Shop TheNappyLife

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to keep your natural hair moisturized while wearing a protective style




Kinky twists are a great way to protect your natural hair from the elements. Protective styles are great for length retention because of the fact that you do not have to manipulate your hair a whole lot.  Experience has taught me that it is important not to neglect your hair while wearing a protective style otherwise you defeat the whole purpose of a protective style.

During my relaxed days I wore a lot of protective styles, particularly sew-ins. I would keep the sew-in in for up to three months, and during that three months I would not do a single thing to my hair. When I removed my sew-in my hair would be dry, brittle, and breaking off due to the lack of care during the three months.

While wearing braids I like to keep my regimen simple. I don’t like using a lot of products because that may lead to build up. Buildup may cause lint to be trapped at the base of the braids which can lead to breakage when removing the braids. To moisturize I use my own personal blend of products.  I use a spray moisturizer, then I follow up with an oil to seal it all in. I also massage the oil into my scalp to help prevent itching and to promote growth. I typically do this twice a week or as needed. When I finally removed the braids I had no buildup or lint so it was a very easy process.

The only time I use a heavy product is the day I wash the braids and the day after to moisturize. My hair is usually the driest after wash day whether or not I use shampoo.  I only washed my braids twice the entire time I had them in. Some people wash their protective styles weekly or bi-weekly my goal was every three weeks.

Thanks for visiting

TheNappyLife

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Youtube Channel

I just want to share that I have a channel on youtube where I talk about caring for natural hair, specifically 4c hair. I discuss everything from Henna, installing protective styles, Length retention, moisture retention and much more. Head on over and subscribe, I appreciate the support.

Friday, July 31, 2015

SEVEN STEPS TO GET YOU STARTED ON A WORKOUT REGIMEN

HOW TO GO FROM COUCH POTATO TO BEAST MODE


So, I have finally decided to get healthy and stay healthy. I have started and failed many health journeys in my life starting in High School. I have always yo yo dieted and I've pretty much tried every single fad except surgery. Recently, I have been embattled with health issues that are totally within my control. I'm still in my twenties and it is way too early for me to start experiencing these issues. I am on this journey to get healthy, looking great is a plus but my goal is to be in the best shape of my life. It can be daunting just to decide to eat healthy and exercise so I have put together some tips to help get you started. These tips are based on what I have done wrong in the past. If you are interested in following my journey you can join me on Instagram @thenappylife.

STEP 1 : SET GOALS

On any journey whether professional or personal it is important to have something to strive for. If you have a reason to do the tough things you do it makes it much easier to stay on track. It is exciting and rewarding to get to a finish line you've set for yourself. It is also important to set goals that are attainable. So, If your goal is to run a half marathon, set small goals to get you to the end results. C25K makes a great app for that, they give you a weekly task and the tasks increase as you train. So, if your goal is to lose 60lbs I would recommend setting a 30lb goal at first. Celebrate and reward yourself when you get to that goal and then set another 30lb goal. When you have such a high mark to reach like 60lbs it can feel like you're never going to get there. But breaking it up into steps can make it seem more attainable.

STEP 2: KEEP A JOURNAL

A journal helps to keep your goals and your purpose fresh in your mind. It doesn't have to be a traditional pen and paper journal. It can be a blog like this one, an instagram or facebook page. I find that posting pictures of my workouts and sometimes my food helps to keep me on track because I feel like other people are watching. Yes, you are supposed to get healthy for you but sometimes knowing that others want to see you win is a great motivator. You may also be helping to motivate someone else. Even though they may not express it they could be reading your blog, or watching your page for daily motivation. A journal also lets you see your mistakes and your success so you know what to change or keep in the future. 

STEP 3: START SLOW

I have dived head first into many workout routines and have always come up short in the end. I lose the weight quickly but then I burn out. I take a break from the routine and I get comfortable on couch, I get back to it once or twice but then I fall off. I would recommend slowly incorporating a new routine into your lifestyle. If you're just getting off the couch revisit step 1 and set a small goal to work out twice a week for two weeks, then increase to three times a week for three weeks, then four times a week for four weeks and then five days a week for five weeks. Go at your own pace and do not compete with anyone.

