I was able to complete my wash days quicker with relaxers. The process could take me about 2 hours. I did not have to section my hair to wash or to do anything else for that matter. Drying was quicker, air-dried or blow-dried. Straightening was easier since my texture was relaxed. It was a breeze looking back at it. I don’t know why I complained.
Maintaining Straight Hair is Easier
Along with easier wash days, my hair was for the most part done for two weeks. I didn’t have to fuss with it if I didn’t want to for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. I just needed to wrap it and moisturize. I used the occasionally dry shampoo when needed but I was living a life of hair leisure.
Styles Are Easier To Do
My styles were easier to do because texture and overly thick hair was not an issue. I was able to easily put my hair in a top knot, sleek or messy and go. Now is it just me or even when us naturals choose a messy bun, we still have to work for the right amount of messiness? That “I woke up like this” bun is way more than just waking up!
Detangling is a Breeze
I just didn’t have detangling issues. Period.
I didn’t even know what shrinkage was before I transitioned to natural! My length was my length and nothing could change that. Now, I have met “shrinkage” and he is kind of a jerk. My hair is literally half the length every time he pays me a visit. What a life.
Breakage Was Easier
Now, this is just for me personally. Some people take great care of their relaxed hair and have no breakage. I wouldn’t say I had excessive breakage but I would see little hairs in my sink when I would wrap my hair a centimeter here and few centimeters there. Hey, that adds up! I had decent length but my hair never grew past bra strap length.
Terrified of Rain and Snow
Unexpected rain was THE WORST. Here you are trying to lower the amount of heat you use so that you can have healthier locks and then here comes the rain. It can literally ruin your life… err I meant hairstyle. Being caught in it without an umbrella just feels like you weren’t quite prepared for life that day.
Like the weather, the gym was a big deal too. This is sad, right? Do I want my hair to last or do I want to get it in at the gym? Being able to go to the gym whenever without hair consequences is beautiful. I seriously don’t miss this.
Though styles were easier to accomplish, there weren’t as many as I have now. I found myself straightening my hair, wearing it straight for about a week, curling it once it was dirty and then bunning it the day before wash day. Then lather, rinse, repeat.
Though my hair was thick. It was starting to thin. This was due to the heat and the relaxer together. I will admit that I didn’t know all the things I know now, which could have save my strands, but the relaxer did play a role.
“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” – Maori Proverb
I like this quote because I know that (at least for myself) it is easy to focus on everything that goes wrong and run with it. This quote reminds me to focus on what is good in my life and everything that I have been blessed with. Instead of looking towards the darkness, face the sunny part of your life and allow it to warm your heart… just don’t forget to wear your sunnies!
This is Yuki. I am his human and he’s kind of like my child since I don’t have a child yet. I say yet because I am well into my twenties I have consciously avoided having kids until I feel ready personally. I feel like this is a perfectly normal thing to do. Despite my thoughts, I tend to get a lot of questions about why I don’t have kids yet. My answer is that I’m trying to get my life together! Trying to do that with a small dog has already given me a run for my money. I’m working on it but in the meantime, he is my pride and joy and I love him very much. He’s the sweetest dogchild a girl could ask for! Happy national dog day everyone!
“If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?” – Unknown
I picked this powerful quote to be my first Inspiration Monday quote for more than one reason. The first is because I truly believe that there is power in the things that we say. The more beautiful words we speak the more beautiful outcomes manifest in the world. The other reason, and perhaps the most important, is to set a tone of what I want this community to look like. Whether I only have a few readers or not, I want this to be a place where people can come and not only get some helpful information but to communicate with me and others in a positive way. I hope that we can share information and experiences with each other without the worries of being verbally assaulted for differences of all sorts. So remember this quote throughout your week but also carry it with you forever. Be as beautiful as you can through the words you speak and type and think.
It happens to the best of us right. The daunting realization that you’ve put on a few pounds, or in my case quite a few. Well, I’ve seen the light… Well actually, it was my grandmother that saw the light. My grandmother is 72 years young and if you know anything about the older generation, you know that they tell it like it is. After all the years that they have put in on this earth exceeding their contribution to society, they say what they want with no apologies.
“Hm, looks like it’s time for us to put you on a treadmill”. Yep, absolutely no apologies.
Except one that came from me, “I’m sorry?” Not that I was actually sorry but more so I was looking for clarification. Had my sweet nana really just shade me to the point of a severely over casted sky? Yes. Yes, she had.
