Naturalista Boss Chic on a Budget – top three tips to put your best self forward at any income bracket.

Okay, real talk time – being a naturalista boss chic can be tiring as hell but oh so worth it! Figuring out the how-to is crazy though, am I right?!

Remember a couple weeks ago when I reminded you fellow naturalista boss chic’s to always put your best you forward regardless of circumstance? I know it’s not always easy to do so whether time, money or energy is on the lowish side so here are a few popular and personal favourite pieces of advice on how to make that happen.
Start from within – mind, body, spirit. For some of us, it’s a daily connection with our Creator. Some of us need some serious high-impact exercise or some extra-quiet yoga sessions. Some need to read  a new book or learn a new skill at regular intervals. Some of us need a combination of measures. However it works for you, attaining and maintaining wellness on a holistic level is the foundation.


Incorporate the key parts of your signature style into your budget. We can all agree on one thing: some parts of our style cannot be done cheaply. So plan ahead and make sure you include it in your priority planning – not just with money, but time and energy. Is being fit and strong part of your trademark? Do people know you by a distinctive hair style or effortlessly flawless skin? Is your artwork or culinary skill part of your imprint? Make sure it’s carved in the bank balance and the calendar!


Be prepared every time you exit your home/flat/hostel/hotel. We all have that one oversized satchel that has what we need to maintain our boss chic self over the course of a long day. On a more targeted level, there are a few things that never leave our clutch, minaudière, briefcase, backpack or satchel because they keep us particularly put-together whatever the occasion (a few things in mine: a small stash of emergency medication, an emergency kit especially packed by the label J. Crew and the minimum requisites to keep my lip and foundation look in place). Whatever those items are, keep them in mind and don’t forget to slip them in your bag before you shut your front door!



What are your favourite strategies for keeping your naturalista boss lady sense of style on your budget?  What can’t you leave the house without putting in your bag? Tell me in the comments – I can’t wait to read them!!!


Confessions of a Naturalista, Volume 5.



This thought comes in the minds of many an ultra short-haired naturalista who has made up in her mind that she’s going to keep a short ‘do long-term.  Because almost every single one of us has gone to the barber or stylist and heard the following words: “Why are you cutting your hair?  You have such beautiful hair!


The one thing that always crosses our minds is:
HELLO!!!  YOU HAVE CLIPPERS!!!  Don’t make me clip you!!!

Busy naturalista life – dressing up the TWA.

So I’ve gone, bitten the bullet and done the big chop.  Now what do I do?

Every Friday when picking out my outfit for weekend drinks.  Every Sunday choosing my office attire for the week.  Any super-short-coifed naturalista knows the struggle to define her style on an ongoing basis while maintaining the fine balance between being too over-the-top and being outright mistaken for a man.  Now don’t get me wrong – when I put a little effort into it, I clean up very well with my super-short fade.  However, I know more than a few times a week, I find myself in a style rut for any number of reasons but mostly because busyness drains my energy to out effort into my look.  Nonetheless, when I do put myself together, I usually follow these few tenets before I go out in style.


Splash on colour.  Hair, skin, nails – any splash of colour can – and will – do the trick.  This can include a hair colour or some highlights, but a bold hue in the eyeshadow or lipstick can not only complement a great outfit, it can actually make the outfit.  Personally, experimenting with colour on super-short hair can be a lot of fun, but keeping a few favourite tones in the makeup and nail polish drawers is imperative.


Add the accessories.   They can dress up or dress down the most basic ensemble, whether it’s a piece of jewellery, a handbag or a pair of shoes.  Usually one conversation-starting piece can be enough or a few coordinated pieces, like a jewellery set or handbag and shoes.  I’m a personal fan of oversized sunglasses for the most part, but at an indoors event, chunky jewellery is almost always good for making a statement.


Bring a bit of drama.  Yes, bring the drama – just make sure it’s only to your ensemble! Whether it’s showing off a little bit of curves, a sliver of skin or a drastic eyeliner, giving your outfit an edge is almost always mandatory.  Personally showing off a curve here or there is inherent in an outfit, but every so often there’s a time when a little more drama like stark eyeliner or showing off some skin (or even a bit of both!) is very very necessary.


Nurture the naturale.  This one is important and should never be forgotten – making sure that you look good underneath the outfit is paramount.  Keeping physically fit; drinking lots of water; getting in the right amount of nutrients; protecting one’s skin from the elements – these are all key elements to keeping you as (if not even more) beautiful without your outfit as you are in it.  Taking care of your body and treating your hair, skin and nails well from the inside out is the most important style secret for any naturalista, no matter how busy we get.


Colour, accessories and a little bit of drama.

Colour, accessories and a little bit of drama.

The teeny weeny afro (TWA) – keys to maintenance.

Okay, not a lot of people are like me – many people love the thought of spending an entire day (sometimes two!) in the hair salon between the shampoo basin and the stylist chair.  “I love sitting in the stylist chair for eight hours at a time!”, said no one I know, like ever.  While some of us have more than enough time to spare on doing hair alone, a lot of us prefer being very concise when it comes to making sure our hair is looking groomed.  Granted, being a naturalista in and of itself can be time-consuming with the plethora of information out there to wade through, but keeping a TWA or any short ‘do as a naturalista can be done and maintained.  Personally, I made the conscientious decision about a year ago to maintain a super short coif as a naturalista and since then, I’ve learned a few key things that keep my routine as low-maintenance as I can possibly get it.


