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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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naturalista

The Frompadour Files.

Oh, hey. Have you missed me as much as I’ve missed you, dear reader? Have you longingly gazed at your notifications, hoping to see that I’ve reached out to you with another post? No? Well, I love you anyway.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this fro (known as She) on my larger-than-average head. Let me catch you up: for the past several months or so, She’s been giving me life. Why? Because She’s been obedient! We all know how She does her own thing and follows her own rules and decides when she wants to feel moisturized and so on. But for the past several months, She’s been actually responding to my attempts at styling and care-taking. It’s been slightly surreal. But I’ll take it. Anyway, since the dawn of summer, I decided to start fashioning her into vintagey pompadour styles that She’s really responded to. Take a look.

I’ve loved the creative, natural hair updo look forever. Throw in that retro feel that some of the styles evoke and I became an immediate fan and decided to try my hand at them. Even better: the style protects my dear ends, which are tucked away comfortably while I wear these styles. Here’s a quick how-to (or how I do) on them:

  1.  I start with hair that’s been stretched by an old twist-out, or Bantu knot-out, or really any style that I’ve worn for a while. Note that stretched doesn’t necessarily mean straight. Some naturalistas do these styles on straightened hair, but I like to just have my hair stretched to a malleable point.
  2. I then apply moisturizer or whatever styling cream I want to use. Before that, I like to spritz my hair with a tiny bit of water and/or leave-in conditioner, but not so much as to lose the stretch and bring on le shrinkage.
  3. Now I style. Perhaps here, you’re waiting for some rhyme or reason to how I style the hair into the frompadour (fro + pompadour)? Sorry. I don’t have one. I literally stare in the mirror and start moving my hair around to see what I like. Sometimes I want a front swoop thing like you see in the photos. Or I want to create a “flower” with my hair in the back. It’s really up to what I end up doing. As long as I have an abundance of pins and a bristle brush to keep sides and edges smooth (to no avail), I just end up with a nice style that I wear for a week or so. img_0312

That’s all she wrote. I get some of my ideas from Pinterest, of course, where you’ll find plenty of ladies with similar styles. Barring the falling into the Pinterest rabbit hole, that’s a great resource for ideas. YouTube, as well.

So what new things are you doing for the summer summer summertime?

 

 

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“edge control”? 

Who are the scientists or hairologists that create the gel for those of us with edges that have temperamental minds of their own? They need to work harder. Because people like me with edges like me laugh at these gels, these silly things that do absolutely nothing to tame these rebellious follicles that rest on the borders of my hairline. Normally, I wouldn’t care. I’m the kind of naturalista that puffs my hair and doesn’t take the time to smooth things out at the front. Smooth isn’t that important to me. But then I started taking Biotin and vitamins to make my hair stronger and yay, my hair started really growing and getting fuller, but whoa, my hair started really growing and getting fuller and goodness, I looked like I lived in someone’s backyard. And with braids (I’ve had braids since December; done and re-done), if one wants a ponytail or to pull the braids back, the edges cannot shame you. But mine shame me. Every. Single. Day.

So I purchased this “edge control” gel, which a woman at the shop claimed would do wonders for my edges. Nope. Nope. Nope. The hair lays for approximately 5 seconds and then rolls its eyes at me and sticks right back up. Wild and curly and crazy. Unabashedly untamed and unkempt.

But you know what? I’m c’est la vie-ing it, folks. That’s life. Bushy edges and all. I can’t change them. There is no control

But am I the only one? If you have rebellious edges, kindly let me know in the comments. Edge misery (not really though) loves company.

Happy Friyay, bon weekend, and onwards and upwards. 

Bonjour, December.

I welcomed the new month with a high puff, a little red lippie, and a sweater/turtleneck combo because it’s currently freezing in Dallas. Yes, you read that right. 


Welcome to the last month of the year. Wherever you are, may you remain warm and toasty. 

(I’m 4 years natural this month, y’all! So the posts this month will certainly have a hair theme. Onwards…)

Blogvember #5: Any Frolunteers?

Saturday night with le fro. Who’s coming around to twist this thing? Anyone? 

Bon first day of the weekend…

Products from Heaven: Vanilla, Shea, and other Non-Edibles.

Hi. I’m in love with the following three products. Links are also provided, if you’d like to take a look at them and welcome them into your world:

Olay Ultra Moisture Vanilla Indulgence Body Wash

It’s not edible. But I must stress that when I use this body wash, it feels like I’m swimming in a pool of vanilla cupcakes, each one more delicious and dangerous than the next.olay I’ve used Oil of Olay products here and there, but not enough to develop a relationship with them. (Because we’re really in relationships with these products, aren’t we?) Anyway, after randomly choosing this body wash one evening while shopping, it’s a new favorite. The scent is dreamlicious; my skin is soft and lovely after use. Try it. Just don’t eat it.

