February 23, 2016

Cowashing

Cowashing: Natural hair, transitioning hair and other hair types

Ever since starting my transition to natural hair, I have been learning a lot about the best way to care for my hair. One of the things I learned about was Cowashing. What does the term cowashing mean? Basically it's the abbreviated term for "conditioner washing" where a conditioner is used to wash your hair instead of shampoo. For my curly girls out there who have dry hair, this could be your answer. Because our hair is curly, it takes longer for the natural oils from the scalp to spread through the hair follicles, and if you shampoo your hair often, you are stripping the hair of all the oils without even letting them nourish the hair. This contributes to the dryness and health of the hair.

When I first read about this, I wasn't sure if it actually works because I've always shampooed and then conditioned my hair. I usually wash my hair twice a week so I started off by replacing my midweek wash with a cowash, and before I knew it I was cowashing all the time because I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, cowashing doesn't get all the residue out like shampoo does, so it is important to occasionally shampoo your hair even if you stick to cowashing. 

With the beauty industry constantly evolving there are special cowashing or cleansing conditioners available but I think regular conditioners work as well. I usually use the Tresemme Naturals or the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration to cowash and depending on the day and amount of time I have I would either deep condition or use the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle.

Here are some of the benefits of cowashing:
- Doesn't strip your hair of all natural oils
- Gently cleanses your hair and removes dirt
- Moisturizes your hair as you wash
- Makes detangling easy

Cowashing can benefit any hair type be it straight, wavy, curly or coily. If you have straight hair, I'd suggest alternating between shampoo and conditioner. Your hair will be a lot less dry and will look a lot healthier. It works so well I've even gotten hubs to love it. For other hair types, I would suggest starting off slowly and then replacing your regular wash days for cowash days. After a while, you'll be able to find a system which works for you. 

I find that cowashing twice a week is working really well for me and my hair looks a ton better. I want to try a cowashing/ cleansing conditioner just to see what all the fuss is about and if there is any difference between regular conditioners or cowash conditioners, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Have you tried cowashing? Let me know what conditioners to try.
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February 19, 2016

Burgundy Hair

Burgundy hair using crazy colors

Usually, I don't dye my hair. Why? Honestly, because I cannot be bothered with the hassle of having to touch it up every 2 weeks to a month. And also because I think it damages the hair. Since my hair is already dry and I'm in a constant battle on how to properly moisturize it, I don't need another factor helping me ruin it all. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with dying your hair, I think it is amazing if you can maintain it and have healthy hair at the same time. I just always felt it wasn't for me.

Summer last year, I was editing an image for instagram and one of the overlays made it look like I had burgundy hair. This got me excited and I remembered when I dyed a section of my hair burgundy in high school. I asked what people thought and they said it looks amazing. I thought about it a bit and then put it at the back of my mind as I had other things to worry about. Later last year, I was given the opportunity to try out the hairchalk.co temporary hair chalks and I dyed my hair aqua. Be sure to check out my review and pictures. This was so exciting for me because I was in love with the crazy colour hair trend, but wasn't sure I was brave enough to dye it more permanently. This is when the thought to play safe but still dye my hair occurred.

Since I didn't want a semi-permanent hair dye, I did a bit of research on the best temporary dyes available. From all the ones I found, the one I had the easiest access to was Crazy Color. So I went out to hairstores and got a bottle of the Crazy Color in Burgundy. A few tries later, I finally know the best way to use it for my hair and voila. I started off using it only on my relaxed ends and afterwards decided to do my whole hair.

Personally, I think it looks amazing and I am so in love with it. I can redye my hair whenever I feel the colour is fading or touch up every week by adding it to my deep conditioner. What I like most is that is washes off by slowly fading away. This helps me avoid having to dye my hair, and I can stick to doing it whenever I want. I tried to take a picture, but it's quite difficult to see indoors as I applied the dye over dark hair without bleaching it first. So indoors, it looks quite subtle, but in the sunlight you can see the burgundy in all its glory.

What do you think?
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February 16, 2016

Winter Lip Products

Winter Lip Products
Favourite Winter Lip Products
Mac Russian Red, Lush Bubblegum lip scrub, Bodyshop lip balm

Lip products are one of my favourite types of makeup. My everyday makeup is usually basic:  foundation and brows are done, a bit of brown eyeshadow in my crease and a dab of mascara. Which is why I feel like adding a bit of colour by using a lipstick makes a huge difference. Sometimes I opt for neutrals but in the evenings, I'm all about the bold lip. I thought I'd share some of the products I have been reaching for this winter.

