Monday, January 31, 2011

Life BEFORE The TRUTH About Hair, Naturally - Pictorial

Below you will find a few images of my hair/styles prior to transitioning to natural hair. The images closer to the top are styles I wore during the 3 months+ of my transition prior to doing the BIG CHOP and retaining less than an inch of hair!! I have been natural for about 14 months now and am LOVING the journey! It doesn't mean that I DO NOT experience BAD hair days or times when I become a little discouraged...but I do enjoy the various styling options!

Peace and blessings always!

"Patience IS Progress!!"


Friday, October 29, 2010

The Truth About Henna: Dyeing & Conditioning Your Hair, Naturally!

The Truth About Henna: Dyeing & Conditioning Your Hair, Naturally!

Hi guys, this blog post was created for my viewers and especially for nevaeh21ful! She's NEW on YouTube, so please show her channel some NATURAL LOVE!!

For those of you that follow my channel: tressfreecre8tions on YouTube you know that I truly LOVE the benefits of henna for my natural hair!! Please see links below; copy and paste into your browser to view.

A Word of Caution

Before I start, please be aware that henna WILL NOT come out of your hair. It coats the outer hair shaft, which affects the penetration of another colorant. It would have to GROW OFF to GO OFF...or it's CUT OUT to GET OUT...Ha ha, had to make it kind of humorous so you realize how SERIOUS it can be to henna if you later decide you want to color your hair with a more permanent color solution! You CAN NOT color over henna with a chemical hair dye, only with another henna product! Because henna coats the outer hair shaft this may be a great BENEFIT in growing your beautiful, shiny, natural mane!! Check out my picture above! :-)

What is the Proper Name for Henna?

What is henna, or what do I need to look for? When reading your packages of henna please know that REAL henna is called Lawsonia Inermis. There are various mixtures and forms of the Lawsonia Inermis that make other color options.

How I Make Henna Do What It Do!

I have typically henna'd my hair as often as twice a month, to more recently once every several months. I have used several brands as indicated in the videos in the links above. The process for henna mixtures and henna glosses vary. Also use caution prior to applying your henna.

There are numerous factors to consider:
1) it may be best to mix your henna with plastic utensils in a plastic mixing bowl. Something you do not plan to use again
2) Henna can be a little messy and CAN stain; until you get used to the mixing process please put down old paper or be sure to mix on a surface that you can easily remove any mixture that may drip or spill
3) After the henna is mixed be sure to do a patch test on your skin to ensure that you are NOT allergic to the henna mixture
4) Always use gloves when applying henna, remember that it is a stain and TRUST me it may stain your skin and nails for several days if you choose NOT to wear gloves 5) Be aware that because henna is a natural, herbal powder it DOES have a HIGHLY grassy, earthy smell...if you don't think you can tolerate the smell, henna MAY NOT be for you!!

Be sure to read the packaging instructions that come with the henna you purchase. Many mixtures state that the henna mixture must sit for several hours (covered) in order for the henna dyes to fully release. I generally mix my henna treatment and let it sit overnight.

Once I apply to my freshly washed or co-washed hair I generally let the henna stay in overnight. Again, do what works best for YOU, if 2-6 hours is your limit DO rinse out! I generally rinse my henna out in the shower with moderately cool water. Once I have rinsed the majority of the henna out of my hair I proceed to either a wash or several co-washes to rinse the remainder of the henna residue from my hair. Follow up with your normal routine afterward. You may find that your curl texture pattern may appear slightly loosened temporarily. As henna is like a natural clay type mixture and can be somewhat "heavy" once applied.

Benefits of Henna

Henna is a natural hair conditioner and coloring agent. I have a several random gray hairs and it gives them a rich red due. My natural hair color is dark brown and in the sunlight my hair also has a vibrant red tint.

Henna sources:

Henna How To's & Helpful Tips from eHow:

**I will add more links at a later time, but feel free to GOOGLE henna or search out other henna tutorials on YouTube!!**

"Patience IS Progress!"

Enjoy trying your first henna treatment!

