Showing posts with label Readers' Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Readers' Questions. Show all posts

Friday, February 8, 2013

Reader's Question: Weaves/Sew-ins to Stretch Relaxers

For questions, use the "Contact Me" tab OR leave a comment below!

Reader's Question:
In order to stretch relaxers, is it okay that I have weave with braids in it or a sew in 2-3 weeks after a relaxer?

My Answer:

I personally would not recommend getting a weave/sew-in within two weeks after a relaxer.
 Three weeks would be a much safer amount of time to wait, in my opinion.  Four weeks or more would be even better.  I say this because the scalp needs to "recover" (for lack of a better word) after a fresh relaxer.  Weaves/sew-ins can apply tension to the scalp, and installing one within two weeks can lead to hair loss.

After three to four weeks, weaves/sew-ins that are installed and maintained properly can be a good way to stretch relaxers.  Other safer options are braid-outs, cornrow-outs, twist-outs (with perm-rodded ends), ponytail roller sets, and straw sets.  Check out this earlier post on styles that blend the new growth with your relaxed ends.

I hope this answers your question!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reader's Question: Moisturizing Twist Extensions

For questions, use the "Contact Me" tab OR leave a comment!

Reader's Question:
I have twist extensions... How do I keep my hair moisturised?

My Answer:

In my opinion, the best way to moisturize twists (or any other braid) extensions is to use a water-based spritz followed by sealing with an oil.  This method allows for sufficient moisture without contributing to meshing, loc-ing, or severe product buildup.  Heavier products, especially thick butters, can build up near the roots and facilitate meshing or loc-ing, especially in kinkier strands.  If you REALLY want to use them, though, I suggest staying as far away from your roots as possible and only using the butter once or twice between washes.

That being said, what are some good spritzes and oils to use?  Well, let us start with the oils.  Light and somewhat odorless oils, such as grapeseed and jojoba, are my top suggestions.  Coconut oil may be used, but be aware that your extensions will smell of the oil (and that may or may not be okay, depending on how you feel).  Olive oil is less odorous but heavy.

Now for the spritzes:  A water-based one is a good start.  A water- and glycerin-based one may be even better, depending on what your hair likes.  I list a few spritz recipes in this post.  If you would rather buy one, I suggest looking for those geared towards braids (e.g., African Pride).

Finally, the moisturizing regimen while wearing twist extensions: Spritz anywhere from daily to weekly, depending on what your hair requires.  I would not suggest going beyond a week (particularly in the later stages of the wear) because the extensions themselves may be drying.  This is especially possible if you used synthetic hair for braiding.  As for sealing, that can occur anywhere from every few days to weekly.  Sealing daily can attract dirt to the hair quicker than usual thus leading to increased frequency in washing.

I hope this answers your question!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reader's Question: Running Long Distances

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

"Welcome Stephanie! I have a query about preparing to run. I work out a few times during the week (yoga and a cardio class). I decided that I would like to give running a try and possibly do a marathon next year. Are there any tips that you can share with a novice such as myself?


Howdy Mona!

First I would like to say that is awesome that you want to run a marathon! Training for a marathon does take a little discipline and you have to set your goals and try to achieve them!

For those who are looking for where to start when it comes to starting a new running routine, the best way to start is slow. Try not to jump into any exercise routine. You have to start out slow and gradually build up to the desired routines that you would like to do.

You should set your first running goal by setting a workout/running schedule for the first two weeks of your new program. Schedule consistent runs by shooting for running at least 2 days in a row. You want to try to run 3 to 5 days a week! Try not to take more than two days off in a row, because doing that makes running each day like it’s the first day all over again.

For starting out, 20 minutes is the magic number because that is when the body starts to produce physiological benefits; increased heart size, stoke volume, and capillarization to name a few. You should start out by pushing yourself to run for at least 20 minutes per workout session for the first 2 weeks. You want to maintain a steady run for the duration of the 20 minutes (this is of course after your warm up and stretching!) If you need to stop during this time it is OK! But keep moving! Either briskly walk or significantly decrease the speed at which you are running so you can catch your breath and get a small rest. You want to maintain this routine for at least 14 days. At the end of those 2 weeks you can monitor the progress you have made since the start of your program. Once you have been able to run no stop over your 20 minute run, then slowly add time to your runs (I usually suggest adding times in increments of 10 minutes).

