Daily Archives: November 7, 2011

My Updated Regimen

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Start of GOC (8/1): Hair – 2 1/2 to 1 1/2″ shy of waist length (WL); Weight – 120 lbs w/a little saddle baggage going on.

Current State (11/6): Hair – 1 1/2 to 1/2″ shy of WL; Weight – 120.5 lbs w/same saddle baggage (120.5?? Really? I’m happy y’all. It’s Sunday night and I just got on the scale. I swore it was going to be close to 124. This has me even more inspired to start getting it back in).

Goals: Hair – Waist length (WL) or slightly longer and no heat straightening; Weight – maintain 118-120 lbs instead of yo-yoing every 6 months and tighten/tone thighs (hams/quads/abductors/adductors)

My regimen has remained essentially the same as it was in the Ninth Wave post, but I’m updating it with things that I omitted (purple italics), crossing out eliminated items/products (eliminated may just mean it’s out of the rotation for now;) and adding new techniques and/or products (purple bold).

Weekly:

  • Pre-poo and finger detangle dry hair with Vatika oil or Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream (minimum of 30 min.)
  • Conduct Search and Destroys (S&Ds) to eliminate split ends and SSKs
  • Braid pre-pooed and detangled hair in 6 to 8 sections.
  • Shampoo hair in braids with DevaCare Low or No Poo most weeks.
  • Condition and finger detangle further with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH)
  • Deep condition with heat (bonnet or winter hat) with JessiCurl Weekly DC, Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Condition or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque** (minimum 1 hr)
  • Allow hair to cool (15 min.) and apply diluted daily conditioner (usually Aussie Moist) directly over DC using Cool and Seal technique I described here.
  • Rinse with cool/cold water
  • Blot with Curls Like Us Curl Cloth
  • Allow hair to dry until only slightly damp
  • Apply leave-in (modified Kimmaytube recipe or DevaCare One)
  • WnG or TnC to stretch hair (products vary)
  • Air dry and/or bonnet dryer
  • Wear twist hair out for 1-2 days
  • Protective/low manipulation style for remainder of week (buns, updos, twists, etc.)

Every 4-8 weeks:

  • Two step henna/indigo (roots only application)
  • Clarify once every 4-6 weeks with a diluted sulfate shampoo. 
  • Protein treatment (ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin treatment) as needed (see here for reason behind addition)

Misc.:

  • I plan on trying the Doris New York Mineral Mud, Leave-In and Olive Oil cream this month.
  • I may get a 1/2 inch to an inch trimmed off of my ends …  undecided right now and thinking about Chicoro’s Lead Hair Theory.
  • As a caveat to the above regimen, I still plan on getting twists towards the end of the month. So, this whole routine will be reduced to washing, conditioning, moisturizing and sealing once they have been installed. 
  • I may do one more Zyzphus treatment on my ends (I still have 50g left) before I get the twists.

Health & Fitness Regimen:

Supplements (daily after dinner):

  • 1 Pre-Natal Multi-Vitamin (Nature’s Way Alive Energizer for Women Vitafol-One [Rx]*)
  • 2 1 Biotin – 2000 5000 mg (Nature’s Bounty – Super Potency)
  • 2 MSM – 2000 mg (Vitamin Shoppe)
  • 60 oz or more of water (three 20 oz bottles in a metal thermos)

*I talked to my doctor regarding whether I should begin taking pre-natals as I’m fast approaching 40 and would like to have children. She said it was a really good idea and wrote a script. These things are expensive and a pain to get out of individual “shrink wrap” packaging! I have a 90 day supply. When they are done, I’m going with an OTC brand! 

Diet (daily):

  • Breakfast (btwn 7-8 am) – 1/2 Oatmeal or 1/2 cup cooked Grapenuts with 1/2 cup blueberries (Dole frozen/thawed); cup of instant coffee w/2 packs of Truvia, 1 tsp brown sugar, a little powdered skim milk
  • Snack (approx. 10 am) – Fage yogurt (fruit variety/2% or 0% fat) or Oikos Greek Fruit on the Bottom
  • Lunch (approx 12:30-1) – Lean Cuisine (chicken, turkey or fish with rice or potatoes) w/added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas) and a piece of fruit (apple, navel orange, cherries, banana)
  • Snack (approx. 5 pm) – Organic baby food (Ella’s Kitchen or HappyBaby/Tot.  And now, there is HappyMorning, which is a smoothie for adults!!!  I am sooo ahead of my time!! ;) )
  • Dinner (approx 8 pm) – Lean Cuisine (chicken, turkey or fish w/rice, potatoes, whole wheat or orzo pasta) w/added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas); fruit on occasion.
  • Post work-out – Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) Shake (Nectar Strawberry Mousse); w/banana if after hot yoga

(This is my basic diet during the work week.  But, I deviate at times and believe that moderation is the key to maintaining weight loss.)

