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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Protective Style #2

As you can see I took out the twists, except the ones that form the bang in the front. I was going to keep them in the whole week, or rather try. However, they don't look fresh after about three days. I did moisturize with shea butter and water last night but when I woke up this morning they were a shrunken, frizzy, mess!

So, before taking them out I spritzed my hair with water until it was a little less than damp. Then I applied one of Shea Moisture's products: the organic coconut and hibiscus curl & style milk. It has coconut oil, silk protein, and neem oil. This was the first time using it and I love it!! It made my hair soft, mosturized, and my curls popped! It is also very light so my hair doesn't feel greasy. I didn't seal with oil afterwards because I still had some in my hair from my leave in.

I tamed the frizz on the edges of my hair with some homemade flaxseed gel. (Click here for a youtube video that shows how it's done). I don't use a brush on my hair. Instead, to smooth my edges I use a toothbrush. It works wonders and is gentle on the hair. The rest was just done up with bobby pins. Super easy, super quick, super cute.

Tonight I plan to cleanse my scalp with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Again, I usually cleanse once a week but this week I am noticing some build up. This will be done after my run. Then I'll mosturize with the rest of my leave in and put it in big twists for the night.

I haven't mastered the french roll but I might try that tomorrow. I also like the roll and tuck styles but they don't work with the motorcycle helmet. I'll probably do that more on a weekend or when classes end and I don't have to be on it everyday. It's more of a mix between a scooter and a motorcycle. Maybe I'll take a pic of it and post it.

So, that's it for my hair today. Look for much more material coming soon! Bear with me as I get the hang of blogger because I have TONS of interesting things to share!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Protective Style #1

Today I wore a simple, don't-feel-like-doing-my-hair, style. Saturday, after I washed, deep conditioned, and applied my leave in (full details of my wash routine next week), I put medium-sized twists in my hair. I only went over the in-laws house on Saturday to see some of their extended family that came into town. So I wore the same style. Sunday was supposed to be a run day. However, I ended up opting to rest so that I could do weights and intervals on the static bike today. It is already pretty hot in Córdoba so I was sweating buckets like I usually do. As a result, to refresh my hair for the style I spritzed with some water and applied more of my leave in conditioner.

The hair clip in the photo I got from luvnaturals, which is an online store owned by a pretty well-known youtuber. You should check out her videos if you haven't already. I usually twist the front that way because I don't know what else to do with it. That hair only reaches my chin. So isn't long enough to go back in a ponytail like the rest of my hair. I don't know how to flat twist and I don't cornrow my own hair well enough yet to wear it out of the house. So to protect my ends, and still have it look decent, I create a twist bang. I think it looks cute.

My goal for this summer is to wear protective styles exclusively. The weather here is very dry and my hair type is prone to extreme dryness. Plus, I move around the city via motorcycle, meaning I have to wear a helmet. Protective styles are the most comfortable with the helmet and don't get desheveled as easily. I also make sure to wear a satin scarf over my head so my hair doesn't catch on the inner material of the helmet and create split ends.

So this is one of my favorite protective styles because it is super easy and is flattering to my hair type. Bear in mind that these photos were taken at the end of a long day including yoga, rain, and class. Next time I'll make sure to take pics when the style is fresh. Also, there is a lot of shrinkage due to twisting when my hair was wet. I might redo the twists in the front tomorrow to make them longer.

To maintain it for the night I will spritz with more water, probably apply some shea butter, and put on my satin cap. In the morning, I will again refresh with water, and if need be, add more product. Although, usually when I add shea butter I don't need to reapply. I'm not running until tomorrow night so my hair won't dry out as a result of sweating.

Usually, I shampoo/condition once a week (again, a full regimen outline will be given this weekend) but I am noticing some build up on my scalp. I might rinse my scalp with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. I'll also use my ph testing trips (also purchased at luvnaturals) to make sure I don't disturb my hair's natural levels. So....

Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow!

Introduction: past and present

Training for the full marathon initially began on July 27th 2010. I looked online and found a pretty reasonable training schedule that was for 26 weeks. Perfect, as I planned to run it in February and the schedule terminated on January 23rd 2010. However, I was overzealous. I didn't listen to my body and I suffered an overuse injury right after I ran a half marathon on November 28th 2010 (photo above). I started feeling tension in the lateral part of my left knee around the first week of December but I kept ignoring it. I was sure that it was only normal soreness from running and that once I took a few days off I'd be back in shape. 

On December 12th 2010, after a 10-day hiatus from running, (and a few days after suffering from a cold), I hit the trail again. It was a long run of 18 miles. Yet, just a week ago I had pain in my knee. I had to stop at mile 16 because the pain became unbearable. I actually felt the pain at mile 12/13 but I didn't stop. I told myself that it didn't hurt enough for me to stop running, although the nagging pain was still there. The next day I woke up with a stiff, painful knee. I could barely walk to the bathroom! I was only able to sit on the toilet seat with help from my husband. Even so, I rode my static bike for 10 minutes and did a lot of stretching. At that point I figured it was time to do some research on how to heal this injury. I was still convinced that I'd be fine by February to run my marathon. 

I found that I was suffering from Iliotibial Band Syndrome. It's a lateral pain in the knee. The ligament rubs against the bone causing irritation and pain. Normally there is no swelling (which I didn't have) and the only "cure" is rest. It is an overuse injury. It typically takes 4-6 weeks to heal, meaning, I had to hault my marathon training for four weeks. Looking back, I was so sure that after that four weeks I was going to run the marathon and finish. Now I know that even when the supposed healing time is over that doesn't mean I would have been well enough to run 26 miles. 

So, on December 9th 2010, my denial now over, I stopped training. It was incredibly hard. I was down, depressed, feeling fat, and I even thought that I would never recover. To cope, I started incorporating visualization techniques into my life. Basically, you run in your mind and visualize the route, your breathing, and the feel of your feet on the pavement. It's a kind of therapy that helps athletes in recovery. 

That January 2011, I started including weight training and the static bike after the six weeks were up. I started running again on January 13th 2011, for 15 minutes. I would run three times a week for 15 minutes. If my leg felt healthy the following week, I'd increase the time by five minutes. I didn't reach 30 minutes until February 2nd 2011. I am now running 1 hour and 40 minutes, three times a week, and I feel great! I plan to start my training again the second half of June.  

This has been a learning experience. I have learned to relax, breathe, and take my time. Most of all I listen to my body now. If I need a break, I take one. If I need to stretch more, I do. I even do yoga twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays to help me de-stress and maintain my flexibility. I hope to use this blog to keep me honest. I am doing all the right things right now and I want to keep up the motivation. Maybe I can even help someone else.

As for the hair journey, that is recently new. I've been natural since my sophormore year at college (2004) but I feel newly natural. My goal is to take better care of my hair to I can maximize my own growth potential. I will include my regimen, products I use, hair styles and things that I learn from the internet. Including things I've learned on youtube or from other blogs by naturalistas that I follow. I measured my hair May 22nd and so my three month update on length will be at the end of August. I can't wait! (Look for more photos soon).

I look forward to sharing my Recipe for Health.