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Good Hair Sunday

Had a good hair today!

What did I do?

Since yesterday was my day in, my hair was still in chunky twists (new night time routine). For my definition I simple split these chunky twists in half and twisted them individually. Check out the volume!

Oh, and if you’re wondering to re-moisturize, I used Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and water.

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Straightening Adventures

I was in need of a change. I was tired of manipulating- and by manipulating I mean detangling, twisting, brushing, pulling up, etc. I deserved a break from doing all of that when I was away in Argentina. So, I decided to straighten it. The perfect protective style (using that term loosely) because of the insanely cold weather. Here is what I did.

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Here is the straightener I used. Bad decision. You’ll soon learn why.

2013-12-11 14.33.14I used Herbal Essences’ Totally Twisted conditioner the night before as a deep conditioner, making sure to detangle and leave it in for the night.

2013-12-11 14.32.59The next day, I rinsed out the conditioner using my olive oil shampoo. I then used the Herbal Essences once again to assure that my hair would not be dry before applying the keratin treatment.

2013-12-10 22.33.19Let’s be clear, this conditioner does contain keratin, but it is not the actual keratin treatment. I used this simply to make blowing my hair out easier and smoother. And I must say that it did. I kept it in for five minutes and rinsed it out thoroughly.

2013-12-11 14.33.26I then added tea tree oil to seal in moisture.

After, I allowed my hair to air dry for maybe 10 minutes. I then braided my hair in about 6 to 7 braids making sure to detangle each section. I did this to stretch my hair out prior to blow drying (stole this technique from FusionofCultures on Youtube). I allowed my hair to be maybe 70 percent dry before blowing it out, so I wouldn’t have to put too much heat on it.

For a heat protectant (not pictured) I used Garnier Fructis Style’s Sleek & Shine Flat Iron Perfector Straightening Mist with Argan Oil. Not my ideal heat protectant, but it did it’s job. I sprayed this as I tackled each section of my hair. Then with my denman brush and hair dryer I blew out each section. here are the results of my blowout.

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As I said using the keratin definitely made this process very easy, much different from my previous experiences. I then began to straighten my hair. The temperature I used, I can’t exactly remember (so sorry) but I believe it was around 250 degrees. Before straightening each section I made sure to spritz some of the heat protectant for extra protection. I made sure to spray it not directly onto my hair strands but some inches away, to prevent my hair from frizzing up. This was a mistake. I believe that if I would have sprayed this directly to my strands my hair would not have came out like this:

2013-12-11 17.38.05But what’s crazy is that when I first started, it was looking niiiice! Check out the nice ends, I kept my ends up nice while away! Like this:

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But it fluffed up super fast. Not sure if it was the quality of the straightener or what. But here are the rest of my results!

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See what I mean? It was straight, but not straight. Very confusing results. How did I fix this problem? My hair clearly wasn’t straight enough to wrap it before bed, so I opted for pin curls.

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And these were my results the next day:

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But unfortunately the collar of my coat put an epic crease in my hair and I had to pin it up, but it was still cute!

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I simply left out my bang, and flat twisted each side and pinned them in the middle.

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I went out that night, and my hair began to revert back. I pin curled again before bed and attempted the same style. It was decent but definitely a bit more fluffy.

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2013-12-13 15.12.49Peep my friend Shakera graduating! I’m so proud of her!! :)

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Excuse my friend photo-bombing lol

This day I was stuck at my friend’s house due to the snow so I was unable to wrap my hair that night. However, when I showered I wrapped it briefly. My friend rescued me with her Chi flat iron before another graduation. Here were the results:

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Not the best picture of my results, but trust me it looked a lot better.

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After this weekend I didn’t want to add anymore heat so I opted for bantu knots and pin-up styles. The dandruff was real so shortly after, I washed and deep conditioned my hair. And…my curls were back and in full effect. The keratin didn’t alter my curl pattern. I did notice that they hung a little lower, but I’m not sure if that was due to the keratin or for applying heat.

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That’s all for now. I will begin blogging more frequently about my hair, I have a big surprise coming up! :)

How do you straighten your hair for the best results?

Argentina Day 97

I saw a homeless man ride the bus today.

He smelt like sweat and ruin.

He paid with 3 pesos in coins and slowly walked to an available seat. A black baseball cap covered his gray hair, with a matching sweat jacket and long denim shorts that hung off of his no more than 120-pound body.

He was old; and tired.

Everyone on the bus knew he was homeless. We could see it, we could smell it

and we could hear it.

People were talking about him, or rather whispering about him. And I couldn’t exactly understand what they were saying, but I could see in their eyes that they were disturbed.

But let’s be honest, I was disturbed.

