Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, New You!

 Embrace You!
I cannot believe the 2014 holiday season is already done. After Thanksgiving was over, everything else was a blur. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day…where did the time go?

I struggled this season with a bit of a sweet tooth and sad to say, I had dessert with every meal. I’m so regretting it now because all my cute clothes are too tight. That’s not like me, but it was sooo good. So now what?

As many of us enter into the New Year we all no doubt, have a plan for change (or at least a very strong desire). Commonly, many goals set this time of year, include some type of weight loss plan. However, whether we plan to change our weight, change our job, or change our hair, we all surely have something we want to modify.

I want a total fitness makeover. I am somewhat in need of a fresh start, not to be confused with a start over. I just need to reactivate what I had started and be diligent about making constant improvements until it is completed - until I reach and maintain my goal. My weight loss plan is where I’ll start this year, but there are so many areas where a new me is desired. First, I want to lose 10 pounds and tone excessively. I want to wear a two-piece bikini this Spring Break and I want to get back to the days when I did not NEED Spanx. Simple enough, right?

This is not me, just my Pilates crush!
So, I guess I need to get back to what works, although herein lies the problem, IT’S TOO MUCH WORK! Why can’t metabolism continue to do what it is supposed to do? I love the feeling of accomplishment after a workout, But I HATE working out. I’ve tried mixing it up, adding variations: outdoors, indoors, under the door – I’ve done it all and I still HATE exercising. Currently, I do a combination of Pilates, Cardio, and Weight training. It works when I work it. I just need to do it, and for me, I realize I have to do SOMETHING every day. Never had this problem before. And to make matters worse, my biggest issue is not usually poor eating habits; its poor consistency in actually being more active. Have I mentioned that I hate exercising?


 I am also going to test out my first sew in!! Yeah. I’ve never had a sew in before and am a little nervous about the actual thought of having thread wrapped around my hair in a tight braid and how it might damage my hair. I also want to play with shorter lengths with my new 'Do' as well as some fun color, all while preserving my hair. I’ll post before and after pics of my sew in once my installation arrives. Kind of excited…

I MIIIGGGHHHT post before and after weight loss shots if I can get ones that look decent enough.

Although my listed goals are external, I am definitely working on the inside as well as the outside.

What about you? New Year, New You? What are you hoping, wishing, praying, desiring as a fresh start? Please share on FaceBook at Love My Hairitage.

Until next time, keep growing.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fierce Hair Feature

Kaki's Hair Story Part II: My Faithful Friend

Hello Curl Gurls, I'm excited to continue Kaki's journey as I share the next part of her hair story!

Kaki speaks of her hair as though she were reflecting on a person; a dear and close acquaintance. I have at times befriended my hair as well as kicked it to the curb in the way I treated it...I'm learning by Kaki's testimony to be more appreciative of my hair's own individuality and uniqueness.

The second thing that helped me over the fence and, really this was the nail in the coffin of relaxers for me, was I didn’t know my sister had also been considering going natural until we had a discussion regarding it one day. As we exchanged reasons we were considering going natural she said something that pierced me. She said, “I just don’t want to be a slave to the relaxer the rest of my life.” 

Wow! I had not seen it that way. But at that point I realized I didn’t want to be a slave to the relaxer the rest of my life either. And at that point we decided to take the journey together. There’s something about having your best friend take a difficult yet beautiful journey together with you! It makes the journey somehow easier, your destination more attainable.

At that time I began to devour books on natural hair care. It seemed to me a sad commentary of the lack of knowledge I had of something that had been a part of me all my life. I didn’t know my own hair in its natural state. I didn’t know how to take care of my own natural hair. But I learned. I am still learning.

