In my own journey to grow long healthy hair, I've found this to not be true. In fact frequent touch ups for my fine strands produced dryness, thinness, excessive shedding, and breakage.
2.) Only Wash Once a Month To Avoid Dryness
Ok, this is definitely false! Water provides moisture to your locks!!! Washing your strands less frequently can actually cause dryness. Ethnic strands (because of the curl pattern) need moisture to promote growth. If you are experiencing dryness with frequent washes try adding jojoba oil as a pre-shampoo treatment, increase your water intake, and incorporate flaxseed oil into your diet.
3.) Ends Must be Cut Every Six Weeks for More Growth
This is not true!!! Your ends are dead, so cutting them every six weeks will not produced growth. It will provide a crisp look, but definitely not more growth. In fact, frequent trims is really snipping away at the growth you've already achieved. Actually growth comes from healthy eating and proper care. Try lightly dusting your ends or trimming only the split ends.
4.) Can't Use Products that are not for African Americans
For the past two years, I've used Aveda products! They are not specifically marketed for black hair, but Aveda completely changed the health of my fine strands. I love Aveda! I haven't used products geared toward black women in about two years. What's most important is finding products that are better suited, compliments, and meet your needs.
5.) No-Lye Relaxers are Safer than Lye Relaxers
Most no-lye relaxers do not contain sodium hydroxide and lye relaxers do. Although I use no-lye relaxers, it is because I have a sensitive scalp and I've found that they do not tingle as quickly. Both lye and no-lye contain chemicals that break down your strands, producing straightness. I will mention though that no-lye tends to cause more dryness due to the calcium build up. A way to avoid this is using a chelating shampoo maybe a week or two after a touch-up to get rid of it.
6.) Scalps Must Be Greased Frequently for Growth
Not true, grease (because of petroleum and mineral oil) can clog your pores and actually does not allow the scalp to breath. If you are experiencing scalp dryness try applying jojoba oil or sweet almond oil to your scalp.
7.) Can't Grow Long Hair
Again false, on average anyone experiences about 6 inches of growth per year (some a little more and some a little less).
I am an African American woman who started a website http://thinhaircangrow.com for the purpose of teaching women about healthy hair care practices for thin and fine hair. I have learned so much on my healthy hair journey and want to share it with as many women as possible.
Written by Antonina Geer
In a public statement, the family said, "There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus. We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal."
According to the Associated Press, the police said Exodus either slipped or put her head in the loop of a cord hanging under the console. Her 7-year-old brother found her and told their mother. She took Exodus off the cord, called 911 and tried to revive her. Responding officers and firefighters performed CPR as they took the girl to the hospital.
Former heavyweight champion Tyson was in Las Vegas at the time of the accident and flew Monday to Phoenix, where he was seen entering the hospital.
This is another tragic incident added to a long list of problems for the heavy weight boxer.
May the same God who took his daughter home, be the same one to bring him peace. His daughter's name Exodus is in the Bible. In the Book of Exodus, the Israelites were freed from the evil Pharaoh and led out of slavery by Moses. If we look at Tyson's daughter's passing from a spiritual perspective, none of us knows when a Moses in our lives will come and lead us out of our troubles. Everyone of us has a story similar to the Exodus. May her death not be in vain, read the biblical story with her name in it.
I can't help but think that the heavenly God above was using Pittsburgh's only urban contemporary radio station as an example by allowing it to be bought by none other than a religious group! Of course, there were other dynamics behind the 8.9 million sale that were not spiritual and I write about it on (http://associatedcontent.com/nichollmcguire). How about the WAMO radio station has been going downhill for years and finally the old owners got fed up and said something like, "Enough is enough! Let the young people buy their music online, burn their CDs, and do whatever else they are going to do to listen to their garbage, because we are tired of it! There is no money to be made being bothered with them!" Of course, I am making an assumption of what they possibly said behind closed doors.
I am not much of a listener these days of R&B and Hip Hop personally. When I listen to music it is usually anything that is positive and uplifting. If it's not, I am quick to turn it off. I think that as parents, we need to tell our children to do just that! "If it's not positive, free of harsh lyrics, turn it off!" As parents we need to shield them from negativity at least at home for as long as we can, because they are getting enough of it when they are around their friends.
