Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jen Big Chops!!

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Remember Jen, transitioning marine and my blogging buddy from the CurlyNikki presents Kim Coles GOC?!?! Well, guess what?! She’s a transitioner no more!! Jen Big Chopped and she sent me the video, so that I could share her huge moment with all of you!!

WOOH-HOOH!!!! Congratulations Jen!! You did it!! That ‘fro is nice!!

*I’m giving those household shears the side eye though. lol*

AO Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, AVJ to Seal & Plopping

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“Today on Wash Day Shenanigans: Shelli decides to try a three new things! Want to learn how it will all end?!?! Then, don’t change that channel!!”
*teehee*

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner
After less than stellar results using Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (AO HSR) Moisturizing Conditioner as a post shampoo “quick” conditioner, I decided to follow the directions on the bottle for using it as a deep conditioner. I deep conditioned BEFORE shampooing. Yup, you read that right. I’ve heard of this before and knew that others had success using this technique, but I’d never tried it.

A little about the product first though:

via Aubrey-Organics.com:

INGREDIENTS INCI: Aqua, cetyl alcohol, alcohol denat. (38b, lavender*), butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) extract, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice*, glycerin, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, rosa rubignosa (Rosa Mosqueta®) seed oil*, citrus grandis (grapefruit) extract, tocopheryl acetate, foeniculum vulgare (fennel) fruit extract, humulus lupulus (hops) extract, melissa officinalis (balm mint) leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, beta-carotene, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, angelica archangelica extract, chrysanthemum sinense flower extract, magnolia biondii flower extract, ascorbic acid. *Organic

From the bottle:

Directions
Shake well before using. After shampooing, apply to damp hair and work through, concentrating on the ends. Leave on for 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse. For deep conditioning: Apply to dry hair and distribute from scalp to ends. Leave on for 15 minutes, then shampoo and condition hair as usual. (emphasis added)

On Friday night, I put my stretched hair into 2 braids after oiling my scalp with sunflower oil mixed with the remnants of my EO mix. I applied a little oil to the length of my hair too. Then, on Saturday night, I divided my hair into 4 sections and applied about a tablespoon AO HSR to each area before twisting. I really didn’t detangle much at all. Once done, I donned a plastic cap and winter hat. Then, I did 10 minutes of Abs of Steel and 30 minutes of The Biggest Loser Cardio Max. After that, I chilled for about an hour, playing on the computer, eating dinner and watching and episode of The Big Bang Theory that I had somehow managed to never see!! Finally, I hopped into the shower, shampooed with diluted DevaCare One No Poo and rinsed. My hair felt GREAT!!! It felt strong, moisturized and smooth. And, I’m telling you, it was the easiest detangling session that I’ve had in MONTHS!! I don’t know if it was the AO HSR as a pre-poo DC or if my hair was just that stretched!! But, I can’t wait to try this again next week to see if I get the same results (I may do a Vatika oil pre-poo under the AO first or mix a little oil with the conditioner just to get the protein retention benefits of coconut oil). Anywho, then, for good measure, I applied HE HH to do a final finger detangle. However, I really think that it might not have been necessary!

Preliminary Review of AO HSR: Thumbs up and 5 stars as a pre-poo DC on dry hair!!

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Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ) to Seal
Next, I decided to use two products that have been part of my natural hair arsenal for almost two years in a different way. What prompted this deviation? This post and video on blackgirllonghair.com by HeyFranHey: Moisturizing & Sealing 3B/3C Hair. In it, Fran explains how using oils to seal left her hair flat and lifeless, because they were too heavy. But, AVJ was the perfect lightweight sealant! She also shared this YouTube video tutorial demonstrating her technique!

Now, as many of you know, I use a modified Kimmaytube leave-in, which contains 2 tablespoons each of Kinky Curly Knot Today and AVJ (whole leaf) and 1-2 teaspoons of oil. I’ve thought about leaving out the oil altogether, because I remember reading that someone else did that because the oil was too heavy. However, I never got around to trying it … I think partly because I felt like I needed an oil to seal in the moisture. But, after reading and watching Fran’s post and video and thinking about how the pH of AVJ seals the hair cuticle, it made so much sense to give this a try! I wanted huge, curly and fluffy hair too;)!

