Friday, August 22, 2014

Hair Diary || Working on a Non-Protective Style Regimen

If you've been following my hair diary, then you probably already saw this coming.  After years of protective styling in twists and a couple summers of experimenting with loose hair styles, the day has come.  I'm ready for a drastic regimen change.  The details are still being worked out, but for the last couple of months I've successfully been doing the following:

WEEKLY:
- Wash (As I Am Cleansing Conditioner or homemade honey shampoo) and condition (Tresemme Naturals followed by Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor or ORS Replenishing Conditioner) hair
- Finger detangle conditioner-soaked hair (~30-40 minutes)
- Rinse then seal 
- Plop hair for 20-45 minutes
- Braid hair into 8-10 sections for a braid-out the following day

DAILY:
- Wear satin bonnet or loose satin scarf to protect braid-out
- Fluff the next morning

MONTHLY:
- Switch finger detangling for comb detangling
- Deep cleanse my hair (Shea Moisture African Purification Masque or Dessert Essence Shampoo)

Stay tuned ... 

Healthy Recipes || My Peach Smoothie


Over the past couple of months, I have upped my homemade smoothie intake from every other morning to every morning.  There is just something that feels so good and refreshing about drinking a healthy, fruit/veggie smoothie first thing in the AM.  It has been a while since I posted a recipe, so here I go:

Ingredients:
1 organic peach
1 banana
4-5 frozen organic strawberries
1/2 tsp honey (add a bit more depending on your desired sweetness)
1-1 1/2 cup organic soy milk (depending on your desired consistency)
2 tbsp natural peanut butter

Instructions: 
Toss all the ingredients into a blender, and blend thoroughly.  Pour out into a cup and enjoy!

WANT MORE VITAMIN A?
A cup of apricots can offer you a vitamin A content of 60% the daily value, while a cup of peaches only offers 10%. So, switch out the peaches for apricots.  (I exchange every one peach for two apricots.)  Apricots also contain more vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber.

For more smoothie recipes, check out the "Smoothies" label.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chery818 is Back with a Hair Breakage Update!


So, I follow a lot of naturals on YouTube, and Chery818 is one of them.  She is known for her thick, long (BSL-ish all around), 4c hair and advocating finger detangling.  Her last video (before her recent update) was sad because she had discovered some serious breakage in certain areas and was debating whether to cut all her hair.  That was almost eight months ago.


Well, I'm happy to report that she is back to YouTube!  Check out her update below ... and also notice the higher video quality.  I'm loving it all!




Mixology || 3-Oil Nighttime Facial Moisturizer

So, I've been using this mix for weeks now, and I'm in love.  The thought of sleeping with oil on my face initially scared me (e.g., fear of pimples) but quickly went away as I noticed my face was doing just fine.

So, why the 3-oil mix?  Well, I wanted to get the researched benefits of avocado oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil all in one.  *smiles* So, without further ado, here is my recipe:

Ingredients:
1 part pure avocado oil (helps heal wounds, improves elasticity)
1 part extra virgin olive oil (decelerates sun damage, potent antioxidant effect)
1 part grapeseed oil (may lighten UV-induced hyper pigmentation, may reduce blackheads and whiteheads)

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle and use on face after your night time wash.

That is all!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Protective Style Lookbook || Textured Updo with a Scarf

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



Model: VeePeeJay

Difficulty level: 1/5

Description: Chunky twist out into a textured updo with a scarf.

Study || Cherries Reduce Abdominal Fat?

I was eating some cherries a couple weeks ago and thought, "Hmm, I wonder if there is any research out there on cherries and fat".  Up until that point, I thought the fruit was pretty useless other than being a fix for my sweet tooth.  Well, guess what? There is research out there, one of which associates a regular intake of cherries with a reduction in abdominal fat weight, percentage fat mass, and more.  Check out the abstract: REGULAR TART CHERRY INTAKE ALTERS ABDOMINAL ADIPOSITY, ETC. (2009).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hair Diary || From Copper-Blonde to Purple Haze


After my fun with copper-blonde highlights (see this previous post), I have gone to purple haze.  All I did was apply a color (from Manic Panic) on top of my previous highlights, and voila!  As for my hair routine?  It has basically consisted of weekly washes with twist outs and braid outs over the past month.  For now, I've returned to big twists.

And now for more hair pics:
After depositing the color.
After depositing the color. (Before twisting.)

After depositing the color.

Chunky twist out.

I believe this was a braid out.

