Natural Hair Product Transition: Week 1 Update

My Grandmother always told me when I was younger that I had ‘kind’ hair.

The kind that grows around a monkey’s butt!

Thanks, Granny.

It’s a good thing I am not easily offended. But, it really is true. I actually do have that kind of hair.

Fine, thin, dry, split ends, crispy and very hard to manage. It won’t grow out so I keep it short. It gets greasy on top and I have to wash every, single day and sometimes twice.

I’ve tried pretty much every shampoo on the shelf. From cheap to expensive. With and without conditioner. I blow dry and then flat iron it – eeevery day.

As time has passed, I totally accept my hair. I know that it’s not luxurious and never will be. I’m cool with that. However, I had a hair crisis last week where my hair literally started breaking off at the roots. Not to mention the front is so fried it’s just a frizz poof.

This incident led me to attempt the switch to shampoo and conditioner made with mostly natural ingredients. So far, I am trying out Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate products. This is the only products I am using, and for now I still wash my hair once daily. Also, I still blow dry but do not flat iron.

Ok, on to the update:

This is the first week of the switch. The grease is noticeably less. The first day after the switch was the worst. I was so nappy I couldn’t even stand it. But, I pushed through.

I absolutely have more volume than before! It lifts from the roots and appears fuller. So that’s awesome!

I’m having a tough time accepting my hair only blown dry. Flat ironing was my go-to for so many years. Now my hair just lays, curls, frizzes however it wants to. Basically, I just tell myself this is my God-Given hair and no body expects me to look like a celebrity, but still: I am out of my comfort zone and element.

I washed my hair this morning, gently towel dried it, and then used the hair dryer. I did not brush my hair. What? I know. I just wanted to see what would happen. It’s wavier than if I use a brush. Still playing around with my ‘get-ready’ routine.

My plan: to get a boar bristle brush to help brush the natural oils through my hair BEFORE washing. I used to brush my hair when wet (being lazy), but I will only to it before now.

I’m slowly transitioning. I still have to look and feel somewhat presentable at work so I simply can not rock the whole air dried and greasy look. Not happening. My hope is that after a while my hair will get used to the natural product and then I can wash maybe every other day. Then less and less as time goes on.

Another hope: my natural curl comes in and my hair shafts heal and get moisturized and I can actually air dry at night then go about my business the next day without doing a thing.

It’s a fun experiment and actually harder on my self-esteem than I thought. I’m ok being out of my comfort zone for now, so what’s there to lose except ‘kind hair?’

Oh, also — I’ve ordered my daughter Burt’s Bees Baby Body & Hair Wash. I want to try this in hopes that it helps her dry skin issue.

Below is a pic of my natural hair product ‘do. This is a week into my transition from chemically filled shampoos and conditioners to a more natural option.

I know, I know this doesn’t make you want to run out and try the more natural approach! Perhaps in time my hair will improve? I don’t know, but I’m excited to see.

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Next on the agenda…natural body soap! Hooray! I have some dry skin patches and little red bumps on the back of my arms that have always pretty much been apart of me. Curious to see if a natural approach will help. It is very possible that regular soaps, body washes, and scented lotions are the culprit. We shall see because it’s worth a try!

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Transforming Yoga Sequence: Enjoy Fitness in Your Life

Did you know that getting the results you want for your body can be fun and can be through something you actually enjoy? I mean, I think we all believe this deep down, we just don’t think that we can do what we want to get what we want.

That’s simply a lie we tell ourselves. Either, we have an idea that we would like to get a certain result and fail to take action, or we do like I used to: setting somewhat-feasible goals, going through the motions, and getting little results because there is just no passion, interest, fun, or stickability to the plan.

I’ve been interested in yoga for a long time. When I used to imagine myself as the person I want to be…I am a Yogi who goes on lively, worldly retreats. I am peaceful and unmoved by drama. I am fit, flexible, and at peace with who I am. I love myself and I love nature.

scccrrrrreeeeech….put on the brakes.

