Monthly Archives: August 2011

Got Skills?: Henna Questions and Shedding

Standard

Luv.Lyfe (GOC – Eighth Wave) asks:

I would first like you to know I find your blog to be extremely helpful.  I appreciate the time you take to inform others of the natural community. As a new healthy hair natural, I can go a day without checking your blog for new tips. Thank you for the time and energy used to share!!!

I have had two henna applications with Jamila henna. The first was a henna gloss (I don’t know if that counts) and the second was a full strength henna. After the first henna, I did not see much of a difference other than a slight red tint; however, the second henna provided more color, but I can’t say there has been much change other than that. I thought it would be a shinier or fuller, but I didn’t see much of that. I notice many others (including you from your Henna and Me story) have purchased henna from Mehandi. Is this because this company sells a better quality henna? Or is it because it is the most reputable and trusted company? I saw that Curly Nikki sometimes uses Butters-n-Bars.com. I looked at both sites and decided to go with Butters-n-Bars. The box of henna has the date on the bottom and the henna is in a foil package (both of which I thought were indicative of good quality henna). I’m not sure if you know, but does this company provide good henna? I plan to henna again today, but I don’t want to waste my time on henna that is not of good quality. I also went to the local Indian store to purchase Dulhan. I have a few boxes of that brand as well. Should I use the Dulhan only, mix the two, or is the Jamila from Butters-n-Bars okay?

I would also like to know how the heck do I get this henna out of my hair? I applied the full strength henna at around 9:00 p.m. and kept it in overnight. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to rinse the henna out. I rinsed with Tressame Naturals conditioner over and over and over and over again. Then again and again and again with HE HH. I ended up clogging the tub. I fixed the clogged drain and rinsed again. I waited and applied Kimmaytube and noticed that the leave-in was orange when I began twisting my hair. What? How many times do I have to rinse my hair? Is it okay to use shampoo to clean the henna out? I have Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat, but I don’t like the way it makes my hair feel; however, I will use it and DC all day if it means getting the henna out.

Another concern is how much shedding occurs almost anytime I touch my hair (pre-poo, conditioning, moisturizing and styling). I don’t know why that is. I can moisturize, condition and be very gentle and look up to see hair on the conditioner bottle, the comb or brush, the shea butter or coconut oil and my hands.  What am I doing wrong?

I know this is a bit much, but please help if you can?

Thank you very much,

lyfeisluv

(Follow LyfeisLuv’s journey at www.mylyfemygrowth.wordpress.com)

Shelli’s response:

First, thank you so much.  It really encourages me when I learn that women like yourself find my site and the posts helpful!  It keeps me going!

Okay, first, I’ve never used Butters-n-Bars, but if Nikki used it, then I wouldn’t doubt that it is quality henna and the foil makes it sound even more so (as that’s how Jamila from Mehandi is packaged as well).  Next, it usually takes 3 hennas to really see the full results.  Given that your first henna was a gloss, I wouldn’t even count that if you didn’t allow dye release.  So, as long as you don’t experience any negative effects (i.e. excessive dryness or an allergic reaction), give it 3 full strength applications to see the real results.  The first full strength is typically only going to give you the tint of color.

In regard to getting the hanna out, did you fill the tub with enough water to cover your hair and do a head dunk to loosen and release most of it first?  If not and you went straight to the shower and tried to rinse, that’s probably the problem.  Head dunk first to remove the majority of the henna (you should really not have any “mud” left after the head dunk), drain the tub and then hit the shower to rinse with the conditioner (I usually do that around 3 or 4 rounds with HE HH … and I use a ton of conditioner for each rinse … I’d say I go through about half of a normal size bottle, if not a little more, on a henna rinse day). Also, did you deep condition after you rinsed? If not, you should always DC after a henna. I would not suggest shampooing as it is too disruptive to the hair, which already goes through a lot of manipulation with the henna application. When I rinse my DC, I always still have some more henna rinsing out in the water.  Also, I may have a slight orange tint when applying my leave-in, but not that much. However, my next wash day, the conditioner rinse water will be tinted orange as well. It’s only in that rinse though. After my henna day, I don’t see it on my clothes or hands. Once my hair dries, there is no residue.  The first co-wash a week later will always get the remainder out of my hair.

