My First DevaCut Experience Was Fantastic!

Type 4 Color-Treated Hair Before DevaCut

Believe it or not, I hadn’t gotten my hair trimmed since last July! Tangles and single strand knots were giving me the blues so I knew I was long overdue. When I got it
trimmed last year, I went to a salon that blow dried and flat ironed it in order to cut my ends. The experience was fine but I wanted try try out a DevaCut.

For those who don’t know, a DevaCut is a hair cut (or trim) with your hair in its naturally curly state. Most salons will straighten your hair in order to cut it. I’ve only had my hair flat ironed once since going natural and that was for the trim last year. It was nice to see my hair straight but it was a lot of heat and manipulation considering that I walked out with a wash and go. Since I’ve mastered my wash and go and am obsessed with my texture, I wear my hair curly a lot. A DevaCut allows my hair to be shaped while it’s in the state I wear it most: curly.


Four Tips for Managing Color-Treated Natural Hair

Virgin Natural Hair

My last time seeing my virgin hair.

One thing I always wanted to do when I was relaxed was to highlight my hair but I never went through with it. I was terrified of causing further damage and that I’d have trouble retaining length. I’d seen too many girls with damaged and choppy hair because they had relaxed and then bleached their hair. Once I went natural and started dealing with my virgin texture, I fell in love. I have curls, coils and tufts all over my head. Now that I’ve found my staple products, my hair is thriving and I live for wash and gos. I was mindlessly scrolling IG one day when I said aloud to my husband, “Man, I’d love to color my hair” to which he responded, “Why don’t you?” I replied that it was way too expensive but then realized that I’d never even looked. Hell, I wasn’t even 100% familiar with the coloring process so I made my way down the rabbit hole. After doing weeks of research, I finally took the plunge and booked my appointment at the same salon where I’d gotten my big chop. Ayten, the salon owner, answered all of my questions and put me at ease. She didn’t use any bleach and, instead of coloring my whole head, we went with highlights. It’s been about two months since I got my hair colored and I haven’t noticed any issues: no breakage, excessive dryness or change in curl pattern. Since I requested highlights that look lived in, as my hair grows out, my line of demarcation is less harsh. Overall, I’d consider this experience a win and recommend color to everyone! Below, I’ve share a few tips on maintaining color-treated natural hair. =&0=&My research of other color-treated naturals was that they had to incorporate protein as well as lots more moisture. They also talked about their curl pattern changing and mitigating that with protein. I bought Roux Porosity Control and Aphogee 2 Minute; neither of which are necessary for my hair. My tresses are still low porosity and craving lots of moisture. I’ve been deep conditioning once every 1-2 weeks to keep my hair happy. 2. Get a Trim. Keeping a neat hemIine is always important but especially when you’ve introduced color. With pops of color in your hair, splits and damage are a lot more noticeable. I’ve also been wearing my hair out a lot more because I’m obsessed with the color. All that has taken a toll on my already fragile ends. I’m finally taking my own doggone advice on Friday and will be getting my first DevaCut! 3. Be Mindful of the Sun. It’s starting to warm up in New York meaning I’m spending more time in the sun. I was thinking about lightening my hair again for the summer but I want to see how much it lightens naturally in the sun. My hair’s canopy is highly porous and dries out/frizzes up very quickly. I plan to make a moisturizing leave in with Vitamin E oil to help protect my tresses from heat damage. 4. Have Fun! I think this is the most important tip. While my ultimate hair goal is BSB (below shoulder blade), I’ve been waiting too long to have fun with my hair. I was fully prepared to cut my hair off it got too damaged from the color but I knew this is something I wanted to try. I smile when I see my hair in every style and I’m even more obsessed with my natural texture. If you’re on the fence about trying something new, don’t be. Educate yourself, get the right products and go for it!

My First Whole30 Results and Lifestyle Update

Whole30 Results

My first Whole30 ended on Tuesday, February 9th at 11:59pm and I DID it! I’m so proud to say that I didn’t cheat AT ALL. Even when I had a team happy hour (water with lemon for me), a team dinner (I’ll have the steak with extra greens) and an all day team training that involved mimosas and bagels (!!! I brought steak and eggs and chugged my water). I had to prove that I could do this and I did. I placed a lot of importance on successfully completing this, not because I was chasing perfection (although I usually do), but because I had to prove that if I could do this, I could do ANYTHING. I have a high pressure job where my performance easily spills into other aspects of my life; if I’m killing it at work, I kill it elsewhere and vice versa. Since all aspects of my life are so intrinsically linked, I treated the Whole30 as a way to push myself at work, financially and in my marriage. This is what made my success so critical.


