Curls & Canvas 2017 Sold Out

Hey Curlies,

I've got some great news - Curls & Canvas 2017 is officially sold out.

Our third annual natural hair and art event sold out one week before ticket sales were set to close and I am so grateful. Thank you to all of the ladies who purchase tickets, and even those that had the desire to support.

I truly, truly appreciate all of your great feedback on this event.

Curls and Canvas 2017 - natural hair event by ClassyCurlies


For those that weren't able to grab tickets, this event is held each fall - so be on the lookout for next year's event, which will continue to top previous events.

Again, thank you!



I Wore Mini Twists for the First Time, and This is What Happened

Hey Curlies,

When it comes to rocking certain natural hair styles, the decision is much more than just hair. Depending on where you live, your style could could cause a lot of unwanted attention.

One multi-racial hair blogger shares her first experience of wearing mini twists in public while living in the south.

Her experience and the responses she received were mind-blowing, while providing an interesting perspective on black hair, race and culture appropriation.

RELATEDHow to: Install Mini Twists on Natural Hair

Here is an excerpt of Shaye's experience:

Protective styling and mini twists are far from new topics in the natural hair community, so I
decided to take it a step further. 


I live in the good old deep south - in Georgia, and to be frank, a lot of people here are very prejudiced. So I decided to put myself out there and push some buttons by wearing mini twists and asking questions about this particular hair style and appropriating black culture.

Be forewarned that some buttons got pushed and other buttons got obliterated. This a graphic
read with insight as to how people think about race and why.




What are Mini Twists?

Mini twists are just little sections of hair twisted together to prevent damage. They're done to
protect the hair and when done small enough, often give the illusion that your hair is down and
just out freely, almost as if nothing was done to your hair at all. 

I didn't use any particular method, I just started at the nape of my neck and worked my way up. My twists varied in size but most of them were about as thin as a Q-tip.

I spent about two hours twisting all of my hair together to create the look.


Why I'm Doing This

Although I am mixed, people have always told me I was "raised white" - My father was white and
my mother is black. 

Although I have other races thrown in the mix, every person I knew referred to me as an "Oreo" - dark on the outside and white on the inside.

As a mixed girl who only associated with her white family, I have to admit that I never imagined I would be flaunting this look because of the effort it took to install it and honestly, the fear of being judged. 

Because only black girls wore their hair "like that" and I don't say that to be mean or prejudiced. I say that because that's what I grew up hearing. 

Nobody cares what you really are here in Georgia - It's pretty much a white and black perspective only. I wanted to be recognized for the melting pot of races and ethnicities I possess, not just white and black. 

RELATED | How to: Moisturize and Stretch Mini Twists

The Process 

After coming up with this idea, I knew what I was getting myself into. Ready to accept a lot of
hateful comments, I wanted to see how people would respond to me wearing this hairstyle. Secondly I wanted to try to understand why people think the way that they do.


After asking questions I made sure to mentally record responses and write them down along with
how I felt after the encounter.

If things got a little too heated I stopped the person and let them know I was doing a social experiment and explained my objective. That cooled everything off for the most part.



My Feelings When Getting Ready for Work in the Morning



I woke up the morning after putting in all those mini twists with a sense of dread, honestly. I was
scared. 

Were people going to judge me and be cruel? Was I going to get some racial slurs? What kind of stuff would I hear? I had no idea. I braced myself and hoped for the best.

After a couple of deep breaths, I went to work with a smile on my face and embraced day one
with open arms.

NOTE: None of the following responses were used without permission, although there are no names mentioned. Please keep this in mind when reading. All scenarios did in fact happen. Some of them are very offensive and include racial slurs.

Read with an open mind.


Responses: Day 1

Walking into work, very few people noticed anything different about me. I got a couple of
confused stares and a few compliments. I was actually relieved. But as the day went on, mouths
kept opening.

Here were some of the direct quotes I got:

"Wow, what did you do to your hair? It looks different, but I like it!" - From an older black
woman.

"Your hair looks cute down!" - From a younger white girl around age 18. A little note here: I wear
my hair up in a bun almost every day. My hair being down is a rare occurrence.