As to your shedding, I shed hair throughout every process. I always have shed hair everywhere just like you described. As long as your shedding is stable and isn’t increasing, it’s probably normal.  I was freaking out for a time too, because it seemed like others shed very little to no hair. But, I’ve always shed a lot of hair. I think I experienced excessive shedding last year due to amla, but now it’s back under control and there is still a ball of hair in every stage of my process … pre-poo, co-wash, DC, styling. Remember, normal shed can be up to 100 hairs a day. If that hair isn’t coming out during the week because it’s “trapped” in your curly hair or a protective style, it’s all coming out on wash day. The one thing that I have stopped doing, because my hair is fine, is make certain that I don’t get conditioner on my scalp when I apply it to detangle as I’ve read that it can soften the root. Given that I use a no poo for my scalp, I don’t need to use the conditioner to cleanse it. And, given that my hair is fine, my roots are tiny and I think that conditioner on my scalp may have contributed to excessive shedding (see my post on this here). However, again, as long as your shedding is stable and it is actually shedding, not breakage (make sure the bulb is present), it doesn’t sound like you have anything about which to be concerned. However, if your shedding seems excessive, you should consult with a dermatologist to determine if there is a real issue and steps that you can take to address it.

Serendipitously, CurlyNikki posted an article on Hair Loss and Shedding on Monday, which may be helpful to you.

So ladies, who’s “Got Skills ;)?” Any feedback on Butters-N-Bars henna? Rinsing techniques? Shedding observations or advice? Go!

Deep Conditioning Tricks … Cool & Seal

Standard

Tips & Tricks: Number Two

Several years ago, my youngest sister gave me a couple little deep conditioning tips. You see, I had been ogling the Ouidad Deep Treatment, because I had been reading so many rave reviews about it. However, the joker was $50 for 8 ounces (8.5 now)!!! I just couldn’t see myself spending that much for a conditioner.  $18 for 8 ounces of Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie was already hurting my wallet!!

So, my sister says to me one day, “I don’t think it’s the conditioner per se, I think it might be the technique.” She tells me to allow my DC to cool for 15 minutes after I remove the heat source and then, put my regular daily conditioner over the DC before rinsing them both. Well, I tried this shortly thereafter and it really seemed to make a difference in how my hair felt after rinsing the DC!! You know how your hair will feel great with conditioner in it? But some conditioners, once rinsed, don’t seem to leave any of the benefits you felt while they were in your hair? Well, after rinsing using this technique with the Carol’s Daughter Tui Smoothie and some Pantene (I think) my hair felt smoother, more supple and as if the moisture from the DC was better retained.

These are the actual directions for the deep treatment from Ouidad.com:

1. Completely saturate clean, damp hair with 2 oz. of treatment on shoulder length hair – a bit more on longer hair.
2. Cover with a shower cap and heat with blow dryer. Allow warm product to remain for 12 minutes.
3. Before rinsing out, add a conditioner to hair. Then rinse both products; allow a little coating to remain.

Under the Deep Treatment section of the Styling Guide, it indicates, “Before rinsing, add a daily conditioner to seal in the treatment” (emphasis added). My guess is that allowing the DC to cool is recommended based upon the same principle as using cool water to rinse conditioner. As heat will raise the cuticle layer, allowing the hair to cool after removing the heat source facilitates the relaxing/closing of that layer. Then, applying a daily conditioner over the DC somehow helps to further seal the moisturizing agents of the DC into the hair strand like using an oil or butter to seal a water-based moisturizer! That’s just my conjecture.