AVEENO® POSITIVELY NOURISHING®COMFORTING WHIPPED SOUFFLE

Also not edible. And yet the combination of cocoa and Shea butter in this creamy lotion is enough to inspire you (i.e., me) to at least search for an edible version of these dual ingredients. Maybe in an ice cream? aveeno souffleGelato? Souffle? Moving on: I’ve used Aveeno products since time began, and yet I mainly stuck with their daily moisturizing lotion. But this is no mere lotion. It’s so, so creamy. As soon as it touches my skin, I inhale deeply, relax a bit, and apply just enough to prevent sliding off my bed in the dead of night.

Vanilla Whipped Shea Butter

After nearly 4 years as a naturalista, I’ll definitely say that the product junkie-ism that inevitably comes with the natural hair life has largely abated for me. My bathroom no longer looks like an aisle in your local drugstore. I have my staple products. But once in a while, I watch YouTube videos and my eyes get big and I decide to try a few (only a few) of the things I’m seeing. Regarding this particular inedible product from Black Girl Long Hair Marketplace, I saw a neat video on the many uses of Shea butter and was reminded about how versatile it is. I’ve had the raw African Shea Butter in my bathroom for eons, but honestly, the scent wasn’t giving me the I-wish-I-could-eat-you feels. (Because this is how I make decisions on skincare, beauty, and hair: whether or not it smells like my next dessert. We keep it real here at This Square Peg…) Enter the aforementioned video, enter this website, enter the word “vanilla”, enter this yummy productbglh shea butter that I use almost every day in my hair care. Whether I’m two-strand twisting my hair, or smoothing it down for a puff, or just keeping the fro soft, I love it. FYI: If you order it, and you really must, choose to have it packaged in a cool container. I didn’t, which meant that my Shea butter came to me in a melted vanilla soup form. I whipped it myself. Anyway, definitely a keeper.

Any skin/beauty/hair products you’re crushing on lately? Tell me about them, pretty please. I’m always on the hunt for new favorites…

Pinterest Poses.

I pinned myself last night on Pinterest. I’ve pinned myself several times before, but this is the first time I’m blogging about it. Anywho, why does one pin themselves? I’ll tell you why I did it. I was quite in love with my hair last night (this whole weekend, actually) and I wanted to share it. Perhaps another naturalista on a Pinterest search for hairstyle ideas might see my kinks and coils and find some inspiration. After all, that’s why I go on Pinterest. So each one, teach one. Share the wealth. Pay it forward. Insert motivational cliché here. Here’s what I pinned:

hair13

As you can see, my kinky twists are gone and she’s back. She’s back and she’s thicker and a bit longer and she’s temperamental and she’s throwing a few more gray strands at me (see the smoother side of my hair in the photo for evidence) and she’s actually being obedient when I try updos and side hawks like what you see above and she’s in full effect and I’m happy to have her. I plan on letting her breathe through most of the summer before my next protective style. Or not. We’ll see.

For now, there may or may not be more Pinterest posing.

(The link is on my Contact page, but follow me here on Pinterest if you like…)

Happy Monday. Hope your weekend was bon and fantastic.

calling all big heads.

Let’s get right to it, shall we? For most of my days on this planet, I’ve been reminded by my mother about how this thing that sits on my neck nearly cost her her life. If you have a large coconut, I’m sure you’ve heard similar stories from your mom. And lest you think Mom is exaggerating or teasing me unnecessarily, kindly note that for my high school graduation, my cap had to be special ordered from another state because the ones they had at school didn’t fit my head.

Now you understand.

Obviously, I rarely wore hats throughout the years. Moreover, once this lovely fro of mine was nurtured and came into bloom, there was no way I was going to attempt to fit a hat on it. Alas, however, I soon discovered that sometimes the old college try works out: a big head and an afro aren’t obstacles to anything (other than sitting in front of the television). See Exhibit A below.

hatgirl

The caption says it all, no? So now that we’ve obviously mastered hats and fros, the next thing I’d like to try are head wraps. I’ve always been fascinated by the head wrap look, primarily because I grew up with Ghanaian women who could tie a wrap around their heads like nobody’s business. These days, I also love seeing my fellow chocolate ladies rocking them, too, especially other naturalistas. And just like a larger-than-the-average-bear sized head/fro isn’t going to keep me from adorning it with a hat, the next stop is head wraps. Naturally, I sailed on over to Pinterest for some styling ideas, and also to get some, uh, tips on actually tying one. (Mom has shown me more than once. Just like binomials, I don’t get it.) Here are a few beauts I saw.

Don’t you adore the looks? Chic, practical, fun, gorg.

Summertime, and the wrapping is easy…

Tell me: are you a head wrap lady?

