Check Me Out on Black Hair Information

in , by FroBunni, Friday, May 30, 2014

I am honored that Black Hair Information would feature my hair story on their website. Go over there and check it out!

Kicking It Up With New Shoes

in , by FroBunni, Thursday, May 29, 2014
From left to right: MIA Tonga, MIA Able, Dirty Laundry Brandee (in red), Dirty Laundry Brandee (in black), Diba Ana Lisa, Michael Antonia Jaxine

So I upped my flat shoe game this week. I bought a bunch of shoes off of hoping they would be perfect, and what do you know, they are! All of them fit perfectly, and I am in love with the Michael Antonio opened toe pump (I plan to wear that to work). The two d'orsay flats in black and red are also gorgeous. This is the first time I've ever bought a pointed shoe and the point isn't overwhelming at all. I can't wait to wear them with a pair of shorts or a skirt. The sandals were necessary; I bought some JustFab sandals at the end of last summer, and despite the fact that I haven't even worn them 10 times, they're already falling apart (-_-). So those will be pulled from my closet to make rooms for these beauties!

I am more than ecstatic about these shoes, and they are really going to make a world of difference for my outfits. <3

Guar Gum Hair Gel

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, May 27, 2014
guar gum gel results
On the left is my hair with the guar gum gel, while on the right is my hair without the guar gum gel but not define which actually causes breakage for my hair

I've been researching natural hair gels since the end of last summer. My hair doesn't do well with humidity, and wearing wash n gos or buns is really my only option to avoid an entire summer of bad hair. My wash n gos require gel, but unfortunately, my hair doesn't really like commercial hair gel. The culprit…PVP.  

PVP isn't exactly good for my hair, I was actually willing to continue experimenting with it until I stopped washing my hair with commercial shampoos. My baking soda and aloe vera cleanser is great, but it cannot stand up to commercial ingredients like silicone and PVP, and I knew if I were to continue with my natural hair cleanser, I would have to completely ditch certain hair products. So I resolved to only use Giovanni hair products (minus the gel, shampoo, and serum) and everything else I would make. 

I was actually going to make it easier for myself and just wear a protective style all summer. I've only done two strand twists on my hair, but I was thinking of doing yarn braids instead. Eventually, I realized that yarn braids weren't going to work because I hate protective hairstyles, lol. I have to have my hair out in some form, otherwise I just go crazy. I started researching all natural hair gels without PVP to see if I could pin down exactly what is used to help curls clump and keep its shape. After reading the ingredients in 5 different hair gels and curling cremes, I began to notice an ingredient that was in all of them - guar gum. According to wikipedia, guar gum is guar seeds that are dehusked, milled, and screened and is produced as an off-white powder. It is used in gluten-free cooking (see this Wikipedia article for more information). Guar gum has thickening properties, similar to cornstarch, making it perfect for use in a homemade gel. I wanted to know if others had used guar gum to make gel, and a simple google search revealed that it is actually fairly common (Eco-friendly, low cost hair conditioner and gel, a YouTube video comparing guar and xantahm gum results, and Make your own hair gel or mousse with guar gum gel) so I decided to give it a go.

guar gum gel
My guar gum shampoo mixed. I added a bit too much guar gum, hence the clumps

Last week, I decided to go to Whole Foods to test out guar gum gel. I bought a small 8oz bag of Bob's Red Mill Guar Gum for $8. I wasn't planning on fully trying it in a gel that night, so I added it to my baking soda, aloe vera hair cleanser mix. Amazingly, it gave the best slip. My hair wasn't tangled at all, and it rinsed out clean leaving my hair really soft. I was so amazed that I decided that after I conditioned and  detangled my hair, I would add it as a gel. I made a gel mix of my Giovanni direct leave-in, water, and about 4 teaspoons of guar gum powder. I let the mix thicken and added it to my hair, two strand twisted, and in the morning, undid the twists to see perfectly defined curls. I was amazed.

Frobunni guar gum gel results
Top left: Guar gum gel with Giovanni direct leave-in, Top right: my clean hair without guar gum, Bottom left: my clean hair with guar gum just applied, Bottom right: Dried hair with guar gum

After a couple of days, I got bored with my wash n go, lol, which is normal. I decided to comb out my kinks and curls and, unlike PVP that leaves a sticky coating on my hair until it is washed out, I couldn't even tell my hair had gel in it. It was soft and had great movement, but didn't feel coated. I am excited to continue to experiment with guar gum hair gel. I am hoping that it helps with preventing frizz during the summer (I'm not going to hold my breath just yet), but the results from the wash n go make this gel very promising as a staple product in my natural hair regimen.

Edited December 2015: When I originally wrote this, I did poor research on PVP citing a source that, upon further inspection, I disagree with. I have since removed it, but also want to reinforce that PVP has consistently made my hair dry, so I leave it out of my regimen. However, this does not mean that everyone will have a probelm with it, and I have seen many use it with success. So, like everything, try products with and without that ingredient to see if you like it.