Choose a cut and/or style that flatters you and that fits into your overall look.  I must admit that this can take a bit of time to actually find that one style that you feel is perfectly you, but once you do, you will know it.  When you do, remember to take lots of good photos of it so you can easily recall it when you get to your stylist again.


Keep your favourite barber and/or hairdresser on speed dial and make regular appointments.  Once again, finding that one stylist can take some time, but you will know when you find it.  And when you do, keep him or her on speed dial then gauge how often you need to go in for maintenance cuts and trims (this time period, for most people, is usually 4-6 weeks).  If need be, book your appointments in advance especially if you know that you have a popular stylist.


Decide which products you like to use on your hair and stick to them.  If you have a cleansing and treatment routine that you find works for you, maintain that.  Some of us still need time to perfect our regimen even though we have all the right ingredients but once you have those, you’re well on your way.  Make sure that you have the following products in tow: cleanser (some people like shampoo or prefer a no-poo or co-wash), conditioner, deep treatment, styling aids and the product(s) of your choice that help keep your hair and scalp moisturised and well-nourished.


Keep your hair beautiful and nourished from the inside out.  Just because you’re keeping your hair super short or at the TWA stage indefinitely doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the love you give it from the fundamental level.  Make sure you’re still taking your hair skin and nail vitamins and taking in as much water as possible.


Most importantly, remember to feel beautiful and comfortable with your hair.  Keeping a short, well-put-together hairstyle doesn’t have to be a long ordeal – and loving your hair the way it is sometimes makes the process that much simpler.  Take it from me, a true naturalista that went for the big chop many times over and has yet to look back.


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Confessions of a Busy Naturalista, Volume 4.

Wow, feels so good to take out my twists/braids/knots and see all the growth and progress my hair has made, now to get my hair all cleaned up and treated…

… Awwwww dammit!  Shrinkage all over again!

Oct 2009

Confessions of a Busy Naturalista, Volume 3.

This confession is borne from the mind when it (and the body) is pressed for the time needed to maintain natural hair and sometimes the pressures of society that still – despite many role models and media figures that show us otherwise – tends to push the notion that straight hair is superior.


Hmmmm I wonder, how much time, energy and emotional angst would I save myself if I just permed my hair instead?


Aug 21, 2010 - knots (2)


Confessions of a Busy Naturalista, Volume 2.

When people ask to touch my hair, that’s when I want my laser vision to kick in and burn them.  Right between the eyes especially.


April, 2010

Confessions of a Busy Naturalista, Volume 1.

First confession on the list happens to be inadvertent warning to those with inquisitive hands:

Where’s my butter knife to stab someone in their hand when someone reaches out to touch my hair without asking?


April, 2010

Introduction – Confessions of a Busy Expat Naturalista.

The things about natural hair that make people go hmmm...

As a naturalista, maintaining (or transitioning back to) natural hair is a daily journey – physically and mentally.  When I say mentally, I mean steeling my nerves against some of the thoughts that cross my mind when someone makes a comment or gesture that relates to my hair.   And as a busy naturalista who’s lived abroad for sometime, it has happened to me more than once a fortnight – and if it’s happened to me, it’s happened to other natural-haired beauties.


As funny as it is (in the spirit of finding the bright side of things), it gets annoyed and sometimes borders on infuriating.  So at times, my blog may be punctuated with short, terse confessions running through my mind at any of these times or the minds of some of my other fellow naturalistas.  It’s not meant to offend anyone or call any particular someone out, it’s just ramblings (and sometimes rants) that have become part and parcel of being a busy expat naturalista.  Stay tuned…

A Few Top Essentials for the Busy Naturalista

There are more than enough blogs on the world wide web about natural hair, its maintenance and growth, new styles, you name it. I can’t say that I’ve never been intrigued and at times perplexed by the amount of information out there on the topic and I’ve definitely wanted to try a number of those styles. But if you’re a fellow naturalista (and a busy one, at that), you will definitely agree when I say that a lot of us really don’t have time for most of that. So here are a few of the top essentials that I find indispensable as a busy naturalista.


A moisturising hair spritz.  A spray bottle with water and moisturising oil is usually all you need (I use avocado oil, but I know some that opt for coconut oil or olive oil – it’s a matter of personal choice and what works best for you).  If you would rather a product with the same general effect, that’s also fine.


Satin pillowcase.  Let’s face it: some of us are terrible sleepers, and scarves can and will come off. It helps to have a satin headscarf (to retain hair moisture as much as possible), but if/when it comes off, the satin pillowcase always helps.


A good shampoo.  Shampoo, Soap, Cleanser, Clarifier, you can call it whatever you like. Sometimes plain conditioner just won’t do the trick – no matter what anyone tells you.  Personally, I try to avoid parabens and sulphates.


Conditioner/detangler.  One product that does both (preferably) is a must-have in the arsenal. Personally, I have gotten into the habit of silicone- and sulphate-free conditioners and I survive just fine.


Exercise headscarf.  Sweat can be pretty damning when it comes to helping a naturalist retain moisture, so the scarf helps mitigate that. In addition, the headscarf keeps a busy active naturalista from fussing with her hair during a workout!


Go-to protective hairstyles.  Low-maintenance. Low-manipulation. You’ve heard the terms. Having 3-4 such hairstyles on hand to mix things up keeps the naturalista at her optimum while protecting her mane in the process.


Here’s hoping you found this helpful.  When life is busy, there will be days when hair is the last thing on your mind.  Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way forward.