How My Hair Changed My Life…

Almost six years ago, I changed my hair out of boredom- I had experimented many haircuts, colors and looks already- I first got the Surf Up cut, the military cut then cut all of it.  At the time, I was not thinking about returning natural. I was having versatility fun…..

As my hair started to grow again, I started to wonder what I would do with it: cut it again? Keep it “kinky” or texturize it to make a change? I have always liked Tanya Saint Val and Orlane’s curly hair then figured out the texturizer was what I needed to get “the look” I applied the creamy crack and started to make research about “curly hair maintenance”, this lead me to books and videos and articles about natural hair (curly, kinky and coily).

What I discovered about natural hair was GOLD to me! I didnt know my hair liked water, I didnt know I could define its texture, keep it beautiful without chemical transformations. I was in awe!!!!!! I had to experience that myself so I re-big chopped in July 2010 and that was it!

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People started to question my choice to remain natural as soon as my hair grew past three inches. From my household to my workplace, people made fun of me: I was named “Tèt tchong tchong” “Anba bra moun fou” “Sentaniz” “Sè Pwotestan” “tèt boude”. Natural hair was neither appropriate, nor dressy, nor professional, nor elegant.  The more the mockeries and sarcasms about my hair, the more I was determined to both keep my hair natural and prove them wrong.

As my natural hair journey went on, I would spend hours reading blogs and watching vlogs. I’d personally contact some authors/hair gurus/ trichologists to ask questions and explanations on controversial hair matters. Meanwhile, I’d post pictures of my haircare, hairstyles and new findings every single day on my social networks. My hair was grateful to me. It grew beautiful, long and shiny and soon, the people who used to make fun of me started  to compliment me and ask me help them do the same!

By December 2011, I had so many people asking for my help on how to go back natural, take care and style their newly natural hair that I was thinking of creating a Facebook page where I could share the information at once for everybody. What would I call the page? How long would I keep it for? Would it really help my friends and relatives?

On January 1st, 2012, I eventually created Afro Alice : 1) Afro from Africa and Alice from Celtic meaning Noble to honor our noble Heritage from Africa 2) I had an Afro and Alice is my alias. The publications were first made in English only to cater to my close environment needs then were changed to Haitian Creole when the public grew larger six months after. There was more coming…..

Throughout all my personal natural hair journey,  I never had downs or doubts or self confidence issues – I was in an adventure and everyday was different and unique. Yet, to help people, I had to understand them better. Their feelings, realities and views were different than mine. I continued to dig even deeper in my research and really connected to my public to better tailor my writing to their needs. My followers were like babies of mine depending on my expertise, example and guidance to make it through this new and fearful journey they were starting. I never knew hair was related to so many aspects of our lives: our health, our finance, our beauty, our culture! Afro Alice was becoming more than a “just for fun” initiative. …..

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I have always been good at styling hair and I have always been good at empowering people. I loved hair and I loved people.  Afro Alice was my opportunity to make a difference in my own humble ways.  Along with the invaluable and continuing help of friends, advisors and supporters, Afro Alice became formally the Premier natural hair center in Haiti but my work was more virtual and I needed to connect more with the people.

In 2015, after two years of styling and caring for people’s hair at my place, I decided to open a salon for people with natural hair to better educate them and assist them.  I also organized gatherings, tours, workshops, forums and groups to empower more people and it worked well.  I organized and participated in exchange programs to foster an environment of sisterhood and collaboration for the community. People from around the globe contact us to express their appreciation and their gratefulness. The natural hair movement has never reached such a momentum before and I am proud of my contribution to that.

Today, four years later, Afro Alice helps and empowers people through the social media, the educational tours and events, the beauty salon and the blog. Looking back, Afro Alice is worth my sleepless nights, my tears of frustration and all I went through to help my people. Some days, I even felt like giving it all up! But, hey! Here I am! Putting my little bricks to build the Castle.

Can you imagine how joy fills my heart when the eyes of a little girl brighten after I boosted her self esteem! Can you imagine how fulfilled I feel when I realize how my words changed another woman’s life!  My heart bumps when I empower my people!

The respect, the appreciation and the love I get from my people, I earned it with my sweat, my tears and my vision of altruism and love. With Afro Alice, I made connections, discovered lands, improved myself and accomplished things I didnt know I could. I still have a long way to go but I am happy with where I am now with Afro Alice.

