Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Curl Happy Girl

Hi everybody! I  hope you’re having a splendorous day thus far.  Wanted to talk to you about one of the most popular topics around today-black natural hair.  

I remember back in the day when Angela Davis and Pam Grier sported their afros.  I use to think in my little mind “them some bad chics”; even their hair has power!   Even though they sported their fros to reflect the political sentiments of their time, the natural hair movement of today is focused on encouraging women with African ancestry to celebrate, embrace and enjoy the natural characteristics of their kinky, curly, or coily hair texture. 

I recently embarked on the natural hair journey after toying around with the idea for many years.  Some of my excuses for not going natural was “ what happens if I have to go into a meeting, and my hair is not straightened? Or what happens when I work out and I get frizz, and it won’t behave?  How will I tame it?  Will it look to “natural” for a work environment, or the best one, there are limited styles when you have natural hair.”  The real reasons why it took me so long to cross over and ditch the creamy crack (hair relaxer) is because for one, I didn’t want to take time to manage my hair, and two, I’m tender-headed as all get out!  Yup I am.  Unbeknownst to me, my natural state is much easier to manage than natural hair roots with relaxed ends.  

So because I’ve learned a few things in the last 19 months about this natural mane of mine, I thought I would share my top 10 things every naturalista needs!

1. Sulfate and paraben free shampoos and Hydrating Conditioner  – Sulfates and parabens cause frizz beyond belief!  Don’t use em.  They act as fillers in the bottle, don’t need em to fill my hair with frizz.  Hydrating conditioners will give you intense moisture, and manageability.  Kicks the dryness to the curb.
2. Professional hair cutting shears – Now don’t go broke on these.  I found a really inexpensive pair at my local beauty supply.  These you’ll need to keep your hair trimmed to promote healthy hair growth.
3. Denman Brush – The best brush around when delicately handling or forming your curls, coils and twists.
4. Bobby pins – You gotta get up close and personal with your mane, and learn how to do an up-twist or a bun, and these little suckers here are a must.  Conair secure hold  has the best ones!
5. Satin bonnets and pillows - How will you protect that style at night-time?  Cotton wraps drain your hair of moisture, and they break your hair, especially those edges.  Satin helps to keep the frizz away and your hair full of volume while you sleep.
6. Alcohol free gel – No alcohol means no drying out the hair.  Avoid it.  I find that Eco Styler Gel works well for me.  There are hundreds of great gels out there, so don’t stress just relax and find one that suits you.
7. Hair oil- This is used to lubricate the hair shaft, helps to give your hair a nice natural shine, and can relieve dryness.
8. Leave in conditioner-Nourish and moisturize the hair, prevent split ends and breakage-(make sure the first ingredient is water!
9. Curl cream- These will help activate and define your curls.  Like the hair gel, there are so many great curl creams out there.   Take your time and find one that suits you.
10. Hair ties – You want those cute pull back pony tails, so you have to use hair ties that don’t crease, are not too tight, and that won’t damage the hair.  Snapee hair ties are the best.  These snap on the ends to deter hair tangles and breakage.

Hopefully a newbie can take this list and feel somewhat armed for their new natural hair adventure!  If you have tips you can offer, please share.

Friday, March 3, 2017

I Punched Back and Feel Like I Won

Hey guys.  I’ve emerged from deep, deep under the covers where I’ve been buried since Tuesday with guess what?  a cold; honestly it could have been the flu.  In either case I ended up with antibiotics and 500 mg Ibuprofen for my killer body aches and monster headache.

The one thing I wanted to share is the great results I had with doing a detox bath.  I got to a point where the aches subsided and my spirit said “cleanse yourself from these aches; it’s within your reach and means to do so at home.”  Thank God I was obedient, I feel  much better.  Because I’m a newbie to Detox baths of this extent, I went to Youtube and watched a video from FitLifeTV  Yogi Erin Motz had some great ideas and suggestions as well.  
What you’ll need:
2 cups of Epsom salt
1 cup of baking soda (yup, pull it out the fridge and put it to work for you)
¼ cup of ginger ( you can use as little or much as you want, depending on your tolerance)
Essential oils: they called for 10 drops of two, Lavender and chamomile.  I only used Lavender oil.  I say it’s your choice.  Different oils have different healing properties, so whichever one suits you, go for it.

Shower first.  This bath is for detoxification and relaxation purposes, and to me if you shower first it works better.  Fill your tub with hot water, as hot as you can stand it.  Be careful with this part, because water too hot can cause you become overheated…don’t want that.  Put your ingredients in, stir to help all of them dissolve.  Once it’s full, get in and submerge yourself to your neck.  This video instructs you soak for at least 50 minutes; that’s a long time especially if you are a newbie, so 20 minutes at least is enough to extract toxins, any extra time is when the body will begin to absorb the minerals.  I did 45 minutes, but let me say this, you will sweat your ass off because of the added ginger and it will get hot!

What the bath does:
Epsom Salt and baking soda has sulfate in them; when this is absorbed in the skin, it rids the body of toxins.  The ginger has anti-mucus properties, a natural decongestant and opens the pores.  It also make you sweat, which is good; means your pores are open.  

At first I felt extremely hot and just wanted to cool off, but as I began to drink PLENTY of water I felt better.  Next time I will drink water before and after, so I can flush out toxins.  I felt a little sick at first when I got out of the tub, so I will definitely modify my next detox bath. Also because my face is where I sweated the most, I immediately did my normal daily face wash routine afterwards, and I could feel the intenseness from the cleanser deep down in my skin, because why? Pores were wide open.

 As with anything, please, please do some research on the ingredients, how they may interact with YOU and if needed consult with your physician before participating in this type of detox, because remember this is a home remedy.  DO NOT do this detox every day; maybe once a week until you can SAFELY make this a part of your personal routine. As I said I will definitely adjust some ingredients, and take some more precautions that I feel suit me.  But in the end, you will punch back at a cold and potentially kick it’s ass like I did.