Friday, August 31, 2012

Loc Maintenance || Washing and 2-Headed Dragons

I've been following Dewdrop (and other loc'ed ladies) for some years now.  Dewdrop has gone from having sisterlocs to traditional locs (via combining).  She is 5 years loc'ed, uses the latching method for maintenance, and sticks with natural products due to scalp sensitivity to chemicals.  Her youtube channel is very informative with tips on styling and loc maintenance.  Here are just a couple of her videos; be sure to check out her channel for more.



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Underrated || Mango Butter for Hair and Skin

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While shea butter is extremely popular in hair care and skin care, mango butter is not heard of as much.  Chances are, if you have not tried mango butter, you may be missing out ... especially if you are not a fan of shea butter.


1.  It is moisturizing and does not sit on top of the hair.  Ladies who have tried both shea butter and mango butter tend to agree that mango butter is more moisturizing and absorbs into the hair better.  

2.  It has emollient properties.  Mango butter can help to smooth the hair and skin as well as seal in moisture.

3.  It provides more hold and definition.  At room temperature, mango butter is more solid than shea butter.  It is probably because of this characteristic that it is able to provide more hold and definition compared to shea butter.  

4.  Light to mild, sweet scent.  If you find the nutty scent of shea butter a bit strong or odoriferous, you may prefer the milder, sweet scent of mango butter.


1. Mix with an oil (or oils) to make a moisturizer.  For moisturizing, mango butter is best used when mixed with an oil (or oils).  Since it is fairly hard at room temperature, the butter should be melted first.  Then add olive oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, and/or your favorite oil to create a more pliable moisturizer than may be applied to the hair or skin.

2. As a holding agent.  Melt the mango butter slightly and apply it to the hair prior to twisting or braiding.  

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Oldies, But Goodies

1. The UGLY Truth Behind Health and Fitness
2. How to Barbecue Healthier
3. Mixology || Soothing Summer Body Spray
4. Protective Style Lookbook: 20+ Styles on Braids & Twists
5. Healthy Styles for Transitioning or Stretching Relaxers
6. Beet Juice, Beet Smoothie: Blood Pressure & Stamina

Monday, August 27, 2012

Do Sandwiches Always Equate to Healthy Eating?

Check out this slideshow on the "10 Worst Sandwiches".  Schlotzsky's Original Style Turkey Sandwich even made the list.

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Protective Style Lookbook || Grecian Goddess Bun

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

Model: Laila

Style description: Grecian style bun.  (Can be done on braids or twists as well.)

Difficulty level: 3/5

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Loc Maintenance || Tomato Hair Rinse for Deodorizing

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According the originator of this recipe, this rinse can help to deodorize locs, remove buildup, and impart shine.   She used it on her cousin's locs and received great results! 

The only ingredient needed is the tomato. Squeeze out the juice, remove the seeds and skin, spray through freshly washed locs, and let sit for about an hour.  Check out the video tutorial below:

TOMATO HAIR RINSE (starts at 8:19)

For anyone who is interested in her tomato conditioner recipe (more so for those with loose hair), watch the video above from the beginning.

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Hair Diary || Back to Kinky

This will be a monthly series in which I discuss my hair journey from now through my 5-year nappiversary in February 2013.

I wore my hair straight (previously flat-ironed) for about 3 weeks before returning to my kinks.  During that time frame, I had my hair in jumbo twists (see below) for the most part.  There were a couple of days when I switched up my style to a bun or a ponytail.

Flat-ironed hair worn for ~3 weeks.  This photo was taken towards the end of the 3rd week.

After my usual wash and condition (see "Regimen" tab above), I went back to my routine twists, which I love so much.  Twists have been my staple style throughout my natural hair journey.  I wore the set seen below for 2 weeks then a twistout for 3-4 days.  I will put in a new set of twists and wear them for about 3-4 weeks. 
Twists worn for 2 weeks.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Real World 15: Weight Gain After College

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

Everyone who has attended college has heard of the “freshman 15”…but have they also heard of the “Real World 15”?

