Monday, November 23, 2015

Curl Diaries and More

Just a quick update...

Getting used to the Curly Girl method.  I'm still not very happy with the length of my hair, but hopefully I will be a little more happy with it in a month or so when I get some length back in it.  As far as my curls go, I really like the way they look now and how healthy my hair feels.  Still having a bit of a challenge with getting my bangs straightened while keeping the rest of my hair curly, but I am getting a little better at it.

I'm still doing the same routine that I listed in the previous blog, but instead of the Knot Today leave-in, I have switched to the SheaMoisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Styling Milk as my leave-in.  It used to be the SheaMoisture Thickening Growth Milk, but they seemed to have discontinued this and replaced it with the one in the link.  It is a little heavier than the Knot Today leave-in, so I like it since it's winter and my hair needs more moisture.  It doesn't weigh my hair down, but my hair feels a little softer and more moisturized.  I will probably switch back to the Knot Today leave-in when spring comes back since it's a little lighter, but we'll see.  I've been wanting to try the Ouidad Texture Taffy, but haven't wanted to shell out the $$ to do so.  Hopefully I will grab it soon and let you guys know what I think.  The biggest thing I am getting used to is having to use soooooooo much gel in my hair.  I really can tell that it helps defining the curls and controlling the frizz, so it's a must.  And after I crunch it all out, my hair is really soft and not frizzy at all, so I know it's doing the job.

Also, I am not using the Argon oil anymore before I "pineapple" my hair for the night.  It simply makes my hair too greasy the next day.  No bueno for 2nd day hair for me.  Everyone's different, so it probably works great on some people.

Here are some photos of my hair today.

Lastly, I am now 4 yoga classes into my 30 by 40 challenge.  I'm aiming for 3 classes per week.  I hope to be able to bump up to 4 classes per week in the next few weeks or month or so. I'm taking a light beginners class on Saturday that lasts for 6 more weeks and during the week I am taking a Vinyasa class and a Dharma class.  So far, the Dharma is the one that kicks my ass the most as far as workout is concerned.

I love yoga and I'm sooooooooooo happy I am getting back into it.  My body is thanking me already.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Yogi Mandolinist

2 posts in one day!  Look out, I'm on a roll.

So in addition to the new hair change, I've also made some goals for myself.  Somewhat New Years resolutions a little early.

I think me turning 40 in 3 1/2 months is triggering a change in me.

I signed up for an 8 week beginners yoga series.  It starts this Saturday and I couldn't be more excited.  I have taken a lot of yoga classes over the years and got really into it several times, but for some reason never really stuck with it.  I aspire to be a yogi.  I want to eventually maybe become a yoga teacher.  I want to be flexible and fit and healthy.  I want to be able to master those crazy poses that look impossible to hold.

My goal is to have taken 30 yoga classes by my 40th birthday on 2/26.  Estimated at 2 per week, I should be able to get there and it's a fairly realistic goal.

Secondly, I want to start taking mandolin lessons.  It was either that or the banjo, but I chose the mandolin because it's different and I want a challenge.  I am going to try and make the lessons and purchasing a mandolin a Christmas present to myself, so I don't have too much longer to do so.

Curly Girl plus other updates

I used to be so good at blogging and not letting so much time pass between posts, but the last few years, not so much.  I know there is a time and a season for many things in your life....I guess this includes this for me.

Life has happened - a few updates....I got divorced in May 2015.  Been in an AMAZING relationship for 4 months now with a friend from my past and I couldn't be happier.  The timing couldn't have been better for both of us.

I made the decision a couple of weeks ago that I was going to experiment with letting my natural curls flow.  My hair has gone through many phases over the years (as many of us ladies' hair does).  It was straight as a board until I hit junior high and then became naturally curly.  I fought that like the dickens...straightened my hair with an iron on an ironing board and doing the stupidest thing to it like you do when you are young and don't know any better.  I would like to say in my old age (cough), I do now know better, but nope, I definitely don't.  I've gone through brief stints of wearing my hair curly, but it always looked crappy to me, so those were short lived.  The older I get, the less maintenance I wish for my appearance
My hair style has pretty much been the same for the last 10 years....long and I would blow dry with a round brush dryer.  I recently added bangs about a year and a half ago, but that's been the only real change.  My hairdresser rocks.  However, when I decided to do this transformation, I had an SOS hair cut need, so I went to someone else.  I shouldn't have done that and stuck with my guy, but you is what it is at this point, so I gotta live with it.