I wish you could see my tears and smile of accomplishment and fulfillment as I am concluding.

I never thought my own hair would change my life in such an awesome way.

Happy Anniversary to Afro Alice!!!

 

Mon poême du jour – Paroles de Victor Hugo

Je partage avec vous mon poême du jour, c’est l’une des rares pages imprimées que je garde toujours au bureau.  Ces lignes m’aident toujours à retrouver le courage de lutter malgré tant de vents et de marées sans envier la vie facile et sans gêne qu’offre l’oisivité.  Appréciez ces paroles.

Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent

Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent ; ce sont
Ceux dont un dessein ferme emplit l’âme et le front.
Ceux qui d’un haut destin gravissent l’âpre cime.
Ceux qui marchent pensifs, épris d’un but sublime.
Ayant devant les yeux sans cesse, nuit et jour,
Ou quelque saint labeur ou quelque grand amour.
C’est le prophète saint prosterné devant l’arche,
C’est le travailleur, pâtre, ouvrier, patriarche.
Ceux dont le coeur est bon, ceux dont les jours sont pleins.
Ceux-là vivent, Seigneur ! les autres, je les plains.
Car de son vague ennui le néant les enivre,
Car le plus lourd fardeau, c’est d’exister sans vivre.
Inutiles, épars, ils traînent ici-bas
Le sombre accablement d’être en ne pensant pas.
Ils s’appellent vulgus, plebs, la tourbe, la foule.
Ils sont ce qui murmure, applaudit, siffle, coule,
Bat des mains, foule aux pieds, bâille, dit oui, dit non,
N’a jamais de figure et n’a jamais de nom ;
Troupeau qui va, revient, juge, absout, délibère,
Détruit, prêt à Marat comme prêt à Tibère,
Foule triste, joyeuse, habits dorés, bras nus,
Pêle-mêle, et poussée aux gouffres inconnus.
Ils sont les passants froids sans but, sans noeud, sans âge ;
Le bas du genre humain qui s’écroule en nuage ;
Ceux qu’on ne connaît pas, ceux qu’on ne compte pas,
Ceux qui perdent les mots, les volontés, les pas.
L’ombre obscure autour d’eux se prolonge et recule ;
Ils n’ont du plein midi qu’un lointain crépuscule,
Car, jetant au hasard les cris, les voix, le bruit,
Ils errent près du bord sinistre de la nuit.
Victor_hugo
Quoi ! ne point aimer ! suivre une morne carrière
Sans un songe en avant, sans un deuil en arrière,
Quoi ! marcher devant soi sans savoir où l’on va,
Rire de Jupiter sans croire à Jéhova,
Regarder sans respect l’astre, la fleur, la femme,
Toujours vouloir le corps, ne jamais chercher l’âme,
Pour de vains résultats faire de vains efforts,
N’attendre rien d’en haut ! ciel ! oublier les morts !
Oh non, je ne suis point de ceux-là ! grands, prospères,
Fiers, puissants, ou cachés dans d’immondes repaires,
Je les fuis, et je crains leurs sentiers détestés ;
Et j’aimerais mieux être, ô fourmis des cités,
Tourbe, foule, hommes faux, coeurs morts, races déchues,
Un arbre dans les bois qu’une âme en vos cohues !

Quel poême ou texte vous inspire?

Cinq Ans Après le 12 Janvier 2010….

12 Janvier 2010 – 12 Janvier 2015

Cinq années depuis que l’un des tremblements de terre les plus meurtriers qu’Haiti ait connu a frappé ma terre.

Je l’ai vécu !!! J’ai vu tant de choses !!! Tant de sentiments et d’émotions m’ont traversée ! J’ai perdu un membre de ma famille, des amis et des connaissances.

J’aurais pu pleurer, j’aurais pu me révolter contre la situation de mon pays qui n’a pas réellement changé depuis, j’aurais pu me vexer des leçons que tant de gens ont oublié, j’aurais pu m’apitoyer sur mon sort ou le sort de mon peuple.