At first, like I usually take shade-like commentary, I called my sister and gave a monumental vent/rant (we can start calling this a vant to keep it short) and then proceeded to take it with a grain of salt. But like I said that was just a first. Then I started to realize that my clothes were in fact tighter and that I was sucking my no longer toned tummy in a lot more and that maybe a treadmill would in fact be conducive to my life. But let’s face it, I was busy so I took it as seriously as I could in that moment. Turns out, I was only serious enough to make it into the gym every once in a while and eat well throughout the week for the most part and then binge on the weekends. It wasn’t a lot but it was more than before and that gave me enough comfort to kind of not make any progress.
It wasn’t until my dad called me his little cherub that things started to change. The definition of a cherub is this: a winged angelic being described in biblical tradition as attending on God (Google). Aw shucks, cute right? Daddy’s little angel. False! The image of a cherub (I’m roughly quoting Google here) is depicted as a chubby, healthy-looking child with wings. So correction, I was Daddy’s CHUBBY little angel. As you can see, I blamed my nana’s age but clearly my whole family is great at shading, even if it is coated in an angelic compliment.
I guess I’m just someone who needs clarification because as I sat in the shadiest part of my mind lost my thoughts under this imaginary tree with a plethora of branches covered in leaves so thick that I could not see the sun, again my response was, “I’m sorry?”. Only I wasn’t sorry, I was chubby. However, I did get more clarification from my dad, which was different than my previous interaction with my nana. He told me that he loved me and that I was beautiful but that I had gained weight.
So again, (I am who I am) I called my sister to vant! Went through all points of the conversation and she was very supportive just like before but something had changed. I believed him. I believed my dad when he said he loved me. And I believed him when he said that I was beautiful. And despite my despair, I believed him when he said I was chubby. Then I thought back to my nana, and even though I still believe that “mature” people say what they want even if it’s rude, I also believe that she loves me too and only said what she had out of love. It was shady love but love none the less.
One thing that my dad did mention that stayed with me, is that if I was okay with the weight than he was too. That’s was really made all the difference. This is because it actually challenged me to really think about it. Was I okay with the weight?
The answer was clear and immediate. No. No, I’m not okay with the weight. Not just because I looked chunky. The truth of that matter is that I hold my weight pretty well. I am bottom heavy so most of my weight is in my lower half. Which is why it crept up on me like a thief in the night trying to steal my joy. I had changed more than just my size physically and that’s what I want to change. I was ALWAYS tired. I was ALWAYS thinking about my weight. I was ALWAYS sitting. ALWAYS. It had to change.
You might be wondering what my next step was? My next step was to start doing better. Eating better. Training better. Sleeping better. Thinking better. Not just to lose the weight but because I want to be a better me.
So, this particular portion of my blog will be dedicated to health. Full of encouragement to love yourself no matter what that devilish scale tells you. I hope it can build a community where people can share tips and tricks and support each other. I, of course, will be posting here about what I learn, my progress and anything that I think can be helpful. Now, let’s get healthy peeps!
What is a successful wash ‘n go? Well, to me it has a few thing. First, it has definition. Now not every natural girl has curls and this does not mean that a wash ‘n go is a no-go for these girls. It can be just as gorgeous as a wash ‘n fro! I know that my hair does curl so I am looking for curl definition. The next thing is volume and shine. I want my hair to look healthy and I want it to be big. And lastly, but most important when I’m styling my hair, I want it to last. No point in taking all this time if it only last a day of two. Ain’t nobody go time for that! Now that I’ve told you what a successful wash n’ go is to me, here’s how I get mine! Be patient, it could take some practice to get the hang of it.
Products come and go. Some work for me, and some just don’t. For this reason I will not specify brands but more so just list the type on products you when need. Use what work best for your hair.
Leave in – Provides moisture and slip.
Cream – Provides added moisture for thick hair. Thin hair and looser hair types might not require a second layer of moisture.
Styler – Provides hold and keeps curls define.
Oil – Locks in moisture, adds shine and softens gel cast if one is left behind by a styler.
Extra water – Hair needs to be wet to do this style. If you are not doing this in the shower. You need a spray bottle just in case your hair starts to dry out.
