Category Archives: BEAUTY

Growth Challenge Update

It’s been a little over a month since I decided to go hard with a 6 month growth challenge.  Since then I’ve been pretty consistent with the rules I set in place for myself.  Lots of protective styling, H2O, vitamins, etc. and so far it definitely seems to be paying off.

The weather here in Florida has been in the low 70s, perfect for straight hair.  And so, I couldn’t help myself.  I tried a new product from the Cantu line (stay tuned for a review) and decided to straighten my hair.  I was extremely happy with the results.  Although there was heat application, I took care of my hair during the process and my straight hair has offered me some incredible motivation to continue the challenge.  Check out the comparison from when I first started the challenge to now. My hair is noticeably longer and more healthy after only 1 month!   I’m definitely feeling encouraged!

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Decisions Decisions

I have the honor of attending my best friend’s wedding this weekend as her Matron of Honor. So excited! I’ve been going back and forth on what type of hair style I should wear for her big day.  An updo is obviously the more traditional and formal way to go so I’ve been heavily considering some sort of twist updo style.  On the other hand I’ve been extremely tempted to straighten my hair.  There’s a cold front coming through the Tampa Bay area which would serve as the perfect weather for straight hair. I’m just not sure what I want to do.  Here are some of the updos I’ve found on Pinterest that I really like. Stay tuned!5792e51bab5a00f916fe9ec5fb7c8535 462730a851c241ae12653066ce0d0fb6 635773645626af0d9bbdd79dedd88d4c e2d5a98e2d7f457118b721d89f1d4e46

Pushing the Corporate Envelope

I LOVE pushing the envelope when it comes to wearing my natural hair at work.  I’m in a corporate environment Monday – Friday 7:30 to 4:30 so every day I do my hair in the morning I’m thinking of yet another way that I can do something a little more outstanding than the day before.  Being one of 3 african american individuals on the floor I work on, blending in isn’t really an option.  And I am truly thankful for that!  Outside of the fact that the Book calls me the salt of the earth, intended to offer a bit of spiritual flavor to an otherwise bland atmosphere, I love the idea of contradicting a corporately correct fit with a curly fro or super high mega bun.  I love being different.  My natural hair affords me the opportunity to be different every single day.  Holy Spirit lives in me and my every day goal is to change the atmosphere he puts me in.  Some love me and others love to hate me.  At the end of the day the only thing that matters is that I love me.

Don’t be afraid of wearing your natural hair styles at work. Don’t fear that they could potentially hold you back from advancement. God is your source, your job, is just a resource. Love yourself. Be yourself. And the next time you think about wearing that style you’re just not sure is ok for work…go for it. And don’t just wear it, OWN IT!

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So Twisted

I absolutely love the bun life. I have a different bun for every day of the week.  But this week, I decided to do small twists as my primary protective style.

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These twists took me about 4 hours to do.  I twisted on co-washed and conditioned hair (Tresemme Flawless Curls and Cantu leave-in).  Typically when I do these twists I prefer to use a locking creme like Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter along with my Eco Styler gel.  It just so happens that I was out of both of these fabulous products but was still committed to getting the twists done before the week began. I ended up only using Cantu’s Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment, a product I am heavily relying on during my growth challenge.  Consequently, because I didn’t use anything to really lock these twists in, I don’t expect them to last very long at all.  I’ll be really happy to make it to Friday.  Personally, I think that four hours of twisting for 4-5 days of not having to really do anything to my hair is a pretty great trade-off, but that’s just me!

I am moisturizing and sealing my ends at least every other day, if not every day with Bioinfusion Olive Oil Shine Serum and the Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment, Cantu’s Creamy Hair Lotion or Motions Hydrate My Curls Hair Pudding.

That’s about it!  Still protective styling and treating my hair for maximum growth! Off to drink two cups of water and take my vitamins. Let me know if you’d like to see a tutorial on these twists.  Be you beauties!

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Curly Support

I partnered with an incredible woman tonight who owns a fabulous fashion mobile boutique.  White Tent Runway  is leading the mobile boutique revolution in the Tampa Bay area and stays on the cutting edge of fashion trends.

I had the opportunity to talk to several ladies who are either natural or currently transitioning at the boutique’s first Friday event, Style Studio.  As I encouraged them on their journey’s and offered various natural hair tips based on my experiences I couldn’t help but think about the importance of that kind of interaction when you are in the midst of such a significant change as transitioning.

You may not realize it initially, but not everyone is going to be supportive of your decision.  Unless you are fully committed to your natural hair journey there is a good probability that you will not make it to the point of truly being able to enjoy your natural hair.   During your transition or post big chop people will look at you sideways and make rude remarks, and unless you are confident, know who you are and love yourself completely, you could easily be persuaded to give up on your journey and revert back to your relaxed hair. If you’re going to do this, you’re going to need curly support!

