Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New rules, new staples.

Hey there everyone

So, I told y'all that i am on a weight loss journey. Anyone who is anyone that has ever attempted one will tell you that this tends to be on of the hardest things you'll ever do. Temptation is everywhere!!! As a consequence I have learned a couple of things over the past few weeks that I've been on a new journey and hopefully the last one ever. At the end of this I plan to be slender and strong and STAY that way. So I figured why not do a quick #fitnessfriday post on a Tuesday?

Fitness Friday

One of the things that I have learned is to prepare food ahead of time. It stops you from giving into stupid cravings which will end up being the down fall of your weight loss plans. The second thing, and I feel that this walks hand in hand with beforehand preparation, is to do smart grocery shopping. I am one of the laziest people you will EVER encounter. They say most women dream of finding the perfect partner/husband/man/ect. Me? I dream of being able to eat whatever I want and NOT gain weight. Because that is as far removed from my reality as me getting it on with Captain America, I needed to get smart about what I actually buy at the store and thus have in my house.

Hey there good looking!!
Fish has become a staple. And I specifically look out for cuts and pieces and brands that allow me to either microwave or steam or oven bake, that way avoiding preparing it with any additional fat. Fish fry is out of the window for me, and honestly, I don't miss it.

Steamed Thai curry hake, steam vegetables and a side of chunky guacamole. Took me about 15 in total to prepare.

Lemon pepper oven baked hake, caulirice and a herby tomato salsa. 

Oven baked haddock fillet and Greek salad using apple cider vinegar and herbs as dressing

My staples! 
As y'all can see, I vary the taste of my fishy meals but one theme runs through out - each one of these plates that you see has less than 250 calories in energy, are very low in fat and has next to zero carbohydrates. They're delicious and don't taste like diet food. Remember, eating healthy does not mean eating bland, tasteless food.

So, what has been your saving grace in the quest to live healthy (and perhaps shed a few pounds?) Till next time y'all!

Fitness Friday

Friday, May 15, 2015

My other journey

Hey there y'all

Yes, I am on  a bit of a weight loss journey as well, only this time it's different. 

Fitness Friday

I have almost always been on a diet! My whole life I have been chunky, husky, chubby, fat, obese, a risk to my health and life and I am busy changing that. I am on this journey with my GP by my side. I take supplements up the wazoo, I have cut out practically all starches, carbs and sugars, I drink water like it's going out of fashion and I am trying to eat as clean and organically as possible. Weight loss is 70% nutrition and 30% exercise, and trust me I have been focusing on my nutrition.

So, in the coming weeks I am planning to update y'all more frequently here on Fitness Fridays, but I didn't want to start until I could see for myself that the discipline is actually paying off. 

so, without further ado:

Changes aren't always huge. But now that I can see an actual change and difference I am super motivated. I will not give up, I will not relapse, I will soldier on, I WILL make it. 

PS I lost 13 pounds in one month. Only a million more to go (well that's how it feels in my head, lol)

Have a great weekend everybody!!

At last, at last!

Hey there all!

So, my life has been a little topsy turvy, but I need to update y'all quickly on what's going on with my hair, including how my washdays have changed in general.

The Wash Day Experience

So, wash days: As y'all know I have been struggling with tons of new growth, shedding and breakage and just trying to get my hair under control! Being 6 months post is no joke, and in all honesty, I don't think I'm ready for transitioning, nor am I ready for a big chop. So, the past couple of wash days my mission was to infuse lots of moisture and to strengthen the line of demarcation with layers of protein. So generally lots of coconut oil during the prepoo process and strengthening leave in conditioners. Also, a bit of "experimentation" regarding deep conditioners, since I brought a boat load with me back from the UK.

So let's start with my experiences with a few of them, and first off Roux Porosity Control and Corrector.

As y'all know, I have always said that my hair is quite porous. When roller setting I ALWAYS need to have a spritz bottle of water nearby as my hair air dries quicker than i can roller set. So I got this and tried it for the first time a couple of wash days ago, and I must say, I like it. It's quite slippy and my hair did feel stronger and more supple after using it. Also, my natural hair (which at stage was about 2 inches worth, LOVED it. I have no discernible curl pattern but after rinsing the Roux it looked as if mini ringlets wanted to pop. If I ever go natural, I think that THIS must be a complete staple just for that fact alone!

The next issue that I felt needed to be seriously tackled was the SHEDDING. Like a husky in the summer baby, I was being driven nuts with the amounts of hair I had in my hands after every stage of my wash day regimen. Again I turn to something I found in London. 

