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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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!

Leave-Out: Naked Hair

Lately, my hair has been in such a bad state guys. It has been dry, lifeless and dull. No matter what I do. My wash and go experiment last week– total failure. My day two hair was helmet-y, lackluster and undefined. I tried revisiting Curlformers to try something different, but I ended up with a horrible set. Not even worth blogging about. And not just that… a total waste of time. I did get a good twist out, from my stretched, curl-former style. So, I liken them to curl stretchers more than formers.

As many of you know I often praise my all-star hair care product, rhassoul clay on this blog. Each time I use it, I’m left with amazingly hydrated, plump coils and curls. Sometimes, I’m almost afraid to use a leave-in, for fear of reversing all the goodness that comes from using the rhassoul. Most times, I just forego this idea and add my leave-in. My hair does change slightly. I notice slight frizz, weighed down curls and a little less clumping. Well, last night after washing my hair at an ungratefully late hour, I decided to skip the leave-in.

I’d just followed my shampoo and protein treatment, with a rhassoul mask and my hair was on fleek (I’ve been dying to use this expression). Any way, I took a plunge after some hesitation and lightly coated my hair with coconut oil, concentrating mostly mid-shaft down to my ends. Then, I twisted my hair, sat under a bonnet dryer for a short time, wrapped and went to sleep. What I woke up to?

Extremely soft, moisturized hair that held the curls nicely. I was absolutely thrilled. It’s the end of the day and my hair is still soft and moisturized. I’ll probably add some leave-in to my hair, when it feels dry, but for now, I’m very content with its current state.

Some things I noticed about my hair sans leave-in:

  1. drying time was much faster
  2. it was bouncier than usual
  3. it feels softer and more hydrated than it ever did

If I’m on to something here, this means major savings for my wallet and a faster routine. Stay tuned. Maybe my fine, but dense low porosity hair, just does not like heavy cream based products.

Have you every skipped the leave-in conditioner?

Speaking of rhassoul clay. I’ll be giving away a bag of organic rhassoul clay to a reader based in Europe, US or Canada. To enter, subscribe to the blog, comment on at least two posts on this blog. Entries close the 25th of February.

Good luck!

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New Year, New Goals

I love the resolutions and setting goals. What perfect time to do so than the New Year. I didn’t use to be one to set New Year’s Resolutions, but now I love having them. I always try to set aside goals that line-up with my life style, because let’s face it ain’t nobody (at least I don’t) got time to start leading a completely new and different life.

I thought I’d share my resolutions. Some of them, I touched upon on this blog already.

  1. Nourish my Mind – Read every night before going to bed. Book, magazine, whatever it may be. I got into a bed habit of checking my smart phone, blogging, reading blogs, using social media, etc. on my phone. I’ve been reading each night 15 – 30 minutes, before falling asleep and I’ve noticed a big change in the way I sleep after.  I just finished the book A curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon. This book is written from the perspective of an adolescent boy who is trying to solve a murder (dog) mystery. The boy has a really high intellect and a difficult time understanding every day social cues. It’s beautifully written and manages to make you laugh, cry, gasp and celebrate life all at the same time. I highly recommend it.
  2. Nourish my Palate- I’ve always been a healthy eater. However, my goal for this year is to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals and make a thoughtful effort to supplement plant-based products when I can.  I don’t eat a lot of meat as is. However, I want to add lots of plant-based protein sources to my diet this year, because I slacked on this a little last year. This week I made some spicy mushroom, lentil and black bean veggie burgers. Honestly, I enjoyed it more than an actual burger as did my husband.
  3. Nourish my Body – work out twice per week. I’m doing okay on this one. I take yoga once per week. I do walk around a lot. However, I’d like another course as these are easier to keep up with than exercising at home or outside, at least while it’s cold outside. I’m thinking about returning to dance and taking either a modern or classical dance course. I’ll add visiting a dance studio to get a brochure to-do list for this weekend.
  4. Nourish my friendships – I don’t want to waste time with people who can’t accept you as you are. Last year I made a friend who made me second guess what I was doing all the time. I was always stressed when meeting up with her, because I felt she was constantly judging me and the choices I make on what I wear, how I live and raise my child. Well, this year I just kind of stopped contacting her. Life’s too short. I have a tight circle of friends who accept me as I am. And I’m perfectly content with that.
  5. Nourish My Hair – I’m not one to set length goals, but I’d like to reach bra strap length when my hair is straightened by the end of this year. They say hair can grow 6 inches per year. I’m not going to do any length checks or anything of that nature, but will try to up my deep conditioning game.