As someone who has a Master's in Library Science, I pride myself on providing accurate information, and in the case of ingredients in hair products, science. As such, I am citing articles from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. The CIR "reviews and accesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publish the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature." Here is their report on PVP (Polyvinylpyrrolidone) and also PVP/ Copolymer (Polyvinylpyrrolidone/Vinyl Acetate Copolymer)

Outfit of the Week

in , by FroBunni, Monday, May 26, 2014
Scarf from Agaci, Pink Blazer and black skinnies from Kohl's Lauren Conrad Collection, black shirt from Forever21, shoes from Zappos

I only had one awesome outfit last week and that was this casual little number. I absolutely loved how I paired the pink and brown with the black so effortlessly. It looked awesome. The only thing I needed were a more unique flat…luckily, I think I will have that covered soon…

*Some items may no longer be in stock

MMA in the DMV: The Clinch Academy

in , , , by FroBunni, Thursday, May 22, 2014
I asked my very good friend Mark to guest blog for my post on the Clinch Academy. He was training there when we met over 3 years ago and had the best things to say about the gym. So without further ado, the FroBunni restarts her series on MMA in the DMV (finally).

It is difficult for me to write anything unbiased about the Clinch Academy because it's a place I've come to love so much. I'll limit my own personal testimony on the Clinch however to this: it played a large part in taking a guy who didn't care much about physical fitness and who wouldn't likely know how to defend himself if his life depended on it, and turned him into someone who recognizes the importance of personal health, is aware of how to avoid conflict, and yet at the same time is also adequately prepared to face it should the need present itself.

Walking into the Clinch, the surroundings are similar to most MMA schools. There is the large area covered by mats, a heavy bag area, and even a cage. But what separates the Clinch from other schools in the area is who runs it. Upon coming through the doors, we meet the man himself, Luke Rinehart. Luke makes his school distinguished in three main ways: its commitment to excellence, its ability meet people where they're at, and the family of students - young and old - parents, and coaches that has sprouted and grown from the Clinch's humble beginnings.

One doesn't have to do to much digging when it comes to the Clinch's history of excellent. At the back wall stands a display filled with medals, trophies, and belts all won by Clinch Academy students. A quick internet search reveals that the Clinch was the home to brothers Jacob and Joey Kirwan who are former Ring of Combat Champions and former Bellator fighters. Current Shogun FC fighters, Cole Presley and Cody Baker, are regularly in attendance. Additionally, observations of the kids' classes give people a glimpse at future warriors such as Luke's son Braesen and Jhondy "The Constrictor" Fuller who, as of right now, probably has an entire room containing the awards he's already won. 

However, in addition to the athletes and future champions roaming the Clinch Academy's space, one also finds the whole gamut of individuals in any given class. From the high school student taking an Intro to Combatives course, to the Chief of Police looking to continue on the path that's already earned him his Jiu Jitsu black belt, and everyone in between, the Clinch offers courses to assist anyone in just about any goal they have in mind. This concept leads to, what I believe, to be the most important piece of the Clinch Academy: It's family atmosphere. 

Despite all of the levels represented and the intensity of the training, all are considered equal. No matter who one's partner is in class, the odds are likely that one will feel encouraged and positively challenged by that partner. The end result is a school of people able to push one another to something better. 

In closing, while I may not have been able to stay unbiased, I hope I've conveyed one clear message; that the Clinch Academy is one great place to train.

Outfits from the Hiatus

in , by FroBunni, Thursday, May 15, 2014
Like I said in my other post, I've been keeping a lot of photos as potential blog posts for when I returned from my hiatus. I'm going to start doing outfits of the week (I can't promise an outfit of the day). Here are some of my favorite outfits that I've worn since my February blog post! It helps that all of these were good hair days as well.

FroBunni | LuLu's Dress
Dress from Lulu's

FroBunni | Work Outfit
Shirt from H&M and Skirt from Agaci

FroBunni | Shorts and Sweater Outfit
Sweater and shorts from Forever21

FroBunni | Shorts and Sweater Outfit
Sweater from H&M and Shorts from Forever21

FroBunni | Lulu's Dress
Dress from Lulu's

FroBunni | Black Skinny Jeans
Shirt and scarf from Agaci and pants from Kohl's

*Some items may no longer be in stock
Hello!!! It's been awhile, but I have come back. Work has been quite overwhelming lately, but I was determined to get back to my beloved FroBunni. In an effort to have a ton of posts when I returned, I have been taking pictures and making collages of my natural hair regimen and hairstyles (among other things, more posts to come later ^_^). My favorite style is the foam roller set (also known as a sponge roller). I am obsessed with foam rollers; they're easy to use and get my hair straight without heat. I have different types of roller sets that have different benefits. But below are two of my most common.

For each roller set, start on damp (can be washed but not soaking wet) or stretched hair. I moisturize my hair with Giovanni Direct Leave-In and then seal with a mix of coconut and olive oil.

Ponytail Rollerset on Natural Hair
Purpose: Straightened Roots
sponge roller set on natural hair
1. Make 4-6 ponytails
2. Put 3-4 rollers on each ponytail section
(Optional 3. I did the top section without ponytails to add volume)
4. In the morning, take all of rollers out
5. Another view of removed rollers
6. Separate each section and voilĂ ! 

Two-Strand Twist Rollerset on Natural Hair
Purpose: Volume
sponge roller set on natural hair
1. I start on stretched hair
2. Two-strand twist 1/3-1/2 of the way down hair
3. Smooth hair and pull taut, put a roller on hair
4. Roll hair all the way to the roots
5. When the hair is dry, remove rollers
6. Separate each section and voilĂ !