The stench of his despair, and that he was homeless and old. Where was his family? Did they know that he didn’t have a place to stay? And speaking of not having a place to stay, where was he going?

Seeing that man today made me realize how truly blessed I am. I take the simple things, like clean water and soap for granted. Or, rather a destination to walk to when getting off of a bus. That old man had nowhere to go. This was a perfect reminder of why I decided to take this trip to Buenos Aires- to put some things back in perspective. I don’t need much to be happy. I’m grateful for my family, friends, school, church, soap, water, food, clean clothes, a bed, a home….everything.

I feel sorry for that old man’s struggle, but I also admonish his boldness. He continued to stay seated, even when others were talking about him,

because he had a right

to sit.

He could barely walk,

he struggled to that seat.

He deserved to rest. I didn’t mind if my nostrils had to be filled with the odor he couldn’t help but carry around. It was only for a few minutes,

not a lifetime.

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November Playlist

November was a crazy month for me. Deadlines, applications, papers, exams and wrapping up my stay in Buenos Aires (still in denial about leaving in a few days.) The songs below are an eclectic list of songs, but totally describe what my month was like. A lot of random moments that made me laugh, forget my worries and dance!

Stillness Is The Move – Solange

Welcome To Jamrock – Damien Marley

Adore You – Miley Cyrus

Water Me – Twigs

Waiting Game – Banks

Pon de Floor – Major Lazer

Cosmic Love – Matthew Schuler

A couple of songs I want to touch on:

Solange’s rendition of “Stillness Is The Move.” OMG when I say that I had this song on repeat for approximately 72 hours I’m not exaggerating. I was blessed to see her in concert two weeks ago, and she was amazing. Her falsettos were effortless, and she exudes a very chill, groovy (can I say groovy?) vibe, and this song is testament to that. Also, “Waiting Game” by Banks has also been replayed many times through my computer speakers. I stumbled across her music via Youtube, and I have been obsessed with her style ever since. She is what I would like to call, a female version of the Weeknd mixed with a little bit of Lana del Rey.

To listen to this playlist head on over to my Tumblr page.

What songs are on your November playlist? Comment below and I may include it in next month’s edition!

**Warning: Could not find correct audio for “Adore You” by Miley Cyrus but I did substitute it with a cover by ARi Lennox…it’s awesome!

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Argentina Day 80: Todo caerá en su lugar

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“Everything will fall into place”

My experience in Buenos Aires is nearly over! It’s crazy how fast time has gone by. I speak to my friends and family back at home, and they tell me that it seems as if I’ve been gone for more than three months, but I honestly I feel as if I’ve just arrived two weeks ago. But in reality, I’ve been away from my normal life for so long.

Buenos Aires has not only opened my mind to a different culture, but has also opened my heart. I’ve had really vulnerable moments here. Being in a different country, isolated from my friends and family, and also people who look like me. And I know what you’re thinking, “What do you mean? You’re in Latin America, there are tons of brown people there.” And let me set the record straight: while there may be people here with brown skin, there are not a lot of black people, or Africana descendientes (descendants of Africa) here. If walking down the street not seeing people who look like me wasn’t enough of a reminder that I am a minority here, I’m also reminded by many of the men here every day. They call to me, “morena,moracha” and yes even, “negrita” to get my attention. And I can’t do anything, but brush it off and keep walking. And I’ll be honest, it sucks. At times, I wish I could just blend in with everyone else, to avoid hearing these comments, but other times I begin to encourage myself. Telling myself to walk down the street with my head held high, and know that I don’t deserve the cat-calls, and that I am a queen, despite how these men are treating me.

This experience has also allowed me to build relationships with many other students. Without this opportunity, I may have never been able to relate to so many people from different demographics. And when I say relate, I do actually mean relate. I’ve sat down and had so many heart-to-hearts with my roommates and other people I’ve met here. And it not only inspires me, but reminds me that we’re all pretty much the same, no matter where we come from.

I’m starting to learn things about myself while I’m here. Away from distractions and too many opinions. And I’m starting to find value in this more and more. And now I know that when I return home, I’ll have a certain peace with myself, because I was given 3 months, well for myself.

Finally, everything is starting to fall right into place.

Have you self-examined yourself lately? What experiences have you had that have allowed you to do so? Be open, and comment below!

Peace & Love,

-Esha

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October Playlist

The following songs, are a list of tracks that I could not help but have on repeat in the month of October! If you would like to hear this playlist track-by-track, head over to my tumblr page and check them out.

