The Only Post You’ll Need to Read If You Want To Grow Long Hair

Friday, October 5, 2018

FroBunni | The Only Post You'll Need to Read If You Want to Grow Long Hair header

I wrote this post on growing long, natural hair awhile ago for a Facebook group that I moderate. It's very long, but also very detailed. It's been edited to make it relevant for my blog. 

The Very Basics

We get a lot of questions each day about growing long hair. People are desperate to find the “secret.” Is it Shea butter? Onion juice? Rice water? It’s actually none of these things. It is just a good, solid regimen.

What is a hair care regimen? It is simply the way in which you care for your hair. Just because you have a regimen, doesn’t mean it’s good or comprehensive enough. Many have very poor regimens that do not lead to healthy hair, which is important for growing long hair.

Before I get into the four main components of a regimen, let’s talk about hair growth rate and terminal length. Both hair growth rate and terminal length are determined by genetics. But while the rate is relatively easy to calculate, terminal length is not. Just because you are not retaining length (retaining length means retaining the amount of hair that has grown from the scalp) doesn’t mean you’ve reach terminal length. Often times, when we aren’t retaining length, it’s a sign that the hair is breaking. The question then becomes what is causing the breaking?

Hair grows from the scalp. Hair can break at any point along the hair shaft, but most often towards the ends, the weakest part of the hair. Hair grows, on average, half an inch a month; this means you can grow, on average, 6 inches a year. (The average is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number. So remember, the average hair growth rate doesn't mean everyone will attain this many inches in a year.) This will vary from person to person. It could be 4 inches for some, could be 8 inches for others. Because it is genetic, you can not speed growth rate. You will want to aim to retain at least 80% of this growth. It’s possible to have 100% retention, but not likely.

Hair growth rate is genetic, but certain factors can prevent you from achieving the most optimum hair growth for you. This means that to get the best growth for you, you’ll want to eat healthy (get a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients - protein, fat, carbs), drink water, exercise, and reduce stress. While these things are important, honestly, many people can grow long hair without doing these things. My advice, do them to be healthy, not to grow long hair. And a quick note about hair growth vitamins, there is no guarantee that they will help with hair growth. If you want a vitamin, pick a daily vitamin that supports overall health. Not just hair growth.

If you want to determine your growth rate, the best way is to dye a section of hair and then measure the amount of hair that has grown out after three months. This isn’t necessary, but it’s actually the easiest, most measurable way to create a clear start point. Again, it’s not necessary, nor do you have to do it (I also don’t recommend if you don’t want to dye your hair, but I’m being as comprehensive as possible, so I’m giving all the answers in this post).

Putting Together a Good Regimen

A good regimen requires four main components: the wash day, daily maintenance, detangling, and styling. Let’s go over each one addressing potential issues that could prevent you from retaining length.

And before I begin, I will just address basic hair care. There may be some things that I won't address because I think they should be considered after a solid understanding of the basics. For example, I say to use shampoo to wash hair, when there are great non-shampoo alternatives like clay wash. While I don't have anything against clay washes, I think introducing them to someone who may not even understanding moisturizing and sealing is a bit premature.

Wash day

A good wash day will involve using shampoo to clean the scalp, deep conditioning for a few minutes (preferably longer with a heating cap) to moisturize to the hair, detangling with deep conditioner in hair, applying a leave-in-conditioner to help the hair retain moisture, sealing with oil or a butter to keep the moisture sealed within the hair strand, and then styling.

This is a very basic wash day that addresses many common issues. First, shampooing the scalp (and making sure you massage the scalp for 3-5 minutes) helps to lift and remove dirt and dandruff. Second, using a deep conditioner will add moisture back into the hair. Moisturized hair resists breakage due to dry hair. Detangling at the end of deep conditioning should give the hair enough slip so that it’s easier to detangle, which reduces breakage from manipulation; and moisturizing and sealing helps keep the hair moisturized (again, moisturized hair resists breakage due to dryness).

Some tips to make the process easier: wash, condition, detangle, and style in sections. Personally, I like to wash in two sections, conditioner and deep condition in four sections, and detangle in 8 sections. Second, shampoo isn’t necessary, but you want something to clean the scalp and hair. This can include clay washes, Ayurvedic herbs, etc. Third, if you have a lot of tangling during the wash process, put your hair in two strand twists to help minimize this. This also helps to prevent hair from shrinking too much during the wash process. Fourth, I'm sure you noticed I skipped plain, rinse-out conditioner. You can add conditioner in after shampooing, but if you deep condition, it's not necessary. If you're low on time, and you want to just shampoo and condition, and skip deep conditioning, that's also fine. But, remember to deep condition regularly (I would say, at least, once a month, if not more).

Common issues during wash day. First and foremost, people try to go as long as possible without washing. The longer you go without washing your hair, the more dirt and dandruff you’ll have to contend with when you finally wash your hair. This will vary from person to person, but expect dandruff, which is a build up of dead skin that flakes, to start around one to two weeks after washing the hair properly. Also, I can’t stress this enough, but you need to massage the scalp when you wash. This will help remove any dandruff on the scalp. Another issue, people don’t condition after shampooing. Stop doing this; you should always shampoo with a rinse-out or deep conditioner.You will want to make sure you use a protein deep conditioner once a month. This helps prevent breakage due to weak hair. You shouldn’t do this all the time, once or maybe twice a month will do.

Daily Maintenance

Daily maintenance is how you take care of your hair day to day. It doesn’t need to involve much, just keep your hair moisturized and reduce breakage. To do this, moisturize with water or a water-based leave-in-conditioner (read the ingredients on the bottle, water will be the first ingredient), and immediately follow up with a butter or oil. Water moisturizes and sealing seals that moisture in the hair. This helps prevent breakage due to dryness. I recommend doing this every day, but you can do it every other day or every third day. If your hair is particularly dry, you can even do it twice a day. Just make sure your hair isn’t always wet or damp, which can cause hygral fatigue. You want hair dry (physically to the touch) in between moisturizing and sealing. If you have braids, twists, or any other similar protective style; add water, leave-in conditioner, and oil in a spray bottle, and spray hair.

Common issues during moisturizing and sealing. There really aren't that many issues with moisturizing and sealing. If you are worried about your hair shrinking because of the water, put hair in two-strand twists, braids, bantu knots, perm rods, etc. until dry. I moisturize and seal at night to give my hair  time to dry in those styles. Also, while a leave-in-conditioner isn't necessary, if your hair is particularly dry, it helps to use one. If you are low-porosity, moisturize and seal, and then use a heating cap to help the moisture penetrate the hair shaft.

