Thursday, June 30, 2016

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar on my hair

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many awesome benefits, and is especially great for the hair.  It is great to treat dry itchy scalp, prevents dandruff and closes the cuticle leaving the hair shiny.  Due to the acidic component of ACV it helps to maintain the ph balance of your hair and scalp. 

I recently started using apple cider vinegar to help me with m itch scalp and have reap numerous benefits.  Despite the smell it is a welcome addition to my hair care arsenal.  Here are a few of the benefits I have reaped so far.

Detangles-  It is a great detangler, I could not believe the first time I used it how easily I was able to detangle my hair.  The reason for this is that the acidity helps to smooth the cuticle loosen any knots.  

Antibacterial-  I first decided to use it because of my itchy scalp and have seen so much rave reviews on how well it works to return the natural balance to my scalp.  Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which works as an antibacterial and antifungal, therefore making the scalp a hostile environment for both bacteria and fungus. 

Clarifying-  I use a ton of produces in my hair throughout the week, which make my hair loo really dull by the end of the week.  Apple cider vinegar (ACV) clarifies and remove product build-up without stripping the hair.  After an apple cider vinegar rinse my hair looks shiner and my curls are more defined.

To make my apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse I combine one part ACV with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray directly on my scalp.  I plan give a place of prominence in my wash day routine by adding it before my shampoo and before my leave-in conditioner.

Have you used ACV in your wash day routine? What benefits did your get from incorporating it? 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wash Day- Birthday Hair!

Everyone wants to look their best on their birthday because it’s their special day.  At first I planned on flat ironing my hair but thought better of it and decided that I would just go with something routine and mundane, which I did. The big payoff is that I got a really lovely compliment from my new boo.

So here is how this wash day went;

Prepoo- For my prepoo I did a hot oil treatment with my oil mix.  This oil mix consist of Jamaican black castor oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil.  After detangling with the oil I applied it from root to tip ensuring that I go all the hair, I then sat under my bonnet dryer for 15 minutes. 

Shampoo- Once my hair was cool I shampooed with Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut shampoo.  I lathered twice to ensure I remove all the excess oil.

Deep Conditioner- I deep conditioned with Neutrogena Triple moisture conditioner under a plastic cap and my head tie for 45 minutes, before rinsing with warm water followed by cool water. I like how this conditioner leaves my hair feeling, hopefully it’s not a fluke.

Leave-in Conditioner- After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to get out the excess water.  I then sprayed my scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar and left to air dry for ten minutes.  After which I applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangled and twist in to four sections, and left to air dry.  When it was about 90 percent dry I applied Cantu repair and conditioning cream to each section and re-twist and left to completely air dry.

Moisturizer- Applied Elasta QP Olive oil and Mango butter and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum and blow dry on cool to stretch. I then two-strand twist did a flexi rod set with a little African Pride Shea buttery crème overnight.

In the morning I had really soft moisturized hair, but not much curl definition.  So I did a flat twist in the front and fluffy the back and call it a day. I was a little disappointed but my boo gave me and my hair life with his oh so sweet compliment.I was feeling fly when my boo says, “I love your hair, it’s so natural and beautiful”; I think I blushed about 20 shades. Yep, he’s a keeper. I am loving my hair even though I am relearning everything I thought I knew about it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

39 Years!

I have completed 39 years on this earth.  I have forgotten more than I can remember.  I have experienced joy, pain, failure, triumph, love, hate, happiness, anger, heartache, passion and disappointment. However, I am thankful for the great memories and not so great ones.

I am appreciative of the people, who have come into my life; some who have been there from the beginning and the ones who were just passing through. I am grateful for the kind words, the not so kind words, the advice, the encouragements, the words of caution and even the doubtful words.  
These experiences have shaped my life and have crafted the person I am today.

So on this first day of summer I hope you find great love, great friends, and have great experiences. But more than anything I hope you all have a great and fulfilled life.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Motivation- Be Brave

One of my favorite mantra is "fake it until you make it".  I often use it when I'm in a situation that is outside of my comfort zone.  It reminds me that as long as I can convince others around me that I will eventually convince myself.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston S. Churchill

To be brave does not mean you are without fear, it simple means that you have the courage to move on or act despite the fear.  There was a time in our lives were the possibilities seems endless but with age and life experiences we develop fears. Being brave is about saving the world or fighting the unfair treatment at your job, it is about facing your fears and making decisions to change.

I recently read a book and the protagonist hated her job in accounting and really wanted to be a writer however, because of peer and parental pressure she did not pursue her dream.  In the end with motivation from her new boyfriend she was able to do what she always dreamt of doing.

