Category: Beauty


Going Old School With My Hair

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I really hate that I had to cut my locs off a few years ago. I loved them so much, but hormonal changes after I had Kell really wreaked havoc with them and they became so fragile they began to break. I went natural back in 1998 and locced in 2005, well before the “natural hair revolution.” Back in the day there were really no good products available and many of us became “kitchen beauticians” as we devised our own hair care products based primarily on what we learned on various hair boards. I developed a very basic routine for my hair which I wore in two-strand twists almost all the time. I washed with Dr. Bronner’s, did an ACV rinse, then applied a home made shea butter, coconut oil, rosemary and sage blend. The only other product I used was Aveda Humectant because it gave my hair a nice sheen and I loved the scent. When I was locced I didn’t use any product at all. Just a weekly wash with highly diluted Dr. Bronner’s. This time around I was very excited about all the new products available for natural hair, and became a bit of a product junkie. And much to my surprise, I have found that I don’t like any of them. They leave my hair hard and dry. The shampoos in particular, were especially awful. They left my hair feeling stripped and fragile. My hair has been many things, but it’s never been hard and brittle, even when I was relaxed. So, yeah, you guessed it, it’s back to the tried and true. I blended up a batch of my shea butter blend and used it on my hair after washing. My hair was like, “Gurl, where the hell you been?” It so soft and moisturized I just can’t stand it. I was really worried because I was starting to think maybe it was a hormonal thing. But no, my hair just likes old school.

Beauty Tips

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I’ve mentioned before that since Kell’s birth I’ve become quite the schlumpadinka. I decided to kick up my game just a little bit. With some pointers from the fabulous Erica B. I got out of sweats and into something a bit nicer. I needed something that I could slip into as easily as sweats, but with a little more panache. She suggested pullover sweaters, button up shirts and loafers, and she was right. It gives my look a bit of oomph, but since I bought the sweaters and shirts at Target it’s not a tragedy if something is spilled on them.

I don’t generally wear makeup, mainly because I don’t have time, but I know I look better with a little something. I needed an under 5 minute routine that would have me out the door in a flash. Afrobella did a blog post on BB creams. I’d seen these mentioned in fashion mags, but didn’t know they came in deep colors, or were available at mass retailers like Target. She suggested one by Maybelline. This is crucial for me, because anything that requires a trip to the mall simply isn’t happening. I tried the BB cream  yesterday and it is gorgeous. So my basic routine is moisturize, BB cream, bronzer and lipstick. Last night for my fourteenth wedding anniversary, I smoked up my eyes a bit and added more powder. Looked great and most importantly, it didn’t take a lot of time.

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I’ve been searching high and low for a new moisturizer. I love Hope in a Jar, but it’s really too pricey to buy on a regular basis. After googling about I found this one. It’s less than $5.00 so I wasn’t expecting much. I was amazed at the level of moisture. And I have really dry skin that tends to look drab in the wintertime and this really helps. The fragrance is a bit off-putting, and I thought it might trigger my eczema, but so far, no worries. It’s light and non-greasy. Simply awesome.

And here’s my last little. I totally love Philosophy’s Vitamin C powder, but it too is out of reach price-wise. I’ve been looking for a replacement for nearly a decade now and think I’ve found it. Actually, I already had it and didn’t realize what I had.

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I buy these Vitamin C crystals for cold season to help give our immune systems a boost. It never occurred to me to use it on my skin until I read someone else’s review. Brilliant! It’s not as finely milled as the Philosophy product so I have to dissolve it in a little water. I keep a spray bottle on my sink for spritzing my hair, so I spray a little in the cup of my hand, and then put a quarter teaspoon of this powder in. It dissolves quickly and I spread it over my face, neck and décolletage, really any area that’s looking drab including my hands and elbows. Afterwards, I slather on my moisturizer, and there you go. It’s $18 for a pound as opposed to $35 for a quarter ounce. Now that’s WINNING! Vitamin C oxidizes rather quickly, so I take it out of the bottle it comes in and put it in a dark colored bottle I use for aromatherapy. I keep the big bottle in the closet so it’s not exposed to light and we still use it for colds. I love a product that multi-tasks.

Oh, you’ll be seeing this picture of me EVERYWHERE. It’s the first picture I’ve taken in years that I actually like!

Hairline Tragedy Part II

I finally broke down and got some Rogaine. I was hesitant because once you start using it you have to use it forever or the hair it grows falls out. But I’ve been doing natural remedies for more than a year now and haven’t seen any improvement. I’ve tried to wear scarves and headbands to conceal the fact that my hairline is gone, but I finally had to reconcile myself to the fact that they give me a headache. So yeah, I’ve got to grow some hair! I get the generic Rogaine. It’s about $20 for a three-month supply. You apply a dropperfull to the bald areas twice a day. It smells pretty strongly of alcohol and I figure that can’t be good, so I’ve also been using Profectiv Temple balm. It seems to be very moisturizing. Haven’t got the Jamaican black castor oil yet. I’ll do that next week. I’m keeping my hair in protective styles, twists, and I won’t color anymore. Though that will probably only last until someone refers to me as Kell’s grandmother, AGAIN.

Both the Rogaine and the Profectiv claim results in three months. I’ve only been using them consistently for a couple of weeks and Whit claims he sees a definite improvement. I’ll post some pics when I have something worth posting. Anyone else use Rogaine? Did you have results? Did it fall out when you stopped?

Needs Sunglasses

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Been having lots of fun this summer with nail color. Until today my fave color was Essie Mojito Madness–a very vivid green. But this OPI color, Needs Sunglasses has me smitten. Finding the right green was hard, but finding the right yellow was damned near impossible. What do y’all think? A bit bummed as it took all summer to find this and summer is nearly over. Fortunately I’m in Atlanta and will be in sandals for at least another month or two.

My Girl Ain’t Got No Hair…

Ain’t nothing growing there…fave Army song, and quite apt for this photo. Yep, this is me post Big Chop sans hair. And for the record it’s not being nearly bald that bothers me, I’ve been here before. It’s not having a hairline. Seriously the stuff that having children does to your body should be illegal. Anyway, you guys wanted to see it and here it is. The TTWA is not a good look on me. I have a fat face, especially right now and my head is too big. But I have to live with this until it grows out. It’s too delicate right now to manipulate into twists, so I just moisturize, lubricate and sleep on my satin pillowcase. Shea moisture and a coconut oil spritz are my best friends. By January it’ll be long enough to do something with, which is a good thing because my hair hates winter.

Yep, I have about an inch of hair covering my scalp. It’s kinda strange to go from waist-length locs to NO HAIR in one afternoon. I had no choice. My hair always thins after I have a baby and the bases of my locs had gotten so thin they were starting to break. Whit assures me that I’m still sexy, but I’m thinking not so much. I have a mirror and right now I see a fat, bald, leaky mess. (Can you tell I’m a bit bummed about the whole thing? And no I will not be posting pictures. I look like I got the worse end of a fight with a flock of chickens.)  It’s REALLY bad. Normally I like having a TWA, but my hairline is gone as well and is VERY gray. I seriously look like I’ve had chemo and know I’ll get LOTS of questions. I can’t color right now because the hair coming in is very delicate. So I’m hitting the rosemary and coconut oil hard. Someone suggested taking biotin, but I don’t know whether that’s okay for a nursing mama. Any other ideas?

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