Friday, September 19, 2014

How I "Went Natural" Without Becoming a Product Junkie

I started out pretty much like everyone else watching YouTube videos of other people going through similar hair journeys. As you can see above, I even thought I'd throw my hat into the natural hair vlogger world. That didn't take off but who knows. Maybe I'll go for it again. 

Now to the topic at hand, I figured out a major complaint of other newly natural women is that going natural was expensive. Not becoming a product junkie (for me) was almost solely based on economics. I am a frugal person at heart. So I wanted to figure out a way to not try every single option on the market (which back then wasn't as many as it is now)...

So today, I want to talk about a few things I did in the early days and have worked for years.

Sounds simple enough right. With the product aisles marketing "for naturals" seeming to get longer, its hard to not want to try everything. Before your next hair product purchase ask yourself these three things:

Some products are for moisture, some are heat protectant, some are sealants and the list goes on. Figure out the intended end result first. Don't just buy something because your favorite vlogger is pubbing it! Establish what it is that you want from your hair. You need to be able to discern the difference between, "I have curly hair and would like to them more defined!" versus "I don't really have curly hair but I want a product to give me curls." Don't fall into that latter group. Loving your texture is another topic we'll get to eventually! 

Products come in cremes, jellies, mists, lotions and serums. You'll have to figure out what application works for you. For instance, I feel like I can control product and get it more evenly distributed with cremes. So I often shy away from sprays.

If you've tried two or three products all ready. Take notes on what you liked and disliked before you make another purchase. Study the scents, consistency, residue after washing etc.

Don't chuck it in the trash because the bloggers say so! I've left products alone and found myself coming back to them later. I found out it wasn't the product but more so my application. For instance, layered a creme leave in and gel for a wash and go. My hair was too damp, didn't absorb the leave in and the gel basically glued the product!

Practicing the tips early on caused me not to chase fads which helped me save money. I also was able to discern what worked for me and weed out all the natural "nazi" blabber!

So, what are your tips on how to not become a product junkie?! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Textured Beauty Spotlight: Shawndrika Cook

Introduce yourself!!
Hi. I am Shawndrika Cook, a counselor/therapist from Birmingham, AL. I am currently pursing my second degree in counseling as an Education Specialist. I love my soRHOrs of Sigma Gamma Rho!! #eeyip. I created a blog call Daddy Daughter Conversation ( which I created to get through a brief marriage and painful divorce (It was my therapy after therapy). I can also be found on fb and twitter.

Why did you go natural?
Hum.. I went natural after I experience a heartbreaking break up with my first love, adjusting to the difficult of being in and starting a relationship again, and the frustrations being single. You can say that going natural was my new start to life and my release from my past.

When and how did you transition to my natural?
I have been natural for 10 years, and was doing it before it became popular or a trend. I started my junior/senior in college. I didn't do the big chop (Wasn't brave enough), but I did transition and let my perm grow out. Also during this time my mother was losing her hair because of a chemical reaction to the perm and the chemicals that she was using at work. I didn't want to go through that with my own hair, so the decision to go natural went from a thought to a priority.

How has natural affected you?
OMG!!! Can you say judgement. When I went natural there were no products or tutorial to tell you how to look cute while transiting or even what to do with your hair. So everyone thought that my hair was nappy, that it was unappealing, and that I had lost my mind. I got judge as not being cute or sexy. Let's just say being natural was something that taught me how to be strong when others are ignorant.

What mistakes have I made with my hair and learned from?
Over pressing my hair has been the biggest mistake for my hair. My hair holds heat; therefore, it doesn't take much to straighten my hair and keep it straight. The lesson behind it came after straightening my hair for several months. It change the type of my natural curl and I have straight ends that still haven't gone away or converted back to my natural curl.

What is your go-to hairstyle?
Twist!!! They can be curled, pinned up, twisted, braided, and just left alone if done right. After you get tired of them you can untwist them and do some more styles.

Name a random fact about me?
Hum...I live up to every stereotype of a Libra 

Well that's about it folks! Don't forget to check out fellow blogger Ms. Shawndrika at: Daddy Daughter Conversation (

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random 

Email me @

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Monday

Let's just say I'm feeling great today, inside and out and wanted to share. The quote itself really says it all. Have you ever met a physically beautiful person with a horrible attitude? Just turns you right off, right?! It immediately takes away from your effectiveness to communicate with others. I could care less how pretty your pout is, if you're a mean girl, it's a wrap! 

