Friday, March 28, 2014

The search for cheap but pretty earrings

I finally had a chance to shop for earrings with a friend. Since I'll be rocking a small fro in the near future, I thought it was time to stock up on cute accessories. Today's mission was focused solely on earrings. One of the great things about short hair is the ability to have fun with things such as earrings. Instead of playing it safe, I looked for big dangling earrings with bright colors.

 We decided to head to Northgate mall to find pretty earrings for a reasonable price. Our first stop was Glitter. I bought 4 pair of earrings for $4! That's right, earrings are only $1 each! They had a decent selection and I definitely see myself making another trip in the near future.
Earrings from Glitter 

The next stop was Claire's. I used to go there a lot but stopped a couple of years ago. I was always disappointed with their "sensitive ears" selection. It seemed like all the pretty earrings were the non-sensitive ones. But today, I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many cute and fun earrings to choose from. The earrings were a little more expensive than Glitter but I couldn't help myself  :)!

All in all, I think I did pretty good today. I'm sure I'll pick up more earrings here and there. Sometimes it's hard to find pretty but cheap nickel free earrings. Depending on the store, the selection can be a hit or miss.  

                        Where do you buy earrings? Are there any stores I should check out? 

 Until next time :)!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 Months Post Relaxer :) & "You Can Touch My Hair"

I'm so happy to report that I am 5 months post relaxer!! Only 1 month until the BC :). Once I minimized the knots on wash day, this month just flew by. I still need to do a couple of things before April 26 (the day I hope to cut my hair) but things are definitely coming together.

On another note a close friend of mine shared a link that I thought was interesting. The short film by un'ruly is about an exhibit titled "You Can Touch My Hair". I found it interesting because I have had people ask to touch my hair. The first time occurred when I was in Madrid studying abroad. I was at El Corte Inglés with a friend and while waiting in line I noticed the cashier looking at me. I didn't know why she was staring and it made me feel awkward. During my time in Spain, I had a lot of Spaniards look at me and it took me awhile to understand why. There were a lot of African immigrants in many of the cities that I visited. I think it was confusing for some people because although I looked like the immigrants, I was also different. So that day in El Corte Inglés, I found myself getting angry with the cashier because I was tired of the looks. When it was finally my time to pay, she asked "Can I touch your hair?" I wanted to say no but I felt saying no would make me seem mean. So I said yes and she seemed delighted to touch my braids. She gave me my change and that was the end of it. The other two times someone asked to touch my hair, it was different because I was friends with them. So while I understand the curiosity, I'm not sure how I feel about a random stranger asking to touch my hair. I'm not saying it's wrong to let a stranger touch your hair..but it definitely raises some issues/concerns at least for me. I think it is stated best at the end of the video "There's nothing wrong with being curious but we do have to be aware of how we let our curiosities play out and how we're treating people as a result of them".

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the film and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time :)!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The "pineapple method" on short hair

I had to share my good hair day with everyone. Actually it's been more like a good hair streak. But I should  back track a bit.  The last time I posted about hairstyles, I raved about bantu knots & the bantu knot out. Although I love the bantu knot out style, I believe the constant manipulation (redoing the knots every night)  contributed to more knots on wash day.  I took a two week break and rocked my version of flat twists. I wore this style before but this time around my hair was shorter, thanks to a friend trimming about an inch of my hair (working hard to cross off this month's goals :)). It was a short, simple hairstyle that worked but I missed the curls.
Wearing the two flat twists at the Pole Championship Series in Columbus- 2/27/14

  I decided to go back to the bantu knot out. This time, I was determined to wear the style for at least three days without manipulating it. I read about the"pineapple method" in Better Than Good Hair and I wanted  to try it on my short hair. The "pineapple method" allows you to preserve your curls for a second or third day. Those with longer hair use scrunchies to loosely gather their curls into a ponytail on top of their head. With this method the curls are preserved during the night. For more instructions on how to do the pineapple method, check out this post. Because my hair is shorter, I used a couple of bobby pins instead and it worked. Last week after I wore the style for three days and co-washed with minimal knots. Below is a break-down of what I did with the style this week:

Monday: I took down the knots and moisturized my hair. I used  Komaza Care Califia Moisturizing Spray, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Cream and sealed with coconut oil. I added a few booby pins to complete the look. Before bed I did my version of the "pineapple method", put on a bonnet and went to sleep.

Tuesday: The next day I moisturized my hair, fluffed out my curls and I was good to go. I used the pineapple method again before going to bed.

Today:  I woke up with my curls preserved (for the most part).  I added a cute headband to jazz up the style a little. I had a late pole class tonight and didn't have time to co-wash. My plan is to wear the style once more tomorrow and co-wash after I leave the gym. We'll see what happens.

I included some pictures and a video of my bantu knot out style on day 3.

How do you preserve your curls? Do you use the "pineapple method"? Feel free to share your experiences below.

Until next time :)!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Updates: DIY Skin Care and Oil Pulling

DIY SPA/Skin Care:
It's been a little more than a month since my DIY Spa night and I wanted to give a quick update. I have been enjoying my brown sugar scrub and my yogurt cleanser (see this post for more details). I also started using apple cider vinegar as a toner. The avocado mask made my skin so smooth, soft and brighter. I only made it once but I plan on using it more often. So far I haven't experienced new breakouts, which in my book is a win! I switched from using the products every other day to twice a day. All was great... until last night when I noticed a little rash on my face (on both cheeks and a little on my chin) :( . I think the apple cider vinegar may be the culprit.  Because my skin is very sensitive and apple cider vinegar is strong, I should have diluted it with water. If the rash goes away after a few days, I will try using it again this time diluting with water. I want to try rose water and green tea. Both are supposed to be great options for people with sensitive skin. There are a couple of other recipes I want to try, so another DIY Spa Night is in the near future.