Mixology || Castor and Coconut Moisturizing Mist

The beauty of distilled water is that it is “soft” water; it does not have the negative effects (e.g., stiffening of the hair strand[1]) like hard water.  Meanwhile, castor oil can improve the shine or sheen[2] of your natural hair, which is a plus for you castor oil lovers out there.  As for coconut oil?  Well, you all should know about its strengthening and moisturizing benefits by now.

Ingredients:
2 oz distilled water
2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tsp castor oil
a few drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender, jasmine, orange)

Directions:
Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle, and shake vigorously to blend.  Store in a refrigerator until ready for use.  Shake before each use.  SHELF LIFE: ~2 weeks.

References:
[1] Evans AO, Marsh JM, Wickett RR. “The structural implications of water hardness metal uptake by human hair.” Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Oct;33(5):477-82. 
[2] McMullen R, Jachowicz J. “Optical properties of hair: effect of treatments on luster as quantified by image analysis.” J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Jul-Aug;54(4):335-51.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Healthy Hair Feature || Izzie


1. What made you go natural?  How long have you been natural?
 I went natural because I saw baby pictures of how long and thick my hair was and wanted to try and get back to that. I struggled with a lot of self esteem issues and figured that the best step to having a higher self image was to learn to embrace myself as I naturally am, and that meant natural hair. I have been natural for one year and 8 months . I got my last relaxer right before I started my first year of college. 

2. Did you transition? If so, for how long?  
I transitioned for 11 months. From September 2012-August 2013. My big chop was spontaneous. I washed my hair, saw the curl patter and got excited and just cut off the relaxed ends. I had planned to transition for at least a year and a half while chopping off small amounts at a time. 


3. What is your Healthy Hair routine?
I co-wash my hair once a week. Before I wash, I do a pre-poo of honey, a rinse out moisturizing conditioner and coconut oil. Then I deep condition with heat. Once a month, I do a clarifying wash and a protein treatment.  I moisturize my hair three times a week with a water, glycerin and aloe vera mix. Then I seal with olive oil and a butter. 

4. Do you have a Healthy Body routine?  If so, what is it?
I am a student athlete at university, so during my season I train for professional track and field.  I go to the gym 3 times a week and run every morning, whether sprint intervals or a cardio work out. When I'm on holiday, I do 30 mins of cardio and then do yoga. I drink water throughout the day and try to eat as healthy as possible. I eat fruits every day, mostly for breakfast. I incorporate vegetables into my lunch and dinner. 

5. What advice/tips do you have for naturals?
Embrace your natural hair. Its who you are. Also, moisture is important when trying to retain length. Moisturize as soon as your hair needs it. 

6. Where can we find you?
Instagram: @izziebadsuh

Reader's Question: Alopecia, Regrowth, and Hair Styles

READER'S QUESTION:

I have been following you for a while and I admit I am a huge fan of your articles. After carrying locs for 7 years, I big chopped in January to start a new nappy journey. Unfortunately, my hair start to shed heavily beginning of March. I believe it is because of an alopecia post-partum. (My daughter was born end of December). I even have bald spots. Having short hair and severe alopecia on the edges is quite a tough moment. I would like to know if you could make an article on this topic and give some advices to treat the alopecia and above all to style hair...I find it very hard to style my hair. Thank you in advance for your support. Cheers.

LOO'S ANSWER:
Gathered from what I've read as well as seen firsthand, this sort of alopecia can begin 2-5 months after childbirth (Eastthum, JH. Postpartum alopecia. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2001) and should be temporary.  However, definitely consult a physician, especially if you are noticing more bald spots or no hair regrowth in the next few months.  In the meantime, I don't mind sharing the following:

TREATING POSTPARTUM ALOPECIA:

Time and patience.  I know that this is not an answer one wants to hear, but it's true.  Postpartum alopecia usually resolves itself, so just give it time.  In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to massage the affected areas to help (a bit) with circulation and regrowth.  I do NOT recommend using essential oils, though, merely because some are not a good idea while breastfeeding.  However, you can consult your physician if you wish to use them.  
HAIRSTYLE IDEAS:

Finding hairstyles that mask the postpartum alopecia are difficult, but you can do your best to make things work until your hair grows back.  Some women (e.g., my sister after giving birth to her child) opt for cutting their to make it all closer to the same length.  Others go for wigs.  The two videos below provide additional options: 1) Fold N Tuck hairstyle for hiding bald spots or thinning areas and 2) a temporary spray-on color for visible bald areas.  I do wish you well and a belated congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

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