Friday, March 29, 2013

Oldies, But Goodies

1. Hair Diary || Protective While Straight
2. Carrots, Hair, and Body
3. Ginkgo Biloba: Vitiligo, Hair Regrowth, Etc.
4. Short Twist/Braid Styles: Part II
5. Hair Diary || The Many Facets of Natural

Mixology || Shea Butter Conditioner from Scratch

You do not need a lot of ingredients for this mixture nor do you need any hard-to-find ones.  All you need are an inexpensive conditioner, shea butter, and olive oil.

4 parts cheap conditioner (e.g., VO5, Suave, etc.)
2 parts shea butter
1 part extra virgin olive oil
*Optional: feel free to use another oil instead (e.g., safflower)

1. Melt the shea butter until soft but not until a liquid.
2. Whip the shea butter the safflower oil and conditioner.
3. Apply the concoction to freshly washed hair.  Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse and style as usual.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Cassandre

Cassandre Beccai is a type 4 natural with uber (yes, uber) long hair. Check out her video below where she describes her hair care regimen and wash routine. Also check out the rest of her channel.


Study || Almond Oil Massage for Stretch Marks

Some of you have probably heard that application of cocoa butter (during pregnancy) reduces the likelihood of developing stretch marks.  Well according to a few studies published a few years ago, cocoa butter does not appear to be effective like some believe [1][2].

So how about olive oil?  Well, a study published last year does not support the application of olive oil as being effective either [3].

So what oil/butter might work then?  Research does support is that massaging with almond oil may reduce the development of stretch marks [4].


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hair Diary || What Will I Do Next?

Throwback from last March (2012).
(Jumbo twist-out on flat-ironed hair.)

I put in a new set of twists a few days ago.  I call them "lazy" twists because they were done ... well lazily.  They are bigger and frizzier than my usual set, but hey ... real life calls.

In mid April, I plan to flat iron for the second time this year (I think it will be the second?).  The question is what to do with my hair from now until then (approximately four weeks).  I could leave these twists until then, and I just might.  Another option is to wear this set for two weeks and a twist-out for the next two weeks.

... I will figure it out in due time.

Now onto some random hair shots:

My current "lazy" twists for the next couple weeks or so.

Small twists french-braided into an updo.
(Taken some time last year.)

Flat twists into twists.
(Taken some time last year.)

Underrated || Babassu Oil for Hair and Skin

Like coconut oil, babassu oil is extracted from a kernel of the palm tree family – the babassu tree, to be exact.  More importantly, it has similar composition and proportions of fatty acids as coconut oil.  (The fatty acids include lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic.) If you desire some the benefits of coconut oil but (for whatever reason) dislike the actual oil, you might want to continue reading ... 


1.  It is less/non-clogging.  One downside to using coconut oil is that it is high on the comedogenic scale.  Babassu oil, on the other hand, is supposedly not as clogging (if clogging at all).  If you are prone to getting acne from coconut oil use, try this babassu instead.  

2. It does not leave a greasy feel.  Unlike coconut oil, babassu oil lacks a greasy feel after application. Some even say that it appears to penetrate better than coconut oil.

3. It is not expensive.  Depending on where you make your purchase, babassu oil is comparable in price to coconut oil.


1. Use it to seal your ends.  After a fresh wash and condition, apply a little bit of the oil to your ends.  A little goes a long way.

2. Use as a pre-shampoo treatment or to enhance a conditioner.  Use babassu alone or with other ingredients as an overnight pre-poo treatment.  Add some melted babassu oil to your conditioner for an enhanced conditioning treatment.

3. Use it to whip shea butter.  Mix a little babassu oil with shea butter (and other oils, if you wish). 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Double Twisted Bun (Great for Bad Hair Days)

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

Model: Ambrosia

Style description: Jumbo flat twists in back bun.