Q: What do you dislike most about your hair?
A: Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

It shrinks something fierce it’s so curly. I get about 60-70% shrinkage when I shampoo it. It tangles more than a little after I shampoo it as the curls playfully entwine and coil up in one another and just stay there. I am able to overcome my shrinkage issue by wearing twists, which help to elongate my hair as well as give me styling flexibility.                                                                                                          

I simply gently pull the twists apart with my fingers and then gently still separate them more with a wide-tooth comb and put them in huge twists to prepare for styling. Once detangled,my hair behaves beautifully whether I put in twists, do a twist-out, an up-do, etc. And it does not tangle again until after my next shampoo, of course!

My hair is my faithful friend. It has always been beautifully there for me and I must say this is a wonderful journey of discovery as I move on to new challenges such as the wash-in-go. I know I will have super shrinkage and my hair will be super-duper curly but now that I’m learning to love my hair, I’m learning to embrace those teeny-tiny ringlets that I usually stretch out by twisting, doing up-dos or twist-outs, or the very rare for me braid-out. 

Finally, I’d like to encourage you all to love and embrace your hair just the way it is—kinky, curly, wavy, straight, natural, permed, relaxed, straightened, color-treated, styled in a weave, or fashioned under a wig—no matter the color, texture, or length; however it looks or feels—love it! If it is damaged love it to life and to health and to strength! If it is healthy love its vitality and fortitude!

Love yourself (not in a self-centered, narcissistic way) but in a God-focused, grateful-for-the-life-He-gave-you and He loves you just the way you are!

Thank you for sharing Kaki!
Curlies, what do you love most about your hair? Please share on our Face Book page. 

Until next time, healthy hair IS good hair!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fierce Hair Feature

Kaki's Hair Story Part I: My Faithful Friend

Hello Lovelies,

I spent a few moments with my friend Kaki hoping to understand her "hair affair," and boy did she enlighten me on just how much of an affair she is having with her hair!

Q: What do you like most about your hair?
A: It’s faithfulness

I love that my hair has always been there for me. It has always been right by my side, adorning my head and keeping it warm—snuggling comfortably around my ears or resting gently on my shoulders.

My hair is pretty much like me. It is very laid back and easy-going. It has never been fussy or given me attitude and it has never been wild and unruly even when people including me, in ignorance, were not handling it well. 

But it always saved face for me and looked good even when it wasn’t feeling good, never decrying its damaged state or declaring to the world its brokenness—like when it sustained heat damage from thermal straightening. 

Though I’d gone natural several years ago, a few years back I started straightening my hair in fall and winter for a change of pace. I guess it was a little contradictory for me because one of the reasons—the main reason I went natural is because it appeared to me that letting man straighten, by chemically and permanently altering the structure of the curly hair God gave me, was like saying God didn’t get it right so I had to go to man for a do-over.

Now, of course, this wasn’t my thinking nor was this what I was saying when I was getting relaxers—neither am I saying this is what those who get relaxers are thinking or saying. It just appeared to me that it seemed something was wrong with my natural hair so getting a relaxer was correcting what was wrong. As an adult I just kept up the tradition my mother started when I was twelve and she got me my first relaxer treatment. 

But since everything God made is good, I realized then, so is my hair. There’s nothing wrong with it. There never was. There are two things that helped me over the fence when I was deciding to go natural. First, my hairstylist was shampooing my hair as his assistant was shampooing another client next to us. He stopped her and told her to look at something pertaining to my hair. She said, “Oooh!” And then she went back to her client. Neither of them said anything to me.Finally, after worry nearly consumed me (I had been too shy to ask them what was wrong) I finally nervously yet softly blurted out, “What is it? What’s wrong?” My stylist said, “Oh, I was just showing her your curl pattern. You have a really nice curl pattern.” 

Wow, I did? I didn’t know that. I hadn’t noticed it in years and prior to age twelve it had seemed like a difficult and hard to handle curl pattern at best.

Stay tuned next week  for Kaki's Hair Story Part II: My Faithful Friend.

Until then, stay beautiful.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Protein Sensitivity

Why Does My Hair Feel Like Straw?

