Happy New Year!

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In only a few more hours, we will be in 2015. 2014 feels like such a blur, and a lot has happened since this time last year. I am happy and excited for the New Year especially for the FroBunni. I expanded to a Twitter, YouTube page, and Facebook page, and the sky is the limit! I have a bunch of stuff planned for next year, so get excited!

Natural Hair Beginner's Series: A natural hair beginner's guide for new naturals, transitioners, and naturals who haven't quite got the hang of it yet. 
Bikini Ready: I'm counting down til the first day of summer to get tightened, toned and sexy for bikini season.
Monthly Challenges: There will be a challenge for each month this year and will include reading, writing, walking/running, green smoothies and drinking water, just to name a few.
Weekly Round Up: A list of articles that I found interesting that pertains to natural hair, beauty, fitness, health, fashion, and a few of my own personal interests (namely, MMA and music). 
Outfit of the Week: I can't do an outfit of the day, just doesn't work out that way, lol. But I will be doing my favorite outfit that I wore during the week. 
Yoga Pose of the Month: You already got a snippet of what's to come, but there will a yoga pose for each month this year.
Pins of the Week: Bringing this back and having it stay! I will be posting my favorite Pinterest pins of the week!

Oh, and before I go, I just want to thank all of my readers, viewers, family, and friends that have supported me. And with that, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dear FroBunni: What Should I Do With Single Strand Knots

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, December 31, 2014
single strand knots
Dear FroBunni, I am getting these little knots on the end of my hair. Whenever I see one, I cut it off, but I am getting so many that I am worried about retaining length. Is there a way to get rid of them without cutting my hair. 

What you have is the case of single strand knots, also known as fairy knots. Not to worry though, they are common for women with black natural hair (the hair curls upon itself causing it to knot) and even some women with straight hair. The most common way to handle them is to do exactly what you are doing, cutting them off. For most women, this is actually the best option. Single strand knots can actually cause more knots, along with tangles and potentially breakage, so removing prevents any possible damage to your hair.

Single strand knots, in and of themselves, are not harmful though. I have them and to be honest, I don't really pay much attention to them. The only time I pay them any mind is when I trim my hair, which is every 3-4 months. For the most part, they do not cause tangles or more knots, but when they start to get a bit out of hand and begin to cause damage, that is when I trim. To prevent or limit single strand knots, the best thing to do is keep your hair moisturized and stretched, using styles like roller sets, blowouts, or protective hairstyles.

So long as they don't cause damage, cutting or keeping them is really up to preference. Some naturals prefer not to have them, and others, like myself, don't care as much. It really is up to you.

(There is another way to remove them that I purposely left out, and that is by using a tiny pin (like a sewing needle) to undo the knot. In my opinion, this method is a lot of work, and if you have a lot then it just seems exhaustive to me. Also, constantly poking at the hair to get in the middle of the knot is really damaging. Again though, it is up to you, and I want to make sure my readers are aware of all methods).

FroBunni's 2015 Monthly Yoga Pose Challenge

in , , , by FroBunni, Monday, December 29, 2014

Along with having a few New Year's Resolutions, this year I also want to do monthly yoga challenges. I haven't been doing yoga as much as I like, but this year I want to get back into it because 1) I love yoga and 2) I eventually want to be certified to teach yoga (yup, already thinking ahead, first will be the certified personal trainer, next it's yoga). This challenge will begin the first of each month, and I must do the pose daily. I will also take weekly progression pics. The end goal is to have the pose almost mastered. I will also really make the effort to do, at least, a 20 minute yoga session 5 times a week. By the end of the year, I should be fully ready to become a certified yoga teacher!

Feel free to join me on my challenges! Yoga is a great way to get healthy and reduce stress. If you aren't comfortable with the pose or aren't familiar with yoga, I will also have a beginner's pose to correspond with the more challenging ones. So what to do you say, are you in?

Natural Through the Years

in , by FroBunni, Monday, December 29, 2014

Every so often, I look through my old pictures to see where I was and how far I've come. Looking at my hair from when I was relaxed to now is just amazing. When I first went natural, it was definitely hard. I had to learn about my texture, find the products that worked for me, and get used to having short hair. Each day, it became a little easier and my hair became a little bit longer. I'm almost at my 5.5 year natural hair anniversary, and I am definitely happy that I went natural!

So, remember when it gets hard or you feel you can't continue, it gets easier. It may take awhile, but stay determined and continue to push through. It will all be worth it in the end!

New Year's Resolutions

in , by FroBunni, Sunday, December 28, 2014
A sunrise seems appropriate for a New Year's Resolution post, lol

I rarely make New Year's Resolution, and if I do, it's no more than a couple. I don't like making promises to myself. But this year, I actually have 5 New Year's Resolutions. I'm really excited for all of them and I can't wait for the New Year to begin!