Difficulty level: 2/5

Mixology || Easy Non-Drying Henna Recipe for Conditioning

Do you want to try henna for hair conditioning but you do not know where to begin? Or maybe you are afraid of the dryness sometimes associated with henna?  Well here is a recipe worth trying:

100g+ neutral henna (amount depends on length thickness of your hair)
1/2 an avocado
1 tsp oil of your choice (olive, grapeseed, castor, etc.)
1 tsp honey

1. Mix all the above ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl.  (Assuming you are using pure henna, a stainless steel bowl should be fine.)
2. Section damp or dry hair.  Apply using plastic gloves or an applicator brush, section by section.
3. Cover hair with a secure plastic cap.
4. Allow to set for a minimum of 4 hours.  (Some ladies, henna overnight.)
5. Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water to remove henna.
6. Follow up with a conditioner wash.
7. Deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner for 20-30 minutes.
8. Rinse, moisturize, seal, and style as usual.

Source: Original recipe on LongHairCareForum

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

Breakfast.  The first meal of the day.  AND also one of the most important meals of the day.

It is very common for a lot of people to skip on breakfast and wait until the mid-morning or even lunch until they have their first good meal.  THIS IS A BAD IDEA!  Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast do not lose weight as well as those who take the time to eat a nice healthy breakfast each morning.

Skipping breakfast allows you to grow hungrier and hungrier the longer you wait to eat your first meal after waking up.  If you eat something healthy and light when you get up it should help reduce your strong starvation feelings you may have grown around 10 or 11 AM.  Halting these feelings will allow you the chance to stop the “binge eating” you may do for your first meal.  By that time you are so hungry that you eat and eat and eat.  You eat until you feel full or satisfied but people usually eat so fast that they end up over eating before their belly can tell their brain that they are full! 

Also, while you are sleeping your body is in a fasting state.  It has gone 5+ hours without food so when you awake it is time to fuel your body! During this fasting state your body is conserving ANYTHING it can.  This halts or hinders your fat loss process.  Eating your breakfast within 2 hours of waking up allows your metabolism to get kick started and start working on burning those calories. 

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What are some great breakfast options?  I will list a few:
  •  Oat meal:  try to stick to the PLAIN oatmeal.  It is healthier to get the plain oatmeal and add your own fruit or honey to it. 
  • Fruit:  It is always a great idea to have fruit in the morning.  Try to stick to one serving size which is usually 1 cup of chopped melon, berries, or a small apple or banana.
  • Cereal:  Make sure it is a light cereal like Cheerios, Kashi cereal, or other whole grain low sugar cereals.  Try substituting almond milk for real milk to help cut calories and fat in your diet.
  •  Eggs: there are SO many ways you can have eggs in the morning! You can have boiled eggs, egg whites, egg white and 1 egg yolk mixed and scrambled, poached, or any other way! Make sure you try to use olive oil or coconut oil instead of vegetable oil to make your meal healthier. 
  • Toast:  Try to stick to the 100% whole wheat bread.  This is the best option at the store.  You can also get whole wheat English muffins, pita pockets, tortillas, or any other type of bread product. 
  • Nuts: The best options for nuts are almonds!  You can also have peanuts (but try to get the unsalted peanuts). 
  • Yogurt:  Also another great option!  BUT TRY TO GET PLAIN YOGURT!!! The yogurt you can buy at the store with granola and “fresh fruit” is LOADED WITH SUGAR!  Get the plain yogurt (and Greek yogurt is honestly your best option) and put your own nuts and fruit in them. This should also save you money! 

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Here is a great example of a quick breakfast you can make and have ready for those rushed mornings:
  • 1 Whole Wheat English muffin (or 1 piece of toast or 1 tortilla), 1 small apple, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 oz. of cheese, 1 tablespoon of jam, green tea, 24 nuts, and a cherry (as a little treat). 
  • You can pre-pack containers like this so they will be ready in the fridge to grab when you are heading out the door in the morning!

