Mom Regimen and Life Hacks

Now that I’m a mother of two, I’ve adjusted my regimen to accommodate. You can still refer to my regimen page for a look into my normal routine. I hope to get back to that one when things calm down–one can dream right?

So this is what my hair routine and beauty hacks look like.

1. Hair

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Weekly washes have turned to every other weekly washes. To revive my hair and get a fresh look for week two. I detangle my stretched hair, slightly dampen it with my wet fingers, put on a tiny bit of leave-in, coat the section in a light oil, twist it up and go to sleep. The next day, I take it out and fluff my root. Results: Shiny, fluffy hair.

For some reason, I get more shine and less frizz doing this. Probably because my hair is styled on stretched hair, using very little water. Since my hair is stretched, it’s also easier to distribute the product and oil. This will help me get through another 5 – 7 days without having to wash.

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes.

2. Clothes

I haven’t been shopping in a long time. I have some pudge left over from the birth of my little girl. I’m okay with these two things. I only want to shop for items that are timeless and that will survive different stages of life with me. Better for the planet and my wallet– quality over quantity. I’m working out and that keeps me healthy and will help me lose some of the pudge. Although, I want to keep some of it, this pregnancy has blessed me with more butt and curves, which I’ve always wanted. LOL!

Back to the topic– To avoid looking like I just rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing I saw — which I’ve done a lot, I pair some effortless clothes with some statement pieces and do lots of layering.

Layers work well for nursing on-the-go. It gives me privacy and gives my little ones extra warmth. Like the cardigan I’m wearing in the photo above from Zara. I paired it with a loose, cropped satin tank and high waisted distressed skinny jeans. The tank hides my belly pooch and the high waisted jeans lengthen my legs and also helps suck in the belly. Just want to add my ripped jeans look, which are all the rave now, are DIY. Step one: play race cars with your toddler while crawling around on your knees and voila. I always, always, always wear a pair of flats or flat soled boots– it’s all about functionality.

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If you pulled an all nighter, throw on some sunglasses and you’re good to go.

 

3. Beauty

I give myself a time limit for getting ready. I have to be done with shower, hair, clothes and make-up in 20- 25 minutes. This is my time limit if I decide to wake up before my kids and get ready. My make-up routine is 5 minutes and it’s minimal. My goal is to get a fresh, slept-8 to 10 hours-look. I splash my face with cold water, tone with witch hazel and hydrate with jojoba oil. Then I put concealer under my eye, bronzer at the top of my cheek bones and blush on the apples of my cheeks, I throw on a neutral eye shadow, a couple of coats of mascara and I’m good to go. I don’t use foundation. This method gives me a fresh, awake face. If I don’t have time for a full 5 minute routine. I just do mascara, concealer and blush.

 

4. Mind

I wake up about 10 minutes earlier than planned and either read a few pages of a book or focus on my breathing and the feeling I have in that moment. I’m trying to really enjoy being in the moment. I’m a natural planner and as soon as my feet hit the ground, I know what I’m doing three days from that moment. So my goal is to remember to live the here & now, especially with my little ones.

Your turn: What are your life hacks to save time in the four areas I mentioned (hair, clothes, beauty and mind)? Whether you have kids or not, I’d love to hear from you.

 

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Pre-Poo Oil Treatment

Happy New Year Everyone!

The other day, I was skimming through a book a friend gifted me many years ago. The book is about all natural Indian beauty secrets. It also includes a section on healing from the inside, which I appreciate, as all beauty starts from within. The hair section discusses cures for dry hair. Some of the suggestions to combat this problem include: shampooing on an as needed basis, gentle brushing and combing, using creamy conditioners, reducing exposure to strong winds and sun, and overnight coconut oil treatments.

Honestly, nothing new here, but it helps to read about it and have it reiterated. As a lo-po natural, I obviously can’t go without an occasional shampoo. However, I typically cleanse with rhassoul clay, only using commercial shampoos every other month if I notice any product build-up. I’ve never prepped my hair with an oil treatment before cleansing. So I’m giving it a go for the first time today. Ideally, the book suggests doing this overnight. However, I can’t work this into my schedule. So here’s my approach to pre-poo oil treatments:

  1. Divide hair into four sections and generously apply coconut oil to both scalp and hair, concentrating on the ends. You could treat yourself to a nice scalp massage at this point.
  2. Cover hair in a plastic cap, wet a small towel with very hot water and carefully squeez out the excess water. *Place the damp, hot towel over the plastic cap, place a plastic bag (the kind you get at the grocery store in the fresh produce section) over the towel and cover with a scarf or bonnet.
  3. Leave this in for as long as you like, but if you’re stressed for time like me, about 20-30 minutes should be fine.
  4. I’ll follow this treatment with rhassoul and condition my hair if necessary.

