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Happy Two-Year Nappiversary To Me!

Two years ago today, I did something drastic and knowing what I do now, I wished I had done it much sooner.

In November of 2008 I was hospitalized with asthmatic bronchitis. After being pumped full of medication for three days (and missing the opportunity to vote in a historic election) I got out and, as had been my habit, went right to the beauty shop for a touch-up on my relaxer (for those who don’t know, I was one of the many African American women who used chemicals to straighten her naturally curly hair). I guess the chemicals counteracted badly to the medication that was swirling around in my system and a week later, my hair began falling out by the handful. After the initial panic came some soul searching, wondering why, for so long, I had been beating the life out of my hair. But the true turning point came when Casey asked if she could straighten her beautiful locks. I realized how futile it was for me to tell her to appreciate and care for her hair when I wasn’t doing the same for mine. Then and there I decided to go natural.

I spent countless hours on YouTube, you know why? Because I was a 46-year-old woman with no CLUE about how to care for her own hair. I learned so much there and was so inspired by the women sharing their story in pictures. Today, I am one of them.



Not a single day goes by where someone doesn’t pass me on the street and compliment me on my hair. And everyone has a question. So I’m going to leave you with my top five tips for growing natural hair.

*BE PATIENT! Hair grows on average ½ an inch per month. Taking a ton of vitamins or rubbing Monistat on your scalp won’t help it grow significantly faster (yes I did both of those).

*NO SULFATES! Sulfate is in most shampoos and is the number two ingredient listed in dishwashing soap. Known as a curl killer, its primary goal is to remove oil and it leaves curly hair dry and frizzy. I gave up shampoo altogether about a year ago, instead using ONLY conditioner to co-wash. My curls thank me everyday.

*NO DIRECT HEAT: You know what this is! No directional blow-drying, no flat irons, no hot rollers. If you want a straight style, do a good old-fashioned roller set and sit under the dryer. You will get better at them I promise.

*USE NATURAL OILS: I have been around the horn on this but love Olive, Coconut, Meadow foam Seed and Jamaican Black Castor oils to name a few. When I first BC’d my hair was very dry so I would apply those oils and then a shower cap and sleep all night in a technique called baggying.

*PROTECT YOUR HAIR: This means eat right and exercise, as change will come from within. But the real trick is length retention. Dry hair is hair that breaks. If you are sleeping on a cotton pillow case, steadily rubbing those curls against it as you run from the bandits in your dreams, well, you’re gonna wake up with a head full of dry, broken hair. Do not be too lazy to cover your curls with a satin bonnet or sleep on a silk pillowcase.

That’s about it. As for me, the time went pretty fast. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Happy, healthy hair growing everyone!


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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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