Daily Archives: October 12, 2011

September Update: Adrienne

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Here’s Adrienne (Second Wave) telling us how sometimes you have to take one step back to take two steps forward.  

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Hair:  Month two is over and I feel like I’m going backwards! About mid September I decided to get a Deva Cut. I know, why cut my hair during a GOC? Well I was having a seriously tough time detangling, the ends of my hair kept getting knots and I figured a cut was what I needed. I was right! After the cut detangling my hair was a lot easier so I’m not upset that I did it. I did my last trim in May and I’m thinking as I continue to refine my regimen I’ll have to trim a little every 4-6 months. So while it seems like my hair is not growing, I know it is and for me this GOC is not just about length, but hair health too. I’ve also been pretty lazy with my hair lately and wearing a lot of WnGs that I wear out for two days before pulling up into a puff. I just haven’t had the patience to twist, coil, or really style other than that. I’m thinking it might be time to do some mini twists soon so I cannot mess with my hair for a bit…but we’ll see.

 

Recently, I’ve started trying to make my own natural products. I guess I’m going CG now, since I’ve given up all conditioners with cones in them, and I stopped using sulfates months ago. I’ve recently made a whipped coconut oil concoction that I’ve been using to seal. I made Kimmaytube’s leave-in conditioner, but I’ve also been using a mixture of filtered water and Aloe Vera Juice as a spritz before sealing. I’ve also made some flaxseed gel and I’ve been using that for WnGs lately. My hair is feeling pretty good, so I’m going to try to keep it simple for now, despite my arsenal of hair products, and really focus on keeping my hair and body moisturized with water. I think my lack of drinking enough water led to me having the dry, tangled ends all the time. I’ve also introduced the Terressentials Mud Wash into my regimen and so far so good! So I’ve been using that as my alternative to shampoo.

Exercise: This is about the only thing I’ve been consistent with. While my hair regimen is sporadic and changes based on my mood, I’ve been making it to the gym every week. I lift weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and I focus on cardio Tuesday and Thursday. I do cardio MWF, but just not for very long. I’m also on a new work schedule where I work evenings so getting to the gym is a lot easier now, plus when I get home, I make sure to take the dog on a 45 minute walk. My weight hasn’t changed, but my energy is up and I feel pretty good, so that works for me. I just need to drink more water! Well … I also need to eat better. Since I’ve been working out, I figure I can eat what I want … but, I’m noticing with the new job, I’m eating a lot of candy, chips, and drinking too much soda. I’ve always had a serious problem with sweets. I love them so much but I really must stop! I’m telling myself I can’t even look at junk food unless I’ve had 2 Liters of water … I know, it’s not really going to help with the candy binge, but I’ll be drinking water at least!

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Step away from the candy Adrienne! Step away from the candy! LOL! Actually, the water may help you by providing a feeling of fullness so you won’t eat as much. So, that sounds like a plan. But, I also suggest getting snacks that you don’t crave as you’re more likely to be able to control portion size on things that don’t make you binge. I love sweet, baked items (cookies, cupcakes, cake, etc.), but don’t go for salty items like chips, simple sugar items like candy or ice cream. So, I keep those around for snack attacks as I know that I’m less likely to overeat them and they actually stay around for a while (I probably don’t have to remind you of my 6 cupcake binge a couple of weeks ago)!


 

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Last Week Was a Good Week

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I had a great week last week in regard to getting back into my fitness routine! If you read this post, you know that I had to set some ground rules for myself in order to regain focus and structure in regard to my life, exercise and the blog. One of the ground rules was that I would post my workout intentions for the day each morning on my Facebook page and that I would be off of the computer by 6:45 a.m.. Well, I’m happy to say that for 6 out of 7 day workout days, I did both.  On the 7th, which was yesterday, I didn’t get off of the computer by 6:45 so I wasn’t able to do my abs workout in the morning. However, I made up for it by doing them after work before getting on the treadmill. I’m still waiting to see if anyone is joining me on this Challenge Within a Challenge! So, if you are, remember to comment on my status each morning with your intentions for the day! I think that it will help encourage others too!

Now on to a hair update. I hadn’t washed my hair since the weekend before I went to Homecoming. It had been two weeks and I applied a Vatika and olive oil pre-poo this past Sunday, which I only washed out last night. I just didn’t have the time or energy to finish my wash day rituals on Sunday or Monday and I don’t do my hair when I don’t have time. That results in impatience and impatience results in damage. So, I’d rather rock my banana clip bun until I know that I can take my time with my hair. Seriously, that thing always saves me in a pinch and I think it looks better when I have a pre-poo in my hair!

So, back to last week. In the earlier half of the week, I wore my hair in a bun using the Goody Spin Pins. But, it wasn’t really cooperating with me. My hair was too directional and tangled at the roots to bun evenly or smoothly. So, on Wednesday, I decided to do a dry finger detangle to attempt a dry braid-out. Hence, the wild hair in the picture above. This was my hair after I finished finger detangling.