So, I have never before heard of nuNaat as a brand but I have read of girls extolling the benefits of garlic in reducing shedding, so when I saw this in a little hole in the wall beauty supply store in Barking, I grabbed it. Also, LOVE! Going to use it again SOON - slippy, very light nice scent (no garlicky smell whatsoever) and it's been a week since I used it - i notice MUCH less shed hair in my comb, so that's a start!

Next up, my new staple leave in.

I have been reading about this leave in conditioner for years! I am about to add myself to the ranks of people who love this leave in. Why? Let me count the ways:

  • Big ass jar!!! Generally I hate tubes and stuff where you have to pump out your product so THIS is awesome.
  • A little goes a long way! I've used it three times now and the last time I opened the jar it still looked like it has never been used!!! 
  • Did I mention BIG ass jar? Now combine that with a little going a long way - this thing is going to last a LONG time, which I am a big fan of!
  • My hair has been feeling stronger and softer since I started using it. I still use the MoroccanOil leave in as well, y'all know that is a massive staple for over a year now, but the Cantu is here to stay. (Side note: i need to start a little fund for all these foreign products that I love so that I can import them at ridiculous prices when they finish.)
Other than that, it has been same old same old.

So, news is - I relaxed my hair! After 6 months, two of which I really struggled. 

I self relaxed with the help of my friend, using my staple ORS No Lye for Girls. 
As I've told y'all before, I have a sensitive scalp, even when I base the hell out of it and this kit has been perfect for me for years! Even though it is a milder formula I still add a good table spoon or two of oil to the mixed relaxer, not to texlax, but to give me a few grace minutes. This kit has everything you need, I however did add an additional step - a protein treatment after neutralizing and before using the moisturizing DC they include in the kit. I used Palmers Protein pack and i loved it. Left my hair a bit stiff but that was corrected once I applied the moisturizing DC. 

Then I applied Bone Strait as my leave in and roller set. I LOVE my hair right now. It's STRAIGHT and smooth and soft and all kinds of awesome. Also, now I have at least a good 3 months that I can pamper and take care of it and focus on length retention instead of worrying about the thicket of new growth. It does have that bit of stiffness though that FRESHLY relaxed hair tends to have from the mineral deposits. So this weekend I am planning to wash my hair with a good chelating shampoo and then I will also take lots of pics so that y'all can see what is currently going on on top of my head. 

In meantime, tell me about your experiences with the above products that I've been using? 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Liebster Award 2015

Hola hola!!

So, Yvette from Hard Mashona Type nominated me for the Liebster Award - thank you hon!!

Now the rules for the award are:

1.Tag the person's blog who nominated you in your post.
2. Nominate 11 bloggers with no more than 500 followers
3. Ask 11 questions to your nominees.
4. Let your nominees know they have been chosen.
5. Post your answers to the questions you answered
6. Don't forget to comment on this post with your link so I can see how you answered the questions.

So here goes - my answers to Yvette's questions:

1. Who/what inspired you to start blogging?

Well, I actually started blogging just to write again, I've always liked writing. A few years ago though, whilst sitting in tears of frustration, I started searching for advice on how to deal with my hair. As a consequence I found the hair blogosphere, filled with ladies who have grown their hair, that looks just like mine, to unimagined lengths. These first ladies not only showed me the way regarding actually CARING for my hair, but they also were my initial inspiration to document my journey in this blog and they were Ebony from Longing4Length, Jeni from Just Grow Already and Nadege from Relaxed Hair Health. 

2. What has blogging help you to achieve?

Apart from my hair being longer than ever before in my adult life, blogging also introduced me to these wonderful women all around the world! I can talk to them, and ask for advice freely. When I write a post, I imagine that we're all sitting with a cup of coffee and discussing our latest hair wins and fails. In my real life, outside of the hairblogging world, my friends come to me regarding any hair queries, which I appreciate, because it shows me that they value my advice and opinion. 

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you want with you?

Well, we're assuming immediately that there is an abundance of fresh water, fresh fruit and shelter on this island. That being said I would want: 
  • My person
  • A fully charged satellite phone - I'm not planning to be stranded long, thank you very much
  • Sunscreen
  • A very slippy moisture rich conditioner
  • Rum (yes, just like Jack Sparrow)
4. If given the opportunity, which country would you like to live and work in for a year?

It's a toss up between the USA, the UK and Australia. Since I have lived in the US for almost a year and I have been to the UK very recently, I guess Oz wins this round. Of course, the perfect scenario for me would be to live and work in New York, earn a ridiculous amount of money which I will save up and then at the end of that year just travel for 3 months.