Do you have any New Year’s Goals?

 

Oh and I completely forgot to mention that I’d like to try to put in a minimal amount of effort to look like put together from time to time, especially in winter.

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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Modified Baggy Method

I mentioned a while back in a post on methods of moisturizing lo-po hair that the baggy method never worked for me. I’ve never been a big fan of this method. I didn’t like how soft and weak my hair felt after applying it, didn’t like sleeping with plastic on my head, and I don’t think this type of method is ideal for a healthy scalp– in fact, I think it can promote fungal growth, but that’s another story. Anyway, I was thinking about doing a modified baggy soon. This would involve, putting my hair in pig tails and simply covering the ends of my hair, which are usually more prone to dryness. In addition, I’m thinking about mixing up some rhassoul, oil and a little vinegar or aloe and applying this mixture to my ends only and leaving it on over night. What do you think? I’m hoping rhassoul’s moisturizing properties and ability to open the cuticles and remove toxins, will benefit my ends.

Have you ever done a modified baggy version?

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?

3-1 Treatment Results

If you read my earlier posts (1, 2), you know that I’ve experimented a little with some natural ingredients (if not click on links 1,2). Well, this morning I unraveled my braids and I’m pleasantly surprised with the results of my 3 in 1 (step treatment). Recap: rhassoul and nettle scalp mask, black tea, rosemary, paprika and marshmallow root tint/color rinse and conditioner, were all applied to my hair and then rinsed simultaneously. This saved me time, allowed me to deep condition my hair, which I don’t do these days.

I really, really like the results of this process. I’ll try to do it once, every other month if possible. My hair is super shiny, soft, defined, moisturized and it looks and feels SO healthy. I notice that my highlights, which have grown out and are only on the ends of my hair, are now a chocolate brown and not as brassy as before. My hair looks a little darker, but it could be a results of all the shine, from this moisturizing treatment.

I highly recommend it for anyone interested in trying. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, I’d say the essentials you could try this alternatives, which might be easier to find:

Natural shampoo: diluted apple cider vinegar applied ONLY to the scalp (if you’re low porosity, you know what applying this all over your hair can do (if not, read this). However, applying this directly to your scalp can help lift dandruff and build-up.

Temporary color rinse/tint: strongly brewed black tea or coffee, if you want the solution to be a bit thicker or viscous, try boiling some flax seeds, drain the seeds with a strainer or muslin cloth and add the thick solution to your brewed tint.

Condition: Any conditioner you enjoy using mixed in with the color or added on top of it will do.

There you have it. Have you been whipping up any concoctions in the kitchen lately? Do you think you’ll give this 3-1 treatment a try? If so, let me know what your results are.

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?

 

Keep the Content Rolling

When I started this blog, I was so excited to share my experience dealing with my low porosity hair. I had no idea that there were so many of you out there, like me, frustrated with their hair and not being able to apply the “natural guidelines” that worked so well for others in the curly community. Over time my blog has evolved to a place where I can share little details not only about my hair, but also my life. I started out eager and pushed out content on a regular basis. That is until I pushed out a baby (TMI, too descriptive? oops).

Any way, I’m trying to get back to more regularity and have continuous content on the blog. I’d like to keep the conversations we’ve shared going and learn more about your experiences. So, in order to do that, I promise to try to post at least one entry per week, probably on Sundays.  I hope I’m able to fulfill this promise. However, I feel like putting it out there in writing to my readers and the blog universe, holds me accountable and makes my goal seem mor attainable.

If you blog and are balancing other things in life, be it kids, work, etc., what do you do to stay on schedule?