Thursday, January 22, 2015

Giving Henna A Shot

I have been interested in using henna for almost a year or so. What got me interested is Milan J's (TressedforSuccess on YouTube) video on how her experience using it. After Christina's (ManeObjective) blog post about how to maintain you red color, it pretty confirmed that I would go ahead and try it since I was going to color my hair. So after hesitating on purchasing the henna I finally went ahead and purchased it. I bought the Nupur brand from Amazon. I bought 2 packs (500g each). My hair better like it because after seeing this package, I have way too much. lol

When do I plan on doing the henna treatment you ask? The end of February. By then I should be able to devote the time needed to do this treatment. The recipe I'll use is the same as Milan J's. (video here)
Which is the henna, TreSemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner and my oil will be the TGIN Argan Oil blend. I cannot wait to try this out. One of the main reasons I want to try it out is for the color payoff. I really want my hair to be brighter. I thought the subtle change was what I wanted but as the days go on, I'm realizing I want my hair to be more noticeable. I guess deep down I need a bit of a dramatic change. I know that I won't get that with the henna but I'm hoping the color is more prominent after the treatment. I will know in due time. So be on the lookout next month for my thoughts.

For more information on this brand of henna hit up the link below.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Week 2 Fitness Recap

This week I fit into the stereotype of not wanting to workout because of my hair. Shame on me. But I did workout this week. Not as much as last week but I got a few workouts in. Monday and Tuesday I used the Black Girl Workout 2 DVD and also Ripped in 30. Wednesday night I did the Gym Grown, No Silicon Level from BGW2 before I proceeded to prep my hair for my color appointment. Thursday during some done time at work I did some of the exercises from BGW2. I didn't do any intense workouts because I didn't want to go to the salon with smelly sweat dried hair. But I will be resuming my work outs next week. I am not giving up and stopping this fitness train in the least.

My food intake was ok. I'm still getting up and making myself some breakfast. I did indulge in some not so healthy food a couple of days a week. Mainly the chips and salsa from a new Mexican restaurant around the corner from my job. I did have some sweets but I can proudly say that I did not overdo it. That is an accomplishment. I can eat an entire pack of Oreos by my damn self. SMH To the left is the bottle that I use to keep up with my water intake at work. I had a regular cup that I would refill many times throughout the day. This bottle keeps me from running to the kitchen so much. This is the second bottle I've bought because I can't find the top to the other one I have. I drink one of these a day while at work and drink an additional 2 or 3 bottles at home. Sunday I am back to eating better.

I said last week that I wasn't going to buy another scale but after looking into the Fitbit Aria. I changed my mind because this scale does more than just tell you your weight. It measures you BMI and Body Fat as well. I love that you can keep track of everything with the app on your phone. I will be taking a trip to Target getting one. On to week 3.

Color Recap.

Yesterday evening I made it to the salon a little early and my stylist Shawanna was able to take me right away. We went straight to her chair and she got started. First she sectioned my hair into four sections. The back half of my hair was one section and three in the front. I got partial highlights. Which basically means only the top half of my hair was colored. They use the Pravana hair care and color products. After she parted my hair, she went to mix the color. She came back and got started. The technique she used was very interesting. From going to my cousin for years, I was use to the old school coloring cap where they pull your hair through the holes. I was never a fan of that because I always leery of possible breakage. Now that I have way more natural hair on my head that color cap will never touch my head again.

I'm going to try to explain the technique she used. I hope I can explain it clearly. So please bare with me. Starting with the section on right, she would make smaller sections. Then she takes that section and did this weaving technique through it with the tail end of the comb. That is how she chooses the pieces she colored. Once she had the section she was going to color she would grab the foil and wrap the tail end of the comb with the end of the foil. That makes it easier to place the foil under the section that is getting the color. She did this for all three sections. When the color application was done, she let it sit for 30 minutes before heading to the bowl to wash it out. After the coloring step was complete she shampooed, lightly detangled and conditioned my hair. Unfortunately, getting under the steamer was not an option. Doing that would not allow the color to set. So under the dryer I went for about 10 minutes.

