5 Reasons to Henna Your Hair

Monday, June 20, 2016

FroBunni | Reasons to Henna Hair

The henna bug has bit again! I haven't used henna in over 3 years, but for the past few months, I really want to try it again. While I'm pretty indifferent to the reddish tint, it did make my hair stronger, and with high porosity ends, I really need the extra support. Henna works by bonding to the keratin in the hair and adding, what I call, a "protective layer" around the hair shaft. This helps to strengthen hair, reducing breakage and split ends.

Of course, henna isn't just great for strengthening hair, it can be used to achieve a variety of results.

Natural Color: Henna's most noted feature is that it's a natural dye, specifically dying hair red. While the color is not always apparent on every head of hair, for many women, it can add a subtle reddish tint that can cover grays.*

Retain Length: By strengthening hair, henna is able to help reduce breakage, which in turn can help retain length. If you have a good regimen, but still see a lot of breakage and not a lot of hair growth, henna may be able to help you reach your length goals.

"Fix" High Porosity Hair: Because of the raised cuticles, it makes it difficult for those with high porosity hair to keep it moisturized. Henna works by attaching to the keratin in the cuticles, "closing off" these raised spaces, which helps hair stay moisturized longer.

Thicken Hair: If you have thinner hair, henna may be perfect for you. Because of henna's ability to attach to hair, acting as an "extra layer of cuticles," it can make hair appear thicker and fuller.

* It's important to note that while henna is natural, that doesn't automatically equate to safer. Always do a patch test to make sure you don't have any kind of allergic or negative reaction.

FroBunni | 5 Reasons to Henna Hair


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5 Ways to Love Your Natural Hair

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

FroBunni | 5 Ways to Love Your Natural Hair

While I loved my hair when I first big chopped, not everyone falls in love with their hair texture when they go natural. The natural hair journey can be difficult, especially for those who have relied on weaves, relaxing, and straightening for years. There's a huge learning curve when many of us grew up without a solid foundation of caring for black hair, plus we are bombarded with images of mainstream beauty, which tends to equal straight and wavy hair. This unfortunate combination can make it hard for black women and girls to love the hair that grows out of their scalp.

While it can be difficult to reverse this thought process, it isn't possible. These tips can help start the process of loving your hair, and although it may be difficult, hopefully, it will eventually get you to say, and really mean, #TeamNatural.

Why I Haven't Chimed in on the #NoMakeUpMovement

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Alicia Keys, photo taken by Paola Kudacki
Rights Reserved: Paola Kudacki

Making the rounds this past month, Alicia Keys ushered in a #NoMakeUpMovement...well, not really, she just stated that she plans to not wear makeup and feels more empowered without it. This isn't problematic at all, but of course, the media has spun it into her saying that she's going to empower women every where with a #NoMakeUpMovement.

While I've read think pieces and discussions on the topic, I honestly haven't really weighed in. My personal opinion on the matter is that women should do what they want to do without scrutiny. Whether they wear makeup or not has no effect on me. And more importantly, my voice is really irrelevant in this conversation.

I know what you're thinking, "Kami, as a black beauty blogger, your voice is quite important." Yeah, I do blog about beauty topics including hair, makeup, and skin care, but honestly, what value would I add. This isn't meant to sound shallow or vapid, but I benefit from being "traditionally" beautiful. While yes, in the grand scheme of society, being a dark skin black woman is not a privilege, I do have "pretty privilege," or fitting the mainstream definition of beauty. Now, I'm sure you have questions, the first being, "well, don't you have to be white?" Yes and no. While mainstream society's definition of beautiful is white or light skin, those aren't the only qualifiers, nor is it necessary. Body type is another component, such as an hourglass figure and thin, as well as facial symmetry, facial features, and even hairstyle.