My hair had become really stringy at the ends and just looked limp and dull, so I knew I wanted layers to bring life back into it a bit.  When the hairdresser looked at my hair (I ended up going to one that specializes in curly hair so I could try and get it cut in a way that my curls would look better as opposed to not so great), he noticed a lot of breakage from about my shoulders down (hence why it was looking so dingy).  We figured out it was because of the round brush dryer I have been using and it was causing breakage - due to my dumb butt for keeping it on my hair too long when drying, but I digress.

So I just said CUT IT.  Cut off all of the dead stuff and let's start from scratch again.  It's a little shorter than I had anticipated and I am not a huge fan of it yet, but once it grows out just a bit, I think I will be more than happy with it.

So this begins my Curly Girl method journey.  I did a lot of research online on routines and products, so this is what I have started with so far.

First let's post some before and after pics.

First was taken about a month ago and the 2nd was a few months ago, so you can tell the difference in the damage that I had done within that time:

These were taken yesterday - my new haircut and curls :)

Like I said, it's a little short for my taste, but once it grows out a little, I think I will be super happy with it.

Since I currently can not afford to spend bookoos of bucks on hair products at the moment, I made my list and headed to Target and Sally's for supplies.  There are tons of products for curlies out there and some more expensive than others, but since I'm on a sort-of budget, I decided to go this route.

Also, noteworthy that I went through my bathroom and got rid of ALL of my hair products containing sulfates and all that crap, which was tons of stuff.  I wanted to start with a clean slate.

The basics: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo & SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.

Other necessities: As I Am Coconut CoWash, Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave in Conditioner, Kinky-Curly Curl Custard Gel, Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Paste Wax, TRESemme Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray, Argan Oil, Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer and ISO Bouncy Crème.

I also purchased a MicroFiber towel for my hair as regular towels are a big no-no for curlies.

I got my hair cut last Thursday, so I've only been doing this routine for a few days.  I'm sure I will be experimenting and switching up some of the products as time goes on, etc.

I am trying to only wash my hair 1-2 times per week with shampoo.  I washed my hair with shampoo yesterday, but on the other days, I use the As I Am CoWash.

After shampoo or CoWash in the shower I do the "squish to condish" method with the Shea Butter Conditioner.  I rinse most of it out, but leave a small amount in my hair.  I then apply the Knot Today leave in conditioner just before getting out of the shower.

Once I am ready to apply product, I use the Sea Salt Spray first - applying to my roots with my head flipped over and pull through my hair.  Then I apply a small amount of the ISO Bouncy Crème and run through my hair.  I take a good chunk of the Curl Custard Gel and run through my hair as well.  At this point I will either use the "plopping" method and wrap my hair in an old tshirt if I have about an hour or 2 to spare or I will diffuse my hair with a hair dryer (lowest heat, lowest setting) with my hair flipped over.  Be careful not to touch your curls while they are still drying because that will create frizz.

Once air dried or diffused, flip hair back over and scrunch the hair to get all of the hard gel loose and flip hair back over - whalah!

I then put in about a dime size of Pure Clean Paste Wax to set everything.

2nd day hair, spray the Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer and re-fluff hair.  Then apply Pure Clean Paste Wax to set.  All done.

At night, I spray a small amount of argan oil in my hair before I put it up in a "pineapple" to sleep.

So far, I'm getting used to things and feeling happy with atleast the way my curls look (still getting used to the length).  My hair does feel a little greasy due to not shampooing so often anymore and I'm sure due to all the product, but I heard that gets better as time goes on.

I will try and post more the more I get used to things and post any updates if I change up any of the routine.  There are tons of YouTube videos on how to follow the Curly Girl Method, on how to "Plop" your hair and "squish to condish".  Just research and experiment to find out what works best for you.  My hair is hair type 3A the majority of the time (some days fluctuating to a 2C or 3B).

I am currently having issues with getting my bangs styled right - I don't want them too straight nor too curly, so I'm having some growing pains with this right now.

The Polished Curl has a lot of great tips and how to videos on her site...check them out!

The following pic is kind of what I am shooting for style-wise once my hair grows out just a bit.  I love this girl's hair!