Other healthy options:
  • 1 piece of toast, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 small fruit
  •  ½ cup Greek yogurt, I cup berries or fruit, 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 XL large eggs, 1 cup baby spinach leave, ¼ cup chopped bell peppers, ¼ cup chopped onions
  • Morning pizza:  I English muffin, 2 tablespoon tomato paste, ¼ cup low fat cheese, add chicken or turkey bacon
  • Breakfast sandwich/tortilla wrap: get 1 English muffin or flat bread or tortilla, ½ cup baby spinach, 2 cooked eggs, sliced tomatoes or onions (or other veggies) 2 pieces of turkey bacon or sausage or baked chicken
  • 1 cup oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 cup fruit (or one small fruit)
  • You can make fruit smoothies and add nuts, chai seeds, or protein powder
  • You can make oatmeal muffins

Breakfast is a great time to get creative!  Eating healthy does not have to be bland and boring!  Find some things that you enjoy and make them healthy!  If you like bacon try turkey bacon!  If you like toast switch to whole wheat toast.  If you want something sweet try Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of honey and fruit!  The key is to get things that you can grab and eat with you on your way to work or school!  And if you do have time to sit down and cook breakfast even better! You will have time to create omelets and other meals that take a little longer to cook! 

Breakfast is VITAL to reaching your health and fitness goals.  So why skip it when it can be yummy, filling, AND help you reach your goals!?

My name is Stephanie from Infinite Life Fitness. Please feel free to stop by my website for more health and fitness related tips!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Chery818

I came across this lovely natural in the comments section of a recent post on BGLH.  How did I not know about this beautiful head of hair!

Below is video featuring a long-haired 4B/4C natural named Chery818.  Check it out as well as the rest of her hair channel, which includes a variety of styles!

Skin Care || Building an Anti-Aging Regimen

Contrary to popular belief, "black does crack" ... eventually and especially in the presence of a skin care regimen that promotes aging.

Below are some useful basics to developing an anti-aging skin care regimen (from Mayo Clinic).

  • Protect your skin from the sun. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the natural aging process of your skin, causing wrinkles and rough, blotchy skin. In fact, sun exposure is the No. 1 reason for signs of aging in the skin, including uneven pigmentation. Protect your skin — and prevent future wrinkles — by limiting the time you spend in the sun and always wearing protective clothing and hats. Also, use sunscreen on exposed skin when outdoors, even in winter.
  • Choose products with built-in sunscreen. When selecting skin care products, choose those with a built-in sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Also, be sure to select products that are broad spectrum, meaning they block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use moisturizers. Dry skin turns plump skin cells into shriveled ones, creating fine lines and wrinkles long before you're due. Though moisturizers can't prevent wrinkles, they can temporarily mask tiny lines and creases.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. It also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
  • Eat a healthy diet. There is some evidence that certain vitamins in your diet help protect your skin, particularly vitamins A, C, B3 and E. More study is needed on the role of nutrition.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Healthy Hair Feature: Kay of Nappy Headed Black Girl

1. What made you go natural?

I had been wearing braids for most of my life. I was known for my braided bob, which I had freshly redone every month. After that I hit my cornrow phase. A girl from a local school did them for me every two weeks. I had every color you can imagine, including red, blue, and even a combo of black and white.

One day she couldn't do my hair at the last minute and I was left looking a hot mess. I decided then that I didn't want to ever worry about not looking good with my own God-given hair.

I transitioned for a year with extension braids, which I learned to do myself.

2. What made you loc?  How long have you been natural? loc'ed?

I had no intention of ever becoming a dread. I just woke up one morning and knew I wanted to do it. That was on a Monday; by Friday I had my last set of two-strand twists.

I've been natural going on 9 years and a dread since 2007.

3. Describe your initial loc journey (how you loc'ed, difficulty/ease of journey, etc.)

As I mentioned above, I started with two-strand twists. My plan was to have manicured dreads. I was going to learn how to twist the roots myself.

After about six weeks I did my first retwist...and it was so not me. My roots were neat and flat and even. But my hair didn't "fit" me. That was my first and last retwist. I decided that from then on I would freeform.

I never imagined that my hair would look like it does today. I always thought I'd want to do fancy styles, switch it up a lot and keep it looking "done". Now I realize that I was going off how others maintained their dreads. Manicured dreads don't fit my lifestyle nor my aesthetic.