*Remember heat is the key for effective moisturizing for lo-po hair.

My due date is rapidly approaching and I’m due in a little less than two weeks, but could go at any moment, so my goal today is to get my hair into some kind of protective style and forget about it until after the birth. If you’re a long time follower, you might remember when I was pregnant with my son, I had a fear of going into labor mid-styling. Same thing this time around. So some simple elegant two strand twists might be the way to go again.

I’ll report back with pictures and results after styling (if I’m not in labor— I’m that uncomfortable at this point, I wouldn’t actually mind!).

Do you pre-poo? What kind of results have you noticed?

XO

**UPDATE**

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After washing with rhassoul clay, conditioning and applying my leave-in, grapeseed oil and gel, I twisted my hair. I then sat under the dryer for 15 and to let me leave-in absorb. My twists feel moisturized and soft and my hair is shiny and smooth. I think the pre-poo gave it more of a shine than my usual routine, but I’m not 100% sure, so I’ll have to give it a few more tries to test the results. In any case, I’m happy to have my hair twisted and out of the way for the next couple of weeks.

 

Winter Regimen and Fashion Blues

So, this thing happens to me every year where I just kind of let myself go in the winter. I don’t know what it is about the winter, but suddenly my hair gets pulled back into a bun and hibernates until spring (and it’s not intentional protective styling). My clothes get a little drab and shabby (and not shabby-chic). Make-up, accessories, what are those things? Oh you mean those little items that I pull out when I can feel the sun on my skin. Gotcha. So you get my point, winter and I are not really BFFs.

This winter I don’t want to go into hibernation. Maybe it’s due to motherhood that I want to suddenly revamp my winter look (sidenote: peanut turned one last week). Whatever the reason, I’d like to give more attention to myself in the winter and update my winter look. Again, being a mom, I’d like to be realistic and make small changes as those are the easiest to stick. So here are my winter regimen goals.

Hair

This is not a bun-a-thon

I have not seen my hair down in over a month, so this weekend decided to do a twist-out. I realized all the bunning, again, done purely out of a lack of time, was putting too much strain on my already weak postpartum edged. Additionally, the polyester blend scarf that laid down my edges so nicely– no bueno, it was actually drying out my edges and preventing growth. I returned to my satin/silk loose-fitting scarf. I’d rather have halo-like edges than none at all. At least then I know they’re on a journey to growing back.

Twist and wear it out

So, for my hair this winter I’d like to wear it out at least every other week. I realized braid outs require too much time. So I’m going to opt for twists, which are faster. I may not have as much curl tightness and definition as I do with a braid-out, but I’m okay with that. Twists take me 20 minutes, 30 minutes tops to install and are super fast to let down.

Getting oily with it

I don’t usually seal in summer, but in winter sealing my ends and my edges is a must. I simply can’t skip this when the weather is dry and cold. My ends get a little drab on day 3 of wearing a twist out. Now, I make sure I oil my ends with coconut, jojoba or grape seed oil every other night before wrapping my hair. This helps reduce friction and protect my ends. I don’t use water on twist outs after I style my hair, as  this creates frizz.

Accessories 

I think winter is difficult for head fashion for many naturals. When my hair was relaxed, I could throw any beanie cap over my hair. Now, I want to make sure it doesn’t crush my curls, dry them out or wreck my style. However, staying warm is also very important. I usually just end up wearing a jacket with a warm hood. I’d like to look cute and all every now and again. So I’m on the hunt (most likely will try Etsy) for cute warm winter head-gear that won’t wreck the curls. Here are some ideas I found.

Clothes

So, I love fall. I can layer and wear fun blazers and boots. However, when the snow falls and the wind starts blowing like crazy– all I want to do is throw on a chunky sweater, jeans and winter boots and call it a day. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, I’d like to have just as much fun with winter fashion as I do with the other seasons. So, I’ll be trying to add a little sparkle and small hints of color, here and there. I want to wear more skirts and just layer, layer, layer to stay warm. I don’t think I’ll ever wear heels in winter, but I’ll at least try to find a boot that’s both warm and stylish. A lot of ideas I search for online show people dressed in climates with LA winters. Let’s face it, I would freeze heading out in a blazer and a chunky scarf. So I’m still on the look out for ideas. Open to any suggestions? I’ll of course adapt what I find to fit my aesthetic and lifestyle.