5. What is the one thing you love most about your home country?

Namibia is a beautiful country. Still very young, as we've only recently celebrated our 25th year of Independence. We are however a peaceful country and one of the most stable in all of Africa. The people are friendly and hospitable and welcoming. The one thing I love MOST though is the fact that I only have to drive 15-20 minutes from my front door to find myself in unspoiled nature, even though the city is just around the corner.

6. If you had $50,000 to give to charity, which charity would you donate to and why?

I would donate it to charity that provides shelter for abused women and children. Domestic violence is unfortunately quite prevalent and our city does not really have facilities for women to escape to in order to get away from their abusive husbands or partners. So, I would donate it to a halfway house that can truly protect as well as council these women. 

7. Can you tell us 3 random facts about you?

  • I'm a complete and utter Potterhead. I have read all the Harry Potter books multiple times, I've seen all the films multiple times and I've visited Warner Bros Studios: The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden, UK. Also, I wear a golden snitch around my neck. 

  • I still have flights of fancy of being "discovered" as a singer. I love singing and I karaoke a lot and I'm quite good, if I say so myself. 
  • I have a deviated septum, which gives me so much grief. Chronic sinusitus is probably one of the most annoying of conditions. So, I'm planning to undergo surgery before the end of this year to have it fixed.  

8. If you were on an episode of Come Dine with Me, which celebrities, alive or deceased, would you want to compete with?

  • Jennifer Lawrence, definitely. I predict a fun night with her at the table. 
  • Mike Shinoda, the MC and vocalist of my favourite band ever - Linkin Park. 
  • Theo James - the very simple reason of him being HOT. I think he is seriously one of the most attractive men I have ever laid eyes on. 
  • Michelle Rodriguez - because she is one badass chick! I love strong women that don't any crap from anybody. Also, she'll probably bring the tequila, lol!
9. Book version or movie version?

Book version, always!!! It's extremely rare that the movie version truly matches the book. But there have been some pretty good book-to-movie adaptations lately, specifically the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games trilogy. I usually make a point of reading the book before seeing the film, although sometimes when I was not aware of the existence of a book, then I will seek out the book after enjoying the film. 

10. What do you love most about what you do (work or school)?

The constant evolution of the law, the opportunity to continue learning, the chance to make a difference. 

11. What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I barely know what I hope to accomplish in the next 5 days, lol. I want everything, I want to see everything, I want to experience everything...Of course I wish for advancement in my career, who doesn't. But personally, within the next five years I would like to OWN a home of my own. Property prices here are ridiculous and it's going to take a lot of saving, planning and praying for me to be able to buy a house. But yeah, that's front and center. 

I herewith tag and nominate the following awesome bloggers for this award:

and I hereby post to y'all the following questions:

  1. Do you have a favorite designer? If you do, who is it and why?
  2. What movie most recently made you shed a tear or two?
  3. What's your dream car? 
  4. If there's one hair care product that you would universally recommend, what would that be and why?
  5. What are the top three items on your bucket list?
  6. If someone offered you free plastic surgery, what procedure would you have done?
  7. What music do you listen to during a workout?
  8. How long have you been on your healthy hair journey?
  9. Do you have any tattoos and/or piercings? If yes, tell us about them. 
  10. Favourite book and why?
  11. White picket fence in the suburbs or penthouse in the city?
There we go! Looking forward to reading yours, and so learn a little more about y'all. 

Till next time!

Adios amigos! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Re-evaluating my needs

Hey there y'all! 

Trust everyone has had a great week behind them. I am having a good hair week, FINALLY, for the first time in a while. I'm STILL struggling with breakage and shedding, but my hair feels stronger and more moisturised and more supple this week than it has in a while, so clearly I did something right this past wash day. 

Now, just quick update on what's actually going on on top of my head. I did not document when I last relaxed my hair, but I do know that it was before my birthday last year, which falls in early December. So roughly calculating from the week of my birthday, I'm about 20 weeks post relaxer, which explains the mop of new growth that I'm dealing with. This was also a very much unintentional stretch - colouring my hair and putting in twists and going to London and my very trusty hairdresser moving to another town 800 km away all contributed to me not "getting my hair did". As y'all know, I am NOT a fan of multiple textures and trying to find the happy middle ground of dealing with them, so y'all can expect one of two things happening in the near future - a relaxer update or a big chop, cause I'm DONE! Note - I am not going to transition. Ever. If I go natural, it'll be a big chop. I truly cannot stand working with multiple textures, they drive me insane!

Secondly, I cut off about an inch of hair all by myself - the raggiest of the raggedy ends, in order to curb some of the freaking breakage. And I think it worked, I haven't seen short broken hairs in my hands since. But I'm still trying to curb the demarcation line breakage. I suspect that this past wash day was the first step into the right direction, as I'm starting to think that I have concentrated so much on moisture the past few months, that I have thrown off the moisture-protein balance in my hair and THUS it's breaking like crazy. 

