Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Blog month - What did you do to your hair today?

I decided to try and post more this month since I just found out that November is Blog Post month.

Today, I woke up happy and ready to tackle my last work day of the week. I didn't wake up early to workout. I haven't done this in months. But it's still on my nighttime to do list for tomorrow. 

I thanked God for my husband and my family, for the rested sleep and for the fact that our 3 year old did not join us this time. 

What did I do to my hair?

Like most days, I sport a wash and go that I had set the Sunday before. My hair is still too short to pineapple so I sleep on a satin pillowcase. In the morning my hair is a mess but that's easily fixed.

Every morning I either spray my hair or wet it in the shower. This morning I wet it in the shower. Then, I shake my head to loosen the squished curls.  I blot with a microfiber cloth if it's too wet. That's it after that, my hair is back to being cute and I can get ready to be on my way. 

By lunch time, My hair is dry because I only wet it a little. Just enough to reactivate the curls.

I'd love more tips and tricks.

What will you do to your hair this winter. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Beauty tips on the street - Explaining my wash and go to people

I sometimes get stopped on the street or in the bss (beauty supply store) by ladies asking for tips. They love my little spirals and want t know how they can do it themselves. I am really flattered when this happens.

I am so happy to share my tips.

Most people want to know how I achieve my wash and go (my staple style since day 1). People seem to love the little ringlets. They just love the little curls locked in by gel. They want to know how to do this.

My short answer is with gel. I know definitely that without gel my curls do not form and stay in place and I get major frizz. My wash and go can last a week if I re-wet it a couple of times in the week and lightly spray it with my water bottle on the other days.

Today, the lady I talked to was so sweet. At first, I felt a little uncomfortable because she was really staring at me. It looked like she wanted to say something to me but was hesitating. Then she asked... I gave her my routine. She really appreciated my advice. She was really sweet.

I wonder though...

I've given advice to strangers many times but I'm not sure how they apply the information I give them.

My brothers and my husband told me I should refer them to my You Tube channel or my blog.

When I started my first hair journey, I was also intrigued by all the girls on You Tube and their hair and how they did what they did with it. Now, I feel like I got my PhD in hair care. I understand all the terminology, all the techniques. The only thing I have yet to master is: understanding how to take care of curly-kinky hair with the harsh winter of Canada and how to transmit all this knowledge I have to people who are not into You Tube and social media. 

People around me, in my real life, do not use proper hair practices for the most part. Most of them do not even believe what I do to my hair applies to them. They still comb their hair dry. Leave their hair to dry out. Use grease. Don’t have a proper routine and are really stuck in the old school ways of taking care of kinky hair.

My heart rejoices when I see another natural on the street. I always feel like going up to them and say: “Your hair is beautiful!”. I never have the courage to do this in person but here I am and I am saying it: “Hello natural, you’re hair is beautiful!”

I also like beautiful relaxed hair but my heart belongs to natural hair for the time being and forever I'm sure. And when I see relaxed girls with hair in bad shape, I feel like telling them: “come on over to the other side, you won't regret it.”

It’s a big decision, I know. It took me 10 years to make it and stick to it.

I heard people say the natural hair blogger/vlogger topic is saturated, but I really don’t think it is.

We are now starting to see media in the main stream mention the strides the movement has been making since 2009. But mainstream consumers are not following suit. We still have some work to do. Natural hair products are selling well but they are not yet accessible in mainstream stores like Walmart and local drugstores.

We have more work to do to put the word out there. I want to be a part of that.

We are not there yet…

Friday, October 16, 2015

Rediscovering myself

Going natural has been an interesting experience so far. People ask me:"How did it feel to cut off my hair?" To be honest, I didn't agonize about it at all.  It was my second try at going natural, for one.  I already had an idea of what I would look like.

The first time I tried was in 2004, almost exactly 10 years earlier.  There wasn't as much information out there and not many people were doing it back then so I relaxed again after 2 years.

So in March 2014, when I decided to big chop for the second time, the way I would look played no part in my thought process.  I mainly questioned myself about my relaxed hair journey. Was I giving up? Was it time to call it quits.  I was really unsure about that mainly. I did not want to quit.

But indeed, a journey of 5 years is long enough.  I learned everything I could learn about keeping relaxed hair healthy, it was time to try something new. So, once I decided that I wasn't giving up on the other journey but simply evolving as a person, the decision to big chop was fairly easy to make.

I told my husband who was very excited (I had been talking about it for a while), called my stylist to book an appointment and that was it.  I loved the results right away and knew that this journey would bring me joy and fulfilment.

The other statement I get is:"Short hair is not for everyone..."  That may be true, but not because it won't suit you. It's really only because some people just don't want to accept it as a suitable style for them. Only a matter of taste.

I honestly wonder... You would never say that about boys. He can't wear his hair short, it won't suit him.  And before anyone says anything, having short hair does not make you look like a boy.

Anyone can do anything with their hair. Society has decided that man are more acceptable with short hair and women with longer hair. It's confidence...

