Monday, March 2, 2015

Protective Style Lookbook || Pin Curled Chunky Twists

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



Model: NaturallyNellzy

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Pin curled chunky twists.

Study, Skin Care || Turmeric for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles?


I am subscribed to tons of YouTubers, and one of them is Farah.  She has several videos discussing the effectiveness of turmeric against hyperpigmentation.  While I have not tried her homemade mixtures, I did view this is an opportunity to find any research on turmeric and hyperpigmentation.  What did I find?
  • In one study, turmeric demonstrated effectiveness against hyperpigmentation and other UVB-induced skin damage in mice.  It specifically prevented the following: an increase in skin thickness, a reduction in skin elasticity, formation of wrinkles, and formation of melanin induced by chronic UVB exposure [1].  The mechanism by which turmeric accomplishes this is believed to be via the "inhibition of increases in metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression caused by chronic irradiation". 
  • Curcumin, an active component of turmeric, "protects skin by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation through the inhibition of nuclear factor-kappa B [2]".
SOURCES
[1] EFFECTS OF TURMERIC ON CHRONIC UVB-INDUCED SKIN DAMAGE (2009)
[2] SKIN REGENERATIVE POTENTIALS OF CURCUMIN (2013)


One of Farah's many videos on using turmeric for the skin: 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Geri's Journey from TWA to Waist Length


Geri is one of my favorite naturals because of her hair texture, health, and growth.  Additionally, she is one of many Type 4s who continues to demonstrate that long lengths are achievable.  Check out her beautifully done video on her natural hair journey from TWA to waist length!

Mixology || Whipped Mango Shea Hair Creme

Ingredients:
1/4 cup shea butter
1/4 cup melted mango butter
1 tbsp coconut oil (penetrates and protects the strands against combing/styling breakage)
2 tbsp olive oil (moisturizing; possibly penetrates the strands)
3 tbsp avocado oil (moisturizing; possibly penetrates the strands)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil (to protect against moisture loss; sealing oil)
few drops of lemon essential oil (optional, for added fragrance)

Instructions:
Break the shea butter into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip the shea butter until fluffy and the chunks are gone.  (If your shea butter is too hard, melt it only slightly to soften it a bit.)  Add in melted mango butter and whip.  Finally, add in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with the hand mixer.  Finito! 

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.

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

Instructions:
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender and enjoy!

Factoids:
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.

_____________
THE REVIEW:

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

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