Thirdly, one my of my best friends have a birthday party this week themed "Great Gatsby" and I'm planning to wig it up for the party. To do this I'm planning to have my hair cornrowed on Friday and then in the process also have a protective style for a week or two whilst wigging it up. Yes, I DO realise that this might cause me to stretch even longer and that the relaxer or big chop might not happen for another couple of weeks. BUT I feel that doing this is a healthier option for the themed party than trying to manipulate my own hair into a 1920's worthy style. It's also getting cooler this side of the world and protective styling during the winter has been my go to since I started this journey 3 years ago. 

Okidokie, let's get stuck into this week's #washdayexperience, which essentially led to the above realizations. 

The Wash Day Experience

My look the day BEFORE wash day - a little pompoudour and french plaited in the back - had this protective style for 3 days straight.

My prepoo mix - as y'all can see, EVERYTHING contains argan/Moroccan oil as an  ingredient. 

Hair lost during the prepoo and detangling process, primarily shedding, but still significant breakage. 

As the pics above detail, I wore a french braid with a pompoudour for 3 days straight as a protective style before my wash day. On my wash day I mixed up my prepoo mix, this time, as you can see, using primarily the last bit of all my AVON Advance Techniques conditioners as well as the last of my Sunsilk conditioner. I also added a CRAP load of sunflower oil, feeling that it's time that I reintroduce ceramides into my hair regimen. I finger detangled and applied my prepoo mix in six separate sections, twisting up each section as I go along. During the prepoo application process I collected every single hair and ended up with too much for my liking. After applying the entire prepoo mixture I wrapped up my hair in a plastic cap, my shower cap and my AVON microfibre head wrap and promptly became a lazy bum in front of the TV. 

Prepoo chilling - still cute though, lol!!
It was a LONG prepoo session, because I forgot to put on the geyser before I started, so after sitting for about 45 minutes I wanted to go shower and continue with the rest of my washday process, but I can't do cold showers, nope, nope, lots of nope. So I then switched on the geyser and proceeded to wait for the water to warm up, a time period during which I watched an episode of something. so essentially, at the end of the day my prepoo alone was 2 hours long!

My shampoo - it's the business!

Smoothing and detangling conditioner - I need more!!!

My deep conditioner - first time experience. 

Staple leave ins. HE Bee strong is on it's last legs though.

So, water finally warm and I'm in the shower. Shampooed with Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Shampoo. I forgot how nice this shampoo works - uber lather but my hair didn't feel stripped. 

Then I dived for the HE Hello Hydration Conditioner as my smoothing and detangling conditioner. now, on a previous wash day I had massive tangles and knots, mainly due to the multiple textures and very thick new growth. So, I decided to go to my OLD method, that used to work 2 years ago, but I somehow abandoned - finger detangling at every step of the wash day process. So, starting at the nape I separated a section, pinning the rest up with a claw clip, and then with some Hello Hydration I started to finger detangle my hair. This conditioner has awesome slip, the knots easily slipped out, the tangles were not very big competition for this conditioner. I did this section by section, moving forward on my head until my entire head was covered in conditioner and finger detangled. Unfortunately, this method also means more manipulation and since my hair has not been in its ideal state, this also led to more shedding and breakage. 

Total amount of hair lost in the shower during rinsing, shampoo, conditioner detangling, rinsing, DC application and rinsing. 
After rinsing the Hello Hydration I deep conditioned with Elasta QP Intense Fortifying Hair Conditioning Treatment. I've only ever read about this conditioner as it is SO NOT available in my country. So on my recent trip to London I picked up a LOT of products that I've only been dreaming of and this was one of them. It was the first time using it and looking at the ingredients list and description it seems like a mild protein DC, but with plenty of moisturising agents. So, I applied it liberally in sections. It also has a nice slip but it also feels slightly tacky. I didn't really care for how it felt in my hands. It also did absorb or penetrate into my hair as quickly as I hoped, but I could see that should I go natural that my hair would LOVE it, because the curls in my new growth suddenly started popping a bit. I again wrapped up my hair and ended up on the couch. The instructions say to condition for 10 minutes, but I suspect I DC'd for about 45 minutes to an hour. When I rinsed, my hair felt quite strong without feeling dry.

I then applied my leave ins of MoroccanOil Treatment and HE Bee Strong Conditioning Creme and proceeded to rollerset my hair with my normal rollers. I used Ebony's, from Longing4Length, 3 comb method to again detangle and then rollerset, of course spritzing the hair as I went so to ensure that the hair is wet to ensure it be as smooth as possible. 

