Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Work it out: My three must-haves at the gym

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I recently dug deep and got myself back into (As us naija people say) gyming. I had a love-hate relationship with the gym. I love to workout but physically getting up and going was the hard part. Now that that is behind me, I wanted to share my three must-haves.





1. Headphones
I love cardio, more specifically, the treadmill and the stair master. I always push myself because I love seeing results. In pushing myself, I always hear myself breathe which messes up my flow. I purchased the Beats Studio's in April and immediately fell in love. The noise block feature is everything.


2. Heart rate monitor/calorie counter
It's always encouraging to know how many calories you are burning, especially when you're feeling discouraged. The Polar watch and heart rate monitor allows a more accurate calorie count and heart rate. The watch initial settings allows you to input your weight, height, age and sex, providing a more accurate heart rate and calorie count.

3. A GREAT playlist
I love a good burst of energy during an intense cardio session. Any form of music with a good beat provides that for me. Here are a list of songs currently on my playlist:

1. Nick Jonas-Jealous
2. Sia- Chandelier
3. Jay-Z-Lost one
4. Yemi Alade- Johnny
5. P-Square- Taste d money
6. Jay-Z- Heart of the city
7. Lil Kim- Crush on you
8. Nas ft. Lauryn Hill- If I ruled the world
9. Kanye West- All Falls down
10. J. Lo ft. Pitbull- Dance again
11. Kanye West ft. Jay-z & Big Sean-Clique


XOXO,

Amaka

Step 2: Detangle and Wash

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I realized that I didn't discuss how I detangle my hair in my prior post, so I will briefly discuss that. I NEVER detangle my hair on dry hair. I think it's safe to say, it is impossible. I also do not use combs and have not in about 2 and a half years (maybe longer).


Method:

Detangle
After I have completed my hot oil treatment, my hair is moist and easier to manipulate.
At this point, my hair's already in 4 (or more) sections. I detangle one section at a time by lightly misting one section and detangle with my fingers from the bottom, up. I detangle by separating a section into multiple sections and using my fingers to remove any shed hair. Detangling can be very timely. It is important to have patience with your hair. There should be no snapping, crackling or popping!! 

Shampoo
I shampoo my hair in front of the bathroom mirror. At this point, my hair is still in 4-6 sections. I lightly spray each section with water and use about a quarter-sized amount of shampoo per section.  I shampoo my scalp by applying the shampoo to my scalp and gently massaging my scalp with my finger tips, never using my finger nails . I then apply conditioner to my HAIR. This prevents my hair from over drying when rinsing. Once all sections are completely washed, I thoroughly rinse each section in the shower one at a time.

Benefits:
I find that beginning my shampoo process out of the shower and in front of the mirror allows me to see exactly what I am doing. I also use better portions of product and water. I find this method to be very efficient and saves me a lot of time.

Products:
Shampoo
Conditioner

Up next: Deep conditioner
Check out: Step one: hot oil treatment

XOXO,

Amaka

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Step 1: Hot oil treatments

On my journey to reach my #HAIRGOALS, I thought I'd share my hair regimen. I know how overwhelming natural hair upkeep can be and reading about it can be even worse, so I decided to break it down step by step.

I recently began incorporating hot oil treatments in to my hair regimen. There were a lot of treatments that I did with my relaxed hair that I did not think would be beneficial for my natural hair. Hot oil treatments were one of them. A few weeks ago, I decided to give it a try and the results were amazing.

My scalp can get very dry and flaky. I think this is still the healing process from years of chemically processing my hair. Although the body is very forgiving, it does take time to heal. Nonetheless, I combined my favorite oils and went to work.

My recipe:
1 tablespoon Meadow foam oil
1 tablespoon Rice Bran oil
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of Jamaican black castor oil
Side note: These are the oils that work well with my hair. Freestyle with oils your hair loves! 

Method:
Warm water in a pot and allow the water to come to a boil. Once the water boils, turn the burner off. Add desired oils in to an applicator bottle. Place the applicator bottle inside the hot water (Oils have different properties including different boiling/melting points. This method prevents over heating. Over heating your oils could potentially ruin the beneficial properties). Allow the oils to warm for about 7-10 minutes (The mixture of oils should be warm, not scorching hot). Lightly mist your hair with water, and separate it into four (or more) sections Use the tip of the applicator bottle to apply the warm oil mixture directly to my scalp. Any excess oil can be applied to the hair. Cover your hair with a plastic cap followed by a bonnet, warm wet towel, or heat cap. I do hot oil treatments the night before my wash day, however, 15-20 minutes is sufficient.

