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Vintage Dress

What better way to embrace this vintage dress than by wearing it while frolicking in the snow? I guarantee that I was the brightest, most obnoxious thing in the snow this day; but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Some of you may remember this dress from my November thrift haul video. I am always looking for an excuse to wear this thing. So far, I've only been able to wear it in the snow, because it is too warm to wear anywhere else.

(Photos by: Lucky's Camera)

Outfit Details:
* Dress - Vintage
* Boots - Old Navy
| * = Thrifted |

Striped Sweater

I own very few yellow clothing items. I think I own a total of three yellow shirts, with this striped sweater being one of them. Yellow usually is not for me, but I thought this shirt was so cool, especially due to its unique color scheme. 

With everyone leaning towards minimalism lately (including myself), I think cool colors are being neglected.  In the midst of neglect, Photographer Marcus inspired me to give color a chance because he is on some kind of crayola color kick. We got together and shot several crayola approved outfits. More photos coming soon.

(Photos by: @marcusthedoctor_)

Outfit Details:

  * Sweater - Unknown
  * Skirt - Mossimo
| * = Thrifted |

$20 Thrift Challenge - Valentine's Day

I have been wanting to complete the $20 thrift challenge for the longest time, however every time I tried to do it, I could not seem to put an outfit together. With Valentine's Day coming up, and my desire to find a cute outfit, I decided to attempt the challenge one more time.

I found these four pieces for a total of $16. I thought these pieces would be perfect for a day and night Valentine's Day look. I paid $2 for the pink crop top, $5 for the blue denim skirt, $4 for the black tank top, and $5 for the black lace skirt.

Look 1:

I paired the pink crop top and denim skirt with some thrifted pieces I already had in my wardrobe. I went for a very casual, daytime friendly look here. This would be perfect for a casual lunch date or even a Galentine's Day get together.

Chokers are definitely trending right now. I bought this choker from Charolette Russe for $2.

I thought this quirky belt tied this look and colors together. I thrifted this belt a while ago for $1.

I am notorious for wearing ugly flats, so I was excited when I finally found this cute pair of flats at Goodwill for $10.

Look 2:

I am loving this outfit, even though it's not your traditional Valentine's Day look. For this nighttime look, I opted for an orange blazer, simply because I don't own a red, pink, or white blazer. This look is perfect for a Valentine's dinner. I think this pop of color is so bold, for an otherwise, simple outfit.

I thrifted this blazer a few months ago, but I can't remember the price of it for the life of me.

I am not one to wear heels, but they work so well with this outfit. I thrifted these heels for $7.50. Plus, I am a sucker for anything pointed toe.

The lace details on this skirt had me almost drooling

With or without the blazer, this look is definitely Valentine's Day appropriate

Outfit 1 Details:
** Necklace -  Charlotte Russe
  * Top - Forever 21
  * Skirt - Unknown
  * Flats- Forever 21
  * Belt - Unknown

Outfit 2 Details:
** Necklace -  Charlotte Russe
  * Top - Rosette by Be Cool
  * Skirt - Nordstrom 
  * Heels - Republic LA
  * Clutch - Unknown

| * = Thrifted |
| ** = Sale |

Watch the video below:

Which outfit do you prefer?

January Thrift Haul

January Thrift Haul

What does $12.50 at the Savers Clearance Center get you? Apparently it gets you 6 dresses, 4 skirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 sweaters, 2 shirts, 1 romper, and 1 baby onesie. I love Clearance Centers, because they charge by the pound, rather than by the item, meaning you get the biggest savings here. I also like the concept of Clearance Centers because they help reduce waste, by giving clothes that didn't sell in store, one more chance at being purchased.

Watch the video below to see what I purchased:

If you haven't seen my Goodwill Clearance Center video, make sure you check that out too. (:

What was your favorite item in this haul?