STEP 4: DO NOT "DIET"

I can't tell you how many bootleg diets I've tried. Let me name a few; whole30 (lasted for two weeks), HCG, Low Carb, STARVATION (I was young and dumb and in High School), Diet Pills (Also in High School). Diets are not long term but having a healthy diet is. Again, you'll want to start slow. If you slowly make healthy changes to your diet you are more likely to stick with them. If you like pizza you can eat pizza but in moderation and maybe only have a slice or two instead of five (I love pizza). If you cook for yourself and your family try to find healthy recipes for the things you enjoy. When I first started I subscribed to Eating Well, they were having a pretty good promotion. Subscribing to Eating Well opened my eyes to all the good, healthy and tasty foods that are out there. 
  
STEP 5: WORKOUT WHERE YOU ARE COMFORTABLE

I hate the gym, I've never seen anyone in the gym sweat and they are always in the mirror taking selfies. I feel like I can't beast when I'm in the gym because people are judging (even at planet fitness). But that is just my personal opinion. I prefer to work out at home, and I go hard and do the most ridiculous things at times. There are tons of free workout programs that can be done at home, my absolute favorite is fitness blender on youtube they literally have hundreds of workouts you can choose from. You can go for walks, or you can jog if you're about that life. Its free to be outside or you can invest in some equipment like a treadmill or an elliptical. It is way cheaper to own equipment than to pay for a gymn membership.

STEP 6: EQUIP YOURSELF TO BE SUCCESSFUL
  
Don't be afraid to spend money on things that will make your journey a success. I purchased a treadmill, dumbells, kettle bell, waist trainer, a yoga mat, a jump rope so I can always switch up my workouts. You'll also need the proper shoes and clothing. If you want to know how many calories you're burning the polar ft4 or ft7 is a great investment. Amazon has the best deals, here is a link to some of my favorites. Best deals on workout equipment and gear. 

STEP 7: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

There a millions of motivation Mondays, transformation Tuesdays, watch me work Wednesdays, thirst trapping at the gym Thursdays, and follow my lead Fridays post but at the end of the day you never know how someone really gets their end results. They could have had weight loss surgery, taken supplements or starved themselves. Do not get discouraged because someone posts about how they lost 80lbs in five months and you've only lost 20. Go at your own pace and do what is best for you.

If you have any tips to add please leave them in the comments.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Term Nappy! Is it Good or Bad?

Yesterday, while browsing youtube I came across a video by Ghana Goddess formerly known as Miss Cinnamon Cake. In the video she discusses her thoughts on the word NAPPY and why she doesn't think its a bad word. Today, on facebook I came across a video of a father doing his daughters hair with a vacuum cleaner after he saw a caucasian dad give his daughter a ponytail with the vacuum hose. In the video the father stated that the vacuum method only works on silky hair not a nappy afro. People proceeded to come for him in the comments section, ethering him for being insensitive and calling his daughters hair nappy.

I clearly find nothing wrong with the word Nappy. In the past when my hair was relaxed I used to refer to my hair as nappy in a negative way when I would get new growth, and also when I went natural and found that my hair would never be 3b. I hated my hair and constantly referred to it as Nappy because I broke combs in it, It wouldn't straighten properly, it wouldn't even blow dry right. I absolutely hated everything about it, but I was mostly upset and let down that after going natural I didn't have curls. I thought everyone had beautiful curly hair once they stopped relaxing their hair. I eventually came to love everything that I hated about my hair and for me the term Nappy no longer represented something bad but something that I loved. I find nothing wrong with what the father said I don't think he was being negative about her hair in any way. I now refer to my hair as Nappy with love.

The term Nappy can also be used in a derogatory manner. For instance, I came across a story today while browsing the internet in which a coach in Texas referred to a young African American child's hair as Nappy and Nasty.