Hair lost during the rollersetting process. 
I then let my hair air dry in the rollers until completely dry. When I took out the rollers many hours later it was already getting late and I felt exhausted. I thus just combed my hair into a ponytail and wrapped it with my satin scarf. 

It's been a couple of days since that wash and my hair has been behaving better than it has the week before, that's for sure. It feels stronger, it looks smoother, it feels and looks softer. I've kept my styling and handling very simple - sleep with the satin scarf (that OF COURSE slips off in the middle of the night), use my rake comb when styling, wear a pony tail or pin up, massage a little bit of Jamaican Black Castor Oil pomade (also a London buy) into the roots and ends. 

Day 4 hair - pulled back into a ponytail with the bangs banging. 

My next wash day might be either tomorrow or Thursday, in preparation for the cornrows for the wig for Friday's party. BUT I am going to repeat all of the above steps and see if incorporating more protein on wash day via the Elasta QP might actually SOLVE my breakage issues once and for all! Hopefully, the hair balls will be significantly smaller. Here's to getting my hair back on track!!

Hope your wash days were awesome! If you haven't yet, join the Wash Day Experience and tell the rest of us how you keep your mane in check. 

Till next time ladies! Adios!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A whole new wash day experience!

Hey there y'all!! 

So, I promised you that I will be more active and prolific from now on, and I come to deliver with a wash day post. I haven't done one in a while basically because I haven't done much. I have been skimping on pre-poo and DC sessions (I know! Sacrilege!), I have SO much new growth even though I'm only a bit over 12 weeks post (I'm NOT sure how much, I just know that I last relaxed in December, between my birthday and Christmas, okay maybe I'm 14 weeks post)

So, I started off with a decent prepoo, using a little mixture of old conditioners and some kitchen basics. 

My pre-poo mix

So, I made a prepoo mixture of Sunsilk Argan Oil Conditioner, Avon Advance Techniques Supreme Oils Conditioner, honey, coconut oil and salt. The latter I have read about on a couple of blogs, that it also increases the moisturising abilities of conditioners. So, mixed it all together, slapped it on, rubbed it through and then covered my hair with a plastic cap and a beanie and started watching Troy. 

Amount of hair lost during detangling when I applied the prepoo mix.

My prepoo selfie, lmao!

I chilled for a while, then shampooed with Avon Advance Techniques Supreme Oils shampoo. When I rinsed the prepoo, my hair felt SO ridiculously soft!!! I then just did a quick smoothing conditioning with the Sunsilk conditioner and THEN I did my first HARD protein treatment ever!

Remember I told y'all that I bought a bunch of new products in London that are generally unavailable in Windhoek, and one of those beauties was the Aphogee Two Step Protein treatment. 

Guys, this thing stinks! I swear, it smells like rotten eggs and smelly feet mixed together. It also has a very runny consistency. i didn't have a spray bottle this time, but next time I will definitely rather use a spray bottle to apply this stuff. 

So I applied it all over, concentrating on my ratty ends. I kept it on for about 5 minutes until I started feeling my hair getting hard from the product. I then rinsed it as gently as possible. Even after all the protein was gone my hair still felt super stiff, so I gave it another quick smoothing with the sunsilk conditioner before deep conditioning with another self made mix. 

Amount of hair lost during the shampoo, protein, rinsing and DC application and rinsing processes. 

My DC mix
As y'all can see, my DC mix mirrors my prepoo mixture, with the conditioner changing to Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends, also picked up at Boots in London. Side note: Honey, coconut oil and salt are now officially staples to add to ANY conditioner to up it's quotient into DC territory. 

Same routine - plastic cap, beanie and continue watching Troy. I cannot recall how long my DC session was, I get lost in time when I watch Troy (I mean, who wouldn't??)

Then rinse, my hair feeling super soft, but stronger than it's felt in months. Thank you Aphogee!!! Also shout out to Ebony and KLP for the advice last night via Twitter!

I then applied my leave ins - MorrocanOil Treatment and Herbal Essences Bee Strong Creme, the latter also a London pick up (I told y'all, I LOST MY MIND) and proceeded to rollerset on big orange perm rods (yep, also new. Judgement free zone).

Leave ins

I'm tired, it's getting late and trying specific rollers for the first time is always a little bit of a bitch

Not bad for a first time I thought.
By this time, it was closing in on midnight, so I decided to just sleep with the rods. It wasn't too uncomfortable, actually WAY more comfy then curl formers AND flexi rods. 

So, this morning I took out the rods and then separated the curls just a little bit and that's all she wrote. Lord knows how long they will actually last since as you can see i didn't use a drop of holding product. 

