I’ve Been Natural for 10 Years and I’m Ready for a Change!

Friday, June 28, 2019

New regimen in progress header image

My 10-year hair anniversary is somewhere around the middle of July. I can’t believe I’ve been natural for this long. The journey has had its ups and downs, but throughout it all I’ve always learned to embrace and love my hair. But the last year and a half has been a struggle with hair care, and my overall beauty care, in general.

Being sick has stolen my energy. My usual weekend mani-pedis, monthly waxes, and 5-hour long wash days are just no longer an option for me. My self-care routine has turned into sleeping and making sure I take my medications. This has made me realized how bloated my hair regimen has become, and I’ve wondered if this process is even necessary for healthy hair.

And so, I’ve decided to try something rather radical for me: to strip down my regimen to (mostly) bare bones and see what happens. I’ll be adopting more guidelines from the Curly Girl Method. Washing with a gentle shampoo, cowashing in the middle of the week, no-heat, no silicones, and keeping my regimen as simple as possible. The goal is to reduce the amount of time I spend on my hair, and hopefully reduce the stress of caring for it.

I’ll say it now and admit that I’m a bit nervous. My wash and go’s aren’t as successful as I would like due to the different textures, curls, and shrinkage; but I am going to, at least, try it for a whole month.
This weekend, I will trim all my damaged, split ends; wash my hair really well with a sulfate shampoo to get rid of all the build-up and residue on my hair, deep condition, rinse, apply a leave-in conditioner, and gel. From then on, my regimen will be as follows:

Day 1: Hair Bonder, Wash, Deep Condition, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel
Day 2: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 3: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 4: Co-wash, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 5: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 6: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 7: Co-wash, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 8: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 9: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 10: Hair Bonder, Wash, Deep Condition, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (repeat the entire process)

I will adjust this as needed, but it is rather simple, and I am keeping certain elements of my old regimen, like my hair bonder and my tea rinses. I will also be moisturizing my scalp as needed with a mix of rose water, glycerin, and tea tree oil. Oh! And no more oil…yeah, I am not sure how it’s going to work, but I am hoping I won’t need it to seal in moisture as much since I am wetting my hair more often. Again, I am a bit nervous, but I am ready for a big change. And who knows, I might find that this method is so much better for me than my current one.

As for products, the Curly Girl Method has a few simple rules: no shampoo, no silicones, no heat, no sulfates, no combs or brushes, and no alcohol. Of course, I’m not going to follow some of these rules. I already know that I need to wash to remove dandruff, but I will reduce how often. Second, I know I need to detangle with more than fingers, so I’ll be bringing back my handy-dandy denman brush to help detangle and clump curls. I am fine with letting go of everything else, even my silicones, which I’ve been using for years.

So, let’s see how this goes *fingers crossed.*

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

My Doctor Told Me to Take a Yoga Class? Which One Should I Take?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Yoga photo
Photo Credit: DVS Photography

When I teach yoga, one of the most frustrating things is when a new student comes in and tells me their doctor recommended they take yoga. While yoga is a great way to recover from any injury or improve mobility, not all yoga classes are created equal. While yoga is often stereotyped as slow and easy, some classes require a lot of physicality, and jumping right into one of those classes, especially if you’re a beginner, can be dangerous.

Before taking any yoga class, read the description of the class online or call the studio to ensure it’s appropriate for you. If you’re still unsure, here are some classes that are usually okay for those with injuries.

Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga classes give you a good introduction into the most basic yoga poses; you will move from one pose to the next, holding a pose for, on average, a minute, giving your muscles time to settle in each pose.

Restorative Yoga: If you’re injured, a restorative yoga class is perfect for you. You will likely use a lot of props to support you in each pose, and most classes won’t have you on your feet for too long.

Yin Yoga: One of my favorite types of yoga, yin yoga focuses on myofascial release. Extremely slow paced, you’ll hold seated and supine poses for 3-5 minutes.

Most Beginner Classes: In most cases, beginner classes are fine for those with injuries. The classes will be slow enough and you will hold poses for longer. But there are some exceptions…

Which Classes Shouldn’t You Take

Ashtanga and Rocket Yoga: While I absolutely love ashtanga and rocket yoga, I would not recommend them for those who are injured. Both classes are fast-paced and require a lot of strength and flexibility. While those familiar with yoga are able to make necessary accommodations, if you’re new, you may struggle and feel obligated to keep up.

Hot Yoga: If you’re recovering from an injury, I would recommend staying away from any hot yoga class (including Bikram). Hot yoga classes allow the muscles to lengthen more than they normally would, which is great when you’re healthy, but with an injury could give you a false sense of safety to push more than you normally would.

And just a few more tips: make sure you tell the yoga teacher at the start of class about your injury or limitations, speak up if you are uncomfortable or in pain, and never feel the need to keep up with the class. The golden rule is that, even with an injury, you should always leave a yoga class feeling better.

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