When getting ready for a marathon you want to set a goal at what time you would like to accomplish when you finish the race. So as you gradually build up your tolerance to run longer amounts of time, which is when you try to run a little faster and push yourself to reach the time you would like to accomplish for the race. Like I said before, START OFF SLOW and then gradually build up to the desired time you want.

For those veteran runners out there I suggest incorporating sprint intervals into your run. Let’s say that you have a 40 min run planned for this evening. Start your run (after stretching of course!!) and do your usual run for 15-20 minutes. It is then at that point that you sprint (yes as hard as you can!!) for 15-30 seconds (I suggest to start off with 15 seconds and then gradually build up). After the 15 second sprint, go back to your regular jog for 30 seconds. You can continue this sprint interval for the next 10 minutes (which is suggested), but for those who are in better shape you can do this for the remainder of your jog.

There are always other suggestions you could do to help you start off with your new running routine, but these are just some suggestions that I have personally used with friends that have been beneficial to their success in completing their workouts and getting them started with training for races. Hope this helps! And please feel free to ask any other questions you have!

Also, please feel free to stop by my website for more health and fitness tips!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reader's Question: How to Gain Weight

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

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Well I know when you think of health and fitness you think of ways to lose weight, but there are some people who desire to gain weight as opposed to losing weight. For some people it is hard to gain weight or they will gain weight but they will quickly lose it again. Here I will list some suggestions that may help those who want to gain weight the RIGHT way.

The main thing that needs to happen if you want to gain weight is that you need to take in more calories than you are burning each day. If you consume more calories than you can burn off, the end result is that you will gain weight. There is a great article HERE to help you learn the minimum of how much you need to eat each day to maintain your current body weight. For those who want to lose weight they would look at that article and consume FEWER calories than the recommended amount. But for those who want to gain weight you will eat MORE calories than the suggested amount.

According to THIS article I found they suggested some of the following tips when wanting to gain weight:

  • Have meals with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fat (such as unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, olive oil, canola oil, pistachios, almonds and walnuts).
  • Eat foods higher in calories, vitamins, and minerals, as opposed to higher in fat or sugar.
  • Pack more nutritious calories in each serving. For example, you may add grated cooked eggs to mashed potatoes, ground chicken to soups and gravies, cheese in casseroles, eggs, and soups, and nonfat dried milk in soups, shakes, milk, and mashed potatoes.
  • If you get too full too fast, try having more high-calorie foods or slices of foods as opposed to consuming the whole thing (raisins versus grapes, granola and Grape Nuts versus corn flakes, mango slices versus the whole mango).
  • Limit drinking beverages to a half-hour before and after a meal.
  • Drink mixed juices (apple/berry, peach/orange/banana as opposed to one juice beverages) for a higher calorie intake.
  • IF YOU ARE OF LEGAL DRINKING AGE: Try a small amount of alcohol (4 ounces of wine, 6 ounces of beer, or a half-ounce of liquor with juice) before a meal, as it could stimulate appetite. This recommendation must be cleared with your doctor, especially if you are on any medication. Too much alcohol can be detrimental to health, and could lessen your resolve for eating healthy.
  • With moderation, you may add in good fat sources to meals such as nuts, avocado, olives, and fatty fish (salmon and mackerel).
  • Snack in between meals. Nuts, dried fruits, and yogurt are good options, but it's also important to find nutritious foods that you will enjoy.
  • Have a nutritious snack before bedtime, such as a peanut butter sandwich.

Make sure that you try to eat every 3-4 hours. Waiting past that will not allow you the chance to consume more calories than your body is burning. You can also look into adding some type of protein supplement/powder to your diet. You can have a “liquid meal” in which you have a smoothie or juice in which you add the protein supplement/powder. It is also suggested that you consume a meal right before you go to bed.