Back when I was in high school which was in the early 90s, the male R&B groups dominated the radio airwaves. I couldn't help back then to think that alot of the teenage pregnancies (there were alot of them) was attributed to all the talk of sex that had been glorified in those songs. People were freakin' back then, lickin' up and down, sexin', bumpin, grindin', and the rappers tried to tell the young brothas and sistas to use "Jimmy" (a condom), but many were still going skin-to-skin! Oh the music was influential especially if you were watching Video Soul, Yo MTV Raps, and lesser known television shows.
Some of the R&B and Hip Hop music was also in the African American movies and when one came out with a good soundtrack, you had to be the first to get it and everyone wanted to "dub" your cassette. There were groups like NWA who had no respect for anyone and often talked about women like they were nothing more than something to play with, drop off on a curb, and then off to find another one. They also talked alot about shooting n*ggas too!
The music that we hear nowadays I think is a byproduct of what we heard before us and unfortunately as more and more listeners desire more harder lyrics, musicians and singers will only give them what they want despite the repercussions of what they say.
So I ask the question, "What music are we listening to?"
Written by Nicholl McGuire
Recent studies state Black women, in sum, are less likely to marry, stay married, and remarry. Those who marry do so at an older age than do whites. The differences between blacks and whites are greater than they were a generation ago. As a result, black women spend far less of their life in a marriage than do white women. White women now can expect to spend less than half of their lives married. But among black women, the corresponding figure has plunged from 40 percent to 22 percent - about the same proportion of life that the average college-educated person spends attending school. Marriage has become just a temporary stage of life for blacks, preceded by a lengthening period of single-hood and followed by a long period of living without a spouse. For blacks, even more so than for whites, a long, stable marriage is the exception rather than the rule. (Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage).
Why is it that more African American couples do not seek external support to salvage or improve their marriages or relationships? As resilient as African Americans are, there is often little resilience in regard to protecting and developing a marriage. Often other cultures will survive marital struggles and relationship conflict due to the practice and support of counseling, coaching, or even therapy if necessary. Arguably, other cultures seem to understand the value of open mindedness and the benefits of utilizing external avenues of support to assist with sustaining a healthy marriage, and relationship enhancement.
African American couples far too often rely on the "church" for direction and advice regarding marital and relationship support. Couples seeking support from the church is a positive option indeed, however, the church often offers a one dimensional view of "working things out" and often this support mostly prayer and scripture prayer. Well, prayer is good, but along with prayer there needs to be reinforcement and direction on various key elements of a relationship i.e., such as stronger and more effective communication between two people. In addition, there should be a re-evaluation of values and belief systems of the two committed individuals to determine if these values and beliefs are still in alignment or if they ever were.
Failure to understand your partner's beliefs and values is the key contributor to conflict in relationships. Prayer is ineffective without action to compliment it. Couples must understand what these actions entail and what steps can be taken as a unit, to effectively achieve each step in which will lead them to their shared goals within their relationship. Yes, prayer does change things but, the right actions helps things stay changed.
Lastly, the African American male has to step down from his egotistical thrown and stop believing that he or his relationship does not need the support of progressive tools and services that are in place to enhance him and his relationship. The notion of "I'm a man and I don't need anyone to tell me how to run my house" needs to be relinquished. Coaching, neither Counseling nor Therapy is services designed to neither deduce the authority of any man or woman nor dictate how a household should be run. These services are in place for positive and progressive growth and personal development individually as well as with a partner. This egotistical mindset is apart of the stifling problem that continues to cripple and contribute to the increasing percentages of divorce in the African-American community, increasing percentages of single black women, and the disparity of what an appropriate vision of black marriage should look like.
I'm not saying that this is the soul reason for the break down in relationships in the African American community. However, I am arguing that the African-American community as it pertains to marriage and relationships needs a lifeline. There are a variety of support services that are available to African Americans just as these services are available to other ethnicity as well. The difference is the other cultures exercise them regularly and often successfully. It is baffling to understand how the mental and physical energy easily dedicated towards various miscellaneous activities and tangible material things can be exerted effortlessly and without a second guess in the African-American household. However, often when the opportunity for personal growth is realized or if a marriage is on the brink of separation or divorce, it is effortlessly released without the same mental and physical energy or passion that is exuded towards other matters. The greatest investment is the investment in self; arguably this "investment" holds little value in the African-American home.
African American marriages and relationships need a lifeline; please share your services, your knowledge and wisdom with as many people as you can. Do not just attempt to "sell" them a service or product- offer them the value of personal development, stronger unity and the vision of a better future for themselves and their families.
