Monday, October 28, 2013

Hair Diary and Some || My Full Updated Hair + Body Care Regimens

Snapshot of the hair care changes (with links to "why"):
Finger detangle - no more comb detangling
Rollerset to airdry - no more big braids to airdry
Wash weekly - no more biweekly thru monthly
Incorporation of regular light protein deep conditioning (ORS Replenishing Conditioner)
3 weeks in twists + 1 week in resulting twist-out - no more ~4 weeks twists back to back

Official as of 10/2013:
HAIR (Stats: Natural, Type 4abcxyz, Mix of Medium (mostly) and Fine Strands, Normal/Low Porosity, Medium/High Density)


Weekly: Prepoo with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for >8hrs then wash with Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo diluted with water.  Condition with ORS Replenishing Conditioner for 45 minutes, when needed.  After rinsing, seal with my LATEST Shea Butter Mixture (recipe here).

~3 weeks: Undo my twists and finger separate thoroughly.  Prepoo overnight then wash as usual.  Coat each section with Tresemme Naturals (the old formula) OR my Avocado Detangling Mix (recipe hereand finger detangle.  Rinse then deep condition using ORS Replenishing Conditioner.  Rinse then airdry (70-90% of the way) in 12 jumbo rollers. Style my hair in twists.  For my twist routine, check this label.  

PREVIOUS REGIMEN (pre-2013, got me far in my journey):

Weekly/Biweekly: Prepoo with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for >8hrs then wash with Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo diluted with water.  Condition with Suave Naturals Conditioner for 15 minutes.  After rinsing, seal with my Shea Butter Mixture (recipe here).

~4 weeks: Prepoo and wash as usual.  Then deep condition using Suave mixed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or my Avocado Detangling Mix (recipe here).  Comb detangle on damp, conditioner-soaked hair.  Rinse then airdry (80-90% of the way) in 8 braids. Style my hair in twists.  For my twist routine, check this label.  (If my hair has been flat-ironed, I detangle on dry, lubricated hair prior to washing.)

BODY (Stats: family history of diabetes, stroke, etc.):

Supplements: I take One-A-Day Women's multivitamin daily.

Food: I eat a balanced diet consisting of mainly organic or natural ingredients.  I also largely eat whole wheat instead of whites and chicken/fish instead of red meat.  I aim to have each meal consist of 50% fruits/vegetables or more. I rarely eat fast food, junk food, fried foods, and canned foods.

Beverages: I mainly drink water, almond milk, and organic cranberry juice.  I refrain from 'fake' juice cocktails, sodas, and coffee.  Every other day, I drink a homemade smoothie (see my smoothie recipes here.)

Exercise: I work out (high intensity, 10-30 minutes) 3-4x a week.

Healthy Eating || How to Eat Healthy Without Spending Too Much

Eating healthy can sure be expensive ... but it doesn't have to be.  Check out these inexpensive options from Chef Marcus Samuelsson's blog:

Best Fresh Fruit: Banana
If you get hungry mid-day, a banana is the best snack at your desk, after a workout, or in between classes. Fruit is a very good snack in general. An apple will give you 14 percent of your day’s Vitamin C and 4 grams of fiber, but a banana, at half the price per pound, offers more Vitamin C and just 1 less gram of fiber.
Best Frozen Fruit: Frozen Blueberries The price of fresh fruits out of season is significantly higher than when they’re in season, due to transportation costs. And if you want to get your money’s worth, you’ll need to eat them within three days of buying, so they don’t spoil. 1 cup of frozen blueberries gives you just as much fiber as the raw variety, and a handful fewer calories. While fresh blueberries offer 18 percent more Vitamin C, that difference isn’t worth the extra cost. 
Best Vegetable: Broccoli Nutritionally, a half-cup of cooked broccoli delivers 24 percent of your Vitamin A, 84% of your Vitamin C, and 3 grams of fiber. This versatile vegetable is a great bang for the buck and packs a great nutritional punch. 
Best Salad Base: Cabbage The leafy greens in your salad can really vary in their nutritional content-iceberg lettuce, for example, is significantly less nutritious than romaine, which is yet again less nutritious than cabbage. In fact, 1 cup of cabbage gives you more than half of your daily vitamin K requirement-and it’s $1.29 less per pound than Romaine. Try using cabbage in a soup as well!

