Written by Michelle Richardson

In the international cheese section of my local supermarket I saw it: a black kinky afro bopping down the aisle commanding attention (my own tresses in a protective style tucked under a crochet cap). As I drew near the dark chocolate sister rocking the fierce ’do donning power suit and heels those two words—hey gorgeous—were out of my mouth with zero thought as to how they would be perceived. Bright eyes lit up, crinkling at the corners, redirecting themselves towards me. A smile touched her lips and a soft ‘thank you’ spoken. Her response elicited a smile of my own and gentle squeeze of hand clutching her basket of necessities. As daughter and I moved away from the young lady, I noticed the wide smile on my daughter’s face. Making someone’s day made hers. I realize some may think my words and gesture during this two-second exchange intimate, forward, or even brazen. Perhaps they were. For me, they were appreciative and an acknowledgment of beauty rarely acknowledged with consistency. 

The woman, an unknown passerby, wasn’t a stranger. She could have been me, only years younger and shades darker. I thought perhaps she hadn’t heard those two words often enough. Perhaps the young lady was surprised that a random shopper noticed her, acknowledged her, and called her gorgeous. Perhaps I’m wrong, but her tone of voice and expression told me and my daughter I had not been. 

There is no stronger sentiment than to be truly seen and appreciated for who you are, just as you are! Variation is beautiful and we epitomize beauty…naturally so.



Michelle Richardson
author | lover of life

Isn't it time we equate positive with what's real?

Posted on January 4, 2015 .

How To Properly Care For Color Treated Natural Hair

Color Highlighted Transitioning Roller Set  Jewelry by www.pieces.com

Color Highlighted Transitioning Roller Set Jewelry by www.pieces.com

Colored Curly High Puff 

Colored Curly High Puff 

Colored Flexi Rod Fro Set

Colored Flexi Rod Fro Set

Colored Curly Coil Out

Colored Curly Coil Out

COLORING your natural hair can be just the change you need to give it new life. However, it can also cause tremendous damage to a healthy head of natural hair that may have taken years to achieve. 

Taking precautions before and after applying permanent color to your hair is essential. If your hair is already damaged, it is best that you wait until your hair is stronger and healthier before doing so. Instead, you may want to opt for milder less damaging color such as henna or temporary color rinses. 

To minimize damage before and after coloring protective style & be sure to eliminate the use of direct heat implements, such as blow dryers, curling and flat irons. instead set the hair and allow to air dry or under a warm hooded dryer.

Once you have determined that your hair is healthy enough for permanent color, it is best to consult with a professional hair colorist who's work you can verify and who has experience working with highly textured natural hair. 

Here are a few additional steps you will want to take to keep your permanently colored natural tresses strong, healthy and flourishing…

Immediately after applying permanent hair color, it is best to shampoo and condition the hair with a color friendly shampoo and conditioner, preferably one that is made by the same color manufacturer.  it should help to seal in the color and prevent fading post color application. 

Permanently colored natural hair will be more porous and thinner because some of the hair’s keratin will be removed during the color process. therefore, It is a good idea to use products such as clay masks or ACV to help close and smooth out the cuticle and to rinse & remove any impurities left on the hair shaft after coloring.

Permanently colored natural hair will also tend to be very dry and brittle. using a good leave-in deep conditioner and moisturizer often will be a must. the hair will also need oils that will penetrate and lubricate the hair shaft. this will help to eliminate the excessive dryness that will be a constant battle for natural hair that is already difficult to keep moisturized.

Adding oils to your favorite moisturizer will help colored hair to maintain softness and shine. 

To intensify penetration of conditioner and oils, apply a plastic cap and heat under a hooded dryer or steamer for 30-60 minutes. The heat will allow the cuticle to open further. after, remove cap, let hair cool so the cuticle will close & oils will lock into the hair shaft. 
then style.

Permanently coloring the hair will inevitable cause thinning and breakage of the hair shaft, for this reason it is important to use a leave-in, anti-breakage conditioner or serum while combing wet. your conditioner should have enough protein to fill in the missing keratin but not so much as to cause hardening of the hair shaft.

Use of an anti-breakage conditioner after each cleansing and while setting the hair will help to significantly minimize hair breakage.

After setting and styling your colored natural hair, it will be necessary to seal and add sheen to your hair as it will absorb oils and  moisturizing products quickly since it is more porous. to maintain the best oil & moisture balance use heavier oils and butters lightly but on a daily basis. 

Finally, to keep hair thick and full, regularly trimming the ends is a must. because colored processed hair is more porous the ends will split easier. 

To prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft and causing breakage and thinning, micro or mini-trim the hair monthly. trimming no more than 1/16-1/8th of an inch,. enough to keep split ends at bay but to also retain healthy hair growth.