Big Chop 3


R.I.P. to my hair – it’s gone.  I recorded the cut for you.

Scissors and haircuts have been heavy on the brain. In February I had a trim/shape (see 3.4 Years Later post) and 25 days after that (March 12, 2016) this happened…



And I went even shorter on March 19, 2016.

Current mode? “I’m dancin and emphazing.”

Want to know more? Send questions to

Barber | Tasha | IG:@yournewbarber
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Bantu Knots Equal Taut High Puff


Nine bantu knots

High puffs are like coconut oil, they make everything better.

Does your twist-out look like you rolled down a hill, then fell head first into a river? Throw it in a high puff. It’s the cure-all style.

As my hair grows I alter my methods of mastering the high puff.  To get my kinky curls taut and in formation at medium hair length, I bantu knot them. Twist-outs worked when my hair was shorter. Hair pours down my face at medium-length, so shrinkage is my friend.

I began with freshly cleansed, conditioned and blow-dried hair. This look can be created on an old style too. Need a bantu tutorial? Check out Mini Marley’s ‘Heatless Bantu Knot-Out on Dry Hair’ video.  And iknowlee has you covered with the high puff tutorial. See my completed look below.

Warning! Do not risk loosing your edges. Frequent tension on the edges can cause traction alopecia. Toia B sums up the risk nicely in a post featured on Curly

Products I Used

Wash | Marula Oil Rare Oil Replenishing Shampoo

Condition | Marula Oil Rare Oil Replenishing Conditioner

Moisturize| H20 and DevaCurl Set It Free Moisture

Style| DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler

Seal (hair+scalp)| Tropic Isle Living Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil


Bantu shrinkage is great for taut curls


The look – High Puff w/ taut curls


Products used


3.4 Years Later…

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

-Michael “MJ” Jordan

I am not saying that I’m Jordan, but I’m not denying it either. However, I can confirm that I fail over and over.

My hair and I have an on-off relationship, like my friends who change their Facebook status every time I sneeze.

I went back to natural 3.4 years ago. For the past three years my failing streak began around wintertime. I slack on trims, moisturizing, and bunch of other stuff that stunts growth and hair health. Why? I dedicate less time to my hair.

I fail in winter because I am…

  • wrapping up the year more and taking care of my hair less
  • celebrating holidays (esp. my burfday)
  • frustrated with winter for sucking out all of my hair’s moisture
  • adding new interests/activities to my better my life
  • not big on protective styling
  • afraid of wigs (I briefly braved on this year though)

Scissors have a way of wiping away my failures, so I booked an appointment with Felicia Leatherwood for a trim and shape. I have fresh ends for a fresh start and extra volume.

Here we go again…


Elucence Shampoo + Conditioner Claims Vs. Results

IMG_1181Cleansed, conditioned and finger-detangled my kinky curls with the Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo and Moisture Balancing Conditioner.

Elucence gifted me with these products during the December curlBOX Chat via Twitter. This post is not required nor sponsored by either brand. All opinions are my own.

Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo claims vs. Results

  • increases moisture content of dry hair

I am not able to vouch for increased moisture. Dehydrate my hair to test this theory? I’ll pass. However, this shampoo does not strip my hair of its moisture like others. 

  • improves hair texture and appearance

No noticeable difference in my curl pattern – my curls usually snap, crackle and pop. Product did leave my hair soft.

  • detangles and improves hair manageability

Not sure about this. I detangle with conditioner.

  • color friendly, rich lathering formula

Not playing with hair color, so not sure about the color-friendly boast. Yes to rich lather! It delivers.

  • perfect for chemical or color treated hair


  • concentrated for maximum results and value

Agreed. Only a small amount of product needed.

  • dual-purpose and ultra-gentle cleansing and conditioning

Yes to gentle cleansing.

*Extra: The fresh and sweet Georgia peach scent induces cravings. Product recommended for those in love with lathering shampoos. 

Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner

  • boosts moisture levels with lipids and proteins

Destiny fulfilled. Moisture upon moisture.

  • adds softness, shine and silkiness with essential triglycerides

Moist hair is soft hair. Even after blow drying my hair remains soft and shiny. 

  • provides effortless combing to minimize breakage

True story. See my hair loss below. I finger-detangled. I blow dry with the comb attachment and it moves through like butter.

  • dual-purpose conditioner and leave-in treatment

Before blow drying, I add a dollop of conditioner to my hair as a leave-in.

  • as a leave-in, provides continuous moisturizing

I seal the moisture in with oil – the moisture stays locked in.