That’s not who I actually am or what I actually do.

I used to sit on the couch and read about simplicity and yoga all while munching on a snack and watching mindless t.v. (Alaskan Bush People? Really, why? I don’t know).

My excuse was that I’d never be that person. It took too much energy and I was tired from the day and my responsibilities. I wanted to explore yoga. I wanted to be fit.

Then, it clicked. Duh! Do something. As in: Get off the couch. Get your yoga mat (you know, the unused one hanging in the hallway), put on some calming music and pose.

What’s so hard about that?

Well, fear, disappointment in myself, lethargy, and simply not doing anything.

But, I now am giving up my excuses and taking action. Little by little I am transforming to a better, more fulfilled me.

I have a long way to go, obviously. But, I can tell you for certain: getting on my yoga mat is changing me. It’s toning me and calming me.

All I have to do is start. No goals, no judgement, no destination. Just move.

I have an example of my yoga sequence (website & picture found here). Sometimes I do all of them. Sometimes one or two. Sometimes I add newbies in the mix.

I don’t have a goal set for myself. I simply move and let my body guide me. 

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My current favorite and also most improved pose is the crow:

CrowI feel like I am free and flying when I am in crow. Also, I can hold this pose for a long time and get higher off the ground than when I started. Progress, ease and flexibility feels good.

And I am in the feeling good business lately.

You may not be a yoga fan and that’s totally cool. But, if you are wanting to work on fitness, better sleep, and overall better health but are stuck: consider playing and doing what you truly love.

The results may just surprise you like they did me.

What I’m Doing: Weightloss (aka Doing What I Love) Plan w/ Before and After Pics

Our human bodies are a machine. We choose what to put onto, and inside. We have a choice on what we do with our abilities every.single.day. What if we made a conscious choice before every single bite of food? What if we changed the way we expended our energies? What if we lived for fun instead of obsessing over what our bodies looked like?

In my journey to simplicity, I have changed a lot of the ways I do things. Most choices and changes have given me the results I have been trying to obtain all along.

When I was younger, I was an avid competitor and athlete. My body was mine to build and I set many (repeat, MANY) goals for myself. Some healthy, others not so much. I wanted to win and be the best at everything. Goals ruled my life. I was constantly setting repetitive goals to achieve for results. Sure, I would make my goals a lot of the times — but a lot of times I didn’t. When my goal was reached, I got a little happy buzz. But, when I failed…oh my goodness. Guilt, negative thoughts, and feeling like an absolute failure stole my joy.

I have come to realize a lot of positive since I have found simplicity.

1. When you let go of goals, you open up limitless opportunity. I am result-driven now, instead of goal-oriented. Goals were fun to reach, but if I said “My goal is 100 situps” I would reach my goal and do 100. But, isn’t it possible that if I take away my goal limit I could do 300 situps? It’s like I would reach my goal, but not exceed it.

Now, I move every day. Some days more than others, yes. I no longer limit myself to a goal.

2. Instead of focusing on goals, I focus on the result I want to achieve. Change must occur in order to get to the result. I no longer set a time-frame on my results. I simply get clear on what I want and adapt along the way.

For instance: I wanted to lose weight. I was uncomfortable. I hated the way my clothes fit. I was tired, not sleeping well, never satisfied with food, and moody.

The action that needed to occur to gain my result was simple: eat healthier and move my body.

3. I used to do activities that I didn’t enjoy really to get to my goals. Perhaps I set a goal to run a mile at the track 3 times a week. Well, I would force myself to do it just to make my goal. Of course, it felt wonderful when done and I could say that I met my goal for the week. However, the goals and plans had nothing to do with enjoyment. It all had to do with meeting a goal and that’s about it.

I choose yoga as my activity now. I do it every day. There is no set timeframe or amount of positions that I must achieve, I just simply get on the mat (or wherever) and do it. Sometimes I do it for 10 minutes, other days I do it for 1 hour.