The Curl Files - Feat. Brittany

Everyone meet Brittany, the gorgeous entrepreneur and naturalista. She is the founder of the event planning company Events by Kirk. Much like her business, Brittany went all in at the start of her journey. She threw away all of her hair products and heat tools to fully embrace her new way of life. Over the years, her natural hair journey has impacted both her life and her business.

                                Left: 2008 (last relaxer) | Right: 2008(wash and go with relaxed hair)

Please introduce yourself
Hello, my name is Brittany Kirkland I am an event professional and owner of Events by Kirk, an event planning company. I have been enjoying my natural journey and my consistency and dedication to my hair has created great habits that have carried over into my business and other aspects of my life.

Shameless plugs:
Instagram: eventsbykirk
Facebook: eventsbykirk

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 2 years and 5 months (since Aug 2014)

What made you decide to go natural?
My first step in giving up the relaxer was during college about 7 years ago; I was only going to my hair stylist once a year sometimes I would stretch it to 18 months between relaxers. She told me If I can go a year without a relaxer then I don’t need one. I unintentionally transitioned then but straightened my hair constantly and was horrible about paying attention to the health of my hair so I didn’t notice any challenges or difference besides my hair became thicker and harder to straighten.

In September of 2014 I was going on a girls trip to the Dominican Republic and I am definitely a swimmer and love athletic vacations. At the time I wore my hair straight 100% of the time and I knew I wasn’t going to spend 3 hrs straightening every day. My only dilemma was, I had no clue what my hair looked like naturally or how to style it and manage it. So I figured I would take the month to figure it out; I would just be natural for the one month discover a style and a quick process to use on vacation and then it would be back to straight when I got back. Things changed within that month of educating myself through articles and YouTube, I discovered my hair was severely heat damaged. The hair I thought was long and thick and healthy was damaged and broken off. It was then I made the decision to remain natural and threw away all of my hair products and heat tools.

  Left: 2012 (no relaxer) | Right:2014 (no relaxer)

Did you do the big chop or did you transition?
I unknowingly transitioned from a relaxer years ago but once I went natural and realized how damaged my hair was I chopped the heat damage off.

What was the hardest part of going natural in the beginning?
My goal for my hair was to be healthy and have a natural style that I didn’t have to wet, wash and manipulate often. The hardest part was finding a process and hairstyle that worked for me. I was trying a different style just about everyday and it was a fail every time for 6 months.

Did you care what others would think about your hair? Do you still care?
I did, at the time, I worked at the Venetian | Palazzo at the time in the meeting space. It was a conservative environment and I worked I was the onsite contact for the conferences that came in. No matter how my hair looked (sometimes it looked crazy) I carried myself with confidence as if I intentionally wanted my hair to stick up all over my head.

Now it doesn’t matter to me what other people think, my hair is healthy and that’s all that matters. People aren’t criticized for eating healthy, why should people accept criticism for taking care of their hair and not submitting to heat or chemical damage. It's the hair that I was born with, and I love it.

Left: Aug 2014 (before big chop) | Right: Dec 2014 (after big chop)
How did others react to your hair in the beginning? How do they react now?
Friends and family said they loved it, but I didn’t necessarily love it myself so I couldn’t tell if they were patronizing me or if they were serious. Now people I don’t know come up to me and compliment me and ask to touch and ask what I use. Being an entrepreneur has given me the strength to stay in my own lane and stick to my decisions which has been helpful in my transition process. Whether praise or criticism it doesn’t affect my opinion of what I’m doing.

Have you faced any struggles from being natural in school or in the workplace?
No, fortunately I work for myself full time now. If anything my hair aligns with who I am and my personal brand. Talking about the journey and even just wearing my hair curly gives people a little insight to who I am outside of my company.

What is your current hair regimen?
My current style is coiling! It takes me about 3 hours to coil, 1 day to dry and then an hour to take down, but it lasts 3 weeks, so I love it. I detangle, cowash, and deep condition every wash.