1. Volunteer Once a Month - I used to volunteer a lot and when I first came to DC, but it stopped when I graduated from grad school. I would like to do this again because it meant a lot to me knowing that I was making a difference in someone's life. I will probably volunteer at a library since I know libraries struggle with staffing, and I will put my very much unused Master's degree to good use (I have a Master's in Library Science...don't recommend anyone do that, lol).
2. Get an Instagram - This seems pretty trivial, but given the fact that it took so long to get a blog, followed by a Twitter, followed by a Youtube Channel, followed by a Facebook page (today, I finally made a Facebook page), getting an Instagram will actually be a challenge.
3. Become a Certified Personal Trainer - The best gift I got this year was from my mom; she paid for an NCCPT Certified Personal Trainer course so that I can get certified this year. I'm really excited because I can actually start working at gyms, which has been a goal of mine for the last 6 years.
4. Meditate Daily - Meditation changes me. I am more calm, patient, and gentle. When I don't meditate, I become a bit more stressed and my life feels hectic. I know my days don't change when I meditate, but I feel more mentally prepared when I meditate. I feel happier and my life is just more joyful. I want to meditate everyday this year so that I can feel as happy and joyful as possible. 
5. Get More Social - I'm pretty open about it, I was in bullied in high school and in college (yup, it happens). Because of it, I have difficulty meeting new people for fear of not liking me. I have been trying to overcome this for a good part of my young adult life, and I want to finally conquer this (the blog was actually part of overcoming this). I have a goal of meeting new people at least twice a month, if not weekly (it can get pretty busy at work, so I know going out weekly isn't possible all the time).

So that's it. I have a few challenges scatter here and there to accomplish more mini goals for myself like reading more and writing poetry again, but those are the five main goals I have. What are your New Year's Resolutions?

8 Reasons to Big Chop

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 16, 2014
frobunni long natural hair
One of my favorite things about big chopping is that you can track your process!

Last week, I put out a post called 9 Reasons Not to Big Chop. I shared the post on Facebook and was challenged to put out a different post, but this time, it was for big chopping. While I do acknowledge my own issues with the big chop, I also want to highlight that big chopping can also be a good thing. Many women find their beauty and strength after they cut away their chemically processed hair to start anew and see themselves as they really are. So here it is, 8 Reasons to Big Chop!

1.  You're Ready Now. You've put in the research, you're 100% sure that natural hair is for you. There's no reason to wait, big chop now so that you can begin your natural hair journey.
2. No turning back. If you have decided to go natural, but are worried that you are going to give up and relax, big chopping will make it easier for you to stay natural. You won't have to worry about taking care of two textures. Instead, you can gradually get used to your hair and texture as it gradually gets longer.
3. Save Time. Save Money. There's no doubt about this, big chopping will cut down on the time you spend on your hair, as well as money on products. Your wash day routine will go from 2 hours to 2 minutes.
4. Naptural Hair Anniversary. Big chopping gives your natural hair journey an official start date. You won't have to wonder when you first decided to go natural because your hair will have a specified anniversary date (and yes, celebrate this naptural hair anniversary with cake and a deep conditioner, lol).
5. You can enjoy it. The nice thing about big chopping and short hair...you can actual enjoy this time instead of worrying about styling your hair and wash day, lol.
6. You're a hair chameleon. If you change your hairstyle, cut or color all the time, big chop. You'll be able to enjoy your hair, and you'll have a ton of options when you're ready for a new style (long weave, poetic justice braids, tapered honey blond cut, the options are endless).
7. Time to experiment. I never did this but I really should've taken the chance. If you've ever wanted to add color or get a unique hair cut, now is the time! (I wanted to shave the side of my hair and dye it light pink. At this point, I'm too scared to do a color rinse and have a job where a unnatural colors are not considered appropriate, lol).
8. It's one of the best experiences. My big chop, while frustrating and stressful, was one of the best experiences of my life. It taught me that I am more than my hair. That I am more than what I see in the mirror. My hair didn't help me graduate college with honors or get into graduate school. It was all me. You learn about yourself when you big chop, you learn who you are and how beautiful you are. Even though transitioning would've allowed me to keep the long hair, I would've missed out on becoming a better person.

9 Reasons Not to Big Chop

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 09, 2014
frobunni short natural hair
Two months after my big chop. I went from 8 inches of hair to 1/2 inch of hair, lol

I have only one regret about going natural...I big chopped. It was the worst decision for me, especially since I loved having longer hair (it was only armpit length at its longest, and I don't consider that long...it's not up for debate, lol*). My reasoning for big chopping, as opposed to transitioning, was that if I found transitioning difficult, I may relax my hair again, while if I was all natural, I wouldn't even consider relaxing my hair. While this held true, I still think I should've transitioned because until I got to bra strap length, I wasn't really happy with the length of my hair. So if you're on the fence about big chopping, here are 9 reasons to hold off.

1. You don't like your hair short. This one is the most obvious, but if you don't like short hair, don't big chop.
2. You're not sure if you can grow your hair long.** If you want to go natural to see if your hair can grow long hair, do not big chop. Big chopping will only make this process longer, and you're going to have to learn how to take care of your natural hair and retain length. Instead, make a short term length goal (so if you're shoulder length, work up to armpit length) and incorporate healthy hair practices into your regimen. This will ensure you that your hair can grow and you're getting a jump start into learning how to care for your hair.
3. You're undecided about going natural. If you haven't made an official decision about going natural, don't just jump in the deep end. Wait it out while doing research on natural hair to help you decide.
4. You think it's the only way to go natural. Transitioning is an option.
5. You think it won't take long for your hair to grow back. I thought this too, and trust me, it takes awhile. You will not go from a low fade to waist length in a year, so if you think your hair will grow back fast, don't big chop. You will be disappointed.
6. You don't like drastic changes. Another self-explanatory one, but going from some hair to no hair is pretty drastic. Just transition.
7. Your friends and/or family are pressuring you. You need to big chop when you're ready. If you do it any sooner, you may regret your decision. If you are getting outside pressure from friends and/or family, explain to them why you have made the decision not to big chop and that this is the best decision for you.
8. You haven't done any research on natural hair. Regardless of if you big chop or transition, do your research so that you can be prepared.
9. You plan on relaxing again. Unless you're a chameleon and you change your hairstyle all the time, don't big chop if you plan to go back to relaxers. There's no point in starting over (unless your hair is that damaged). Assess your hair, cut away the damaged ends, incorporate healthy hair practices into your regimen, and start stretching your relaxers to 10-12 weeks to prevent over processing your hair.