Detangling

Detangling is a common place people experience breakage. I explained above that detangling can be done during the wash day process, but it doesn’t have to be done during the deep conditioning process. It can also be done before shampooing, using a pre-poo conditioner to help soften and add slip to hair, as well as after moisturizing and sealing. It can also be done at other points, but keep these basic tenants. Detangle on damp hair, but not wet or dry hair, which can cause excessive breakage due to manipulation. Use a product with slip like a conditioner, leave in conditioner, or water and oil. In sections (always detangle in sections), start detangling from the ends and slowly work up to the roots. Detangle with a wide tooth comb (do not use a fine tooth comb) or your fingers.

Common issues during detangling. Detangling can be difficult for many people, and there are many different ways to detangle. I recommend going to youtube and watching how other naturals detangle their hair. Try different techniques to find the right one for you. Also, do not rush. If you rush, you’re more likely to be too rough and cause breakage due to manipulation. You shouldn’t be combing every day either. I realize many people do this; it’s not necessary and is way too much manipulation on natural hair. Keep hair stretched (in simple two-strand twists, braids, buns, etc.) if your hair gets tangled easily.

I want to talk about shedding and I’m placing it in the detangling section for a reason. Shedding is a normal, biological process. Shedding is a hair strand reaching the end of its cycle. It is identifiable by a white bulb on the end of a strand. Excessive shedding is something to be concerned about, but outside of a medical issue or malnutrition, excessive shedding isn’t that common. You should expect to lose around 100 hairs a day. If you have a protective style in for a long period of time, when you finally loosen the style and detangle the hair, you will see a lot of shed hair. This is normal, it’s just because you weren’t removing the hair when it shed. It’s important to learn the difference between breakage and shedding so that you can identify if your detangling technique is causing breakage or you’re just remove shed hair (which is one of the goals of detangling). Until you get to a point where you’re comfortable with detangling and knowing that it’s not causing breakage, inspect the hair after you detangle. If you see a lot of hair, but not that many white bulbs, you’re causing breakage.

Styling

Styling is how you style your hair (duh). There’s a few basic tenants, but we’re mostly going to talk about protective styles, low manipulation styles, and traction alopecia. Hair styles should never pull the scalp or hurt, so be mindful putting in twists, braids, and weaves, and do not pull hair too tight when putting it in a ponytail or bun. Also be careful not to pull or rip the hair when styling.

A protective style protects and covers the ends (braids and twists with extensions, crochet braids, bun, french rolls), while a low manipulation style is a style where you don’t have to redo or restyle the hair daily (can be any style, including those where the ends are out). A hairstyle can be both protective and low manipulation. There’s no time limit for how long you should keep a protective style in. It could be a day, a few days, a week, a month, etc. You don’t want to keep one in for more than six weeks. The longer the protective style is in for, the more likely damage and breakage occurs due to dryness and build up. To take a protective style out, go slow, take your time, and work in sections. Apply a deep conditioner, let it sit on the hair, finger detangle to remove any tangled hair and knots, then do a normal wash day. Again, you will have a lot of shed hair during this time. It’s normal.

A quick note about temporary locs. Don’t. Yesterday, someone made a post about having a lot of breakage after loosening her temporary locs. We - the admins, mods, and a few others - have said that this is not a protective style; the takedown process causes a lot of breakage due to manipulation and damage (more than any other style), and you will retain very little, if any hair at all. It’s one thing if you’ve been loced for years and years and years, and you want to have loose, natural hair without having to big chop. It’s another entirely to do it temporarily. If a stylist says it’s possible, she’s misinformed.

About your edges. The edges are generally the weakest part of the hair at the root. They tend to be finer, more susceptible to damage, and easier to pull from the root. This is why it’s so important to leave the edges alone and not try to pull in every single strand of hair in a protective style. Unfortunately, many have been doing these protective styles for years, and, in some cases, decades. Pulling hair out from the root can cause damage. This continued damage can permanently damage the hair follicle to the point that it will not grow hair again. If this happens, there’s nothing you can do, outside of medical intervention, to regrow the hair. If the hair is not permanently damage, but severely or moderately damaged, it may take awhile for the hair to regrow, upwards of a year, and be significantly thinner and sparser than it was before.

The Details

Okay, so we’ve gone over the basics of a hair care regimen. I’m going to go over a few more things, but I always recommend that people go to YouTube and see this in practice. It’s easy to read through this post, but it also helps to see real world application. You'll see what this looks like in real life. You’ll see many different processes and techniques, and it’s important to note that these things work for those people. You’ll need to figure out what works for you. Try different things (not all at once), see how your hair responds, keep what works, and get rid of what doesn’t.

Porosity

Porosity is how fast your hair absorbs water. Low porosity is when the hair cuticle tightly overlaps making it difficult for hair to fully absorb water. High porosity is when the hair cuticle is more open and/ or chipped and absorbs water very quickly, but also becomes dry very quickly. High porosity can be normal, but can also be damaged hair. To determine porosity, place clean shed hair in a class of water. After a 30 seconds to a minute, if the hair stays at the top, it’s low porosity; if it floats to the bottom, it’s high porosity. If it floats in the middle, it’s medium porosity. Porosity is neither good nor bad, but a simple characteristic of hair.

I have blog posts on tips to properly care for low porosity and high porosity hair. Medium porosity hair can adopt any of these tips.

Trimming

You should expect to trim your hair. Trimming hair helps to get rid of split and frayed ends that make the hair look raggedy, but can also cause knots and tangles. Personally, I trim when my hair tangles more than usual, but it may differ for you. If you feel you don’t need to trim or don’t know when, a good baseline is once every 3 months. If you’ve been following a good regimen, you shouldn’t have too much damage to trim off. Maybe half an inch.

Genetics

Every time I make one of these posts, someone chimes in with “its genetics.” I’ve already explained how terminal length is hard to determine. I thought I’ve reached terminal length three times only to figure out a weak part of my regimen, and once addressing that, was able to retain length again. Often people cite their mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, etc. as a reason that they can’t grow long hair and it’s genetic. But I often ask where did they learn how to care for their hair. Mom? Grandmother? Aunt? Our hair care practices, good or bad, are passed down from our whoever took care of our hair growing up. So, if you realized that you learned the wrong thing, or even aren't fully sure, try the techniques I explained in this post for a few months, and see if you see a difference.

How to Go Natural

This really isn’t the post for this, but I’ll answer it quickly regardless. You need to cut your hair to go natural. You can cut all the hair off at once, which is called a big chop, or let the natural hair grow as you gradually cut off the relaxed hair, which is called transitioning. Neither option is better, it’s a personal decision you have to make for yourself. Regardless of the decision you make, you still need to care for your hair immediately. Some people will say “I big chopped a month ago, when should I start a regimen?” You should’ve started when you big chopped. Same for transitioning.