"Are you trying to get dreads now?" - From a black male, age 24.

"What the hell is on your head?" - Older white male around age 45. 

"You look different today but I don't know what it is" - Response from several people of all ages
and races. (I'll take it as a compliment.) 

"Is that your real hair or weave?" - Response from several white males and black females in their
early 20s.

"Your hair looks really pretty today!" - From a few Latinas in their late 40s.

"Are you turning black now all of a sudden?" A lot of males of all races in their late 20s and
early 30s gave me this response. 

When asked why they would think that, the average response was, "I don't know, only black girls wear their hair like that."


Read more of Shaye's experience, and learn her thoughts on culture appropriation on her blog, mycurlyosity.com





Test Your Natural Hair's Health: Take a Porosity Test

Hey Curlies,

Sure, it's fun to buy new hair products and experiment with styles, but what about the science behind your curly hair?

For those who can't figure out why their hair lacks shine or doesn't hold moisture - it's all in the science of natural hair and you'll have to do some digging.

When choosing hair products, it's best to know your natural hair's porosity, as this will have a huge impact on how it's received by your strands.

If you've ever tried a product with rave reviews only to find out it didn't work for you...your hair's porosity just may be a little different.

RELATEDMy Natural Hair Deep Conditioning Routine



Here's how to learn your hair's porosity level


Levels are broken up into low, normal and high. It's a simple test that takes just a few seconds.

Place a clean strand of your hair (no products applied) into a bowl or cup full of water.

If your hair....

Sinks....you have high porosity hair
Floats....you have low porosity hair
Hangs around the middle...you have normal porosity hair

So what does this truly mean?


High porosity: This could be a key sign of damage. Since your hair sank to the bottom so quickly, it has cuticles that may not lay flat and it has holes and tears that need repairing.

Low Porosity: Your hair's cuticles lay tight and it can be difficult for your hair to absorb moisture initially

Normal Porosity: Your hair holds moisture for an extended amount of time before releasing. Keep in mind that if you fall into this category, your level can change.


This can be a huge wakeup call for some curlies and a simple way to assess your hair's health in a matter of seconds.

Those with high porosity hair will want to focus on repairing that damage with deep conditioning treatments and occasional protein treatments. Using heavy oils and butters to lock in the moisture will help.

Got low porosity hair? Hair steamers will be your best friend. These - like my Q-Redew handheld steamer - will help open up your cuticle before applying products.

If you've found yourself with normal porosity - keep up the good work - but again, this can change with the use of heat tools and neglect.

RELATEDHealthy Living: How to Make a Positivity Jar to Boost Self-Esteem




3 Natural Hair Products Designed to Keep Your Scalp Healthy

Hey Curlies,

It's often we talk about caring for the length of our hair and keeping our ends tidy, but where are the conversations around keeping our scalps healthy? You know, the place where our hair grows from.

From natural hair scalp sores to natural hair scalp scabs - if you don't treat it well, it can become an issue.

There are a lot of products on the market geared toward treating your scalp and promoting healthy hair, there are also tons of DIY recipes as well (coming soon).

Here are some of the best scalp treatments for promoting healthy natural hair:

RELATEDTop 3 Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo 

Maybe your irritated scalp just needs a good cleansing that won't strip away natural oils. This charcoal shampoo will remove impurities and hydrate your scalp.  

EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Scalp Therapy
For those with an itchy scalp, this one is for you. When used regularly, it can help grow strong hair.



Darcy's Botanicals Peppermint Scalp Elixir Natural Scalp Conditioning Oil
Soothe your scalp with oils like Sesame, Soybean, Peppermint and Lavender oils. It's perfect for scalp massages.
 

Learn more here. 




Finding Your Happy Place: My Visit to Ezra's Enlightened Cafe

Hey Curlies,

During my days as a newspaper journalist, I often wrote restaurant reviews – which was probably the most entertaining part of the job.

This is when I discovered Ezra’s Enlightened Café – a small but vibrant eatery in a little neighborhood called Broad Ripple. I’d read tons of amazing reviews about the gluten and dairy-free café, so I had to stop by.

As I predicted – I was blown away by the offerings and visited several more times that I’d like to admit.

