It’s the season to start your locking your natural hair. Are you ready to take the plunge?

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?      

When I first thought of wearing locks, I knew I would not be attractive. I don’t know why I thought I would not look ‘right’ in locks.  Looking back, my thoughts were absurd.  How could I not look ‘right’ with own hair?  Today, I realize my hair perceptions were caught up in the highly televised mainstream image of beauty.  However during the rise of Natural Hair, what’s holding you back?  Are you concerned about what your mother, cousin, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or husband will say?   Are you afraid of the so-called “ugly stage”? In the end, what will anyone really do to you?  Are you afraid of another person’s perception of you?  Does it really matter?  What’s the worst that can happen?   Do you think you won’t get a job?

Some people say hair is hair.  I think they are wrong.   Locks are more than a hairstyle.  Locks are a lifestyle.  Locks represent a new mind and lifestyle freedom.  Do you want to work out more? But you can’t….because of your hair?  Do your run for shelter in the rain?  Do you let your hair stop you from doing what you enjoy the most? Do you say, “I don’t want to sweat out my hair?”  If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then your hair limits you.

Lifestyle tee

SALON TALK

My natural hair salon is a place where stories are told, where visions materialize and where values pervade decisions.  My salon is a place folks go when they want to feel better and look better.  It’s also a place for planning community change.

Earth day 2013 Group small Photo

These days, you see lock wearers who are successful superstars, entrepreneurs and gainfully employed. Yes, lock wearers have illustrious hair and rock elaborate hair styles.  Yes, they look great.  However, I want to share how wearing locks has impacted so many people.

I want to share some wisdom I learned along my natural hair journey.

Lock wearers typically don’t subscribe to the mainstream beauty images.  They tend to be an eclectic group of folks who think outside-the-box.  In the salon, we have conversations from branding careers identities to childrearing and women leading in workplace.  My clients are PhD candidates, creative graphic designers, loving homemakers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, fiercely independent thinking grammar school children and undergraduate college students.  These hard working folks put in long work hours, nurture their children, contribute to their communities, study hard and adore their families.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying all lock wearers are perfect.  There are good and bad seeds everywhere.  However, I am proudly stating that lock wearers inspire my world everyday!  Truly, they are beautiful and successful with their own hair.

Did you know, lock wearers tend to make the following comments:

  •              My locks make me feel FREE!  I have Freedom!
  • ·            I want to be a good role model for my children.
  • ·            I don’t want chemicals in my hair.
  • ·            I want to grow my hair.
  • ·            I want my locks to look good.
  • ·            I want healthy hair.
  • ·            I need a lifestyle change.
  • ·            I am too busy. I lead an active lifestyle.  My hair must fit my life.
  • ·            I thought I would not have versatile hair.  I was dead wrong!
  • ·            I don’t know what took me so long to get my locks? Locks are the best.

Don’t’ let negative thoughts limit you from locking your hair.

Invest in yourself and start your locks today!

Call me for a lock consultation today or visit my website at www.octaviasnaturalhair.com

Please read, like and share my blog. Earth Day 4.22.12 (87 of 151)

3 helpful maintenance tips to combat the winter Natural Hair blues!

It’s cold in Chicago! One day, it’s bitter cold. The next day, it’s snow.   On Facebook, my friend wrote:

 I don’t wanna to see another FLAKE; and I mean no flakes; corn flake, frosted flake and snow flake!!  LOL

Ah yes, the harsh winter weather surely influences attitude, work life and outdoor activity.   But also, the extreme weather impacts hair!

These days, clients are complaining about dry, lackluster hair.  Many are experiencing dry scalp, thinning hair, dull hair and dandruff.     If you fall into these categories, then this message is for you.

 

Today, I am motivated to share my 3 best natural remedy tips for combating winter hair:

 

1)      Try an organic herbaceous, Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.   Apple Cider Vinegar is beneficial for thinning hair, helps with dandruff, stimulates scalp, conditions and aids in shine. {My clients love my custom Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. My blend takes away the pungent vinegar smell.}

Octavia's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

 

2)      STEAM, STEAM and STEAM!  Please give your hair steam treatments.   The steam allows conditioners to deeply penetrate the hair; which yields some very fantastic results.  If you don’t have a steamer at home, then consider visiting a stylist who offers steam treatments.  (Helpful hint: Step 1: shampoo, Step 2: apply the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse and Step 3: give yourself a steam treatment.)

 

3)      Don’t skip the Hot Oil Treatment!   My personal hair care maintenance includes monthly hot oil treatments.  {I personally hand-craft, organic olive oil and other essential oils to create my in-house specialty, Octavia’s Boss Blend.  It’s the perfect seal to lock in moisture after the intense vinegar and steam treatments.