*I often get challenged for thinking that shoulder length hair is short. To me, it's short and long is, at least, bra strap length. There is nothing that will convince me otherwise.  
**Everyone can grow long hair (with long being 12 inches worth of hair, which, for the average person, is about 2 years worth of hair growth), it's just a matter of being able to retain length. If you have never had hair longer than shoulder length, trust me, your regimen is the problem, not your genes. 

Comparing NCCA Certified Personal Trainer Certifications

in , , by FroBunni, Monday, December 08, 2014
I have a few New Year's Resolutions already prepared for 2015, but one of my biggest is to become a Certified Personal Trainer and get my foot in the industry. If you know anything about me, I have a ton of fitness DVDs and books, and I have used them to train a few family members and friends, as well as myself. I really want to start getting outside of this realm and start working at a gym.

So, I'm sure you're wondering, what does it take to be a Certified Personal Trainer. Well, that's easy, you have to take a test and pass. Of course, you will want to study first to increase your chances of passing, but at the very least you have to take a test and pass. Now for the even bigger question...how much does all this cost? And here is the exact reason why I've been putting this off. There's a lot of personal trainer certifications out there, but really only a handful matter and those are the ones accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). So of course, I started comparing each one, and to be honest, almost all of them were the same with slight variations in training materials and in-person workshops, but that was about all.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering why these all have such varying prices that range from "pretty cheap" to "holy crap, I don't have that much money!" Well, it's pretty simple, some of these are not-for-profit and some are for profit. Some of them offer less training materials, while others offer more training materials. And for some, you’re getting a network of like-minded fitness professionals to call upon at any time.

So what really matters in all of this? Two things: cost and your own self-study prowess. Cost is apparent. Either you can afford the most expensive option and you're willing to pay for it, or you don't have as much money and the cheapest option is all you're willing to pay for. The latter is really the most important. Ask yourself this:
  1. Can I study adequately on my own, which will require me to study a little bit each day, prepare with a practice exam, and do all of this in a way that will ensure that I will pass?
  2. Or do I need a teacher to guide me through courses, outline the amount of study time each day, and help me prepare for the exam?
Depending on which question you answer yes to will determine which association you will want to go through to get certified.

NCCA Personal Trainer Certification Comparison

ACTION $50 Free option, but the $50 allows you to get testing material, flash cards, practice exams, etc. Also, taking the test requires a $60 examination fee.
American College of Sports Medicine ACSM $350
Cooper Institute. $300
National Academy of Sports Medicine NASM $700 $2000 was the highest option
National Council for Certified Personal Trainers. NCCPT $495
National Council on Strength and Fitness NCSF $250
National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association NESTA $449
National Exercise Trainers Association NETA $349
National Federation of Professional Trainers NFPT $479
National Strength and Conditioning Association NSCA $370
PTA Global
$700 Optional workshop for an additional $99
American Council on Exercise ACE $600
The cost includes the price of training materials, and I chose from the most basic option. Most offered more expensive options that included more training materials such as flash cards, workshops, and practice exams. There's also the option to just take the test. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone without a collegiate degree in Fitness Science or other similar degree. The exam also must be taken at a proctored site.

As you can see, most of these are going to cost me a pretty penny, and the only reasonably priced CPT program is ACTION, which will cost me, at max, $110. That's $140 less than the second cheapest option. But ACTION is newly NCCA certified and not as well known or prestigious. The two most well-known and prestigious options are ACE and ACSM, which will cost me $300 and $600, respectively.

So, which one do I take? I'll answer it this way. Lately, I've been bingeing on Shark Tank, a show where people pitch their invention/business to well-known, self-made entrepreneurs and businessmen and women for them to invest. Well Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, is one of the well-known, self-made businessmen, and I found out he went to Indiana University in Bloomington, Pennsylvania, a fairly unknown public university (I only know of it because I lived in PA). He only went because it had the cheapest tuition. This made me think. Having an ACE Personal Trainer Certification is great, but it isn’t necessary to being a great personal trainer. All I need to do to get in the industry is get properly certified. The rest of it - ambition, determination, drive, perseverance - is up to me.

*I left the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA) off my list. The CSCCA is specifically for coaches and there was no CPT program. The PMA has a horrible website with miserable usability. I couldn't navigate it and each link opens up a new page, which was beyond frustrating. So I couldn't find their CPT program, and hence, couldn't compare it with the others.

**The one downside to ACTION is that most of the other associations offer other fitness certification programs like group fitness, cycling, nutrition, etc. I wasn't comparing all of that, but more so for an FYI.

Pin of the Day: Butt Workout Routine

in , , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 02, 2014
butt workout routine

Trust this won't be a new thing, but I just love this pin! I finished the workout and I am exhausted. Of course, per my rules yesterday, most of this was HIT based (I turned the squats and lunges into jump squats and lunges). But, my butt muscles are sore, and I know that I will be sore later today and tomorrow. Plus my workout isn't even done. I've got upper body to do courtesy of Jackie Warner's Power Circuit DVD. So here it, the pin of the day. And seriously, try this, your butt will thank you!