Make-up

I’m a minimalist when it comes to make-up and I’m okay with that. I still will try to do the minimum – eyeliner, blush and maybe a lipstick to dress things up a bit. Something dramatic would be nice, since my routine is pretty basic. I guess I have my winter shopping list done now.

 

What’s your winter fashion look? If you live in a warm environment and your temperatures never reach freezing. I envy you!

 

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Rhassoul vs Bentonite Clay

Rhassoul Clay Bentonite Clay
Ingredients Clay found in the Atlas Mts. High percentage of silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium

 

Volcanic ash sediments, has a high percentage of silica and iron
Uses Detox, face mask, skin treatment, cleanser, conditioner

 

Detox, face mask, skin treatment, cleanser
Slip (1: terrible – 5 great) 5

Nothing makes detangling as easy as rhassoul clay. My curls come out defined, smooth and clumped

 

3

My hair wasn’t as easy to comb through

Softness 5

Gives me HIH syndrome

3.5

My hair was soft after, but I still felt I had to follow-up with a conditioner, as it wasn’t as soft as I’d like it to be.

 

Preparation 4.5

Water, a little aloe or vinegar, mix and apply. Although my mix is always slightly runnier than I’d like.

 

3

This was very awkward to mix, the clay swells up as soon as water hits it and the mixture was really thick.

Appearance of hair 5

This always gives me a nice healthy shine

4

My hair looked very clean and shiny, although on the 3rd day it looked a little waxy to me.

 

Would I recommend this for low porosity hair Definitely, this stuff is golden! In my low porosity holy grail products I’d recommend it for an occasional hair cleanse/detox, but I don’t think I’ll add this to my list of low porosity must-haves.

Upcoming Post: Bentonite Clay

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I finally got my hands on some bentonite clay. Many readers have asked my opinion on it and now I’ll finally be able to give it. I’ll be reporting my results and doing a comparison on rhassoul and bentonite clays later on this week. In the meantime, I’m washing my hair for the second time this week— what?? This is a rare occurrence for me, but I couldn’t wait to try the clay.

Do you prefer rhassoul or bentonite?

Kitchen Chemist 3-1 Treatment

Today I tried something a little different. I wanted to pamper my hair a little after putting the little one down for the night. I decided to try this idea of a 3 in 1 hair treatment: shampoo/conditioner/all natural hair tint. As mentioned in an earlier post.

Here’s what I did during each step:

Shampoo

Whipped up a small amount of rhassoul clay, water, vinegar and stinging nettle. I’ve mentioned before that rhassoul clay is a gentle, moisturizing, detoxifying all natural cleanser. Well, recently, I learned that stinging nettle has great properties for the hair as well. It can be used to fight hair loss (postpartum shedding, the struggle is real!), to improve the appearance of hair, and remedy dandruff. Basically all good and natural things that promise great results. Yay! I whipped up these ingredients into a thick pudding texture and rubbed  it gently into my scalp and let it sit.

All natural tint/color rinse

Earlier in the day, over a stove, I simmered 2 TBSP of marshmallow root, a few sprigs of rosemary, 2 black tea bags and a TBSP of paprika for about 20 minutes and let it cool.

— On the ingredients –

Marshmallow root is a herb known to help with detangling, as it’s very slippery and secretes mucilage, which has been shown to be beneficial for softening the skin and hair. If you use my favorite leave-in/detangler KCKT, you’ll notice that it’s a key ingredient.

Black tea imparts shine and darkens  hair. It also increase softness, manageability, shine and encourages growth.

I threw in some fresh rosemary from my herb garden too. Rosemary stimulates growth and slows down graying and has been shown to darken hair.

I read that paprika has natural red dyes. Since I wanted a darker color, with hints of red I added it.

Note: this tint/color is not permanent, because permanent color strips the hair of color. However, I hope to achieve something like a temporary black rinse.

Conditioner

For the conditioner, I added Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle to my natural tint, once it cooled down and a pinch of baking soda to raise the PH so that my hair would accept the color rinse and open up my cuticles to receive the conditioning treatment. Really, a pinch is all I needed. I then applied parts 2 & 3 to my hair in sections, coating each strand and detangling along the way, as I distributed it out of the bottle.

I let all of this marinate in my hair and on my scalp for 20 – 30 minutes and then simply rinsed it out of my head with lots of care. And conditioned my ends quickly for good measure.