Anywho, I’ve been employing a modified version of this technique for many years now with much success. Since the beginning of the year, my weekly DC regimen has been as follows:

  • Section hair into 4.
  • Apply approximately 2 ounces of DC of choice  (currently, Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Conditioner or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Deep Treatment Masque) to wet, but not dripping, hair (or 0.5 ounces per section). I ensure the section is thoroughly covered with DC and then twist it until I have four DC covered twists.
  • Gather four twists together and use rounded-tooth jaw clip to secure ends near top of head and don plastic cap.
  • Apply  heat for a minimum of one hour (usually a Winter hat).
  • Remove heat source and allow hair to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • While hair is cooling, dilute about a half ounce to one ounce of daily conditioner (currently, Aussie Moist) with approximately 6 ounces of filtered cool water in a dye applicator bottle (I dilute the conditioner because I thought the instructions said a “conditioning rinse.” I’ve applied the daily conditioner full strength in the past, but didn’t notice any reduced benefit when I began diluting it. So, I continue to do so, since it allows me to extend product!)
  • In shower or sink, pour entire bottle of diluted conditioner over twists, fully saturating them.
  • Rinse conditioner with cold or cool water (if in sink, I rinse from side to side, never upside down). Rinse well, but not “squeaky clean.”

I believe that one of the major reasons that my hair retains length and stays well-moisturized throughout the week is due to a consistent DC regimen. Though I know there is controversy out there related to deep conditioning and deep conditioning with heat, I’ve always noticed improved hair health and length retention when I deep condition at least once a month. I have achieved the longest hair I’ve ever had in my life since I began DC’ing every time I wash, which is typically once a week.

***************

Do you “cool and seal?” If so, have you noticed a difference in your hair using these techniques? If you’ve never tried these tricks, would you? Are you having great results with your current DC regimen?  Inquiring minds want to know!! 

Threadmill Discount Ends 8/31!!

Standard

THE FALL HATS ARE IN!!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t forget!! You have until tomorrow, 8/31, to receive 10% off your entire Threadmill purchase (excludes S&H) with coupon code HAIRSCAPADES10!! So, check out this always fresh, always cute Etsy shop and get your order in today;)!

 

GOC Update: Icela’s Week One

Standard

Check out Icela (First Wave) and how she did her first week in the GOC!

**********************************************************************************************************

by Icela of Shapely Alterations

Hey guys,

As you all know, last week marked the start of my participation in Hairscapade’s 6-month GOC.  The challenge involved both Fitness and Hair Health.  All last week I kept you all posted on the workouts I’ve been doing and I’m actually VERY proud of myself for sticking to a regimen for an entire week!!!  I can’t even tell you how long its been since I’ve been able to do that!  Go me!!!!  I’m going to keep that momentum going by doing a “weigh in” next weekend to see if I’ve at least dropped a pound 🙂

Here’s a quick recap of what I did:
Monday: REST
Tuesday: Biceps & Triceps + 30 minutes of Cardio
Wednesday: Legs + 30 minutes of Cardio
Thursday: Shoulders & Back + 30 minutes of Treadmill
Friday: Cardio ~ Billy Blanks’ Ultimate Tae Bo
Saturday: Chest
Sunday: REST

Today, I started the cycle over again by doing Biceps & Triceps, but no Cardio.  Tomorrow I’ll be hitting Legs again.

As far as my hair is concerned, I washed it accidentally when I meant to simple co-wash it (long story).  Also, instead of just twisting up my hair and letting it air dry, I decided to try something different . . . . a Twist and Curl.  A Twist and Curl is when you two-strand twist your hair, then place each twist in rods and/or flexi rods.

Here are my results after removing the rods and separating the twist a bit to create a puff.

I’m all thumbs when it comes to my hair, so I was pretty surprised and proud that the style came out decently.  I over did the unraveling of the twists a bit so the top got a bit frizzy, but overall I’m pretty happy with the look and plan to rock it more often.
**********************************************************************************************************

Don’t forget, you can learn how Icela did the rest of August and follow her progress at www.shapelyalterations.com!!