Also, some people say the relaxed hair turns to natural if you give it time. It doesn’t. What’s happening is the relaxed hair is breaking off. I don’t recommend you aim for this because it can split and fray the ends, which can travel up the hair shaft damaging the natural hair. Some people also say you can revert the hair using beer or soda, this is also false. When people do this, their hair will feel rough, but it doesn’t mean your hair reverted to natural.

Lastly, your natural hair date is the date of your last relaxer. It’s not when you officially decided you were going natural or when you started caring for your hair. People get confused by this, especially if they had a long transition. It is the date of your last relaxer. So, for example, if your last relaxer was September 2017 and you big chopped June 2018. You’ve been natural for 10 months, NOT ONE MONTH.

Patience and Consistency

This is the last thing I will leave you with. All this hard work will pay off, but only if you’re consistent and patient. A regimen is a lifetime. It needs to be integrated into your day to day life. You don't do it once and stop. You don’t do it ten times and stop. It’s forever. So decide now if you really want to put in the work. If you don’t want to take the time to learn all of this and do it, then get a wig and call it a day because this won’t happen without you adopting it as a lifestyle. And also be patient. Yesterday, I deleted 4 posts asking to grow long hair over a very short amount of time. I explained above, but you should only expect 4-6 inches of hair growth a year. This isn’t really that much, but it adds up over time. Be patient. Don’t stress yourself out over that. Just focus on the care and the length will come.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Sodium hydroxide in a natural hair line?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Welp, I'm sure this is a hiccup. The other day, I was scrolling Naturally Curly, and I noticed an interesting question asked about Aunt Jackie's Don't Shrink. Elongating Flaxseed Gel.

Yup, as you can see, it says "sodium hydroxide," also known as lye. To be honest, this wasn't really shocking for me. I suspected it wasn't in there with the intention of loosening a natural's curls, but Naturally Curly's response begged to differ. I had to pause for a moment to consider two questions: why does Aunt Jackie have sodium hydroxide in a line for naturals, and why was Naturally Curly saying it was to loosen curls?

I darted over to Cosmetic Info to figure out the real reason. Sodium hydroxide is added to cosmetics to balance pH, and a lot of its forms are in other products, such as Milk of Magnesia. This makes much more sense, but it didn't necessarily answer my question.

I fully understand why sodium hydroxide was added to the gel, but I didn't know why a natural hair company would add lye into a product meant for naturals. It just seems like a blip in judgement. I get it; there's a reason cosmetic scientists exist. Product formulations aren't as easy as DIY enthusiasts make it out to be, but I feel like Aunt Jackie's should know their audience enough to know that this was not the best judgement call. There are other pH adjusters, such as citric acid, so I'm sure accommodations could've been made (of course, with a lot of money and time invested).

I also wonder why Naturally Curly answered the way they did. Was this answer really from the company? Because if so, I question their judgement even more, and would honestly recommend people consider finding a different gel. But if not, why not contact the company before answering? Why make an assumption? It would seem imperative that this be answered correctly and in a way for the average consumer to understand its purpose.

All in all, this is a marketing issue, and maybe that's why I'm writing a post about it (marketing being my career and something I'm passionate about). A lot went wrong here, and I truly believe that was no one's intention. But, as the saying (or meme) goes, impact is greater than intent.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Washing Your Hair with Tea? How Tea Can Solve Your Natural Hair Woes!

Monday, September 17, 2018

DirtTea Girl Primitive Hair and Body | header image

Confession, I haven’t used shampoo or condition in over a year. No, I’m not a new age hippie or someone who subscribes to the “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt” philosophy. I haven’t used shampoo because I’ve been washing my hair with plants. I’m the owner of DirtTea Girl Primitive Hair and Body, and my herbal hair tea rinses (made from only plants and water) are a modernly minimalist approach to great hair.

I know, I know, “not another natural hair cure.” But unlike the last next big thing, I don’t want to sell you on the idea that I can “fix” your hair. I want to sell you on the idea that it’s not broken (you’ve just been hiding it behind products). My hair teas remove all of the sticky, flaky, gooey, crunchy stuff that stands between you and your hair, allowing you to see your hair (perhaps for the first time) as it really is. Not stripped, not dry, not coated, but hydrated and balanced. Since kicking shampoo and using DirtTea Girl hair tea exclusively, my hair has thrived in a way I didn’t think possible. It is within 1-inch of reaching my belly button, and while I practice all-around healthy hair habits, I know the hair tea has been the biggest contributor to my new length.

So let’s get down to it. What is hair tea? Why should I use it? Can you effectively wash your hair with plants?

What is hair tea?

Hair tea is a rinse made from infusing specially selected dried herbs and plants in water. Hair teas can be used to cleanse, condition, and color the hair, as well as to treat specific scalp concerns. So DirtTea Girl hair tea rinses come in 3 categories: cleansing (to clean your hair), conditioning (to condition and soften), and treatment (to treat specific hair goals such as growth or thickening). Many hair and scalp issues are actually caused by the harsh detergents used in commercial products. DirtTea Girl hair teas use Ayurvedic herbs and carefully crafted recipes to naturally and gently restore your hair to its best state.

Why should I use it?
DirtTea Girl Primitive Hair and Body | Images

For starters, DirtTea girl hair tea rinses can stimulate growth, banish flakes, remove buildup, and cure the itchies. If that’s enough, then you should know they are a game changer for washing locs and protective styles. The consistency and the absence of commercial soap means you can finally wash your faux locs, twists, and Fulani braids without having to drench them endlessly to get the shampoo out. DirtTea Girl rinses from your hair as easily as water. In addition to ease of rinsing, your protective styles will last longer because each DirtTea Girl hair tea recipe is Ph balanced to reduce frizz and hold on to moisture. So your hair will grow, your scalp will thrive, and your goddess braids will remain heavenly for longer.

Can you effectively wash your hair with plants?

Yes! Certain plants contain natural saponins (basically plant soaps) which are very effective at cleansing the hair without stripping it or leaving buildup. There are plants for conditioning the hair, detangling, coloring, lightening, softening, you name it. People have been using plants to wash their hair for thousands of years, we’re just making it better. DirtTea Girl hair tea rinses combine the most effective herbs in the precise quantities needed to help you enjoy the best version possible of your hair.