Fabu Fashion Monday: Sunday Edition

Hi, y’all. Welcome to Monday. Let’s move on before I complain about Mondays, shall we? Last night, a lifelong friend of mine and all around amazing woman/entrepreneur held her second annual International Natural Hair Awards (www.naturalhairawards.com). My mom and I attended and we had a blast. I knew, a few days into the event, that I wanted to wear a jumpsuit. My, how far we’ve come.

You see, fashion-wise, I had nightmares of wearing jumpsuits, needing to use the washroom, and having to quickly de-clothe in a tiny stall before my business could be done, thereby causing an emergency that would take years of bleach and therapy to heal from. But occasionally, This Square Peg moves on and stops imagining the worse. Years ago, I wore my first jumpsuit and all went well. After that, I even packed one for my trip to Vegas and again, no tiny stall emergencies ensued. So for last night’s gala, the ensemble was ready to go. Since both jumpsuits from the past have gotten a bit large on me, that Saturday, I went to my usual haunt, Ross, to find a new one. One thing about Ross: yes, you may have to search the racks, but you can almost always depend on finding a jumpsuit. And I found two. After trying both on, I went with the one that wouldn’t require me to wear additional clothing underneath to cover up the ladies (the V-neck was celebrity starlet deep, my goodness). It also had pretty designs on the shoulders and across the square neckline. To dress it up, I paired it with a snazzy faux leather jacket and a lovely necklace that my sissy reluctantly lent to me. Done and done. See pics below.

jumpsuit2jumpsuit1

As you can see, I went with all black everything. Regarding makeup:

  • Always Red Cream Lip Stain by Sephora for my usual red lippy
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation for the face
  • An assortment of eye shadows (in the close-up, you’ll see that I’ve been experimenting with cream eye shadow; this one is from e.l.f. cosmetics, the Smudge Post Cream Eyeshadow, but the specific shade escapes me)
  • Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

face4

And there you have it. Good times were had.

How was your weekend?

A Crochet Story.

Did she learn to crochet, those who don’t know me may wonder? No, dear ones: the girl who failed Home Economics in the seventh grade (true story) became the same woman who drove home in tears a few years ago after a sewing class. So when it comes to anything having to do with a needle and thread, I am hopelessly and, dare I say it, happily lost. (Some of us are all right with not being crafty and marveling at the crafty ones from afar. But don’t tell my mother.) Anyway, this crocheting has to do with my hair.

As you’ve read, I try to protect my natural hair during the cold months and give it some time to breathe and hide from my eager hands. You also know that when I’m about to travel internationally, I like the idea of not bogging my suitcase down with my beloved hair products (not a ton, but you get my idea). All that said, prior to heading to Paris and with the blast of angry, wintry air in the atmosphere, I decided to have something done for le fro. The only thing: I didn’t want standard individual braids, as per usual. I also didn’t want kinky twists, Senegalese twists, so on and so forth. I wanted something different, low maintenance, and new. Enter Pinterest and seeing an abundance of fellow naturalistas sporting crochet braids. Quite simply, crochet braids (or crochet weaving) is a process where your natural hair is cornrowed (which, by the way, has been a thriving style in the African-American community long, long, long before any Kardashian started sporting them), after which synthetic hair is crocheted with a latch hook in between the cornrows. I found a stylist through some friends and went to have them done. Prognosis: I am officially, utterly, and completely in love with them. (I’m in love with my stylist, too, and she will never be rid of me.)

First of all, there was no pain. I tend to feel almost light-headed when I get braids done (as much as you beg your braiders to be kind and not punish your tender edges, no one ever listens), so this was quite the departure. Secondly, it was so simple and easy and fast. Again, braiding takes hours to complete. In the past, I’ve entered salons in the morning and stayed until closing time. This took two hours, starting from when le fro was nicely washed and deep conditioned until the end when the process was done. Heavenly or what? Third: the hair is so lovely and natural looking. How I adore when styles look like they sprouted from one’s own scalp. Here I am. (And if you followed my Paris round-up, you’ve already seen how well they did.)

Crochet2Crochet3Crochet1

The above photos were taken days after the braids were installed. What I love, especially in Paris, was how fuller the style seemed to get: big, frizzy, and big. All the things I love. And did I mention the variety of styles you can choose for these crochets? From a giant fro to long, wavy hair, you can rock whatever style you please. Needless to say, I’m addicted and will be holding on to this style until I go on to the next set of crochets. In other words, I plan to have le fro protected and covered up until spring stops pretending and finally descends upon us.

Oh, but what about your impatience with the whole protective style thing, my mother may ask? I don’t know. I kind of love this style so much that I haven’t been longing for my natural hair as acutely as I have in the past. I just imagine that my strands are taking an extended nap until we meet again. Of course, as the weeks pass by, I may be singing a different tune. (Gimme my haiiiiirrrrrrr…) Anyway, until then, quite happy to say bye-bye to traditional braiding styles.

But wouldn’t it be interesting if I actually learned to crochet? Will you be around to wipe my tears?

Onwards, happy Friday, and bon weekend.

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