5 Bloat Busting Recipes

in , , , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Yesterday, I was bloated, sluggish, and my workout was pretty hard to get through. As much as I love Thanksgiving food, all of that butter, dairy, and salt is a recipe for bloating and indigestion. As a big smoothie fan, I knew that I would find some relief there and made myself my usual apple pie smoothie. It taste like apple pie minus the sugar and fat. Plus, cinnamon, apple, and nutmeg are really great natural remedies for bloat. I skipped the yogurt that is normally found in the recipe, and I am currently drinking almond milk (my lactose intolerance is getting pretty bad, so I'm not even drinking Lactaid milk). This week for breakfast, I will be eating foods that alleviate bloating, so of course, I am sharing them with you! Here are 5 great recipes to stop bloating!

Antioxidant Power: Chia Berry Smoothie
Fiber from the berries and chia seeds, this antioxidant rich smoothie will not only help with bloating, but also prevent wrinkles and give you a glowing complexion.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Chia Pudding
Another chia seed rich recipe, the honey will double to help alleviate indigestion and heart burn.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Sweet Hydration: Chocolate Coconut Water Smoothie
Bloating due to your period? Both the chocolate and banana will double to alleviate bloating and menstrual cramps.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Pineapple Kale Blue Berry Smoothie
Potassium from pineapples, and fiber from Kale, this smoothie is a great remedy for bloat, and a good way to get your veggies for the day.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Overnight Oats
Overnight are super easy to make and great for breakfast. Even better, the oats will help to prevent bloating throughout the day.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com
frobunni natural hair
Before and now of my hair after a month of washing with a cleansing conditioner

I was looking back at old pictures yesterday and noticed that my hair is a lot shiner and less frizzy than when I was washing with baking soda. I never thought I would say it, but I think washing with a cleansing conditioner is really the best option for me. This is a testament that you definitely have to try a few products before one works because the L'oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner was an abysmal failure for me. From that experience, I assumed cleansing conditioners weren't ever going to be a part of my natural hair regimen. But I tried again with Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner and wow, I'm impressed! 

My hair has been doing so much better, and even though caring for my natural hair was easy before, using the cleansing conditioner has made it significantly easier to take care of now. Wash day is down to 1.5 hours instead of 2 hours because the cleansing conditioner makes detangling my hair a breeze. I am also retaining more moisture. I haven't noticed any build up yet, but if I do get it, I think I will revisit clay washing. I haven't actually done a clay mask before, but I really don't want to return to shampoo OR baking soda. Since my products are more on the natural side and water soluble, it should hopefully work. So, here's to cleansing conditioners and better hair days!

Benefits of a Cleansing Conditioner
  • Less frizzy hair
  • Shinier hair
  • Retains more moisture
  • Faster wash day
  • Easier to detangle
  • Less tangles and knots overall
  • More cooperative
  • Retains more length
  • Enhances and clumps curls

Tabata and HIIT Workouts

in , , by FroBunni, Sunday, November 30, 2014
tabata workout
Tabata Workout

Well, I need to restart my yoga challenge, lol. Once I got back to mom's Wednesday night, it's been lounge and lax city. I haven't done much of anything (even blogging), so I have to get back to my normal workout routine. So it's back to my Tabata and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts to ensure I get a good dose of cardio. So along with yoga, which I will do in the evenings, I have to incorporate at least 10 minutes of Tabata/HIIT workouts. So of course, I have already prepared some workouts for myself that will torch fat, build muscle, and get me back to my lean, mean self. Bring it on!

HIIT workout
HIIT Workout #1

HIIT workout
HIT Workout #2
frobunni magnetic rollers on natural hair

Trying to sleep with magnetic hair rollers in my hair was a mistake last night. I wasn't exactly feeling well, and honestly, they're near impossible to sleep in. There was a lot of tossing and turning, and after an hour, I said "forget this," and starting pulling the curlers out of my hair. I put my hair in a bun, and went back to sleep. I figured it would look horrible in the morning, and I would just have to live with it. But surprise of all surprises, it looked amazing. I was quite thrilled. It actually ended up looking like a stretched two strand twist. Just goes to show you to never expect anything until it happens.

Yoga Challenge Starts This Week!

in , , , by FroBunni, Monday, November 24, 2014
yoga bridge pose variation
Bridge variation, this is one of my favorite yoga poses

I've decided to do a week long yoga challenge. I don't have to do any extreme cardio or HIIT workouts, just yoga. Lately, my life has been very crazy, and the only thing that will reset it is going back to my old faithful. So what's challenge? It's only 30 minutes of yoga a day. I will make it easy for myself and do it in the mornings (lol, that's a challenge in and of itself). Hopefully, I will be back to my zen-ful self soon.

Natural Hair Gels and Curling Custards to try!

in , by FroBunni, Sunday, November 23, 2014
FroBunni | Natural Hair Gels and Curling Custards to Try

As you know, from my guar gum gel post, I don't use products with PVP or copolymer. They aren't good for my natural hair, and since I only co-wash, it could actually cause build up on my hair and scalp. With Black Friday and the Holiday season coming up, I'm thinking about trying some natural hair products, specifically, hair gels and custards. So of course, I made a list, lol, I will be picking some up this upcoming Friday. I can't wait!

