Curly Hair Care

As a curly girl, I get comments on my hair a lot. People ask me what I use, how I get it to be so curly, has it always been this way? So I decided to document one week worth of hair care to share with y’all. On average, I only wash my hair once a week. This has not always been the trend. In the past, I’ve washed my hair multiple times a week, sometimes even every day. When I’m pushing hard at the gym every day, it’s hard not to want to wash my hair. I get sweaty and my scalp feels gross. Here lately, I haven’t been working out at the gym, plus it’s been so freakin’ cold so I haven’t had issues with my hair feeling dirty. In the summer, my hair lives in a messy bun more frequently to keep it clean and off my shoulders and neck. When I do workouts that I know I’ll get sweaty from, I put my hair up and wear a cotton headband to catch the sweat before it gets all up in my do.

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Wash day! On day one my hair is super soft and tangle-free. I take the time to comb through it with a wide-tooth comb in the shower while the conditioner does it’s magic. I usually get a FAT wad of hair in the comb at the end. I shed more than some of the dogs I groom- seriously. As much as I love having fresh and soft locks, I typically don’t wash my hair the day of a special event. The top is pretty flat, plus it takes all dang day to fully dry!

 

 

 

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I’ve changed my products a couple times lately. Being a house guest sometimes makes establishing a routine difficult. I don’t use anything with sulfates or dimethicone. Shampoos usually have sulfates that strip the natural oils from your hair and skin. Think of “de-greasing” dish soap. Many conditioners contain dimethicone or other “cone” ingredients- this stuff coats your hair to keep it from drying out after stripping away the oils. The problem with dimethicone is that it can only be washed away with sulfates. So if you’re using sulfate free shampoo, but your conditioner still has dimethicone, you will over time get a filmy, greasy build up that can only be removed by using sulfate shampoo again. It took my hair a while to adjust to sulfate and dimethicone free cleansers. At first, my hair would overproduce oil, having been used to the harsh stripping from sulfates. After a few months, my hair was regulating oil production on it’s own. This is how I get away with only washing it once a week. My hair stays soft, shiny, healthy and smells good all week- no hippie head over here. Lately I’ve been using Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender shampoo and conditioner. I like it because the first ingredient is aloe (that’s what the Rastas use for their gorgeous, full locks). This brand does have coco-sulfate in it  (just the shampoo) which isn’t as harsh and doesn’t strip as much as laurel and sodium sulfates. My favorite shampoo is Tea Tree Tingle by Trader Joe’s. It’s $2.99 here in California and the ingredient list is beautiful: Water, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Nettle, Thyme, Birch Bark, Chamomile…. the list goes on. Very good stuff!! The conditioner is pretty good too, but I find myself wanting more softness from it. This is where oils come into play.

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Days 2, 3, and 4 are my favorite. I consider these my “good hair days.” On day two, my roots soften up and give my hair a little more volume. Here comes the lion’s mane! Day three is when my hair starts to tangle. I usually finger comb it at this point to save my full curls for another day. Around day four I brush, oil and braid it.

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Argan oil is my favorite, but I’ve used coconut and jojoba as well. I drizzle some oil on my brush and start from the bottom, working my way up to the roots as I tackle the tangles. When I was a kid, we used biosilk (anyone remember that stuff?) and I cried when it was time to brush my hair. It’s much less traumatic now (also I’ve gotten quite hard-headed over the years lol). Argan oil smells amazing and gives my hair a nice shine and smell for the rest of the week, not to mention the buttery softness ❤

 

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Sometimes I sleep in my braid, sometimes I don’t. Just depends on what I’m doing. After I oil and brush it, I like to put it in a braid for the day or at least a few hours. When I take it out, the result is usually beautiful beachy waves.

That’s about it! Day six and seven I either brush it out again and keep it slick, or throw it up in a bun. I know it’s time to wash again when my scalp starts to get sore. Sounds weird, but as my hair weighs down throughout the week it starts to part funny and if I run my hands through to break up the part, it’ll feel a little bit sore. I’ve been tracking these photos for a week to write this post, which means today was a wash day! Feeling so soft and clean and fresh and like I can tackle the damn world. 🙂

Always with love
xoxo Dee

How It All Began

At the beginning of 2017 I set some goals for myself. Pushing toward these goals has really shaped the way my year has gone. I’m finding that it’s really important to always have something to strive for. Even the smallest things can make a huge impact and keep me focused on positive change instead of negative behaviors.