Want to learn more about DirtTea Girl? Follow me on instagram (@DirtTeaGirl) or check out my etsy store. I’m currently working on a new website so please feel free to slide in my DMs if you have a question I haven’t answered or if you would like to collaborate.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Why It's Important to Read the Ingredient List

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

About the Ingredient list header image

Like many people, every morning, I go through my emails to see if there's anything that I need to respond to. Sometimes, it's work related. This morning it was seeing if there was a response to my email to cancel a 10-day trial for Washington Sports Club (they have yet to respond *eye roll*). But an email for a new product also caught my eye. Briogeo, a hair company that I've wanted to try for awhile, has put out a new product called Curl Charisma chia + flaxseed coil custard. I've always wanted to try a product with flaxseed. I've made flaxseed gel before, and I like the end result on my hair, but not so much the time and effort it takes to make it. Products with flaxseed are actually pretty difficult to find, so I was beyond excited to see this product...until I read the ingredient list (*eye roll* again).

Briogeo's Ingredient List:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Cetearyl Olivate*, Glycerin*, Sorbitan Olivate*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Rice Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Quinoa*, Keratin Amino Acids*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Lactobacillus/Tomato Fruit Ferment Extract, Cellulose Gum*, Xanthan Gum*, Microcrystalline Cellulose*, Acyl Coenzyme A Desaturase*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum). *Coconut, vegetable, plant, or sugar derived.

If you, like me, were looking for the chia and flaxseed in the first few ingredients, you won't find it. It's not like those first ingredients are bad, but I was looking for what was prominently displayed on the front of the label. If you, like me, are staring at those ingredients looking for chia and flaxseed anywhere, yeah...(*eye roll*). It took some googling, but flaxseed is "Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil" and chia seed is "Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil," which are 13th and 15th in the ingredient list, respectively. And if you know anything about ingredient lists, you know that the ingredients are listed from most concentrated to least concentrated, and anything beyond the first five or six is negligible, so chia and flaxseed oil aren't making up much of this product.

I'm not saying this product is bad, nor am I saying that you shouldn't use it. In fact, the ingredient list, and their Curl Charisma line overall, looks really great, and I am still 100% interested in trying Briogeo's products (I hope to get their heat protectant in the near future). But, it's just a lesson in the importance of reading the ingredients. There are, of course, other reasons to read the ingredient list, like if you're trying to avoid silicones or you're allergic to ssomething. But it's also just good to know that the front of the label of marketing, and the back of the label is fact.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

How to Pick a Great Stylist

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

7 Tips for Finding a Great Stylist header image

If you know me, you know that I'm really apprehensive about going to a hairdresser. Before I went natural, I often relied on a hairdresser to relax and/or style my hair, but my experiences were always average, at best. Despite knowing some amazing hairdressers today, my reception of many has still been lukewarm. But as my hair gets longer, I'm hoping that I'll warm up to the concept of getting my hair done again soon (because these 5 hour wash days are not fun).

But when I am ready, I will use these seven tips to find a great hairdresser that I can trust.
  1. Do they work with natural hair: When I say natural hair, I mean can they style a twist out, do a roller set on kinky hair without blow drying first, comb natural hair properly. The reality is many hairdressers who say they work with natural hair, really mean they know how to straighten natural hair. And if that's not what you're looking for, finding someone else is your best option. 
  2. Look through their portfolio (or Instagram): A picture speaks a thousand words. Along with making sure they can create beautiful hairstyles, you can get a general idea of their style and expertise. 
  3. Get a rundown of their process: If you don't want to style your own hair, at the very least,  know how to do it so that you'll know if a hairdresser is doing something wrong (i.e. detangling hair with a fine-tooth comb or blow drying on the highest setting possible).
  4. Know what's in the products: A woman once told me she doesn't know what her hairdresser uses on her hair, and that it's "already mixed" when she gets in the chair (I suspected relaxer was mixed in). Don't let this be you. Know what products the hairdresser is using on your hair, and inform them of any potential sensitives or allergies you may have.
  5. Read reviews: Reviews are hit or miss, so take them with a grain of salt, but if you notice a trend, such as the hairdresser doesn't listen or she can't cut straight (personal experience of mine), then walk away. Also, talk to their current clients if you can too. 
  6. Ask about rates and fees: Know all potential rates and fees ahead of time so that you know how much everything will cost, and if there's something that seems unnecessary (i.e. charging extra for natural hair). Also, be familiar with any late or cancellation fees that they may have. 
  7. Know when to walk away: If you've done all your homework, and you're getting a small toothed comb raked through your hair, get out of the seat. If a hairdresser is doing anything wrong, speak up, and if they don't change, know when to just get up and leave. It may seem mean or insensitive, but at the end of the day, it's your hair and you have that right. 
Of course, these can work for anyone who touches your hair, from a hairdresser to a braider, and even your own mom. What are some things you ask a potential hairdresser before you sit down in their chair?


Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Bon Matcha: A Matcha Lover's Dessert

Thursday, August 9, 2018


What's sweet, earthy, and a delicious, cool treat for the summer? Matcha soft-serve ice cream!

On I street, nestled on the outside of DC's Farragut Square district, is Bon Matcha, a small shop that sells, you guessed it, Matcha ice cream. If you're not familiar with Matcha tea, it is tencha tea that is ground up into a fine powder. When served as a traditional tea, it is whisked in hot water right before drinking. It is very creamy, with an earthy and full-bodied taste.


But Bon Matcha takes this traditional tea, and jazzes it up creating ice cream and swirling it with a sweet honey dew melon flavor. The result is a really satisfying and sweet soft serve perfect for summer.

My first trip there, an impromptu walk suggested by my boss to cool down on a sweltering day, sadly did not result in any ice cream (I ended up getting a iced matcha latte, which was still really good). They ran out of a cream. But today, I finally got to taste this green soft-serve, and it was definitely worth the wait!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Living Room Revamp Coming Soon

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New living room coming soon header image

When I moved into my one bedroom apartment, I promised that my dream home would be done by now...and of course, it's not (and I'm sure you're not too surprised if you've followed my blog for a couple of years). But now, for real, it's happening!

There has been a lot of moving parts. Selling furniture, giving clothes away, getting rid of that Tide stain on my carpet courtesy of the bottle having a hole in it, so it hasn't been easy getting all of the pieces together in the right order. I also took extra time finding furnishings that could fit into a smaller space than I currently have because I plan to move again when my lease is up. Then, there's just general life stuff like work, helping my mom move, and other things that have just pushed this off. But, I am finally ready.

Thankfully, I've been thinking about this so long that I know how I want it to look. My design style is romantic and soft mid-century modern with notes of pink and gold. Check out some of the pieces that will make my dream home come true.

West Elm Eddy Reversible Sectional - I've been back and forth with getting this sofa, and I've finally come to terms that it will best for my current apartment, and any other apartment that I decide to make my home. It's smaller, which is great for small-sized city dwellings, and it comes in a variety of colors (though, to save some money, I will probably get the base model).

