How I Got Overwhelmed With My Hair and Did Something About It

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:47 PM


No, I didn't relax my hair. :)

About 2 weeks ago, I got two inches cut off my hair and tried the Organix Brazilian Keratin Smoothing Treatment for the first time.

The product did exactly what I wanted it to do, and I'm very happy with the results. Let me back up for a moment and explain what led up to this.

I've been bunning my hair pretty much all summer, and was getting pretty tired of wearing it up. It's been really humid though, so every time I did wear it down I had to go through massive detangling sessions afterwards. Long hair is a lot of work (more to follow on this). During hair sessions, I was noticing that my ends were looking pretty shabby in some places. So, I decided that my hair needed to be stretched for awhile.

I blowdried my hair, which was an exhausting, sweaty process only to find even more damaged ends than I originally thought. Let me dispell a couple of myths right here and now. 1) Natural hair can have just as much damage as relaxed hair if you don't stay on top of it. 2) Blowdrying is not necessarily a bad thing. I get less knots and tangles when my hair is blow dried, so for me, the pros outweigh the cons. Going forward, it's very likely that I'll be blowdrying my hair after washing more often than not. This should only amount to about twice a month at the most.

At this point, I realized that I needed a professional trim and that my usual search and destroy session was not going to help my situation. If you've been reading for awhile, then you know my goal was for my hair to reach waist length (stretched) by the end of 2011. I didn't want my ends to be thin, knotty and damaged; barely scraping my hair goal length. So, I got the trim. I'm telling you, if your hair is misbehaving, unmanageable, uncontrollable; you may very well need your hair trimmed. Don't worry about losing the length. Remember, your hair is only as healthy as you keep your ends because ultimately the damage is going to travel up the hair shaft and detract from the strength of your hair.

Anyway, with my fresh trim I felt like I had a clean slate, and I wanted to wear my hair straight-ish for awhile to keep the knots away. I'd been considering this Organix smoothing treatment for awhile because I have a friend who's been using it for awhile on her natural hair and she loves it. After researching the product and getting comfortable with it, I decided to bite the bullet and try it. I loaded up the kids and we went on a field trip to Ulta (or mommy's toy store, as they like to call it).

What sold me on it is that 1) it's temporary - the effects last for about 30 days or less and wash out gradually   2) it's basically a conditioning treatment  3) it's gentle enough to be used even on relaxed hair 4) it would cut down on my blowdrying time 4) it would decrease frizz and tangles even in humid weather. Numbers 3 and 4 are huge for me right now. Between my damaged ends and the humidity poofing up and tangling my hair; wearing my hair down was not working out for me before the trim and the smoothing treatment. After the treatment, I'm able to wear my hair down and my hair pretty much stays where I put it. It's still thick and full, but it's easier to manage. Which leads me to another point.

I don't know if I want waist length hair anymore. After the trim, my hair is just above bra strap length again. It's long enough to provide a lot of styling options, but not so long that it becomes difficult if not impossible for me to maintain without having to wear it up all the time. I just don't have as much time with a busy one year old and two older kids in school and extra curricular activities and everything else that I have going on.  My plan for now is to continue to let it grow, but keep an open mind about it. If I find that it's getting too long, I won't hesitate to cut it. I've learned the importance of practical decision making, particularly at this time in my life. I want to be healthy, fresh, polished, AND reasonably low maintenance.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of my hair straight right now. I just forgot to take any pictures of it. Here's a twist out I did that had major staying power. This picture was taken at the end of the day. And it was a hot day.  That night, retwisting was a breeze. No knots or tangles. Mission accomplished.

How do you make edits to your beauty regimen to help it fit into your busy lifestyle? 
Have you ever tried this DIY version of the Brazilian Kertain Treatment?
Do you think I'm crazy for trying it???  :)

Weekend Whimsy

Saturday, August 13, 2011 10:00 AM

Know, first, who you are;
and then adorn yourself accordingly.


Love and Locks - From a Whisper to a Yell

Friday, August 12, 2011 4:41 PM

Intuition is a spiritual faculty that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion.  It flows through you, speaks to you, and will eventually yell at you if you don't listen.  One way or another, it will be heard.