I'm an average woman. I was insecure as a pre-teen and as an adolescent. My confidence grew as I aged and realize we are all in the same boat, all have the same struggles and we all want to be loved and accepted.

So as a young women, I started caring less and less what people thought of me and more about myself. Not to say that I am all about the me, myself and I... Not at all. I care what my husband and my parents and close family think of me. And for the life of me, I still feel like I have to please people. I don't like to hurt people's feelings. But when it comes to my look, I really don't ask myself what people think.

So, when going natural, the most important is to think of yourself only. The good reasons to do it:

  • health
  • discovery
  • knowledge
I encourage you! Everyone can be natural...


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Iphone vs Android (a mommy's point of vue)

What a chock! After using an iPhone for almost three years, I had the crazy idea of switching to Android. OMG! What an idea!!!!!

Well, I've been using my new phone for three weeks so this review is really a first impressions because I haven't done everything I could do with the phone. I don't know everything about it and I may not ever do, but whatever...

So I previously had an iPhone 4s and I was in love with it except for the simple fact that it was getting old, my battery life was really bad and some apps (regular apps like Facebook) would crash all the time because it was old. But mainly I was starting to really want a larger phone.  

I thought about getting an iPhone 6 Plus. In all honesty, that was my first choice but it was just too expensive.  I just decided to think outside the box and get something more affordable with similar specs. And so, I got a Samsung Galaxy S6.

The switch between the 2 phones was super easy. No frustrations at all (but I love learning new tech).

Iphone vs Android? To me it's all the same, deep down. For a regular person (as opposed to a tech fan) both phones offer the same usage. You can text, make phone calls, check email, go on social media and even be productive with both an iPhone and and Android phone.

About this upgrade

*I am really happy about the bigger screen. 

*I learned really quickly how to use Android. It is not that much different from IOS. It is not like learning another language or anything really.

*Some of the functionalities iPhones don't have are really cool.

*The battery life is kind of bad so far (yeah, it SUCKS! I do not make it through the day if I don't charge my phone once or twice. One of my pet peeves is having to plug my phone everywhere I go.)

The only thing I don't like about the phone is the battery life so I've resolved it by charging my phone wirelessly at work at all times (I've never needed to do that before with my iPhone). If I do this, my phone can last me all day.  If not, the phone will die on me by 7pm (I usually unplug my phone between 5h30 and 6h30 am).

Somethings iPhones can't do that I can now do with this phone

  • My phone can replace my remote controls even my Apple TV one (and it is so easy to set up). I love it and it's useful.
  • You personalize can your phone to the point where no one can have it set up the same way you do. (I'm still using TouchWiz but i was able to personalize it greatly)
  • FAST CHARGING! (Once a week I forget to charge my phone at night, plug it in when I wake up and it's fully charged by the time I'm ready to leave.)
  • Wireless charging! *need I say more
  • The selfie camera is amazing!

I don't care about the technical stuff like the number of pixels. IPhone displays have been amazingly beautiful for years. Recently, the improvements have been minimal and the display difference between Samsung and iPhone is nothing to run home about.

I also don't care about RAM and Quad Core whatever it is... As long as the phone works and it's fast enough for regular use like emails, social media, taking pictures, etc.

I definitely love my Galaxy S6 except for the battery life.  Also, I got the phone in the Black Sapphire but I really wanted the white or the gold , which were not available the day I went to the store. I regret not waiting... So make sure you get the phone you really want because you might regret it and it's expensive to decide to get another before you're up for another upgrade.

There are definitely more great things to say about either phones but I find that reading tech reviews and watching tech guys showing off their phones doesn't really apply to a regular user sometimes.  They mostly talk about specs that no one cares about. I like to read mom reviews, dad reviews and even watching teenagers showing off their phones on YouTube.

So this is my little comparison...

I might go back to iPhone next upgrade because battery life is so important to me and so far this massive con is just not sitting well with me.  Otherwise, I love the Samsung Galaxy S6. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Video - my 1 year update

Check it out!!!!!

Last year, I cut my hair really short and this is one year later and I am really happy about my progress.

This video is the 4th length check I've posted on You Tube and I can see that my hair does grow consistently. On the video, I compare my 9-month length check with the one-year length check. However, my thumbnail shows the comparison between a couple of days after my big chop and one year of growth.

So far, I can see that my hair thrives in its natural state. I didn't get to one year without a setback on my relaxed hair journey.

I've had no setbacks so far. A little bit of itchy scalp in the last couple of weeks. I'm taking MSM for the inflammation and it seems to help. I've also recently started to rub some coconut oil on my scalp where the inflammation happens. But this year was a good year for my scalp, no major flare ups.

What will my second year bring?

I'm hoping for more growth but that's a given. What else? Well, I'm also hoping to keep riding this wave. I love my hair right now and I'm hoping the honeymoon period doesn't go away.