BTW, I apologise for the pics quality, my phone suddenly takes not as cool pics as a week ago, need to have it checked out. 

Anyhoo, my hair LOVED all the products I used and ESPECIALLY loved the actual attention I gave it for a change. Complacency is officially out the window, I'm back in the hair journey saddle! Be sure to check out all the posts from The Washday Experience where we all learn something new every day.

Have a great Tuesday everybody! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Re-surging motivation

Hey there everyone.

I know that I have been missing for a while, and I apologise. I wasn't really motivated to blog as I wasn't really motivated to give my hair the 110% it needs and deserves. I have been in a rut as well as quite busy at work. My hair hasn't been feeling great, I feel like I need to get rid of about an inch as well. There have been days where I felt like cutting it all off and starting this whole hair journey business all over again from scratch. See, I just was not in a good place to blog about my hair.

The past couple of weeks I've been in London for a training course, and managed to find a whole lot of products that I've only ever read about, that aren't available in my country. I went a little nuts, to the point that I had to pay for excess baggage when I checked in for my flight home. Primarily due to all the new goodies I am now again looking forward to washdays and trying out new styles and following my regimen the way it should be followed.

The next few posts will thus also be a lot of experiments due to all the new products in my bathroom. Of course I focused on conditioners and deep conditioners and leave in conditioners, buying only what is unavailable in Namibia and focusing on products that fellow bloggers have raved about and that are almost universally loved by the hair blogosphere. So, 2015, or at least the next 6 months of it, is going to be all about new experiences with the tresses. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with you.

First things first though. Either today or tomorrow I am going to trim my ends. Nothing major, but my ends are really ratty and thin and awful and they need to GO. I'm planning to do that via a full wash and rollerset, with brand new shears.

Until then, have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Almost two months...

Hey there everyone.

I just realised that I haven't written a blog post in over a month, almost two months actually, and I apologise for my disappearance. I have been feeling a disconnect to my hair. It's still breaking. And I'm exhausted trying to get it back on track. I am strongly considering simply putting it into box braids or twists this coming weekend and be done with it for the summer. I just can't deal anymore. Moisturising, protein treatments, minimal heat, nothing is working and helping. So I am kind of throwing in the towel and going to protective style through out the heat and humidity that is an African summer.

On another note, I told you ladies that I have started actually looking better after myself with the help of a dietitian and biokineticist. I had an evaluation yesterday and the results are in. Centimetres lost around my waist, lower abdomen and upper arms. Centimetres gained (muscle though, so yay!) around my chest. No change with my legs though, then again it doesn't surprise me, I have always had muscular calves and big thighs even when I was at my slimmest. 5.5 pounds lost, which sound like very little BUT I still did the happy dance yesterday because I shaved off a whole FIVE percent of BODY FAT!!!!! Which means that the scale is a bit of a liar, considering that clearly I've gained muscle. Don't believe the scale ladies!!

So here's my action plan for the majority of summer:

"Forget" about my hair - I am going to protective style using either box braids, twists or cornrows. This will also help to not stress about it during my workouts. Whilst in protective style, I'm going to moisturise like a crazy person using a spritz. Hopefully when fall hits, my hair will be in a much better condition than it is currently as well as actually be full APL. I will keep each protective style in for 4-6 weeks at a time, with a two week resting period in between. I'm sick and tired of struggling! And the most important reason - I don't want my hair interfering with my exercise regime anymore!


Work out like a beast! I recently moved to a new apartment complex. Right next to it they are in the process of building a small lifestyle centre which will include a gym. One of the incentives for new tenants was a 3 month gym voucher if you move in. So, apart from going to biokinetics 3 times a week, I plan to work out an additional 2-3 days a week in the gym right next to my apartment building. I plan to shave off at least an additional 3% body fat by January 2015 at least.

Right now I am very much focusing on shedding fat, gaining lean muscle and losing centimetres. The scale is not my friend and it actually depresses me, so I'm throwing away the scale. Besides, skinny girls look good in clothes. Fit girls look good naked. I wanna look good naked, lol. In addition, since it's summer, I am going to try and get to a swimming pool as much as I can. Swimming is an AWESOME full body workout, and it's way more fun than throwing the weights around. (Although I must admit, I do like strength training way more than cardio.)

Not sabotage my diet during the festive season. This is a tricky one. As it is summer here and the majority of us take our annual vacation time during December, there will be braai's (barbecues to my American lovelies) galore, so heaps and heaps of red meat (I'm African! There's no such thing as veggie burgers for us, lol), potato salad, garlic bread and cocktails. In addition to that, Christmas is only 4 weeks away, and we cook (and eat) like maniacs on Jesus' birthday. Which can be detrimental to ANY diet/eating plan.