**  A similar rash appeared the past two summers and it disappeared on its own. I guess it could be anything, that's the problem with having sensitive skin. Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint what causes breakouts or rashes to surface.

Oil Pulling: Day 1
I know, I was supposed to start yesterday. However, I didn't have a chance to get another jar of organic unrefined virgin coconut oil until today. My husband also likes using coconut oil for cooking and used up my last jar. We now have separate jars. Lol.

 I was nervous about swishing the oil around my mouth for 20 minutes. I had another idea: split it up into two 10 minute sessions. It worked perfectly for me. During the first session I did the dishes and for the second session I moisturized my hair. And you know what, it wasn't bad at all. Coconut oil doesn't taste like anything and distracting myself made the time go a little quicker. After 20 minutes my teeth felt like I just left my dentist's office after a cleaning. They felt clean and looked whiter. I plan on taking a picture at the end of each week and sharing the results in a month.

Did anyone start oil pulling? How long did you swish the oil around? What do you think so far. I would love to hear your experiences. Please feel free to comment below!

Until next time :)!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oil Pulling: Yet another reason to love coconut oil?

I admit that I didn't fully appreciate or know the benefits of using coconut oil until a couple of years ago. My mother-in-law suggested coconut oil as a way to moisturize my dry skin. It worked wonders and I began to use it from time to time.

 Last year when I started researching products to use for my hair, I noticed that several bloggers used coconut oil for their pre-poo (a treatment usually made out of oil that is applied to hair before shampooing). While some people use a conditioner for their pre-poo, others claimed that coconut oil made their hair soft and helped retain moisture. I found that using it as a pre-poo worked wonders on my hair. I even use it as part of the LOC method.

I thought I knew all the uses of coconut oil, until a friend shared an article on my Facebook page last week. According to this post , oil pulling is something that has been around for years and offers significant health benefits.  The idea is to pick an oil (in my case coconut oil), put a teaspoon or more in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. It is important not to swallow the oil and to dispose of it in the trash after you're done. I know, it sounds nuts. When I first read it, I thought there is no way this is serious. But after reading the benefits, I'm tempted to try it out myself. Among other things oil pulling can supposedly clear sinuses and help you sleep better.  Those two benefits already have me sold. My sinuses are horrible and I rarely sleep through the night because of my OAB. At this point I'm willingly to try anything to find relief for both of these issues.  The author claims that it also whitens teeth and helps prevent cavities.

So here's my challenge: try oil pulling for a month and see if there is any improvement. I plan to start Monday and hope to share the results. Anyone interested in joining me?

Until next time :)!

Friday, March 7, 2014

My New Favorite Hair Product: As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner

 I tried co-washing (washing hair with conditioner instead of shampoo) for the first time last year but my hair didn't seem to like it. I'm not sure if being fully relaxed had something to do with it. In December, I decided to give co-washing another go to help remove product buildup and to retain more moisture. I started off using coconut oil mixed with VO 5 Moisturizing Milk Conditioner Strawberries and Cream. It seemed to help but I'm always looking for new products to try ;). I stumbled on this post in January and was eager to try As I am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner.

Why I like it: Besides being affordable (this 16 oz jar is only $6.79 at Walgreens) it leaves my hair smooth and clean. Detangling is easy and there is no excess shedding after I'm done. Knots have been a real issue for me the last couple of weeks and I see a difference when I use this co-wash. Oh and the smell doesn't hurt either. I like to pretend I'm somewhere near a beach when I'm using it. Lol. Another benefit is that it promotes hair growth. Although it has only been a month but I already see more new growth coming in. I only wish I had taken before pictures to have an accurate comparison. My coils really seem to pop after using it. I've added this to my staple product list and I hope my hair continues to respond to it after the BC.

Pic of my new growth- If you look closely, you can see the curl/coil 

My new growth stretched. You can sort of see where the coil/curl and relaxed (straight) hair meet.

In other news Carol's Daughter announced they will be launching their product in Target as part of their new partnership! Go here for more information and to see the announcement. I used one or two products from Carol's Daughter before transitioning. I liked the products but didn't like that I could only purchase things on-line. I'm eager to try more products from the line now that it will be in Target.

Well, that's it for now!

Please feel free to share your favorite co-wash products or other hair related comments on the comment section below.

Until next time :)!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Goals for March

I can't believe it's already March! Hopefully the weather will start to calm down and spring will be here soon. Now that February is over and I'm closer to the 6 month mark, I thought setting some goals for March would keep me motivated.  Here are my goals for the month:

Goal #1:  Drink at least 5 glasses of water a day. - Believe it or not, this is actually hard for me. I've suffered from an OAB (Overactive Bladder) for several years. But I know that keeping hydrated is not only good for my body but also my hair.

Goal #2: Use up at least 2 products. - I don't know if I will use the same products once I have a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro).

Goal #3:  Try to take at least 3 or 4 hair related pictures (hairstyles, new growth, etc) and post on the blog.- This will be a good way to look at my progress and help with motivation.

Goal #4: Finish reading Better Than Good Hair.

Goal #5: Trim off 1/2- 1" of relaxed hair. - One of my good friends will do this for me. I'm not ready to trim my own hair yet. Lol.

Goal #6: Decide who will do my BC.

Goal #7: Start shopping for hair accessories and earrings.

Goal #8: Continue my transition.

Goal #9- Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil at least once a day on my edges.

Is there something you think I should have included? What are your hair goals for this month?

Until next time :)!