Sitting for 30 min after she finished
Under the dryer and missing the steamer

On to the styling. She did the usual blow dry, flat iron, and trim. I was excited about that trim. I am not a fan of split ends. She did the standard trim throughout my entire head. She styled it how I wanted it, straight with a light bump on the ends.


I am loving my hair. I got the subtle change I wanted. She didn't use bleach. Which I am alright with. My relaxed ends probably wouldn't be able to handle bleach and would probably cause me to get my hair cut sooner than I want. The no bleach thing will probably make the upkeep easier. The only downside is since natural color is on the dark side it makes it harder for color to lift w/o the use of bleach. Although I do love it, I think I want to go brighter sometime over the Summer. With that said I am seriously considering cutting the remaining relaxed ends around my birthday in August and retouching the color. That would take me just barely over the two year mark. Also, the color will also make it easier to track to my progress with the Manetabolism vitamins.  

That's it ladies!

Product Spotlight

I have so many products in my stash and there are still some that I want to give a try like Mielle Organics and E'tae lines but those will have to wait. I had to buy a bigger storage container because my stash has out grown the small three drawer container I have been using for years. Anyway, out of all the products that I have I find myself gravitating towards the same three products lately. You have seen these products numerous times but I think it's time I talk about them more in a bit more depth. I decided to start a Product Spotlight Series (a fancy way of saying product review) to introduce them. Starting with a Soultanicles product. I have a few products from that line I haven't tried yet. If I like them, they just might make an appearance as a product spotlight. 

Product: Soultanicles Knot Sauce $16 8oz
Where to Purchase
Product Description: A Nappilicious Reinvention of A Natural Hair Detangler, Super-Naturally Emphasized with Blue Malva Herb, Brocolli Seed Oil & Coconut Nectar for Excellent Comb-Thru Spreadability & Extra Softness! A lusciously creamy, delish blend of cake batter and butter icing with a hint of vanilla. The Proof is in the Sauce! 
IngredientsNOURISHING, PLANT-BASED INGREDIENTS: Distilled Water Botanically Infused with Certified Organic Blue Malva, Nettle, Horsetail, Slippery Elm, Oatstraw, Chamomile, Coltsfoot & Marshmallow Root, Certified Organic Aloe Juice, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flaxseed Gel, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocoa Butter, Brocolli Seed Oil, Crambe Seed Oil, Pro-Vitamin B5, Guar Gum, Algae, Coconut Nectar, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Natural, Fragrant & Essential Oil Blends, Potassium Sorbate, Black Willowbark Extract, Citric Acid, an extra pouring of soulistic flava & LOVE!

DirectionsOn damp or dry hair, divide tangled, matted or knotted strands into 4-8 sections. Apply a sufficient amount to the entire length of one section at a time and work through with fingers. Use a wide toothed comb to comb through from end to root as coils become irresistably soft, super-naturally manageable & instantly detangled. Can be used as a conditioner or Leave in.

My Thoughts: I have been absolutely loving this leave-in/detangler. It moisturizes like nobody's business. After my hair dries it is very moisturized. It is a thick product but has a very smooth texture and when you rub it through your fingers you can tell that this product has really good slip. It has sort of light sweet smell to it. It does linger for a few days but it is not strong at all. I find it pleasant. This is a definite repurchase. In fact, I purchased the 16 oz pump bottle during their last sale and also the Mango Dip Detangling Slip. Still patiently waiting on those to find their way home. I would recommend this product be tried out. Lots of great ingredients and leaves the hair feeling very moisturized. 