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Blackouts … Oh My!

Standard

Wow, what a week y’all. I experienced my first earthquake on Tuesday, a hurricane that forced the cancellation of our Natural Hair Meet-Up (which I was so looking forward to *sad face*) and caused torrential rain that resulted in water gushing into my basement and winds that knocked the electricity out for almost two days. All that being said, I survived to blog again!! Mind you, I’ve been singing Soul Glo for the last two days as Vatika oil dripped down my neck from my Saturday night pre-poo because I was trying to preserve the remaining hot water in the water heater for showers. Didn’t know when the electricity would be restored! It was out for four days last Summer! A shower, shampoo and detangling session were out of the question as they would have used the last of the hot water, and then some!! So, now that the power has been restored, the wet remnant carpet pieces and area rug used to soak up the water have been removed to the dumpster, the clothes that were in the washer Saturday night when the power went out have been re-washed and thrown in the dryer and the towels that soaked up the water in one closet and spouting from a hole in the wall are in the washer with lots of bleach, I’m sitting here with my oily, greasy head typing this post to make sure that you’ll all have something entertaining (hopefully;) to read on Tuesday morning;)!

Okay, so last week started off GRRRREAT!!  I styled with a WnG and bunned Monday-Friday, took hot yoga three days in a row, my diet was on point … then Thursday came along. I hadn’t really spent any time with the sweetie for almost 3 weeks because he was working a crazy schedule. So, he finished at, like, 6 am Thursday morning. When I got home after work, he said, “C’mon. Let’s go out to dinner. Not the diner, someplace nice where we can sit and talk.” (We go to the diner alllll the time.:) So, we went to this JEWEL of a restaurant that has been around the corner from my house for 3 years!! Nicole’s 10. It was DEE-LI-SHUS!! Things went downhill from there. I won’t bore you with the gory details, but I’ve been calling this my 10 pound weekend and it involved more than one glutinous, carb-filled, breakfast food meal. I mean, I went through a earthquake, hurricane and tornado-like winds, flooding and loss of electricity all in the course of one week. Comfort food was in order:)!

Anywho, here are a few pics of a mid-height, banana clip bun that I wore on Friday (I used the Goody Spin Pins during the week).

And, here’s a mini-product review to go along with the pics. After wearing my hair in a bun all week, I felt that it was time to moisturize and seal my ends again on Thursday night. So, I spritzed my hair with Giovanni Vitapro Leave-In Hair Treatment.

I picked it up a few months ago in a PJ blitz and was unimpressed. So, I hadn’t used it since. Also, I usually don’t use a “wet” leave-in to re-moisturize anymore, though I used to swear by Infusium 23 (or the Sally’s GVP version) as my “got to” WnG leave-in and refresher. Anyway, I decided to revisit the Giovanni Leave-in and misted it all over my hair. I was digging how my hair was big and my curls were getting a little shrinkage action (sorry, didn’t take pics. I should have and don’t know why I didn’t). I sealed the last couple inches of my hair with some JBCO and then chilled for a while so that it could dry. Finally, I loosely bunned for bed time (and the bun was NICE) and threw on my satin bonnet! Well, the next morning, it was not! My hair felt tacky and not soft as I expected. Me no likey. Needless to say, I won’t be picking it up again. It’ll be in my product swap box for our rescheduled Meet-Up if anyone wants to call dibs!! *lol*

So, at the (almost) end of the first month of our GOC, I’d give myself a 5 out of 5 stars for my hair regimen. However, for my fitness regimen? I give myself a 2! So bad! I didn’t put on any weight (well, at least, not prior to the 10 pound weekend), but I’ve been horrible with exercising and really need to get back into a consistent routine before I find myself back where I always am … up 10 lbs 6 months after losing the very same weight.

Judges, Contestant Number 45’s Overall August GOC Score?:  

3.5

Gotta get it together for September.  Going to use Fashion’s Night Out on September 8th as short-term goal number one and the CurlyNikki/NC.com NY meet-up as goal number two (there’s no date for it, but based on Nikki’s post last week, I suspect it’s in October).

