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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Everything Curly and Everything Natural



Everything Curly and Everything Natural: Tamar Saunders Interview





Tamar Saunders is a blogger that encourages a natural lifestyle through food, hair care products, and her DIY projects. 

I like how you celebrate diversity in hairstyles, textures and hair types. Why do you feel it’s important to do so during this day and age?

I think it’s important because the prevailing image of “pretty hair” is straight hair. Also there is a perception of beauty in the natural hair community. There aren’t just two kinds of good hair. I have nappy hair and I’m happy to say it. I’ve had hair dressers break combs in my hair. You need to be happy with your own hair because it shouldn’t set the standard for beauty.  You need to be happy with what’s on your head first before looking at other options.   

It seems that sporting natural hair is making a comeback.            

Natural hair should have never been a comeback. The first people on this earth were "natural". It has always been around, but I think the perspective of natural hair is always changing. I also think it is unfair to categorize natural hair as being militant, hippie, bohemian, flower child, Black Panther, etc.

Explain how, with being a swimmer and swimming almost every day, the exposure of chlorine effects certain hair types.

Chlorine is damaging to the skin and hair to anyone. A lot of black hair lacks moisture already so the chlorine further breaks down the hair follicles. Swimming pools have gotten better by putting in less chlorine.

How did the Weave Chronicles come about?

The Weave Chronicles began when I got my first weave and I chronicled my day to day experience with that. Then it evolved to chronicling other weave experiences.  The most recent segment of the weave chronicles was my crochet braids. The chronicles were meant to be funny and informative.

What compelled you to have this naturalistic outlook of your blog – from hair, body, food, & DIY projects?

I love reading holistic books on food health, beauty, etc. I want to go back to the age before processed food. It also comes from a place where I wanted to be more self-sufficient. I still try to keep it real and being open and expanding my horizons. A common theme that I follow is living a natural life and experimenting with natural concoctions i.e. perfumes and hair sprays. I do try to lead a realistic healthy lifestyle instead of sticking to an unattainable rigid regimen.

I realized you’re very conscious of what you eat, what you put in your hair, and what you put on your skin.

Everything today is mass produced - from processed food to processed hair products. I got that perspective from living in Japan. What we call organic food in America is called food in Japan - there are no 'organic' groceries. Many of the chemicals found in our everyday products from our toothpaste to shampoos are outlawed in Europe and Japan. Natural should come naturally, right? I want a have control in the food I eat, the products I put in my hair, and the soap I put on my skin.

I thought your DIY Project about making your own natural soap was great.

Yeah! That was a lifelong dream of mine. I was tired of spending $20 for only four bars of soap. I said, why not make it myself? So I took a class on how to make soap. I like to control what I put in my soap; I’m simple about what I want in it. I made unscented soap with no fragrance.

What are some of your other DIY Projects?

I’m starting to make my own Shea butter conditioners. I will try to make anything that I need within reason, if I can make it I will. I am also in the process of making my first successful batch of essential oil infused perfume. I also regularly make my own hair moisturizer sprays and flax seed hair gel.

Any other thoughts?

I feel like my website is a secondary source. I recommend other websites that are related to hair care products. I’m just me and I’m just trying to make it.  Also you should really be comfortable with yourself and you can do so much more. You really undermine your ability to do great things when you doubt yourself.

Where can people reach you at?

Website: http://everythingcurly.com/
Email: Millicent@everythingcurly.com
Twitter: @everythingcurly
Instagram: Ulala04

Tamar Saunders in boxed braids


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Confessions of a Classic Album



Confessions of a Classic Album: Usher's Confessions Ten Years Later 





By Evan L. Jackson
Superstar singer Usher Raymond has been in the limelight since he was a kid, but his fourth solo album took him to new heights where he would etch his name into music history. Confessions, released in the spring of 2004,  is the second best selling album of the 2000s along with officially going diamond – selling over 10 million records – in 2012. Usher had success creating a narrative through his music with the three arch song – U Remind Me, U Don’t Have to Call,  & U Got It Bad- off his previous 8701 album but he recommitted to telling the chronicles of his life on Confessions.

Confessions gave a nod to old school R &B where you told stories through your music and you left it all on the track. Usher implementing his A-Town style keeps it contemporary. The first single off the album was the club banger Yeah featuring Usher’s ATL compatriots Lil’ John and Ludacris which still plays well to this day. The title track Confessions begged the question, who was this woman that Usher wronged? It added intrigue to an album that was already shaping up to be great.  

Still a teenager when I initially heard the album I did not fully understand the scope of Usher’s Confessions. I knew I loved the sounds and the songs, but it’s only until I revisited the album year after year that I grew to appreciate it. Certain songs can only be cherished once you’ve experienced some of themes Usher touched on. The infidelity, guilt, shame, and exuberance expressed in those tracks are felt doubly if you’ve went through it. The timeless quality of the production is thanks to music impresarios Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and most notably Jermaine Dupri. You could say Jermaine and Usher have a Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson type of synergy when it comes to making music. Both in sync with the message they want to convey also, this is much harder to do, the feeling the music invokes when you play it. Sonically it was cohesive where the up-tempo instrumentals would come in at the right time while the slower tempo songs had you singing along even though you couldn’t quite hit the same notes as Usher did. The ups and downs of Usher’s love life were on display and through his confessions he gave us a classic album we can play for years to come.
 

Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal

Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal