Friday, March 30

Braid-Out

Oh how I missed my loose hair!!! I love the ease of twists, but I tend to miss my hair after week 1.
I kept my twists in for almost 2 weeks, took them out last night and decided to wear a braid-out for the weekend.



Braided up- Look at that new-growth!

Thursday, March 29

Current Obsessions

Well not really obsessions, but things of interest to me at this moment other than hair products and accessories.  

Most Recent Purchase

Jewelry- For those that know me, there is no secret that I LOVVVVVEE earrings. I probably have over 150 pairs, and I think I finally reached my limit(even though I just purchased 5 pairs this week). I particularly like large studs, crochet and vintage earrings.
Now that I have enough earrings, I moved on over to necklaces and bracelets. Recently I have been buying a lot of colorful accessories for spring/summer because I tend to wear solid and neutral colors(slowly purchasing more prints). I add that pop of color with my accessories and shoes. 
Gym Clothes - Having cute work-out clothes makes me even more motivated to hit the gym. I don't wear sweat pants or any of that because they are never long enough for me, so I usually focus on buying capris, leggings or shorts. As for my tops, they are usually tank tops or fitted tees.


I don't have these particular cases (image taken from google search)


iPhone Covers/Cases- I finally got rid of my Android(that I sometimes miss) and got an iPhone. BTW, am I the last person on the planet to get one?? Anyway, I have the white one and find it boring plus I need protection for the phone, so I just purchased about 5 phone cases. I even got an arm band for the gym.


Nail Polish- I give myself a manicure once a month and paint my nails weekly. I love nail polish and purchase a few every week. Now that it's Spring, I can experiment with some really bright cute colors (then again, I sometimes wore bright colors in the fall/winter to help brighten up my day).
One thing that happens to me all the time is that I would be so happy about a recent nail polish purchase then I would get home and notice I already have a VERY similar color. So I think I will take a picture of my collection and look at it before purchasing any new polishes.


 Clothes and Shoes are pretty much necessities and wouldn't be classified as an obsession. Right now I am doing some spring cleaning and donating whatever clothes and shoes I don't wear. So that leaves some room to purchase more! :-D

What are your current "obsessions"?

The ABC's of Girls' Hair Care

I decided to re-post this for my cousin who is looking for ways to care for her daughters hair.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When looking for information on a product I purchased a while back, I came across this article on a website called http://www.mmmproducts.com/. I preach these practices all the time on my blog, but I love the way this was written and formatted, so I decided to share.

These are such useful tips (they may throw some advertisement in there, which is understandable). This may be targeted to parents caring for young girls hair, but these tips are useful to all.


The ABC's of Girls' Hair Care
By Will Williams, M&M Products Director of Education

Always moisturize hair before combing. This reduces the chances of hair breakage due to dryness. Moisture aids in the flexibility of hair, allowing the teeth of the comb to pass through the hair without causing breakage.

Be careful when braiding hair. Hair that is braided too tightly, especially in the fragile temple and forehead regions, can easily come out due to traction damage.

Combing hair should be an exercise that does not yield breakage. By using the GroHealthy Method of combing, you will realize less – if any – breakage.
  • Moisturize and run fingers through hair.
  • Using a large tooth comb, start at the lower nape and part hair. When combing, start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the crown.
  • Employ the same method when combing the sides: Start at the temple and work your way up to the curve of the head.
  • In the front top, start at the front hairline. Taking small partings, work your way back from the forehead to the crown.
  • Once this initial combing has been completed, comb hair to style.

Don't be afraid to ask questions of your stylist, especially when chemical applications are concerned.
Each shampooing should be followed by deep conditioning.

Frequently shampoo and condition hair, at the very least once a week. Twice would be good, depending on hairstyle and texture.- I think once a week is just fine

Good ingredients are a sign of good products. Be sure to check the ingredient listing before purchasing a product. Stay away from mineral oils and petroleum – those ingredients clog the pores. Look for natural ingredients, such as cucumber, tea tree oil, shea butter and olive oil, for healthy daily maintenance.

Healthy hair requires a regimen. Put your child's hair and scalp on a schedule.

Information is at your fingertips with a phone call or by jumping on the information superhighway. You can always find tips and advice at www.mmproducts.com.

Just be sure to keep the scalp moisturized without weighing the hair down with heavy greases and oils.

Keep an ample supply of all the hair care products you use.

Leave the curling and flat irons in the drawer. Putting heat on your daughter's hair too frequently will cause it to become damaged and weak.

Sunday, March 25

Weight Loss Home Remedies

Y'all already know that I am on a mission to lose (very little) weight and TONE UP! So I have been reading about subtle ways to change my diet/behaviors. I came across the below. Enjoy!

via: grandmashomeremedies.com/weight-loss.html

1) Green Tea:

Boost your metabolism by drinking green tea. Research has shown that green tea can aid weight loss by helping to burn an estimated extra 78 calories per day.

2) 7 p.m. Cutoff:

Some people have lost weight by not eating anything after 7 p.m., which is usually the prime time when people tend to overeat. To satisfy hunger pangs, try chewing gum.

3) Cinnamon:

Cinnamon has a reputation for specifically targeting extra weight in the stomach region. When the spice is combined with healthy eating habits – cinnamon can assist with insulin resistance to encourage weight loss.

4) Morning Weight Loss Drink:

Boil one cup of water with lemon juice and honey to create a weight loss boost that should be consumed every morning.

5) Hula Hoop:

Once you get the hang of the motion, include 30 minutes to one hour of hula hooping per day to watch the extra pounds melt away from your waistline.

6) Apple Cider Vinegar:

Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar increases metabolism, which helps to burn more calories while the body is at rest. Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of water, and sip throughout the day.

7) Fruit Smoothies:

Encourage weight loss by starting the day off with a fruit smoothie, which delivers a blend of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and fatty acids to the body. The combination of ingredients offers a tasty remedy that helps prevent food cravings. A couple of additions to consider include orange juice, banana, strawberries, rice milk, concentrated cherry juice, flaxseed oil, aloe juice, and soy milk.

8) Grilled Food:

Your meals will contain less fat and more of a healthy boost when you grill meats instead of fry or sauté.

Twists Update

Happy Sunday!
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

I haven't been posting that much because there isn't really anything going on with my hair and I sometimes feel like I blogged about EVERYTHING on here.

So..just wanted to give y'all a brief update on my twists.

I re-did them last Saturday and have been loving the ease of having my hair twisted.  
The only draw back is that I can't wear my hair down unless curled because they look SOOOO THIN. Hence the below photo.


So..I curled them on Wednesday with some satin rollers and have been wearing them in a curly ponytail since then.






To care for them, I:
Spray my new-growth with my Aloe-Vera Mix daily and nightly
Spray the length of my hair with water and seal with Safflower Oil or coconut oil every few days
Oil my scalp with my Sulfur Mix twice a week

Friday, March 23

My blog is undergoing VERY slight changes right now, so excuse the mess. It should be back to normal in a week or so.
I didn't want to deprive anyone of 6-FOOT-LONG-HAIR, so I decided to keep it up in the mean time.
Thanks for understanding!

Sunday, March 18

Help with Transitioning

I had a reader send me an email regarding transitioning, but because there was no contact email to respond, I will quickly answer her questions here.

Readers Question (modified in my own words): She's transitioning and is 3 months post. She is currently in a weave which she had in for a little while, but wants to wear her own hair in the summer to give it some TLC.

 Her main concerns are:
caring for her weave
 hair not growing
fear of what her natural hair will look like
caring for transitioning hair

1.) Caring for a weave:

Wash and condition at least once every 2 weeks- I would suggest investing in an applicator bottle, dilute the shampoo&conditioner with water, and concentrate on the scalp to wash your hair underneath. The shampoo and conditioner will eventually run off to the weave washing that too.

Moisturize the braids/your hair underneath as needed( I would say 1-2 times a week) - You can use a braid spray, s-curl, or your favorite moisturizer diluted in an applicator bottle so it's not too thick

Oil scalp as needed

I believe the longest a weave should be kept in your hair is 3 months. Main reason why, is to avoid matting. But there have been many cases, where a weave was kept in longer than 3 months and a persons hair still thrived.

I am not a weave wearer..and when I did wear weaves it was before my hair journey. For all of those that wear weaves, feel free to chime in,

2.) Hair not growing:

As long as you are alive and your follicles aren't damaged, your hair is growing. If you were relaxed and ever needed a touch-up, your hair was growing. Retaining that growth may have been an issue.
** I will link posts to tips I offered on that soon.**

3.) Fear of what your natural hair will look like

 Don't be scared. It's the hair that God gave you and it will be nothing less than beautiful! I think many had that same fear, but when they actually chopped off the relaxed ends, they fell in love with their hair. If you are scared, a long transition is just what you need. And if your natural hair is not as expected, trust and believe you can make it work with styles such as braid-outs, twists-outs, etc.

4.) Caring for transitioning hair

 I would offer the same advice I gave for stretching relaxers which in essence is what we're doing.