So, first of all, I am going to substitute whiskey or scotch for all the sugar laden cocktails and ciders. It, along with vodka, has the lowest calorie count of all alcoholic drinks, especially if paired with water instead of some soda mix. Luckily I like whiskey and scotch, lol.

Secondly, I need to stick to my plan and routine as strictly as possible during the week, as the braai's and frivolity usually occur over weekends and thus I may indulge a little more than if I were cheating during the week.

Thirdly, I need to take charge of potato salads and make the German version instead of the traditional mayonnaise laden version. Because the German contains no additional fats like mayo but vinegar instead, its GI count is lower and thus healthier. But still yummy!

And lastly, I am going to incorporate smoothies as much as possible. It's refreshing and if self made one is assured of what you take into your body. Unfortunately Christmas day might be a big bust up to the diet. Then again, Christmas comes but once a year!

So, for the next few months I think I may focus a little more on my health and fitness and weight loss journey than my hair, I will however try to start writing wash day posts again, just to motivate myself regarding what's going on on top of my head.

What's everybody else's plans for the festive season and summer? And to my lovelies States side, what are your plans for the winter?

Have a good one!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Long time suffering

Hello there everyone.

Yes, I have been slightly absent. A big reason for that is the fact that I have been feeling a disconnect to my hair and my journey. I fear that I am right in the middle of a set back.

As I told you in my last post, I have been experience a lot of breakage and shedding and very little has helped. Out of frustration I went to my stylist and we snipped off a good inch. I thought that getting rid of super raggedy ends would help curb the breakage, but to alas, to no avail. Well, not none, I'm still struggling though. My hair is still struggling to hold moisture, even after I infused more protein into my washes after recommendations from fellow bloggers and readers. I am experiencing demarcation breakage despite only being 6 weeks post. I am THIS close to relaxing my hair again and this time doing it myself and thus knowing that I'm doing it right. On the other hand I feel like starting a serious wigging or sew in regimen asap to hide my hair so as to help me retain some freaking growth. I am at the end of my wits.

What makes it harder is that for the past 4 weeks I have actually been on a much more active programme. I have been working with a dietitian and a biokineticicist, the former having me on a personalized eating programme and the latter grilling me on a personalized exercise regime. It's only been 4 weeks but so far I have dropped 9 cm (approximately 4 inches) around my waist and 3 pounds, so I am not going to quit. But it is not the greatest for keeping the hair in a good condition, my scalp and hair HATE sweat. So, Fitness Fridays ladies - HELP please. I work in a very staunch environment so  airdrying after washing after a workout does not work, my hair becomes a hot frizzy pouffy mess, especially as we are entering summer my side and the humidity levels are already ridiculous.

Seems like my post today is a lot of moaning and bitching, but I would really like some advice, would be much appreciated.

On the plus side of my life, I performed on stage for the first time in years at Song Night, a spring board event here in Windhoek for aspiring singers. I am not planning to sing professionally, but after having such good feedback and feeling amazing after my performance, I know that I will do it again. Here's a little pic of me on stage, unfortunately I could not upload a video clip. Hopefully next time I will have the foresight to have a clip in a suitable format.

Well, that's all from me for today. A lot of complaining and feeling despondent about my hair. Feeling hopeful and determined regarding my weight loss. And feeling proud about my debut on stage.

Have a GREAT week everyone. Till next time!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I don't know what's wrong!

Hey there y'all

Today is the wash day post where I am seeking advice, desperately.

As y'all know, I relaxed my hair 2 weeks ago. Well, I had a wash day this past weekend and all kinds of bad things were happening.

Firstly - my hair was SO underprocessed that I am strongly considering doing a corrective relaxer once I'm 6 weeks post. Secondly, during EVERY stage - detangling, prepoo, shampoo, DC, rollersetting - the breakage was heart attack inducing! The last time I experienced breakage of this magnitude was BEFORE  I started my healthy hair journey two and a half years ago. Thirdly, my hair is DRY! I have been TRYING since wash day to incorporate more moisture, to no avail. And lastly, I can simply TOUCH my hair and I end up with small broken strands in my hands. The shedding has also reached new levels of ridiculous. In total (sorry for the lack of pics) I lost a ball of hair the size of a plum! (sobbing over keyboard)

Quick recap of how wash day actually went:

1. Finger detangled my curls from my flexi rod set whilst applying my prepoo of Tresemme Naturals Moisturising Conditioner mixed with a lot of sunflower oil.