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J’y ai survécu, je suis saine et sauve, j’ai encore ce précieux cadeau qu’est la vie et je choisis de la célébrer ! Je choisis de célébrer la vie en révisant mes valeurs, en étant le changement que je veux voir, en valorisant vraiment ce qui est important dans la vie, bien plus important que les biens, les apparences : les relations avec Jéhovah, les relations avec les autres, une bouffée d’air qui libère, des animaux qui jouent ensemble, le rire des enfants, un verre d’eau rafraichissant, un sourire, un compliment sincère, une parole dite en temps approprié, le sentiment d’être et d’accomplir, une accolade! C’est ça, la vie ! Et ça n’a pas de prix !

Je garde dans mes pensées et dans mes prières des amis que ce jour ne cessera jamais d’affliger parce qu’ils ont perdu trop d’étoiles dans leur ciel.  Bon courage, mes amours ! Que Jéhovah continue de vous donner la puissance qui dépasse la normale pour supporter votre joug jusqu’à ce que son royaume vienne ! Je suis impatiente  de vous revoir sourire le jour où vous crierez victoire contre la mort et vos chers disparus seront avec vous de nouveau.

Cette date me rappellera toujours que la vie n’est qu’une vapeur et qu’il est nécessaire de VIVRE et de VIVRE SAGEMENT.

My Philosophy At This Point

As I do it every year since the past years: 23TH Spring, 24TH Spring25TH Spring26TH Spring,  I blog at each new spring.  As I was very busy during the past days, I missed it four days ago.  But, as they say, later is better than never.

How do I start? …  I have been thinking about what my post would be this year since the first day of November, yet, here am I, sitting in front of my screen, hesitant and lost in my thoughts…..

Three minutes later….

Lessons from the past year – I have learned a lot about human nature and people management.

Life with people is beautiful and wouldn’t be as interesting as it is without them but caution and diplomacy should be used when dealing with them.   I am almost giving up my Spontaneous Self to be more the Cautious and Observing Me.  I have learned to decipher wolves hidden behind a sheep mask and I have learned to let go of toxic habits.  I have learned to shut up although I am right, I have learned to apologize although I am right….. I fought for my beliefs and welcomed ennemies I gained because of my principles, my standards, my vision and my dream.  The past year was about my Human Awareness & Management in Life classs.  I struggled but passed the class!

I have also learned about leaving my comfort zone, challenging my fears and working towards my dreams.  It takes guts, resilience and boldness to live your dream.  I now understand why almost everybody has a dream but very few people live their dreams and I am happy, satisfied and proud of myself because I am daring! I am living! I have a vision, I have a dream and everyday of my life, I am working to fulfill it 🙂 Getting married and launching a business were two of my biggest fears but I overcame them both: Here am I happily married since three months and expanding my natural hair center :).

My third lesson is about freedom.  Everybody is RELATIVELY free.  I have longly read about freedom and how free some people are and how freedom is a necessity. I have observed that people are only partially/relatively/questionably free.  No matter how much people claim they are free, they are still enslaved to something, even a little thing: slaves of a habit, slaves of a situation, slaves of their beliefs, slaves of their mind, slaves of society, slaves of Facebook, LOL.  Freedom is relative and once I have realized that, I have chosen what I would be free of and what I would be enslaved to.  Happier and easier life!

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New Spring, New Philosophy– At this point in my life, I have realized how a lot of things are vain and I can concur with King Solomon as stated in Ecclesiastes 1: 2 “The greatest futility! Everything is futile!”.  That’s why I have decided to concentrate on the most vital things and based on my current situation, my health and my peace are the most important things to me

Health: Mental health. Spiritual Health.  Body Health.  IAmness Health.  Less 12-16 hours working in a block, less sleepless nights, less Facebook, less stress, less platonic and toxic friendship, less Ragaman (taurine and gingseng drink made in Haiti) drinking, less emotional eating, less shopping therapy.  More quality time with true friends and family, more reading and writing, more self care, more praying, more rest, more self-building initiative.  I have decided to stop doing weight loss journeys- more about the appearance than the real deal- from now on, I am on a health reclaiming journey.

Peace: Peace with myself, peace with others.

Reviewing and challenging my feelings, my beliefs, myself to build a stronger Me with grounds and anchor.

I have noticed how people like others to nurture their delusion instead of telling them what the reality is and I am NOT getting there! In trying to always be transparent and truthful, I have hurt myself several times and I am determined to be, stay and remain outspoken but ONLY with selected people.

I am grateful for each new day as it is an opportunity for me to do better.  Just like a butterfly or some wine, with age, I shall become better until I reach the best version of myself.