Keep hair moisturized paying special attention to  the new-growth- I have a spritz that I spray on my new-growth daily.

Keep the Line of demarcation strong by doing either mild protein/moisturizing treatments with every wash or a strong protein treatment every 6-8 weeks

Do not manipulate hair too much- try not to comb too often and do styles that can last a week such as roller-sets, flexi-rods, braid-outs and so forth.

Wash hair in sections to decrease tangling

Be patient!- Lord knows I am trying

Check out this blog. She transitioned for about 17 months I believe. http://guyanesesista.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-transition-regimen-basics.html

or Curly Nikki
http://www.curlynikki.com/search/label/Transitioning%20Tips%20and%20Resources

**You can also check out my transitioning label where I go into detail about my regimen**

Hopes this helps!!






Shea-Aloe

I put in another set of twists yesterday and  needed something that would give them hold. I had some left over shea-butter and thought about using that,  but because the shea-butter alone is pretty hard, I decided to make a mix instead.

So I:
Boiled some water
Put the block of shea butter(maybe about 2 tablespoons worth)  in an old clean moisturizer container(sealed it tight)
Put the container in the boiling water for about 20 minutes until the Shea-Butter fully melted
Mixed 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil with the melted shea-butter
Mixed in a little less than 1 tablespoon of Aloe-Vera Gel(lily of the desert)
Put the closed container in the fridge for about 4 hours


I was left with this:



***I put in a little too much Aloe-Vera Gel because when I was half way done with my twists, I would see some and have to mix the Shea-Aloe mix more. So when I make it again, I would only put about 2 teaspoons. ***

My hair was ULTRA moisturized and the twists had amazing shine(could have been because of the Indigo too though). I plan on purchasing more Shea-butter when I go back to my parents because I love how my hair feels right now.
I used up everything on my hair when twisting. If I thought there would be some extra, I would have added a few drops of Tea Tree Oil and Vitamin E Oil as natural preservatives or kept it in the fridge. 
Remember- Shea-butter and any water-based products don't have a long shelf-life. So use up quick or skip the Aloe Vera Gel

Saturday, March 17

Darken it Up

I took my twists out Thursday, rocked a braid-out yesterday and decided to do a Henna Treatment last-night. I felt like I needed to strengthen my hair a little bit.
 Because my hair ALWAYS has a reddish tint after applying Henna, I proceeded with Indigo.

My Henna Mix is:
200 G of Karishma Henna
enough warm water to make a yogurt consistency
1.5 teaspoon of Safflower Oil
* applied immediately after mixed
* kept on overnight
*rinsed out like crazy with just water
*shampooed scalp with sulfate free shampoo
*towel dried and then applied the Indigo

Indigo Mix:
100 G Indigo Powder
enough warm water to make a yogurt consistency
a few pinches of Salt
*applied about 8 minutes after mixed
* kept on for 2.5 hours
*rinsed out with Conditioner and shampooed scalp again

I really need to start using more Indigo powder because 100G isn't enough to cover all my hair, but for now, it did it's job.

About to wash the Indigo Out

After washing Indigo out- Damp Hair



Wednesday, March 14

Patch Testing

I recently added Tea Tree Oil to my Aloe Vera Mix and also my Sulfur Oil mix(that I occasionally use). I never used Tea Tree oil and because my hair is in twists, if I were to experience extra shedding, I would have no idea until I take them out. So, I decided to do a patch test of both mixes to make sure I wouldn't experience any adverse reactions. 

Sometimes we're so excited to try a new product,  we forget about the risks that can involved.
 Especially for products that touch our scalp like Shampoo's,Conditioners, growth aids and oils. Any irritation to the scalp can cause unnecessary shedding or long term scalp issues which can stunt our growth. 

So...for all trying out new products..Don't forget to do a Patch Test First!

How to do a Patch Test:

1.) Apply a small dime-sized drop on your skin- Most use their wrist/arm
2.) Allow the product to dry preferably overnight
3.) The next day, check the area you applied the product for signs of irritation or redness
4.) If everything seems fine...go ahead and give the product a try
5.) Make sure to wash that product off the area you tested it on!

If you still experience bad side effects such as breakage or shedding after using the product...

1.) Clean/Clarify Your scalp and hair- with the normal product you always use- You want to remove any trace of the product
2.) Follow up with a Deep Conditioning Treatment


*This has been posted before but edited to add my bit on Tea-tree oil

Pros and Cons of a Long Term Transition



When it comes down to it, keeping my length is more important to me than becoming fully natural(As crazy as it sounds!). That's enough motivation to keep me going for 2 years! 