White and Gold Credenza with Rhinestone Accents - If there's one thing that has caused me to hold off on decorating my apartment, it's been what will be my TV stand. I wanted something that was pretty, the base didn't sit on the floor (like my current TV stand, which is really an IKEA bookcase), and has storage space to hold my books and purses. This beautiful credenza checked off each box.

Marble End Table - A small table like this will make a perfect coffee table. Plus, I love gold and marble, and it fits with the overall decor.

Urban Outfitters Ari Block Printed Rug - I've been obsessed with Urban Outfitters lately. I absolutely love this rug, and the pink will help marry will the living and dining room spaces perfectly.

CB2 Watermark Brass Bistro Table - Is this not the most perfect little table?! I don't really entertain, so I don't need a large dining room table. Just something that will entertain a party of one.

Paluch Upholstered Dining Chair - And every dining room table needs some chairs. These dining room chairs will make my dining room table feel more luxurious than it already is. 

There's still a lot I will have to do, like in bring in artwork, strategically place some mirrors to make the space look bigger, and make my sofa a fluffy pink dream with pillows and a throw. I'll add that after I get the big pieces set up, but check back after August 11 to see the before and after!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

5 Ways to Prevent Humidity from Ruining Your Hairstyle

Friday, June 29, 2018

5 Ways to Prevent Humidity from Ruining Your Hairstyle infographic

Ah, summer. I love you and loathe you. On the one hand, my birthday is in the summer, and on the other hand, the humidity is unbearable. In the summer, I tend to leave work earlier, but the humidity also ruins my hair. The summer is great to show off my rompers, but the humidity prevents me from wearing any stretched hairstyle. In short, the summer is great, but y'all this humidity is just on a whole other level.

I'm coming up on my 9th year natural (wow, that's 3285 days!), and the summer has always been trying for my hair, but I'm starting to learn how to navigate this weather while keeping my hair cute and healthy. Here are my tips to keeping a cute hairstyle in humid weather.

Products with PVP are Your Friend: If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know my hair doesn't always dig PVP, but PVPs are great for preventing frizz. If you don't know what PVP is, it's a harmless ingredient in hair products that coat hair in a film making it difficult for humidity to touch the hair shaft. Gels, mousses, creams, and serums with PVP are one of your best bets against humidity. I will personally be trying Ouidad's Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel.

Increase the Hydration: First and foremost, hair that is moisturized won't take moisture from the air, so the more moisturized your hair is, the less likely it will frizz. During humid months, it helps to cowash or saturate hair with water in between washes to prevent hair from getting too dry. Also, if you, like me, are sensitive to PVP, it helps to saturate hair because moisturizing and sealing won't be as effect. Since most products with PVP are water-soluble, a quick cowash will help your hair reset. And since I've finally finished up all of my cowashes, I can finally get my hands on Unwash.

Smaller Braids, Twists, Knots, and Curlers: As much as I love my barrel sized curlformers, in this humidity, the big, airy curls end up frizzing in a matter of minutes. This is because the looser curls have more exposed surface area for the humid air to touch. To combat this, all of my out styles - braid outs, twist outs, and curlformer sets - are done in smaller sections, which take longer to frizz.

Protective Style when Necessary: When in doubt, protective style. If you think it's too humid, or there's a 99.99% chance of rain, opt for a protective style. This way you don't have to worry about the weather ruining your hair.

Embrace (a Little) Frizz: It's almost impossible to prevent frizz entirely for those with natural hair in humid weather, so you might as well embrace it. This doesn't mean you should expect a completely destroyed style within minutes of walking outside, but it does mean your style may not last as long as you want. Either you can redo it, or just embrace the fluffy coif.

How do you prevent frizz in the humid summer months?

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

How to Safely Heat Style Natural Hair

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Image of Bb Repair blow dry heat protectant

Despite common belief, heat is not inherently damaging for hair. There’s a right and wrong way to use heat, and it can be utilized in a way that is safe for hair. There’s even research that shows that low heat - 116 degrees Fahrenheit or less - can be as safe as air drying. But, of course, high heat and daily heat styling can cause irreparable heat damage.

Here are steps that I recommend for using heat safely. If you go to a stylist, I recommend that you make sure they follow similar steps. Remember that not all stylists are informed on natural hair, despite telling you otherwise.
  1. Starting on freshly washed, conditioner, and detangle hair, create 4-8 sections and apply your leave-in, oil, and heat protectant. You will need an actual heat protectant, not an oil. There is a misinformed belief that an oil is a heat protectant, but it comes from the misunderstand the definition of a smoke point. 
  2. From that 4-8 sections, make a total of 10-16 sections. The more sections, the faster it takes to dry those sections. Less time from the blow dryer means less chance of damage. I Bantu knot or twist the sections to keep them stretched and detangled. 
  3. Using a good blow dry with 3 heat settings (if you only have 2 heat settings, you need to use the lowest setting), undo a section, and blow dry hair on the cool or medium heat setting using the tension method. Do not go above medium, higher heat increases risk of damage. Blow dry until you get to your desired level of dryness. Unless you have to go somewhere, I recommend about 90% dry, then two strand twist or Bantu knot and let hair air dry the rest of the way. 
  4. Work through all the sections until each one is dry. 
Use heat no more than once a week, and in between washes, use non-heat stretching methods like two-strand twists, braids, and bantu knots.


If you need information beyond blow drying, you’ll need to search online and watch some YouTube videos. I don’t have any recommendations for flat irons or hot combs since high, direct heat is very damaging for my hair.

And now you can go forth and style your hair safely. Happy heat styling!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

9 Tips to Decorating a Home in the City

Friday, June 1, 2018

9 Tips for Decorating a Home in the City header image

I love city life. The food is delicious, there's always something to do, and getting around is really easy. But finding a place to live, that's another story. Of course, cities come with a higher price tag, but something people don't always see is that it's hard to decorate. From super small square footage, funky layouts, and windows facing dark alleys, creating an inviting, personalized home is a challenge. But, it doesn't have to be impossible.

I teamed up with Decor Aid, an in-home interior design and decorating service, to help you create a beautifully decorated home in any city, regardless of size, layout, and lighting.

Make Use of Forgotten Spaces
Whether your home is large or small, there should always be various rooms in your home that have non-decor spaces as they’ll give the eye a break and keep your home from looking cluttered or over-styled. That said, there are also several spots in every home that you probably aren’t taking advantage of, say above your kitchen cabinets, toilets, and even on the floor - perfect spots for decoratively arranging books, framed art pieces, and collectibles.