Have you tried this product before? What was your experience with it? 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wash Day Chronicles: Color Preparation (73 Wks Post)

The time is near. My color appointment is right around the color. Tomorrow afternoon to be exact. This wash day was dedicated to prepping my hair for my color service andI  implemented the advice from SimplyBiancaAlexa's video and my stylist. Let's get into this wash day.
{1} I stopped pre-pooing out of shear laziness. I noticed a big difference in my hair when I didn't pre-poo. I encountered a few more tangles when I didn't do so. So instead of pre-pooing with an oil I took a from Jen of Just Grow Already and used a conditioner. I've had Hairveda's Moist 24/7 conditioner sitting in my stash for a a few months. I must say that it works great as pre-poo. I parted my hair into six sections. Sprayed each section with water and applied the conditioner. Then I let it sit for an hour or so, When I rinsed it from my hair whatever tangles I had melted away. I like the citrus scent it has too.
{2} I clarified with Hydratherma Naturals Herbal Amino Clarifying Shampoo. I shampooed three times with it. This was an ok shampoo. I think their Moisture Balance Shampoo cleansed better but I'll have to do further testing.
{3} I pulled out my trusty TreSemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. I did restore the moisture to my hair. I still have too many bottles of this stuff to go through. I think I'll start pre-pooing with it to help go through it.
{4} I reached for my favorite conditioner, Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioner, to detangle and sat under the steamer for 20 minutes.
{5} With my hair still in twists, I rinsed the conditioner from my hair. Normally, I would have reached for a cream leave-in but I wanted something that was a bit lighter. So I opted for Silk Hydration by L. Jones Leave-in (liquid). I don't want a lot of product on my hair that could possibly hinder the color taking as effectively as it can.
{6} I retwisted my hair and let it airdry.

My stylist wanted me to have my hair in four twist to minimize tangling. That won't happen because I'm not going to work like that. lol I honestly can't wait to get my hair trimmed. I saw a split end in my hair and it has been bugging me. If I had the proper hair shears I would have gotten rid of it myself. Anyway, that was my color prep wash day in a nutshell.

*Note* I started using distilled water in my steamer and have noticed the mineral buildup on the heating coil has been significantly reduced. If you have a steamer and haven't used distilled water, give it a try.

The #WashDayExperience

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wash Day Chronicles: 17 Months Post

I was tired during this wash day but it had to be done. After sweating in my head all week from working out, I couldn't wait one more second to wash my hair. So late Friday night I started washing my hair around 10:30/11. I didn't get to bed until about 2ish.

{1} I shampooed using Shi-Naturals Coconut Creme Shampoo. My hair was very clean. To save time and my energy I skipped the instant conditioner step and went straight to deep conditioning. It takes my awhile to wash my hair in the shower/

{2} I deep conditioned with the Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Deep Conditioning Treatment. After applying the conditioner to each section, I proceeded to detangle and twist my hair. I sat under my steamer for 20 minutes then rinsed my hair with the twists still in.

{3}I unraveled my twists section by section and applied the Sountanicles Knot Sauce, I love how how moisturizing this leave-in is and sealed with Creme of Nature's 100% Argan Oil. I let my hair air dry overnight in twist and put it in a bun. I had to get rid of another knot from a twist again. I really have to be careful.

My next wash day is on Wednesday. That's when I will prepare my hair for my color appointment on Friday. I am excited for that wash day. lol

The #WashDayExperience

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Week 1 Fitness Update

Week 1 of this fitness is winding down. I must say that I kicked ass. Lol Monday and Tuesday I woke up at 5 in the morning and worked out. Then turned around and got in a second round of working out in the evening. Wednesday I did the Levels (squats) chapter of the Black Girls Workout 2 dvd. Thursday, I did light cardio in the morning then did my favorite Jillian Michaels' dvd, Ripped in 30. Friday morning I did the Levels Chapter again and Friday evening I did the entire BGWO2 dvd. I have really been pushing myself this week. In true fashion, there have been days that I wanted to say forget it and not workout at all but I did it anyway. So far in my workout jar I have $6.
Let's move on to food. I haven't had any sweets at all this week. I've been bringing my own lunch to work everyday. That, my friends, is a feat in itself because I buy my lunch everyday. Which is one of many reasons I am lugging around excess weight. Some of the food that I have been eating are spinach, sautéed shrimp and mushrooms, oranges, and chilli. I have had three Shakeology shakes this week. I got my new Vegan Chocolate Shakeology yesterday. I started drinking the Fit Tea but only had one cup and didn't finish it because I fell asleep. I have been very good about eating breakfast as well. I am an habitual breakfast skipper. I either eat 2 eggs or have a shake to get my protein in. I have been obsessing over the Greek Yogurt w/ raspberry and lemon from Starbucks. That has been a great snack throughout the week for me. Saturdays are my days to treat myself. My goal is not overdo it. I will not undo whatever progress I might have made by binging on cookies and ice cream. Today is also a rest day. Tomorrow, I'm back at it.