For me the moral of the story is; never put your dreams hold because of fear of disappointing the ones we love.  It is possible to live your dreams and also have your family proud of you.  Stop living for someone else but have the courage too live for you.

Before it is too late Be Brave, have courage, take the risk and enjoy the experience.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wash Day - 52 Weeks Post

Fifty-two weeks ago I did my last relaxer for the foreseeable future and while at the time I wasn’t thinking a transitioning I was starting to dredge relaxer day.  So while it hasn’t been easy, it has been rewarding. 
Anyway back to this week’s wash day;  while my hair is healthy and thriving my scalp is acting the fool so this wash day I use apple cider vinegar (ACV) in my wash day routine for the very first time. While strolling through the haircare isle in Target a pick up a few Neutrogena Triple Moisture daily deep conditioner.

Prepoo- I detangled with warm coconut oil, then coat hair with more coconut oil and put on a plastic and sat under my hair dry for 10 minutes.

Shampoo- After rinsing out the prepoo treatment I shampooed with Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut moisturizing detangling shampoo. I normally lather once but I since my scalp has been a little itchy I lathered twice.  After rinsing out the shampoo my hair and scalp felt amazing and the itchiness was gone.

Deep Conditioner-  I then deep conditioned with Neutrogena Triple Moisture daily deep conditioner  under a plastic cap and my hair dryer for ten  minutes, then allowed my hair to cool for another fifteen minutes before rinsing with warm water followed by cool water.  This conditioner sinks right into my hair and after rinsing it out my hair felt moisturized.

Freshly washed hair with no products

Leave-in conditioner- After rinsing out the conditioner I squeeze out some of the excess water and sprayed my scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) then wrapped hair in a t-shirt to dry.  I applied Kinky curly knot today and detangled, after which I applied Cantu leave-in conditioning repair cream and twist into four sections and left to air dry.

Moisturizer- When my hair was about 80 percent dry I apply Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer and OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum then blow dry each section on warm.  Once I blew out each section I applied a small amount of African Pride Shea butter miracle moisturizer and did three twist on each section for a total of twelve twist. . In the morning I was not digging the twist out so I put the hair into two flat twist.

This was a good wash day and while I may still suck at twist outs I have seen significant growth with not only my hair but also my skill level. 

How was your #washdayexperience? What are some of the challenges you face?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Transition: One Year Later

June 14, 2016 marks one year since I got my last relaxer.  On that date a year ago I did not set out to transition to natural however, I had it in mind to do a six months stretch.  At the time I was texlaxing my hair three times a year and wanted to cut it down to twice per year.  Boy oh boy who knew what a journey I would go on; not me for sure.

How did I get here?  (Here is my regimen)

The first four months went by quite easily but months five and six I struggled because I just could not get my hair to behave the way I wanted it to.  Now looking back I was forcing it to do something that it could and it rebelled.  After making the decision it announced it here because I figured I would have to stay true to myself and my awesome reader by not relaxing when it got difficult.  Yes, it did get difficult and there were times when I questioned why I thought it was that big of a deal, because I’m only human and you’ll forgive me for relapsing.  RIGHT??  However, I am never one to give up or fail to be my best so I plugged on and the results are well worth it. 

Techniques I use:

I follow my regimen to a tee even when I feel like I can’t do this, I still do it.  I learned how to perfect a flat twist and most weekends you will find me rocking my flat twist.  My favorite curly style is something created using flexi rods or perm rods.  I now have flexi rods of every length, size and color because as my hair grows it has different needs.  I exercise daily so I moisturize daily so that my hair does not become dry and brittle. 

My natural hair!

My natural hair is a funny beast the front has loose soft curls, the crown has slightly tighter curls and the back tight coily curls. Overall my hair is very dense but the strands are very fine, which is good and bad.  Good because I have much more hair than I anticipated but bad because it is so fine it does not hold it shape for long even with styling aids.  When wet it does the disappearing act; my hair shrinks to 25 percent of its length.  Now I understand why I was relaxed at age 10 because the shrinkage is ugly but fortunately with leave-in conditioners and detanglers it stretches quite easily.   

What I’ve learned so far?

I hate and love my hair in the same breathe; I lack serious styling skills but is coping.  The saying “Patience is a virtue” is so true, I learned not to rush or get frustrated when my hair doesn’t fall, lay or curl in the manner I want it to, I just give it few more weeks. 

Year Two here I come!

As I begin year two of this journey I hope to master a proper braid out and twist out.  I will continue to stick to my regimen and slowly trim away the texlaxed ends with a goal of been fully natural on my two year mark.
I want to give a big shout out to the amazing ladies of the #washdayexperience for not only their kind words and encouragement but also for sharing their techniques and inspiring me on a weekly basis. 