I proceeded to do a dry braid out using Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee and EVOO on my ends to seal. I then spritzed with a little filtered water, rolled the last inch or two of the braids on small pink flexis, tied on a hair net (to allow air flow for better drying) and hit the sack.


In the morning, I removed the flexis, released the braids and decided on a side part instead of my normal center one.

Meh. As usual, I’m not loving it. I just can’t seem to get the results that others achieve with dry twist/braid outs. I like the side shot, but the front just wasn’t doing anything for me. It might have been that my hair had too much product on it since I’d been applying the Ghee to my hair every few days during the two weeks between wash sessions and used Eco for the bun I’d worn the prior Saturday too. I didn’t have time to mess around with it though, so I left the house with it down. Well, when I got to work, I was immediately complimented by a co-worker when I walked in the door. She said that she almost didn’t recognize me because she’s not used to seeing me with my hair down. I thanked her, but told her that it would probably be up within the hour. And … it was.

I swear, it was just getting on my nerves! I was pulling shed hairs out left and right and just couldn’t take it. So, up it went!! The co-worker who complimented me has a sister is in my department who came by to see my hair and was soon disappointed because it was up! LOL! I really find it funny that I don’t like to have my hair down too much anymore and that my reason for wanting long hair now is so that I can do better and bigger updos! Oh yeah, by the way, waist length is my goal for the end of this challenge in Janaury. But, I may be continuing the challenge beyond that as I’m going for tailbone length now!!

Happy Wednesday!!

(p.s. My WW Stars and “Kapow” headbands arrived yesterday!!! So, I got them in time for NYCC!! I’ll model them for you soon :)!)

Refresh and Go

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Tips & Tricks: Number Six

Prior to discovering TnCs and buns and banana clips in 2010, I was a wash and go girl for the majority of my 11 year natural hair career! I don’t wear WnGs as frequently as I did in the past and their appearance has changed due to the curl loosening caused by henna. However, I picked up a very simple “trick” years ago that I thought might be helpful to those for whom the WnG is a staple style.

I used to dread wash day as I tended to wait two weeks between sessions. I’d do a WnG and would “refresh” as needed with water from a spray bottle and additional product (typically a “curl” gel mixed with Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter). Well, on wash day, it was a guaranteed two hour wash session in penance for not combing/detangling for two weeks. The worst of it would always be in the rear mid-section of my hair that is the curliest, coarsest and most porous. I remember one time having to get out of the shower, after an hour detangling, because there was one knot that would not budge, eventually tearing up out of frustration and finally pulling out the scissors to cut out the knot.

Well, in 2008 or so, I went for my first Ouidad cut at a salon in NJ trained in the technique. I mentioned my wash day struggles to the stylist (who was an Italian male). He asked me what my normal routine was and, when I told him, he told me two things which changed my natural hair detangling life. He told me to apply a leave-in conditioner after my regular conditioner, to comb through my hair one more time and then style. He then told me to use a spray leave-in conditioner to refresh my curls rather than water. I picked up some Infusium 23 and wash day was never the same again!!! Detangling my hair became a breeze and I am forever grateful for that tip!

I know that the use of water is constantly stressed on the natural hair sites and videos, but as with anything, what works for some does not work for others. I’m in the camp that follows the premise that if the first ingredient is water … it’s moisture. I also think that the reason the Infusium 23 (or the Sally’s GVP equivalent) worked well for me is that it contains amodimethicone, which helped smooth the cuticle of my hair, while water did not. So, if you go the CG route, I would suggest trying a cone free but pH balanced leave-in to prevent build up. I have used DevaCare No Poo for years, so I never had a problem with that. Finally, you can also make your own leave-in spray by diluting a regular conditioner with distilled or filtered water. However, if you do that, remember to refrigerate and use within a week to prevent spoilage. A chilled spritz will also help close the cuticle of porous hair.

I don’t wear WnGs like I used to and tend to put them up into a protective style after one day. But the style still works great when I’m pinched for time and I continue to use this tip to make my subsequent wash sessions a lot easier than they used to be! And, you know, a smoother detangling sessions means less mechanical damage to hair, which results in improved length retention!

(p.s. I thought of one other WnG maintenance tip that might be helpful to some with really thick and/or long hair. Pineappling never worked for me because my nape hair is straighter than the rest and it caused it to straighten even more. Bonnets were too small and smooshed my hair and a satin pillowcase alone resulted in wild and matted hair in the morning. So, I would use a knee length skirt slip to protect my hair at night! Just put the waist band first around your neck, pull it back until it’s around the hairline and smooth the length of the slip over your hair. Finally, secure the open end with a hair elastic! Voilà, makeshift bonnet for big/long hair!)

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How do you refresh your WnG?