***Disclaimer: Please be advised to DO YOUR RESEARCH before embarking on any new product usage. Be sure of the pros & cons of utilizing HENNA and any other natural product for your hair or body. I am NOT a paid spokesperson or representative for ANY of the companies used within this blog post or videos featured. I am an everyday consumer that loves to SHARE THE WEALTH that knowledge brings!***

Friday, August 27, 2010

9 Ways to Maximize Your Metabolism

Hi ladies and gents!! I realize my blog is titled "The Truth About Hair, Naturally"...but guess what? Everything grows from the inside out! This week I have started a work out regimen with ZX Fitness in my area! I LOVE it yall!! Please check out the article that I found on their website for 9 ways to Maximize Your Metabolism!! If you have an area ZX Fitness please check them out! I'm using a 3 day pass and am confident that I will join this week!!

Peace and blessings always!

Remember: "Patience IS Progress!"

1. EAT HIGH FIBER CARBOHYDRATES: High fiber carbohydrates are harder to digest than simple carbohydrates and therefore have a greater thermic effect. On top of this foods that are high in fiber are generally lower in calories (because fiber itself contains zero calories), help suppress your appetite and provide you with many more fantastic benefits. High fiber foods include fruits, vegetables and wholemeal products so where possible make sure your dietary carbohydrates come from these sources. Not only will they help you burn slightly more calories but they will also make it easier for you to lose weight. However, you need to make sure that you do not go overboard on the fiber. Excessive fiber consumption has been linked with wind, diarrhea, constipation and more.
2. EAT VITAMIN RICH FOODS: Your body relies on vitamins and minerals to perform a number of essential functions. If you become deficient in any of the thirteen vitamins you may not be able to perform some of these functions properly which can have a negative impact on your BMR. There are lots of vitamin rich foods including fruits, vegetables, eggs, liver and nuts. To maximize your metabolism you need to make sure you are getting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for all your vitamins from the foods you eat. It will keep your BMR at its optimal level and also promote good overall health. However, like with fiber you need to make sure you don’t overdose. Getting too many vitamins has a number of adverse effects including cell and organ damage.
3. DRINK LOTS OF WATER: If your body is not properly hydrated it may not be able to perform certain vital functions. This can lead to a reduction in your BMR. Therefore, you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to maximize your metabolism. I find that keeping a water bottle at your desk and topping it up regularly plus making an effort to drink extra water whilst exercising helps me stay hydrated throughout the day.
4. MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN: Most people’s diets are rich in fats and carbohydrates but contain very little protein. However, protein is a very important macronutrient that is essential for the growth and repair of your body’s cells. It also has a greater thermic effect than fats and carbohydrates with research suggesting that 25% of the calories in protein are burned during digestion and absorption. Therefore, you can give your metabolism a boost by making protein a richer part of your diet. However, you need to make sure that you are not consuming too much. Overdosing on protein can place stress on a number of vital organs including your kidneys.
5. ADD SOME SPICE TO YOUR DIET: Spicy foods can temporarily increase your BMR. For starters they increase your body’s temperature for a short period after consumption meaning that you will burn more calories as your body attempts to regulate this temperature. Secondly, spices such as cayenne are thought to have thermogenic properties meaning that they temporarily increase the rate at which your body burns fat. Like with the other foods mentioned in this article you need to exercise moderation when it comes to spicy foods. Getting too much can lead to unpleasant side effects such as heartburn, stomach ulcers and an irritable bowel.
6. CUT BACK ON THE ALCOHOL: Alcohol has a dehydrating effect and can therefore reduce your BMR. Many alcoholic beverages are also full of simple carbohydrates meaning that they have a reduced thermic effect when compared with high fiber carbohydrates and protein rich foods. On top of this excessive alcohol consumption can cause vitamin deficiencies which further slow down your BMR. You don’t need to eliminate alcohol from your diet completely but if you drink regularly perhaps you should consider cutting down.
7. REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION: Like alcohol, caffeine has a dehydrating effect and can lower your BMR. Drinking a couple of cups of coffee each day is unlikely to have any adverse effects on your metabolism but if you are getting all your fluids from caffeinated beverages you might want to think about substituting in some water.
8. START A CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE ROUTINE: Your metabolism is partially affected by your level of physical activity. Regular cardiovascular exercise helps in two ways. First, you burn additional calories whilst performing the cardio. Secondly, the number of calories you burn following a cardiovascular workout remains elevated for a few hours after you finish. By going for a walk, jog, run, bike ride, swim (or whatever other cardiovascular exercise takes your fancy) a few times a week you can burn extra calories and boost your metabolism.
9. START A RESISTANCE TRAINING ROUTINE: A pound of muscle burns around 6 calories per day whilst a pound of fat burns around 2 calories per day. Therefore, by increasing your lean muscle mass you can raise your BMR. If you perform a resistance training workout a few times per week and combine it with proper nutrition you can build additional muscle and increase the amount of calories you burn whilst resting.