*Extra: This Kool-aid scented conditioner gets both of my thumbs up. It helps me win wash day.

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After cleansing, conditioning, and detangling

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After cleansing, conditioning, and detangling


R.I.P. to the hair I lost in the detangling process.




5 Days in New York [w/ Itinerary] #NYCSummerFling


I’ve crushed on lusted after New York City (NYC) for what seem like forever. The Wayans Brothers, Friends, Will & Grace, The Parent ‘Hood, Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl all played a role in shaping my view of The Big Apple and the subsequent lust that ensued. NYC and I finally met and hooked up for a summer fling.

I fell in love hard, like Lenny Williams in ‘Cause I Love You’ (oh oh oh). At the end of our 5-day whirlwind I craved more…  more beautiful rooftop views, more yummy foods, more New York minutes, more eclectic style, more crossing streets like cars don’t break bones (street lights are only for decoration). I am willing to set aside my germaphobe tendencies and get with public transportation, driving in the city would stress me out anyway.

The love for NYC is real. As an Angeleno I am not prepared for the four season life, but I would tough seasons.

We managed to squeeze in everything on our to-do list and even threw in a couple extras (see itinerary below). Biking through Central Park is amazing and turned out to be my favorite activity. I thought I wanted to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I would have pulled my hair out navigating through the herd.

I am elated to report that I did not see a single rat, God wanted me to have a great trip.

Favorite Pizza (so far): Adrienne’s Pizza Bar

Must-Eat Foods: Crab roll (Luke’s Lobster), Mac and Greens (Red Rooster), Cotton-Soft Cheesecake (Dominique Ansel Bakery), Cereal Milk Soft Serve (Momofuku Milk Bar), Cheese Fries (Shake Shack), Bea Arthur (Big Gay Ice Cream)

Mind-Blowing Views: Roof Garden Café (The Met Rooftop), Top of the Rock NYC (Rockefeller Center), Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge

Life-Changing Activites/Sites: 9/11 Memorial, Bike Ride in Central Park, Times Square, Broadway Shows


New York 2015

Building Bikes w/ FoxGives + Challengers Boys & Girls Club


FoxGives and Challengers Boys & Girls Club tag-teamed to build bikes with awesome kiddos in the club. Together we assembled more than forty bikes, woo hoo!

I helped this cool kid (pictured above) build his first bike. As a master builder of all things IKEA, I thought bikes would be a piece of cake. Wrong! Thankfully this youth tolerated me and the other volunteer’s lack of knowledge in the bike building department. Other teams built three bikes in the time we spent on one. Our kiddo named his bike Blue and it’s awesome because we built it together with lots of extra love (and time).

Each kid participated in mandatory bike safety training, then we all ate lunch together. Kids are entertaining. I found myself admiring their free spirits. I am humbled to have played a tiny role of their lives. I hope that priceless memories and endless joy come along with those bikes.

Give more because it’s awesome. The more you give, the more you get.





Mon Style: Travel-Friendly Casual Chic


I heart this look – chic, classic and travel-approved. Comfy flats equal no foot pain. Crossbody bags with zippers provide pickpocket resistant storage.

Black, black and more black overflowed my luggage in prep for my #NYCsummerfling. Why? It camouflages potential sticky humidity dirt, Aunt Flo planned to travel with me, and it supported my recent all black mood. Also, black says: “I’m not a killer, but don’t push me.”

I sprinkled a little color with the footwear, lips and my (self-dubbed) big city blue nails.

Click the links below to get the look. Don’t be fooled by the labels, I purchased most items on S-A-L-E.

IMG_8810‘Take Your Marc – Percy’ Crossbody Bag – Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom

Zara Fringed Leather Bluchers – Zara

Little Black Dress – Bebe

 Textured Woven Coat – H&M

Amy Bracelet Watch – Marc by Marc Jacobs

Retro Matte Ruby Woo Lipstick – Mac

Nightmoth Lip Pencil – Mac

Nails – Wynn Nail Spa




Soaking Up The Sun in Venice, Italy


A regular Wednesday (I wish)

Five countries (seven cities/towns) within three weeks is ambitious, tiring, and amazing. We basically chilled our way through Venice, primarily because we were exhausted.

We altered the original itinerary that included four countries (eleven cities/towns). Berlin, Hamburg, La Rochelle, and Monaco did not make the cut, but we squeezed in Vatican City.