Organization is Vital
bedroom
In smaller homes and spaces, keeping organized is vital as small messes will lend a chaotic energy when you’re working with limited square footage. By having a designated spot for everything and creating a system to quickly tidy up, you’ll save time and create a maintainable order.

Our interior designers often suggest adding shelves above desks and virtually just about anywhere from room to room to make the best use of every area while cleverly displaying essentials.

Stick to a Core Color Scheme
By selecting pale hues and elements you can easily make any area appear larger and more expansive, however, be careful and ensure the space doesn’t end up looking too clinical while keeping in mind that small homes often have dirtier looking walls as things rub against them more commonly.

Multi-Purpose
living room
The best advice we can give you about decorating a small space is to source as much multi-purpose furnishings for the space as possible as you’ll open extra room in your home. Think ottomans boasting hidden storage, a table that can do triple duty as a dining table, conversation zone, and desk, and the ilk.

Lighting
Bad lighting will not only make it harder to perfect your makeup, it will also make a small space look even smaller. Dingy, dark corners will close off parts of any room, lessening the visible areas.
Make it a priority that each room is well-lit throughout your home. Eliminate dark zones with a variety of easy to install options from kitchen cabinet lighting to simple wallsconces as it just takes a little structural adjusting to trick the eye into making your home appear larger.

Mirrors
mirror
One of the easiest styling tricks to making your home appear more expansive is using mirrors to reflect light and trick the eye into thinking the space is bigger than it is.

Place them adjacent to your windows to reflect the outdoors and make a room seem as if you have another window as the more windows you have, the larger your home will appear. Affordable and easy to score, mirrors provide a practical touch of glamor and should be considered a must for small house interior design ideas.

Budget-Friendly Decorative Moves
With scores of budget-friendly small home decorating alternatives easily available we guarantee any interior designer will swear by the invaluable money-saving resources that antique shops, flea markets, and even junk shops provide.

Peruse local thrift shops for steals and browse free furnishing listings online with items people no longer need as these unique, curated scores will lend your home conversation starters while adding a hint of vintage flair.

Furnish Wisely
small space
When decorating narrow rooms and compact spaces, opt for slim, low-profile furnishings that are appropriately sized to keep the area from feeling cramped or over-crowded. Stick to a general rule of thumb that pieces should reside away from your walls than against them. Another great tactic is to keep furnishings the same scale as they won’t compete with each other or overcrowd. Same goes for glass top tables as they are visually much lighter looking.

Symmetry
When considering the best approaches for decorating a room that’s short on space, there’s something to be said about the practical magic of symmetry. You’ll find that a sense of symmetry will trick the eye into surveying a small home as wider, and more spacious than reality. That said, remember, it’s all about the right balance and being too rigid on placement will give your space a strict, uptight vibe, so be sure to practice a relaxed take on symmetry as it’ll lend smaller rooms a charming, comfortable energy.

What are some of your tips for decorating a city home?

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

My First Time Crossfit Experience

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Crossfit MPH photo

Let me first start off by saying, I’m pretty active. I do high intensity workouts, I jump rope, and, of course, I do a lot of yoga. But none of that prepared me for my first Crossfit class. But do not let that scare you! I absolutely loved the class and, even better, got a great workout.

I went to Crossfit MPH’s intro class back in February. I was in a class with three other people, which was great because we all were able to get feedback on our technique and any issues we had during the workout. Head coach, Rebekka Ellman, gave us a quick ten minute overview of Crossfit, and we went right to work.

Always important, we started off with a quick warm-up, and then were taught four basic Crossfit movements: a squat, a press, pushups, and burpees. We spent between 5-10 minutes working on each movement because in Crossfit, form is everything. This is because when the pace is sped up and weight is added, it’s important to follow proper form to prevent injury. It was at this part in the class that I gained one of the most valuable lessons in my fitness experience…I’ve been doing squats wrong!

Whenever I squat, my knees naturally go in. I’ve never been corrected on this before, despite the many fitness classes I’ve taken. As a result, and as an avid squatter, specifically the ballistic, plyometric kind, it doesn’t take much for my knees to take a beating. Because Rebekka really wanted us to get our form down, she corrected me each time I did it. Now whenever I do squats, I make sure that I’m actively pressing my knees out to prevent them from caving in.

After going over key movements, we went over our WOD, or workout of the day. This is what makes Crossfit really unique. A WOD can be any length, and the challenge it poses is really up to the Crossfitter. For example, if you’re a beginner, you may reduce the weight or pace to make it more applicable to your skill set. While someone who is more advanced, can increase weight and go faster to make it more challenging for them. And for those who may get bored easily, Crossfit workouts change day to day. Some days, you may find yourself on a rower, and another day you may be doing pull-ups.

Our WOD was pretty simple: a short run around the block, a few medicine ball squats, some shoulder presses, and burpees. It was a timed workout, so we had to do four rounds as fast as we could. Now, I said the workout was simple, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard. And boy, was it hard. If you remember in the interview, I said that we ran outside and I didn’t have a coat. Grant it, I didn’t need it because I warmed up pretty quick, but running outside in the cold air was pretty hard. And I felt it a lot more than when I run in warmer weather. Coupled with weights, and I was done after three rounds instead of four. Despite this, I felt like I got a good workout and was pretty exhausted afterwards.

I had a really great time doing Crossfit. It was fun and challenging. But what makes Crossfit really great are the coaches and the gym. Rebekka was an amazing coach, and she was really attentive, making sure each person felt like they were getting a private lesson. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience as a first-time Crossfitter.

If this piqued your interest on Crossfit, check out my interview with Crossfit MPH head coach, Rebekka Ellman.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Crossfit 101: An Interview with Crossfit MPH Head Coach Rebekka Ellman

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Crossfit MPH DC header image

Despite living in DC for six years, and the bustling crossfit community in and around the District, I have never done crossfit before. This may not seem too significant, but every year in the summer, I tune into the annual Crossfit Games. I am amazed and stunned at the amount of strength, endurance, and resolve Crossfit athletes possess. So, this year, I decided to get in on the action and make it a point to stop by a few gyms, also called boxes, in the area.

 A few months ago, I had the pleasure of doing an intro class at Crossfit MPH in DC, and although my workout was really intense, I had a lot of fun! I'll post about my experience on Thursday, but if you're interested in Crossfit, but haven't tried it, or don't even know what it is, Rebekka Ellman, head coach Crossfit MPH, is going to give you the 411 on everything Crossfit, and even talk a little bit about the MPH community.

Tell me how you got into CrossFit, why you became a coach, and why you opened a gym?