[Edit: Since writing this blog post, my regimen has changed. For my most recent regimen, go to My Regimen.]

Aloe Vera Gel
Andalou Naturals BB Argan & Sweet Orange Styling Cream
Andalou Naturals BB Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel
Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream
Beautiful Curls, Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream
Beautiful Curls, Shea Butter Curl Defining Gel
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker
Curly Kinks Coil Jam
Curly Kinks Curl Factor
Honey Love Loc
Innersense Organic Beauty I Create Hold
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie
Original Moxie Just Gel Styling Concentrate
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle
Suncoat Natural Styling Gel
The Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream


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

by FroBunni, Sunday, November 23, 2014

I know a lot of people use Bloglovin to follow their favorite blogs (I just set up my account! I will finally remember that I have a ton of blogs to catch up on! Hooray!) so I decided to add the FroBunni on there, as well. Check it out!
how to straighten natural hair with no heat

Not all naturals can flat iron their hair. This is a fact. The last time I flat ironed my hair, it was over 2 years ago. It was my "present" for reaching bra strap length. I washed my hair, stretched it with curlformers, applied my heat protectant, and flat ironed my hair on 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The result...severe heat damage. A few days after I flat ironed, I noticed 1 to 2 inch split ends going all the way up my hair. They were everywhere. Despite all of the prevention and protection I took to prevent heat damage, I still got it and there was no fixing it. I knew what I had to do. I spent most of that year trimming away the damage. It took me an entire year to reach waist length when it would've taken me only 9 months. I learned a valuable lesson that year. I cannot flat iron my natural hair, like forever. And I'm ok with that. It means that my hair can be healthy, and I can retain length. The healthy hair is much more important.

Of course, as I mentioned before, I love wearing my hair stretched and showing length. So if I wanted to get my hair somewhat straight with no heat, then I would have to think outside of the box. The result was a year worth of testing and thinking about ways to straighten my hair with absolutely no heat. This involved an email to curlformers to make straigthformers (they said they couldn't...be they are actually working on it) and an idea similar to the most recent failed attempted at CWK plates (I didn't have the desire to make more than a days worth of effort). Eventually, I figured it out. Take an old stretched hair style like a roller set, perm rod set, even a braid out, and low bun over night. The result is super stretched hair that gets almost fully straight. So, there it is. You can straighten your natural hair without heat.

29 Cleansing Conditioners and Co-Washes

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner is a really great, cheap cleansing conditioner that softens hair and helps to define curls. 

I've decided that I am going to start searching around for Cleansing Conditioners as my main method for cleansing my natural hair and scalp on wash day. I am already using Herbal Essence Cleansing Conditioner, and I have tried L'oreal EverCurl Cleansing Conditioner (I didn't like it at all, I turned it into a shaving cream). I put together a list of cleansing conditioners that I am interested in trying, and I am sharing it on my blog! Hope it helps!

Jane Carter Cleansing Conditioner
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner*
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Eden Coconut Shea Cleansing Cows
Wen Cleansing Conditioner*
Nothing But Cleansing Conditioner Cowash
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner*
L'Oreal EverCurl Cleansing Conditioner*
Mizani Co-Wash Conditioning Cream
Ouidad Curl Co-Wash
Darcy's Botanicals Daily Cleansing Conditioner Cream
Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner for Dry Hair
Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner
Curly Q's Curlie Cutie Cleansing Cream
Camille Rose Naturals Caramel Cowash*
JessiCurl Hair Cleansing Cream
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Co Wash
Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Moisturizing Co-Wash
Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Cleansing Conditioner
Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner*
III Sisters of Nature Cleansing Conditioner with Coconut Milk*
Ossat Naturals Moisturizing Co-Wash
Dark and Lovely Au Natural Anti-Shrinkage Cleansing Conditioner A La Creme
Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Nutrition Conditioning Cleanser for Oily or Flat Hair*
Macadamia Flawless Cleansing Conditioner
Potent Jamican Black Castor Oil Pink Grapefruit Co-wash Cleansing Conditioner
Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner

*They make more than one cleansing conditioner or cowash

Have another cleansing conditioner/cowash you think should be on the list. Send me an email at frobunni[at]gmail.com and let me know!

Dear FroBunni: How do I create a natural hair regimen?

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, November 19, 2014
FroBunni | How to create a natural hair regimen?

Dear FroBunni, I've been natural for a couple years now, but I've never actually put together a hair care regimen for myself. To be honest, I don't even know where to start.
Creating a regimen is actually pretty easy. The difficult part is tweaking it to fit your specific needs and finding hair products that work best for you, But for the sake of keeping this post on topic and for brevity, I will just focus on creating a regimen. 

Wash Day

A natural hair regimen has two main parts, wash day and daily maintenance. At the most basic level, a wash day will consist of washing and conditioning...of course, most naturals do more than this. Instead of using shampoos, some naturals will cowash, or use conditioners or a cleansing conditioner, to cleanse their hair (this is currently what I am doing with Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner). After shampooing, conditioner follows (this step isn't necessary with cowashing). The amount of times you will wash will be up to you. I wash once a week, some naturals wash every other week, and other naturals wash once a month.

Ideally, on wash day you should detangle. There are many ways to detangle - you can use a wide tooth comb, a denman brush, or even your fingers. Make sure to be gentle, and it is easier to detangle with conditioner in your hair. I generally detangle with a denman, but if I am doing a wash n go, I will detangle with my fingers (it keeps my curls clumped and defined).

