research and test on my hair has been easier with this book. Review is ready to be posted
Baumann’s Skin Type Solutions
She wrote this book just for me. As someone who has had a form of acne since 4th grade, and having so many people give me unsolicited and most of the time well meaning advice for what I should do to “cover it” I tired of going to the dermatologist. From 4th grade to a few years after college I was prescribed an antibiotic (why), retin a (which my skin hated), and other things to address the symptoms of acne. Glycolic peels which left my skin raw and not acne free. I accepted that sometimes I have blemished and I am beautiful and I didn’t think about it again–treating the acne through medical means. Review needs to be finished
I chose these books based on their effectiveness according to the reviews of those in the natural hair community, on YouTube and Amazon.com. I also chose the books based on my personal hair and skincare needs and goals.
In addition to these I ordered Be Here Now and Steve Jobs Biography. I watched an amazing documentary on Ram Dass healing from a stroke and had never heard of this book. Had to read it. Steve Jobs, it’s Steve Jobs and I’m typing this now on my mac…thanks Steve! What does this have to do with my goals? These were the books I really wanted to read and they’ve been very helpful in keeping me focused on what I love doing the most….
I can now say that I have made my own:
- homemade flaxseed gel
- apple cider vinegar rinse
- mango lemon buttercreme for twists
- shea butter creme
- leave in conditioning spritz
- castor oil blend (my new love)
- bentonite clay wash (I didn’t even know what this was 2 months ago)
- Did I say I made these?
Step 3: Learn the Basics of Good Networking
Timeline: Still Months 1-2
I met Christian over a year ago when our daughters started Kindergarten together. Her husband was in Afganastan at the time and we both had 3 kids. Christian is a Hair Stylist and she’s recently gone back to work. She’s building clientele and looking for ways to grow. I’m helping her spread the word by helping with her web site. It’s been a challenge for us to meet lately and i’m hopeful that after the holiday’s we’ll pick up where we left off.
Damon (Unbounce, sensory body book landing page) using 4 hour workweek techniques to automate his therapy business. This technically doesn’t count because he is my husband but it took me 20 minutes to do his landing page (including taking the pictures, doing the video, text, and everything). It took me 2 weeks to design my own and I’m still not sure if I ever used it…I’m sure this will come in handy if any of the natural goddesses I meet along the way need help in this area:)
Dana (organization expert extraordinaire) dropped out of college in senior year due to finances (the same week she started with us). She was helping me organize my closets and cabinets (I come from a family of hoarders…lets just say I get a little nervous when I can’t get in my closet) and in 4 hours I knew her life story, dreams, goals, disappointments, achievements and the best haunted houses to visit in AZ. What, it was Halloween.
We talked about how she was going to tell her family about her decisions and her future plans. I wrote down all of the sites and resources I had through my school for online and local jobs currently hiring. My husband and I told her of schools in the areas needing tutors and student teachers (she’s studying to become a teacher), and I directed her to this article from Michael. She’s working with another family now (“this house is clear…”) so i can’t wait to see what she’s been up to during our next talk.
I’m still on Steps 2 and 3. I felt it was also important during this time, to get comfortable in front of the camera. I’ve been speaking in public since I was 8 years old (reading those church announcements) but speaking and looking into a camera (with no make up, hair wet, and pointing out the areas of breakage and damage) was something I wanted to get on top of and fast! So, I’ve been making videos and after the first one, I was hooked. I make about 5 videos or more a week. This along with the posts, recipes, tutorials and information I’m finding has given me lots of content to pick and choose from for this site. So look out 2012!!!
In January my goals are to:
a. Contact one of the authors of the book’s I’ve read
b. Order 2 more books to read and review
c. Finish editing remaining videos and reviews
d. Start building social network
I’m really excited about Step 4 as well as all of the remaining steps. I have learned so much and I’m learning something new everyday. Thank you Michael for writing this article and providing an easy to follow model for anyone interested in starting a new career, exploring a passion, or cultivating some delicious newness!
Lavishly Natural wouldn’t exist without you!
Current Lavish Hair Goals (achieved on or before June 2012)
1. To Continously Grow and Retain Lavishly Natural Healthy Long Hair
2. Meet each and every Natural Goddess whose videos or words or articles I’ve loved and learned from to thank them and to talk about our love of all things related (and not related:) to natural hair!
3. Be invited to teach an AWESOME class at the World Natural Hair Health and Beauty Show – to meet more naturals, learn how they do what they do with their crowns, showcase what I’m learning, learn some funky fresh new hair styles and techniques (I’m not even going to talk about products…). The show takes place April 28 – May 1, 2012 and I will be there!
4. Create homemade natural products that my family and I can use for healthy, gorgeous skin and hair
What field would you like to learn? What are your Lavish Goals?
The clay came yesterday and I couldn’t help myself. I had to get it in my hair as fast as possible. My scalp was itchy and I wanted to make sure my hair was super moisturized. I decided to mix my clay with my new love, apple cider vinegar.
I also added aloe vera gel, honey, and splash of sunflower oil to the clay. I left it on my hair for an hour and then rinsed. Detangling was very easy. My hair felt the same as when I used Terresentials even though it didn’t have that wonderful lavender scent (will add lavender next time:)
Here is my hair after the rinse with nothing on it. It’s got a nice shine and did I tell you that it FEELS sooooooooo soft.
I made my own mango butter creme that I put on m hair to seal in moisture. I also used more on my ends as I twisted these sections before bed. After sealing, I used my homemade flaxseed gel to smooth each twist and around the edges.
I’m very happy with this recipe so far. Next time I’ll add yogurt or coconut milk and leave out the sunflower oil for an oil free comparison. My hair craves moisture so right now I’m experimenting with the lighter oils to see if I can also add shine, moisture, and strengthening essentials without making my scalp feel like it’s on fire!
Lavish Bentonite Clay & ACV Moisturizing Wash
3 tablespoons of bentonite clay
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
I warmed the apple cider vinegar and aloe vera gel in the microwave for about a minute so that it would be hot enough to mix and sit while I wet my hair in the shower (about 10 minutes). It was still warm when I applied it which felt really good to my scalp.
If you try this recipe please let me know how it turns out for you in the comment section of this post. If you have a recipe that you’ve found success with please share! I plan on using this clay to cleanse, detangle, and moisturize. I LOVE this stuff so much! I’ll be using it until…
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”