***************************************************************************************************

As our first month officially comes to an end, how would you score your progress and effort towards achieving your goal(s)? Did you reach an interim goal and reward yourself?! Do you need to regain focus, re-energize and motivate?  Spill my GOCers;)!!

Sofistafunk Giveaways Reminder!!! *CLOSED*

Standard

Sofistafunk outfit

SOFISTANISTAS

Don’t forget to get your entries in before the deadlines in order to be eligible to win one of the fabulous giveaways below!!

G i v e a w a y   1

3 VIP packages
Each package includes a VIP Gift Bag and 2 tickets to the NYC Sofistafunk Fashion Week Party and Fashion Show on Thursday, September 15, 2011

For your chance to win*:

1. Register on www.polyvore.com and follow Sofistafunk.
2. Create a co-branded set using a featured Sofistafunk skirt.
3. Post the skirt set to the Sofistafunk Facebook Page.

Entry deadline:  September 8, 2011

Three winners will be selected and announced on September 9, 2011.

*Entrants must live in the NYC area and be 21 years of age or older to attend.

G i v e a w a y    2

1 Sofistafunk Swag Bag
Valued at $250+!

For your chance to win:

1. Follow Sofistafunk on Twitter.
2. Tweet “Hairscapades.”

Entry deadline: September 15, 2011

A winner will be selected on September 16, 2011

*************************************************************************************************************************

Don’t wait!! Enter today for your chance to win!!!  I can’t, but that didn’t keep me from playing around on polyvore.com and making the outfit above!! That site is addictive! LOL!!

You Know He Loves You When ….

Standard

b y   W e u s i

NOTE: If you read a few of these to your SO and they nod their head in agreement to 5-7 of them … you are in a relationship with someone that accepts and “love(s) you just the way you are.”

  1. They start experimenting with the different bottles of stuff in the shower … and know which products they prefer (like that conditioner in the big, blue bottle; there’s always plenty of that).
  2. You have a comb or brush that they like to use in the shower (like that big, heavy black comb with two sets of teeth that feels like hands scratching your scalp or the little, oval hot pink shampoo scrub brush thing that looks like what my pops used to wash our dog!).
  3. They not only know when you are looking at someone’s hair … they know what you’re thinking … things like … “nice curl pattern” … “it looks so healthy” … “that’s a cute style” … “I like the way that frames her face” … “I don’t know why you are looking at her …. that’s not her real hair!” … “is her hair just pressed … or is that a perm?” (Okay, those last ones are just me).
  4. When they meet other people with natural hair, they start to share stories like they are their own and suggest that the other person go to Hairscapades and CurlyNikki and get products from sites like Oyin Handmade, Zuresh and/or Wonder Curl …  And, when the conversation is over, they wish they would have gotten the other person’s information because they thought of even more sites that they could go to.
  5. It doesn’t phase them when you wear a hair bonnet, scarf, wrap and/or hat in bed … it’s business as usual!
  6. They start to look at their own hair more often … they start noticing when it may be dry or neglected … and know how to make it better with a co-poo and/or the right moisturizing and/or leave-in conditioner! (Plus they mention that they should get a haircut just to take care of possible split ends.)
  7. As their hairline recedes, they start to wonder and ask if there is a regimen of “natural no hair care” that they can implement. Oh … really? … That’s just me!?! Ok, I’ll claim that.
  8. They begin to understand and start using the acronyms and shorthand terms that are a part of the Natural Hair Culture.

And, if they start making up language and acronyms like NHCI (Natural Hair Care Icon) and help with meet-ups and all that kinda stuff … they’re done … they may need an intervention that involves sports, sweat and loud music somewhere within the span of 4 hours!

SHiNE

Lakisha’s HairStory

Standard

Check out the HairStory of our Threadmill HairStory Contest Winner and Hairscapades GOCer, Lakisha!!