Left: Feb 2015 (first coil out) | Right: April 2015                   

What products do you love?
Products I use in order on wash day:
  • Coconut Oil - pre wash and detangle
  • Knot Today - pre wash and detangle
  • Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo - great for my itchy scalp!
  • Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration - put in hair and sit under the dryer for 30 min after wash
  • Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
  • Extra virgin cold pressed organic olive oil
  • Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Gel Souffle
  • JBCO - scalp and ends
  • Shea Moisture African Black Soap Dandruff and Dry Scalp Elixer
  • Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Hold and Shine Moisture Mist - for daily refresh
Phew…. Thats alot!

What is your favorite hairstyle?
Coiled and just wearing my hair down and as picked out as possible!

What is your hair motto?
Health is all that matters!!

      Left: April 2016 (go to hairstyle) | Right: Nov 2016 (roller set, no heat)

What's the best part about being natural? What is the hardest part?
Seeing the progress of my hair over time has shown me that with consistency and dedication that you can make anything happen. I had no clue what the end result would look like but I stuck to my routine and my hair is the longest and healthiest it’s ever been.

What tips or advice would you give others that are starting their journey or thinking about starting?
Stick with it, don’t give up. It will be long and trying, you will doubt yourself but the end result is worth it!

What would you tell your younger self about your natural hair?
Don’t spend so much time trying to make it into something it isn’t. Focus on keeping your hair healthy and educate yourself on how to take care of it. Professional hair is not only straight hair, any type of hair can be professional.

What part of Brittany's hair journey inspired you the most?

5 Natural Hair Tips

natural hair tips for transitioning

  1. Ditch the towel
Contrary to popular belief, towels should not be used for drying hair. Towels are notorious for causing frizz and breakage. Towels can also cause damage to the hair cuticle. Replace your towel with a cotton t-shirt to achieve damage-free, frizz-free hair. Cotton t-shirts are a kinder option for your hair, and surprisingly just as absorbent as a towel.

2. Silk/Satin Pillowcases are BAE
Okay, I am not fond of the word BAE,  but I couldn't resist using it  to emphasize how essential silk and satin pillowcases are. Cotton pillow cases rob the hair of its moisture and can cause breakage from its rough texture. Unlike cotton, silk and satin pillowcases help the hair retain moisture. Additionally, sleeping on silk or satin helps reduce hair breakage and split ends.

*Same thing applies for silk or satin hair scarves and bonnets.

3. Adopt the LOC or LCO method
LOC stands for liquid, oil, cream. LCO stands for liquid, cream, oil. For both methods, liquid means water or a water-based leave in conditioner. This is needed to hydrate and moisturize the hair. Cream means a cream based product, such as a curl milk or curl cream. This can act as a styling product, while also providing and locking in moisture. Oil means any natural oil, such as jojoba, coconut, or grapeseed oil. Oil is used to seal the hair shaft and retain all of the just applied moisture. Different oils can be categorized as moisturizing oils, sealing oils, or penetrating/sealing oils. Click here to learn about the different oils.

*Depending on your hair type, one method might work better than the other. I personally prefer the LCO method.

4. Make a date with your deep conditioner
I'm really bad at this tip, but deep conditioning weekly is an important step for any hair routine. Deep conditioning is so beneficial. It provides our hair with essential nutrients, helps with length retention, adds extra moisture, prevents frizz, and strengthens. Try to deep condition regularly to ensure your hair is receiving the nourishment it needs.

5. Avoid heat
To really see the results you're looking for, try to remove heat from your routine. That means no flat irons and no blow dryers. I know this is hard at first, but your hair thrives when you don't manipulate it with heat. Give your hair a break from the hot tools, and I promise you'll see results. Try setting mini goals for yourself, like 1 month without heat, then 3-months without heat, then 6-months. Keep seeing these goals until you feel comfortable with rarely using heat on your hair.

*Remember heat is okay on occasions. It becomes a problem when it begins to cause heat damage from too much usage.

*If you do decide to use heat, always keep the flat iron and blow dryer on the lowest settings. This may make the process longer, but it will cause less damage.  Plus, your hair will thank you!

What are some other tips for transitioning to natural hair?