Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Textured Beauty Spotlight: Lorna Finn

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. 

#1 Introduce yourself! Quick bio, please include where you can be found online.
My name is Lorna Finn and I am originally from Atlanta, GA and found my way to the DMV.  I can be found on Instagram at Ms.EpitomeX or on facebook at Lorna Finn.  I am 28 years (young), founder of Epitome Xtensions, and working on building a beauty empire that appeals to every woman's style and glamitude. Presently, I reside in Maryland and work for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where I am deeply invested in assisting the research efforts of HIV/AIDS, which has become a new found passion. I have a dog named Dakota aka "Sir Puffins", who I also call my first born. I am am the oldest of 4 brothers and am a tomboy at heart (despite the glam I portray). I love inspiring women and helping each one find her confidence in herself so that she shines. 

#2 Why did you make the decision to go natural?
In 2009, shortly after being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), I went through a lot of physical changes. I gained about 50 pounds in one year, starting growing rapid facial hair, and my hair began to thin.  However, at that time, I had no idea that hair loss was one of the many conditions of having PCOS.  I just thought my hair couldn't grow at all and concluded that I would continue to wear my hair short and permed. However, in 2010, I was tired of battling with perms and shedding and the expense of trying to maintain a hairstyle that kept breaking off my hair. So, I begin reading up on going natural and more on PCOS, and decided that going natural would be the best option for me and for my condition due to the intense hormonal imbalances that I would endure from time to time. To my surprise, my hair grows like a weed, now that I have zero chemicals in it. Even with the PCOS, my hair pretty much maintains fullness and regular growth, so I realized that over processing my hair was the real reason for my stagnant hair growth.  

#3 When and how did you transition into natural hair?
In 2010, I did the big chop (I literally had maybe an inch of hair on my head) and just grew it from there. I would wear wig pieces and put in weave to protect my hair from changing weather conditions and when my hormones were in a frenzy, which is also how the concept for Epitome Xtensions came into play.  I wanted to be able to change my hair up and still maintain being a natural diva in a snap. So I launched my business in late 2011 and am currently looking into kinky curl extensions for my product line. Most of the time though, you can find me rocking my natural mane. I love my curls and my natural texture so much, especially now more than ever.  I feel that my hair is a freedom and my canvas, in which I can transform into whoever I feel like becoming at any given moment. 
#4 In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
Going natural has definitely made me stronger in my self esteem and appreciate organic beauty. In the beginning, I struggled with looking at myself without having my tresses straightened, and would hide them. However, the more I read and diversified my look, I grew within. I find being a natural woman bold, seductive, daring, and showcases beauty from within. It shows everyone around you that you are not ashamed of how you were made and that your curls are apart of your uniqueness. 

#5 What mistakes (if any) have you made with your hair that you've learned from?
My biggest mistake would be trying to straighten it myself (and not professionally) and putting in a keratin straightening treatment (since it wasn't a perm).  These two culprits made my hair shed and break off so badly.  My hair really is fickle and doesn't like too much product or chemical at any given time.  I have just said that if I want to wear my hair straight, I will just put a weave in with a full closure so that my natural curls are not damaged. Although I know that there is a technique to straightening natural hair, and many products and conditioning treatments to help detangle and soften the hair shaft prior to using heat, I prefer to stay away from all heat on my hair. 

#6 What is your go-to hairstyle? 
My go to hair style is a wash and go (now that I have my hair cut super short) with Olive Oil EcoStyle Gel, coconut/argan oil mixed, and Carol's Daughter leave in moisturizer (oil and leave in moisturizer are added prior to putting gel in damp hair). Otherwise, I will two strand twist it (when I want more defined curl and texture) with Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding or Baby Butter Cream.

#7 Name a random fact about you
I am deathly afraid of earthworms, snails, slugs, and leaches. Pretty much anything in worm slime form. I won't even step on them when it rains. Often times you can find me tip toeing in the rain trying to avoid a run in with a worm. LOL. 

Well that's it ladies and gents! Thanks for stopping by and remember to check out Ms. Lorna's EpitomeXtensions! She definitely represents #RandomGlam!  

Until next time...

Talk to you later lovelies,

~ Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivational Monday

There are times that we give so much, that we forget about ourselves. Recently, I  came across a quote that reminded me a very important decision I made about two years ago. While, trusting in God, the result of that decision has had quite positive and fruitful impacts on my life.

We often may feel that "self-care" is a dirty word. That if we think about ourselves it will come across as selfish. If you take time to do something you want to do that it can be slothful or overly indulgent. You have to make choices in a way that comes from love. Make sure compassion is the utmost mission. Stray away from making decisions out of obligation and never from a compulsion of guilt. The key here is balance! 

We all must led purposeful lives and in my opinion that is God's intention for us. How will you find your purpose if you are always feeding others dreams and ideas? How will you ever work mightily for the Lord if you are constantly working mightily fulfilling someone else's wants and needs. 

Think of it this way, you have to take time to renew your energy and gain back your strength and that is TOTALLY OKAY! Never try to convince yourself it is not. This happened to me recently...have you ever found that your vacuum's suction power isn't as great as it used to be? While I'm looking at the brushes and bristles on the outside, it never dawned on me to look in the inside. The vacuum had lost it power because the bag was full and needed to be replaced. 

How often do we treat ourselves in this way?   
As long as you can function, you keep going. As long as you "look okay" on the outside you never take time to focus on the insides. Let's start a new today. Take (if not but) five minutes to do a quick assessment of yourself. Is there a need for a vacation? Would a peaceful long bath do you some good? Have you done anything to strengthen your mind and sharpen your focus lately? You have not been your "mighty" self because you've lacked to take care of the precious gift God has given you. If you want to be as effective as possible, you must take time to rejuvenate yourself. 

Areas where self-care is needed:
Physical - eating healthier or getting more physical exercise
Mental - removing yourself from toxic situations, seeking out professional help from a therapist or counselor. 
Spiritual - spending time in prayer, digging into your Word more or speaking with your spiritual leader for some direction. 

Have you ever done something great for yourself, like go for a run or spent some time in worship then afterward thought, "well that was absolutely a horrible waste of my time, I'm never doing this again!"

It just doesn't happen! 
Take the thought of self-care being something bad or selfish completely out of your mind. Remember, that you have purpose, so live your life purpose-led. 

Until next time! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random 

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

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 (http://daddydaugtherconversations.blogspot.com/) 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 (http://daddydaugtherconversations.blogspot.com/

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random 

Email me @ msnaturallyrandom@gmail.com

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 @ msnaturallyrandom@gmail.com

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