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.

Sodium hydroxide in a natural hair line?

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, October 02, 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.
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.

Why It's Important to Read the Ingredient List

in , by FroBunni, 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

in , by FroBunni, 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).

Bon Matcha: A Matcha Lover's Dessert

in , , by FroBunni, Thursday, August 09, 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

in , , by FroBunni, 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 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

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, June 06, 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

in , , , by FroBunni, Friday, June 01, 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

in , , by FroBunni, 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 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

in , , by FroBunni, 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

in , by FroBunni, 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

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

in , by FroBunni, 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!
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!

5 Ways to Get Comfortable in a Yoga Class

in , , by FroBunni, Monday, January 29, 2018
FroBunni | Yoga | Jaida A. Photography
Photo taken by Jaida A. Photography
One of the biggest things I struggle with as a yoga teacher is getting new comers and beginners to fall in love with the practice of yoga and what that means to them. It’s easy to see someone else do yoga, assume you can’t do that, and decide not to even try. But the reality is yoga looks different for everyone. We have different bodies and abilities. It’s okay if your warrior 1 looks different than the person next to you. It’s okay if you haven’t mastered a headstand. It’s okay if your audible breath isn’t audible (I know mine isn’t).

If you’re nervous about trying yoga, take a deep breath, and read these five tips to get comfortable on your mat.

Check the Schedule: Before you just show up at a yoga studio, check the schedule and make sure the class is appropriate for you. Most studios will include a description and level. Level 1 or all levels means the class will be designed for or with beginners in mind. If you’re still unsure, just call the studio and ask.

Introduce Yourself to the Teacher: A yoga teacher should do this already (I’m side eyeing myself because I need to work on this), but when you get to the studio, introduce yourself to the teacher, and let him or her know you’re new to the practice. This way they can give you extra cues and adjustments to help you move through and get into poses.

Place Your Mat in the Middle of the Room: With your mat in the middle of the room, you will have different bodies to see how poses look. You’ll notice that not everyone can bind in side angle or reach the floor in triangle. It will, not only help you understand how poses look, but also show you that not everyone who practices yoga is super strong and flexible.

Focus on How Poses Feel: Each yoga pose has a general look, but that’s about it. You’ll find that people have varying degrees of strength and flexibility, which will create various different poses. Instead of worrying how the pose looks, pay attention to how it feels. For example, when in down dog, move the feet closer or farther away from the hands. Notice how that feels, does it feel better or worse? What if you have a slight bend in the knees? Does your upper back feel more open? Play around a bit while in the pose and notice how it feels in your body (and know that it won’t feel the same in someone else’s body).

No One is Watching You: A lot of newcomers and beginners think that everyone will look at them when they go to yoga, but trust me, people are only focused on themselves. Everyone comes to yoga for their own reasons: physical health, mental well-being, better focus or concentration. If you still think people are watching you, remember why you came to yoga and just focus on that (in yoga, this is called an “intention”).

If you’re still worried about unrolling your mat and going through a round of sun salutations, you may be scared of, not just a yoga studio, but fitness centers and gyms, in general. While these places can make you nervous, there are other things you can do to calm your nerves, like bringing a friend or using a workout DVD or app. If you need a few more ideas, Aaptiv, an audio fitness app, has some more ways to overcoming gymtimidation.


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

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. While I was in remission for over two years, the disease has slowly been becoming active again. Navigating this disease has always been difficult, but this time, it’s manifesting completely differently in my body, which is both strange and frustrating. TMI, but I spend a lot more time in the bathroom, and my body isn’t digesting food the way it used to. Couple this with the fact that I eat significantly less meat, and I am often exhausted or tired from lack of nutrition, despite the fact that I am eating more. To manage these changes, I am learning how to eat differently than before, which means I’ve been eating more peanut butter.

Because our bodies’ don’t always fully digest food, many people with inflammatory bowel disease can’t consume nuts because they have the potential to get stuck in the intestines. This often leaves us with smooth nut butters as an alternative. And with peanut butter often being the most inexpensive and easy to find, it’s become a staple in my home. Peanut butter is packed with protein, as well as fiber, healthy fats, and magnesium; and it can be added into many different recipes seamlessly. And for me, that’s a win-win.

So, how do I use peanut butter in my day to day dietary life. I love adding it to smoothies in the morning, it makes the perfect dressing or sauce on salad and Buddha bowls, and it’s the base for many different protein balls.

Dressing or Sauce

Protein Balls

Smoothies

While these are my favorite ways to use peanut butter, this is only the tip of the iceberg. What’s your favorite peanut butter recipes?