Staying encouraged by surrounding yourself with people who are supportive of your decision to embrace your natural hair texture is critical!  Find inspiration and motivation to stay committed to your journey through other naturals.  Visit YouTube and find channels that keep you positive.  I encourage you to check out my channel here.  Talk to other naturals that you know and trade products and tips.  Keep it fun.  This is an exciting time in your life.  Don’t let people who are  unsupportive bring you down.  The quote below sums it up  It’s only a matter of time before they start asking you how you achieved such gorgeous hair so don’t give up!

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Protective style for what!?

I hadn’t heard the term protective styling until I decided to do the big chop 2 ½ years ago.  Even after I took that huge step I was still clueless as to what protective styling was or the purpose it served to growing my natural hair.  I have worn a lot of protective styles while on my natural hair journey but not particularly for the sake of protecting my hair.  Historically, it has more so been about achieving a particular style or look.  If a style that I wanted to achieve happened to require twists or braids or another common protective tactic, I did it! Little did I know that in doing so I had been encouraging hair growth. 

Well, as I’ve taken the step of committing to my 6 month growth challenge I am being reintroduced to protective styling but looking at it in a way that I never have before. Part of the parameters of my challenge includes wearing protective styles at least 3 times a week.  In the past couple of weeks I had been finding myself a bit challenged trying to find something new to do with my hair but still adhere to the parameters within the growth challenge. So, to encourage myself so that I didn’t completely fall off the bandwagon, I researched the importance of protective styling so that I can continuously remind myself why it’s so important, especially during a growth challenge. 

  • Low Maintenance: Natural hair retains length better when it’s left alone.  Styles that do not require a lot of manipulation like consistent combing, twisting etc. will allow hair to grow faster.
  • Keeps Hair Soft: Protective styles tend to soak up the natural oils and moisture within your hair which allows it to remain soft.  I do notice a major difference in my hair at night when I’ve worn it out vs. when I’ve worn it in a bun all day.
  • Prevents Breakage: Hair that is often worn out has a tendency to break off because of loose ends that catch on to various fabrics from things like car seats and pillowcases. Wearing protective styles helps to prevent breakage so that hair will retain growth.

 So, whenever I wake up in the morning and have that “Protective style for what!?” attitude I can quickly come back with these powerful reasons. 

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Helping my hair grow with H2O

Last week I was sort of a slacker on my water intake so this weekend I’ve been on a serious H2O flow.  Generally speaking I think most people, including myself understand the importance of water and why it’s so important to drink a sufficient amount on a daily basis.  I don’t know about you but even given that understanding I still don’t always drink enough.  I’m fortunate that I actually enjoy the taste of water.  For me, the problem is that the day gets away from me before I’ve realized that I’ve hardly drank any.   Totally unacceptable!  Well, my hair challenge has given me another reason to remind myself of why water is so important, specifically for my natural hair growth.

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  • Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and we need it to maintain overall health.
  • One quarter of our hair strand’s weight is made up of water.
  • Water is the main source of energy for hair cells.
  • Water intake helps hydrates the body and helps to regulate the circulatory system. This feeds the hair follicle, and stimulates hair growth.
  • Drink 8 to 10 cups of water a day to stay hydrate.
  • Applying water to the hair is a big key to mitigating hair damage when it’s handled.  It makes hair softer and more elastic.

At the end of the day the thing to remember is that you need to be hydrated inside and out to keep your hair healthy.  I definitely plan to continue my H2O flow throughout this hair challenge and beyond.  Guess that’s  it for now.  Off to have a glass of water before I shut it down for the night.  Be You Beauties!

Feeling Myself

So, my growth challenge has got me really feeling myself!  Feeling incredibly encouraged and excited about my potential to reach my waist length goal, not necessarily within 6 months but perhaps in 12.  It’s amazing to me how one small initiative like a hair growth challenge can inspire you and build up your confidence.

I’ve been taking my all natural vitamins twice a day, playing with protective styles and trying to be more active. The big challenge this week has been drinking more water. Gotta find a way to get it in!

I did get a few new products that I’m really excited to try:  Cantu Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment, Bioinfusion Curl Cream, Motions Define My Curls Creme, and Motions  Hydrate My Curls Hair Pudding. Super excited about trying these products!

Check out my YouTube video below to find out more about my growth challenge as well as these products and how I plan to use them.