I proceeded to pull out my KCKT and AVJ and followed Fran’s steps for applying the leave-in and sealant. I had allowed my hair to dry to damp, so I did have to rewet with filtered water from a spritz bottle. Therefore, my hair wasn’t as soaking wet as hers. But, it still seemed to respond very well! This seemed so much easier than mixing and applying the Kimmaytube leave-in! Again, my hair was very detangled, so applying the products was almost a breeze and my hair already had volume and curl after finishing the application.

Preliminary Review of KCKT leave-in with AVJ to Seal: Thumbs up wet. Dry? The verdict is still out, because …

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Plopping
Given that it was the evening, I would normally do some type of TnC or twist set. Though wet hair in the morning is inevitable, my hair is controlled so that I don’t wake up with a tangled, matted rat’s nest. However, Saturday night, I decided to experiment with an overnight Wash and Go “drying” technique touted to enhance curl formation, definition and volume: Plopping. I think I tried it once before, but don’t remember the results. So, they probably weren’t that spectacular. Regardless, I decided to try it again. However, I needed to research how to do it as it had been so long. I came across this video using a long-sleeve t-shirt rather than the short sleeve one that I’d typically seen.

I grabbed a long-sleeve tee and followed the directions (using my bed as the flat surface, rather than a chair). A couple hours later, I hit the sack. I woke up Sunday morning and decided to do the reveal prior to working out. Figured that I could pineapple my hair if it came out all big and lovely like I desired.

It came out big all right … lovely? Not so much. *sigh* My hair was still slightly damp, very soft, big, but with next to no curl definition. I watched another video that indicated that a styler should be applied and left to air dry for an hour prior to plopping. I’m wondering if I had applied something like a curl gel over the AVJ and then waited for an hour prior to plopping, maybe this would have worked out better. But, as it was … I bunned it up for a fundraising Mother/Daughter’s Fashion Show that I attended for my niece’s school. My niece wasn’t in it, but my sister co-chaired and Sofistafunk loaned a slew of wonderful skirts for the event!! I’ll try to share some pics later, but mine weren’t that great as the girls were moving too fast for me to catch good ones!!

First Time Plopping Experience: #Fail

So, last night, I used a couple new products for the first time and placed my hair into 8 twists, setting the ends on flexirods. I’ll let you know how that turned out tomorrow!

GOC Health & Fitness Goal Update (BONUS ;))
I stuck with the plan in regard to exercise and did The Biggest Loser Cardio Max Week 1 (30 min) 4 days, Lauren Brooks Kettlebell 2 days (40 min. Wed.; 12 min Sun.) and Abs of Steel (10 min) 6 days. I took my supplements every day and ate pretty well most of the week. I was down from 136.5 last Monday (bloated from pancakes on Sunday) to 132 yesterday. Yea!! Why did I get on the scale this morning and it was back up to 135?!?! Boo!!! Dang water weight loss and gain!! Had creme brulee at the fashion show and some shrimp fried rice (after eating some healthy steamed shrimp and broccoli with brown rice; no sauce) last night with friends. *sigh* I know that 135 really isn’t right and it’ll go back down today when I eat well and exercise … but DANG!!

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What did you do with your hair this weekend? Try anything new? Anyone else try AO HSR, AVJ for sealing and/or “plopping?” If so, how did it/they work out for you? Any tips or tricks?

To my GOC ladies, it’s the end of the month! So, start getting those April Updates together and sending them in to hairscapades@gmail.com!

Remember to let us know the following:

  • How you did in regard to following your planned regimen (hair and health & fitness)?
  • What tweaks have you made (did you try something new? Add something? Remove something, etc.)?
  • Have you had any challenges? Setbacks? Accomplishments?
  • And don’t forget the pics!! We love to see your beautiful hair and lovely styles:)!

How I Retained Length Year One – MightyFineNatural

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Check out #3. Very interesting! I never heard of diluting conditioner prior to application, but since detangling with conditioner under the shower stream seems to work well (added water adds slip), I wonder if diluting conditioner with water first has a similar effect! Just thought I’d share:).

The “B” Word

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by Sawah of Discovering Natural

I’m talking about “Breakage.” We’ve all experienced this at one time or the other.  But do you know the difference between Breakage and Shedding? I was totally clueless about this prior to transistioning.

When I was relaxed, I would have a lot of hair breakage and over the years, I thought that was normal. I just thought if you comb your hair, you should experience seeing hair left on the comb or brush. I didn’t realize that there was such a thing as shedding.

