Weekly Roundup | March 23: Fitness and Beauty

Black Make-up Bloggers

Friday, March 20, 2015

I'm not the best at make-up. Outside of winged eyeliner and some bold, red lips, make-up is very foreign to me. So, I am always on the lookout for black make-up bloggers who can show me a thing or two. For the past few years, I have been following a few black make-up bloggers. I love their style, and they have been showing me everything from makeup application to new brands. And, as usual, I am sharing them with my readers.


* These are dark skin makeup blogger, which since I am dark skin, is very important so that I can get an idea of how certain colors will look on me. 

5 Healthy Snack Ideas

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Snacking drives me crazy. Why? Because I want something just as delicious as my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but without the hassle. Since I am studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), I am learning a lot about nutrition, specifically, that I need to have two of the three nutrients (protein, fat, or carbohydrate). This means, I can't just have an apple, I have to have an apple with a handful of peanuts...but wait, I hate peanuts (not peanut butter though). See, this is pretty difficult, lol. Well, lucky for me, Pinterest is a life saver, and it gives me tons of recipes. So here are five great snack ideas.

I love this because I didn't think of it, lol. Pear and prosciutto, I've never had them together, but you know what, I can see them working quite perfectly.
Photo Source: Bon Appetit

Very similar to the prosciutto and pear, peaches are wrapped in pancetta and drizzled with balsamic. If you can't find pancetta, no worries, just use bacon.
Photo Source: Food and Wine

This is actually a recipe for blueberry and grape jelly, but I love that it was on a piece of toast with some goat cheese. You have carbs from the bread and fat from the cheese, so it will keep you satisfied for a few hours. Oh, and no worries on the relish, you can use store bought jam. 
Photo Source: Martha Stewart

Y'all know I love my smoothies! This makes a perfect mid-morning snack. If you want it to taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, add some cacao powder.

Roasted Lamb and Yogurt on a Triscuit
I just discovered that Triscuit has a Pinterest with a bunch of recipes and spent like 20 minutes pinning them all, lol. This one is perfect if you have leftovers!
Photo Source: Pinterest | Triscuits

Burn Calories and Build Muscle with these 5 Tabata Workouts

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tabata workouts are great for burning a ton of calories and dropping the pounds fast. They're a great cardio and bodyweight workout that makes the most of your time. Fast and intense, adding them to your workout routine will help you lose weight, build muscle, and reach your fitness goals faster!

Do each exercise for 20secs, rest 10secs. Repeat each exercise 4 times before moving on to the next exercise. 

Tabata Workout #1
Squats
Push-ups
V-Ups
Jump Rope
Mountain Climbers

Tabata Workout #2
High knees
Tricep Dips
Burpees
Bicycle Crunches
180 squat jumps

Tabata Workout #3
Shoulder press w/dumbbell
Jump rope
Alternating Jump lunges
Jumping Jacks
Butt Kicks

Tabata Workout #4
Pike Push-ups
Burpees
Plank
Jump rope
Front Kicks

Tabata Workout #5
Jumping Jacks
Burpees
Plank
Sumo squat jumps
Push-ups

Check Out my Feature on CluelessCurl


Recently, I did an eco-friendly feature on the blog Clueless Curl. Check it out! Thank you Maggie for featuring me!

Weekly Roundup | March 16: Natural Hair, Fitness, Beauty, and Home Decor from Around the Web

Monday, March 16, 2015

I read a lot of articles and blogs on natural hair, fitness, beauty, fashion...basically, everything that my own blog covers, lol. Many are very much share-worthy, so I think it's definitely worth it to share what I am reading with my readers. So, here is a new series, the weekly roundup!

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

Last week, I wrote a post comparing natural hair and relaxed hair search trends. I got a lot of great feedback and interest on that post, and had a few requests about comparing natural hair to weave.* I already knew this would be a bit different compared to relaxed hair because weave has considerably more varied and popular search terms, and depending on which one, indicates the demographic as well. So I decided to compare a few different weave search terms including "weave hair," "remy hair," and "hair extensions."

As you can see in the picture above, all variations of weave trended higher than relaxed hair, which is interesting, but in a way makes sense. If natural hair is becoming more popular than relaxed hair, it doesn't automatically mean that women are wearing their natural hair, just that they aren't relaxing their hair. Weave hair and remy hair trended similarly. Remy hair was searched slightly lower than weave hair because it's a specific kind of weave.

