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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Updates from the Hooded Dryer

Deep conditioning my hair and realised it’s been a disrespectfully long time since I’ve blogged. Since, I’m doing my weekly deep conditioner, I thought now was a better time than never.

On the hair front. My hair has been doing really well. I ran out of rhassoul clay and need to order a new stock. So I’ve been doing a lot of co-washing and I shampoo every other week or once a month, since winter months here tend to be dry. I make deep conditioning part of my regular routine. Even on days when I’m feeling lazy and tired, I make sure I sit under my hooded dryer for at least 15 minutes to let my conditioner soak into my strands.

I’ve mainly been doing twist-outs and protective styling (though not intentionally, but due to my being exhausted, lazy and low on time). I did venture into threading once, when I had the urge to blow-dry my hair. It gave my hair a really nice stretch to work with for other styles. I haven’t put heat to my hair since I went to the salon in August. So I’m happy for Youtube and alternative methods to blow-drying.

My pregnancy is going well and I have a little over a month left until the baby comes– saying that suddenly makes me panic. Time is flying by. I’m excited to meet this little life and to see my son transform into a big brother. We finally found names for both a boy and girl. I was starting to worry, because we’ve disagreed for the past 34 weeks.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to relaxing over the holidays. It’s been a busy year at home and at work. I’m thankful for everything we have, but really need some downtime before I double my motherly duties. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones and family members!!

 

 

October Updates

So in about a week, I enter my third trimester. I’ll miss the second trimester. It’s the phase in pregnancy where I feel the most energetic and attractive. With my son, I grew most in the third trimester and with this baby, I think it’ll be the same, although I’m now the size I was with my son during my 8th month. In short, I’m hitting that penguin carrying a balloon while getting her waddle on phase. Time is going by really fast at the moment and I’m very excited at the idea of having another little peanut to add to our family of three.

In the hair world, I’ve been religiously doing rhassoul clay treatments once per week. I follow that up with a deep conditioner consisting of a light oil, e.g. grapeseed and moisturizing conditioner. I then sit under my bonnet dryer for 20-30 minutes, add a leave-in, mostly concentrating on my ends, a light layer of gel (currently trying: Kinky Curly Curling Custard), twist my hair and seal the ends of my twists with an oil.  My two favorite conditioners for deep conditioning at the moment are Aussie Moist (still love this brand) and Tresemme Naturals. Finally, I sit under the dryer for about 20 minutes and let my hair partially dry, before heading to bed.

As you can see my routine, hasn’t changed much. The only thing I’m doing differently is weekly rhassoul clay treatments. I’ve noticed that I’ve retained some length and the overall health of my hair has improved drastically. I attribute this positive change to two things: a much needed cut I received this summer and a visit to the doctor. This summer, I went to my childhood hairdresser. As I sat down in his chair and he unraveled my bun and began washing my hair, he grew quiet. “Is everything ok?” he asked. Worried and somewhat confused, I stared at him puzzled. “I’m not trying to scare you or make you worry, but last year your hair was the epitome of health, right now it’s shedding heavily and feels very dry and brittle. Has anything changed in your diet, are you really stressed out at the moment?” He spoke gently and softly, as he handled my hair with great care. I brushed it off and reassured him that my first trimester was stressful, but now I was doing much better. I chalked it up to the doctor ordered bedrest for 2 weeks, in which I couldn’t thoroughly wash my hair and deep condition it.

He stopped his line of questioning and just gave his final two cents. “Ok honey, just make sure you’re getting enough iron, protein and taking your prenatals. You also might want to bring this up with your doctor. I’m not a medical professional, but often when things aren’t going well internally, it manifests on the outside and I see a major difference in your hair, love.” We then went on with our usual banter and celebrity gossip, as we transitioned out of the medical screening process.

Personally, I don’t eat a lot of meat and try to limit my intake, I don’t drink milk, but would occasionally eat a yogurt here and there. However, recently I’d started to entertain the idea of going vegan, after reading some articles and watching some documentaries. I hadn’t told him, because I thought he’d judge me. As soon as I returned home from summer vacation I began looking for a new doctor and decided to have some bloodwork done. It turns out, my B12 and iron were low. There are many women who suffer from low iron levels during and postpartum. However, the doctor indicated that my B12 levels were probably low due to dietary restrictions. I felt like a fool for starting a journey into something unknown without doing my research properly, especially being pregnant and all. I started to read and noticed many vegans have to supplement B12 in their diets. Low levels can be dangerous for cell development and the nervous system, as well as memory functions. My doctor immediately recommended weekly injections of B12. She also administered iron directly into my bloodstream. I’m feeling much better since this treatment and less tired, which I’d always attributed to my being a mom and being pregnant, which believe me, still exhausts me, but I am feeling more energetic than prior.