Octavia's Boss Blend

 

Lastly, I must communicate that the natural remedy hair approach takes time!  To ensure hair healthy, the above listed treatments must be done routinely.   Yes, you will notice a difference after the first treatment.  However, you will continue to notice improvements with time.  To this end, you must be patient.

Now, you know why my hair shines!

Octavia

I hope these tips aid you along your natural hair journey. If you have any additional questions, always feel free to inbox me on Facebook:   Octavia Cuts Locks Hooks or Twitter @lockartisan.

If you enjoyed my blog, please like, share with your personal network and continue to check in with me regularly.

Transform your natural hair color, organically! Try Henna today! (VIDEO)

Watch Natural Hair colored with Henna

As a natural hair stylist, I feel compelled to offer good, caring customer service.  During my client consultations, I am asked about coloring hair.  The common hair color questions are  1) when to color your hair? 2) how to color your hair? and 3)  what are the best products for coloring your hair?   In this way, we begin hair color consultations.  First, I analyze the client’s hair; IE, Is the hair dry?  Is the hair strong?

During these careful hair evaluations, I discover that some clients are not good candidates for chemical hair dyes.   Also, I meet clients who have no desire to alter their natural hair with chemicals.   Because of these conversations, I want to empower natural hair enthusiasts to consider henna.

What is Henna? Henna is a plant.  Henna Dye is made by drying, milling, and sifting the leaves. The dry powder is mixed with lemon juice, strong tea, or other mildly acidic liquids to make a preparation with toothpaste-like consistency.  When applied to hair and skin, henna will create a color stain.

As a prospect henna user, you should know the following:

  • Henna color highlights your existing hair color, casts color shadows and is stimulated by sunlight; the color effects last up to 30 days
  • Henna is a natural conditioner.  It helps with hair strengthening and aids in shine
  • Organic henna color is red.  There are henna product lines that offer colors other than red, but these products will contain some additional chemicals to achieve a desired color.

What to expect from Henna?

I’ve artfully applied henna to many clients.  As a result, I’ve seen the hair color variations produced by henna.  {Check out the VIDEO}  Ultimately, the most noteworthy results I’ve witnessed from my henna clients are stronger, shiner and overall healthier hairs!     I hope you are empowered to try henna today.  Call me for a consultation. As always, please like and share the blog!.  My very best, Octavia

How often should you comb your natural hair? (VIDEO)

July 2013 Rachel O event

July 2013 Rachel O event

 

I was honored to celebrate Natural Hair at the July 27th Rachel O event.  Local natural stylists were on the scene and sharing tips with natural hair enthusiasts.   This Rachel O event took an exciting twist.  Natural hair salons prepped models and took the main stage to display their styling talents.  Oh yes, I was in good company.

HAIR SHOW (VDEIO)

 

Since my natural hair expertise includes locks, twists and barber cuts, the Octavia’s Natural Hair Care Experience models sported my niché craftsmanship.  My favorite style was the twisted out barber cut look.

 

A  hot and sexy twist, braid and cut style (Front)

A hot and sexy twist, braid and cut style (Front)

 

A fun and sexy twist, braid and cut. (Back view)

A fun and sexy twist, braid and cut. (Back view)

 

 

In addition, I took the opportunity to promote my salon’s favorite mantra:

Good Food + Good Health = Beauty.   This mantra applies to natural hair care because one of the smartest and easiest ways to achieve great hair is to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and drink plenty of water.

After the hair show, I moved through the crowds in search of opportunities to chat with many prospect clients.

The most common question.. …How often should you comb your natural hair?

As a natural stylist whose genesis begins with locking hair, my latest observation is that more natural hair stylists  and enthusiasts are incorporating locked hair ideologies into their natural hair care regimens.

Today, many individuals are opting to eliminate daily hair combing.  WOW!  Natural Hair enthusiasts are catching on; locked hair care and natural hair maintenance are similar.

I feel compelled to highlight a basic locked hair principle.  Locked hair achieves amazing lengths because you do not comb your hair.   The lack of combing allows hair strands to consistently build onto each another.  To this end, you can cultivate beautiful, bountiful hair by eliminating daily hair combing.

In summary, daily hair combing is not necessary.  However if you should decide to eliminate daily combing, then I recommend that you select a natural hairstyle that

1)      doesn’t cause extreme tangling. (My salon offers  a [2 for 1] $65 natural hair style special. Call me at 708.574.1462 for more information.)

2)      will allow you to properly hydrate your hair.

3)      will encourage you to bring forth your creativity when styling your hair.

Of course, always feel free to reach me on Facebook at Octavia cuts locks hooks or dial 708.574.1462 to schedule an appointment.

