Blown-out Twist-out

This is by far my favorite to-go-to hairstyle in the spring and fall, when the weather is warm and dry. I simply, blow dry my hair, my goal is not bone straight blown out hair, but just stretched hair. A heat protectant and small amount of leave-in was applied before blowdrying my hair. Next I put my hair in big chunky flat twists and unravel the next day. I enjoy this style, because it’s soft and fluffy. I get to enjoy the length of my hair for a bit. In addition, this style lasts longer than my wet/damp set twists, typically 10 – 14 days. I follow-up by oiling my ends each night and placing my hair back in jumbo twists. Love the versatility of natural hair!

I’m mostly doing my usual routine (clay wash, occasional slippery elm detangle, deep conditioning and sealing with oil and for the most part skipping the leave-in). This week, I started with a new practice and that’s oiling my scalp before I wash my hair. I’ll post on that soon.Have you ever oiled your scalps, is it part of your regimen?

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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?

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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How My Hair Teaches Me To Love

This summer while on vacation in Boston I had my hair professionally styled. Actually, I had it flat ironed twice (yikes).  The first time, I went to a stylist, I’d gone to as a child. He took his time, used low heat, and left me with lots of volume. . I really loved the fullness and body my hair had after he finished styling it.

I wanted to surprise my husband and let him see my hair straight. So, before returning home, I went to my sister’s stylist, who I’d been to many times in the past, when my hair was relaxed. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t as positive as the first time. She was a little rough detangling, used high heat to blow dry and straighten my hair, took two passes each time she flat-ironed it (gasp)! I nervously squirmed around in the chair and asked her if my curls would return (my passive way of suggesting that she was using too much heat). She assured me it would as my hair is not flat ironed often and does not hold the memory of being styled straight, so thus should revert easily.

When I came home with my hair straight, I got loads of compliments. I admit it, I enjoyed the attention, as well as the ease of styling my straight hair. I started getting used to seeing myself with straight hair. So when wash day came around I started using curl formers to stretch my hair. The other day, while pulling my hair up into a bun, I noticed it felt and looked rather dry and lackluster.

I decided to stop forcing my hair to do what it doesn’t do naturally and embrace my curls again. My going natural is a continual journey and learning experience. It’s not just about hair, but also about love and acceptance. I want to accept myself, every aspect, and love the skin I am in. It’s so easy to point out what one doesn’t have or what one would like to improve upon and rarely praise the positive things we possess. This shouldn’t be confused with bragging or boasting, but truly being okay with who I am, flaws and all.

I’m back to my curls this week and I’m going to be giving my hair lots of TLC. This is not to say I’ll never flat-iron my hair again, but I don’t plan on it anytime soon. And next time I’m uncomfortable in a stylists chair, I’ll be sure to be vocal and state my apprehensions (this should apply to most matters in life).

On another note, the other day, I was at the pediatrician’s office and she commented that my son was really cool and laid-back. She had just returned from vacation and said he was such a nice baby to see upon returning from her holiday, because of his temperament. Then she went on to say that it must be due to his parents. I told her I wasn’t sure about that. She turned to me and asked, “why is it that when someone says something about a child being bratty, impatient or anything negative, the parents, usually moms, take full responsibility about what they might have done wrong? However, when it’s about something positive, rarely do we claim to take part.” You know what, she’s right? It’s so easy, for people, and I have the feeling, women especially, to internalize a lot of negative events and take the blame. Why not claim good?

So here’s my “better late than never” resolution this year is say one positive and lovely thing I like about myself each morning. And to spread the positivity, today I’ll add something positive about my readers/blog subscribers. I love how sweet and thoughtful your comments are and that thanks to you all this blog is an open and friendly platform. So stay lovely and stay you.

I know a lot of sad and negative events taking place in the world now, but I’d love to know: What are you  loving about life/yourselves these days.

 

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Home sweet home

Hi Everyone,

I’m home in the States for a bit. I’m having fun showing my little one around and introducing him to family and friends. I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday to pick up some of that Triple Treat conditioner all the natural hair gurus boast about. You know what. It was SOLD OUT! I’m thinking that as soon as that stuff hits the shelf, naturals be like “I better stock up”. Seriously though there are some serious product junkies out there… I’m hoping I can get some while I’m here… Anyway I bought nourish spa in the meantime… We’ll see how that works. If you happen to be in a Massachusetts Trader Joe’s and you see this conditioner, help a girl out and let her know. Please and thank you!

What product do you notice disappearing before it’s even stocked?

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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Oh Hello Again

I am behind on some posts. When I get a few free moments, I will try to blog a bit. I have two very exciting product reviews coming up– one product is a shampoo (can’t believe a shampoo gave me stellar results). Another post is on reverse dry deep conditioning cleanse (I.e. deep conditioning on dry hair, then mud washing). I have a post on hydration tips that I’m working on. Finally, I’m hoping to put together a low porosity survey that I’ll be asking readers to fill out. The goal is to catalogue lo-po hair characteristics and products that work for you. Looking forward to chatting with readers again!

In the meantime, I have a girl’s night out this weekend and am so excited– much needed!! I’m leaving the boys at home, they’ll enjoy some nice father-son time together.

Right now I’m sitting under the dryer letting my twists dry a bit. Can I just say that tonight my ends and twists were so moisturized after washing and conditioning my hair. The pic below was after washing my hair, my ends curled up nicely, a sign for me that their moisturized. I cannot wait to share my product review with you all!! I will be stocking up on this product this summer when I visit the States!!

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

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Hair Aisle Junky

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I have about a drop of Giovanni Triple Treat Shampoo left. However, I still have a few bottles of other shampoo sitting in my medicine cabinet. So please tell me, why do I feel the need to detour down the hair aisle and grab this shampoo and conditioner? (bows head in shame). Ugh drug store hair aisle be damned!

Any way, I did want to try a creamy shampoo lately, as all of mine are clear liquid shampoos (coughs: excuses). I haven’t really used Garnier Fructic shampoo or conditioner, since my relaxed days. I’m wondering how it will work out. In any case, I’ll give these a try this weekend and report back with results. I can always give them to hubby if they don’t do anything for me. Have you ever tried Garnier products? Is your shampoo cream or liquid-based?