Let’s understand the differences between breakage and shedding.

What is Shedding?
Hair that has been shed is one that has come to the end of its life cycle. It usually contains a white bulb at the end. This is normal. Research as shown that we shed an average of 50-100 hair strands per day.  Sounds scary, huh? Well, new hair is suppose to grow where the shedded hair was.

What is Breakage?
This is the process of the hair breaking, not at the root, but somewhere in the strand of the hair.  It is not normal because in all cases the hair has not gone through the normal hair life cycle.  Breakage can occur from mishandling of hair, lack of proper nutrients, or excessive styling.

When hair is deprived of proper moisture, breakage can occur. It is very important to keep your hair properly moisturized. Daily moisturizing and weekly deep conditioning will help you with breakage. Try to use water-based products, because these products provide the best moisturizing agents. Don’t forget to seal your hair with some oils or cream.

In addition to moisture, you will need to strengthen your hair strands. This can be done by adding protein products to your hair routine. Protein is known to help rebuild weak hair strands. There are several protein treatments products that you can use. It is important to properly follow the product application instructions.

Mishandling of hair can also cause breakage. I notice less breakage when I do not use a comb on my dry hair.  If I want to comb my hair post wash day, I spritz some water mixed with a little leave-in conditioner and carefully either finger comb it or use a wide-tooth comb. On wash days, I always finger detangle my hair with some oil or conditioning product.

When styling your hair, try not to pull too much at your edges. The edge and nape of your head are more prone to breakage. Keeping hair in a pony tail all the time can cause breakage at the point where the hair is gathered together.

When you understand the difference between hair breakage and shedding, it will help you address the problem and keep your mind at rest in determining what steps to talk to minimize breakage.

How are you handling breakage?

Mini-Hairscapader: Ashanti’s HairStory

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as told by Niah (mother)

What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her/him.
My daughter’s name is Ashanti and she is 9 years old. She is my beautiful, brilliant and bright baby girl. She is into a little bit of everything: Girl Scouts, gymnastics, different styles of dance, acting and currently in the engineering club at her school, as well as the Vice President of SGA. Ashanti is a lover of anything music and/or fashion related and has been a little princess since day one. No, seriously. She has been crossing her legs (which I later corrected her to cross her ankles) since before she was a year old. She is a very loving and humble little girl who loves her mom. We have a super tight bond. I have been truly blessed with an amazing little girl and I only pray she stays this way forever.  *lol*

How do you care for her hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
It took me a really long time to figure out the best way to care for her hair, since my texture is very different.  When she was younger, her texture was more like her father’s, which is type 2 and 3. Most people thought her texture type was the easiest, but not nearly. Because, as she got older, her hair changed and is now a mixture of my 4a/4b hair and her father’s type 2 and 3 hair.  So, the crown of her hair, it’s more of my texture, which makes it a little more difficult to detangle. Well, thank GOD for the natural community! When I BC’d the first time about 5 years ago, when she was at the age of 4, I started my research.

I co-wash her hair weekly and wash with shampoo and deep condition every 2 weeks. I finger detangle her hair while washing/co-washing. I always use a leave-in conditioner, Giovanni, after washing. I section her hair into 6 sections and use plenty of leave-in with coconut oil. Comb each section with a wide tooth comb from the ends and work my way to the roots. After detangling, I use my own whipped shea butter mixture (organic shea butter, EVOO and EVCO) to seal her ends and then braid the sections. I use medium size braids. This is an extremely long process, because she has so much hair, but its worth it because she rarely has split ends. Her hair is wrapped in a satin scarf every night.

The products I use on her hair include:

  • Aussie Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner
  • Shea butter, EVOO, EVCO
  • Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk
  • Mizani H2O Conditioning Hair Dress

I’ve tried KCCC, but because her hair is so thick, it took almost a week for it to completely dry. It only defined her curls around the perimeter of her head. But the crown, no such luck. In the winter season, I take that time to get her hair blown straight with low heat. This is when we catch up on trimming her ends, if necessary.  Also, when we wash her hair, it takes a few days to dry, since we rarely allow her to wear it out. If we do, she will for sure be able to score a part in the next Diana Ross or Chaka Khan feature. Speaking of which, because she happens to have pretty big hair and loves music, she was asked to play the lead “lady” in a music video acting as Sy Smith.

Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
For the most part, we are able to use the same products. The only products I do not use on my hair that seem to work well for her are Mizani Rose H2O Conditioning Hair Dress and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk.

What is a typical style? Do you employ protective styles? If so, how often?
Her hairstyles are seasonal. Lol! Because she is extremely busy during summer break with gymnastics, swimming, dance class, acting class and just play dates and sleepovers, I do a protective style of double strand twists that are refreshed every 2 weeks. It takes about 3 to 4 hours each time, but it’s worth it and she loves it, because it’s the closest she ever gets to wearing her hair down. During the winter time, we have it blown straight and allow her to wear it all out and be free. Anytime around this season, it’s usually her famous ballerina bun or a few ponytails. Either style, whether protected or not, she always wears a satin scarf to bed.

What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
The only challenge I have with my daughter’s hair is being able to keep it curly after a wash and knowing when it dries, it won’t blow up and create its own time zone. I love it when it gets big, but it loses its curl definition causing it to look like someone threw her away.

Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed your daughter’s hair? Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
Sadly, I was convinced by a member of her father’s family that I should put a soft texlaxer in hair when she was younger to calm the curls. I thought it was a bad idea as soon as I put it on, so I took it out almost immediately.  Even still, I felt horrible about it and since then, no one can ever tell me what to do to her hair or touch it without my permission. I decided to make sure it remained natural, because her hair was fine the way it was. I just had to learn it and have patience.

How does your child feel about her/his natural hair?
Ashanti loves her natural hair. She loves how versatile it is; how she can wear it big and curly or bone straight, knowing it will be curly again once it’s wet. She definitely appreciates the hours of work I put in her hair and I love to see her face light up when she looks in the mirror after we’re all done.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Continue to educate yourself and your child on natural hair. Teach them how to love and take care of their hair early, so that they can have that much more appreciation for it. Other than that, if anyone has any great tips on how to maintain curls with hair textures 3/4a, please feel free to share them with me, pleeaaasseee!!! As she gets older, she is over wearing pony tails to school and I don’t want to always straighten her hair. Lastly, along with other great natural hair communities, thank you Shelli for giving us a great tool to get great tips, motivation and inspiration in growing out healthy natural hair.

Elegant Pin-Curled Updo

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Okay, Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did a tutorial for this super cute, chic and pretty simple to do hairstyle! And, I think you may be surprised by her tools and technique;)!! So, I just had to share! Click the hyperlink to her site for finished pics of the style! I’m definitely going to have to try this one on for size;)!!

Layering Sheer Floral Patterns & TJ Maxx/Marshall’s Haul

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I know. My OOTD pics are so bootleg!! LOL! But, I’m not a fashion blogger by trade and Wei’s not around to take pics. So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do … and the work it takes to crop out the door and mirror frame out of all these pics is just too much;)!

So, anywho, this is my work outfit from yesterday! I really liked it, so thought I’d share. The two tops are sheer florals I purchased from TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I think they were hanging right next to each other, and I thought the two patterns worked well together as they were both petite florals with almost identical color schemes! As the cream top is billowy with a long hemline, I decided to pair it with a belted pencil skirt, also from Marshall’s. Pairing loose/oversized items with more form-fitting ones keeps the proportions balanced and prevents the figure from being swallowed up in too much fabric. Finally, I’m wearing these Vince Camuto fabric and patent leather platform peep-toes that I absolutely adore. I picked them up from MJM a few years ago (I should have gotten them in the black too :(!).

So, I also cleaned up at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s over the last week!! Figured I’d share my hauls as, for once, I’m sharing things I bought recently that you may be able to get if you are willing to hit a few stores in your area!! Whenever I have an improptu shopping spree, I refer to it as an “incident.” Well, yeah, I had several incidents in the last week! And sadly, I’m not even including the things I ordered online from ideeli and DSW!! BUT, most of the purchases were made with gift cards from my birthday, so they were essentially “free” … guilt free shopping … ahhh, that’s the life! LOL!! And get this, one of my purchases from DSW is being returned to the store, because I found the same shoes for $30 less at Marshall’s! Guilt free savings!!

Oh, one last thing. I don’t think any item was over $40!! Now, when you buy multiple items at $40 a piece, it can add up! But, I still think that I didn’t do too badly ;)!!