My hair was fluffy, soft and very shiny after this treatment. I can’t tell if my hair is darker, but the color definitely looks shinier and I see hints of red more now. I’ve braided it up for tonight and sat under the blow dryer for a little (20 minutes) to help it absorb the leave-in and dry faster. I’ll come back with more details on the final results when I take my hair out of the braids tomorrow.

Sorry for my rambling and disorganized post, it’s pretty late here.

Kitchen Chemist at it Again

This is more of a “to be continued” post than an actual post.

I’m so excited for my upcoming post that I just had to write and chat about it. This weekend I will be experimenting with a 3 in 1 treatment: shampoo/conditioner/ and all natural color. I don’t mean that I’ll be using one product that does all the prior mentioned. However, I’m going to do all of those processes in one step. It’ll either be a major success or an utter failure– won’t know until I try it. I’ll be whipping up a 100% natural concotion, to get a deep brown with red undertones. We’ll see how it goes… Look forward to giving you more details soon!

Have you ever tried natural hair color using items from your kitchen? Whipped up any good hair recipes lately?

 

How to Not Get Enough Sleep

I bet you were all thinking that the response to this title should be: have a baby. Well, this how to doesn’t actually involve a baby.

Step 1. Put baby to bed. He sleeps through the night now, from 8pm – 7am. My husband and I consider ourselves very lucky.

Step 2. If you’re wise, go to bed by 11:30, so you can get at least 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep. Suddenly, get the bright idea to experiment with Curlformers and use them on your old stretched out hair style. Just add a spritz of water, gel and oil.

Step 3. Proceed to regret this idea as you get halfway through. Your arms are sore from holding them in that awkward “M”, YMCA position. And yeah, you might have yanked out a few hairs from being lazy and impatient.

Step 4. It’s 12:30am and you’re exhausted. Only a few pieces of hair left to go. In the meantime, get the bright idea to watch a little TV to keep you up and motivated and make the last 20 minutes bearable.

Step 5. You should’ve abandoned this idea at Step 1, but since you’ve finished, now you’ll be sleeping in these uncomfortable plastic noodles. #Youwilltossandturnandregretthisallnight!

Step 6. Wake up with a sore neck and scalp, go get baby, nurse and feel that you’ve done something right, because he’s giggling at the sight of your Curlformers. Baby even begins yanking at them and pulling them out of your hair, saving you some work. #yestochildlabor

Step 7. Finish taking out your Curlformers while peanut naps and hide your disappointment that it didn’t turn out as you’ve hope. Oh well, rock that blown out look and enjoy, because you’ll never get back those 3 hours you wasted with your ridiculous idea to style your hair at 10pm.

Are any of you guilty of bad late night decision-making, be it hair or anything?

Happy Friday Everyone!

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Keep Calm, Stay Hydrated

I’m a strong advocate for health. I think that healthy hair starts from the inside out. On this blog, I often praise natural ingredients, such as rhassoul clay and rave about my favorite products, like Kinky Curly Knot Today. However, these are only topical applications and in the long run, while they help protect and cleanse my hair, they aren’t what make my hair healthy. A healthy diet, rich with fruits, vegetables and PLENTY of water help purify and hydrate the body, which can reap benefits for your hair. It’s so important that we get our daily intake of water. This is particularly important to me, since I am breastfeeding the peanut. I know I know it’s not always easy to get 8 oz of water a day. So I thought I’d share my favorite immune-boosting and hydrating drink with you. It’s simple, easy and delicious. I make 2 liters of this and am able to finish it all within a day.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 liters water
  • 1 bag of green tea
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 4 – 5 lemon slices
  • (optional grated ginger)
  1. Heat 1.5 liters of water. Add one tablespoon of honey and mix until dissolved. Add tea bag (and grated ginger),  let it steep for about 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. In a glass pitcher, add .5 liters of cold water. 4 – 5 lemon slices
  3. Once the green tea cools add to the mixture in the glass pitcher. Pop this in the fridge for a couple of hours or until chilled and enjoy as much as you’d like.

This drink it really light and refreshing for summer. It gives me an alternative to drinking straight water all the time. I even place it in a wine glass and enjoy it at lunch time. Makes me feel all fancy and sophisticated– even when I’m sometimes covered in green peas and sweet potato purée (the peanut has discovered the joy of blowing raspberries lately). Guess I can forget about those lovely white summer pants. Lol!

What’s your favorite way to drink water. Are you a purist or do you like to mix things up a bit?