2. Left prepoo on for a good 4 hours, my day became hectic.

3. Shampoo with Tresemme Naturals Moisturising Shampoo, which had my scalp on fire for some reason!

4. DC with ORS Replenishing Conditioner for about 30 minutes.

5. Applied leave ins of MorrocanOil Leave In Treatment and TCB Bone Strait.

6. Proceeded to rollerset, and then left hair to air dry in the rollers.

4 hours of airdrying later I removed the rollers, wrapped my hair and went to bed. My hair looked smooth (I am an expert roller setter) but felt dry, full of static, it actually felt like straw. Since wash day I have been trying to moisturise and seal, using the D&L Amla Legend Wrapping Cream and coconut oil. My hair still feels like crap. It looks okay, but you ladies know looks are nothing compared to the feel and health of our strands.


The Wash Day Experience

(Going to go sob into a glass of wine now)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Flexirods: The debut!

Hey there everybody

So I know that I have been a little absent, but I blame the crazy flu that has been doing the rounds here in my neck of the woods, as well as a pretty hectic work schedule. I am also trying to finalise my travel arrangements so that I can go to on my mini European vacation without worries or stress. 

Hair wise a couple of things have happened though. I'm slightly pressed for time so please bare with me. 

I had my hair touched up at 29 weeks post. It was during the time that I was sick and I simply could NOT handle my thick new growth whilst battling influenza. So I went to a salon, and lucky for me, it being a Wednesday morning, they were empty and I could be helped immediately. It wasn't my regular salon that I went to. Because I was booked off and lying at home sick I went to one that was around the corner of my apartment and that always looked very professional. I took my own relaxer - the ORS Olive Oil for Girls No Lye Relaxer Kit. I was a complete pain in the butt too, giving instructions as they work. Unfortunately (I don't know why this happened) I did not get the results I wanted. This salon is never seeing me again and here's why:

1. Hair was a tangled mess after neutralizing AND conditioning. I insisted on detangling it myself because this woman wanted to start ripping through the knots!! She gave me a stink eye for saying I want to detangle myself and for that ALONE they will not receive my business again. 

2. She didn't do a proper job smoothing the relaxer. I did not want texlaxed hair and that's what I ended up with. Yes, it's still more manageable than my natural roots but now I STILL have two textures to contend with. And in about 6 weeks, it'll be three textures. I don't have the patience! Ain't nobody got time for that! I have self relaxed before using that exam same kit and I managed to get my hair processed to the desired level. So, there's another reason why I won't go back. 

3. They didn't have a decent leave in conditioner that they could apply prior to rollersetting. At this point I wanted to rifle through their products and simply pick one! I even asked to then simply apply a Wella serum that was standing on the counter and I was promptly rebuffed and told that serums are applied after blow drying. EXCUSE ME??? It's MY dang hair! I know what it likes! Don't try to educate me when I'm a FIRST TIME customer! 

4. Lastly I had to BEG them to apply a heat protectant prior to blow drying and finishing off with the GHD flat iron. BEG! Can y'all believe this nonsense?! 

At least my hair looked nice walking out and the resulting blowout lasted over a week and remained soft and moisturised. But they will not be seeing me again.

Last week I realised that my hair needs a serious shot of protein. And I was sick of having pin straight hair. So I bought two packs of flexi rods and set myself up for wash day. Here's a brief synopsis of how it went:

  • Pre-poo using Dove Daily Conditioning Treatment for Colour Treated hair. Left on overnight covered with a plastic showercap and scarf.
  • Shampoo using Avon Smooth as Silk shampoo containing silk proteins. I LIKE this shampoo. Hair felt clean without feeling stripped. 
  • Instant condition with Dove Hair Fall Rescue conditioner. I don't like. Won't repurchase. No slip. Does not feel moisturising at all. 
  • DC with ORS Replenishing Conditioner. Staple!
  • Put in leave in of Smooth as Silk Serum from Avon and proceeded to set with flexi rods for the first time ever. First mistake - I did not have enough rods. I need to buy at least 1 more pack of ten. Second mistake - hair started drying as I was rolling and I did not re-wet it sufficiently so my ends came out a little wonky. Third mistake - not taking time into consideration. I had two birthday parties to attend later in the day and although I used my hand held dryer on the medium setting to speed the drying process along, some parts were still damp when I started to unroll which also led to wonky frizzy ends. 
  • After almost 5 hours (washing, setting and drying time) I was already late so I pinned up the back and created a semi faux hawk, which everybody loved. And I still have curls today :-)
So, lessons learned - hair must be soaking wet when setting on flexi rods to ensure a smooth set and don't do a flexi rod set when pressed for time as the hair will not be sufficiently dry. Also practice makes perfect. This will NOT be the last set. Here's the results of my very first flexi rod set:

What was the biggest lesson y'all have learned this week hair wise? 

Have a cracking Wednesday!