On Friday, I made my way back to Ezra’s to try out some menu items I’d often overlooked because I was captured by their variety of smoothies and juices.




This time, I was determined to try something new – even if I ordered a smoothie too.

Around 11:30 a.m., the café was starting to fill up – a line formed behind the cash register and tables were full of old friends catching up on life.

As I looked at the menu – challenging myself to stay strong and try something new – I remembered why I loved this place so much. Everything from the indoor-outdoor garage-like feel, to the bright colors and décor – being at Ezra’s just made me feel good.


I loved watching employees chop veggies and fruits to prepare orders from scratch and peeking at their finished product as they served power bowls to customers.

Ultimately, I decided on the Buddha Bowl created with organic raw honey, spice kale, organic, greens, carrots, shredded beets, ginger, fermented veggies, sprouts and avocado.

I also ordered the Pineapple Express smoothie made with mango, pineapple, banana, cilantro, mint and almond milk.


Because I wanted something sweet, I snagged a triple chocolate brownie and another seasonal chocolate treat. Both contain real cocoa – not the processed stuff we get from the store.

As always, Ezra’s ever disappoints me and the presentation of the food is magical. The Buddha Bowl was enormous and I didn’t even get a few bites in before I needed a to-go box.

I finished my smoothie in about 30 minutes and started on the sweets – they both carried rich flavors.

In life, I think we all have to find our “happy place,” which are the spaces and things that make us feel good and live up to our greatest potential.

Ezra’s Enlightened Café – named after Audrey Barron’s (owner) son – has been one of those places for me.

I encourage you to find those spaces and items that boost your mood and carry a sense of positivity.

Listen to our chat with Audrey about the foods we should be eating to grow long healthy hair. 







Life Update: Tips for bouncing back after life gives you lemons

Hey Curlies,

What a week this has been.

So many things have happened over the past two weeks and it honestly wore me out. Some things were out of my control, while others were things I set up for myself.

It all started off with an extra long work week. About two weeks ago I worked six days a week, 10 hours at a time non-stop. While this may or may not seem like a lot to some people, I also run this blog and the entire ClassyCurlies business when I'm not working at the news station. It's a full time job on it's own.

That left little time for sleep and everything else in between.

Toward the end of that week, I learned I lost my grandmother - who I'd seen at the hospital the week before. Somehow I knew that was the last time I would see her...and I was correct.


In between trying to figure out what my own feelings were and most of all, helping my mother through this time, I had 5 million things on my to-do list and an appointment at the oral surgeon to have my wisdom teeth removed.

On top of that, the vacation I was looking forward to almost came to a halt after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

To say the least, it has been a physical and emotional past couple of weeks.


Why am I sharing this?

1. My life is somewhat back to normal and I'm feeling much, much better.
2. We all go through tough times - and it's OK not to be perfect. It's OK to show emotion.

In this week's episode of Curly Conversations, I'm laying it all out on the table in much more detail - and giving you inspiration to remember when you're battling tough times.

Share your thoughts on this week's episode in the comments or shoot me an email at ClassyCurlies@gmail.com.






Indianapolis Natural Hair Events: Curls and Canvas 2017

Hey Curlies,

There is so much going on right now, I'm trying to keep up myself. Our 31 Day Healthy Hair Challenge kicked off this week and tickets just went on sale for the third annual Curls & Canvas event.

Last year's event sold out and there was even a waitlist long enough to hold an entire second event. If you want to be sure to grab your spot, don't wait until the last minute. Get your tickets here. 

What is Curls & Canvas? 
It's an event that allows you to create a custom curly hair-inspired canvas design while learning how to care for your natural hair this fall and winter. It will take place November 5, 2017 beginning at 1 p.m. at Mimosa and a Masterpiece, 614 Massachusetts Ave. in downtown Indianapolis.



How it works
I teach a workshop on tips needed to care for your hair this fall and winter during the first half of the event. During the second half, we paint a sassy woman with natural hair - each year's painting is different.



See photos from 2015 and 2016

We always have such a great time and of course, I giveaway awesome prizes.

Again, don't wait until the last minute to buy tickets.