Hair extensions was searched more than natural hair, but since 2013, the positions switched and natural hair was searched more than hair extensions, which has been trending downward. But, I should note that hair extensions isn't a term specific to black culture.

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

Unlike natural hair, weave hair, and relaxed hair, hair extensions had the most searches in the UK, Australia, Ireland, and the US, countries with a Caucasian majorities. 

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

If we drill down to the city level, we can see that hair extensions are most searched in UK cities. 

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

Looking at Remy hair revealed something interesting as well, specifically that compared to other countries, the Bahamas searches for Remy hair more than any other country. Another surprise was that Austalia and Canada are countries that have high searches for Remy hair. 

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

But, when we drill down to cities, U.S. cities search for Remy hair the most, with Detroit taking the top spot (...only because I've lived there, I'm not surprised to see Philadelphia on this list, lol).

So, are you surprised? I know I am! I know there is a stereotype that black women wear more fake hair than any other race, but this may put a wrench in that thought process. 

Search Trends in Natural Hair: Comparing Natural Hair to Weave Hair

Oh! And before I go, check this out, I wanted to see if crochet braids and Marley hair were becoming popular searches over the last couple of years, and I was right. I do want to add that if you see these two compared to natural hair, they are little blips and don't even trend as high as relaxed hair. But they are rapidly becoming popular.

*When I use the term weave, I speaking about hair extensions regardless of brand or how it's installed. 

Liquid Amino Acids Results on Natural Hair

frobunni waist length hair liquid amino acids
My blowout after using the liquid amino acids

I've read a lot about liquid amino acids (this is the Bragg's brand). Even before I was natural, I saw them in home beauty recipes for repairing damaged hair, nails, and even skin. After I went natural, I had saw it being totted as a more natural Brazilian Keratin Treatment, and in natural hair treatments such as the Cherry Lola method, and more recently, the Max Hydration Method (MHM) I have always wanted to try liquid amino acids, but never did until now.

I took a short trek to Whole Foods where it was nestled nicely in the foreign cuisine aisle, next to the soy sauce (liquid amino acids are a gluten-free soy sauce alternative, it does in fact taste and smell like soy). I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it (neither the Brazilian Keratin, Cherry Lola, or MHM are appealing to me), but I figured it would either find a place in my natural hair regimen, or be placed in my kitchen.

When I got home that night, I wasn't really in a creative mood, so I mixed the amino acids and water in a spray bottle, and sprayed it on my ends (I also moisturized and sealed with Giovanni direct leave-in and some oil, respectively). I didn't really notice anything that night, so I bunned my hair and went to sleep. In the morning, my ends felt really smooth. I still didn't want to put too much emphasis on it given that I've been through a roller coaster ride with my wash days (remember my baking soda and cowash successes).

The next day, I washed and conditioned my hair, sprayed the amino acids on my ends and around my edges, and then rinsed everything out after 5 minutes. Again, my ends were unusually soft and felt strong. They also were not as rough.

On Friday, I decided to preserve my hair and hold off wash day (I do this often in the winter because I always wear a hat when I go out and my scalp doesn't get dirty as quickly), and do a blowout. I did my usual - from the Giovanni 2 Chic Ultra-Sleek line, I applied the Leave-In Conditioner and Styling Elixir and the Ultra-Sleek Hair & Body Super Potion - then I sprayed my ends with the liquid amino acids before blow drying on medium heat. After I finished, my ends felt very smooth (see picture above). But what amazed me is that, not only did my ends feel smooth, they stayed smooth into Saturday and even Sunday.

liquid amino acids before and after
To the left is my blowout from BHI. To the right is my hair after the liquid amino acids

Now, while I am very happy with the results, I will hold off on any long term reviews since it's only been a week. But, it looks good so far. Oh, and before I go, check this picture out. This picture was featured on Black Hair Information about six months ago, and I got some comments on my ends, specifically that they need a trim. Well, here's a side by side of my ends then and now. As you can see, they are a lot smoother, and I haven't really done any chopping (outside of my normal dusting). It's like night and day, so apparently, there are some benefits. I just don't want to get ahead of myself.