Deep conditioning is optional, but if you have issues retaining moisture, it is wise to do it once a week. Try to find a moisturizing deep conditioner, meaning it has little to no protein in it. You can also deep condition with a protein conditioner, like ApHogee, if your hair is brittle or breaking off. I deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner whenever I feel like it (I have no set schedule), and I use ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor once a month to strengthen my ends.

After all that, you will want to style your hair, but before you do, make sure to use a leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil or butter. The leave-in conditioner will give your hair added moisture and the oil or butter will seal it in. Below I listed some oils and butters that you can purchase from hair care companies, but you can also use oils and butters like olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, aloe vera butter, sunflower oil, etc. Oh yeah, and this is important to note, oils and butters are not moisturizers. I see this all the time in natural hair groups and forums; the only way to moisturize your hair is with water (or aloe vera juice), so if water isn't the first or second ingredient in the ingredient list, then it won't moisturize your hair. Since oils and butters have NO water in them, they are not moisturizing. They seal, but they don't moisturize.

And finally, styling. Natural hair is not limiting, so feel free to experiment with anything. Wash n gos, braids, twists, flat twists, braid outs, bantu knots, twist outs, puff, perm rod sets, sponge roller sets, regular roller sets, blowouts. The list goes on and on.

Daily Maintenance

Ok, so wash day is done; now for daily maintenance. While wash day is very much up to the individual, daily maintenance is even more so. Most of the time, daily maintenance for me consists of moisturizing, sealing, and resetting my style every night (I am noticing that the Jane Carter Wrap and Roll extends the life of my roller sets an extra day, which is awesome), and in the morning, I take out whatever I put in my hair (braids, twists, rollers, etc.) and run some Giovanni Ultra Sleek Hair & Body Super Potion through my hair to prevent frizz. I do this because my hair needs to be moisturized daily and I can barely get second day hair.

For other naturals, my daily maintenance is too much. They will prep and set their style for wash day, and that's all. They'll wear a braid out or twist or blowout for the entire week, and pineapple their hair at night to preserve the hairstyle. For other naturals, they will moisturize, seal, and restyle their hair every 4 days. It really depends on the person, their time commitment to their hair, and what their hair needs.

So that's it. Fairly simple. Like I said, creating the regimen is simple, but it's finding the right products and techniques that will give you trouble. But again that's another post for another day.

Product List

I put together a product list of shampoos, cleansing conditioners, conditioners, deep conditioners, leave-ins, sealing butters and oils, and gels and creams to get you started on finding the perfect products for you!

Shampoo
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
Kinky Curly Come Clean
Herbal Essence Hydralicious De-Damage Boost
Original Moxie Get Clean! No-Foam Shampoo
Creme of Nature Kiwi & Citrus Moisturizing Shampoo

Cleansing Conditioner
Jane Carter Creamy Conditioner Cleanser
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
As I am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Eden Coconut Shea Cleansing Cowash

Conditioner
Giovanni Ultra-Moist Conditioner
Andalou Brilliant Shine Conditioner
Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner
Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner
Bee Mine Avocado Cream Balance Conditioner

Deep Conditioner
Giovanni Ultra Moist Deep Deep Moisture Mask
Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
Bee Mine BEE-U-Ti-FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

Leave-In
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner
Kinky Curly Knot Today
Andalou Moisture Rich Leave-In Conditioner
Aunt Jackie's Curls and Coils Quench! Moisture Intense Leave-In Conditioner

Sealing Butters and Oils
Giovanni Ultra Sleek Hair & Body Super Potion
Jane Carter Hair Nourishing Serum
Original Moxie Hair Bling Hair Shine Pomade
Eden Coconut Shea Hair Oil
Organix Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil

Gels and Creams
Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel
Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker
Andalou Medium Hold Styling Gel

Ponytail Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Ponytail Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair

On stretched hair, I put aloe Vera juice on my scalp, moisturized my hair with Giovanni Direct Leave-In, sealed with a mix of coconut and olive oil, and followed up with some Jane Carter Wrap and Roll. I made a ponytail and put 5 perm rods within the ponytail section. I did a total of 5 ponytails. In the morning, I undid each roller, took out the ponytail, and ran Giovanni Ultra Sleek Hair and Body Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil through my hair. Voila!

What's To Eat This Week: Carbonara, Spanakopita, and Cobb Salad

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, November 18, 2014
This week, I decided to get all fancy and try some recipes that I've never done before. My mom used to make carbonara all the time minus the peas (both she and my brother don't really like peas, but I love peas). I wanted something pretty easy, so I found this 5 ingredient recipe and decided to just add peas at the end.

Last week, I was supposed to make this watercress salad with feta cheese. I made it once and didn't make it again, so I had a ton of feta cheese left over and wanted to get rid of it (since I let the watercress go bad). I saw this Spanakopita recipe and decided to give it a try. Growing up in Syracuse, I was actually able to try a lot of Greek cuisine because of the large Greek population, so even though I've never made Spanakopita, I was pretty familiar with it.

I also wanted a salad this week, but I wasn't sure what. I saw this Cobb Salad recipe and wanted to try it because of the fried chicken in the original recipe. I went to Whole Foods, and apparently they do not have pre-cooked fried chicken. So I just made it without the chicken. It's still very good, and with all the protein, it's not like I'm going to be hungry afterwards.