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(p.s. If you want to see bigger pics, check out the Facebook album!!) 

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Have you had any “incidents” lately? Any major scores or deals?!? You know, sharing is caring ladies ;)!! *lol*

10 Foods that Promote Healthy Hair

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by Nicole W. of Loving Me Naturally  

Hey Ladies,

We all have taken the time to find the right natural products for our hair, but what about putting forth the same effort or initiative, when it comes to what we put in our bodies? Below are the 10 foods you should incorporate into your diets for healthy hair.

Salmon
I love love love salmon. We eat this in our household at least once a week. I bake salmon fillets or I make salmon patties. Salmon is filled with vitamin B-12 and Iron.

Dark Green Vegetables
Broccoli and Spinach for instance. I make great spinach dip and I also like spinach salads with, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots and tomatoes!

Beans
I really like green beans and, when I make chili, I add kidney beans to it.

Nuts
Cashews are my favorite nuts, but you can eat almonds and pecans as well.

Poultry
We eat chicken a lot. But also, I make turkey tacos, turkey burgers, turkey chili, turkey spaghetti and baked turkey wings. Mmmmmmmmm!! :o) Poultry will give the protein that hair needs.

Eggs
Now, I don’t like eggs unless I eat them at Crackel Barrel! Lol. Eggs give us protein and Vitamin B-12.

Whole Grains
Whole wheat bread, which is the only kind I eat, is a great whole grain.

Oysters
Oysters provide us with zinc.

Low-Fat Dairy Products
Skim milk and gogurt provide great calcium. I do not drink skim milk, but I love yogurt, especially Yoplait.

Carrots
Carrots are awesome, especially when dipped in a little ranch dressing. Or, you can add them to your salad. Carrots provide Vitamin A, which promotes good vision and healthy hair.

So ladies, incorporating a good diet into your natural hair journey will only benefit you more!!

The Big Chop: Alicia’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Graceful, kind, loyal, authentic, eclectic, versatile, 29.5 years old, beautiful, intelligent, smart, professional, bright, wise beyond my years (according to everyone), delightful, momma, daddy, grandma, auntie and uncle’s girl. Nice to meet you. I am Alicia. May I ask your name please? Lol!

When did you receive your first relaxer?
If I remember correctly, I was about 7-8 years old. Young, huh? But you couldn’t tell me ANYTHING then. I was the “business” in my head! My hair was long and breaking off as the relaxer touched my scalp, I believe. Lol!

Weave fanatic

Why did you choose to go natural?
One word. Eczema. On my scalp. A serious scalp condition that made my head sooo tender and thin. My dermatologist told me, “NO more relaxers, NO color, NO excessive heat.” Isn’t it amazing that things work out for the good of those who trust the universe? I’m grateful for that experience because it made me look at my overall health condition and the harmful things I was doing to my body that we incorporate into our everyday routine :).

Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner and why?
Short term. 3 months. Not that I didn’t try before. But, of course, that was short lived (only because my money wasn’t right for a couple weeks). Lol! As of now, it’s been 4 months since doing my final and last ends cut. Chop! Chop!

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
“I’m going to be bald.” I couldn’t see the light. I honestly thought my hair would be a TWA (teeny weeny afro) for the remainder of my life. And it was teeeeeeeny. Like a little longer than a boy cut. I was sooo ashamed. That’s why I don’t have pictures. I have a great texture of hair (as I believe that all textures are good textures. Some just easier to manage than most, but great all the same.) My visit to the dermatologist left me very afraid. I didn’t know what to do with it at all.

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
They were mostly questioning what I was doing with my hair. Some thought I was dreading or locs. It was different for most, but accepting in the same liking. God and my mom blessed me with a nice versatile face to walk around and look crazy for a minute. I tend to be very conservative and dress nicely, so they sort of knew that I wouldn’t be walking around looking too crazy. *lol*

What is your routine?
For now, until I absolutely learn my hair and make sure I properly take care of my scalp, I wash and co-wash every other week. My hair loves Shea Moisture products. They make a product specifically for eczema and other scalp conditions. I wash with their shampoo and conditioner and moisturize with their Coconut and Hibiscus Hair Milk. I use their Coconut Smoothie and finally seal with shea butter. During the week, I use shea butter and natural oils to keep my hair moisturized. And thank you Spirit Master, I have a little length.