In the past, I was always interested in yoga, but never wanted to use my time in doing something relaxing. I figured it was a waste of time because I ‘needed’ to be doing something more physical and sweaty. So, I would forgo doing what I wanted to do for something I told myself I HAD to do.

That’s simply not the case. I don’t have to make myself do something I love. I just do it. And I do it a lot. That’s where success and enjoyment and stickability come from — doing what you love to do.

It’s the doing-it that is inspiring and giving results, not the tracking or doing things to simply meet a goal.

I had my husband take a before picture shortly after I started my weightloss journey.

At the time, I told myself this was pretty much as good as it was going to get. I was eating right and exercising. I had already lost a lot of weight from having a baby so I was happy, right?

That was my excuse. And since I have given up excuses, I just continued on my plan eating a healthier diet that gave me energy and doing yoga exclusively.

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*Notice my hair in a greasy top knot in the after pic? I’m going lo’ poo and am in transition to a more natural hair routine. Updates on the progress soon!

The results are letting me know that I am doing the right thing. I am doing what I love, learning and practicing yoga, eating well, moving my body, and learning to love myself again.

This is a way more gentle approach than I have ever tried before. I am focusing on my daily choices. I am not looking to a future ‘set’ goal on my weight. No! I’ve done that my whole life and it is simply just not fun. Instead, I make the best choice possible every, single day. That’s where my results are coming from.

I am not done, I am only beginning.

Why do we set limits on ourselves with goals?

Can we rework the way we think to get clarity on who we are, what we love and just do that?

That’s what I am doing. Getting clear about what I love and choosing that path.

Simplicity, passion, love, and self care is the path I want. No question about that.

So, what about you, friends?

Meditation for Rest & Clarity

Meditation has been a source of relaxation and reflection for me. At first it seemed unnatural and a little kooky.

I have been sold on it for about a month or so. It’s all gravy as soon as I am able to relax my forehead and crown of the head.

After I did my nightly yoga, I laid down right smack down in the middle of the living room floor and melted into a guided meditation.

Within minutes my body was in full relaxation and I gently feel asleep.

I choose this routine now instead of my nightly television watching session. Now, don’t get me wrong — I have some shows I am obsessed with and I will not miss once they come back on, but watching t.v. as relaxation for no good reason is just not working out for me.

Instead, I am relaxed. My mind is calm. My body is getting flexible and tone. I sleep better and have more clarity.

These positives can’t be found in mindless television.

When I lived on my own a few years ago, I didn’t have cable or Netflix. My antenna picked up the local news and that was all. My time was spent exercising, yoga, reading, and creating.

Somewhere along the way after marriage, television sucked me back in. Perhaps because my husband and I watch together once the children are asleep.

I miss the peace, though. This is why my yoga and meditation are welcomed back into my life.

It’s doing my body and soul some good and for that I am thankful!

On Control & Choices

I am starting to have peace inside me. For so long, my anxiety has spun and spun and ran off with itself. Events occurred in my life that were completely overwhelming, and quite honestly, I was totally not prepared for. I always thought that I was very level-headed, and not a control-freak. In some ways that is right, and in many it is very wrong.

See, I have worked diligently hard to ensure that my life is peaceful and successful. I mean, heart and soul hard. Not saying that I am perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but truly, I always tried to do the right thing.

I wanted a college degree. Got it. I wanted a good job. Got it. I wanted a husband. Got him. I wanted a house. Got it. I wanted a baby. Got her.

Every event of my past was leading up to what I wanted most: family and happiness.

This was my destiny.

I got my degree so I could have a good job so I can support and be a good role model for my family.

I tried to make the absolute best choice in my mate so we could be strong for my family.

While family is still my number ONE, there have been several setbacks to my plan.

Inside my entire being I want my family they way I want it.

Period. Dot.

That means no marital trouble. That means a good paying job. That means doing what we want financially when we want it.

What I didn’t plan for was severe marital issues to overcome, loss of job, increasing debt: change.