Did you transition to natural? How was it, and do you have any tips or tricks to share with me?

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Biggest Loser Effect

The NBC show “the Biggest Loser” has been in the news a lot lately; due to the fact that nearly all the contestants have regained all their weight plus some.  The news reports are basically saying that it isn’t these peoples fault, but that they are physiological destined to fail.  So this has me thinking is losing weight rapidly setting us to fail? Are we genetically predestined to be heavier than most of the population?  Can we really win against our bodies?  How can we successfully lose weight and keep it off for the long-term?

What is the “Biggest Loser Effect”?

Weight loss is easy; however maintaining the weight loss is a challenge.  It is recommended that a person loses one to two pounds per week in order to prevent your metabolism from shutting down.  However per the reports and what you saw on the show these contestants were dropping ridiculous amount of weight.  Due to rapid weight loss, the effect known as “metabolic adaptation” where the body burns fewer calories at rest was happening to them.  While this was expected the contestant metabolic adaptation rate was much slower than average. 

So what does this means to sustainable weight loss?

When the body perceives starvation it conserves its energy which simple means your metabolism slows down. With a slower consumption of energy the pounds are packed on; which is the body’s way of conserving energy for the lean time.  Rapid weight loss is not the answer to long-term sustainable weight loss, but slow and steady wins the race.  While I’m not a medical professional and certainly not a dietitian I too have in the past lost a great amount of weight just to have it pack right back on.  I thought it was because I went back living and eating like I did before the weight loss, moreover the starvation diets didn’t help. 

When you have a significant amount of weight to lose one to two pounds a week sounds like it will take a lifetime, but isn’t that reason for losing the weight.  Losing weight should be a lifestyle change not a completion, moreover who wants to compete every day.  Therefore losing 52 to 104 pounds per year is very reasonable and sustainable.  You will become habituated to eating right, exercising and taking very good care of yourself. 

Don’t get me wrong I love seeing people change their lives is very dramatic ways, however surviving on a few calories a day and exercising six to eight hours a day is plain crazy.  I have been on my weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey for four years and have kept the weight off and changed my outlook on my health and fitness. 

What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wash Day- Twist Out

This is my first attempt at a two strand twist out, and I’m not sure if I like the outcome or not.  How did I get here?, you may ask.  Well I’m lazy and getting my hair dried and style takes energy I don’t want to spend.  Therefore I wash, detangle, moisturize and air dry my hair. Once it is dried I’m at a total loss how to get back to that happy place, so that’s how I go here; a place of limbo.

Prepoo – Detangled with warmed coconut oil and coat hair with Cantu conditioning repair cream under a plastic cap for 15 minutes.

Shampoo- After rinsing out the prepoo mix I shampooed with Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut shampoo.  I had to lather twice because the first go around I still felt product on my hair. 

Conditioner- Once my hair felt clean I conditioned with Shea Moisture 10 N 1 conditioner.  This conditioner is so heavenly my one wish is that it was in a jar versus a pump bottle. After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.

Leave-in and Moisturizer-   I then sprayed each section with Crème of Nature strengthen and shine leave in and applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangeler and left to air dry. When my hair was about 70 percent dry I applied Elasta QP Moisturizer and OGX coconut milk antibreakage serum and put in a roughly 15 to 18 mini two strand twist.

Style- In the morning my hair was not completely dry so I sat the under bonnet dryer for 10 minutes. Once my hair was cool I pull the twist apart and fluff. 

I like the feel of my hair, the look not so much so but then this is still fairly new to me.  I am currently 51 weeks post relaxer and I’m truly thinking about cutting the rest of the relaxed ends off and call it a day.  Today I put the scissors down but my big chop will come sooner than I planned.

When did you big chopped? And why?

Don’t forget to check out the awesome ladies of the #washdayexperience.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Motivation- We are Limitless

Why do we limit ourselves?

Is it because we follow the crowd and therefore refuse to go against the grain? Are we too scared to follow our own hearts? Are we playing it safe in order to ensure that we are not failures?  For whatever the reason we put limits on ourselves maybe to prevent heartbreak and feeling of inadequacy.

By putting limits on ourselves we stand in our own way.  Instead of pleasing the crowd why not go with your heart and find out for yourself what your true potentials are. moreover even if you fail at your attempt you would have learned a valuable lesson about yourself.

Don't wait around to achieve your dreams and desire because of the road block you have put in you own way.  Isn't it better to live your dream than to only dream about it?  Dreams and motivation for your dreams will change however not going after them is a tragedy.

Don't talk yourself out of what you want, instead reach for it with both hands.  

I’m Thankful for Spring

I give thanks for this vibrant season especially after the long cold dreary weather too many of us had to endure. I’m grateful for spr...