What is your staple hairstyle?
For now, until I achieve my length goal (my hair is a little longer than a teeny weeny afro), I’m consistent with flat twists, twist out and twist out pin-ups (that is what I call them).

Pin up bun ... my faaavorite!

What techniques/products did you use to manage the demarcation line between your relaxed and natural hair?
I did a lot of top buns and used anything, bad and good, until I did some research on how to best take care of my hair. During the final transition, I blended with twist outs, flat irons and hats.

What is the most challenging part of transitioning and how did you overcome or cope with it?
The most challenging part for me was my ends breaking off. My hair was growing really fast at that time, so my relaxed ends broke off very quickly. That was scary. My hair was very thin and I had eczema really bad in one spot in my head, so my hair was very thin in that area. As you can see, my self-esteem went through a lot of changes. I’m so grateful for spiritual grounding. I was feeling really “ugly.”

Transition flat iron before final chop.

What has been the most fun/best part of going natural? What do you love most about your natural hair and/or going natural?
Well, apparently, I’m sexier with natural hair? Ummm, huh? Lol! But I agree with the guys. I love what it does for my features. My “guy” friend told me, “I love what you’re doing with your hair.” Family and friend support helps. I’m also very creative with styling. Transitioning made me value the consumption of water. I try to drink at least 60 ounces of water a day and I cannot WAIT to henna.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Corrine Bailey Ray. Drives me hair nuts.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?
I stay on top of Curly Nikki and NaturallyCurly. Curly Nikki just does it for me though. Whooo! Loving on her! She is soo helpful and encouraging. And we are both petite, so I feel pretty okay about my hair if it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And did I mention? … BIGGER!

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural hair journey?
Just as you are patient when waiting at the post office, coffee shops for your favorite latte, or patient with falling in love, be just as patient with your hair. We tend to want to obtain overnight results, but even trees have to plant their roots strong. You are beautiful. Make-up or no make-up. Petite or thick. Short hair or long hair. Perfectly natural curly hair or relaxed. Regardless of what decision you make, ensure that you are comfortable with you. Thank you for letting me share my story. I hope to come back in 6 months with more length. Love you guys.

GOC Contender #48: Me!

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Y’all knew this was coming, right ;)?

Name: Shelli aka Hairscapades aka SkillsGill

Goals:

Hair
After I cut off 2 straggly inches in the back on my hair and an inch in the front (see here), I got a professional trim this past Friday. I got about an inch cut off of my longest lengths in the back and 1/2 an inch off of my shorter crown. The plan is to keep trimming the longest length every couple of months in order to keep it at the same length and in the hopes that the crown will catch up with it so I can get that full thickness waist length perimeter that I’ve been jockeying for since the CurlyNikki/Kim Coles GOC last year ;). I also want to focus on protecting and growing my ultra fine (strand thickness and density) nape hair.


Full length (L); Shorter crown (R)


Please excuse my oily, pre-pooed hair ;).

Health & Fitness
I can’t believe that I allowed myself to get back here :(. I’m up 15 lbs, to 135 guys (can you see me sucking in my gut in those side poses? *lol* ;)). Yeah, I know … absolutely ridiculous. So, my goal is to lose 10-15 lbs by the time I go on vacation to Cancun this summer so I’m back at my fighting weight of 120-125 lbs. I have a couple of months to get ‘er done.

This is the thing, I really need to find the work/home/exercise/blog balance. Over the last couple of months, my house has been an absolute mess. Paperwork piled on the buffet and kitchen table, dirty clothes falling out the hamper, clean and unfolded clothes piling out of the laundry basket, worn and discarded clothes covering every free surface except the bed, small birthday items lining the top of the couch, jewelry everywhere but the 3 jewelry cases in which it belongs … I could go on and on. It was bad.

When that happens, I get stressed and become immobilized by inertia. I’ve failed to exercise, eat well, drink enough water and have not even taken my vitamins and supplements in months. I’ve allowed the blog to dominate the majority of my free time and keep me up until midnight or later most nights, resulting in my complete exhaustion almost every day of the week. Now, y’all know I love you guys! But, this has got to stop. So, in order to ensure that I am exercising most days of the week and maintaining an orderly and clean household, my blog posts will become less frequent. I still plan on posting at least once each week day … maybe even twice on a good day. But, the 3-4 posts a day is not gonna happen (except today! LOL!). I need to slow down for the sake of my own health and well-being!! LOL!!