Cloth Roller Set on Natural Hair

Thursday, March 12, 2015

cloth roller set on natural hair

I love cloth rollers; I got them from Walgreens (I love Walgreens by the way). They are super comfortable to sleep in, and they create these perfect little ringlets. 

To create this hairstyle, I started on stretched hair. I moisturized with Giovanni Direct Leave-In, and sealed with my oil mix. I then took a section of hair, wrapped it around the roller, and closed the two ends together. I took another section of hair, wrapped my hair around the roller, but this time, I looped the second roller around the first roller, and snapped it closed. (If you buy these rollers, they come with directions, and you will see exactly what I mean.) I kept doing this until I completed my entire head. There were a total of 20 rollers. I slept in the rollers overnight. In the morning, I rubbed olive oil on my hands, took the rollers out, and separated the curls. And voila! A cute, curly cloth roller set!

Dear FroBunni: Should I Shampoo or Cowash my Natural Hair?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear FroBunni, I went natural a few months ago, and I am trying to find a natural hair regimen for me. I read that cowashing is better for natural hair than shampooing. Is this true?

This is a pretty loaded question simply because it will really depend on you. Some naturals find great success in cowashing and other alternative hair cleansing methods. I have had a level of success washing with baking soda and cleansing conditioners, but I have since went back to using shampoo, although it is diluted with water. Shampooing works better for me because I tend to get scalp folliculitis, which can get very itchy and irritated if I don't use soap. It works for me, but it may not work for you.

You should test cleansing with both methods. For three months, wash using shampoo, and for another three months, cowash. Pay attention to how your hair and scalp feels, and feel free to use different products or methods (I have posts on washing with cleansing conditioner and other alternative cleansing methods). I guarantee you will find the perfect method for you!

To start you on your search, I have compiled a short list of great shampoos and alternative cleansing methods.

Shampoo
Giovanni Ultra-Moist Shampoo
Kinky Curly Come Clean
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo

Alternative Cleansing Methods
Shikakai Powder
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner
Bentonite Clay

Search Trends in Natural Hair and Relaxed Hair

Sunday, March 8, 2015

For my job, I do a lot of SEO (search engine optimization) research, and I was learning about some really cool Google features like Google Trends during some marketing SEO training. I love stuff like this because it's interesting to see how interest in certain topics change over the years. I got to thinking last night, and I thought it would be cool to see exactly how natural hair has trended over the years.

I compared natural hair to relaxed hair, and it's interesting to see that relaxed hair has always been significantly lower in terms of searches. I actually thought it would be higher, and trend down as time went on. From about 2005 to 2009, natural hair searches stayed pretty level, and then began to shoot up rapidly. It looks like it is starting to level out, but it could shoot up again.

natural hair trends
Natural hair is red and relaxed hair is blue

natural hair trends
Natural hair is blue, relaxed hair is red 

Ok, so I know the search "natural hair" and "relaxed hair," are a bit vague because they actually can include searches that have nothing to do with black women and their hair. So to focus it a bit more, I decided to add the word "regimen" to both words. Again, natural hair is significantly higher and increased searches began sooner compared to relaxed hair. But if you notice, in 2012, natural hair saw a decrease while relaxed hair saw an increase and they almost switched places. I have two thoughts on why this happened. For one, if you notice in the previous graph, natural hair took off in 2009, and I'm wondering if maybe those women who went natural in 2009, began to consider relaxing their hair in 2012 (I've noticed in natural hair forums and Facebook groups, many women begin to consider relaxing at the 2-3 year mark). My other thought is that, because of the healthy hair movement (which encompasses both natural and relaxed hair), many women who relaxed began to search more about healthy relaxed hair, developing a regimen, and maintaining their hair.