Well…one thing is for sure, my self-love is definitely on overtime!  I suppose the natural Be You Beauty thing to do to maintain  such a healthy level of confidence like this would be to find more positive, healthy initiatives to take on.  Who knows…this could be the beginning of something Be-You-tiful!

Challenge!

I seem to be in the beginnings of my usual seasonal go to of FALLing for straight hair.  Although I typically embrace my curly hair throughout the year I do enjoy spending some time wearing my straight hair when fall comes around since this is one of the few times of year that the Florida weather permits it.  After recently straightening my hair to trim my ends I thought it might be a great idea to start a 6 month growth challenge.  My 3 year natural hair anniversary is on April 3rd and I’m really curious to see what kind of hair growth I can achieve from now to then.

I’ve been researching various growth challenges that others have done to get an idea of some solid parameters I might be interested in.  I found a great 2-Year Waist Length Healthy Hair Challenge on Facebook with some rules that appealed to me and since this is my natural hair length goal I thought it was perfect.  What I love most about this challenge is that it includes so many other healthy elements that I could totally stand to make habits out of.   With that being said, there are also some parameters  here that will serve as extreme challenges  for me, all which I’ve notated below.  So,  I’ve decided to do my very best to adhere to these rules for the next 6 months.  I’ll do monthly updates on my progress.  Here’s a look at my starting point. I’m right around bra strap length.  Wish me luck!

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  • Wash/Cleanse your hair 1x per week
  • Always Deep Condition after every Wash & Hot Oil treatment followed by a Leave In Conditioner
  • Blot hair with a t-shirt & Air dry the hair 99% of the time
  • No heat (blow drying, flat iron, curling iron, etc.) until you’ve been in the challenge for at least 2 months, after that you’re allowed only one (1) Heat pass per month (Going to be tough since I love straight hair during the fall but, gonna do my best!)
  • Remain FAITHFUL to Moisturizing & Sealing your ends at least 3x a week to prevent breakage & split ends
  • Wear protective or low manipulation styles 3-5x a week (I LOVE trying new things with my hair so this will be tough!)
  • Take a hair growth aide or multivitamin if you choose to benefit the health & growth of your hair & body (Discuss this with your physician to see if this is appropriate for you & your health)
  • ALWAYS protect your hair at night with a silk/satin scarf and/or bonnet. Sleeping with a satin pillowcase will be beneficial as well.
  • Eat a healthy diet, eliminating fast food and as many processed foods as possible (I totally need to do this anyway! Will do my best HOWEVER Thanksgiving and Christmas are off limits! lol!)
  • Exercise at least 2-3x a week, whether it’s walking, running, jogging, aerobics, etc. Do something that will get your heart pumping & get your blood flow circulating. (Yep! Totally need to do this more consistently too!)
  • Drink PLENTY of water (Another one!)
  • Keep your hands OUT of your hair when you’re not styling or massaging it (Challenge!)
  • Every day, look in the mirror at yourself & say a positive affirmation about yourself to motivate yourself. (Critical for embracing my Be You Beauty!)
  • Take a picture of your hair before starting this challenge. At the end of every other month, take a picture and do a length check to track how your hair is coming along. Post a picture to the Wall whenever you are making progress for your encouragement and others encouragement & inspiration as well.
  • Periodically post how much growth you’ve had.

Anyone want to join me??!!  What would be your goal for a 6 month growth challenge?

Mad Morning Essentials

It’s hard not to feel good about yourself when you’ve had an opportunity to genuinely apply yourself in the morning. You’ve paired a perfect outfit for the season, created a new hairstyle sure to turn heads and finished it off with a sensational face beat. Unfortunately our realities don’t typically run this smooth. So, how can we assure self confidence in our appearances on those days when we can’t find anything to wear, our hair doesn’t cooperate and we struggle to find time to even apply foundation? Here are my essentials, especially for days like this:

1. Self love on point: this is where loving who you are really comes into play. Recognizing my natural beauty allows me to be confident even on days like this.

2. Mandatory JC check in: usually on days like this I’ve gotten off to a rough start which can have a negative impact on the rest of my day which shows! Getting some prayer/devotional time in during the morning and sporadically throughout the day helps to keep me positive and peaceful.

3. BREAKfast: Even if my rough morning has caused me to run late I always make sure to eat breakfast. A hungry tummy will only contribute to any festering negativity.

3. GLOSS: it’s amazing what a little lipgloss can do. On days when I don’t have time for a complete face beat I rely on my lipgloss. I find that it keeps me looking fresh throughout the day even when the rest of my face is naked.

That’s about it! Those are my mad morning essentials. The next time you’re facing a mad morning of your own try some of these ideas and see if they don’t help get you back on track

Be you beauties!