Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hair Care (Tips and Tricks)

I'm going to share a bit of how I take care of my hair.  I have Natural curly hair that is dark brown with a bit of auburn in it (ends and highlights from sun/ swimming) type 3c/4a/4b.  I have put henna in my hair a few times for strength and to darken it if I swam too much (not this year!).  I hate having my hair straight and I hate tight braids.  I loathe any form of heat styling including blow drying, flat ironing and especially the hot comb.  The few times anyone has ever approached me with that medieval torture device nearly resulted in me going to jail, losing my mind or jumping through the roof at the sensation of my hair being Kentucky fried.

Before: relaxed hair.  My hair was fairly healthy because I only relaxed 3-4 times a year and I would press only the parts showing when my hair was down. Look at my ends though... gah!

I like easy maintenance that comes with natural curly hair (no more heat styling! wash and go!).  I like that if my style is jacked up I can just wet my hair and start over again.  I like that I can wash my hair as often as I like or need.  I have eczema on my scalp and I have learned what to use in moderation and what to avoid in general.
After: natural hair after my first henna treatment.  My ends were a bright coppery orange before due to swimming and sun.

Here is my typical routine:
-Wash sectioned hair with Dr. Bronner magic soap (I dilute .5 oz tea tree oil and .5 oz lavender in 7 oz of water in a squeeze bottle) once a week
-Immediately after washing each section apply Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner and some olive oil
-I leave my hair clipped in sections with the conditioner and oil while I shower, shave, exfoliate and moisturize (I add a shea oil mix to my skin while it is wet to keep in moisture) which takes about 5-10 minutes
-I detangle each section with the conditioner and oil in using my modified faux Denman brush (I removed every other row, but hopefully Santa will bring me a Denman D41 Freeflow) starting at the ends and moving up
-I rinse out each section and add a leave in conditioner like Giovanni Direct Leave in or Queen Helene Royal Curl Conditioner
-I wrap my head in a microfibre turban or an old T shirt to dry my hair while I dab my body dry
-If I'm going out I will add coconut oil and put my hair in a bun or a puff when mostly dry (if it is warm out I'll just leave it out)
-If I'm staying in I will use oil, gel or a curl pudding and twist my hair while damp, then I'll take out the twists the next day
- Once my hair has been out for 2-3 days I will wash my scalp with just conditioner and finger detangle the ends, then I will style as usual

I know it sounds a bit complicated but it is actually better for my hair and easier than the straightening and wasting the money at salons for relaxers.  The products I try to avoid include sulfates, silicones and mineral oil.  They show up in ingredients as sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate, dimethicone or amodimethicone and parrafinium liquidium.  I also try to avoid parabens because they mimic estrogens and can cause hormonal imbalance. I only use a shampoo with SLS once a month to clarify (clean any buildup) because it dries out my hair and irritates my scalp.  I try to avoid silicones because they don't allow hair to breathe and lock out moisture.  They cause further buildup and the only way they can be removed is with SLS (which dries out the hair and continues a vicious cycle).  The only one that is water soluble is Amodimethicone, but it still causes buildup.  I don't use mineral oil on my hair for the same reason. Washing your hair less is actually really good for it especially if you colour because your hair uses its own oils.  After a few weeks of it seeming greasy your hair will balance out.  In the meantime you can use a dry shampoo in between washes which has the added benefit of adding body to fine hair (trust me I have a flop fro lol).

If you have any scalp problems I recommend staying away from these products as well.  I had traction alopecia from braids a few years ago but I oil my scalp 2-3 times a week (after washing) with castor oil and a few drops of tea tree oil mixed in. I have seen tremendous growth and retention with this mixture.

I hope these tips help because they can be applied to any hair type and the baddies I try not to use are not good for anyone! If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me.


Monday, 26 November 2012

Better Late Than Never!

Spooky Decor at a house in my friend's neighbourhood!
Well both Halloween and the Feast of All Saints have both passed us by, but there is no reason to not show off the manicure I had!  I won't show my costume because I was a lame witch (it kept me relatively dry) and it was just an uncreative unremarkable costume.  Like I mentioned before I was not feeling very creative, but I did use a shimmery green MAC pigment all over my face and I did not break out : )

One of my favourite Halloween movies is Nightmare Before Christmas and this manicure was inspired by the movie.  The first time I did this manicure I rushed and it just looked terrible.  I took my time and surprise, surprise it looked pretty good.

From L to R: Sally Hansen Whirlwind White with Jack's face drawn on with a black striper polish, China Glaze Riveting and black striper , Nina Ultra Pro Black and white striper polish, Whirlwind White and OPI black crackle, Wet'n Wild Buffy the Violet Slayer with Nicole by OPI Make a Comet-Ment

The Pumpkin King!

From L to R: Wet'n Wild Buffy the Violet Slayer layered with Nicole by OPI Make a Comet-ment, Urban Outfitters Slime stamped with a spider from plate BM13 and stitches painted on with black striper polish, Nina Ultra Pro Black layered with Ardene Hollywood Star, Nina Ultra Pro Like Butta stamped with witch from plate BM 13, Oogie Boogie is Slime with Nina Ultra Pro Black dotted and painted on.

Nina Ultra Pro Like Butta and BM13 stamp... these Nibs were eaten shortly after the photo shoot.

My favourite mug, Sally side

My favourite mug, Jack side

Crystal Skull Vodka : )

Pumpkin King cookie and the original nail fail.

Candy and Harry Potter Lego. Look at me and my hubs in the background!

A jar of rats, a jar of eyeballs and a Jack O Lantern.

Halloween Tablescape.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Guess Who's Bizzack?

I am! Sorry for the absence, but I had to deal with illness (in my family as well as myself) and I was immersing myself in job hunting.  I don't consider this blog a distraction, but rather a creative outlet and there will be times that I don't feel very creative.  I've learned from the bloggers who came before me that I should keep a few posts on hand for when I don't have time or energy to write.  Also I should keep some edited photos of swatches or give a quick update so that I'm not absent for a month without notice. 

I have also been learning more about using blogger so I haven't posted much but I have done a lot of photo editing and site tweaking which you will notice in future posts.  Later this week I will sort of do a catch up showcasing Halloween, Thanksgiving, Breast Cancer Awareness and of course Prostate Cancer Awareness for Movember.  I will split them up a little sot that the post is not just some crazy photo filled extravaganza... but then why else would you be here!

I awoke today feeling really good and closer to "back to normal".  I felt focused and not anxious and very optimistic.  This round of job hunting has been difficult because I'm not working and I don't have much of a safety net.  Another thing that I am noticing is the lack of stability and how little companies are willing to pay someone.  After taking a paycut by taking my previous job, I don't think I can take another.  I want to have kids but not until my debt is paid off by at least half.  At the time I didn't want to quit with nothing lined up, but when it comes to ethics I would rather keep my name out of the mud.  I am an amazing employee with good moral sense and I think that it is better to be able to sleep at night knowing that the patients I took care of are safe. I am a registered Lab Technician with a lot of experience in patient care as well as customer service and I am knowledgeable in terms of Lab Technology.  I have a little something more up my sleeve and I'm sure that I'll get some bites soon because I'm a catch ;)