Be well,

Octavia

 

Learn 1 important tip for creating unique natural hai oil blends. (VIDEO)

Natural Hair Oils (VIDEO)

It was another hot, summer day in July.  The Octavia’s Natural Hair Care team members took a break from natural hair salon work to attend and present at the DuSable Museum ‘s 39th annual arts and crafts festival. ( www.dusablemuseum.org )

This year’s DuSable Museum festival theme was DU SOMETHING GREEN.   The event showcased organic artists and craftsmen.  The festival’s atmosphere grabbed you from the parking lot and drew in visitors like a piped piper with the head nodding, hip shaking live band music blasting through the main stage speakers.   The festival friendly aromas of Nag Champa incense, funnel cakes and jerk chicken filled the air.

Our team’s goal for the day:

  • Partner with the community organization, Blacks In Green (BIG).  For more information, please visit the website at www.blacksingreen.org
  • Support Local Vendors
  • Promote natural hair care services

Thanks to BIG‘s founder, Naomi Davis, I had the rare opportunity to share tent space with master clay and woodmaking artists.  Even though it was hot like fire, I remained steadfast in my mission to promote natural hair.  Despite the heat, I gave a brief presentation on how to infuse organic oils with herbs; ie: Octavia’s Boss Blend. (check out the video)

Complementing the day was a joyous opportunity to see my friend, Keith Pervius.  He is an extraordinary entreprenuer, artist who co-owns my favorite local graphic design company, Art on the Loose.

Even better, I supported a local hand-made jewelry vendor, Own your Own Image Boutique, mslista94@sbcglobal.net. and scored me some cultural bling.

Scoring great neck art

Scoring great neck art

Great jewerly by the Own your Owen Image Boutique

Great jewerly by the Own your Owen Image Boutique

 

 

If you are looking for more tips on natural hair oil blends and hair services, please call me for an appointment or a class at 708.574.1462

Navigating the corporate world while rocking natural hair

(Multiple values)

I remember the anxiety I felt as I prepared for my first, post college job interview.  I read every article I could find on landing that great job.  I made my list and checked it twice; I had a great resumé, a blue suit, the college degree, and the sensible shoes.

I was ready to go.

However, I had just one slight concern.   My hair was freshly braided into the funkiest cornroll hairstyle.

Although I was prepared for the interview, I pondered about whether I was making the best presentation.  Did I look too afro-centric?  Did I look like an African American militant?

I had to look within.    I asked myself what’s more important?  Do I value my natural hair over my ability to pay my bills?   I knew the answer to that question in an instant.  My answer…. an emphatic ….No!

In that moment, my confidence to wear my natural hair drained out me like air out of a balloon.

To get some perspective, I spoke to some Baby Boomers who had that “good job”.   Their advice, “Baby you will never get that good job with your hair like that!”  Those words tore through my soul.   I felt horrible for being ashamed of my natural hair.  I felt defeated for not living up to what the baby boomers referred to as….status quo.

To remedy my “interview hairstyle” challenge, I drove to the store and bought a wig.   In the end, I got the job.   But, I never got over my yearning desire to wear my hair naturally.   So, I wore the wig to work for just over a month.  Then one day, I walked through the door with a fresh cornroll style.   To my surprise, I received so many great compliments.  In retrospect, I realize I regained my confidence to wear my natural hair.  In fact, my confidence soared to a new level.

Today, I am a Museum executive with 12 years fundraising and management experience.  I have advanced skills in community relationship building, Museum audience development, art exhibition management, events management and strategic planning.  Also, I am a seasoned natural hair stylist, barber and master locktician.

 

During my career, I’ve been on several job interviews. I’ve landed some great jobs.  Also, I’ve interviewed potential employees too.  But, I promise you one thing……. I never, ever wore a wig to a job interview, to work or a black-tie event!     

Octavia and WVON Matt Mcgill

5 transformational tips

As a natural hair stylist and business professional, I feel my role is to advocate and support others along their natural hair journey.  To this end, my 5 transformational tips are as follows:

  • Natural hair is not a trend.  It’s a lifestyle.   The decision to go natural is about more than just changing hair care products.   As a stylist, I’ve met many people who have shared with me their personal hair transformations; the change that inspired their decision to go natural.
  • The corporate world is changing.  Diversity and inclusion is a now a corporate priority.
  • Your work life is an extension of you.   Look for a job that fits you.
  • When preparing for an interview, make sure your resumé is a well-crafted document,  your suit and shoes looks great.  Also, seek out a natural hair stylist.  Consider cut, color and styling options.
  • During the interview, convey a great work ethic, highlight you work skills, smile and relax; show confidence and personality.

