Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hair Diary || A Month of Chunky Twists to Hair Boredom

Throwback pic (Dec. 2013).
Okay, it has been a while since I've posted in the "Hair Diary" ... largely because I've been bored with my hair as of late and do not want to think about it.  My thoughts have gone from cutting my hair down to neck-length to putting in some highlights to loc-ing to relaxing it ...

*Gasps from the readers*

Yep, for the first time in years I've thought about relaxing.  Why?  For ease of care.  The detangling process on my natural hair really gets on my nerves sometimes, and I start to reminisce and the relaxer days when fingers and combs would glide effortlessly through my hair.

At the end of the day, though, I do not miss the regular application of relaxer just to keep those roots straight, the breakage, the scalp burns, the relaxer smell, and the permanent straightness.  After all, if I want straight hair, I can always pull out the flat iron (which I eventually did do recently) on my natural hair.  What's so funny is that the "straight" phase always passes within a couple of weeks because flat-ironed hair is so boring to me after a while.

Agh, anyway, as I figure out how to spice up my hair boredom without doing something drastic, here are some more hair pics from last month:

First set of chunky twists.  Overall, I had to re-twist my hair weekly (as expected) which is too much manipulation for me. Back to my usual smaller twists.

The front of that set.

This was more of a big/medium size set of twists.  In the following week, I did some actual chunky twists.  (No pics for that unfortunately.)

Other angles of the above look.

Study || Herbal Oils as a Natural Sunscreen?


According to quite a few studies, certain herbal oils can provide a level of protection from the sun.  The calculated SPF values range from 0.248 to 7.549.  Olive oil and coconut oil are among the highest ranking ones.

Now, though these oils provide some sun protection, I would not go so far as to use them in place of a regular sunscreen.  After all, many dermatologists recommend that women of color wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or even 30.  Olive oil and coconut oil have an SPF of only 7.5 and 7.1, respectively.  Some of these oils, however, can decelerate damage caused to the skin after sun exposure ... which is something that sunscreens generally do not do.   (Check out my earlier post on olive oil after UVB-exposure.)  Additionally, these oils can provide our hair with a level of sun protection. :o)

SOURCES
SPF DETERMINATION OF HERBAL OILS IN COSMETICS (2010)
OLIVE OIL ON UV-INDUCED CANCER (2000)
EFFECT OF ALMOND OIL ON UVB-INDUCED PHOTOAGING (2007)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Healthy Living || Health and Fitness Goals Are About Total Life Transformation

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

  changelife

When I work with clients I try to put all of the focus on improving all aspects of their life.

When you are working towards a health and fitness goal it is not just about working out and losing weight.  It is a total life transformation!  You have to think and act differently on a daily basis.  You have to be less critical and grow a patience not only for yourself but for other people that are around you.

When you create health and fitness goals I also suggest to create other life goals.  This journey is not just about losing the weight; it is also about becoming a better person! You have to condition yourself to think differently and that also means having less negative thoughts about yourself and other people that are around you.

The more negative things that you limit or try to cut out of your life, you will start to notice the smaller and more enjoyable things that happen day to day.  There are so many great and beautiful things around you if you take a moment to stop and notice them! People who are negative usually are to wrapped up in what is going wrong with their life to notice all of the good things that are going on.

When working towards your health and fitness goal you have to work on all aspects of your life.  You have to work on your physical, mental, and emotional challenges.  Once you start to better these areas in your life, your journey will have so much more meaning and you can enjoy the process (and the results) so much more!

My motto for this year...."It could always be worse".  Try to cut out all of the negativity and focus on the good things that happen to you!  No matter what is going on, or how bad your day is, there is always someone else out there who is going through something worse than you are.  I am not saying that your troubles are not meaningful; I am saying do not let them define you!  Yes we all go through rough times in life but it is how you overcome them that helps to build you into a better person!

Today's challenge:  Try NOT to complain about anything!! Someone at work is bothering you? Walk away from them! Do not go and gossip about them with your co-workers or your boss.  Is a friend or family member bugging you today?  Try not to answer their phone call or tell them that you are busy and can not help them today.  You may notice you may enjoy the day a little more when you have less things and people to complain about!  Try this for a day (or for all week) and see if this starts to help you on your journey!

This is Stephanie from Infinite Life Fitness. Please feel free to stop by my blog for more health and fitness tips!