Fact of the matter – people will change and jobs will change and finances will change. The world will continually change.

What remains the same is my heart, joy and happiness in any event life throws at me.

It’s hard to understand and grasp that I am really not in control at all. Not even a little bit of the weather, sickness, job security, future, or other people.

I am in control though, of my reactions and choices.

I choose to be happy. I choose joy. I choose to enjoy.

Update: Caveman Regimine & Natural Hair Products

Alabama muggy heat and thick rain thank you. Thank you for allowing me to experiment with the Caveman Regimen skincare and natural shampoo and conditioner guilt-free! I am guiltless because regardless of what I want to do with my skin and hair: Mother Nature will win.

I want to report on my transition:

It has been hard and it has only been 3 days. It’s difficult because I love the bubbly suds of shampoo and the dried-out feeling of squeaky clean. The natural products do not lather. Nope. It feels like it doesn’t rinse out. Then there is the natural oil. This greasiness is not easy for me to handle. However, I am pushing through because it is reported that once your hair transitions and oils balance out, there should not be any issues. I sure hope this is the case because right now I feel fuuuunky. I’m using Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Very Volumizing products. While the smell is delicious, the grease is not.

I’m also using a homemade “hairspray” to give myself a little texture. The ingredients:

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

It actually works really well. It doesn’t take much and doesn’t attract bugs 🙂 Thank goodness.

My hair is up in a bun and I tell myself that I can actually survive this. It’s not that big of a deal and my hair will be happier once it balances and will not be so dry that it breaks off at the root like it has been doing. It’s up in a bun on the top of my head and so what that today I have to take my driver’s license picture? The hilarity is that I would do a self-conscious experiment when I have to get my DL picture taken, but the reality is that no one asks to see my license anymore since I look over the age of 21. Ahhh, 30’s how I love you so.

The next thing I am doing is the Caveman Regimen. I am only washing my face with water. Also, I am not using makeup (foundation, powder, bronzer, or concealer). Now, the day after I started the experiment, my face was super-oily. Yep-I felt gross especially since my hair and face were oily, but it was so hot outside and the weekend of slumming so I really didn’t care.

My face is not oily today and I am on the 3rd day. You can tell in the picture that a lot of my redness is gone and blemishes are starting to even out. Yay!

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For that I am so grateful and it is inspiring me to continue my natural product experiment. I can’t wait to see the difference this makes in the next few weeks!

*sidenote: I said I wasn’t going to use a hair dryer or straightener on my hair. I caved on Saturday because I was so greasy and nasty feeling that I had to do something. Hopefully soon I can rock some natural curls and be on my merry un-greasy, healthy happy way! Until then, gonna do what I have to do.

Why I am Switching to Natural Hair Care

I have a hair crisis!

It seems my fragile, dry, fine hair has spoken. A chunk of it broke off about a half inch from the root this morning.

Sigh.

My hair has been a major hassle since I can remember. It’s been dyed, cut, crimped, straightened, curled, and clipped with extensions.

Of course, all of this in an attempt for me to feel good about myself, and it’s true that when my hair is pretty, I feel pretty.

Safe to say that if it is breaking off and splitting in different ways: not so cute.

So I had a choice today: Continue my routine of chemical-filled products and heat to style — or don’t.

I choose don’t.

Now, I have purchased a natural shampoo and conditioner and I plan on air-drying my hair in the mornings. (I am in no way emotionally ready to attempt no-poo at this time, but that would be my ideal.)

This will be the first time in my life that I have attempted to do the natural-hair-thing.

I am curiously awaiting the thoughts and emotions that will arise while I attempt to heal my hair and minimize my morning routine. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.

Which makes me wonder how in the world can rocking your God-Given natural hair be scary?

I have learned a few things since I have started simplifying my life, responsibilities, belongings, and drama:

I feel better. I feel lighter. I have less guilt about my choices. Life is better.

So, what’s there to lose?