Clearly you cannot have a wash ‘n go without a wash of some sort. Whether it be with traditional shampoo or a co-wash (conditioner wash for those of you who are not familiar). You want to start out on clean hair! Word of the wise, I “wash” once a week but I do not use shampoo every wash day. Instead, I co-wash most of the time as shampoo can dry out your hair if you have kinky curly hair like mine. I also wash in sections for the whole process. But, as always, do what is best for your hair. NOTE: Be sure to remove and shed hair on this step to prevent tangles
This can vary depending on your deep conditioning schedule and whether or not you are shampooing. I rarely ever use regular conditioner for its intended purpose. I use it mostly use it in lieu of shampoo as mentioned above. Whether you are using this conditioner after a shampoo or instead of a shampoo, this is the step that you detangle. It is easier to detangle wet hair with a conditioner that offers slip. Detangling is a must for every hair type. I only detangle during the process of conditioning or co-washing my hair. I do not do it after because it can interfere with the clumping of your curls and can cause more frizz. If you are using a shampoo to clean your hair, it is imperative that you do not skip conditioner. UNLESS you are doing the next step.
The Deep Conditioning
This is one on the most important things that you can do for your hair. I deep condition every wash day, regardless of co-wash or shampoo. This ends up being once a week with heat, when the stars in my world are perfectly aligned (sometimes wash days need to be rescheduled, no biggie). If you aren’t deep conditioning your hair often, you are doing a disservice to your hair. Try it and see the difference!
The Rise Out
Alright, I know I have talked about importance of a lot of things. At this point, you’re probably thinking: “Damn Daniel, everything is important!”… It is true. Hair is like a finicky aunt. You know, the one that likes you and behaves depending on how she felt you treat treated her recently. If you show her a lot of love, she brings you gifts when she visits and if you don’t… well, you get a bunch of “Mhmmmmms” and side eyes. Learn your lesson. Be kind to your hair and your to aunt…
Clearly I was side tracked, back to business. When you are rising out your condition, touch your hair as little as possible. This means little friction which translates into little frizz. This is why detangling earlier is so important. This also means no ringing out the excess water in your hair. This could be different depending on your hair type. Looser curly types might be able to ring out their hair. Again, I have kinky curly coily hair so more water equals less frizz.
Since I work in sections throughout the whole process, I also layer my products in section by section. I complete each section fully before moving on to the next. I start with my leave in conditioner, then a creamy moisturizer, then a styler. I do so with the praying hands method and the raking method. The praying hands method it when you put the hair between your hands as if you’re praying and slide it down the length of your hair and raking is when you use your fingers like a rake. Both methods are for the purpose of distributing product. I use oil after my hair dries so hold off on that until later.
After you’re are done putting in your product take the time to laid down your edges if needed. Once they are tied up or not, it’s time to shake. I do this in the shower after the water is turned off to prevent product fling everywhere. It’s pretty simple, just shake your head like a mad women! This helps define and separate your curls.
Now can air dry and this means you just wait. It’s just something you gotta do. This could take forever! ….or at least hours… in my case 24 hours. I use a t-shirt around my shoulders to catch the drip. It’s best not to touch it to (yes, you guessed it!) prevent frizz! Diffusing with a blow dryer is another option. This is good if you are in a rush or it’s the dead of winter and wet hair outside is not an option. You could also do a mixer of both but be aware of the heat!
Here’s whether you bring in the oil. Now that your hair is dry, you can touch it! YAY! I know it hard to not touch those beautiful locks. Now that you can, coat your hands in your favorite oil and scrunch it into your hair. This should bring softness and shine to hair. Stylers can often leave hair crunchy because of the hold, this should help.
The Stretch and Fluff
Shrinkage can be a pain. The best way to deal is to learn to love it and to learn to stretch it out. There are a few ways to stretch I can make a more detail post at a later time. The two I do the most often are: pineapple my hair at night. This is when you put a loose ponytail at the top of your hair as close to your hairline as possible. This is how I preserve my hair every night.
I also use the concentration nozzle on my blow-dryer to stretch my roots. I tug about mid shaft in medium bunches of hair, and hold it while I focus the blow-dryer on my roots. I only do this one time, right after my hair is dry. Pineappling helps keep it stretched the rest of the week.
After you stretch fluff that hair, girl! Use a hair pick or you fingers. How much you fluff is based on your own preference. The more you fluff, the bigger your hair will be. Your hair will get bigger over the days regardless.
I hope this helped some lovely ladies out there. Now, go forth and be fabulous!