In previous goal-less years, I fell into the same old patterns:

-I worked at jobs that sapped my energy and drained my passion
-I made friends with people who were not good influences on me
-I was less active, eating worse, and having health issues
-I was smoking cigarettes, drinking excessively and having thoughts of suicide
-I was reckless and promiscuous

Basically, my point is that while all ya’ll been bitching about 2017, I’ve been growing exponentially. Setting goals was only the first step in a year-long journey of self-love and acceptance.

On October 27, 2016 I went for a 1 mile run. It took me over twelve minutes and I was so incredibly sore afterwards. Of those twelve minutes, I ran four and walked eight. Despite this performance that would normally discourage me, I got up the next morning and ran again.

Here’s the key to how I did it: I didn’t get up to run so that I would get fit or lose weight. I didn’t get up to run with a hidden agenda or any real reason. I went for 1 run, 1 morning in the dark of October and during that four minutes of increased heart rate, I was present. Instead of focusing on the pain in my lungs, I focused on the euphoric rush of blood to my brain. I focused on the clarity of my mind and the rush of my senses. I breathed deeply into the icy cold chill in my chest instead of letting it consume and discourage me.

Don’t get me wrong- it wasn’t all beautiful. My muscles ached, I choked for air when I slowed to a walk. My lungs, heart, and muscles were completely out of sync. My lungs were weak so I wasn’t delivering enough oxygen to my bloodstream which caused my brain to briefly starve of air. Desperate for oxygen, my circulatory systems powered down a little to give my brain more power. My muscles were unnecessary at that point. My legs grew so cold it was painful to touch them and I just couldn’t run anymore. I literally COULDN’T.

But I was so curious. During that four minutes of blissful synchronization, I felt as if I could run forever.

A little backstory may help: I was fresh (I mean, DAYS) out of an abusive relationship with a toxic alcoholic. This first run must have been aligned to happen exactly when it did, because those four minutes I felt like I was truly running away. Everything behind me and a blank slate before me, going on a run that cold morning in October was the best thing that happened to me all year. It started a journey towards my Personal Legend (Any fans of The Alchemist out there?) that has led me all the way up to today and the creation of this blog. Crazy.

Over a year later, I’m sitting here analyzing what that run really means to me. It was the moment of greatest transformation for me. When I decided to get up and go for another run, I was really starting to get better from all those “illnesses” I’d been “medicated” for in my late teens and early twenties. I just didn’t know it yet.

I know that seems like a big jump to say that going for a lousy 1 mile run around a well-paved, well-lit upper middle class suburban neighborhood at a leisurely pace of 12 minutes and 13 seconds had has any dramatic effect in my life.

But if you need proof that the universe provides signs, that intuition is real and powerful, and there is a greater force in everything, take a look at where I went running…

California Wildfires
This is after it burned down this year, of course
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Here’s the map of my run from my iPhone

 

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Here’s what it looked like before the fire

I did a lot this year. I set lots of goals. Let me stress how important it is that: I DIDN’T ACCOMPLISH THEM ALL. And that’s okay, because if I shoot for the moon, I’ll land among the stars. First I had to break down my own self-limited beliefs.

In the beginning of the year, I started carrying around a notebook.

Every time I think of something I want to do, an idea I have, a positive affirmation or just a place to brainstorm I turn to this journal. I’m uploading some of my favorite pages for you in hopes that it may help you learn to love your progress as it taught me.


 

2017 has been like no other year and I am just so emotional about the amount of growth I’ve done, but I’m not done yet. I have some plans for 2018. As it grows nearer, I’ll fill you all in.

I’d like to take some time to recognize those of you who have reached out to me during my journey. I’ve received numerous messages on many different platforms, but especially on Instagram. Some of you I’ve met, others I haven’t. Some of you I see every week, while others I haven’t seen in years. Thank you all for your support, your kind words, your encouragement. I am so touched by your bravery to step forward and support another human in a world where we are taught to compete. Your messages inspire me to continue my journey and share what I learn.

“Your perception of me is a reflection of you”

So for all of you out there sending kind words and love my way, you are sending kind words and love to yourself as well. I am but a mirror. The good you see in me is the good you will learn to see in yourself.

Always with love
xoxo Dee