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

Adulting is Hard and That's Why Meal Kits Exist

in , , by FroBunni, Thursday, January 11, 2018
Wegman's | FroBunni

As much as I try to meal prep, I am pretty terrible at it. I'll be good at it for the first week of the month and then everything deteriorates. Between work, teaching yoga, working out, hanging out with friends, dating, visiting my parents, and sleeping, I always forget to go grocery shopping. I get my fruits and vegetables from Hungary Harvest, and I can pick up some milk and eggs at Rite Aid, but that honestly doesn't leave enough for a full meal. So either I starve (I don't recommend this) or I go out to eat a lot (I don't recommend this either). Adulting is pretty hard, but on a recent trip to Wegman's, I found a way to make adulting a little bit easier.

On a recent trip with my mom, I found many, many different meal kits. But not just any meal kit, they were healthy meal kits. But not just healthy meal kits, healthy meal kits that could be completed in less than 15 minutes. And as someone who sometimes gets home at 9pm and has to figure out what to do for lunch the next day, these are lifesavers.

Modern Table | FroBunni
Protein packed and gluten-free, Modern Table's pasta is made with lentils making it both comforting and filling. Each box comes with three servings and can be cooked up in 15 minutes!
Meal Ideas: Everything is already done, but I would probably add some extra veggies.

Tasty Bite Spice & Simmer | FroBunni
I'm not the best at making Indian food, so thank you Tasty Bite for doing the heavy lifting. These sauces can be made in only a few minutes, and all you have to do is add some rice and vegetables. Nice and simple.
Meal Ideas: There's a place that sells paneer (Indian cheese) by my apartment, so I would pick some up, add in some broccoli, and eat with rice. 

"From bag to bowl in 60 seconds." And for busy people like me, that is a lifesaver. Made in Nature is known for their snacks, but they also have these super quick grain bowls that can be made into meals. They're packed with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All I need is a protein.
Meal Ideas: Depending on the kind I got, probably hummus or maybe even eggs over easy.

Grainful | FroBunni
When I think of oatmeal, I think of something sweet, probably because I eat oatmeal for breakfast and add honey and fruit. But oatmeal can be turned into a savory meal, which is great if you're trying to eat a gluten-free diet! 
Meal Ideas: Add some roasted veggies to make it a full meal.

neat | FroBunni
Neat is...well...pretty neat. Since I don't keep meat in my apartment and eat a mostly vegetarian diet, I sometimes have difficulty getting enough protein. Unfortunately, I don't really like the taste of most meat replacements. But Neat is different. Their meat replacements aren't soy based, they're actual nuts or beans. They probably don't taste like meat (I'll follow up with a review), but since I actually like nuts and beans, I'm not worried about the taste as much. 
Meal Ideas: Veggie burgers or a taco salad. 

Have you tried any of these? If so, which ones and did you like them?

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

5 Natural Hair Challenges to Try This Year

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, January 03, 2018
FroBunni | 5 Natural Hair Challenges to Try this Year

A New Year and a new you, as the saying goes. But what about new hair? With New Year’s resolutions abounding, it’s always easy to get caught up in all the goals you have for your hair. But how exactly do you go about accomplishing all of them? Why, a hair challenge of course! Hair challenges put your resolve and determination to the test as you learn how to care for your hair, try new hairstyles, or even just give yourself a break. If you have some goals for your hair, or just want to try something different, here are five natural hair challenges to consider this year.

No-Heat Challenge – The more I use heat, the more the no-heat challenge becomes a personal favorite of mine. While heat tolerance varies from hair to hair, if you find that you often turn to the blow dryer or flat iron, consider nixing heat from your regimen to see if your hair retains more moisture or length.

Protect Your Ends Challenge – If you’re prone to breakage and split ends, you may find that this challenge is perfect for you. Moisturize and seal daily; deep condition every wash day; opt for simple, but protective hairstyles, like flat twists and French rolls; and you’ll find success with this challenge.

Low Manipulation Challenge – There could be a lot of reasons for doing a low-manipulation hair challenge. Maybe you’re focusing too much on your hair or maybe you have a lot of breakage, but whatever the reason, this hands-off challenge can help retain length and give yourself a break when natural hair becomes frustrating or overwhelming.

No New Products Challenge – Calling all product junkies! If new products are your thing, then consider this challenge. Whether constantly buying products are hurting your pockets, or you’re just not sure what is and isn’t working for your hair, this challenge will focus on what you have, instead of what you could have.

30 Days of New Hairstyles Challenge – Boring hairstyles? Running to the same old bun? Or maybe you want to find your new signature look? If a low-manipulation challenge is for those who can’t stop styling their hair, the 30 days of new hairstyles challenge are for those that want to try something different, be more creative, or just learn how to master the French braid.

Do you have a hair challenge planned for this year? What is it and what are you hoping to accomplish?

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