After my injections, I went back to doing research and discovered there are two types of B12 supplements, one that is absorbed easier by the body, methylcobalamin (mouthful I know) and cyanocobalamin, which is considered more harmful than beneficial. At my next visit, I checked with the medical assistant to determine what form of B12 their office uses and found out they only had cyanocobalamin in different brands. From what I’ve learned, Switzerland does not offer B12 prescriptions and this is the only form used countrywide. Probably due to its low production costs. I stopped my weekly injections and have now ordered a daily supplement. I’ve gone back to eating meat here and there from fear. I think after my pregnancy I’ll pick-up from where I left off. In the meantime I’ve ordered to books and will research this lifestyle more in detail, before proceeding.

Sorry for the long post and rant. I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes, if your skin or hair starts changing or deteriorating in appearance, it might not be due to a hair regimen, but to internal reasons. In my case, my hair feels better than it did a few months back, it’s feels healthier, thicker and shinier. I don’t think that’s 100% due to my regimen, but also to the fact that I’ve sought medical attention for the things my body was lacking.

I guess I have to thank my hair dresser, MD for this one. Have a lovely Sunday!

By the way, I’ll be updating and simplifying my regimen section, as there are some aspects of my regimen, which I don’t use on a regular basis. I’ll also try to include a frequently asked questions  section. I receive many emails often with the same type of questions and thought this might be helpful for new visitors and less frequent followers.

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Have a beautiful Sunday!

Round Two and Hair Updates

It’s been forever since I’ve posted on here. I had plans to be more active on the blog this summer, since I don’t teach during that time. Summer came and is gone (at least over here it is), I guess better late than never. Life has been very eventful and exciting on my end. I wish I could say the same for my hair… more on that later.

So without further ado, I’m pregnant with baby number 2. This pregnancy is really taking a toll on me. With my son, I was doing yoga and power walking up until week 37, my hair was thick, shiny and flourished, I was rarely tired or nauseous. This time around, the only thing I can think of is sleep. My hair has suffered so many setbacks, so much so that I had to cut off 2 inches. #Healthoverlength

This hasn’t been the smoothest of pregnancies, granted I only have one to compare it to. I was on bed rest for 2 weeks in July and can’t do sports at the moment, but can work and carry on with my day, luckily. During those two-week, I could only take short showers, dress and return to bed. This meant, I went 2 weeks without washing my hair or really looking after it for that matter. My hair has been Sahara dry. I’ll now be doing weekly rhassoul and deep conditioning treatments until it recovers.

So early next year, Peanut will have a little brother or sister to call his own. I will probably be in buns until they go to the high school or just chop it all. We shall see.

How was your summer?

That Time of The Month Hair

Why did I even bother pre-pooing?!

This post may be a little TMI for some. However, I can’t help but address this topic, based on my experience. My hair is typically predictable and easy to care for, given I follow my low porosity regimen. Although, there is one time during each month where it’s drier, more tangled, duller and harder to care for and that’s during menstruation. Shortly after “Aunt Flo” has made her visit, my hair gets a breath of life and looks instantly healthier.This is probably due to the drop in hormones during the start of the cycle and the increase in hormones after and during ovulation.

Since my hair is unwilling to cooperate with me during that time, here are some tricks and I use.

  1. Increase conditioning. During this time of the month, I try not to skip deep conditioners and moisturize my hair more.
  2. Protective styling. I don’t wear a lot of protective styles. I like to wear my hair out. However, you’ll find me in a bun one week out of the month. I just tuck it away and don’t bother trying to force it to do what it won’t.
  3. Increase H20 intake. I generally try to drink enough water, but am more conscious of my fluid intake during this time.
  4. Eat more healthily. See above.

Do you notice any differences in your hair around that time of the month?

Leave-Out: Week 3

A few weeks back, I posted on experimenting with my regimen, specifically, skipping my leave-in. I like a minimalist approach so if I can edit my routine and drop some unnecessary steps that’s a win my book. Here’s a picture from week 3 leave-out experiment. I simply sealed with coconut oil.

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About three days post wash, I usually moisturize my hair with a small amount of leave-in or just oil and a little water.

What I’ve noticed over the past few weeks:

  • Softer, shinier, bouncier next day hair.
  • When, reapplying moisture to completely dry hair (as needed basis) my hair seems to drink up the product. It never does this when it’s damp or wet.
  • Less frizz. My theory, fewer products to interact with dew point levels…. just a wild guess.
  • Faster styling and drying times.

I’ll continue with my leave-out experiment this entire month to monitor my results. Have any of you tried skipping your leave-in or experimenting with your regimen?