Carbonara

carbonara
Ingredients:
1 box of fettuccine
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pack of frozen peas, thawed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
  1. Boil pasta, drain and set aside
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmesan; set aside.
  3. Cook bacon, let cool and chop. Reserve excess fat.
  4. Saute minced garlic in the bacon fat. Add in pasta, bacon, and peas.
  5. Stir in pasta and egg mixture, and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately
Adapted from Damn Delicious

Spanakopita

Spanakopita
Ingredients:
1/2 16 oz package of frozen Phyllo Dough
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed
4 garlic cloves
5 oz crumbled feta cheese
½ cup cottage cheese
Italian seasoning
Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add diced onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add spinach and cook until heated through. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. In a bowl combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, feta, Italian seasoning, nutmeg and salt (I just eyed the last three ingredients)
  4. To assemble tart, lay two phyllo sheets vertically on baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Take two more phyllo sheets and turn them so that they are at the 11:00 and 5:00 positions. Continue to arrange phyllo sheets in a clockwork fashion. Butter the tops of each new pair of phyllo dough as you go. When all the sheets have been used, place spinach mixture in the center and spread out into a circle. Carefully fold each section of the phyllo over spinach mixture; butter each section as you go along.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are golden and center is set.
Adapted from Lemons for Lulu

Cobb Salad

cobb salad
Ingredients:
2 heads of green lettuce, washed and torn into small pieces
6 strips crispy bacon, chopped
4 cups of cherry tomatoes
1.5 cups blue cheese crumbles
4 hard boiled eggs

For the Vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Directions:
  1. Arrange lettuce at bottom of bowl, place tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese, and eggs on top of lettuce
  2. For the vinaigrette, in a food process, combine the shallot, mustard, and the oil and vinegar and the salt and pepper.
  3. Toss and serve immediately. Makes enough for 4-6 people.
Adapted from Heather Christo

ThredUp | Review

in , by FroBunni, Thursday, November 13, 2014
thredup review
I love the J.Crew pants so much I decided to wear them today to work. Seriously, I look so professional! ThredUp is great for buying career clothes for women!

It's a very well known fact that I love fashion, clothes, and shopping. My closet is literally busting from the seams because I have no more room for clothes (I'm trying to cut down or give away what I'm not wearing...it's not working, lol). I've never really gone thrift shopping before, but I was watching the TheChicNatural on Youtube, and she did a review on ThredUp, an online thrift shopping website selling gently used clothes and accessories. I didn't think much about it until I got a new job (oh yeah, I got a new job). I wanted to look more professional than at my previous job, but also wanted to start buying more quality career clothes. I remembered ThredUp and decided to see what they had. 

To my surprise they had a lot of luxury designer items for literally 80-90% off. What does this mean for me? Well, it means I can fill my closet with a bunch of BCBGMAXAZRIA (one of my favorite designers) and not go broke in the process. I put over 20 items in my cart...and then deleted most of them, lol. I decided to keep my order small just in case my experience was negative. I bought 5 business pants - 4 pairs of BCBGMAXAZRIA pants and 1 pair of J.Crew pants. Everything only cost me $100, when it would've cost me almost $1000 if I bought it new and at retail price. I was really excited for my clothes to come...until I got an email and was notified that my order would take 10 days to arrive (this is much, much longer than other places I've ordered from). While this was frustrating, it honestly was the only downside. 

When I finally got my clothes, I immediately opened up the package and fell in love. The J.Crew and two of the BCBGMAXAZRIA were perfect. The other two BCBGMAXAZRIA pants wore like high water pants (which I hate), so I will return them (Note: some things can’t be returned, so take note when you order). I will definitely order from this company again, especially for more business clothes.

thredup review
This is the box the clothes came in. I liked that it was colorful!

thredup review
Everything is nicely packed and folded. 

thredup review
The ThredUp label was placed on each item. These are the J.Crew pants!

thredup review
Some items still have the original tags!

Roller Set on Natural Hair

in , by FroBunni, Thursday, November 13, 2014
roller set on natural hair
I decided to be really detailed with this picture tutorial!

For the next few weeks, I am going to test setting lotion, specifically Jane Carter Wrap and Roll, so check back for more natural hairstyle tutorials! 

I started on an old sponge roller set (you can start from any stretched hairstyle). I applied aloe vera juice to my scalp. I made 5 sections. I moisturized with Giovanni direct leave in, sealed with aloe butter (this is NOT the same as mixing aloe vera gel and shea butter), and applied Jane Carter wrap and roll. I finger detangled and detangled with a wide tooth comb to get the curls from the sponge roller set out. I gathered all the hair in the section and made a ponytail. I then put 4 rollers on the ponytail (the bottom two ponytails had 4 rollers, the middle two sections had 3, the top had 2 rollers). I moved through each section applying my products, detangling, making a ponytail and putting on rollers. I went to bed...this isn't the most comfortable to sleep in. If you have an airplane pillow, sleeping on this lifts your head allowing you to lie down more comfortably. In the morning, I took out the rollers and ponytail. I put some oil (coconut and olive oil) on my hands and smoothed the hair down. My roots at the very top were still a bit damp, so I made a low ponytail and I will take it out when it dries.
Dear FroBunni, I've been natural for over a year now. I like it but it's getting thicker and more difficult to manage. I really don't want to, but I've been thinking about relaxing my hair. How do I make my hair more manageable so that I don't have to relax it? 