Let me share my story. I attended a house gathering. I was already seated at a table when she walked in, she saw me before her man did and there she was checking me out. I smiled, waved my hand, even said, "Hello." She barely said, "Hi." I knew right away, she wasn't my kind. That's right, I said it, "my kind," because my kind isn't going to suck teeth, roll eyes, and show her cards before she sits at the table!
You see, we all have cards we play whether literally or metaphorically speaking. The ones I'm speaking about are related to one's personality. The cards being the attitude, thoughts and behaviors. I use the example of a card game. There are the playing cards you try very hard to not allow anyone to see until you know you are ready to show them in the hopes of winning the game. Too many sistas show their hands (as well as everything else) all the while thinking "I'm cute" with no objective. One old fool told me years ago, during our first meeting, barely knowing me, "You are one of them that think your cute." I was floored, "What? You don't even know me I told her." She said, "That's what I thought before I got to know you. You alright, I guess." When I thought about her words while looking at the woman seated near me, I realized she showed the cards in her hand. A darker skin woman with a complex about lighter skin hues with long hair, I thought. Well, you know she quickly went on my list of those who just "ain't" my kind of people.
So back to the house gathering, on another occasion I spoke to another eye bouncing, insecure woman, who this time didn't have a man who she could worry about, and she too quickly looked to the left and then to the right and back again at me barely saying an audible, "Hi." She was a light hue like me, so I thought skin tone most likely isn't the issue she has with me, I wonder what's her story? So I sat back and watched her, because at some point I knew, she like the other insecure women I have encountered in the past, would play her hand too! So I spoke about an issue that was non-related to my observation (you see I'm not showing my hand) to a room full of women. I watched her reaction to me, she was shifting around looking as if she was trying real hard to ignore me. What I said was a noncontroversial thought directed at someone in the group, I wasn't long winded with what I said, I figured that the eye rolling woman was just doing what she does best being insecure, but then the thought came to me, she, being younger, probably thinks I talk white, is being fake, or some other ignorant thought young women think about when observing older women who look and speak better than them! It wasn't long before I noticed that she was "the type." The type who hadn't been around many women who spoke intelligently. I recognized that same reaction from other young women like her in the past. If these women knew any better they would know, there are experiences one has when he or she attends college that molds and shapes some more than others (ask President Barak Obama and his wife Michelle.) Most educated people have a demeanor that is very different than uneducated ones. It is often misconstrued for being fake or "acting white." I would say for some, whether educated in a college, trade school or self-educated, they aren't being fake, maybe out of touch even weird, but not fake! To be fake is to be something you are not, but when you are what you are you will walk it and talk it. A person with a higher education walks and talks differently than one who doesn't. Does it make them better than the next woman or man in personality or in spirit? No. But there is a good chance, that he or she will do better academically, but I digress.
So here I am with more life experiences to add to my School of Hard Knocks education. I have to defend myself from haters (a street term used to define people who are jealous of others.) I sometimes feel that I have to prove that I am not fake; however, I will not resort to acting ghetto to prove a point! Acting ghetto is like saying a bad word, it just comes out you don't have to work on it! There isn't much effort needed in that department for me!
Written by Nicholl McGuire
Statistics show that African American men are at greater risk of dying from prostate cancer than white men and the majority of statisticians agree that the risk in the case of black men is approximately two and a half times that of white men. But, are these statistics misleading?
The answer might come from a study conducted not long ago in North Carolina. The study involved some 253 white men and 84 black men between the ages of 40 and 75 who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2001 and 2004.
The study examined a number of factors including employment, screening history, access to care, symptoms, the existence of other medical conditions, attitudes towards health care and health care providers, family history, treatment, income and whether or not the men had health insurance.
The study discovered that 55 percent of the black men earned under $40,000 annually in comparison to to 23 percent for white men. The study also showed that black men were more likely to be educated to a lower standard, to have a blue-collar job, to have co-existing medical problems and to be unemployed as a result of illness or disability.
In addition the study showed that just 3 percent of white men did not have medical insurance, in comparison to 8 percent of black men and that just over 30 percent of white men has some type of supplemental Medicare coverage, in comparison to 17 percent of black men.
One especially interesting finding was the fact that both groups were well informed about the risks of prostrate cancer and the requirement for treatment, although the black men accepted greater responsibility for their own health and were less likely to trust their doctors. In fact many of the black men said that they were mistrustful of their doctors and felt that any advice given was more likely to be influenced by the cost of treatment than patient needs.