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2015/07/14/texas-softball-coach-tells-black-player-her-hair-is-nasty-and-nappy.html

Of course this verbal attack was racially motivated. The coach that I am referring to is caucasian. As a community we have been relaxing and straightening our hair for years. Some say to fit in with mainstream (white) America, others say to make our hair more manageable. The young African American woman that the coach was referring to has straight hair (most likely relaxed from looking at pictures) the coach had straight hair so what was her reason for calling this child's hair nappy and nasty when aside from hair color it doesn't look that much different from hers. I'm sure she wouldn't refer to a caucasian child with straight hair as having nappy or nasty hair. Even though the hair is straight, because it is attached to the head of a black child it is seen as nappy and nasty in her eyes. The saddest part though is that this grown ass woman, whether racially motivated or not, thought it was appropriate to degrade and belittle a child. In my eyes a coach is supposed to uplift, motivate and shape students in their care, not belittle them at a time when confidence building is so important. That alone should be grounds for termination (the simple fact that she sucks at her job and she's a despicable person).

I don't mind the term Nappy being used to refer to African American hair by African Americans when it is used with love. If you are not of the culture you don't get to use it much like the N word. Simple as that. Even within the culture it is not appropriate to refer to someone else's hair as nappy in a derogatory way. Even though I use the term to refer to my own hair, I wouldn't use to to refer to anyone else's. Not even in a good way, because of the fact that I don't know what their feelings are towards the word.

What are your thoughts on the N (nappy) word?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Why I prefer the LCO over the LOC method

LCO - LIQUID CREAM OIL         VS       LOC - LIQUID OIL CREAM

Liquid

I have 4c Natural hair, which means my hair is the kinkiest of the kinkiest. It coils around itself naturally, has high shrinkage, is low porosity and very hard to moisturize. Low porosity hair has a hard time obtaining moisture, which means that it takes a while for moisturizers and water to penetrate the hair shaft. However, once the hair is moisturized it stays moisturized for a long time. Unlike porous hair which is very easy to moisturize but loses moisture quickly.

Cream
The LCO method completely changed the game for me. LCO refers to liquid, cream, and oil. It refers to the way you layer your products. You start by spraying your hair with a liquid to lift the cuticle, adding a cream to moisturize and then sealing with an oil. Because my hair has a hard time getting moisture It would not make sense for me to do the Liquid oil cream method. With the LOC method you spritz the hair with water, seal with and oil, and then add you cream moisturizer. However, the problem I have with this method (LOC) is that once I spray the liquid and seal with the oil, the oil not only blocks the moisture from leaving my hair but it also blocks moisture from getting into my hair. Therefore, adding cream after the oil, simply makes no sense for me because the moisturizer will not absorb into my hair.
oil

On the other hand adding the Liquid, cream and then oil allows for the moisture from the liquid and the cream to penetrate my hair and the oil then seals all that moisture in. With this method, I can go up to ten days without having to re-moisturize my hair when it is exposed to the elements.

How do you moisturize your hair?
Have you tried the LCO or the LOC method?
Which do you prefer and Why?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Super Light Jumbo Box Braids with Toyokolon Hair


This is not a tutorial, my hair was coming out great and I wanted to share. This is my first time doing box braids. I used the New York Braid Supreme Ultra Light Toyokolon hair. I ended up using about 8 packs of hair. When I was done I dipped the ends in hot water. I only wish that the hair was longer, but overall I love how it came out.

Friday, April 10, 2015

MY NATURAL HAIR ISN'T GROWING

I have been natural since June of 2010, so that's a whopping five years of being completely natural. You would think by now that based on all the hair gurus on youtube and bloggers on the internet who have been natural for this long or less, that have hair down to their ankles that I would come here and say that I at least have waist length or at the very least mid back length hair. However, that is sadly not the case.

I did not make a conscious decision to go natural, after years of kitchen perms, sew ins and stress my hair fell out from the root. I literally would run my hands through my hair and clumps of hair would come out with the root attached. I started to research (google) ways to grow my hair back quickly so I could perm it again. However, I discovered youtube and blogs with women who had beautiful, long and healthy natural hair and I was curious. I wanted to know if my hair could be healthy and grow to such lengths. I received my first perm at twelve, I'm the one that asked for it, I was going away to boarding school and had no idea how to care for my hair. My hair was neck length, it never seemed to grow past that length especially after the relaxer. It wasn't healthy either, I always had breakage and it was always dry. Now, after five years of being natural I'm grazing arm pit length, literally grazing. Meaning that if I trim my hair I can no longer claim arm pit length.