In my last post I talked about rewarding myself after 6 months of consistently working out. I think I found what I want to get myself.

This is the Fitbit Charge HR Wireless HeartRate and Activity Wristband. I have been using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch. It works fine but I cannot stand the chest strap. I want something that is wireless. The more I read about this one, the more I want one. I have a feeling that I will probably get it before then but I will try to hold out until July.

How did you do this week?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Time To Get My Life Together... Let's Get Fit

I know you have heard it before but has to be done. I have been failing miserable at this weight loss journey for awhile now. I need to get it together. Not just because I want to look better and feel better but I need to lower my cholesterol. A recent to trip to the doctor revealed that I have high cholesterol. At 31, I don't need to have high cholesterol. In fact, no one at any age should. I'm getting older I want do my best to prevent as many health concerns as I can. 

For the first month I am taking a different approach. My goal is all about consistency and staying focused. Weight loss and fitness journeys are 99% mental for me. Which is why I want to just focus on consistency and not pounds lost. If I don't meet a number goal on that scale, I will become discouraged and quit yet again. My scale is not working and I do not plan on replacing it for awhile so that I am not constantly weighing myself. 

I know some of you recognize this picture. Back in March I was going to complete Lana and Ellen's 21 day challenge but I didn't work out once that month. I am going to try it again. They are hosting a new 21 Day Challenge that I WILL be completing come hell or high water. lol They want you to workout everyday for 21 days straight to form the habit of working out. I will start out 3 to 4 days a week but if I am motivated enough to do 21 days straight, that's a bonus. 

Here are some things that I will be doing to help aide in this journey this month.

1. Drinking nothing but water. 
2. Cutting out sweets. I am a sucker for sweets. I always feel like I have to have some sort cookie or candy everyday. So cutting that out should help aide in weight loss.
3. Eating more fruits and veggies
4. Take my lunch to work everyday with healthier options. I buy my lunch everyday and it's always some sort of fast food. Time to cut that out. I'll save money too. BONUS!!!
5. Only one cheat meal a week on Saturdays
6. Incorporating Fit Tea and Shakeology.
I started drinking Shakeology last year. I really liked it but fell off and let the bag that I had expire. I repurchased it. This time, instead of getting the regular chocolate flavor I bought the Chocolate Vegan in the 30 day supply. I will drink one Shakeology shake in the mornings.
The Fit Tea has been floating on social media for awhile I decided to give it a shot. I will drink the tea after my evening workouts. Since the tea is loose and not in the bag I purchased a tea strainer and I am waiting on that to be delivered.

This a neat little incentive that I saw on Instagram. Starting a work out jar. I will be starting this. I will put $1 in the jar for every work out I complete. After about 6 months I will see how much I have and buy myself something nice and repeat the process until the end of the year. My first workout is 5 am in the morning! Pray for me ya'll. lol

If anyone else is on a fitness/weight loss journey and wants to join me this month feel free to comment below. We can help motivate each other to get through the month together. After every workout you do you can comment on this post. If you need motivation comment on this post. I would love to have some accountability partners. You don't have to do this particular workout. It can be whatever workout of your choice.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Another Week, Another Wash Day: Playing in Products

Now that I am caught up on my wash day posts, let's talk about today's wash day.