Fitness (5-6 days a week):

  • Hot Yoga (Vinyasa Flow; 1 hr 15 minutes, generally 2 days a week)
  • Kettlebell DVD (1-2 days a week; 50 or 30 minutes)
  • Treadmill C25K or interval training (1-2 days a week; 20-40 minutes)
  • Brazil Butt Lift DVDs (1-3 days a week after treadmill or w/abbreviated Kettlebell work out; 30 minutes)
  • Abs of Steel DVD (3-6 days a week in the a.m./10 minute)

Motivation: I will not blog until I exercise! I promised that last week, but didn’t follow through as I really wanted to get all of these posts done. But I can’t continue to use the blog as an excuse. So, all of YOU are my motivation!! I might sign up for a 5K, as well.  Yeah, that wasn’t working. So, came up with a new plan that I detailed in Fitness Challenge within a Challenge. The rules are as follows: I will post my workout intentions every morning I plan to workout on Facebook (5-6 days a week). I will get off the computer in the morning by 6:45 a.m. to do Abs of Steel. I will put my workout clothes and sneakers on immediately upon coming home after work. I will be in bed by 11 p.m.

And, it is now 10:56 p.m. on Sunday night and time for me to wrap this up!

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How are you tweaking your regimen this month?

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Sofistafunking with Friends!

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One word … FABULOUS! Okay guys, I had sooo much fun at the Sofistfunk & Friends event at Closet ForHer 07631 in Englewood. When Arlinda, the designer and owner of Sofistafunk The Skirt Company, asked me to host the event, I didn’t know what to expect. But, I had no need to worry. It was all about gorgeous clothes, beautiful jewelry, pretty palettes of make-up, intriguing hair products, drool-worthy natural hair and the most stunning, sweetest and down-to-earth group of women you ever want to meet! I had a blast!

So first, Arlinda said that she was providing a skirt for me to wear at the event. However, the only thing she told me was to wear a black top, black matte tights and black boots. Therefore, I had no idea what she would be putting me in. And, if you’ve seen the Sofistafunk collection, you know it could be anything from a flirty, color-saturated, short tiered skirt, to a ballroom length, crinolined one, to a demure and subtle pencil skirt! The spectrum is wide! When I arrived, she pointed towards the corner and told me the green skirt was for me. I walked over and saw this green plaid number on a pile of pretty colored fabrics. OMGosh y’all, I LOVE this skirt! It fit like a glove and is soooo me. It’s a motley of textures and accents set on a green and black patterned plaid wool with highlights of pink and aqua, sporting an asymmetrical hem, exposed lining, random aqua stitching on the hem and exposed zipper, a sweatshirt cotton contrast pocket and long satin ribbon trim in aqua at the pocket and back zipper. It’s flirty and whimsical, yet professional and classic. Everyone complimented it and there was one woman who I think would have ripped it off of my body if I didn’t keep any eye on her!! LOL!!

This picture doesn't do it justice!

Next, let’s talk about the shop, which was nestled in an easily accessible and what appeared to be window shopping friendly area of Englewood. I was able to quickly park in a parking garage at the end of the same block and meter parking was also available on the street. The shop is a nice little space with hardwood floors, a high ceiling, clean, white, modern displays and two curtained and large dressing rooms with very slimming mirrors ;). They had a mannequin with short braids under a red hat that kept tricking me into thinking she was a real woman! In regard to the apparel for sale, the shop hosted an eclectic and pretty array of dresses, tops, skirts and slacks as well as accessories like hats, belts and scarves. The dresses caught my eye in particular and I ended up splurging on a very pretty and super soft jersey knit printed dress by Karina that my sister spotted and pointed out (it looks ten times better on me, if I do say so myself ;). I’ll model it for you guys later!).