Hi everyone, my name is Chloe and I am an impulse buyer. It’s true; I walk into a store, see something shiny and seemingly fall in love. Then, I spend the cash. This is a bad habit so do as I say not as I do, kids. However, sometimes, this type of behavior has its upsides. Like months ago when I walked into Walgreens during a makeup sale (I didn’t know this before I went). Any who, Milani’s lipsticks were on sale buy one get one so I went a little crazy. Okay… totally crazy. It was still/fall winter and though some colors were neutral enough that they might pass during that time I had no idea when and where I would wear these colors. I got them anyways (they were shiny) and I’m happy I did. They are creamy in texture and glide on smooth. Also,the matte lipsticks don’t dry out your lips like some liquid lipsticks can! Now that it’s spring, I have some flirty colors that will transition nicely into the summer.
Now, just as a note, I am deeper in complexion so these colors work for my skin tone. The typical spring must-have “extremely pale pink” is just not going to work. But these colors are bright enough for me. As a note to dark skinned ladies, you might need a lip liner to help transition some of the colors. I would go for something similar to your skin tone. I use a chocolate brown color. Coco Loco by Jordana is one that I use quite frequently and I also get this from Walgreens.
Now, pucker up lovelies!
BONUS: Milani lipsticks smell like watermelon Jolly Ranchers… Yum!
Before I went natural, unsuspected water was a BIG deal! It may sound petty to some but spending so much time and money for straight hair is pointless if rain comes around and wrecks it the next day! Now that I mostly wear my hair in its natural state, I don’t have to worry about weather as much! Bring on the rain, sleet or snow! And the summer impromptu swimming! 😉
Healthy Gym Time
Along with wet weather, sweat pretty much gave me the same problem. I often found myself having to choose between hair or health, which is unacceptable. I need to be able to go to the gym! Even when I did go to the gym, if I had a fresh wash, I found myself not working my hardest. Now I can go to the gym and wash my hair when needed without having to worry about the time it took me to straightening my hair and whether or not I should style it again or use heat in it (again).
Thicker and Healthier Hair
This is not to say that you cannot have healthy, thick relaxed hair. I have had relaxed hair and it was healthy and for the most part thick. It wasn’t until I became natural that I found that my hair could be healthier and thicker. Relaxer chemicals cause some form of damage to your hair that’s just the way it is. No relaxer, no relaxer damage.
I have way more versatility with my natural hair! I can pretty much to anything I could when I was relaxed when my is straight and do all the same styles and more when my hair is curly. I never get bored and my buns are so much fuller!
It’s nice to know who I am in my unapologetic entirety. I was relaxed at an early age so I never knew what my natural hair looked like. There is something empowering about knowing every part of yourself. Even if I relaxed my hair tomorrow (which I’m not planning on doing) I would be happy that I went natural and had this experience.
Straight Hair isn’t Always Possible
I don’t even bother with straight hair in the summer. It is a waste of time, money, and a heat card if you’re keeping track. Side note: a heat card is a set amount of times that some naturals plan to put direct heat on their hair a year. In any case, it’s hot in the summer and even though Colorado is a dryer state, sweat from my scalp alone is enough to mess up my style. Not to mention the gym.
Perfectly Sleek Hair is Hard to Come By
Sometimes you want your hair perfectly in place. Whether it’s a bun, ponytail, or some other style. The problem is natural hair does what it wants to do. As you learn your hair, you learn tricks to help you achieve differently looks but those tricks like tying down your edges won’t always work. Sometimes my hair won’t corporate and I just have to let her be.
Drying takes forever! It takes a full 24 hours for my hair to air dry. A blowout takes more time than it did when I was relaxed. Drying just takes longer. I might be the only one but wet hair really bugs me but it something I have to deal with now that I’m natural. Whomp.
Extra Steps to Every Hairstyle
I can no longer just put my hair into a ponytail now that I’m natural. It was so simple in the past. It might partly be due to the fact that I like my hair to look a certain way but I think it’s more than that. My edges never just look nice like they did when I was chemical processed. If I want them to be laid, I have to take the time to lay them. Which means not only adding edge tamer, gel or water, I also need to wrap them and then let them set. I need to refresh my hair with water or leave-in in order to make it more pliable and not cause excessive tangles or damage. There is more brushing so I have to worry about preventing more damage. Don’t even get me started on whether or not an average ponytail holder is big enough for this thickness! Ponytails are just not as simple for me anymore and this saddens me.