On the important question of screening, black men were less likely to have regular check-ups, digital rectal examinations or prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests. It was also interesting to note that the study reported that black men were more than twice as likely to have to request a PSA test than white men.
The study makes it clear that there is a marked different between the two groups which lies in the lack of early detection in black men and that this arises to a large degree from the fact that they do not have established relationships with their doctors, have poor access to affordable and convenient care and do not carry adequate health insurance.
Obviously it is not easy to assign numbers to a study of this nature and further, and bigger, studies need to be conducted to quantify the differences between black men and white men. Nevertheless, it would seem that much of the difference does not stem from the fact that black men are more likely to develop prostate cancer but lies in the fact that they are more likely to die as a result of the disease because of its late detection.
If the gap between black men and white men in terms of the provision of healthcare were closed the figures could well look quite different.
For example, I have been in numerous conversations with women who know nothing to talk about but men and/or their children. When it comes to talking about their interests, goals, and other related things in life, they spend a second or two on that and then they are back to talking about what they will be doing with their man and what their child did in school. Well that all sounds good when we are just catching up, but every conversation? Come on, I mean is there more going on in your life besides a man and some kids?
I must admit I use to be that way. I couldn't have a conversation without giving a friend a long story about what my man said and what the children did. I guess it wouldn't have been so bad had I been working on some other things in my life. But a man and children was my life! I started listening to other wives and mothers I associated with tell their stories and they too were doing the same thing I was doing. I guess the turning point for me was when I found myself looking for an excuse to get off the phone with them, wishing I had other friends, or purposely ignoring some of my phone calls, because I just didn't want to hear another lame story about a tired relationship that should have ended years ago. I especially didn't want to hear from the women who acted as if their children were the best thing since slice bread, as if they were trying to entice me into a comparison conversation, I would think, "Okay that's great your child did XYZ and what have you done with your own life lately?" It seemed to me that some of these women were living their lives through their children and I am just not that kind of mother!
I also found that oftentimes these wives and mothers were busy with everyone else but themselves and didn't have much time for anything outside of family. So why bother to call and say, "Let's get together some time?" I guess being a woman and only a woman every now and then is forbidden and in some circles almost foolish! I mean to set aside the husband and the children to be a woman...terrible! Of course, I am being sarcastic! Some of these women are so busy that even God is contemplating on lightening up their loads like he did mine over the years. Calling yourself a Christian and making no time for the Lord, get ready for some future headaches from the people you revolve your world around! I'm a witness!
Mothers and wives have really dug a hole for themselves when they can only see the husband and children. I see it all the time, one day that husband or children is sick, and now she wants to call on her friends for prayer. Where was your so-called friend when times were good? Oh that's right busy. I personally learned the hard way that when the man and children are gone, it is your relatives and friends that pull you through! To expect people to do for you now that the husband is ill, the children are doing bad, and you are falling apart is selfish. Why can't relatives and friends, see you when you are doing well too?
I think as sistas we need to learn how to balance our relationships with men and children with our friendships and if you don't have any, then you need to ask yourself why? A woman who doesn't have a single friend outside of her husband and children surely needs to check herself!
Written by Nicholl McGuire
Instead, what I hear is alot of laughter and criticism about how a fat woman looks dressed in an outfit that is obviously too tight for her behind and trying to squeeze fat feet into small shoes! What I also hear are complaints of men wishing their girl would lose some weight. What I know is that oftentimes these men will cheat when they no longer find their women attractive.
Why is it that obese, plus, fat or whatever other nice name there is out there for big girls feel the need to bring up a woman's size who is smaller than they are? "She is so small...ooo that girl needs some meat on her bones...she is skinny." What would happen if the small, little, skinny or whatever other nice name to describe this petite woman turned around and said, "Ooo girl you need to stop eating and get on that treadmill, d*mn your fat!" It seems that it is perfectly okay to talk about how small someone is but not okay to comment on how fat someone is, hmmm?
Another thing I noticed is why do the obese ministers talk so much about sexual immorality, when they are also committing a sin when they keep eating and eating and eating. I do believe being covetous and greedy is also sinful as well.
So if we are going to keep it real, let's just tell the truth all across the board and not just when we feel it has nothing to do with us. There are many black men who are tired of fat women, but they have no choice but to deal with these women because they most likely are fat themselves.
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African American Planet: Relationships, Education, Products & Lifestyle by Nicholl McGuire is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at africanamericanplanet.blogspot.com.
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