“It’s My Hair” TAG

It's my hair tag blog post pictureHello, curlies!! I came across this natural hair tag on YouTube, so I thought it would be fun to answer these same questions here on my blog! If you end up doing the tag, then let me know so I can read it!

Here we go!

Q. Why did you start your hair journey?

I was tired of my hair breaking off. My hair kept getting shorter and shorter without me even cutting it. It was so damaged from relaxers, permanent color, and constant flat ironing that I knew I needed to make some changes quickly if I wanted the long, healthy hair I once had

Q. How long have you been on your hair journey?

I’ve been natural since November 2009. That was my last relaxer

Q. Are you natural, relaxed or transitioning?

Natural, duh! Lol. But I did transition instead of doing the big chop. I was too scared to chop off so much hair at one time. My face is too round for only 1-2 inches of hair

Q. What is your length right now?

Hip length

Q. What is your goal length?

Tail bone length or as long as it will grow and still be healthy

Q. What is your hair texture?

Like most naturals, I have more than one hair type going on! The back is 4a while the front and sides have some 3c mixed in

Q. Health or Length?

Health, always. There is no point in having long hair if the ends are split and un-healthy

Q. If you could only live with one hair product what would it be?

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner. This product is amazing! It’s lightweight, but packs a punch. It defines my curls like no other and keeps my hair moisturized for several days

Q. What’s the worst product you’ve ever used?

Elasta QP Anti-Breakage Leave-In Conditioner, Olive Oil & Mango Butter. I was surprised by how much this product dried my hair out! The ingredient list is pretty good. I don’t believe its curly girl friendly, but the less desirable ingredients were listed toward the bottom of the ingredient list, so I assumed the product would still work well for me. I also saw a lot of people online rave about it, plus it was buy one, get one fee. So I thought I came across my new holy grail, but I was wrong

Q. What is your “go to” hair style?

A bun! I’m a self-proclaimed “lazy natural.” I don’t know how ladies can rock a fresh twist-out every day. I need something that is quick, chic, and convenient

Q.Are you a product junkie?

Nope. It’s tempting, but the way my bills are set-up….I just can’t. I like trying new things, but I try to only incorporate one new product at a time

Q. How often do you trim your hair?

I don’t trim on a set schedule. I just trim on an as-needed basis. If I were to create a schedule, I wouldn’t trim more than 4 times per year. But, by all means, do what works for you

Q. How often do you use heat?

Almost never. I know this attributes to how long I’ve been able to grow my hair. I think the last time I flat-ironed my hair was in 2010. I used to diffuse my hair on wash day. But now I just allow my hair to air dry

Q. Do you take hair supplements?

Not at this time, but I would not be opposed to it to help me reach my goal of tailbone length

Q. Favorite oil?

Hands down it would be coconut. Coconut oil has made my hair stronger and it has molecules small enough to penetrate the hair shaft and improve the health of your hair

Q. Who is your hair crush?

Naptural85. She’s amazing and I have probably watched all of her videos. I like her personality, video quality, plus her hair type is very similar to mine. I use her videos to help me with product suggestions and different techniques. She’s also the queen of DIY

Q. How long does it take you on a wash day?

Are you coming to help me?! Lol. Just kidding. I am not sure. I don’t time myself. My wash day time varies depending on how long I choose to deep conditioner my hair. I like to deep conditioner for an hour, but sometimes I want to finish wash day sooner so I will only deep condition for 15-30 minutes

Q. Worst thing that has happened to your hair?

Constant heat styling without using heat protectant, and of course, relaxers

Q. Do you dye your hair? If so, what color?

Yes, I dye it black. I used to color my hair often when I was relaxed. I used to have blonde streaks. Then I was a red head for a while. But I like how black looks on me. It makes my hair look shiny!

Q. Do you co-wash or shampoo?

It depends on my hair. If I have a lot of product build up or if I just colored my hair, I prefer to use shampoo to thoroughly cleanse it. Otherwise, I co-wash and that works just fine to clean my scalp and hair

Hopefully me answering these questions helped you learn more about me and also helped you along your own journey! Don’t forget to tag me in your post or video!

And if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to my blog for more natural hair and wellness information!

IBS: Diagnosis to Victory, Part II

I created my first blog post about my diagnosis in October 2016. It’s been a few months since then, so I wanted to update you all on how I am feeling these days and ways I am trying to manage my symptoms.

As of today, February 20th, I am feeling pretty good. I am still experiencing symptoms of distension and constipation. The gas hasn’t been nearly as frequent. So some of the changes I’ve made are working. But I still have work to do if I want to get closer to feeling like the old me. If you notice, I didn’t mention bloating. That is because, while reading up this condition, there is a difference between bloating and distension. Bloating is the feeling of increased of pressure in the abdomen. While distension is a measurable change in the circumference of the abdomen.

The most recent change I made is trying to adhere to a gluten free diet. I had no idea it would be this difficult. It seems like it’s in everything! So now, I am training my mind to be a label reader again. I say again, because when I was losing weight, I was reading labels and looking at the calories, sugar, and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). Now I have to train my mind to read the label to make sure it says “Gluten Free” or read the back to see if it says “contains wheat.” Gluten is the main protein in wheat, rye, and barley.  I can definitely tell that eating wheat does not agree with me. I noticed my symptoms were triggered when I ate wheat. I just refused to believe that all of a sudden I couldn’t digest wheat properly. I had been eating it my whole like. Like, I grew up on Wonder Bread! But I do recall a rather thought provoking quote that stated something like “are we allergic to food? Or are we allergic to what’s been done to it?” I don’t believe I am allergic since I don’t experience any external symptoms when I consume it. But I definitely feel it internally. The quote makes sense because if you think about how a piece of wheat looks and then consider what process wheat has to go through to be turned into products like bread and pasta, it makes you wonder what they are either adding or removing during the production process that makes the end product difficult to digest.

As mentioned in my first IBS post, it is recommended that I follow a Low-FODMAP diet, which is an elimination diet. So removing foods from my diet that can trigger IBS symptoms and then re-introducing some items back into my diet. To help me better understand what is happening in my body, I purchased “The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet” book written by Sue Shepherd, PhD and Peter Gibson, MD. This book also contains recipes you can eat during the elimination phase. I haven’t finished the book yet or tried any of the recipes thus far, but I plan to do so in the future. For now, I am using recipes I already have and then trying to modify them to fit the diet.

To also help me with the elimination diet, I decided to visit a Nutritionist for support. I just didn’t feel comfortable going through this process without medical supervision. I visited her towards the end of February and have a follow-up appointment with her at the end of March. She also gave me background information on the condition and a list of foods to avoid. Some of the foods I don’t eat often, so I’m not bothered that I have to eliminate them. But there are some foods that I love, such as watermelon, avocado, mushrooms, cashews, blackberries, mangos, honey and peaches. Just typing them out hurts my soul!!  But I have to consider the bigger picture, which is identifying my trigger foods and working towards managing my condition. I should also instead focus on all the foods I can still eat.

I am going to do my best to stay positive because I know my situation could be worse. Even though there is no cure for IBS, I am thankful there are ways to manage the condition to the point where I can feel like I’m cured. I also know this experience is bigger than me. There is someone else dealing with this condition who may feel hopeless, but perhaps after watching my journey, they will be encouraged to keep going!

Low-FODMAP Diet Click here to see a list of foods that are part of the diet.