Describe yourself in 20 words or less.
I’m Lakisha, affectionately called Kish-Kish by my loved-ones. I’m fun, outgoing and a hoot to be around!!

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I’ve been natural since 2002. Well, at least, that’s when I stopped subscribing to the creamy crack club. My last relaxer was May 2002 and I decided that it was time to give it up. My hair was over-processed and I would require touch-ups every 3 weeks, at least, that’s what I thought. See, I had this thing with super straight edges, if there was a wave, I was searching for my relaxer brush!

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned. I really don’t remember the transition process too much because, in the summer, I always wear my hair in mini twists or braids. So, the early days of my transition are really a blur.  Plus, I hadn’t embraced my natural curl yet. I was still getting pressed out religiously. Every two weeks, there was a standing appointment with my stylist. It wasn’t until the summer of 2007 that I first wore my natural, non-pressed, non-braided/twisted hair out. And, as I reflect, I treated my hair HORRIBLE. I would comb it dry, have all kinds of breakage and shedding, grease my scalp, etc.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
I think that my biggest hair challenge is trying to style my own hair. I just began to embrace my curly self, so to speak.  Meaning, using products that are sulfate-free/organic, not using heat (or at least, not as much), not over-shampooing, etc.  I’m one of those women that only touched my hair to pin it up or finger comb it out. Lol. So all this ‘hands-on’ styling and moisturizing is new. Add the fact that I’m addicted to YouTube videos and blogs and want to try EVERY style I see, and it poses yet another obstacle.  But, I’m coping well as of late. I’ve stuck to setting my hair in a TnC and styling it however the wind blows … a headband one day, a pin-up another day and, if all else fails, my puff never lets me down. I’ll continue to be patient with myself and try different styles and see what works for me! I’m up for the challenge.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
Wash and Go’s! And, the versatility that comes with being natural. I must admit, I’m not fully natural. I mean, I still color my hair (not sold on Henna yet). And I’m not against getting my hair pressed. I do that for special occasions and when I get my hair trimmed. I can’t wait until it gets cooler though, so I can try Bantu knot outs and roller set ponytails. They may replace my presses altogether.

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?

I shampoo my hair once a week and do a DC. I then massage my scalp with jojoba oil. The next steps depend on what style I’m going for. I still have yet to find the right sealer for my hair.  I’m using the Shea Moisture hair mist currently.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel! I like the SM Smoothie as well, but no matter when I use it, I get that flake issue that I haven’t been able to resolve. I think that once it’s gone, I won’t be replacing it. I would like to try some different products, but I haven’t gotten up the nerve yet.

What is your “go to” style?
My “go to” style is my wash and go. My motto is, “the bigger the better.” My wash and go never fails me. I just started protective styles. I only use them because I was watching my product wash down the drain every morning because of a failed style or a style that didn’t come out how I thought it should. So now, I do the TnC and use the pineapple method at night.  It lasts me about a week, depending on how much messing in my hair I’ve done.


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I let my stylist tell me when I need a trim and I let her trim it. I’m nervous when it comes to scissors.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
I’m undertaking a full transformation: mind, body and spirit. The process has just begun.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Jill Scott. I know that most of her styles are wigs but the way her hair fits her face is fabulous.  She’s my all around girl crush.

Who do you follow online?
I watch at least one YouTube video per day on hair. Lol! And, I have “liked” tons of people on Facebook whose hair stories I find interesting. I also follow a few blogs. I think my favorites are Curly Nikki and Hairscapades.

Where can we find you online?
I haven’t started my blog yet, but I am on Twitter.  You can follow me @kishkish09.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Research Research Research!!!! And be sure that you have the time and patience to devote to this life altering change.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
I’m thankful for the opportunity to share!

*************************************************************************************************************************

Have a HairStory that you’d like to share? Check out this page, select an interview category and send your story and pics to hairscapades@gmail.com!