Tuesday, March 13

Working it Out



I  finally got myself motivated to get back in the gym!!!  
I am determined to tone up and lose a few pounds by July which I know I can do if I put in the work. 

I plan to hit the gym 3 times a week doing:

45 minutes of cardio (either on the stair master or elliptical) 
15-25 minutes of core-strength exercises (free weights, ab machines, etc.) 

Then once a week I will either go for a 2-3 mile walk or do some jumping jax and crunches at home.

I'm a pretty healthy eater and cut out 95% of processed foods from my diet. I just put on a little weight because I have been eating out A LOT in the past few months. I basically celebrated my birthday January and February. 

Now that I am past 4 months post relaxer, I don't see myself wearing my hair loose while working out. I sweat a lot, especially on my head, and I don't want to have to deal with detangling after cleansing my hair. For now,  I'm thinking twists may have to do but I miss wearing my hair out! I may do twists during the week and a braid-out or something on weekends.  I'm going on a mini vacation the first week of April which I def plan on wearing my hair out for. But when I return, I'm  thinking of doing single braids earlier than planned(July). We'll see! 
For now, health is more important than my hair! 




Sunday, March 11

Small Haul

I purchased a few things today that I decided to share with you all.
It's not much, but I spent about $20.00 for everything. :-)



Sally Beauty Supply

When it comes to hair products, I have everything I need or want and don't need replenish anytime soon.
But I received  a $5.00 off coupon for any $5.00 purchase for Sally's because I took a survey, so I just had to redeem.

Because I didn't need any hair products, I opted for:
A cute clip accessory -$3.59
Good Hair Days Pins- $2.99

Total Paid for those items: $1.58

It was also time to renew my Sally's card which I find very much worth the money and that cost $5.00.
With renewal of the card you get to pick either a free ION product or Silk Elements Product worth $7.99 or less.
I opted for Silk Elements since I used their products in the past and liked them.

I got the Silk Elements Mega Silk Intense Conditioning Mayonnaise Treatment which originally cost $7.49 for free.

Total Spent at Sally's: $6.69 and I got another $5.00 off any $5.00 purchase coupon for renewing my card! So, I'll be back in Sally's in April!





There is this Discount Store near my house where I purchase the below.


Headbands: 4 for $1.00
Conair Mini Clipless Ceramic Curling Iron (for when I travel)- $10.00
Sally Hansen and Revlon Nail Polish- $1.00 each
Flower Hair Clip: $1.00

Total Spent at Discount Store: $14.28






Total Spent- $20.29

Friday, March 9

Vitamin E Oil and Sun Protection

I use Vitamin E oil (that has some Coconut Oil in it) as a skin moisturizer. I originally wanted to get rid of dark spots without the use of chemicals and so far it has been working. I have been using it for at least 4 months now and my skin is more smooth and the dark spots are gradually fading. I ALWAYS have to blot my skin after applying it to remove any excess oils.
(even though my skin looks super oily in pics..it really is just the flash..lol.. Notice how my camera phone pics don't have the same effect)

Because I use an oil as a moisturizer, I don't want to apply anything else to my face afterwards. I know that UV protection is necessary, so I was doing a little research to see if Vitamin E contained some which is does.

During my research, I came across many studies but the below was easiest to understand:


A scientific review done by researchers at Boston University Medical Center examined the basic mechanisms of how vitamin E works on the skin. They concluded that vitamin E used topically and consumed orally can help protect the skin from tumors and act as a barrier against sun damage. (Thiele JJ, Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage S. Mol Aspects Med. 2007 Oct-Dec;28(5-6):646-67.) 

There are also other oils that have Sun Protection, see below.
These will work for those with dark or brown skin.
 Not only is sun protection needed for skin, but it's also good for hair!





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Wednesday, March 7

2 Months in Review

I can't believe it's March already! I feel like Jan & Feb flew by!
I haven't been that creative when it comes to hair-styling, but I have tried a few different things.

So...here is 2 months in review.
*Those who regularly follow my blog have seen these already.*

January

In January, I didn't do much. Because I had a business trip and other commitments, I did 2 roller-sets to dry my hair and bunned all through-out the weeks.


Combed Out before bunning



February

In February, I did 2 roller-sets as well, but immediately styled my hair either in a bun or ponytail after.




I won him at Dave n Busters!

I also did some some braid and curls


Twisted my hair


Did a Caruso-Roller Set



And got rid of some split-ends in my hair

What I did NOT do was use direct-heat. I had no desire to straighten my hair and I still don't. Let's see what March and April has to offer!