The Real World 15 is the weight that is gained AFTER you graduate from college. You no longer have the semi-healthy food options that your cafeteria or food court offers. You do not have the free gym membership to your campus recreational facilities, taking walks and jogs with your college buddies do not happen like they use to, and you spend most of your time working to pay your bills and your student loans. With you grabbing fast food to help you survive, working 40+ hours a weeks, and spending most of your free time on the coach or in bed, these is no doubt why so many college grads gain weight after graduation!

There are ways to incorporate health and fitness into your new busy lifestyle! This will help you keep off the weight and it could also help you release some stress from your new post-undergad lifestyle.

  1. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT! Yes it may be easy to grab a burger and some fries between jobs or if you are tired after work. This is the main reason you gain weight! Eating whatever you want…whenever you want! If you are mindful of the things you are putting into your body it will allow you to make better healthier options at meal time. Try to stick to baked items…not fried! If you order a salad, get the salad dressing on the side. Also, try to stick to the oil based or vinegar based salad dressings. Try to incorporate more fruits and vegetable into your menu. Think smarter when it comes to meals. As you get older your metabolism will start to slow down. So you will have to be more aware of your food choices
  2. Schedule workout time: Even if it is late at night, early mornings, or on the weekends with some friends. Any time you can schedule a good workout session is great. I know that some people have hectic work schedules. That is ok! If one week you work out Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the next week you work out Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday…that is OK! At least you are scheduling time to get some physical activity. Just like you make plans to go out with your friends, you should also make plans to workout. Make working out a priority and an important part of your work week.
  3. No Gym? No Problem! Try to work out outside! There is always a park or area you can walk or run around. Try making space at home to work out! All you need is space to do some push-ups, sit ups, and other exercises. Look at your employer and see if they have a fitness facility for you to work out at? Also, some apartment complexes have workout facilities or offer gym memberships to local gyms for free or a discounted rate! Make sure to look at all of your resources so you can find a place to work out.
  4. Put your priorities in check: If its Friday night and you want to go out with your friends to unwind, try to squeeze in a quick workout session before you meet up with everyone. In order to see the health and fitness results you want you have to make health and fitness a priority in your life!
  5. Look into local clubs and sports teams you can be a part of! There are bowling, softball, basketball, volleyball, golf, flag football, baseball, and even kickball teams in most major areas! Some companies even sponsor these kinds of intermural sporting events! Getting involved will allow you to get your exercise and it will give you the chance to meet other people as well!

There are tons of other things that can be done to help you keep down your weight when entering “the real world” after graduation. You just have to make sure you make health and fitness a priority! Being healthy and fit NOW is a lot better than trying to get back into being healthy 10…15…or even 20 years from now. So start now! And commit to be fit!

Please feel free to stop by my personal health and fitness blog at

Oldies, But Goodies

1. Hair Issues || High Porosity (and Low Porosity)
2. Another Case for Organic: The Sweet Potato Project
3. Healthy Eating || Best and Worst Juices
4. Twist Series: Strong vs. Weak Twists
5. Shedding Too Much Hair?

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Underrated || Grapefruit Essential Oil for Hair

DISCLAIMER: Essential oils are very potent. Please consult your doctor before using them, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or have a medical condition.

First off, grapefruit essential oil should not be confused with grapeseed oil.  The former is an essential oil and pressed from the grapefruit.  The latter is a carrier oil and pressed from the seeds of grapes.  Grapeseed oil is growing in popularity in hair care, but grapefruit essential oil is relatively less known.  Now for why this particular essential oil is underrated ...


1.  It has a sweet, light fragrance.  While peppermint essential oil can be a bit strong in aroma and lavender a bit weak, on this scale, grapefruit essential oil sits relatively close to lavender.  Grapefruit is almost in the realm of lemongrass essential oil, but weaker and much sweeter in terms of scent.  

2.  It blends well with other essential oils.  Grapefruit essential oil can be mixed with many other essential oils to create interesting blends.  It blends especially well with lavender essential oil.  Some also state that grapefruit blends really well with the essential oils of bergamot and basil.


1. As a hair deodorizer/perfume.  Add several drops of grapefruit essential oil to a few ounces of water in a spray bottle.  Spritz your hair and scalp to hold off on wash day a bit longer.  Grapefruit essential oil has the right intensity of aroma to leave your hair smelling fresh and sweet without being overpowering.