Natural Hair Trends by Region
Natural Hair Trends by Region (Country)

Ok, back to natural and relaxed hair. So here is the searches by region for natural hair...I really thought the US would be in the top 7, but they aren't. Instead it's the countries in the Caribbean. I can't say much about what this means, since I am not familiar with the natural hair movement in the Caribbean, but I will say it is interesting and deserves more research. But...

natural hair trends by city
Natural Hair Trends by City

If you look at natural hair searches by cities, most searches are by U.S. cities, not the Caribbean cities. Now, this may be confusing, but it makes sense. Antigua & Barbuda has less than 100,000 people, while Atlanta, GA has over a million. So proportionally, while people in the Caribbean are searching natural hair more than people in the U.S., there are more searches for natural in the U.S. *

natural hair trends by region
Relaxed Hair Trends by Region (Country)

Here is the regional search trend for relaxed hair. Again, the Caribbean is at the top. What this probably means is that Caribbean countries are following in the footsteps of the U.S., by taking an interest in black healthy hair, relaxed and natural. But, what we didn't see in the natural hair search trend is African countries. Now, I can't really say why this is except that relaxed hair (or say an interest in relaxed hair) is more prominent in African countries, when compared to the Caribbean and the U.S.

Relaxed Hair Trends by City
Relaxed Hair Trends by City
Relaxed hair trends by city does line up with relaxed hair trends by region, unlike natural hair. But that's to be expected. You do see three of the same cities - Kingston, Alexandria, Atlanta - come up in relaxed hair, and it leads me to be believe that there's more of an interest in black hair, as a whole, in those cities.

natural hair trends
Natural Hair Trends Peaked in the US in 2012 Compared to Other Countries

Before I go, I just want to leave you with this last graph. Searches for natural hair in the U.S. compared to other countries peaked in 2012. Again, I'm not fully sure what this means (I definitely don't think it means that natural hair is becoming less popular), but I would say that natural hair is beginning to become really popular in other countries. 

Oh, and one more thing, don't take this too seriously. It is something I did for fun, and I have not conducted any formal research on natural hair in the US or other countries. A lot can be said from these graphs, but these are only graphs, and they cannot stand solely on their own.

*Again, I know this is confusing, but there's a reason for this. Another is that many Caribbean countries have a black majority (70% to near 100%). While the black population in the US hovers around 12-13%. So a search on natural hair in the US, compared proportionally to the Caribbean, is going to be smaller. Hopefully that makes sense. 

I Revolutionized my Wash Day

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

frobunni long natural hair
Taken last year, I am an inch past waist length

So, as you know, for over a year, I have been trying to grow my natural hair to hip length from waist length. My length retention has been slower at this length, which is typical (the longer your hair is, the harder it is to retain length). I was getting a little frustrated and knew the devil was in the details, or in this case, the wash day. But my wash day has been fairly consistent for two years now (the products change, but the same technique has remained the same), and I was hoping that I would see success by changing my day-to-day regimen instead.

My wash day regimen from when I big chopped up until I was bra strap length is very different from my wash day today. For one, despite having shorter hair, it was significantly longer due to pre-pooing, washing, conditioning, deep conditioning, detangling and then moisturizing and sealing. And for another, I did it two to three times a week. A fairly short lived technique during this period was saturating my hair with conditioner and detangling before I got in the shower, as well as washing in two strand twists to prevent breakage. Both were short lived because, well, they added extra time on to my wash day as opposed to decreasing it. I was also very heavy handed with products back then, so I could easily run through conditioner in less than a month. So neither technique was useful at the time, and I was also still gaining length, so they weren't deemed as necessary.

Fast forward back to this week, and I thought they may in fact be perfect for incorporating into my wash day now...and also be the key to finally making it to hip length. It would work in my regimen for a few reasons: I am no longer heavy handed with any products and know that less is more, I have a bunch of conditioner laying around that needs to be used up, I know that detanlging my hair stretched and "dry" is faster than detangling in the shower with soaking wet hair, and because my hair is longer, I don't have to do as many twists for them to stay twisted while I wash my hair.

Last night, I finally put this into practice. So what happened...probably the smallest wash day hair ball I have yet to see. It was a little bigger than a quarter and very lightweight and sparse. I also lost very, very little hair while detangling "dry." My hair ball from this wash day compared to last wash day was half the size.

So why did this work? Well, these techniques help to reduce breakage and manipulation during wash day (and for most naturals, a large amount of breakage occurs on wash day because the hair is weaker when completely saturated with water). Hair is stronger when it is dry (dry as in it's not wet, not dry as in your hair needs serious TLC) compared to wet. By adding conditioner, I am giving it just enough slip to be able to effectively detangle and remove knots. Washing in two strand twists ensures that hair is compact during the washing process and isn't free to get tangled or rub together to much. All of this translates into retaining more length, and hopefully, I will finally seeing some considerable gains in my hair length.