I also want to get better at doing hair. I'm pretty sure the honeymoon period will end once I start feeling self-conscious about how I look. I'm not looking forward to the awkward stage and it's rearing its head more and more every day. But for now, all is good.

Here's to year 2! And no setback...

Why everyone must go on a hair journey

natural hair journey
Before starting my blog or right at the beginning, I should have asked and also answered this question: "Why should anyone go on a hair journey?"

Why the hair journey?

Why not?  I went on my first hair journey because I just felt like there was something better that I could be doing to take care of my hair.  I felt like I hadn't investigated or maybe I hadn't tried to understand my hair enough and in a sense I felt like I was cheating myself.

Back then, I was relaxed and my hair was thin and short. I kept it short but not by choice even though I knew how to make it suit me but because I could not grow it passed my shoulders.  It broke off, fell off and it was impossible for me to make it look nice longer.

Things I never knew about

I never knew about any good hair practices. I never knew about relaxing properly and not overlapping. It's the basics, but salons where I went didn't do it.  

I never knew about moisturizing. No one ever said one thing about that to me, ever.

I never knew about stretching, quite the opposite.  I was told by a stylist that I had to relax my hair every 4-6 weeks because it was dry when I was in my late teens.  But that was wrong!

It's  new day

Since the beginning of the hair care movement, many black women have had their eyes open to new possibilities. It is not only the 1% anymore... The girls with "good hair genes".

It's true, I feel like only 1% of the black women around me don't have issues with their hair.  Most wear wigs or weaves, most can't grow their hair passed their shoulder, most experience hair loss on a regular basis.  Going on a hair journey may remedy some if not all of that.

To start, I would say it's is good to start small.

  1. Elaborate a plan - Your Hair Journey
  2. Add your hair care routine steps to your calendar
  3. Raid your product stash
  4. Evaluate your hair stylist
  5. Follow through
  6. Take progress pics (monthly, quarterly, but not daily)
  7. Don't stop believing

It's worth it to try. 

Everyone should go on a hair journey.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Healthy hair regimen - winter in Canada edition

My backyard

This is my first winter since my big chop. I've gone through winters as a natural before but I don't really have any tips from these experiences. I wasn't on a hair journey back then.

Winters are hard on my hair in general. I noticed that during my relaxed hair journey. Here is the regimen I used back then.

Natural and Relaxed hair winter regimen:

  • Moisturize and seal daily
  • Prepoo before shampoo
  • Deep condition once or even twice a week
  • Use longterm protective styles like braids or sew-ins or wigs
  • Do roller sets (or air dry) instead of using the blowdryer to dry your hair 

Moisturize and seal

Any person on a hair journey knows that hydrated hair is healthy hair. For some, moisturizing daily is the only way to ensure consistently hydrated hair. I used to hydrate my hair daily on the winter and continue to o so as a habit, as a way to start styling my hair and also because I know how beneficial this part of any routine is.

Prepoo before shampoo

I myself rarely shampoo but when I was relaxed, I used to prepoo and thought it was a great method to keep your hair healthy. A prepoo is basically a pre-shampoo treatment. It acts as a protection for your hair from the harsh detergents that are in shampoo. 15 minutes is all you need. You can use oil or conditioner or both to do this. I've also prepooed with honey, it is very moisturizing. You apply whatever mix you decided to make to your damp hair and leave it for at least 15 minutes. When you are ready to wash it out, it's time to shampoo. After that you go on with your wash day routine.

Deep condition regularly

I say once or twice a week or even more if that is possible. My regimen is tailored to my life. It's true that I may not have 2-3 day a week available to set aside some time to DC. But I know I have at least one day. I take advantage of it. The rest of the week, I cowash after the gym. I feel like that's a lot of hydration.

Use longterm protective styles

I know that is good advice. I don't often follow it because I cannot stand braids on my hair too often. I can't do sew-ins either. I feel like those aren't for me. I guess could wear a wig but only once in a while. I couldn't do it every day. But I know for a fact that wearing braids for example was very beneficial to me when I've done it.

Roller sets

I am very big on roller setting. I advise every one on a hair journey to add this drying method to their most used way of drying their hair list. On my previous hair journey, I mostly air dried. That was a good method. But roller setting is even better. The hair is smoother, less tangles, softer and shinier when using this method. It is versatile in that you get magnificent curls when roller setting with smaller rollers. But when using larger roller, you can achieve the nicest silky wrap without using direct heat.

I think I will base my winter hair regimen on my old relaxed hair winter regimen. I may not wear braids, sew-ins or wigs. I am not a fan of those protective styles. I will of course air dry instead of using any heat.

This year, so far, I am not suffering from itchy and irritated scalp like I usually do this time of year. I am really not sure what causes it or what is different this year. I figured it was the colder month bringing more dryness to my hair and scalp.  

I used Shea Moistures African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner for a little while. I do feel like this product helped me considerably. I plan on repurchasing it.

This will be my regimen. I will update if any changes occur.

So what's your winter regimen? Is it working so far?

xoxo, Anny