Saturday, August 3, 2013

I'm Back!

Hello Beautiful!

I can't even begin to tell you what's been going on in my life! I will say that life's been keeping me quite busy these days, so I haven't made an entry in a while. However, I've been adjusting my schedule and I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel! Other than booking tons of photography business (yes, I'm a photographer :-) ) and transitioning from corporate America, I bought a townhouse, and I've been planning an event. It will be an event that celebrates, adores, elevates, appreciates, and promotes loving your God-given tresses. We'll eat, socialize, network, have Q & A, and have a GREAT time! Find out more about it here!

Stay tuned for the next post! xo

Monday, December 12, 2011


Image from

It was Spring Break, 1996 and I was lying in my bed staring at the ceiling with my hands clasped behind my head. It felt great to have a break from the demands of the 11th grade. My mom walked in my room to let me know she was on her way to work. "Make sure you clean the kitchen and the bathroom before you go to your dad's...oh! and since your cycle started, you need to do your monthly self-breast exam," she said as she left the room. "Ok ma. Love you." Ugh! I hated those self-breast exams.

So as I was cleaning the bathroom, I got a glimpse of a decal hanging from the shower fixture. Of course, it was a diagram of a woman's breasts with arrows on them drawn in a circular direction. Her arm was raised above her head, and it listed directions on how to examine your own breasts. Being that my mother worked in a gynecologist's office she had access to these things everyday. I was a year away from being 18 and was not sexually active, so I had not started having pap smears or pelvic exams yet. I had actually learned how to do them initially reading Essence magazine along with advice from my mother. It was now time to shower and get dressed. This particular day, I had butterflies when it was time to do the exam. Reluctantly, I got in the shower and began my self-exam. Left breast: Nothing (whew!), or so I thought. The right side was a different story. On the outer edge near my armpit, I found a lump to match the lump that had just popped up in my throat! I can't begin to describe the roller coaster on which my heart dropped and the panic that came over me. Although I have always been the "glass-is-half-full" type, being uneducated about breast lumps at 17 led me to automatically assumed the worst.

Being that my dad was the most even tempered when it came to things like this, I told him first. That same day, he took me to see a gynecologist. She examined me, looked in my eyes, and gave me a comforting smile.

"You have lumpy breasts young lady, " she said.
"Ummm, okay. So what does that mean?" I asked.
"Give me your hand, feel this (referring to the lump I'd found). You see how this lump is hard and rolls around like a marble?"
"Yes," I said.
"Is it tender?"
"Yes," I answered.
"All of these variables are ruling out cancer. Usually, cancer isn't tender to the touch and it doesn't roll around like marbles. It's usually attached to the surrounding tissue and doesn't move. I'm almost positive you just have fibrocystic breasts, but to be sure I'd like to schedule a breast biopsy for you...By the way, you have a total of four. Two in each breast."
(Staring) "FOUR!? What causes them?" I asked.
"Other than hormonal changes, no one really knows for sure. All I can tell you is make sure you dramatically decrease or eliminate caffeine from your diet, and be sure you're receiving the best nutrition possible."

At 17? Yeah right! A few weeks later I had a biopsy. Unfortunately it was done surgically instead of through a needle. The surgery left an inch and a half scar on the outer edge of my right breast and inch and a half scar on the edge of the bottom of the areola on the left (can't even see that one). Ironically, the big lump I found on the right side had dissolved by the time I had my surgery, but the others had not. Soon after, the test results were in. Fibrocystic Ademona  (Fibroadenoma) was the diagnosis. Studies show that Fibrocystic Ademona is not cancerous, but high quantities or frequencies can increase the risk of breast cancer. That was the start of it. I was advised to have annual mammograms at an early age to keep an eye on them, as they can grow back.