Now onto the eye candy! The jewelry by Z of Z. Charles Creations was displayed in a couple of areas, exhibiting a colorful palette of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and brooches designed with various stones, glass beads, rhinestones and metals. The models were bedazzled in chunky pieces layered with more subtle and subdued ones. Everything perfectly complimented the Sofistafunk ensembles. I ended up buying the necklace that Arlinda chose for me to wear and my sister Shana was eyeing up the necklace worn by Marlene here (though she didn’t get it).

Speaking of the fierce Marlene, she is one half of the mother and daughter duo behind Doris New York. Seriously, when I walked into the shop, my eyes were immediately drawn to her as she worked on the hair of the model to the right. I mean, she was gorgeous and fierce and, I swear … I was ogling her. She turned to see me enter the store and broke into the bright, welcoming smile you see in this pic … no pretenses, no hesitation. Like, this is a woman you see and say, she has got it going on … and, she’s nice too??!? Oh, and smart and talented. Quadruple threat. We talked hair care and the dearth of quality, well-trained and educated stylist and salons. She is soooo on point with hers!! Like, she and her mother are committed to really taking care of and fostering healthy hair, not just making it look good on the day you leave the salon. So, she specifically recommended the Mineral Mud for me and hooked me up with a bag full of the line!!! I was like, “Are you kidding me??” You know the PJ in me was losing her mind at the haul!!

Anyway, Marlene said that the Mud is a hair and scalp detoxifier and that her clients who use it say that it makes their hair “feel young again.”  I was all in. But, I was also a little disappointed as I’d just washed my hair!! Now, I have to wait until my next wash day to give it a try!! I also asked Marlene about her fierce do and what she uses to give it so much volume and shine (btw, she is relaxer free too). She told me that both she and Etoile use the Doris New York Leave-in Conditioner and Olive Oil cream! They have completely different hair, but it works for both of them. As layering KCKT under JessiCurl Confident Coils is still producing those product residue flakes, I’ll definitely be trying this leave-in on my next WnG! Oh, and the Olive Oil cream? She had sample sizes for free at her display and I grabbed one before knowing that she was going to gift me with a full size jar. So, yeah … I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot without busting it open and applying some to my hair! It’s light and creamy and seemed to instantly absorb into my hair, giving it a sheen, with no tackiness or greasines. I applied some more on Sunday, just because I liked how it made my hair feel so much and I think that I’ve been skimping on the daily moisturizing! Marlene also hooked me up with a Doris New York satin sleeper! You guys, the design is sick! You already know about my bonnet fetish. I ain’t new to this game. But this? This is special. It’s a roomy, lined bonnet, with an elastic back and a satin sash to tie like a scarf. It comes in three different prints and is stylish enough to wear out of the house (just pull out those huge, dark shades and rock it Jackie O. style). Check out Etoile’s recent review of it here. I got the zebra as it matches my shower cap and toiletries travel bag ;)!!


Also present was make-up artist Julez Rafael, who was there doing free mini make-overs. I had all intentions of getting one myself, but I got caught up and never had the chance. She was also responsible for the lovely and subtle make-up on the models and was another sweetie, giving my sister 50 cents to feed the meter! Check her out on Facebook!

Speaking of the models, do you see their fierce hair?!? The one on the floor is LaNora (who said I looked like her cousin in Cali), standing in the middle is Tare’ (who is addicted to the online natural hair community and was teaching me a thing or two about the bloggers out there!) and seated on the right is Jericho (who is a low maintenance type of girl). Of course, we started talking hair and it was like we were old friends!


So yeah, that’s it in a massive, Epcot Center “golf ball” sized nutshell! *LOL* And with that, I’ll leave you with some more fun pictures. And, stay tuned, because I’ll be announcing another event that is coming soon ;)!!

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October Giveaway Winners!

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And the winners of a copy of Grow It! and a bottle of Dabur Vatika Oil are … *drumroll* …

Krystal K. aka CaliGirl1980

Kendall

Monieke

Congrats ladies! I started reading the book and you are sure to learn a thing or two from Chicoro! Shoot your mailing addresses to me at hairscapades@gmail.com and I’ll get your prizes in the mail ASAP!

If you didn’t win this one, don’t despair, it’s a new month! A November giveaway will be announced this week! It includes one of my current staples! So, as always, STAY TUNED!!