For the rest of the list, go to Chef Marcus Samuelsson's blog.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Protective Lookbook ... and Some || 5 Simple Funky Updos

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

Model: Nyla K

Difficulty level: 4/5

Description: Five simple updos (3 of which are protective) on an old twist-out or braid-out.

Mixology || Egg Oil and Amla Hair Serum with Argan Oil, Etc.

Are you interested in mixing your own hair serum?

This recipe originates from The Natural Beauty Workshop:

1/2 ounce Egg Oil
1/2 ounce Amla Oil
1/2 ounce Argan Oil
1/2 ounce Broccoli Seed Oil
1/4 ounce Jojoba
10-20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Combine the oils in a small beaker and stir well. Add the essential oil, then stir again. Transfer carefully to a dropper bottle.

For more details and where to purchase the ingredients, check out The Natural Beauty Workshop.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hair Diary || New Twists + Length Boredom

Apparently, I was too "rush rush" in doing these new set of twists, so they are aging fairly quickly ... faster than they usually do.  However, I'm sticking to them for the full three weeks and will have to manage.

In other news, I'm having "length boredom" at the moment.  My hair is in a shrunken state (whether 80% shrunken or 40% shrunken) almost 24-7, and for the most part I don't mind it ... I like the ability to switch up my "length" and style via shrinkage.  However, once in a while, I go through this phase where I want to wear my true length.  In the past couple of years, that usually meant flat ironing.  I'm contemplating doing that next month ... but the maintenance of keeping my hair straight while I exercise 3x a week will be a challenge ... and twists are just so much easier.  We'll see what next month brings.

In the meantime, here are some more pics!

After my last set of twists, I wore a twist-out for a few days.
This photo is the result of finger separating/detangling the twist-out.
Since I was too tired to wash, I wore this for another day or two.
Rollerset to stretch my hair for the next set of twists.  (This was done after a wash and deep condition.)
Within minutes, my hair reverts to more of a blow-out, but that is fine by me.
I initially wanted to do flat-twists into a twist-hawk, hence what you see here.
However, I decided that I didn't really want to commit to the look for 3 weeks.
The back was left this way and I did regular two-strands for the rest of my hair.
Stretched for twisting.  I *heart* roller setting.

Study || Turmeric vs. Prozac for Depression

A recent study has demonstrated that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, may be an effective treatment for individuals with major depressive disorder (without "suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders"[1]).  The blind study evaluated three groups - those taking fluoxetine (also known as Prozac), those taking curcumin, and those taking a combination of the two.  Hmm ... could the day be near when turmeric is widely used to treat depression?  Check out the study for yourself:



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Healthy Hair Online: Geri the Great

She's a type 4 natural with fabulous hair styles and long, healthy tresses (hidden under all of that beautiful shrinkage).  Protective styling and finger detangling are part of her regimen, but she is not afraid to step outside of the box with her hair.  You can find her on  Meanwhile, check out some of her hair shots:

My Monthly Goals Journal || New Series - October 2013

- completed reading of "Half of a Yellow Sun"  (great book, by the way)
- successfully kept away from my business for one month
- regular sleep schedule - fail
- toned stomach - success
- fast food - failed three times, lol
Also, I no longer plan to make this a series since I have no monthly goals at moment (yearly goals, weekly goals, but no monthly at the moment).

So I decided to start this series so that I can 1) break up my bigger goals into smaller ones and 2) hold myself accountable to meeting them via this public documentation.  This is reminiscent of the 3in6 challenges I used to do, except it is not strictly about hair ... it is about life.  So, here is my first entry ...

  • retain close to 100% of my length for the month (continue protein + long-term twists + fingers only)
  • no fast food whatsoever (I've been slipping lately, y'all ... it's just so convenient, but my mood afterwards pays for it)
  • get to bed by 11pm (12am at the absolute latest ... this is going to be a challenge)
  • develop a regular sleeping schedule
  • tone my stomach (I think I see a small gut developing)
  • finish reading "Half of a Yellow Sun" (I've been putting that off for too long)
  • take a one-month break from my business
I'll be back in November to see how far I've come ...