Products used:
Cleanser: Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner
Conditioner: HH Sticky Honey Hash
Deep Conditioners: 
  • Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting  Condish Treatment
  • Entwine Couture Exotica Moisture Masque
  • Monie 2 Honey Coconut Milk Hair Treatment
  • Leave-in/Finisher: Soultanicles Knot Sauce and As I Am Smoothing Gel

I decided to use Carol's Daughter Cleansing Conditioner because since I didn't use too much product this week I didn't need a deep cleanse. I also wanted to see if it would help relieve my itchy scalp in some way. I used three different deep conditioners. Yes, I know I was doing way too much but what the hell. I use quality products. They aren't going to jack my hair up. I started out using Monie 2 Honey Coconut Milk Hair Treatment. I didn't feel like it was penetrating my hair good enough. In hindsight, I was comparing it to the Amino Protein Plus conditioner. I have been spoiled by how well that conditioner has been treating my hair. lol So the top right side of my hair was conditioned with the Honey Coconut Milk Hair Treatment. Then I decided to use the Moisture Boosting Conditioner in the back section. Just like the Amino Protein Plus DC it detangled like a dream. Then I said to myself why not go for another one. I pulled the Exotica Moisture Masque since it's been a minute since I used it and slathered it onto the front left side. After applying each section with conditioner, I twisted my hair and pinned it up. Then proceeded to sit under the steamer for about 20 minutes.

I detangled while I was applying the deep conditioners. The bigger ball of hair in the pic is the hair that was removed when I detangled. The loose hair was removed when I combed the Soultanicles Knot Sauce Leave-in through my hair. I never loose a lot of hair during my detangling sessions but this time I lost less hair. Score 1 for me. lol Now the story of the little knotted hair is I had to cut that off due to my own carelessness. When I twist my hair I sometimes get uneven sections. When a half is longer than another as I near the end I take some from that longer half and continue twisting. Instead of starting from the bottom of the twist to unravel, I untwisted from the middle causing it too knot at the ends. smh There was no way I could detangle it so I grabbed the scissors and cut it. I don't have cutting shears but I had to make to do with what I had. I know that that little section is slightly shorter but hopefully not much shorter. Either way it will be remedied when I get my hair down in a couple of weeks. My will have to trimmed once my hair is colored.  

I am loving the Knot Sauce so far. It has been the only leave-in detangler I have been using lately. When rinsing the deep conditioner out I keep my hair in the twists. It makes rinsing easier. Then I t-shirt dry for a few minutes then apply my leave-in to each section and re-twist. I pulled the twists back into ponytail to give me more stretch at the roots, applied As I Am Smoothing Gel to my edges and tied them down. I will let my hair air dry overnight. Usually my roots aren't completely dry the next day and that's ok. That makes for a smoother bun look.

Speaking of my bang area laying down better when I wear my buns. Remember a while back when I was talking about how it was difficult for me to achieve that? Now that my natural hair has grown out more it makes my hair life simpler. Mainly because I can stretch my hair more. I was faithfully wearing headbands to cover that unsightly bump. I can say with joy that the headbands have been officially retired, No more covering up for me. That is an accomplishment in my book because I was tired of those damn headbands. lol

I gonna stop rambling now. lol How was your latest wash day?

The #WashDayExperience

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wash Day Chronicles: 70 Weeks Post

Hey ladies! I hope that everyone had a great holiday season! Let's get into this wash day.

As usual I kept my wash day as simple as I could. I washed my hair on the 28th after one week of having my straight hair. My roots reverted after a while and that's when I knew it was time to wash. January makes 1 year and 5 months since my last relaxer. *fist pumps* lol

{1} I rinsed my hair for about 3 minutes to loosen the dirt and product buildup. I grabbed Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting shampoo. This is such a good shampoo. It leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean but not dry. The texture of it is very thick but lathers pretty quickly. This one is a winner.
{2} I used Hairitage Hydration's Sticky Honey Hash Conditioner which restored the moisture levels to my hair very well. I will miss this conditioner when it's gone because the owner is closing down shop for awhile and I won't be able to repurchase. Besides I'm trying my best to stick to my no buy for the next 6 months anyway.
{3} Next, it was time to deep condition. I used my favorite protein deep conditioner, Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment. I detangled and twisted my hair then sat under the steamer.
{4} After rinsing out the DC, I applied the Knot Sauce, detangled again, and retwisted my hair to air dry.
{5} Once my hair was about 90% dry, I put my hair into a bun which is my go to style during this phase of my journey. I used the As I Am Smoothing Gel to slick down my hairline and making my bun more neat looking.

I must say that I am super thankful that my wash days are still very much bearable.