This is why there were no posts on Sunday or Monday. Wei and I spent almost 9 hours cleaning the house and there is still all of the laundry to do! It was major spring cleaning though and my mind heaved a sigh of relief!! I needed this to get myself mentally and physically prepared to get back on my A-game!! Yesterday was Day 1 … again!! LOL!!

Regimen:

Hair

Weekly:

  • Pre-poo and finger detangle dry hair with Vatika oil  (minimum of 30 min.).
  • Conduct Search and Destroys (S&Ds) to eliminate split ends and SSKs
  • Braid or twist pre-pooed and detangled hair in 4-8 sections.
  • Shampoo hair in braids with DevaCare No Poo.
  • 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)
  • Use “Cool and Seal” DC technique.
  • Blot with Curls Like Us Curl Cloth and allow hair to dry until only slightly damp.
  • Apply leave-in (modified Kimmaytube recipe).
  • WnG or TnC to stretch hair (products vary).
  • Air dry and/or bonnet dryer
  • Wear hair out for 1-2 days.
  • Protective/low manipulation style for remainder of week (buns, updos, twists, etc.)
  • Use a mild protein treatment (ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor), as needed (probably every other wash days).

Every 4-8 weeks:

  • Two step henna/indigo (roots only application).
  • Clarify with Terressentials Mud Wash (TMW), bentonite clay mask (working on a homemade TMW recipe!) or a diluted sulfate shampoo.
  • Do a heavy duty protein treatment (ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment). This is dependent on the acquisition of a hard bonnet dryer (I may hit Sally’s this week to pick up one I saw on sale for $99).
Daily (?):
  • Massage scalp with EO mix, sunflower oil (to decrease shedding – more on this soon) and/or Wild Growth Oil (I purchased the light this past weekend, but may exchange it for the original formula).

Health & Fitness
I will start the mornings right by eating breakfast and doing Abs of Steel. I will put on my gear immediately upon arriving home from work and exercise. I will not write any posts until after I work-out.

Exercise (next 6 weeks):

After completing my work-out each day, I will post on the wall of our 28 Day Workout Challenge Facebook Group. (If you need some help getting motivated, maybe my post, Motivation, will help. I sure needed a refresher!!)

Supplements (daily after dinner):

  • 1 Pre-Natal Multi-Vitamin (Vitafol-One [Rx] until it runs out, then an OTC pre-natal)
  • 1 Biotin – 2000 5000 mg (Nature’s Bounty – Super Potency)
  • 2 MSM – 2000 mg (Vitamin Shoppe)
  • 1 rounded scoop of Green Vibrance in almond milk or in a green smoothie.

Diet (daily):

  • Breakfast (btwn 6-8 am) – 1/2 c. oatmeal or cooked Grapenuts with 1/2 cup blueberries (Dole frozen/thawed) OR the aforementioned green smoothie; 1 cup of instant coffee w/2 packs of Truvia, 1 tsp agave, a little powdered skim milk or almond milk.
  • Snack (approx. 10 am) – 2% or 0% fat Greek yogurt (fruit variety – Fage or Oikos)
  • Lunch (approx 12:30-1) – Lean Cuisine (chicken/turkey/fish with rice or potatoes) w/added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas) and a piece of fruit (apple, orange, banana, etc.).
  • Snack (approx. 5 pm) – Organic baby food (Ella’s Kitchen or HappyBaby/Tot).
  • 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 occasions.
  • 60 oz or more of water (three 20 oz bottles in a metal thermos)
  • May also incorporate Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) Shake (Nectar Strawberry Mousse) as a post-workout recovery drink.
  • In bed by 11 pm Sun-Thursday (this is crucial)!!!

Need to get back to this!!

Rewards: Finding THE BALANCE!! Oh, and to feel confident rocking the bikinis I purchased last year (and have yet to wear) on my vacation in Cancun!! Improved health and well being!! There’s nothing like feeling strong and energized!

Follow me online: Well … you know. LOL!!

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And that’s it!! If you didn’t get your entry in time to be part of the “official” line-up, don’t fret!  You can still “Play at Home” by creating your own GOC journal or blog, establishing your goals, regimen and documenting your progress!! So …

L E T ‘ S   G E T   G R O W I N G ! ! !