Good Times, Good Times

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Wow, that is kind of completely the opposite of my Monday post of last week, isn’t it?!? LOL!! So yeah, this past week was muuuuuch better:). I’m still not quite over this cold and I had one really bad morning last Wednesday, because I decided not to take any cold medicine. But, overall, I had a decent week :). I felt a lot better, though not 100%, the electricity was restored in my house on Wednesday before I returned to it, I got my car appraised and  will take it in on the 14th for repairs paid for by the other carrier and I checked a decent number of items off of my “to do” list for work!

In regard to health and fitness though … ummm, the news isn’t so good. Ironically enough, given that my Fitness Spotlight was just up last Friday, I had a HORRENDOUS week in regard to diet and haven’t exercised at all since two Mondays ago. The cold knocked me off of my feet in regard to my exercise routine (I was a little frustrated by that as I was just getting into it again). Also, given that I didn’t have any power and stayed at my sister’s house for a couple of days, my normal weekly meal planning was totally disrupted. I ate everything and anything!! I’m talking, pancakes and taylor ham, sweet potato fries, pizza on 3 occasions, cake (wedding slash baby shower at work), Pop Tarts, McDonald’s and I’m sure there were some other things that I just can’t remember now. It was sad and I probably put on 5 lbs this week! So, I’ll have to work hard to take them off this week. I think I’ve recovered enough to start exercising again (FB posts are back on!), but I still need to hit the grocery store to replace my beloved Lean Cuisines lost in the power outage:(.

As to my hair, I hadn’t washed it since the CurlyNikki NYC Meet-up, so it was a little over 2 weeks between washes. As is par for the course, I wore it in buns and the pre-wash braided updo that I posted last week. The braids are the new technique that I mentioned I was trying. As I indicated last week, I started reading Chicoro’s Grow It! and she recommends detangling dry hair and placing it in loose braids for the wash session. As you know, I usually twist my hair, but braiding actually made more sense when I read this and thought about it. First, because my hair isn’t tightly curly all over, especially the ends, twists tend to unravel once my hair is saturated with water. However, braids tend to hold a lot more securely as the hair is interwoven more. The second thing is simple science. A braid creates more surface area than a twist (3 sections of hair versus 2), so products are able to reach more of the hair so you are able to shampoo and condition more thoroughly.

See those grey roots?

So, on Wednesday night I dry detangled my hair and braided it into six sections. On Thursday night, I unbraided each braid, applied my Vatika and olive oil pre-poo, then re-braided each section. I also mixed up some henna for a long overdue treatment. The grey was out of control as it had been 2 months since my last henna. I used Rajasthani Twilight (RT) for the first time!! I ordered 500g after Nikki did this post on ordering it instead of Jamila after a conversation with Catherine of Mehandi.com. Seems that the more recent crops of Jamila weren’t as high in dye content or quality as Catherine liked. So, she recommended that Nik try RT as the sift was supposed to be as fine as Jamila and the dye content even higher at 2.9%. Well, that purchase may have been a little premature as Nikki soon thereafter posted her initial thoughts on RT and indicated that it was a pain to rinse. She was even forced to … *gasp* … shampoo her hair the following morning to remove the residue!! Unheard of!! *lol*

As I am not one to throw money out of the window, I already knew that I’d use those 500g of RT, regardless! What I did decide to do was mix 100g of RT with 100g of Dulhan instead of using 200g of RT solo. I noticed that it did look coarser than Jamila when I poured the powder into a bowl. Also, when I mixed it, it appeared lumpier. I couldn’t get it as smooth as I can normally get Jamila and Dulhan in the mixing stage. Anywho, I mixed the two hennas together in a glass bowl using a plastic spoon, covered it with plastic wrap pushed smooth against the henna, covered the bowl with its lid and left the henna to sit for dye release overnight … and longer because I forgot to refrigerate it the next morning!

On Friday night, I shampooed my scalp and braided hair in the kitchen sink with about 2 tbsp of Ion Curl Defining Shampoo diluted in 8 ounces of filtered water. I wanted to do a clarifying shampoo in preparation for the henna on my roots and a protein treatment on my ends. That is why I used a sulfate shampoo instead of my normal DevaCare No Poo. Because of the oil pre-poo and the diluted product, my hair felt clean, but not stripped.

