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!

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Real Talk II: Stretch Marks

Pregnancy changes you in so many ways. The first change you notice, above all, is the physical change. It’s a challenging period, where you feel you lose a lot of control over your body. To stay fit and healthy, I exercised through most of my pregnancy, so losing the baby weight was not my main issue. The thing that I was most concerned with during and after my pregnancy was and is stretch marks. I got some pretty severe war scars to show. And while, I know I shouldn’t care, be superficial and should proudly wear my badge of honor, they just make me a little self-conscious. I’ve googled solutions and there are many modern techniques, which help improve the appearance, such as laser surgery. However, since I’m brown-skinned, this type of treatment wouldn’t work for me. I don’t want to go under the knife and would like to find some natural cures to improve the appearance of stretch marks.

I’ve tried cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe vera, jojoba, coconut oil, massaging the area, rubbing alien gunk all over my belly– you get my point. Nothing seems to work. They don’t look as harsh as they did after the birth and they have seemed to lighten a bit. However, what I want to know for my female readers who have children, did the appearance get better over time or is it just something we have to live with.

After rigorous searches on the web for dark-skinned tricks for combatting stretch marks and looking through some pregnant vlogger videos–I got nada! This makes me think either people of darker hues, just aren’t falling victim to stretch marks or perhaps they’re just not talking about it.

Have any of your experienced stretch marks? What tricks did you try to fight them and did their appearance improve overtime?

In the meantime, I will be sporting a one piece this summer until I’m a little more comfortable. It’s a good excuse for me to shop for a new bathing suit. I’m excited, because I didn’t realize how many cute bathing suits there are today. Some of my favorites from Asos.com:

Image 1 of ASOS Plunge Halter Swimsuit