As we floated (smoother than a Michael Jackson moonwalk) across the Grand Canal the Italian men yelled,”Ciao bella! Ciao bella!” Never have I ever experienced so many strangers so anxious to repetitively greet me. I’m a celebrity in Italy. Thank God American men don’t love me that much.

Beyonce’s life must be hard. God knew I’d get annoyed with celebrity, that’s why I can’t sing. I will still pretend that I can sing and perform private concerts in the car.

Speaking of cars, I’d never imagined life without one. Los Angeles is Godzilla compared to European cities. We walked almost every city and I loved it. Look Ma, I can live without a car.

Venice is tricky. Up the stairs, walk across the bridge, down the stairs, turn right, then across another bridge (and repeat). The buildings, shops, and canals are similar, it’s easy to get lost. Lost in beauty for $500, Alex.

Vacation sums up our stay in Venice. Take me back, please!



Click to enlarge photos. View more on my Tumblr page.

Girl Boss Meets Classic Man

DSC_2069 DSC_2015 DSC_2056

If you’ve ever wondered who colors my hair, it’s all Melanie. She also did my big chop and a zillion other styles pre-big chop. We recently partnered (her hands, my head) to take a few hair shots to add to her portfolio.

Yes, she straighten my hair. No heat damage to report. Surprisingly, my hair remained straight ALL week. It typically reverts if you look at it too long.

To complete the requested look, I pulled items from my closet.

Beach waves, stripes and polka dots create a fun/stylish business look. I’ve dubbed this my Jidenna Look, it’s classic, man.


White + Navy Striped Blazer – H&M

Sheer Polka Dot Blouse – H&M

Suit Pants – H&M

Braided Bluchers – Zara

Beach Wave Updo – Melanie at Nina Raquel Salon

Runnin’ Through Rome + Vatican City


Runnin’ through Rome felt magical, like walking through the ‘lands’ of Disney Parks for the first time. The architecture is surreal and every bit of epic that I imagined. Plenty of staring and questioning reality took place. By the way, I am still in awe.

Before being wooed by bricks, arches, and columns; we were abducted by a rogue Italian taxi driver. Here is how it went down:

Guy A: Taxi?

Us (My sister + I): Yes

Guy A: Where are you going?

Me: Hotel Colors. Via Boezio, 31, 00193.

Guy A: 40 euro

Us: Ok…

(This is the first time we are quoted a price. Maybe he frequents this hotel. In a blink our luggage is in the trunk, we’re ushered into a car away from the taxi line, and Guy A disappears. Meanwhile, the car starts moving, I proceed to scan the interior and notice there is no meter in sight.)

Me: Where is the meter?

Guy B: It’s ok.

Me: May I see your permit?

Guy B: [pulls out document]

Me: [reaches for document]

Me: This is blank. Please pull over and let us out.

Guy B: It’s ok.

Us: Let us out.

Guy B: Ride for free.

Us: [we open doors while moving]

(I’ve seen horror movies. We are not dying or becoming sex slaves today, sir.)

Us: Let us OUT! [still holding doors open]

Guy B: Ok

Guy B: [driving and not pulling over at first or second opportunities]

Us: Let us out. [pointing at sidewalk]

Guy B pulled over, we grabbed our luggage and walked back to the train station. The police that we replayed the story for could not care any less.

We spotted Guy A with his next victims, so we ran over to warn them, then returned to the taxi line.

I hope that those sketchy guys were only trying to capitalize on the blissful ignorance of tourists by posing as taxi drivers and overcharging for rides.

Our taxi ride turned out to be less than 20 euro. We arrived at our color-filled hotel near Vatican City in one piece. FYI, if you stay at Hotel Colors be prepared to carry your luggage up stairs because there are no elevators.

We dropped our luggage, then took off to explore Rome by foot with our new tourist map.

Food could be found on the top of my to-do list everyday. In Garfield fashion, I devoured lasagne at Caffe Bianco. First we eat, then we do everything else (see everything else below).

Lasagne at Caffe Bianco

Lasagne at Caffe Bianco

I heart Rome and the gelato at San Crispino is delicious. We made a special second trip across the city because we needed more. San Crispino gelato comes second to Amorino Vavin in Paris. Now I am craving gelato. Thanks, self.

After walking around the entire Vatican City perimeter wall, we found the entrance. To my sister’s dismay, I would not give up. We missed the bells and whistles because the city went night night before we made it inside. The Sistine Chapel will happen on another trip.

No, we did not see Pope Francis. I’m glad he did not catch me runnin’ around in that cropped top.

Thanks for the hospitality Rome and Vatican City.

More photos will be posted on my Tumblr page.