Benefits:
In addition to the beneficial properties of each oil, hot oil treatments offer nourishment to your scalp. A healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair. I mentioned earlier that my scalp can get a little unruly at times but with hot oil treatments, I have noticed a significant improvement. It also provides a means to easily detangle your hair. I always finger comb my hair before shampooing. It is much easier to detangle when the newest hair (new growth) is moisturized.

Step 2: Detangle & Wash


XOXO,

Amaka

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Throwback Thursday♫: Bottom Belle

Nigerian music is truly one of a kind. With some of the most exceptional beats, songs are both playful and catchy. But do you ever wonder where some of these songs originate from? My dad is a true music enthusiast. So when I heard the remake of the infamous song bottom belle, I called him immediately and we shared our love for the tribute.

Check out the tracks below:

Omawumi ft. Flavour - Bottom Belle 

African Rhythm Messengers- Bottom Belle

XOXO,

Omalicha Curls

#HAIRGOALS

I have completely fallen off of my natural hair game. From the woes of pharmacy school, married life and running around with a toddler, my priorities shifted. But as things become more seasoned in my life, the pendulum is shifting back to myself. 

I guess my main problem was consistency. HONESTLY, we make time for what we want to make time for, and I did not make my hair a priority. I never missed an episode of Scandal on Thursdays but constantly neglected my hair. But today is a new day and I need to be held accountable. I need to set goals and make an honest effort to meet them.

Currently APL (crazy shrinkage)
My #Hairgoals are to be BSL by this time next year. Also the hair on the nape of my neck has broken most likely due the lack of moisture coupled with the friction from my scarf/bonnet. So I hope to strengthen and grow out those hairs as well. 

So here are the promises I am making to my hair:

1. Weekly hot oil treatments
2. Shampoo weekly
3. Deep condition weekly
4. Light protein treatment every 3 weeks
5. Moisturize and seal daily/every other day

So hold me accountable, August 5th, 2016 (hopefully sooner), I will be BSL.

XOXO,

Amaka

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Crochet Braids - my new obsession!



Everyone who knows me knows that I'm into protective styling. I don't like to keep my real hair out for too long especially in the winter. I also love to experiment with different looks and styles without putting stress on my hair or manipulating it too much. I kept seeing the crochet braid style and really liked the idea of it so I started looking for a stylist who could install it for me. I began doing more research on Instagram and YouTube and I realized that this was definitely something that I could do myself. So  after watching plenty of tutorials I set aside a weekend to install them. 

I used 4 packs of the Cuban twist marley hair in the 16" length which was way too long. I ended up trimming the hair afterwards. I cornrowed my hair straight back with 12 braids in the front connecting into 6 braids in the back. I used the "knotless" method in order to create a look that appeared as if the hair was coming right out of my scalp. 

Next, I curled curled the hair using perm rods. After I rolled up my entire head I dipped the rods in very hot water in order to lock in the curl. 

I am so happy with the final result of this style. I will definitely do it again. At night I apply a moisturizer to my braids or I spray them with a mixture of water, leave in conditioner and oils then I pineapple my hair and cover it with a satin bonnet. In the morning I just remove the bonnet, take out the pineapple, fluff and go! Very easy. :) Now for some more pics..


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#prayingbaby


I think as adults we underestimate our children's ability to comprehend our actions. Even though Grace isn't even 6 months old, I noticed her starting to do this pose more and more often. At first I thought she was just playing around but then It dawned on me that every morning we lay Grace at our heads and pray. And now, so does she. 



When I found out that I was with child, I made a conscious effort to stop cursing. My initial goal was before her birth but now it's by her first birthday(which I believe I will achieve before then). Although it is a set back, it's a goal that I strive towards each day. My husband doesn't curse at all so it's all on me. Motherhood has definitely changed me for the better. I know that I have a lot of room for improvement. Knowing that my little one is watching my every move makes me more aware of my actions. 

XOXO,
Amaka