After rinsing the shampoo, I applied ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor to the last 3 inches or so of my hair. I did this for three reasons: 1. I was still seeing a little breakage after the first treatment and the directions indicate to use it every wash until healthy hair is restored.; 2. My ends are old and had been without a full strength henna treatment for 10  months!; 3. I want to fortify my hair for the blow out prep (maybe) and Afro Puffy twists that I plan to get later this month.

While the ApHogee was in my hair, I mixed some honey into the dye released henna, which seemed to help smooth the texture of the mix. I then rinsed the ApHogee from my ends with lukewarm water. One by one, I unraveled each braid and applied henna to the first 3 inches or so of hair, working from the back towards the front. I then applied Sally’s GVP Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm to the remaining length of my hair (I don’t like to leave the length of my hair “naked” when going under the bonnet dryer).

I always mix 200g of henna so that I have enough for two applications and can freeze half of the batch for my subsequent treatment (no mixing or waiting for dye release! Score!). I wrapped it in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and placed it in a freezer bag before sticking it in the freezer.

Looks just like bull doo doo, doesn't it?!? Ewww *smh*! LOL!!

It was about 7 pm at this point and I knew, right then, that wouldn’t be rinsing the henna, applying indigo and DCing that night!! It would have been 2 am before I made it in bed! So, I wrapped my hair in plastic wrap, donned a baggie and sat under my bonnet dryer for 4 hours (Yes! I sat on this computer catching up on blogs, comments and FB the whole time!). Then, I hit the sack with my winter cap on top of my baggie.

Saturday morning, I awoke around 8 a.m. (too late!), lollygagged for too long and then scrambled the rest of  the morning to get out of the door by noon for the Sofistafunk & Friends event! I rinsed the henna by tub dunking first, then hopping in the shower and applying loads of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH). I probably did the conditioner/rinsing thing two times. I didn’t have a problem rinsing the RT/Dulhan mix, so I was pleased. I hopped out of the shower, mixed some indigo with salt and warmed filtered water and applied that to the roots in the back of my head and at my temples and sides. I only like the red on my grey to be apparent at the top of my head. Well, I didn’t have enough time to let the indigo sit for a full hour, so I got under the bonnet dryer again for about 45 minutes.

Next, I hopped back in the shower to quickly rinse the indigo, using more HE HH. Then, I applied my DC. I started with Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed conditioner, but ran out after I did one half of my head! I thought I had another one under the sink and was dismayed when I realized I didn’t (now I’ll have to wait for another CurlMart promotion to re-up!). So, I had to run to the fridge to grab my JessiCurl Weekly Deep Treatment (yeah, I keep that one in the fridge for some reason). I applied that to the other half of my head, threw on the baggie again, my Winter hat and shower cap to provide heat while I took my actual shower! I had NO time to sit under the dryer now!

Finally (Wow this post is long! Are you guys still with me?!?!), I applied Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) straight, no chaser! LOL!! I didn’t have time to make my modified Kimmaytube leave-in and I didn’t want to anyway as I wanted a poofier WnG. So, I applied KCKT, finger combed lightly and then used my shower comb to finish the job. If I felt a snag with the comb, I removed it, finger detangled and then tried again with the comb. I prefer not to use a comb at all, but have to when time is short. My hair wasn’t very tangled at all despite not detangling at any step during the wash process. I definitely think the dry detangling and braiding had a lot to do with that. I then raked JessiCurl Confident Coils through my hair. Both the leave-in and styler were applied section by section to four sections (I divide my hair in quadrants). After the curl solution was applied, I put each section into a twist to encourage a uniform curl pattern and clumping of my ends so that I don’t get such a gappy perimeter. Then, I ran out the door (yes, with wet hair!).

My hair was rather stringy looking when I reached the event as it was still wet. But, the ends were dry enough to release the twists and separate them a little so that my hair could finish air drying. It “poofed” nicely once it was completely dry:).

So yeah, that was my wash day! Guess I made up for not having one in over two weeks:)! Later today, I’ll be posting an updated regimen as I’m incorporating some things and plan on trying some new products this month. I’ll also be sharing some pics from the Sofistafunk & Friends event with a recap. So, stay tuned for those!

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So, what did you do with your hair this weekend? Are you tweaking your regimen? And don’t forget, it’s October Update time for all your Grow Out Challengers! Send me those links or e-mail those updates to hairscapades@gmail.com!