Halfway Through My First Whole30!

I’m halfway through the Whole30 (in fact, when this publishes I’ll be on Day 15) and nothing has exploded. My husband and I never experienced the symptoms that seem to plague other people but we may be out of the woods on that. I was eating terribly leading up to my Whole30 so I was expecting the worst but I’ve also been working from home the last few weeks. This schedule has allowed me to be very hands on in the kitchen and a very stress free first week and I’m so grateful for that.


The Healthy Tackles the Whole30

StrandedHHJ Whole30

Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to an awesome start because mine certainly is.

I’m taking time to prioritize my health and I’m starting with my diet. I have been eating poorly for months which made me feel bad so I ate even worse and felt even worse; see the pattern? As a result of these choices, my clothes aren’t fitting properly, my back always hurts and my skin is freaking out. I was able to ignore these symptoms for awhile until I finally got on the scale this week. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life; even heavier than when I initially started my fitness journey back in 2012. My shoulders slumped when the number finally registered; I have work to do.


The Wealthy: May 2016 Financial Update


I haven’t spoken about my financial wellness journey in ages but I’m ready to start sharing again. I’ve made some progress like budgeting every dollar I make, cutting up my credit cards and discussing financial goals and making a game plan  with my husband. I have also done some backsliding which is why I haven’t been talking about the journey. I’ve decided that sharing my wins (and fails) with you is the best way to add another layer of accountability and, hopefully, encourage those of you on the same path. Every month, I’ll be sharing a financial update that mentions how much progress we’ve made. Small wins are still wins!


5 Things I Learned After a Year with Natural Hair

Yesterday was my curlaversary and I’m so happy I stuck it out! I spontaneously decided to go natural last year so I didn’t transition, I big chopped. After the shiny newness of my style and the joy of being part of a big, beautiful community wore off, I looked at myself in the mirror and wonder, “Am I still beautiful?” Yes, my husband said so and some days I even felt it, but not frequently enough. I looked back at old pictures of my relaxed hair and began regretting cutting it all of.  Long, straight hair had always been my favorite accessory but all I had to work with was tiny curls. What was I actually doing, anyway? It wasn’t long enough to braid so protective styles were out. I have all of these different textures represented on my head so I didn’t even have a consistent curl pattern. The longer it grew, the more I wondered how was I going to look presentable?


Tuft & Needle Mattress Review

Made Bed

I love sleep more than Oprah loves bread. The only thing I love more than naps is sleeping in without setting an alarm. I’m pretty unique in that I can usually fall asleep on any relatively soft surface: air bed, futon, pull out couch, carpet etc.

I’m still able to fall asleep pretty much anywhere but, at the ripe age of damn-near-30 my body doesn’t feel the way it used to when I wake up. My husband and I had been sharing a full-sized mattress with a foam topper that just was NOT the business. The mattress sagged to one side and the foam topper would slide around in the middle of the night. Plus, the foam topper made the bed extra high which made it a challenge for me my dog Bailey to climb into and out of. Tired of waking up to aches and pains, precariously perching and scaling the bed, I knew it was time to upgrade our sleeping sitch.


The 21 Day Water Challenge: April 2016 Edition

21 Day Water Challenge

I have fallen so far off my fitness game, it’s laughable. With the demands of my new job, I’ve had trouble getting back into writing, let alone practicing self care. Luckily, one of my Facebook friends explicitly asked me about the 21 Day Water Challenge (#21DWC) for March and I promised her one is coming for April.

Since we all need to start somewhere, I’m starting small: by getting my water intake back under control. We all know that water does our hair, skin, nails a world of good but it can also aid in weight management. With all of this said, the April 2016 21 Day Water Challenge is starting on Monday April 4th. If you’ve been slacking or just need some encouragement, this challenge is for you.


A New Chapter in My Hair Journey: The Big Chop

It's about to go down!

It’s about to go down!

After 22 years of being relaxed, I’m natural again. I have been natural for a week and I’m still in shock. My overprocessed relaxed hair was about APL but limp, damaged and lifeless. Do you have any idea how irritating it is to get a wash and set and not have a style in about two hours? What a waste of time and money! After repeatedly trimming cutting my hair in hopes of achieving the dream relaxed hair of my youth, I decided enough was enough.

It occurred to me in the shower (where I do my best thinking) that I want to be natural by 30. Not GOING natural, I want to know my texture, love it and have some length. I’ve always flirted with the idea of transitioning but I know me. After months and months of stretching, I would see all the new growth and be like, “Ooh, I wonder how long my hair would be if I just relaxed it one more time!”