Lipbalms

I use lipbalms all year round, but in the winter, it is even more important to use them as the weather is cold and drying. So if you do not want to have chapped lips, you better have one of these with you at all time. I've got so many that I find the easiest way to be sure I have one with me is to stick one in each of the bags I use the most. I also tend to have one or two at the office. This winter, I've been using the H&M Love your lips lip balm in Rasberry Smile, the Body Shop Cranberry Joy lip balm and the Burts Bees lip balm with Coconut and Pear. The Burts Bees is my favourite at the moment as it is so moisturizing.

Lush Lip Scrub

Even with constantly applying lipbalm, sometimes my lips still get dry. Applying lipstick on dry, chapped lips is not pretty. Honestly, if I can't get them smooth then I'd prefer not to use a lipstick at all or I'll use a neutral one so it isn't noticeable. But, to get them from dry, chapped and peeling to pretty plumn and smooth I like to use the lush lip scrub. I currently have the bubblegum version because I love everything that smells like bubblegum. If you're not keen on spending so much on this product, you can always make your own with honey and brown sugar. Let me know if this is something you find interesting and I'll work on a DIY post.

Lipsticks 

MAC Russian Red & ELF Fearless
The MAC Russian Red is my all time favourite party lipstick. If I'm going out at night in the winter, you can bet I'm probably wearing this. It is such a pretty shade of red and lasts forever which means I don't have to worry about touching up while I throw back my glasses of mojito. The ELF Fearless is another red lipstick I have been using. The colour is great, it applies smoothly and is well pigmented, but the stay isn't very good. So I'd rather use this during the day so I can reapply whenever I need.

P2 Madison Square and Flormar Chic Aubergine
These look very similar in colour and if hubs knew I owned them both he'd probably ask why on earth. And to be honest, he is probably right. Both these lipsticks have amazing staying power which makes them great for evenings out. I even had a friend ask me what lipstick I was wearing on a night out with the P2 Madison Square. She was extremely surprised when I told her it's a drugstore brand.

What's your go to lipstick in the winter months?
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February 9, 2016

Transitioning to Natural Hair {1 Year Update}

Transitioning to Natural Hair - 1 Year Update

It feels like just yesterday I was sitting here writing the 6 month update on my journey transitioning to natural hair. The first 6 months flew by really quickly and were less stressful than I expected. You can read all about the details in my 6 months update post. I find it slightly unbelievable to say I have been transitioning to natural hair for 1 year. When I decided to transition, I didn't set a specific timeline for how long I would like to transition before I chop off the remaining relaxed ends. You're probably interested why, right? Well, the reason is that I didn't big chop because I don't like having very short hair. I have always had about jaw length hair so I cannot really imagine how I would look with short hair. Since I have no idea how fast my hair will grow, it is slightly difficult to say I am going to transition for 1 year, 2 years or 3 years. So, the plan is to transition until I feel comfortable with the length of my hair.

At this time, I have about 6 inches of new growth but with the shirnkage it looks a lot less. In the last 6 months of my transition I've tried a few more protective styles including Flexi rods, braid outs and Marley Twists. I have been enjoying the marley braids so much I've done it twice in the last couple of months. They are perfect for the winter because then I don't have to manipulate my hair everyday but I won't be doing them in the summer thought because I go snorkelling a lot. 

When I wash my hair, detangling has gotten a bit more difficult. I always detangle in the shower with loads of conditioner.  Some days I handle it ok, other days it's like there was a war in the bathroom. I still cowash twice a week and deep condition once a week. I don't have a set schedule for when I shampoo at the moment because after all the braids I've been doing I occasionally feel like my hair needs a good cleaning. But I'll probably go back to my 2 times a month schedule soon. To moisturize my hair daily and revive my hair, I've been using my DIY Hair Moisturizing Spray which works wonders for me. I stopped taking hair growth pills and biotin because I broke out like crazy after trying a new hair growth pill, but I still take Omega 3. I use quite a lot of different oils on my hair either daily to seal in the moisture or when I am deep conditioning.

I am really excited to see how my journey continues and cannot wait to be fully natural. If you have any tips on what products, hairstyles and the rest I should give a go for longer, healthier hair while I transition and when I am fully natural, please leave them in the comments as I am always interested in learning new things.

Are you transitioning to natural hair? Tell me about your journey.
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