And at this point, I'm sure I have even more questions. "Ok, well if this is true, can you give me an example?" and "How do you know you benefit?" Ok, first, let me answer the second question. Remember my first Black in America post, The Dark Skin, Long Hair Paradox, where I detail how having long hair results in odd questions about my ethnicity? Now add in that long hair on a woman is seen as beautiful and hairstyle is an indicator of pretty privilege, and you have your first example.
I've always had my blackness questioned. To many people, regardless of race, black people are a monolith defined by their interests, education level, and vernacular, instead of geographical ancestral origin. So, I’ve never fit the standard definition of “black.” As a petite, highly educated, Inland Northern American English speaker, who was born and raised in suburbs, I don’t fit the archetypal standard of a black woman…add the length of my hair into the mix, and I’m an anomaly (though I know black woman like me are not rare or even uncommon). Add on my darker skin complexion, and I’m the only known species of my kind in the universe. 
I’ve gotten many assumptions about my background, of which the most common is Ethiopian. I’ve also gotten Hispanic, Filipino, and Indian (both American and Southeast Asian). When I follow up with “no, black American,” the puzzled faces are endless. Because if I am black, I am obligated to embody the negative stereotypes constantly bombarded by the media, news, and most importantly, the perceptions within their mind. I have to be separate from their stereotypes, which is, to say the least, disappointing and depressing. My sheer existence, an indication that their perception needs to be, at the very least, challenged, is not strong enough to shatter their prejudice. So they keep asking, “are you mixed?”
Also think about curl pattern. How many naturals with 3c or looser curls are featured on natural hair appreciation Instagram pages, Tumblrs, and Facebook pages...now compare that to women with 4c hair. Not so many. That's because society views 4c hair as less attractive than looser curls, and even in the natural hair community, where everyone is supposed to embrace their texture and love their hair, you still see that bias.

Another example is weight, and lucky for me, I follow Feminista Jones, who can explain this perfectly.

Thank you, Feminista Jones! The fact of the matter is being thin awards you a privilege in society, one that is almost automatically tied to beauty, and at a size 2, one I need to acknowledge.

All of this perfectly segues into the first question, examples of how black women, while still being black, can embody pretty privilege. Think of the most beautiful and successful black women in society. Not the ones you think qualify, but the ones on the cover of Vogue or Cosmo magazine. Women like Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, Misty Copeland, Zoe Saldana, Alicia Keys...I can keep going, but you get the idea. Now, think of famous black women who are always dragged in the media for their looks...I'm not going to name them, but I bet you they look nothing like the above mentioned. And what's the difference between them? Hair, weight, facial features? Exactly.

Whether I wear makeup or not isn't really the issue. It's that, unlike some women, I am not chastised for not wearing makeup. I don't have severe acne or discoloration, my nose is thinner than as stereotyped, and I have eyebrows that don't really need to be filled in. I don't have to worry about being the victim in a "before and after makeup" meme where people trash the before picture and claim I am being deceitful. And neither does Alicia Keys, but there are women who do. The decision to wear makeup or not wear makeup is personal, but promoting a #NoMakeUpMovement, while refusing to acknowledge the vitrol that some women face when they don't wear makeup, is not beneficial, nor does it promote self-love.
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Easy, Homemade Granola

Saturday, June 4, 2016

FroBunni | Easy, Homemade Granola

If you buy granola, you need to stop and start making it right now! It is so easy! And unlike making almond milk or hummus, where you will need to buy a blender or food processor, all you need to make granola is an oven and a baking sheet. 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats 
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup or honey
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 300°F and spread oats evenly on a 15x10x1-inch pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the pan. 
  2. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and stir to mix granola. Spread evenly on the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes or until mixture is dry and lightly toasted. Cool completely.
Make it Your Own!
  • Add dried fruit - cranberries, raisins, apples, mangos, pineapples - to the granola after baking and when it's cooled for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals 
  • Toss nuts - almonds, pecans, walnuts - with oatmeal prior to baking for protein
  • Toss sunflower or pumpkin seeds with oatmeal prior to baking, or add chia seeds after baking and when cooled for healthy omega-3's 
  • Sprinkle with cacao powder after baking and when cooled for antioxidants
FroBunni | Easy, Homemade Granola Recipe

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