Fast forward 15 years later to November 30, 2011. In a recent mammogram and ultra sound, Fibrocystic Adenoma nodules showed their ugly faces again in the right breast. Another biopsy will tell for sure...through needle this time. No more going under the knife. I found out that it could've been done via needle the first time too!!!! Humph! A friend of mine, who's a physician, once stated that everyone's body [naturally] reacts differently to stressful situations, harmful environments, etc. Some people gain weight, some break out (with whatever), some become easily suseptible to colds/flu, some people GROW things inside their bodies--be it cancer, tumors, endometriosis, etc.! WOW! This time around I am much better equipped to eradicate the situation. Knowing that I can control the environment in my body, I've become more serious about incorporating more wholistic nutrition, consistent physical activity, daily meditation, and other alternative treatments/preventative care. I'm on a raging path to being rid of them forever!!!! A healthy body lights fire to the immune system, and makes it nearly impossible for ANY illness to adhere to it, even if you're exposed.               

All of this has inspired me to research the origin of cysts, fibroids, and fibrocysts (and the like) in women---especially black women---and how we can use alternative treatments and preventative measures to keep them at bay. Ta ta for now.

Much Love, Joy, Peace & Excellent Health to you! <3

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CurlTalk Q & A: Becoming More Involved

Q: Hi Ebony.

This might be somewhat of a personal question, but I thought I'd take a chance and ask. The worst you could tell me is it's none of my business. Why aren't you more involved in the natural hair community? I mean, you obviously have been successful in your journey. I've seen some of the feedback you've received after being featured or interviewed on different natural hair sites. Most people were pleasant, but some were very hostile and I hope the hostility you received from some of the readers didn't put you off. Others could really benefit from your experience, dos and don'ts, styles and what have you.  I've been an admirer of yours ever since you started posting on Fotki a few years ago. I noticed that you only have only about two or three videos on YouTube. Do you plan to make more? I know I'm all over the place. I don't mean any harm, just would like to see more from you.

Olivia B.

Ebony C.

A: Hi Olivia,

First, thank you for supporting me and being in my corner.  I am asked that question quite often, but never in depth. As far as the hostility goes, that doesn't move me. I realize people are going to be who they are. However, I've made the mistake of posing a certain topic on a natural hair forum before, thinking I was kicking my feet up at home "sharing" in the midst of family, but quickly realized that not everyone will embrace you as such. My mother always told me that people will always find a reason to have a problem with you or crucify you..."They did it to Jesus, and HE was actually perfect," is what she'd say. Although the division between us turns my stomach, it's inevitable. There's always going to be some type of negativity in forums unless the moderators/administrators "don't play that."  I'm a very laid back person and negativity and foolishness are natural repellents for me. I guess you could say I'm allergic. LOL! Rest assured that no one is responsible for my lack of involvement...All jokes aside, I do become involved here and there, especially when someone asks me for advice or guidance. As for YouTube, I can be a bit shy on camera...unless it's a still photo. It also takes a lot for me to make a video because I do absolutely nothing to my hair other than twists, twist outs, and flat ironing. I'm trying hard to find other  styles that appeal to me, but haven't been successful yet. I'm still working on it. Thank you for being so patient with me thus far. I'd love it if you'd continue to be. I hope I've answered your question. Much love, joy, peace, and happiness. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Winterizing Your Hair & Skin

Twist out in the winter

So, this is one of the times of the year that people get sick the most---change in weather. Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and hacking. #Apple cider vinegar, lots of water, and lemons!!!!

This is also the time of year when hair and skin care are a major concern. Here are the things that are the most important to me for my hair and skin during this time: WATER, BUTTERS, and OILS!

Staying hydrated from the inside is uber important. Since our bodies are made of mostly water, it's vital that we drink enough of it so our cells, organs, tissues, etc. function properly. We lose water just by breathing, so imagine how much more you lose when you perspire, and go to the bathroom, etc. Certain ailments and sicknesses, like headaches and joint pain can come from not drinking enough water as well, so it can definitely have an adverse effect on your skin and hair.  When you get a chance read, Water for Health, for Healing, for Life: You're not Sick, You're Thirsty by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. 

Remember, you can get water from food sources as well. Foods including, but not limited to, watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and cabbage have high contents of water. Your body, skin, and hair NEED that. 