Sunday, March 4

Black Hair in Corporate America

When I was in Undergrad I wore my hair in various styles such as weaves, braids, cornrows, you name it.
In my Senior year I decided to ditch the braids and get a relaxer because I thought that was the "acceptable" way my hair should be in interviews and work.
I felt like straight hair, free of any weaves or braids, was "professional". Now, that's 20 years old Ms.D and my way of thinking has completely changed.

In the work place our hair should be neat, well groomed and clean(funky smelling hair is just nasty..lol).

What I find "unprofessional":
wild colors
bad weaves(tracks showing, not blending well..u know)
ugly wigs(very obvious, plastic looking, you know what I mean)
messy hair

*All of these are subjective to the individual and those around you. But ya'll know jacked up hair when you see it.  

Don't be afraid to walk in there with your TWA, rock a big twist/braid-out, wear some corn-rows with not too many designs, wear a cute wig or weave, single braids, twists and locs. Just make sure it's neat, neatness is key!
We as black women were not born with straight hair. We were born with textured hair that requires different technique's to manage and keep it healthy. Don't let Corporate America stop you from maintaining healthy hair and being who you are.

I work in Corporate America and go to work with the same styles you see posted on this blog and I'm consistently greeted with compliments. My manager and co-workers are amazed at how I do my own hair and style it. They find it fascinating. It's always a conversation starter and a small way I stand out from everyone else.



*For interviews I suggest a style that doesn't distract the interviewer. As said, neatness is key. I prefer a bun or if not too far in a stretch, wearing my hair down either straight or curly.

Saturday, March 3

Cornrows and Twists

Twists with my own hair will most likely be my go-to low-maintenance/protective style during this transition...even when I'm natural!! 
I do plan on wearing my hair out 1-2 weeks a month, but as said in my regimen post... my hair will be in a protective style for 2 weeks as well.

This month I decided to do cornrows in the front with twists in the back.
In these photos I just finished doing my hair and purposely did not braid my edges tight. Once I wrap my hair the edges will be smoothed down.
If I wear my hair down, I'll probably curl the ends.


My Hair: Night Routine

I mainly roller-set because it smooths out the cuticles of my hair making it easier to manipulate through-out the week. The only issue is that my new-growth doesn't get that stretched so it's a little hard for that area of my hair to retain moisture. This is where my night-routine comes in handy. Although I don't wear my hair down through-out the week, I like to maintain the sleekness the roller-set gives me just in case I change my mind.

So EVERY night when my hair is OUT I:

 Finger Part My hair and spray my new-growth only with my Aloe-Vera Mix.


 Finger part my hair down the middle. If necessary I will put some moisturizer through-out the length of each section which is about 3 times a week.
Then I put my hair in 2 buns securing with satin scrunchies




Step 3: Wrap Hair with Silk Scarf

Friday, March 2

Re-Post- A Look Back at BLACK HAIR History

I saw this on BGLH and then LHCF and thought it was very interesting... so I decided to post here for others who haven't seen it.
This gives you an in-depth look of how others and we as black woman perceived our hair due to "society standards" .

This was originally on Naturally Curly. 

Whether it’s activist Angela Davis’s Afro or hip-hop diva Lil’ Kim’s “weave of the week,” black hair has long had the power to set trends and reflect societal attitudes.
Since February is Black History Month — a time to remember important people and events that shaped the lives of African Americans—we thought it was an ideal time to explore how hairstyles have been interwoven into that history. It is a story that continues to evolve. Here is a look back at some of the key events and people who shaped the black hairstory.



1444: Europeans trade on the west coast of Africa with people wearing elaborate hairstyles, including locks, plaits and twists.
1619: First slaves brought to Jamestown; African language, culture and grooming tradition begin to disappear.
1700s: Calling black hair “wool,” many whites dehumanize slaves. The more elaborate African hairstyles cannot be retained.
1800s: Without the combs and herbal treatments used in Africa, slaves rely on bacon grease, butter and kerosene as hair conditioners and cleaners. Lighter-skinned, straight-haired slaves command higher prices at auction than darker, more kinky-haired ones. Internalizing color consciousness, blacks promote the idea that blacks with dark skin and kinky hair are less attractive and worth less.

1865: Slavery ends, but whites look upon black women who style their hair like white women as well-adjusted. “Good” hair becomes a prerequisite for entering certain schools, churches, social groups and business networks.


1880: Metal hot combs, invented in 1845 by the French, are readily available in the United States. The comb is heated and used to press and temporarily straighten kinky hair.



1900s: Madame C.J. Walker develops a range of hair-care products for black hair. She popularizes the press-and-curl style. Some criticize her for encouraging black women to look white.

Click here to read the rest