There are many blogs and vlogs that have helped me along my natural hair journey. Each has a different role to play and meets a particular information or knowledge need. Sharing some of these with you is the purpose of this Blogger/Vlogger Honour Roll, so that you get a short cut to navigating the minefield that is the information overload that the Internet can at times present. Sibongile started the ball rolling the other week with a feature on YouTube’s top Vlogger, Naptural85. Now it’s my turn.
Many people are surprised when I tell them that I am very new to this whole natural hair thing. In my natural hair journey Part 3, I write about how I had short hair like a boy until I was about 10 years old when my Mum relaxed my hair. This means that I was first introduced to my natural hair just over three years ago (20 years later) when I did the BC in December 2009. In that time I had to teach myself everything about how to handle my natural hair because we simply had never spent any meaningful time together. For natural hair novices like me, the number one blog that I refer them to is one about children’s hair care called Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care.
Why is this blog my Number One recommendation to anyone who is a natural hair newbie?
Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care (or CH/VC) is a blog written by a white woman named Rory who adopted a black child. Rory’s daughter’s nickname is Boo. CH/VC is targeted at parents who have adopted transracially (in this case adopted a black child), to help them learn how to manage their child’s hair. Rory taught herself everything about natural African hair and makes no assumptions about her readers either. CH/VC is natural hair for dummies, in that it is a comprehensive database that is written in simple English without jargon. All topics are covered; from the basics to how to do complicated hairstyles. You can read about the site here.
Read about their top hairstyles for 2012 here.
I learned about the benefits and uses of aloe vera from this site. Read their top 8 aloe vera recipes here.
I could never get the hang of the Wash ‘n’ Go until I read this post on shingling.
CH/VC has so much other useful information like this one on summer skin and hair care for kids.
If you have children, this site is great because there are hairstyles that are suitable for school, that can last for a week or more, as well as information for parents on how to get kids to sit through styling, depending on the age. She also talks about healthy food for packed lunches, costumes and crafts for kids and so much more.
Another reason why I love CH/VC is because she also talks about other social issues such as helping her daughter develop a positive identity about herself as a soon to be young black woman, to feel empowered and proud of herself and her hair. CH/VC is where we got the list of natural hair books to buy for children that we gave out as prizes at the ZedHair Natural Hair Show.
All of the following pictures are from Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care’s hairstyle gallery. For me, this is a perfect example of the versatility of natural hair. It need never be boring.
I live in Zambia, where Internet access can oftentimes be erratic. Most bloggers and vloggers don’t explain what is in their videos, you have to watch it in order to understand. Watching YouTube can be very problematic for me, depending on the time of day, where I am accessing the internet from and the mode of connection that I am using. This leads me to another reason why I love this site so much, which is that most of her styles use pictures with detailed step-by-step explanations. CH/VC does produce a few very good videos and you can access her YouTube channel here, but I really appreciate that you don’t have to watch the videos to know how to do the hairstyles or learn from the information that she shares on the site.
Hair is hair, so what is good for children is good for everyone. Whether you have children or not, CH/VC is one of the best sites you could ever visit for all-round healthy hair care and useful information. Plus, if you need hairspiration, many of these styles can easily be adapted to suit adults as well. I learn something new every single time I visit this site.
Lastly, CH/VC’s Facebook page is also fantastic because there is a very active group of parents who regularly ask questions and share pictures. I really like how people are so knowledgeable and take time to patiently and simply explain all things hair.
NB: Some of the people who ask questions would save themselves a lot of time if they just made an effort to go to the website which has everything categorised so fantastically. I can learn a lot from this system and hope to begin implementing it soon.
Updated for typos and minor corrections on Friday 17th May 2013 at 18:45.