What It Was Like To Go Natural

What It Was Like To Go Natural

Anything worth doing is never easy

For those that don't understand what it means to go natural, it means to discontinue the use of chemicals to relax or perm hair. Recently, there has been a big trend in black women going natural. Before it seemed as if it were socially unacceptable for black women to have their hair in it's natural form without appearing unorganized or unkept. However, celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have decided to ditch the weaves and chemicals a few times, to rock their hair au naturale. This small act of courage allowed black women across the country to let their hair down. Their natural hair. I have never chemically straightened my hair, but ever since middle school (I'm currently a junior in college) I have straightened my hair using heat, causing heat damage. This summer, I decided to go natural, and this is what I've learned so far.

First off, I thought going natural just meant that I wash my hair about every 2 to 3 days, moisturize it, and go. I quickly learned that was not the case. My hair has a different types of curls in different places, and to just wear it out is a huge fail. I also learned that in order to do that, you need really good products. How do you know what products? Trial and error. After almost draining my bank account on different hair products, I found that Cantu products do wonders for my hair, so I stocked up.

Once I found the right products, I needed a style. Since I quickly learned that wash and go wasn't for me, I tried braiding. Turns out, I suck at braiding. Even though I suck, my wonderful beautiful mother, does not. We established a braiding routine for my hair to keep it in a protective style that works for my lifestyle. Since I work and workout everyday, two braids work perfectly for me. As time went on, I realized that I couldn't rock the two braids ALL summer long. I needed to switch it up.

If you ever think about going natural, there are two things that are your best friends. Youtube tutorials for natural hair and coconut oil. There are endless videos on how to go natural, what styles you can do, and how to do them. Since I'm still relatively new to going natural, I haven't quite mastered anything, but I have learned a bit. Watching these videos give you so many ideas and styles to go natural. So far I have tried twists and bantu knots. Not much, but I want to perfect one thing at a time.

I have been natural since the middle of May, until now (June 19th), and have noticed a true difference in my hair. Before my curls were horrendous and all I wanted to do was wear a hat and put them in braids. As time went on, my hair became more manageable and my curls were more defined. Not only that, but I became way more confident about my hair. In this short time, my hair has changed significantly. I absolutely can't wait until August to see exactly how far my hair has come. If you ever have doubts about going natural, I say do it. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Anyway you can make yourself healthy, whether it's your hair or body, is something worth doing.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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9 Things That Will Make You Look At Lululemon Differently

Did you know that someone was murdered in a Lululemon store?


Yes, we all know about the infamously expensive yoga pants. Lululemon. Hell, most of us own something, Lulu. Cultish. Faddish. Overpriced. To the competitors and haters who want to see Lulu crash and burn, those are its vulnerabilities.

On Facebook, there's an "I Hate Lululemon" Facebook group that offers support "for anyone getting sick of people wearing these ridiculously overpriced yoga pants." Amid the harsh criticisms are posts that say "Why do people working for Lululemon claim to be 'authentic' when actually they end up robotically cloning their charismatic leader, Chip Wilson?" Another website, seacowcoalition.com has rewritten the Lululemon manifesto (those inspirational statements printed on those red-and-white shopping bags) with directives like "Brand Loyalty: It's almost like having a personality," and "Your worth as a woman depends on people looking at your butt."

1. The CEO is pretty much the biggest jerk

Founder Chip Wilson ultimately decided the brand's name because he found it funny that Japanese people couldn't pronounce the letter "L." He's since stepped down as CEO. "It's funny to try and watch them say it," when asked about his views on the Japanese pronunciation of the company's name.

2. Fat Shaming

Amidst other complaints about sheer and poorly made yoga pants, Wilson found himself in hot water after he told Bloomberg TV in November 2013, "Frankly some women's bodies just don't actually work for it" and "it's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it."

3. Lululemon Murder

In 2011, Lululemon employee Brittany Norwood murdered her co-worker Jayna Murray at the Lululemon store in Bethesda, Maryland. According to the investigators and trial records, Murray discovered Norwood was attempting to steal merchandise and confronted Norwood, who then used at least six weapons to bludgeon Murray to death. Not only did she kill Murray, but Norwood also tried to cover by staging it as a sexual assault gone bad, tying herself up and claiming to be a victim when she was found. Norwood was convicted of first-degree murder and is currently serving a life sentence. Even though the two were Lululemon employees, you may be asking yourself what this has to do with the store. Some speculate that the highly competitive nature of Lululemon as a workplace may have contributed to the murder. A former employee told Cosmopolitan that the employee culture was cult-like. Whether the murder was directly related to Lululemon beyond location can't be known. Still, Lululemon probably wishes you would forget that it happened there

4. Lululemon Bag Debacle

Moving on to the infamous Lulu Lemon bags. In December 2010, Lululemon recalled some of the store's reusable bags that had been distributed since the Vancouver Olympics in February of that same year. The reason was that the bags were made in China from polypropylene, and similar bags had been found to contain high levels of lead.

5. "Inspirational Quote" Bags

It's not all "dance, sing, floss & travel." Sometimes it gets WEIRD...

Norma Columbus and her 17-year-old daughter Heather found some messages after they washed the reusable bag from the yoga-wear retailer. One side began to peel off and Heather continued to scrape away, curious about what the message said. Underneath a glossy layer of inspirational quotes such as "friends are more important than money" is the second note with a strong message about creativity and how regular aerobic exercise results in a similar "high" as drugs or sex.

"Some brief or quick-fix incidences when our minds are clear to be creative are.... when drunk or stoned...just after an orgasm," it says.

The message concludes to say that regular aerobic activity provides a longer, more sustainable high.

"The athlete's high is the most long-lasting as it can last up to six hours," the note continues to say.

"There is little difference between addicts and fanatic athletes. Both are continually searching for a way to remain in a creative state."

Norma Columbus said she was shocked to see the yoga-wear retailer's original message underneath a printed cover.

Lulu's response to this issue was a minimal email stating, "Lululemon Athletica is a company known for speaking our mind and inspiring creativity and freedom of thought in everything we do."

6. Lululemon Employees

According to HRM Today, the company's hiring process involves inviting interviewee's to yoga classes and spin sessions so that managers can evaluate potential employees in different types of atmospheres. If you ever aspire to work at a Lululemon store, be prepared to put your goals on display. Employees are required to set their short and long-term goals in ink and post them in the store for everyone to see. All of this seems pretty demeaning.

7. Lululemon Spies

The Wall Street Journal reported that CEO Christine Day doesn't use focus groups. Rather, she spies on customers herself, as does her staff:

… Ms. Day spends hours each week in Lulu stores observing how customers shop, listening to their complaints and then using the feedback to tweak product and stores. Lulu also trains its workers to eavesdrop, placing the clothes-folding tables on the sales floor near the fitting rooms rather than in a back room so that workers can overhear complaints. One customer described the experience this way: When I buy stuff at Lululemon, they have often asked me where I work out, as well as who my favorite instructors are. This is not just idle talk—this kind of information is self-consciously gathered by Lululemon sales staff and then reported back to Lululemon HQ every two weeks.

8. Lulu Lies

The brand once claimed that seaweed incorporated in clothing was performance-enhancing.

In 2007 an investigation was conducted after The New York Times disputed SeaCell's anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, hydrating and detoxifying benefits.

9. One word: Naked

In 2002, the company decided to come up with a marketing strategy that offered a free Lulu outfit to anyone who would stand naked in the store window for 30 seconds in select locations. Ummm… I don't know about you but what?!

Despite the controversies over the years… Lululemon seems to be upping their sales. I think all of these things can be taken with a grain of salt.

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