Takes Time to Maintain
On top of the extra steps to other styles, natural hair just need a little more maintenance. I could wash my hair once every two weeks with a relaxer and style it and be done. Yes, I did moisture and seal but that took no time right before wrapping my hair and going to bed. I can’t go that long without washing my natural hair or the detangling process alone would take a million years… Okay, I’m exaggerating but natural hair just requires more work.
All naturally curly girls have been visited by our good friend “shrinkage” but for those of you who don’t know who he is, I’ll introduce you. He is the one that has come to rain on your parade. You have styled your coils to perfection only to have them shrink to half the length after it dries. Sure, it’s proof that you hair has elasticity, a good thing, but it’s a bummer. You can combat it with stretched styles but there is no cure.
While recently I have admire the bold looks trending in makeup via the hottest runways and red carpets, I have also found them to be a tad exaggerated for my normal everyday lifestyle. I’m not afraid to admit that I find it hard to wear makeup every single day. I know that there are girls that stay BEAT even for the grocery store, but I’d be lying if I tried to convince you all that that was me. I only wish I had that much motivation. So this is my version of “go to” makeup spring essentials that you will need in 2016.
While I love a bold lippie just as much as the next girl, if I’m going to be honest my go to lip color more that likely is a nude color. Nude is different for everyone so be sure that the your nude is a good match. If you are of a darker complexion like myself, make sure you have a liner that can help transition the color.
My favorite lip combo right now is grunge lip pencil by ColourPop and Rose Femme by Milani. It’s a great nude for my complexion and has the perfect amount of rose to give my look some color.
I know what you are thinking… peach doesn’t work for everyone. But I beg to differ; even I can make it work. This color flushes your face like only a spring fling can.
My favorite peachy blush is Coral Cove by Milani.
As we are transitioning into more sunshine you might find that your skin isn’t really giving you that kissed by the sun quite yet. That normally, winter was errr… harsh to say the least. But no worries summer is on the way to give you that warmth you’ve been craving! In the meantime you can fake it ‘til you make it with a bronzer!
My favorite “bronzer” is actually from a contouring kit. It is the True Complexion Contour Palette by Black Radiance. For my complexion I use the medium to dark palette and use the darkest color for bronzing but they do have a lighter to medium palette making it pretty versatile for many color ranges.
Can’t get a kissed-from-the-sun look without a highlight. It just makes you glow like a heaven sent angel. You know what I mean?
Lucky for you the palette I just mentioned by Black Radiance has an beautiful highlight already included. Score!
Okay ladies, let’s be honest. Theirs is always room in every season for a winged liner. However, I do feel that it is most appropriate in spring given its whimsical nature. You are more than welcome to choose a wing that is either subtler or a tab more glam depending on your style. I choose glam as your look can take it since everything else is really fresh and neutral.
My favorite liner to user right now is L’Oreal’s Lineur Intense in carbon black.
I love a bold lash but falsies are not practical for everyone. Never fear, mascara has been getting better with making everyday lashes look fuller and longer. This goes hand in hand with the whimsical thing I was mentioning earlier.
My favorite mascara is the Voluminous Miss Manga also by L’Oreal. Your welcome.
Golden Neutral Eye
I choose a shimmery neutral eye the spring because to me spring means effortless. This brings attention to your eyes without you having to try to hard…. kinda like magic. I would advise you to have a kick ass transition color slightly darker than your skin tone to give you some depth, a shimmer neutral for your lid for sparkle, and a rich dark neutral for the outer corners of you eye for mystery. (Hm… sounds like the perfect woman doesn’t it?)
My favorite right not is an oldie but goodie. The Naked One palette by Urban Decay has everything I need for a neutral look.
Eyebrows literally change your whole look. Don’t leave them hanging; that is all.
My favorite brow right now is using the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade. It literally stays in place all day. And in case your wondering I use too shades because clearly I’m complicated: Granite to outline and Chocolate to fill in and then blend the two to be seamless.
I hope this help you get an idea of some things you might need for your everyday spring makeup look.
P.S. everyday makeup does not mean I wear makeup everyday. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I am a strong believer that if you want something done right, you have to do-it-yourself! Of course, this may mean “purchasing-it-yourself” some times but if you can do something on your own… why not do it?! There are many rewards for D.I.Y. projects!
1. It’s uniquely YOU! Whatever the project maybe will match you just perfectly.
2. No one else will have the exact same thing! Score!
3. YOU made it! That is its own reward… You are a BOSS.
4. My fav… You save money!
Now, this list could continue on forever but I’ll stop right there in the hopes that I am an extremely convincing person. Go on give it a shot! 😉