Five Reasons You Gotta Hit Those Weights Ladies!!

Standard

by JKoi of The Koi Experience

Ok, I have my first confession to make. I have an addiction. Ok, I have a few, but the one I will talk about today is weight training. I have a sick infatuation with it. No, for real. I love the feeling of picking up a semi heavy weight and slinging that iron all over the gym. The looks of men when I walk over to the rack and grab something heavier than 10 lbs, like “She knows that’s too heavy for her,” then when I put that thing to work, the consensus is, “DAAAAAMMMNNNNN!” Then, when I’m done, my heart rate is crazy, my arms, legs, back, abs are shaking and I’m seeing these curves start forming everywhere—no it’s not fat rolls, it’s pure unadulterated muscle. I feel like I could punch a hole in a brick wall and it feels great! I think muscles on women are one of the sexiest attributes we have—it shows that not only do we have inner strength, but we are capable of outer strength as well.

“Well, of course you would think that, you’re a freakin’ MARINE. It’s your job to be all strong and stuff.”

No people. Yes, we are required to be physically fit … but there’s no requirement for women to weight train. In fact, I am usually one of the very few women hitting the weights in the gym, yes even the ones on base. So I have to deal with the awkwardness of being alone on the heavy side of the weight room, while my female counterparts are hitting up those pretty colored ones making sure that they don’t sweat their makeup off — or there are the diehard Cardio Queens who wouldn’t touch a weight unless the Commanding General ordered them to.

“Ok. Well, I’m still not convinced. I’m not giving up on cardio and I don’t want to look like a man or lift anything heavier than my purse!”

Ah so! Still not convinced? Well, not only will I give you reasons, but also a gift at the end!

  • You Will Be Physically Stronger. Chores will be easier, lifting kids, groceries and laundry will no longer push you to the max. Not to mention, you will increase joint stability and reduce your chance of injuries. It’s good for your bones. So yeah, weight lifting keeps you from breaking a hip and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Soon you will be able to hang with the guys, because women develop strength as fast as men do.
  • You Will Lose Body Fat. The more you weight train, the more muscles you develop. The more muscle, the more fat you will burn off. It’s not that big ol’ bulky muscle that men have, it’s lean and defined muscle, which can put your metabolism into overdrive – it burns fat so all that squish will go away and some nice toned arms will be revealed.
  • You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk. Women develop muscle tone and definition. This is a bonus. It is impossible for women to get super big, because we don’t develop enough testosterone to do so. Now for those ladies that are big … well trust me, it’s not natural. One of my closest friends is a natural bodybuilder and she is absolutely ripped, but she is definitely not huge.
  • You Will Improve Your Athletic Performance. So you love your cardio? Zumba is your thing, maybe yoga? How about sports? Whatever the activity, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury. So yes … strength training can make you better at cardio related activities, who would have thought!
  • You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression. My favorite reason of them all. Hitting the weights has truly become my therapy. Not feeling good? Then train. Not happy? Then train. Need an instant mental and mood boost? Then train! The science is simple! If you suffer from feeling down at times or serious depression, then you can find solace in weight training! When you train, you receive instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. You enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after you finish your workout. You know if you can achieve getting through your grueling hard core weight training workout, you can achieve anything!

“Ok, ok I got it, I have SEEN THE LIGHT!! Now where’s my gift?”

Since you are excited about giving weight training a chance, you may not know where to start. So I will give you the guidelines that I used when I began to take weight training seriously: The Female Training Bible made by the wonderful people at BodyBuilding.com.

It gave me everything I needed to know about how to start a weight training program and how to incorporate cardio into it as well, so I can have full benefits of each.

In the future I will start posting up nice little routines that you can follow as well just to change it up, because remember, your body can get used to the same thing over and over again, so you have to keep your muscles guessing.

So you tell me, what has prevented you from weight training? If you are a beginner and would like to write about your first experience weight training, contact me and you will be spotlighted in an upcoming series of The Koi Experience!

Shine on …