After all, you must consider that you work life is an extension of who you are.  If a company doesn’t hire you because of your hair, then that company is not the place for you.  (Can you imagine going to work everyday and not feeling accepted?   Can you imagine hiding who you are on a daily basis?)

In the end, you are not your hair.  You are a winner.   Let the best in you shine!    Most important, hold on to your confidence and faith; know that you will get the right job and promotion.

Today, I am sharing one of my favorite quotes:

                Be yourself because everybody else is taken!

~Oscar Wilde

Consider these 5 tips when selecting your Natural Hair Stylist.

Lifestyle tee

You did it!  You are natural.  Going natural is a big change.  As you travel along your hair journey, you will discover one of your biggest challenges is finding a natural stylist who advocates and supports you through your hair transition.

One of the greatest benefits to going natural is the ability to do it yourself, (DIY).   DIY hair is great, but it comes with a new set of challenges.  As a natural stylist, I hear so many issues:

  • My hair is dry. What do I do for moisture?
  • Why is my hair breaking?
  • What are the right products for my hair type?
  • Help! I’ve been flat-ironing my hair.  Now, my hair texture is different and doesn’t bounce back.

So the perplexed naturals instinctively begin to seek out a natural stylist.  But that’s precisely where you get stuck!  Which stylist is best for me?

If you are in this dilemma, I hope my blog will inspire clarity and support you in finding the right stylist. So today, I’d like to share what I learned along my journey in remaining an informed, licensed natural stylist. 

There are many talented, licensed stylists working today.  These professionals are trained to keep your hair healthy usually specialize in their preferred technique.   Pay attention my friends, the underlined sentence is loaded; the key phrase is “their preferred technique.”   What do I mean?  Let me give you an example.   A sew-in expert is good at sew-ins and perm expert is great with perming.  You feel me now?  Moreover, the natural hair industry is booming.  A business savvy stylist will say they service natural hair, but won’t necessary have an affinity for natural hair.  Thus, I recommend you ask your prospect stylist, what are your specialty services?   After all, you are paying for these services; so specialization is important!  In addition, I want to share some observations I’ve made while networking in the natural hair industry.  I’ve noticed that natural stylists are like-minded individuals who tend to have the following characteristics:

  • They have a strong sense of African and African American cultural pride.
  • They have a strong commitment to natural hair.  Ie: They are usually rocking a natural hair style.
  • They are attracted to natural hair products.  But most tend to mix natural and store bought products; a good stylist knows product knowledge is science!   The super natural stylists create their own product lines.
  • They are familiar with, support and attend the natural hair networks and conferences.          
  • And most important, they will NEVER discourage you from wearing your natural hair!

To this end, I hope you find these tips helpful. If you are in my area, call me for a consultation.   

I wish you the best on your natural hair journey. Always know Natural is not a trend.  It’s a lifestyle.  I love this saying so much that I’ve trademarked a cool tee and sell in my salon.   If you like my blog, then please share it. Be well and have a Holiday weekend.  

 

 

 

Natural Hair Inspires Confidence – Yes! Your Natural Hair is beautiful!

image

As a Loctician and Natural Hair stylist, I’ve had the pleasure to meet so many women who want to go Natural.  Or even better, I meet the “already Natural” sisters; these “already Natural” ladies are stuck in the “what do I do now” phase.  Instead of embracing their hair in its natural state, they complain… my hair is too thin, too short or too gray.  Oh and my personal favorite, “combing my hair ain’t nothing nice!”  No matter what, their hair is not good enough.   I’ve grown to realize that we’ve become conditioned to believing that ultimate hair beauty can be achieved with some cash and a quick trip to the beauty supply store.  Also, we are trained to use tools that don’t support and are not made for ethnic hair types.  While practicing as Loctician and Natural stylist, I’ve grown to realize that wearing your Natural Hair inspires one of life’s greatest lessons…..CONFIDENCE!    So to my potential Natural sisters and my “already Natural” sisters , please joining me in claiming….. my natural beauty is good enough!   If you need some advice, please seek out your friendly neighborhood natural stylist.  Often, you will find these stylists are so creative.  Just yesterday, I recommended three different hairstyle options to a client sporting a short afro. Move forward in confidence!  Seek out a professional and always know,  Yes! your Natural hair is beautiful! 

lphoto MC Crawford

Lessons I’ve Learned from Locking hair

2009 Sankofa Hair Show
2009 Sankofa Hair Show2.47.26 PM

 

These days, I see the funkiest natural styles! Hair styling is only limited by your imagination. I remember attending a lock styling class; the instructor said, his styling is inspired by nature! Then he said, have you ever noticed a tree’s shape? Wow; true wisdom. As for me, my styling is inspired by patterns and shapes. (The afro ball shape allows for a great twist out look enhancement. What’s your inspiration?