First thing is first, if you want to relax your hair, then do it. If your mind is made up, nothing I say can deter you from relaxing. Now that that's out of the way, I would stop looking at your hair as unmanageable. Your hair is very manageable. You will just need to change some of your techniques and products to better manage your natural hair. I've got a few tips and tricks that can help.
  1. Section hair: Out of all the tips I will give you, this is the biggest one. Start sectioning your hair. I don't do anything to my hair unless it is sectioned first. You may find that you need to make more or less sections depending on the thickness of your hair, but trust me, your hair becomes much more manageable when you start sectioning.
  2. Moisturize more often: Up your moisturizing game. Dry hair can get really frustrating to deal with and it isn't cooperative. If you haven't already done so, start moisturizing once or every other day. You're hair will become more manageable almost immediately.
  3. Take a break: Sometimes you just get so overwhelmed that you need to take a break from your hair, so consider a protective hairstyle. Protective hairstyles can include weaves, buns, two strand twists, etc., so your options are limitless and you don't have to use hair extensions. While your on a "hair vacation," think about if you really want to relax your hair or if you want to keep going with being natural. You will be able to make a better judgement call for yourself when you aren't stressed about styling your hair everyday.
  4. Find a natural hair stylist: I don't have the best opinion of hair stylists, but that is just me. You may want to stay natural, but don't really want to deal with your hair. Consider finding a reputable natural hair stylist to do your hair. This way, you won't have to deal with it (you may want to learn a few tips and tricks just in case your stylist isn't available, in the event of an emergency).
  5. Re-examine your natural hair regimen: What worked for you at a shorter length, may not work for you anymore. So consider switching out products and changing hair care techniques. At every length goal, I re-examine and reevaluate my regimen to determine what is working and what isn't. For example, I use to wash my hair in 8 two-strand twists. Washing with twists when I was armpit length helped me get to bra-strap length (BSL). But once I got to mid-back length, I noticed that my hair would become really tangled near the roots and caused breakage when I detangled. Hence, I stopped washing in two-strand twists, which minimized my breakage.
Hopefully these tips will help, but what if they don't? I would say just relax. If you're miserable and you feel like you've reached the end, just relax your hair. At the end of the day, you want to be happy. You can always come back to natural at a later point in time.

Got anymore tips to make natural hair more manageable. Let me know in the comments!
Two New Hair Care Products: Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner and Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll
Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll and Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner

I don't want to do a review for these just yet, since I want to give them more than one test to see if my hair really likes it, but last week, I bought Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner, and yesterday, I bought Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll.

When I was relaxed, and even into when I was natural, I loved Herbal Essence products. I had switched over to more natural products, and eventually fell in love with Giovanni, so I just stopped using them. I was aware of their Naked line, but since I had my staples, I never tried the shampoo or conditioner. But, since I am in the middle of trying to figure out the right cleansing method for my hair, I decided to buy the cleansing conditioner when I was in Target. I used it last week, and I noticed it left a tad bit of buildup on my scalp. I washed with it again this week, and didn't notice any buildup. The Cleansing Conditioner left my hair super soft and tangles just melted away, plus my hair felt both clean and moisturized. My curls were also super defined (and shampoo really does just ravage my curls, so I don't think I'm going to stick with it). I'm excited to see if this cleansing conditioner will really work for me in the long haul.

I've seen the Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll for the past 2 years and always wanted to try it. It has all natural ingredients and doesn't have PVP and copolymer. I was in a natural hair group on Facebook last night and Chigirlmakeup posted one of her videos. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her perm rod sets. She uses setting lotion and little bit of gel to get her hair to stay curly for long periods of time, so I thought "what the heck," went out to Ulta and picked up the setting lotion. I've used setting lotion in the past, but never had some of my own (I used my mom's). It has a floral scent but it wasn't too overpowering (and hopefully I won't smell it when I take these sponge rollers out). I am hoping the setting lotion will allow me to keep my style for over a day or two (really hoping for a week because this hairstyle is very labor intensive, lol).

Hopefully these hair products will work for me!

Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel Mascara

in , , by FroBunni, Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel mascara and brow gel
Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel mascara and brow gel

I've spoken on Cacao foundation before in my posts Cacao Powder Foundation Revisited and Need a more natural foundation? Try Cacao Powder and Rice Flourbut I wanted to do a better before and after (my most recent one wasn't the clearest). Plus, I added a new natural makeup product to my routine, aloe vera gel as mascara and a brow gel.

aloe vera gel mascara
AloeLife aloe vera gel in a mascara tube. It took me awhile to get the gel in there, lol

As I've said before, cacao powder is great to use as a natural makeup foundation, and works amazingly as a foundation for women with dark skin. It evens skin tone, while also fighting against wrinkles.

Aloe vera gel thickens and lengthens eyelashes and eyebrows. All I did is take some AloeLife aloe vera gel, bought an empty mascara tube, and put the gel in the mascara tube. I've noticed that my eyelashes have gotten longer since I started using it, which is great because they have been pretty short and thin in the past. If you already have a makeup routine, put some gel on your eyebrows and eyelashes at night before bed, you'll get the same results!

Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel mascara and brow gel
Bonus Pic: First pic: No makeup; Second pic: Cacao foundation and aloe vera gel mascara/brow gel; Third pic: Winged eyeliner and NYX matte lip cream in Copenhagen. 
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