I discovered CrossFit back in 2009 as part of my search for a fitness program that would help me rehab from an unexpected bone graft surgery months earlier. I have been hooked since day one! I became a coach (and jumped at the opportunity to help open CrossFit MPH) because I want to help others discover a level of fitness that is both mentally and physically empowering. CrossFit is often called intense, but that reputation simply comes from each participant's willingness to work hard, push past preconceived limits, and develop a level of grit and resiliency that benefits all aspects of life.

What do you love most about the CrossFit community?

When I think about the CrossFit community, I think about two things. The first is the CrossFit community at large. There are now over 14,500 CrossFit gyms worldwide. That is insane but what it also means is that when you take an interest in CrossFit, you also gain access to a global network of like-minded individuals, essentially one big shared experience. You can walk into a CrossFit gym anywhere and automatically feel welcomed and supported. The second, is the MPH community, specifically, and while I am very biased, our community is special. MPH is truly about fun, challenging workouts because we all want to live healthy and long lives and have fun while we do it. No judgements, no egos, just lots of hard work and lots of laughing.

What makes CrossFit MPH special compared to other CrossFit gyms?

CrossFit MPH is unique in our level of organization, style of coaching, class structure, and emphasis on customized workout modification! You can read more about how we are different here. We challenge you to try one class with us, that is all it takes to understand our unique approach and level of service!

How is CrossFit different than other types of workouts?

CrossFit is different than other types of workouts in that it places an emphasis on a broad and general fitness. Often, programs specialize in one type of workout using the same movements, loading, and workout duration each day. In CrossFit, however, this is not the case, because there is constant variance day to day. For example, we use everything as light body weight to as heavy as hundreds of pounds (of course, depending on age, size and fitness experience level). Workouts can last anywhere from seconds to upwards of 35-40 minutes. In terms of movement selection, the options are nearly limitless, although CrossFit does focus primarily on functional movements including squats, presses and deadlift variations, gymnastics movements, and Olympic weightlifting. The variance in workouts in CrossFit is what gets results, the body constantly has to adapt and thus keeps getting more fit.

When I went to the intro class, I remember only taking a water bottle. But when I found out we were running outside, I wished I had brought a light jacket, and I remember you said that with CrossFit, you have to be prepared for everything. So how should beginners prepare for their first CrossFit class?

That is a great question! Often, people will tell us they feel like they have to get in shape first before they can do CrossFit, and that is simply not the case. At MPH, our approach is to meet YOU where you are! In other words, we make CrossFit work for your current experience and fitness level, and not the other way around. From day one, our coaches work with you to modify any and every aspect of a workout so that it is appropriately challenging (so that you feel like you got a workout in), yet fun and motivating. And when I said that in CrossFit you have to be prepared for everything, I was speaking to the inevitable mental and physical growth that results from doing CrossFit. If every workout you do is done inside, away from ambient conditions and any other imperfect factors, then you miss the opportunity of training your fitness when the environment is not ideal.

When I first went to your class, we worked on form in preparation for us to lift heavier weights. Can you talk about how important form is, and why it matters when doing a lot of the explosive movements that you see in CrossFit?

Form, or technique, is the foundation of what we do at MPH. When we focus on technique, we are emphasizing correct muscle activation, correct and safe positions in each phase of a particular movement and how and when to apply force to a movement or weight. The idea is that you must be able to move safely and correctly at low speeds and minimal loads in order to cultivate the body awareness and body control necessary to move at higher speeds and heavier loads.

While going through our WOD (work out of the day), you said that CrossFit makes you comfortable with being uncomfortable. This really resonated with me because it’s something you can take out into the real world with you. What other real life lessons can you learn from CrossFit?

Yes, exactly! The biggest take away is being comfortable with being uncomfortable, and rather than fearing it, using that uncomfortable feeling as a signal to dig in harder. It is about challenging yourself to go beyond what you thought was possible, whether that's getting your first pull-up, kicking up into a handstand for the first time, or being able to squat a certain weight. In order to achieve those things, you have to practice, be open-minded to learning new things, work hard, and mentally tell yourself that it is possible. A great quote that really ties into CrossFit and the process of learning new and challenging skills is "if you want something you've never had, then you've got to do something you've never done!"

Anything else you would like to add? 

My hope is that my answers will help shed some light on CrossFit, and, in particular, MPH. We are just regular people who like taking on challenges, who want to have fun and to feel supported while doing it. We work hard so that we can live long, healthy lives.

Did Rebekka pique your interest about Crossfit? Or thinking about taking a class? Let me know in the comments!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Olaplex: Review

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Thoughts on Olaplex header image

As I write this review, I am currently grazing hip length. Retention has been, to say the least, difficult. I notice small, broken hairs everywhere, regardless of what I’m doing. I keep on top of moisturizing and sealing, deep conditioning, and being gentle, but breakage has been persistant…until I used Olaplex.

What’s Olaplex you ask? Well, let’s rewind a bit and address protein first. Protein, found in many different hair products, like deep conditioners and leave-ins, help to repair hair. As Natural Haven describes, proteins are “deposited” in the hair shaft, sticking to and forming temporary bonds to hair.
Protein is effective, but has a few drawbacks. It can make hair feel hard, and for those with low porosity hair, can sometimes do more harm than good. In regards to me, even with protein, this longer length of hair often makes it difficult to retain more length. About six months ago, I noticed I could retain more length by doing protein treatments weekly, but this technique is no longer working now that I’ve retained another two inches. That’s where Olaplex comes in.

I first heard about Olaplex from one of my Facebook friends, Heather, who is like seriously one of the dopest people I’ve ever encountered, and she has some seriously enviable tresses. She mentioned it in passing, and I tucked it away in the back of my brain to revisit later. A few weeks ago, I was thinking of making another hair product infographic and was reminded of Heather’s recommendation, and I decided to do one on hair bonders, which is where Olaplex falls under. Unlike a protein, which forms temporary bonds using amino acids, hair bonders repair the actual bonds in hair. While it’s not permanent (hair bonds break with normal wear and tear on the hair), hair bonders return hair as if it were new and undamaged. If this sounds confusing, check out Lab Muffins super science-y explanation.

So what does this all mean in terms of hair care? It means a few things. For one, Olaplex and other hair bonders are more superior at repairing hair than protein treatments. I’ve done two treatments so far, and my breakage has stopped almost completely. I had recommended Olaplex to another Facebook buddy, and she noticed 70% less breakage after her first use. Second, because proteins bond to hair, it often can make hair hard, or for those with low porosity hair, prevent moisture from getting to the shaft. With Olaplex and other hair bonders, the bonds repair themselves, so you don’t have to worry about hard hair.