Sometimes what we believe to be a sensitivity to the use of protein is often an overuse of protein. Just think about it... If your shampoo or pre-poo contains protein, your detangling or rinse out conditioner contains protein, and your deep conditioner, and styling products all contain protein...then you could be over doing it with the protein.

Signs of Protein Sensitivity

Hair is made up of keratin, a type of protein. Coarse hair contains greater amounts of this protein while fine hair contains lesser amounts of keratin.  Protein can be lost through chemical, thermal or mechanical damage, and the extreme use of heat or even through everyday styling and manipulation.  

When hair is damaged, the use of a protein re-constructor strengthens the hair and helps repair the damage by attaching to the hair’s surface and forming a layer that helps retain and seal in moisture, somewhat mimicking what a humectant would do. This keratin coating can also smooth the hair cuticle making it appear shinier and smoother. 

Protein overuse or sensitivity can cause your hair to feel hard and coarse, almost straw-like. There are several 'good' proteins that help support healthy hair when used properly. When selecting a protein-containing product to use, look for structurizing proteins like corn, rice, soy, and wheat proteins. Products with these proteins can be used at least 2-3 times a week to strengthen, aid moisture, and condition your hair with minimal, if any damage. Just make sure your shampoo and other products do not all contain protein or you may be subject to protein over use.

How Can I Tell What My Hair Needs?

1. Take a wet hair that has been shed, stretch it out gently and if it breaks easily your hair needs moisture.
2. After doing a deep treatment if you hair stretches out a lot and but does not return to it's original state, your hair needs protein.
3. After doing a deep treatment stretch the hair out and if it bounces back to the original state, your hair is in balance.

Conditioners that are protein free:
As I Am
Aubrey Organics
Aussie Moist
Bed Head Moisture Maniac
Bee Mine

What are your protein challenges? Please share your best tips and tricks for managing protein use or protein sensitivity.
Keep it Growing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Is It Too Late to Get a Flat Belly?

I want a Flat Belly!
Since June 6, 2014, I have been on a quest for better health. I joined a new Pilates workout facility - something I thought I always wanted to do. I had no idea it would be so hard. At least four to five days a week I am exercising for 50 minutes, intensively. I watch what eat and have very few ‘cheat’ days. I do not eat fast food and drink about 60 oz. of water a day.

Although I am starting to lose inches, I have not lost a pound and still feel like my belly is minimally changed. I guess I need to mention that I have given birth to four children, yet am within 15 pounds of my high school weight. Post baby weight has never been an issue. I suppose that I should also mention that in a few short years I will be celebrating my 50th birthday and nature has definitely set in. Although I have many obstacles working against me, I refuse to believe I cannot have a surgically unaltered flat stomach!

Well, as a last resort, I am going to amp up my workouts with more intensity and add an additional day making it six days a week. I’m also going to try Prevention Magazines tips for reducing belly fat. I’ll come back in 30 days with an update. At this point I need all the motivational help I can get.

Shrinking your belly with food requires:
1.    Adding two kinds of fiber to your diet. Bran and psyllium are the best ingredients for breakfast cereals.
2.    Removing sodium. NEVER add salt at the table as sodium causes bloating. Watch labels for sodium content.
3.    Adding Potassium. Bananas and potatoes help get rid of water weight.
4.    Removing all sugar alcohols. Our body is not meant to digest low calorie sweeteners. They simply cause gas and bloating.
5.    Adding more fluids. Balances out the fiber and prevents constipation. Enough said.
6.    Removing candy and soda. These enemies induce bloating and causes a distended belly.
7.    Adding probiotic yogurt. These active cultures aide in digestion and help eliminate constipation.
8.    Removing raw veggies. These cause bloating and gas and distend the belly. Not good if you want to flatten the tummy.

I am determined to get into a bikini (and actually be seen in public) before the Summer ends. Wish me luck.

I may even get brave enough to post before and after pics. Maybe.