I had a Rough Week, My Loves.  I started feeling sick last Saturday and then it all went down hill.  I had a variety of ailments and problems all week.  Two trips to the ER.  It was not pretty.  I'm now on the mend.  Feeling so sick and out of sorts with myself this week forced me into some much needed self-reflection.

I take my health for granted.  I eat moderately well.  I have gastro issues, so I don't eat a lot of junk and I love vegetables and food that doesn't make me feel tired and heavy.  I have my vices though.  I do not exercise like I should and I don't get enough sleep.  This week, I think my body said enough is enough and it all caught up to me. 

I'll be 34 in November.  Physically, I don't look or feel older than 26 or so, in my opinion.  But this week, I felt 70 years old.  Scary.  I lost all my energy and agility.  Going up a small flight of stairs was a huge undertaking.  And all the while, the show doesn't stop.   Butts still need to be wiped, mouths need to be fed.  I had a hard time letting go of control at work, so I kept trying to work when I should have been resting.  The mister bought a motorcycle not long ago  (o_O) and was more concerned with that than making sure I was okay.  So, I let my frustration with that build up until it all came bursting out and we argued, rather unproductively I must say. 

Sometimes we don't get the support we need.  But it's our own responsibility to take care of our own health. 
My dialogue here on the blog and in general lately has been relax, slow down, breathe.  And while I've been trying to do those things, I don't think I caught on soon enough and the small voice had to start yelling for me to really take heed.  Well, now it has my attention. 

As I stated here"When's the last time you flew on an airplane? At the beginning of every flight, the flight attendant reminds the able-bodied adults that in the case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on FIRST before you assist children and the elderly. Why? Because what good can you do to anyone else if you can't breathe?"

As I recover from my various ailments, I'm planning on how I'm going to prioritize exercise in my life and getting more sleep.  School starts in a week, and this is an opportunity for me to start fresh.  I'll have two big kids in school this year and baby girl will be staying with family during the day.   Do you have any advice?  Here's what I'm thinking so far:

*Work.  No more working over time.  It would seem that if I'm getting to work earlier, I won't need to stay later to get things done.  In order to get to work earlier, I need to get to bed by 10:30 or 11 at the latest.

*Meals.  Using the crock pot.  Being more consistent about planning meals the weekend before.  Having the kids make their own lunches.

*Exercise.  Taking my own classes while the kids are doing their activities.  We belong to a huge rec program and all of the centers where the kids have activities have gyms where I could hop on the treadmill or bike to get some cardio in while the kids are at karate or gymnastics.  Most importantly here, I need to reintroduce dance back into my life.  I'm hurting without it. (btw, I really wanted Sasha to win SYTYCD!)

*Delegate.  The reality is that it doesn't occur to my man to help with things that he views as outside of his realm of responsibility unless he's asked.  When asked, he always obliges.  It still bothers me that I have to ask, but I need to get over it and delegate more.    I just need things to be done, even if they are not done my way.

*Sleep.  Usually what keeps me from getting enough sleep is trying to squeeze too much into one day.  I think this will be the toughest for me.  I work all day and exert my energy outward to take care of my responsibilites, nurturing, sharing, puring myself out.  When do I find my introvert time?  I usually find it at night after everyone is asleep.  I could really use some advice here.  I used to do yoga and meditation at night which was wonderful.  But I had one less kid at the time. :-/

Real quick on the hair tip, I think my hair right now is in the worst state of entaglement that it's been in a long time.  It feels like one big dreadlock.  I didn't take care of it at all while I was sick and I still don't feel like dealing with it.  I'm going to take myself right to the Dominicans this weekend and get it blown out and trimmed.  I'll be sure to share pics next week and an update on my hair goals and status.

Has life slapped you around lately and made you realize some things you need to change?  I'd love to hear about it.  Any tips for me?  I could certainly use the advice.  xoxo

Where's Your Soul?

Saturday, August 6, 2011 9:00 AM

"When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears." ~Rumi

I once thought my soul was in my mother.  I don't think I recognized myself as a being that was distinct from her. When she went up, I went up.  When she went down, I went down. Without her guidance and approval, I felt lost.  Now, I simply hear her laugh in my voice and I'm found. Maybe her soul is in me.