Olaplex has one down side…the cost. At almost $30 for 3oz, it’s the most expensive product in my regimen. The bottle says to use once a week, but since Olaplex was designed for those with color treated hair (you don’t need color treated hair to use this), if your hair isn’t colored or extremely damaged, you can probably get away with using it once every other week or once a month. There’s also cheaper alternatives, but from what I’ve read, Olaplex is the industry standard, so results may vary.

All in all, if you’re having trouble with breakage and protein treatments aren’t working, your low porosity or protein sensitive, or you have color treated or really damaged hair, I would highly recommend picking up a bottle of Olaplex.


Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

28 Small Businesses for Natural Hair Care

Monday, April 30, 2018

28 Small Businesses for Natural Hair Care header

I know, I know. I've been super MIA lately (check out my Instagram or Facebook page if you want daily updates), but I'm back for a quick post. This week is  #SmallBusinessWeek! And in honor of the small business owners who work hard to provide the natural hair community with an abundance of products, accessories, hair extensions, and wraps, here are 28 small business for natural hair care!

Included in the list are Accented Glory, Alodia, CC’s Naturals, Curlformers, DevaCurl, Donatasco, Dr. Locs, Dragonfly Lake Scents, Form Beauty, Grace Eleyae, Heat Free Hair, Henna Sooq, Jakeala, Joshica Beauty, KeraVeda, Kinky Curly Yaki, Kitsch, LovableTreasures, Original Moxie, Puff Cuff, Sumo Bonnets, The Mane Choice, The Wrap Life, Thermal Hair Care, Tree Naturals, Wrap Queen, Wrap-A-Loc, and Wrapper Delights.

28 Small Businesses for Natural Hair Care

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

10 Stores for Women in their Late 20’s/Early 30’s

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

10 Stores for Women in their Late 20’s/Early 30’s header image

I’m almost four months away from 30, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also been more particular about where I get my clothes from. When I first began working almost 8 years ago, I had no problem filling my wardrobe with Forever21, Wet Seal (RIP), and Charlotte Russe (also RIP). It made sense; I was young, didn’t have much money, and wanted a lot of clothes. Quantity over quality was the name of the game. But as I’ve gotten older and my style has matured, I realized that I didn’t need (nor wear) that many clothes. I also had a ton of clothes that were just really poor quality: leggings that thin out after a couple wears, see-through blouses, skirts that I have to pull down every 5 steps. It was cute then, but it’s sort of old now.

As I’ve begun to move away from the teen shops, I’ve discovered other stores that better suit my taste. And while they may be more expensive, they go a lot farther.
  1. ASOS: A good in-between for teen to adult stores, ASOS has a variety of clothes that will appease everyone’s style sense. They have also have free returns.
  2. Everlane: I just discovered Everlane, and I’m already hooked. Outside of having great, well-made clothes, they pride themselves on transparent pricing and ethical work conditions.
  3. Express: Express has a good balance of work and play clothes. If I had to place it, I would say it’s a step up from H&M in price and quality. I’m also a stan for their assortment of tops.
  4. H&M: Don’t get me wrong, I love H&M. They’re around the same quality and price as ASOS, but with brick and mortar stores in every city, they’re good when I need to find an outfit quick.
  5. Lulu’s: While technically for a younger demographic, Lulu’s has a lot of great quality, inexpensive clothes. They’re always my go-to for accessories like clutches and jewelry. Plus, they have free return shipping.
  6. Madewell: Madewell is like an American Eagle, but with better quality clothes. They’re more expensive than AE, but they’re clothes are going to last a lot longer.
  7. Nordstrom Rack: Nordstrom Rack is great for those who want brand name for less. I got a Michael Kors coat from Nordstrom Rack for only $60. Enough said.
  8. The Gap: A great place for basics in more than just black and white. They have a lot of clothes that can easily go from work to play too.
  9. The Loft: My favorite place for work clothes, and don’t be fooled by their seemingly high prices. They’re almost always having a sale.
  10. Anthropologie: Anthropologie is the most expensive store on the list, but their sale section makes things a bit more accessible. If it’s still too expensive, their sister store, Urban Outfitters, has great quality clothes for a lower price point.
Honorable Mentions: Girlfriend Collective for great quality leggings you will never see through, Stitch and Rivet for leather bags, purses, and clutches, Lands’ End for coats that will always keep your warm.

What are your favorite stores to shop at for good quality clothes?


Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Moisturizing and Sealing: A Lesson on Never Giving Up

Friday, March 16, 2018

FroBunni | Moisturize and Seal

Every time I write about growing long hair, I always have someone say that hair length is genetic. This is true, it is. But it's hard to know what that terminal length will be, especially if you aren't caring for your hair as best as possible. But what is best is hard to determine for each individual person, and this is what people struggle with. When you've done everything - from deep conditioning every week to massaging your scalp with castor oil, and trying the Monistat trend to protective styling like crazy - it's really frustrating when someone who's attained her hair goals says, "you haven't done everything." In fact, it can be downright insulting (yes, I'm acknowledging this). But...what if you haven't done everything?

I've always struggled with retaining length around the perimeter of my hair (the edges: from the front, to the side, to the nape). That part of my hair is much shorter, frizzier, and drier. While most of my hair is between 22-24 inches, my edges are only about 12 inches. I reached a point where I thought this was genetic. It made sense; I know that terminal growth rate can vary from follicle to follicle, and I assumed my edges were not going to grow, and that's just how it is. So I didn't bother to think much of it...until the beginning of this year.

I always begin moisturizing and sealing my hair by first sectioning from front to back and side to side, creating 4 sections. Then, I apply my moisturizer and oil. Back in January, I noticed that by moisturizing and sealing this way, I wasn't really moisturizing the front and back section of my head, or for example, if I pulled my hair back into a high ponytail or bun, I wasn't moisturizing that top layer of hair that was exposed, which happens to include my edges. I wondered if this was the reason I struggled with length retention in those areas, and I started a test. Before sectioning my hair to moisturize and seal, I would moisturize and seal that top layer of hair.

My prediction was right. Two months moisturizing and sealing the top layer of my head, and I've retained so more length in that area, my hair is less frizzy, and it is much easier to detangle and style. I sort of wonder why I never realized this before, but it's actually pretty obvious. I moisturize and seal every day, I deep condition with heat, I  detangle the right way, so why would I think something as simple as changing where I moisturize and seal matter? But, it really can be that small, simple, and nuanced.

Listen, I'm not saying this journey is easy. I'm not saying it's without a lot of frustration and money (those products aren't cheap). But learning how to care for your hair, and I mean your hair, not someone else's, sometimes takes thinking outside of the box, changing up your regimen, or just going back to basics. Even when you think you're doing everything, there's always room for improvement.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!