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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Natural Hair: How to tips and tricks...

I have given some of my own personal tips and tricks, but I decided to go to my own personal hair stylist for more info. She is a wonderful resource for hair tips and helped me transition from my relaxed hair to my natural hair. Here's what she said:

1. How long have you been a beautician?
 I have been a hairstylist all of my life! I use to comb my little sisters hair when we were younger. I became a professional hairstylist nine years ago.

2. What got you into the hair business? My aunt and her husband were hairstylists, and I always admired their talent. I practiced on my sister all the time, but I didn't decide to do hair professionally until my grandmother gave me a gentle push. I was a very young mother and I was attending CSUS. It was hard for me to have a work schedule that would allow me to freely attend my college classes. My grandmother suggested that I go to Cosmetology school so that once I graduated I could make my own schedule. It turned out to be the best advice I ever received. Once I graduated from Cosmetology school, I was an assistant at a really nice salon in East Sacramento for a year. Once I finished my assisting program I was able to set my own schedule and return to CSUS to finish my Bachelor's Degree.

3. I have talked to many women and when the decide to go natural, some African American beauticians are not supportive. I talked to one women who threated to go to a barber, since her stylist wouldn't do a big chop. Why do you think some can be so resistant? Many stylists are resistant because of one thing....MONEY! African American hair is big money. Relaxers, every two week styles, colors, and weaves are big money. When a client decides to go natural they opt to do a lot of their own maintenance at home. At home maintenance means a loss of income for the stylist.
4. Since I have known you for a few years, you have talked about the importance of natural hair. Why do you think this is so important? I think that people become so addicted to fake hair that they forget how beautiful their natural hair is. By fake, I mean relaxing it to make it straight or being so addicted to weaves that no one sees your hair without one. If we take the time to nurture our own hair we can achieve any style we desire with a little assistance. Weaves and relaxers are not always the end all beat all. 

5. Can you give some tips for women who are going to get the big chop? JUST DO IT!!!! The chop is so liberating. I chopped mine twice. You find out a lot about your own version of beauty when you are brave enough to take the plunge. You learn that you are truly NOT YOUR HAIR, and you start to define your own standard of beauty. My best advice is to only do it if you are truly ready to reflect on yourself and your life. People will make comments, some positive and some ready, so you have to be mentally ready for the non solicited feedback. My second best piece of advice is products are your friend! Don't be afraid to experiment with products to help enhance your natural curl.
6. Any tips for those who want to transition?

For those who want to transition, find a stylist who can help you through the process. It is imperative to get the right assessment of your hair and your hair care needs. And you must get your hair trimmed and deep conditioned. Transitioning hair is very very delicate and needs special care. Protective styles are usually best if you are trying to transition.
7. For those who wear their hair in braids, what should they be aware of?

  • Do not get braids on freshly relaxed or freshly colored hair.
  • Do not leave your braids in for longer than a month or so. It all depends on your rate of growth.
  • Moisturize, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE. Your hair is still exposed and must be cared for.
  • Do not allow anyone to braid or pull your hair too tight. If you get hair bumps, it's too tight!

8. What is your personal hair care regimen?
I am all over the place with my hair. One month it's curly, the next month it's braids, and then the next it's straight! I love Shea Moisture Products, Miss Jessie's, Bumble and Bumble, Kera Care, and anything with Coconut Oil. My regimen depends on my style. When my hair is curl, I use Shea Moisture Products. I usually co-wash with their conditioner or Coconut Oil Conditioner, and I apply Knot Today, or Curling Custard by Kinky Curly. Their products keep my hair moisturized and shiny without leaving my curls crunchy. I love Miss Jessies' products but don't use them too often because their products are costly. When my hair is straight, I shampoo with Bumble and Bumble Quenching Shampoo and Conditioner. I also use their Quenching Complex as a leave in conditioner. I blow dry with Bumble and Bumble's Straight Blow Dry styling balm because it protects my hair.

I would like to say a special thanks to Nicole Dansby for her wonderful tips and tricks. If you would like to make an appointment, contact her at Byuti Salon in Sacramento.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

On the run again...

My journey within the training world has begun. I will be eating, sleeping and dreaming about running. My goal is to not only beat my marathon time of 6 hours...yes...I said it, 6 hours of running. I want to run the marathon in 5:30 or less...preferably 5 hours. I will be posting throughout my running journey all about my progress. Each day and week and month, I will be working on improving upon myself, becoming leaner and healthier. My healthy lifestyle is not something I sell, it's something I live. Since I've often heard this question, "Why?" when I talk about running a marathon, I decided to list 3 simple reasons why I run marathons:

1. It's a challenge. When I decided to live a healthy lifestyle back at age 18, I found that I enjoy anything that challenges me. When I am challenged, it peaks my interest, it drives and motivates me. A huge part of running a marathon is all mental. You have to decide to run, you have to commit to run and you have to challenge yourself to do and be better than the day before.

 This was after my first marathon

2. Not everyone does it. One of my posts last month talked about my creativity and a desire to be different. I love to learn in a way so that I am original and unique. When it comes to marathons, it's not like driving a car. If I were to walk about to 100 adults who live in my city, I would find about 90 of them who own and drive a car. If I were to walk about to 100 adults and ask them if they have run a marathon, I would most likely find 10 or 20 at the most and the number could even be less than that.

 Early morning before the marathon

3. It keeps me healthy. When I am training for a race, I am motivated to eat healthy and exercise. It's a past time that causes me to take care of my body. It keeps me on the straight and narrow with my eating and exercise habits. It causes me to make sure that the gym membership is something that I actively use. I am dedicated to keeping my body in tip top shape.

You may not want to go out and run a marathon, but hopefully I can inspire you to go out and do something. You may not be able to run, but you can walk. You may not be able to walk but you can do chair exercises. There is always something that you can do, just focus on that and you can live a healthier lifestyle.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Peanut Butter adventure....

Peanut butter has played an important role in many of our lives. As children we can all remember having that sandwich in our lunches. Well, that is if you were born prior to 1990, before all the food allergies to be specific. Anyway back to the beloved peanut butter, we have even given the lunch staple a nickname. The nickname is one that we all know and love, PB&J. I was not a fan of it growing up, my little one loves the stuff. As a mother, I strive to give my child food she enjoys. In the past I always bought the "good" stuff, reduced fat peanut butter.

After reading the book, Eat This, Not that, I realized the famous name brand peanut butter's all contain a ton of preservatives. The book talked about the importance of finding foods with ingredients that you can pronounce. It also spoke of the need to find foods without tons of ingredients. My daughter and I went up and down the aisle of a local grocery store and struggled to find one jar of peanut butter with less than 10 ingredients and less than $5. After searching for about 10-15 minutes in the same aisle, I decided to give up without buying any peanut butter, understanding the many people who said that health food is too expensive.

 I  looked one more time and found one brand called, Open Nature. The brand has two ingredients peanuts and salt. I was dumbfounded. I had no idea that peanut butter could actually be created with only two ingredients. I had never even thought of looking at the number of ingredients in a food that is in my daughter's lunch.

The main moral to this story is: "Be aware." There is no perfection in all of this, unless you make your own food. If you don't have the time or skill to do this, then just, "be aware". Think about the kinds of foods that you are putting inside of your body and the kinds of food that you are allowing your loved ones to consume. A healthy lifestyle starts with you and me.