Then, I found my soul in dance.  I didn't think that I could do much of anything special.  But I could dance.  Lost in rhythym was the only time I felt free and honest.  Unashamed.  Even when my body wasn't moving, I was dancing in my mind. Learning my own complexities and how to own them with movement. You can't find your soul without exploration and I have always felt most free to explore when dancing.

And then I found all kinds of soul through writing.  I figured out that I could write things that I would normally be too embarrassed to say.  And that's when the floodgates really came open. 

Where is your soul?  How do you connect with your innermost emotions and passions?  Do you feel that a certain person brings this depth out of you?  Or maybe it's an activity?   Most importantly, are you making time in your life for the things that connect you with soul???

Love and Locks - No More Buns, No More Drama

Friday, August 5, 2011 5:08 PM

I have been wearing my hair in buns pretty much all summer long.  I'm so sick of a bun, I don't know what to do.  I've worn them high, medium and low...bushy, straight, wavy and curly...fried, dyed and laid to the side.  Well, maybe not fried ;-)  

I'm not a girl who likes wearing her hair the same for a long time, so I am really, seriously itching to change it up.  It's just so damn hot.  There's no point in doing anything else with it right now.  Plus, my hair is resting and I'm diligently moisturizing it (loving this heated moisture/oil treatment technique via Curly Nikki!) and dusting it periodically and it's really thriving!  So, I'm going to leave well enough alone until the Fall.  Then, no more buns for awhile.

As I've mentioned before, I've also been causing myself a lot of unnecessary stress this summer.   It's been an internal struggle brought on  totally by my own compulsion to just never let myself relax.  I've been sneakily becoming uptight, and I don't like it one bit.  I guess I've cleaned up my life a lot over the last few years, and so I'm scared about things geting too chaotic or messy.  But how can you be a working mom with three kids and things not get a little messy?   How can you be an emotional and creative creature like myself and get so easily spooked by a little ambiguity?    As much as I encourage others to let go of the need to control everything, I'm still working on that for myself.  Truth is, I will probably never be sure about every single thing that there is to be sure about.  And I need to just be able to say "So What?!?"   


I wrote a post this week for PLPT that really helped me remember some specific ways to loosen up and allow myself to enjoy my life.  If you're in a rut, it might be helpful to you too.  I also wrote a post last week about inner beauty and confidence that you can check out here.

Any special plans for the weekend?  My sister is coming down for a visit, and I need to do some back to school shopping.  That's about it for me.  Have a great weekend!  Our summer weekends are numbered so be sure to get out and enjoy! :)

"Ambivalence, thy name is Mother."

Monday, August 1, 2011 11:56 AM

"Because that's the truth about being a parent: it is a joy and a nightmare, a privilege and a burden, a divine calling and a life sentence.  Ambivalence, thy name is mother."  ~Kelly Diels

I have three kids.  Three little people made of my body and soul running around in the world.  The weight of it is daunting at times. I adore every hair on their heads and every inch of their little bodies.  But, I never in a million years could have imagined how challenging motherhood would be.  

All I want to do is protect them.  One of the most complicated aspects of motherhood is realizing that overprotecting them will ultimately hurt them.  We have to let them explore and get dirty sometimes, so that they can build up the immunities they need for physical and emotional survival. They have so much to learn.  I constantly question if we're teaching them the right things at the right time and if we are effectively preparing them to grow into well-adjusted, loving adults.

I have my own issues, ya know?  I'm still growing.  Always will be.  I pray that my ups and downs don't affect my kids negatively.   But is that realistic?  My parents' issues have certainly affected me.  I won't say that I've been affected negatively or positively because everything that shaped me growing up has made me who I am -- and I'm not good or bad -- I just am.  I don't try to be faultless in front of my kids.  I openly admit my mistakes to them, so they know that it's okay for them to make mistakes too. 

I know that I shouldn't worry so much.  I worry because I care so crazy much about their safety and happiness.   What I don't want to do is worry my way through their childhoods - hindering their freedom to explore and grow.  So, I'll do what I do best - which is love them up and leave no question in their minds that they are adored and cherished - and I'll leave the rest to God. 

For all of you moms, how do you fight the urge to keep your children locked up in the basement until their 21?  Or do I just sound overly paranoid?   And for those of you who aren't moms, are you hesitant to even bring a child into this crazy world?   I'd love to hear your thoughts.