Own It – Drake

Do You Want To – Elle Varner

Everybody’s Something – Chance The Rapper

Royals – Lorde

Primetime – Janelle Monae

Collard Greens – ScHoolBoy Q

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – Birdy

Show Me a Good Time – Drake

Snakes – Joey Bada$$

A few songs that were always blasting through my computer speakers or phone were: “Do You Want To” by Elle Varner, “Everybody’s Something” by Chance The Rapper and “Show Me a Good Time” by Drake. Absolutely funky classics! And the perfect songs to listen to when working on a project. Also, “Show Me a Good Time” for some reason, seemed to be my theme song whenever I went out for this month.

Also, I might have listened to “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by Birdy for five nights straight! Clearly, I was in my feelings, but I could not get this song out of my head!

What were your favorite tracks to listen to this month? I’m always looking for new music, so comment below!

-Esha

 

 

Not the tiniest, but still very tiny.

Finally, the details on my mini twists!

So, the bad news is that my video editor is currently undergoing some issues, but the good news is I’m finally going to give you all the details of my mini twist upkeep and results!

I started on two-week-old hair to obtain the length I wanted from these twists. It took probably around 3 hours for me to finish (I took many breaks).

Considering that my hair was somewhat dirty, I ended washing my hair, with the twists, two days later after installing. This was my first time doing this, and I must say I was surprisingly impressed. Only a few twists came out after my wash, and because my hair was twisted I was able to remove buildup from my scalp very easily.

After washing, I added shea butter to my scalp and tea tree oil to my twists to seal in the moisture. I allowed my hair to air dry and put a satin bonnet on, then went to sleep. The next day, my hair looked a little fuzzy, but very moisturized. I pinned my twists up to stretch them a little, and headed out to start my day.

I love the convenience of this style. Everyday that week I woke up without having to deal with my hair and if I wanted to I could pin it up in some fancy way. And when I took my twists down…..my hair was gone with the wind fabulous! I had body and definition. The only thing I didn’t like was that my hair did not stay as defined as I would have liked the second day because of the humidity, but it did get bigger, which I do like as well!

Once again I apologize for the lack of a video, but check out my pictures below!

How do you wear your mini twists?

Until next time,

Peace & Love

-Esha

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Traveling while black: I was constantly mistaken for a prostitute in Buenos Aires

Ie'shia McDonald:

It’s sad that I’m going through this now while in Buenos Aires.

Originally posted on theGrio:

“Puta! cuanto?” — or “Whore, how much?” — were the words that were hurled at me almost every day during my five month study-abroad stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was astounded!

When I decided to study abroad in Argentina I knew that I would not see many black people there.  I had studied enough about Latin America’s “embranquecimento,” or “whitening” campaigns, to know that even though many Latin American countries tried to dilute their African populations by recruiting European settlers and encouraging intermarriage, Argentina was deemed to be the only country that had “succeeded.”

But what I did not know before I arrived in Buenos Aires in 2001 was that many of the few black women in Buenos Aires had been trafficked from countries such as Brazil, Colombia and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of prostitution. Contrary to popular belief in the U.S., those countries have sizeable…

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Black son, an essay

An essay about why it is scary to raise a black son in today’s society, by yours truly.

I decided the other day that I would not like to raise a Black son, but if I were to have a Black son, I imagine him to be the complexion of brown sugar, with features of his dad and tendencies of his grandfather. He’ll most likely be athletic, clinging to football or track, because that’s what runs in the family. I’ll teach him to speak his words properly and eloquently, and to always be transparent with those who will listen. And his father will teach him to be a man, and he will want to be that man simply because he has seen it displayed perfectly in front of him. I know, a perfect picture. Unfortunately, despite how I will raise him, all America will be able to notice is his brown skin and the innate paranoia that comes with it.

Read the rest here.

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Argentina Day 64: Mi futuro

“My Future”

As time keeps going here, I’m realizing more and more that after I leave Buenos Aires, life is going to get so real. I’ll be done with my last first semester of my undergraduate career, and beginning my last (crazy to think about). I’ll also be finding out what I’ll be doing after. Whether grad school is the move, or finding a real job is. I know, a sad life to live.

In all seriousness, I have realized that I am very blessed to be in the position that I am in right now. A student, studying outside of the country and about to graduate in May? Not many people can say that, but I can.

Anyways, my time here in Buenos Aires is going by so fast, it’s absolutely ridiculous! I can’t believe that I am now entering my very last month here. And I must say that my time thus far has been spent well. My Spanish is improving, and I’m becoming more accustomed to being so far away from home. I’ve also been able to build great relationships with some that I have met here.

I find myself laughing more than worrying about what I think I’m missing out on back at school, and I’ve been able to make timeless memories here in Buenos Aires.

But it’s not all cotton candy and sunshine, sadly. Some cultural things have really started to get on my nerves, but unfortunately I am going to have to leave you all on a cliffhanger and save that for a later post.

As always, peace & love.

-Esha

"Because we're all queens"

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