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Mixology || Recipe for a Conditioner-Based Leave-In

This leave-in is great for reviving a wash-n-go or dry hair.  It can also be used after a fresh wash.

Ingredients:
4 oz distilled water
1 oz Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (the original white label) or Suave Naturals Conditioner
1oz avocado or olive oil
NOTE: If you prefer to use a conditioner other than Tresemme or Suave, just be sure that it is an instant conditioner that is NOT heavy in protein or silicones.
Directions:
1. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle or mister.
2. Shake the bottle well to thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
3. Can be used on damp, freshly washed hair or on dry hair.
4. Store in a refrigerator to prolong the shelf life.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Naturally High


What I LOVE about Naturally High is that her kinky, natural hair is super healthy and super long (almost hip-length).  It is rare that I see naturals with my hair type who are hip-length or this close to it.  (The only other one that comes to mind is Sera before her cut.)   It further weakens the silly argument that "black girls cannot grow long hair".

Naturally High shares some great hair care tips and interesting natural hair experiences on her YouTube channel. Here is one video in which she discusses, what I would call, a natural hair experience you would NEVER want to encounter: 

Product Review || ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor

NOTE:  This product was purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply.

Purpose: Add strength and softness in one step, effective against heat and chemical damage. (Do not confuse this product with ApHogee Two Step Treatment, which is a more serious treatment and hardens the hair.)

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Stearolkonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Hair Keratin, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Trimethysiloxyamodimethicone, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Linoleamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Collagen Amino Acids, Squalane, Phytantriol, Petroleum, Polysorbate 60, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium 10, Trideceth-12, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-16 Pareth-9, Arachidonic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate.

Number of trials: an average 2x per month (~5-6 months now)

How I used it:
Applied to the ends (the last few inches) of freshly washed hair.
Left on for 2 minutes under a shower cap for the initial trials.
For later trials, left on for 5 minutes with heat.

_____________
THE REVIEW:

This reconstructor does what it says --  it strengthens and softens my hair in one step.  (I find the product most effective when I leave it on for 5 minutes and with heat.) Additionally, after a few months, I noticed less split end formation.  I would say that this reconstructor is great for if you need a little to some protein.  For more severe cases, you may want to step up the the ApHogee Two Minute Treatment.  Other than the above, there is not much else to say! :o)

___________________
PROS: pleasant smell, strengthen and softens my hair, quick use, less split end formation, reasonably priced ($9.99/$11.29)
CONS: none

RATING: Overall, I give the ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor 5 out of 5 stars.  

This product is ideal for those who:
- need protein conditioning
- experience a little (but not severe) breakage and splits

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Protective Style Lookbook || Zipper Braid and Bantu Knot Updo

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)


Model: Pure Estrogen

Difficulty level: 3/5

Description: Braid along hairline and pinned up bantu knot-out.

Mixology || Coconut Oil Lotion Bars

This is a super easy recipe requiring only 2-3 ingredients!

Recipe Source: Coconut Mama

Equipment
saucepan
lotion mold, muffin pan or tins 

Ingredients
1 part Coconut Oil 
1 part Pure Beeswax
Essential Oils (Optional)

For the instructions, check out Coconut Mama.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Protective Style Lookbook || Easy Chunky Twists Updo

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)



Model: Iydvina

Difficulty level: 3/5

Description: Chunky twists in the front and small twists in the back to form an updo.

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Healthy Recipes || Adding Asparagus to Smoothies!


Recently, I've been experimenting with adding asparagus to my smoothies.  Why? Well asparagus is loaded with more nutrients than I've seen in most other vegetables.  One cup of raw asparagus contains:

20% DV Vitamin A
13% DV Vitamin C
16% DV Iron
70% DV Vitamin K
17% DV Folate
11% Dietary Fiber
13% Thiamin
11% Riboflavin
11% Manganese

{Source}

The recipes that I did find online either added sweeteners (e.g., tablespoons of honey, vanilla) or just did not taste that great.  So after a couple of trials and errors of my own, I came up with this delicious recipe that, not only disguises the unpleasant taste of raw asparagus, but also adds a bunch of other nutrients.

Ingredients:
1 banana
1/2 cup blackberries
2 cups almond milk
2-3 asparagus stalks (bump it up to 4-5 if you are brave enough)
1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Note: my fruits and vegetables are usually frozen after purchasing, but you can use fresh ones if you want and just toss in some ice for more of a smoothie texture.

Directions:
Just blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!


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