As with most people, my hair and skin care practices are different this time of year. For my skin, I use butters and oils while I'm still in the shower or just after---before drying off. Most of the time skin tends to lock in moisture if oils and butters are applied while the skin is still damp. If I'm showering at night, I apply something lighter, like olive oil. If I choose to shower in the morning, before facing the weather, I'll use something heavier like shea butter or coconut oil. My skin is baby's bottom soft ALL day!!!!

I shampoo my hair less frequently and my conditioner is a little heavier and is used more often. Conditioners for me don't necessarily always come from a hair care line. Right now, to pre-condition (pre-poo), I mix about 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt with 2 tbsps of virgin coconut oil and 1 tbsp of honey. I cover it with a processing/plastic cap and leave it on for about 30-45 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then I follow up with shampoo and conditioner. My hair is extremely soft and conditioned from the extra protein in the greek yogurt, the high content of fat in the coconut oil, and the humectant (attracts moisture) properties of the honey. Sometimes I even use it as a regular conditioner, but I wouldn't recommend using it like that for fine hair. When styling, I apply a mixture of castor oil and my CURRENT favorite styling products to do my two strand twists (which remain in for about two weeks at a time). At the moment, my favorite stylers are Cantu Shea Butter, and Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. Both are applied to sopping wet hair to control the product and keep my hair from having the extra build-up. My Terrific Trio: Giovanni's Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo, Deeper Moisture Conditioner and their Vitapro Fusion Protective Moisture Leave-in Hair Treatment...Ah! I Love this stuff!

A combination of all of the aforementioned is what keeps my hair and skin thriving during the cooler seasons. 

What about you?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

POOKA PURE & SIMPLE Product Review

 So, I received my shipment from the Pookalitas of Pooka Pure & Simple the other day. For those of you who don't know, Pooka is a handmade bath and body company that was created by four African American women. Read their story here. To my surprise, I was welcomed into the box by the most beautiful aroma! Pleasant aromas, bring a sense of harmony and serenity. Who does that?!?! The Pookalitas, that's who! What a GREAT first impression! From that moment, I knew that the products that were covered by the crinkled confetti and potpourri-ish aroma would be great. <3

Included in their hair care line, so far, are the Shea & Olive Hair Butter and the Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment. I found the hair butter to be lighter than expected--which is a good thing for me---with a very interesting aroma. Although the star essential oils are Rosemary (to stimulate hair growth) and Lavender (to soothe the scalp), I picked up a hint of citrus. At first, I used the Shea & Olive hair butter to "de-crunch" my hair after the style dried hard as a result of using too much [styling] product. My hair quickly became soft,  well-conditioned, non-greasy, light-weight, polished looking hair. Now I use it to finish any style, not just to de-crunch. Sometimes I massage my scalp with it and it is very rejuvenating...Oh! Guess what?!?!?! It's great for your skin too!!!! Shea butter and olive oil are two of the most nourishing resources The Creator has given us. Applying it after my shower while my skin is still damp helps my skin to retain moisture and feel smooth all day.

The Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment was created to nourish your hair and scalp with a special blend of  lavender, peppermint, and lemon essential oils. If you look closely, you'll find lavender buds floating at the top. It can be used as an everyday hair oil, hot oil treatment, or even *pre-conditioner (pre-poo). The first time I tried it, I used it as a pre-conditioner before shampooing my hair. In the end I'd achieved the softest, most defined curls I've had in a while. It came very close to the results I get when using coconut oil as a pre-conditioner. Hmmmmmm, next I'll try adding it to my conditioner and/or styling cream for extra conditioning.

The retail price for each of them separately is $14, but you can purchase the combo for $25. The beautiful ladies of Pooka Pure & Simple use quality ingredients--which produce quality products. Their products are packaged beautifully, smell delicious, and are multi-purpose (which in my book screams economical). I love it! Go Pooka!

*My pre-conditioning consists of applying a liberal amount of oil to dry hair prior to shampooing. I let it penetrate overnight or at least two hours if I'm unable to do it that way. I cover my hair with a plastic cap and cover the cap with a turban.

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