Hair is supposed to grow an average of 6" per year. I have never had a problem with growing my hair but clearly I have a problem retaining length if I'm only grazing arm pit length after five years of being natural. I've analyzed my hair care regimen, done my research and have made some changes to my regimen. I have compiled a list of all the things that I have done wrong over the years that have contributed to my lack of length retention.

  • Hair Breakage
    • This has been my biggest issue over the last five years
      • My breakage has been caused by
        • Protein Overload: The hair benefits from protein, it strengthens it and actually helps to protect against breakage. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There were plenty of times that I did protein treatments way too often. My hair became dry and brittle then broke off.
        • Detangling Tools: It seems that I have tried every detangling tool on the market. The denman, tangle teezer, combs, paddle brushes etc. I've noticed that no matter how much slip a product has these tools always break my hair. 
        • Protective styles: Yes some of my protective styles have led to breakage. My hair mattes very easily. I love mini twists but I find that leaving them in too long and wetting the hair to re-moisturize exasperates the matting. Flatwists also lead to breakage, I got a lot of breakage from parting my hair to get the perfect style, I usual styled my hair while dry so that may have lead to it breaking.
        • Tangles have also contributed to my hair breakage. I have tried solely finger detangling in the past and I've gotten a lot of tangles from that especially at the root. Finger detangling is great, it works but I was definitely impatient.  I didn't take my time so after months of poorly finger detangling my hair was extremely tangled. I would then use a comb and rip through all the tangles out of frustration. I also got a lot of tangles from letting my hair go too long without detangling. Mainly because I wear a lot of protective styles and I keep them in for about 4-6wks.
  • Constantly Trimming

    • I feel like I always have split ends, so I'm constantly trimming
      • I've used the tangle teaser before and it completely destroyed my hair. I had splits all the way up the hair shaft. Its taken a year to completely get rid of the damage.
      • Mini twists have also lead to damaged ends. I would leave them in too long, usually up to three weeks, then my hair would matte so when I took them down my ends would cling together and not knowing better I would rip them apart.
      • Also, after removing styles like Marley Twists I would have a lot of single strand knots. Probably because I didn't stretch my hair properly before installing the braids so some of my ends would be exposed.
  • Disastrous Salon visits.
    • I think I've been to the salon twice since I was natural and both times were epic failures
      • My first visit was just a month shy of my two year natural anniversary and I was past collar bone length on my way to arm pit length. I decided to go in for a wash, condition, treatment, trim and style. The whole visit cost about $80, I left with a cute style. But after the visit I had hair as short as an inch, 2 inches, 4 inches, and some sections were their original lengths. You get the picture. The stylist went Edward scissor hand ham in my head
      • I can't remember when my second visit was but I went in for an updo and came out with heat damage. She tried to give my 4c hair a blowout with a paddle brush, needless to say that didn't work so she used a flat iron on my partially wet hair. I figured, she's a stylist she knows what she's doing right? Wrong! lol
  • Chronic Dryness
    • I suffered from chronic dryness my first three years natural. This was mainly because:
      • I didn't know how to moisturize my hair. I didn't know how to properly layer the products. I was just putting stuff in my hair not knowing that there was a proper way to do it for optimum moisture.
      • I was also not using the correct products. When I first went natural, I thought that products that had natural in the title were great for my hair. I quickly realized that even though a product may say natural it may not be truly natural. Some products say that they contain natural ingredients but are loaded with synthetics. Some people use synthetic products and it works wonders for them. I personally find that my hair stays moisturized and healthy when I use all natural ingredients. I was never able to obtain moisturized hair until I started using natural products. My hair was dry and unhealthy in my relaxed days as well and prior to being relaxed. For some, myself included ingredients really do matter.
      • My hair was also dry from heat damage. I sustained heat damage from my last salon visit and I also tried to heat train my hair after that with a blow dryer. My hair became even more dry.
I have since seen the error of my ways and I am currently on a hair growth journey. Tell me about your natural hair journey. What were some of the highs and lows? What advice would you give someone who is newly natural? If you would like to be a guest blogger please go to the contact me tab and fill out the form. I would love to hear from you.
 I will be doing several posts on how to get and maintain healthy natural hair.