 Remember that little song a lot of learned as kids, "this little light of mine, I'm gonna' going to let it shine!" I can see it now. Little tykes all lined up, proud & peacocking (just a little). All because they know they've practiced and they are ready to sing it to the best of their ability. 

Let's get back to that place we were as kids. Yes, you look good and yes we know you've perfected whatever it is that you need to display. No need to be rude to get your point across though. Always remember to be kind with your words and loving in your actions. So today and for the rest of the week, work your fabulous beautiful self and SHINE inside and out!

Have a blessed week!

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Textured Beauty Spotlight: Jacinta Shanae


Introduce yourself!
Hello Naturally Random! I am Jacinta Shanae The Playwright DIVA. I am a performing artist, playwright, screenwriter, entertainer, comedian, and a woman on an unorthodox evangelistic mission.  If you see me wearing Blue and Gold, it's because I love my Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.


Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Throughout my life I have had various hair challenges, but chemicals made it worse. My hair would fall out and break repetitively. I had sores, and many bald spots. I always thought natural hair was beautiful, so I decided that's what I needed. I thank God I made the right choice.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
About ten years ago I cut my hair down to the new growth roots. My hair was about an inch long again. I never looked back.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
With natural hair, I am proud of who God created me to be. I do sometimes wear wigs, but I'm an actress and I love new looks without damaging my own hair.

What mistakes (if any) have you made with your hair that you've learned from?
I am still learning my hair. Our bodies change, and I have learned what works for others is not what I necessarily need.

What is your go-to hairstyle?
When I can't come up with a style, gelling my hair in to a bun is always a hit.
Name a random fact about you.
Earth Wind and Fire is my favorite band, and I want to meet them.

To find Jacinta on line go to Fb, or just Google: Jacinta Shanae, or her full business name. Please check out her at work on Youtube below:


Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Email me @

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivational Monday

Good morning lovelies! I found this quote inside my awesome sauce planner my hubby gifted with a few months ago! This phrase has been stuck in my head ever since. There are so many times in life when we jump of the cliff floating on the wings of pure love. Not just in relationships either but for the love of an idea. The idea of being your own boss. The idea of being a parent. The idea of "if I had [fill in the blank], it would make my life easier, so I need it now. 

My lovelies, my lovelies! Use that noggin as well as your heart. The two may seem to battle but when they are in sync, you can accomplish great things. I'd like to encourage you to not judge yourself for over-thinking every once in awhile. I'm not saying become indecisive. Not one bit, that's actually one of my pet peeves (I can feel my husband rolling his eyes about that statement because I take FOREVER to decide what I want eat, lol) Anyway! Don't beat yourself up about it. Some things need extra time before making a decision. Like, I don't know, getting married. Don't let the "he got dimples and a job" get your into something you're really not prepared for! *sips tea* Don't let the allure of having day shifts and weekends off  have you hastily switching jobs. Do your research.

"Slow down baby, you're going to fast" - India.Arie 
(Slow Down, from album: Voyage to India) 

It's okay to be apprehensive at times. 
Don't apologize for giving something a second look.
Think about it this way, were you not taught to look both ways before crossing the street. Be encouraged! You'll find the answers you need in due time. 

This post is participating in a link-up! Please feel free to use the link below to find other "motivational" messages to start your week! 
The Reflections of a Good Woman - Monday Motivation

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Textured Beauty Spotlight: Chanelle Flowers-Hardison

Textured Beauty Spotlight!

Here at Ms. Naturally Random! I'm always out and about seeing fabulous ladies with textured tresses. I choose to wear my hair naturally as well, I love the diversity in which we style our hair. I understand that for a lot of us, our "going natural" stories are often quite unique as well.  I'd like to celebrate our differences and hopefully share some insight into other's "natural hair journeys" as I continue my own. 