As you can see from this article it is possible to boost your metabolism through a combination of smart food choices and a well structured exercise routine. However, you need to remember that metabolism is not the key to successful weight loss. Whilst you can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis by following the above tips there is a limit to their effect. Maximizing your metabolism will not compensate for eating too much food BUT if you learn to control the amount you eat and follow the above advice metabolism can be a powerful tool in your weight loss arsenal. I highly recommend that you try and implement the above tips in to your lifestyle because they will give your metabolism a boost, help you burn more calories and more importantly they will improve your overall health.

Now I want to hear from you guys. What’s your opinion on metabolism? Do you think it’s an essential part of weight loss or do you think it’s over hyped? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Watering YOUR Natural Wildflower

Watering YOUR Natural Wildflower

Well ladies and gents, I know we all "hear stories" about the benefits of drinking water. The mere fact that our own bodies are largely comprised of water...yada, yada, yada. Bottom line is we ALL need water to function every day in a more healthy capacity!! The past month I have made a more conscious decision to drastically increase my daily water intake! Even within this short time frame I have noticed several subtle changes in my own body!

No, no...I know what some of you may be thinking, "You can only notice a physical difference if you change your diet AND exercise too!" Folks, I have made NO OTHER modifications in my diet, other than drinking more water! I have physically noticed several subtle changes that include: clearer skin, hair growth, less fluid retention, and it has made me FEEL tremendously better!

I don't normally experience many blemishes regularly, though initially I noticed a few minor pimples. I am presuming that increased water intake helped to bring these blemishes out. Plus lets face it, I AM a WOMAN and we do have hormones that can control some things we can not! *smile*

As far as hair growth, you KNOW that good ol' H20 is a natural gals BEST friend...on the INSIDE and on the OUTSIDE!! Whether protective styled or wearing a wash n go, I consistently moisturize my hair with a spray bottle that generally contains a mix of distilled water, lavender or rosemary essential oil, and a small amount of vegetable glycerin. Please note that all water mixtures vary depending on hair needs or sensitivity to product. I love the way Christian Fields refers to our hair as "wildflowers". He states, "By putting oxygen back into the bloodstream, our hair will grow like wildflowers." As a stylist he may notice an increase in hair growth due to increased water consumption! The growth can range from 1/2 inch (average monthly hair growth) to a full inch or more in one month!" Please check out his YouTube channel, to view this short video (copy and paste link):

Folks is this NOT reason enough for YOU to begin "Watering YOUR Natural Wildflower"?

If my personal testimony wasn't enough, also see the link below for more interesting information about water: "Health Benefit of Water's" website (copy and paste link):

Several BENEFITS Highlighted include:
-lowered cholesterol
-prevention of heart disease and stroke
-skin health
-relief of joint pain and arthritis

I hope you not only learned from, but enjoyed this posting! Have a great weekend!!

Remember naturals, "Patience IS Progress!"
The Truth About Hair, Naturally

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Aloe Vera Gel for Natural Hair

Aloe Vera

If you naturals are anything like me, I am always very curious about the products that I use in my hair. I am especially more curious when a rare treat finds me in the care of a natural hair stylist. My recent visit to Always Ahead Salon was no exception! As my stylist Nena washed, conditioned, and prepared my hair for comb coils I inquired about the products she was using to style it with. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was using 100% natural aloe vera gel!! Wow, to think a product I had purchased during my initial months of transition and big chop was being used as the primary product to style my nearly 8 months natural hair!!

Okay yall, I love to ramble, but let me get back on! The purpose of this post is to provide my readers with some of the information I found about the benefits of aloe vera gel for natural hair!! Please see the link below for the original article written by Amina from Black Hair Planet Magazine. Thanks Amina!!

Several benefits of aloe vera gel that were highlighted:
  • detangles
  • moisturizes
  • activates fresh growth
  • heals and soothes damaged scalp
  • reduces dandruff, itchy scalp
  • balances pH level of hair
  • defines curls

Remember naturals, "Patience IS Progress!"


The Truth About Hair, Naturally