I found an article HERE that lists a few foods to help you gain weight the HEALTHY way:

  • Grains: heavy, thick breads like whole wheat or pumpernickel, dense cereals such as grape nuts, granola, and raisin bran, bran muffins, bagels, wheat germ and flaxseed (add to yogurt or cereal)
  • Fruit: bananas, pineapple, raisins and other dried fruit, fruit juices, avocados
  • Vegetables: peas, corn, potatoes, winter squash
  • Dairy: cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt; add instant breakfast or powdered milk to low fat milk or yogurt 
  • Meat/Plant proteins: peanut butter and other nut butters, nuts and seeds, hummus
  • Other foods: any kind of instant breakfast or meal replacement drinks, honey, guacamole

Hope that these suggestions will help you give you some ideas to help you start to gain weight the HEALTHY way!

Please do not forget to check out for other health and fitness tips!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reader's Question: Low Porosity Butter Mix

"Porosity is the term used in the science of hair care to describe how easily water and other matter can diffuse back and forth through the cuticle layer and into or out of the cortex." - naturallycurly

Reader's Question: I'm just wondering is any of the butter mizes you mentioned would work for low porosity hair. My hair is kind of fine but also low porosity. Shea butter makes my hair soft but a bit greasy, do you have any moisturizer recommendations.

Loo's Answer: For low porosity hair, I would actually recommend using a humectant-based moisturizer after a good deep conditioning treatment. After washing your hair, rinse with hot water (not too hot), then apply a moisturizing deep conditioner. (The hot water and subsequent heat will help to lift the cuticles a bit.)  Let the conditioner sit for 20 minutes with heat, then rinse with warm water. Follow up with a moisturizer containing glycerin or honey.  (I recommend whipping a moisturizer of 1/2 part shea butter, 1/2 part mango butter, 1 part conditioner (I recommend V05), and 1/2 part glycerin.  If this mixture does not work for you, then check out the Hibiscus & Banana Leave-In from Curl Junkie (click here).  It contains even more humectants and is also geared towards fine hair.)

For porosity classifications and more tips of caring for low porosity hair, check out this article.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reader's Question: My Hair Routine

Reader's Question:
"Hey! I just had to say that I love your blog .... I cut off the rest of my relaxed ends after a 23 month transition! My hair is type 4. I recently tried twisting my hair with a shea butter mix and it was awesome! My hair dried so soft! Thnks for such an informative blog! What is your hair routine for washing, styling, and heat usage?"

My Answer:
Thank you for your message! A few pieces of my regimen have remained constant over the years.  These pieces include: wear twists as protective style, redo twists every 2-4 weeks, condition after each wash, and detangle monthly.  Other parts of my regimen have varied every several months or so.  Here's what I currently do:

Wash weekly/biweekly (Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree)
Condition after each wash (V05 or homemade avocado DC)
Prepoo with coconut oil for 20 min
Detangle monthly (fall/winter/spring) or biweekly (summer)
Moisturize weekly (water then shea butter mix or Pura Naturals)

Wear twists/box braids ~3-4 weeks (fall/winter/spring) or ~1-2 weeks (summer)
Pin up twists/braids for updo 99% of the time
Wear twistouts or flat-ironed buns on rare occasions
*For more on my twisting routine, check this series

In 2010: Flat iron ~3x (during the fall/winter)
In 2011: May or may not keep the same usage (more on that later)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Twist Series: The Kitchen Area (Reader's Request)

These are some ways I prevent my nape area from locking while in twists.  Hopefully, they are helpful to you as well:

Rule #1: Re-twist the nape area (and the hairline) weekly.
I rarely go past a week without re-twisting that section.  If I do, I'm headed into loc-ville.

Rule #2: Make big twists in the nape area.
My twists in the back are usually bigger than my twists on the rest of my head.  I make about 3-4 big twists in the nape area.  Any smaller, and ... yes, you've guessed it ... I'm headed into loc-ville.

Rule #3: (Alternative to #2) Make one big horizontal flat twist in the nape area.
This method was developed by a natural haircare buddy named Mooks (some of you may have heard of her).  She and other women use this method to grow and protect the fragile kitchen area.

Rule #4: Patience while untwisting and detangling.
Since the kitchen area is prone to breakage and tangling, exhibit extreme patience while untwisting and detangling this section.  Be sure to lubricate the twists with an oil and/or butter during this process.