Introduce yourself! 
Greetings my name is Chanelle Flowers-Hardison. I am an educator as well as the owner of Monique's Natural Hair Care Boutique in Greenville, NC.  It was started in May 2012 due to the lack of natural hair products available in the Greenville/Eastern, NC area.  You either had to order offline or drive over an hour to purchase products.  I was tired of ordering offline not really knowing what I had purchased-couldn't physically see, smell, or feel texture. Through various events I noticed there was an abundance of naturalistas in Greenville and surrounding areas.  After consulting with my husband, I began putting the plans of Monique's Natural Hair Care Boutique into action.
We offer consultations, product sampling, shop by appointments, delivery (with minimum purchase or surcharge), shipping with US and US territories, workshops, events, stylist discounts, student discounts, loyalty rewards, and more.  We also vend at events in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. I plan to eventually expand to a natural hair salon as I have began working on my natural hair licensure.  Our physical store location is 1530 S Evans St Suite 104-C Greenville, NC 27834. Online shopping 24/7 is available at  

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
I went natural because my hair which has always been long, thick but started thinning.  The thinning was due to relaxers and medication. I typically wore my hair in wraps or duby wraps so I can't really say it was from styling. 

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
In winter 2009 I decided to my natural journey.  No, I didn't big chop because I've always had long hair and didn't know how I would look with short hair.  Plus I wanted to take my time and be sure it was something I wanted to do.  The transition was difficult as you are dealing with two different textures.  I mostly wore ponytails (real and fake), roller sets, and straw sets to get me through.  Curl activating gel was definitely my friend as I didn't know much about natural products at that time.  I went to my stylist regularly for a trim-cutting off relaxed ends a little at a time.  January 2010 I got married and had a sew-in for my wedding as I was still transitioning.  After my wedding I had the remaining of my relaxed ends cut off.  A couple months after that I had my hair died.  At that time I was using  Miss Jessie's and Carols Daughter.  I also researched and sought out other products as Miss Jessie's was and still is very expensive. 

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected your life, marriage, etc.? Also, what mistakes (if any) have you made with your hair that you've learned from?
My husband was definitely not feeling my natural hair.  I explained to him why I did I decided to go natural and he understood.  He just needs it straight every now and again.  When I straighten it 1-2 times a year I blow dry on low heat with a professional blow dryer.  Sometimes I will flat iron but typically not.  If you have a good blow dryer it should get it straight enough. I personally don't want my hair bone straight.  Speaking of straightening I think that was one of the mistake I made letting someone else who was actually a stylist straightening.  My other was getting color so soon after my full transition.  After cutting the final relaxed ends off I should have taken more time to learn about caring for my natural hair and learning what works for my hair.  When you add color its a whole different ballgame-curls pattern may change and it requires extra care/more moisture.

What is your go-to hairstyle?
My go to hairstyles are typically updos with marley hair.  Just take marley hair and freak a style, be creative.  Plus it provides protection for your hair-not manipulating your hair on a daily basis.  Lately have been wearing crochet braids which has provided protective styling for my hair.  In addition you don't have the pull on your scalp/edges like you would with regular/popular braiding styles.  When my hair was shorter I rocked wash and gos all the time.  However as my hair got longer it  tangled easier.  Therefore I realized I needed to wear more updo/protective styles. Even though I do my hair myself I do go to a stylist for regular trims.  One that knows how to trim curly, coily hair without straightening it first. Yes even though you are naturally you have to keep those ends trimmed.

Name a random fact about you.
Random fact hmmm I love planning trips and traveling.  However I am also spontaneous I like to just get in my car and go. 

Thanks for reading and check out Chanelle on Facebook:, Instagram: @mnhcb, and Twitter: @mnhcb.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivational Monday

With all the hooping and hollering I did last month about turning thirty years old, you'd think I'd arrived at some epitome of knowledge about life, love, faith, marriage and parenthood. While I do feel by age thirty life has given you extensive experiences to assist you throughout the remainder of adulthood. I also think getting to this age has taught me that I'll never stop learning. Knowledge is such a powerful tool. Not just for an increase in economic status (although it surely helps there) but in relationships as well. In my teens, I had questions at times about my insecurities & social status. I also had questions about independence from my parents. I found the answers in my twenties during my undergraduate years.  Funny how God and a little time work, right?! 

There were times in my twenties when I prayed for understanding and you know what? At some point, right when I was ready to hear clearly, God sent me clarity.  Whether it was about my career, my romantic life, bills, etc. 

I know its tough being patient and not feeling complacent. I know I'll have more questions as I roll into my thirties as well. Yet, in all scenarios, you just have to lean on the Lord for understanding. Remain faithful, give it a little time and let God do what God does best! Work it out! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random