Friday, January 30, 2015

Healthy Body || Inspired by Carmen of MyNaturalSistas

I'm a former athlete who's officially out of shape.  For years, I weighed 123 lbs then went up to a steady 135 lbs, which wasn't too bad.  Now?  I'm a whopping 150 lbs.  Mind you, I'm only 5'4".  It feels like I gained the weight overnight.  One morning I woke up and just couldn't fit my jeans anymore.

Anyway, my goal to lose weight actually started a couple months ago.  I was able to get down to 143 lbs with consistent calorie counting and exercise, but I gained it all back and some, hitting 152 lbs at my highest.  Since then, I've seen a nutritionist and gotten a few tips concerning my eating.  Also, I came across Carmen's weight loss photo (above) and was inspired to sign up for a membership at my local gym.  I want my toned body back!  I WILL get my toned body back.  Lol.

Carmen details her weight loss journey in the video below: 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Protective Style Lookbook || Twisted Updo on Natural Hair

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

Model: Chiaka

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Side flat twists and front twists rolled and pinned into an updo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hair Diary || Braids, Break, and Braids

Braids, a short break, then back to braids.

In my last post, I mentioned that I would do a 6-month protective style challenge.  At the time, I installed a set of dark brown, braid extensions, which I wore through November and December.  Those braids were then taken down, and I wore my real hair in flat twists for about week.  (At some point during that week, I decided to color my hair black for the winter.  Summer was loooong over as well as my intrigue with my highlights.)  Then, with January here, I trimmed my hair and installed a second set of braid extensions -- this time, black.  I'm officially in my third month of this 6-month challenge.

Hair before color.

Color in "natural blue black".
(There are better dyes out there; i just picked this because it was only $2.99.)

Rinsed and now conditioning.

Tailbone length braid extensions.

Aiming to keep this in through the end of March.

Smoothie || Easy Banana Pear Smoothie

It is time for another smoothie recipe, and this one is super easy.

1 medium banana
1 small pear
1.5 cups of water (or more/less for your desired consistency)

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender and enjoy!

Banana is a good source of potassium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C.
Pear is a good source of dietary fiber.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Protective Style Lookbook || Flat Twist Updo with Twist Out Bangs

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

Model: Glamazini

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Flat twists pinned up with twist-out bangs.

Product Review || OGX (Formerly Organix) Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner

NOTE:  This product was purchased at Target.

Purpose: "... strengthen and soften the hair, ... smooth the cuticle for straight, strong tresses, adding a brilliant glow and luminescent shine ..."

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycol Stearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Parfum, Hydrolyzed Keratin (Protein), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Leaf) Extract, Panthenol, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5.

Number of trials: numerous over the course of months

How I used it:
Applied to freshly washed hair.
Waited for 3-5 minutes (as instructed).
Then rinsed.


Organix products are usually a miss for me, but this one has actually been a hit.  To me, it is comparable to Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor in effectiveness.  It leaves my hair just as moisturized and strengthened.  The smell is also very pleasant, like a toned down cocoa butter scent.  I really like to use this product prior to flat ironing because the end result is well-conditioned,  super smooth, shiny hair.  This conditioner has the potential to become a regular one in my stash, though Aphogee 2-Minute is still my numero uno.

PROS: a little goes a long way; pleasant cocoa butter smell; thick, rich consistency; leaves hair moisturized, strengthened, and smooth
CONS: none

RATING: Overall, I give the OGX (Formerly Organix) Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner 5 out of 5 stars.  

This product is ideal for those who:
- experience a little (but not severe) breakage and splits
- heat straighten their hair

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Twist Series: Conditioning and Re-Twisting

1. Do you treat the twists as you would your normal detangled hair when washing/co-washing? i.e wash -> deep condition -> LOC method. 

My answer: Yes, I do.  (Backtrack: "Twist Series: Washing & Matting".)  After washing, I apply conditioner to my twists down to my ends.  I let the conditioner sit for however long (15-45 minutes) and then rinse.  When rinsing, it helps to squeeze my twists in order to squeeze out most of the conditioner.  I then plop my hair to help it air dry and moisturize + seal.
If my hair is not that dirty and/or I want to preserve the "neatness" of my twists a little longer, I sometimes use this washing method instead.  For this latter washing method, it is very important that I use thoroughly diluted shampoo rather than shampoo alone.

2. How do you re-do the twists you mentioned? Do you unravel, detangle, re-twist and then wash all of them or do you wash first then unravel and re-twist? 

My answer: I wash them first, allow them to air dry to about 60-80%, then unravel and re-twist them. When un-raveling them, I also make sure to remove any shed hair.

"Soul" Food Sunday || That Breath ...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Healthy Hair on the Web: Omolade (Texlaxed/Relaxed)

Today's healthy head of hair belongs to Omolade.  Isn't just beautiful!  If you are texlaxed/relaxed and want proof that type 4 hair can grow long and thick, here it is!  Omolade relaxes her tresses about twice a year and lives in protective styles (mostly updos, buns, and wigs).  You can read more about her routine on her blog:

Protective Style Lookbook || Twist Updo with Side Swoop

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

Model: Naturally Michy

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Twists are rolled and pinned into an updo with a side swoop.


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