Friends & Foes

Over the last couple of years I’ve weeded specific types of people out of my life. Not just purposely, but through change. When things started to look up for me, I started noticing I had friends/associates who just didn’t seem happy for me. They’d respond to any joyous thing I brought to them with negativity. I started realizing these people were contributors to the downer moods I was having. Ironically, when I’d cut them off, they would push back with anger. Seems to me that my friends were really foes and enjoyed watching my life spiral out of control over and over again. Why couldn’t I see this before?

I concluded that I hadn’t seen this before because I was really hard on myself. It was hard to see everyone else’s negativity when I was being blinded by a cloud of my own. My “friends” really didn’t encourage me or give me hope. They contributed to keeping me under water. Maybe it made them feel good about their own lives? Truth be told, theirs weren’t perfect either.

I saw a meme one day that said if you want to see who your real friends are, then all you need to do is make progress in your life. There was a time when I would be kind of bothered by the things people closest to me would say. I don’t allow people to steal whatever joy I have now. As soon as someone starts behaving negatively I cut them off. It was something I should have done a long time ago. But you live and you learn.

I wish that I could have kept some of those friends but they just weren’t positive influences in my life. I needed that. I was tired of being everyone’s backbone. Being the one that people can turn to when they need help or someone to talk to when they need advice wasn’t always good because while I was uplifting people they were pushing me down. It wasn’t just being negative… it was the fact that they were always pushing their problems onto me when I was dealing with my own shit. I was being burdened and rarely ever considered when it was time for me to share my problems. When people see that you’re strong, they assume that you always are and therefore don’t always see when you need a shoulder too. But that also comes from a place of selfishness, which seems to be a trait a lot of people share.

Here’s to no more selfish, toxic, or negative people in my life.

Hair Stuff

It’s been nearly 2 months since my last update. Laziness, as usual. Get ready for the boring shit. To start off, maintaining natural hair without chemicals has proven to be difficult over the years. I’ve experienced shedding, breakage, split ends, and just overall dry and brittle hair. Initially Shea Moisture products were working great for me but over time they simply stopped working. My hair has difficulty absorbing moisture because it is of low porosity. Over the summer I did some hair research and discovered a few things:

  1. Hair steamer: Dealing with low porosity hair can be a pain but it’s not impossible to maintain. I purchased the Q Redew hair steamer. When you have low porosity hair, your hair cuticles are basically closed. Using a hair steamer opens the cuticles and allows moisture in. I’ve found the Q Redew to be a very useful product and I’m 100% glad that I purchased it. After shampooing my hair, I use the Q Redew right before a deep conditioning. I’ve found this to be an effective hair steaming method for me. My hair seems to maintain moisture after this method.
  2. Protein Treating: When I started on my natural hair journey I was transitioning rather than doing the “big chop.” To keep the hair strong during transitioning, I was doing protein treatments every 6 weeks. Now that all of my hair is completely natural, I discovered the treatments were less effective because my hair pretty much always maintain it’s own efficient levels of protein.
  3. Oil Treatments: This was something that I simply was not doing and it is one of the simplest things to do and also great for my hair type. One oil in particular that I’ve discovered to be most effective is Amla Oil. Initially I couldn’t deal with its strong smell but this treatment has worked wonders for my hair. Please note that this isn’t really an oil you should apply to your hair and not wash out unless you do this in moderation. For more information, research on how to use Amla Oil.
  4. Clarifying Shampoos: These pretty much thoroughly wash residue/products out of hair when they build up. This was an issue for me being as though my hair wasn’t successfully absorbing products. Products would build up in my hair making it sticky at times.

Boring shit. But if you’re looking to maintain healthier natural hair, it can be helpful.