I have never focused on length or what others think of my hair. My main focus is to keep it healthy and make sure I appreciate it. I accept what my hair can and cannot do. This way of thinking has made my natural hair experience a joy.

4. What is your Healthy Hair routine?

"Let it do what it do" is my motto. I keep a very low maintenance routine.

I shampoo every week to every 10 days and follow that with conditioner, a leave-in, and oil for sealing. I generally don't do anything in between washes. I may do an occasional spritz but I prefer to simply rewash my hair.

I'm not a die-hard fan of any particular brand or product. My only constant is Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In. I am, however, a fan of Twist 'n Locs Herbal Conditioning Spray and Sheabutter Cottage argan oil.

5. Do you have a Healthy Body routine?  If so, what is it?

I love to exercise but found my diet was sabotaging my results, so last year I implemented some small changes to help me reach my goals:

1 I joined Meatless Monday, which has forced me to be more creative and healthier with my eating choices. I'll be extending this to go meatless more days per week.

2 I don't eat after 8. I'm a mindless snacker and a night owl...not a good combination. I was waking up feeling lethargic and bloated. If I'm up late now and get hungry, I have a piece of fruit or chocolate milk.

3 No sodas. Period. Cutting back/eliminating sodas is a great way to cut calories quickly.

These steps along with plenty of water (my drink of choice and almost the only thing I drink), exercise, and ample sleep are my recipe for success.

6. What advice and warnings do you have for naturals?  What about for those who are considering loc'ing?

My advice for naturals:

1 Do your research. Learn your hair and what it can and cannot do. You may not be able to do every style/use every product that your cousin/best friend/favorite celebrity does. Find what works for you and stick with it.

2 Accept and love your hair. It's so much easier if the two of you can get along :-)

Specifically for dreads:

1 Repeat after me: Clean hair is healthy hair. Please wash your hair. It may unravel in the beginning or get frizzy. That's normal. Your scalp is an extension of your body...would you not wash that for weeks on end?

2 Be careful with the maintaining your roots. I know you want it to look neat and "pretty" and "presentable", but over twisting/latching/interlocking your roots can lead to breakage down the line and thin roots. Six to eight weeks is a good timeframe for root maintenance. 

I'm honored to have been featured. I enjoy "meeting" new people online, so be sure to drop by and say "hi":

My site:

Healthy Recipes || 20 Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive.  Check out the following recipe and more at Better Homes and Gardens:

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Budget dinner price: $2.89 per serving

  • 1
    16 ounce bag frozen stew vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery)
  • 1
    18 ounce jar home-style gravy (1-3/4 cups)
  • 1
    teaspoon finely snipped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 2
    cups cooked turkey or chicken, cut into slices
  • 1/4
    teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4
    teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1
    cooking apple, thinly sliced
  • Fresh sage leaves (optional)
  • 2
    tablespoons butter, melted

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine vegetables, gravy, and the 1 teaspoon sage. Cover with vented plastic wrap; microwave on high (100 percent power) for 5 minutes. Add turkey; cover and microwave 4 to 6 minutes more or until stew is heated through and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl combine pepper and nutmeg; set aside.
2.Spoon stew into four 14- to 16-ounce casseroles. Top with apple and, if desired, fresh sage. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with nutmeg mixture. Bake uncovered, for 10 minutes or until bubbly and apple slices begin to brown.

nutrition facts
  • Servings Per Recipe 4,
  • cal. (kcal) 297,
  • Fat, total (g) 12,
  • chol. (mg) 71,
  • sat. fat (g) 5,
  • carb. (g) 23,
  • Monosaturated fat (g) 3,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2,
  • fiber (g) 3,
  • sugar (g) 9,
  • pro. (g) 24,
  • vit. A (IU) 1701,
  • vit. C (mg) 2,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 5,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0,
  • Folate (µg) 8,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0,
  • sodium (mg) 753,
  • Potassium (mg) 376,
  • calcium (mg) 30,
  • iron (mg) 2,
  • Mark as Free Exchange () 0,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


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