 

Lo-Po Shampoo Dos

Shampoo has a bad rep in the natural hair world. There’s a huge no-poo / curly girl following, who skip this step of their routine. While I don’t think shampoo is the essential ingredient for moisturized, healthy hair, I do think it’s a necessary and beneficial product. I typically use rhassoul clay as a cleanser and conditioner. However, I have a full plate and often don’t have time to mix up my batch of rhassoul clay every week. To make my life a little easier, I shampoo when I’m low on time. For my low-porosity hair, this is a less moisturizing, yet still nice alternative to my rhassoul treatment. It opens up my cuticles and helps my hair absorb the moisturizing conditioner that follows. It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best when shampooing my hair, but I thought I’d share my Lo-Po Shampoo Dos:

  1. Shampoo your hair from root to tip. I used to always think I could just shampoo my scalp and then suds would trickle down and remove any grime. I used the scalp technique for years and never understood why I battled build-up. Low porosity hair is very susceptible to build-up and needs a good cleaning to remove product and grime. I’ve noticed by applying shampoo all over, my clean hair is ready to absorb moisture after. You don’t have to apply a ton of shampoo a little goes a long way.
  2. Creamy, rich, moisturizing. When I use shampoo, I try to find one that is conditioning. I do try to avoid sulfates, when possible, but a cream based conditioner usually doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped and dry.
  3. Do not detangle your hair with shampoo in it and do not tangle it too much in the process of shampooing, be gentle.
  4. Follow-up with a rich, deep conditioner. Whether it’s doctoring up your own blend or using a purchased deep conditioner, it’s essential to apply conditioner from root to tips and let it sit on your hair for a little (e.g. at least 15 minutes).

That’s it. What are some of your Lo-Po Shampoo Dos? Or do you follow a no-poo regimen?

Interesting link: http://www.blackhairinformation.com/growth/shampooing/co-washing-everyone/

Keep calm, put down that flexirod and carry on

How often does this happen to you? It’s a normal Sunday evening. You’ve decided to relax and go to bed on time. You look in the mirror and just feel like changing your look, cutting your hair, dying your hair, just something different. You pick up the scissors, contemplating cutting, when suddenly you decide, a new style is probably just what you need. Your eyes scan your hair styling tools and suddenly before you know it, you’re on YouTube searching for “flexirod set on natural stretched hair”. Naptural85’s video pops up in your results as the number 1 video and you love her videos, so somehow feel it’s meant to be. You watch the video and are motivated at how simple it all seems, gel, brush, set, sleep and voila hair commercial results. So that’s where I am now, getting ready for a night of uncomfortable “pretty” sleep and wake up and wonder, WHY???

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I guess I was blinded by Naptural’s awesome results.

 

 

Operation Save My Edges

My edges suffered so much after my pregnancy. I’m finally starting to see the light, as they’ve started to grow back, granted slowly. I still have to use my comb-over technique from time to time. Pulling my hair back completely, is not an option, as I don’t want to put too much pressure on my edges and I don’t want expose my barely-there edges. So, I wear my hair down a lot and if I do pull my hair back, it’s always in a very loose low pony or bun.

Yesterday, I did a braid out and I loved the look, but my edges killed it and made my hair look flat and lifeless. I used a headband to hide my thinning hair and give the illusion of volume by fluffing. This is a nice quick fix that’s gentle on my edges. In addition, to being gentle with my edges, I’ve tried massaging them lightly with a light oil (e.g. jojoba) and mixing in some essential oils like lavender and tea tree. I’ll have to pick up some rosemary essential oil as I’ve heard this is really good for hair growth.

Are you team thin edges? What are some tricks that have worked for you? Even if your edges are normal to thick, what are some tricks you use to keep them that way??

Happy Sunday!

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Regimen Experimentation

So, if you’ve read my previous post, you know I’m experimenting with skipping my leave-in conditioner after my wash session. This recent attempt at tweaking and changing my regimen has made me curious about some things:

Could it be possible that sealing with oils never worked for me, because I’ve been suffocating my strands with leave-in? Are oils and butters really my frenemies??

Does my hair respond better to leave in when it’s completely dry?
Is a good deep conditioning session really all that I need?

Honestly, my hair has never had this dimension of shine when I’ve used leave-in conditioners. It’s never been this bouncy either. I can’t believe that it’s possible that I’ve been smothering my hair in product. This would explain why it took so long to dry. I want to play around with lots of natural products now, to see if they leave me with similar results. This weekend I’ll try treat myself to a deep conditioning rhassoul clay mask and this time apply a whipped Shea butter mixture to my hair. You know butter and my hair are like oil and water, they don’t mix. We’ll see, I’d love for if to work, as I’ve got tons of Shea butter.

This morning when I unwrapped my hair, I applied a little moisturizer to my ends. And it absorbed it easily. This is a huge detour from my normal routine. I’ll add updates to my regimens as I figure out what works best.

Day 2 HAIR:

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