2. As a moisturizer fragrance.  Add several drops of this essential oil to give your moisturizer a sweet, citrusy scent that is subtle.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mixology || Homemade Banana Conditioner (by Loo)

Another natural deep conditioner.  This one softens and infuses the hair with moisture for detangling.

Homemade Banana Conditioner -

1 medium/large overripe banana (sliced)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for lubrication, moisture while detangling)
2 tbsp glycerin (humectant, moisture)
2 tbsp honey (humectant, moisture)

Place sliced bananas, extra virgin olive oil, glycerin, and honey all in a blender. Blend the ingredients thoroughly making sure no lumps or banana bits remain. (Depending on your blender quality, you may or may not have to then sieve the mixture with a fine sieve.  Another option is to use banana baby food.) Apply to hair and let sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap. Detangle, rinse thoroughly, and style as usual.  (If not rinsed out thoroughly, your hair may be left hard and with mixture remnants once dry.)

Hair after detangling. If you've been following me for some time, you will be wondering how these "curls" appeared considering that I have no natural curl pattern whatsoever.  Well, it looks to be the conditioner.  The last time I used a similar concoction (transitioning days), my hair did the same thing. 

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Do I Have Any Loc'ers?

Would you be interested in posts related to healthy locs?  Natural or homemade hair care recipes for locs?  How to start locs on your own?  Do you want to be featured or see any loc features?  Etc.

If so, comment below (with your questions) or leave a reaction.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fitness Bucket List

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

When talking with clients, the first and main reason they want to get healthier and fit is so that they can look and feel good. There is NOTHING wrong with that…BUT why not set some other goals to go along with that?

I encourage people to create a “Fitness Bucket List”. This list is fitness and health tasks that they would like to work towards completing.

For example: Run a marathon (this can include a 5K or 10K or any other types of marathons that can be offered). Some people want to be a part of these kinds of competitions so they have something to work towards when they are in the gym. Working to complete a race like this is great motivation! Being able to train and set a time you would like to finish allows you to push yourself through training and also through the event when you get there!

Your bucket list can include ANYTHING health and fitness related that you would like.

What was on my bucket list? To give up fast food. And YES I have been fast food free for almost 3 years now! I was tired of being lazy and not caring about the food I was putting into my body. I was able to be more self-conscious of the food I was eating. AND it allowed me to save more money! Creating and planning my meals for the week allow me to shop smart at the grocery store so it cut my food budget almost in half when I stopped eating out so much!

You can create goals like “Not drinking carbonated beverages for a month” or “Only having Starbucks once a week”. YOU can set the limits and the rules on your bucket list! This is a great way for you to take control of your health and fitness habits and it also allows you to stay accountable for the things you want to achieve!

Need more ideas?

Here are a few others that may be great for you to add to your list:

  • Do a swim race
  • Learn to surf
  • Run a triathlon
  • Compete in an iron man competition (or half competition)
  • Compete in charity races
  • Compete in charity athletic events (like football or basketball or any other sport)
  • To be able to fit in your old wedding…prom…or any other dress you have hidden in the back of your closet
  • Go on a fitness cruise
  • Kayak down a river
  • Do a fitness competition
  • Walk part of the Appalachian Trail
  • Be able to run 1…2…3 miles
  • Be able to do multiple pull ups (because they are VERY hard to do!)
  • Go rock climbing
  • Go running on the beach
  • Be able to do 25…50..100 push ups
  • Master some yoga poses without falling
  • Be able to hike on trails (Like in Yellow stone national park or the Grand Canyon!)
  • Complete a spin class

Like I said, your Bucket List can contain ANYTHING you have wanted to do physically that you know you cannot do now. All it takes it a little motivation and a lot of hard work! If you stay focused and stay motivated you can achieve your health and fitness goals!

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

Protective Style Lookbook || Double Dose Twist Updo (Short Hair)

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

**This segment contains two styles.**

Model: Iknowlee

Style description: Style #1 - twist updo with pompadour.  Style #2 - twist updo with classy roll.

Difficulty level: Style #1 - 3/5. Style #2 - 3/5.

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