Posts tagged QCC’s

Set Yourself up for SUCCESS!!!

I’m a firm believer that in order to achieve our goals and aspirations we must surround ourselves in an environment set up for us to succeed!  In order to assist in getting your mind right, you have to get other aspects that make up your life in order.  This week I received a QCC regarding working out/training sessions (that I’m always tweeting about) and how to be successful with these goals.  I love this question for I feel that over the year’s I’ve coined a regimen that works for me and is conducive to my work schedule. For my long time SC family…you know I love sharing some of my “tools of the trade” when it comes to health and wellness. 
 
Like most people, I work a strenuousness 8-10 hours/day weekly, travel significantly and am very involved in the community. Having all this on my plate makes it….”interesting” to find time to get my exercising in.  So how do I manage all of these….first let me clarify: I try to stay active and purposefully set weekly schedules to workout/train (either at home or in my neighborhood gym) to stay healthy overall!  This is not just for weight loss, but I have seen the power of healthy living habits and the positive results it has on all facets of life.  Those who know me via outside of this blog are aware that I take my health/overall fitness very seriously.  Due to this, getting training sessions in at least 5 days a week (min 2 days of strength training) is a very important aspect of my life. 
 
 

But back to the question – how do I stay motivated to do this DAILY and achieve my fitness goals?  I set myself up for success by laying out my gear for the day.  Not only do I leave the house with a cute scene (like the picture above) waiting for me when I return, but I also set out my attire. This way when I walk in the door after work and put all my items down/away, I see the DVD’s, weights and/or my exercise clothes calling my name.  These motivational scenes can be done the night before (if your mornings are chaotic enough) or prior to leaving the house.  Either way, you’ve already previewed your brain to what is to come later (then you can use the rest of the day battling that “devil” on your shoulder trying to convince you all the reason why not to work out after work)…achieving that daily goal and being a step further for your greatness!
 
 
So what do you all think SC family?  Any suggestions on  how to keep us ALL motivated to achieve our fitness goals?   The orAKAle has spoken….

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Summer Hair Protective Style

Hey SC family!  Quick update post for you today….

I just wanted to share the current hair style that I am rocking for the summer.  If you read in my previous post “To Weave, Braid, Relax/Perm…that is the Question“, I spoke about how I chose to get a sew in and why I believe this type of style can work for your hair.  Also, there was a call to encourage all to conduct your own research on multiple hair styles; rather that believing the hype and being scared away to try something different.  Well…..I totally forgot that I never posted the results of my sew in for you all.  I apologize for the late notice of this…for I have really been feeling myself this summer.

I got my weave sown in around the beginning of June.  My intent is to keep it until at least the middle of August.  This way, I can give my natural hair a break from all the maneuvering, etc.  Again, I think this is a great protective style when you want a break; along with a super cute style for all those who are transitioning to a natural hair regimen OR considering going natural.  So without further delay, below are some pics of my current summer hair. Enjoy!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

the orAKAle has spoken……

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To Weave, Braid, Relax/Perm….that is the Question

Lately I’ve received many messages, calls, tweets, texts, etc regarding my on getting a hair weave, braids and using the “do not use” hair product ingredients on natural hair.  Due to this overwhelming subject, I decided to post my thoughts on all of the above (and slightly rant so prepare for it) today for the SC readers.

Disclaimer – all comments/suggestions are based on what has worked for me.  In no way am i advising any reader to do what I’ve done (and/or will continue to do/try) to achieve the ultimate “holy grail” hair that you may be seeking.  It is always wise to do your own research before trial n error, seek counsel from a licenses stylist and DO WHAT MAKES YOU COMFORTABLE AND HAPPY (to view full disclaimer click here)…now that this is out of the way, let us begin….

I am on many list serves and have a few go to naturalistas for advice, and they all seem to give the same response back to ALL of the questions above…..DO YOU!  I’m always amazed at how people are quick to not want to try new things or be have automatically said “no” to something that they haven’t even tried OR because someone else told them to.  Don’t get me wrong, certain ingredients and maintenance tools are suggested (highly) to stay away from due to some reactions that others may have (see my views here); and I really do try to avoid those products all together….  BUT just because someone has a reaction or put it on their hit list doesn’t necessarily mean that YOU will have the same experience.

and yes this is all my hair...no extensions here!

notice hair line in the front; don't believe me check pic above for verification lol

The same goes for getting a hair weave and braids.  Folks have professed “death to the weave/braid/extensions” due to what someone else told them OR horror stories they heard from a friend (or even read about in a blog somewhere); but do not further research the benefits and proper ways to wear these styles.  We must be fair when determining what is true

or false people…and you must check your sources as well.  To be honest if I had a bad experience I would probably NOT do many of these hair styles, but I would also make sure to show both points of the subject (if I chose to rant on this here blog). But since I’ve never had a bad experience (and I did my research on proper ways to install a hair weave/braids) I decided to use these forms of styles to help transition AND when I want a new look.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe if not installed properly weaves/braid and chemicals can do harm to the hair and leave permanent hair damage.  I also believe having a natural hair regimen is healthier for anyone’s hair and will show more positive long term results…but again that is my opinion.  I know folks who will swear up and down that natural hair maintenance is not professional, harder to manage and takes away from ANYONE’s beauty…but that is a post for another day.

As for chemicals, perms, relaxers, etc….I’m not a fan.  As someone who wore this style for years and am now natural, I am very happy with the decision I made….BUT I DID NOT MAKE THIS CHANGE UNTIL I DID EXTENSIVE RESEARCH of what it would entail for ME!  Again, you have to do what will make you happy, not what others (including me and this blog) says is right or wrong.  Dont’ believe the hype…believe in yourself ya dig (throw back slang).

So what do you all think?  Post your comments below and join the discussion (not argue…for we promote uplifting readers/society on the SC…..you’ve been warned).

……the orAKAle has spoken….




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Determining Your Hair Type

This week’s question comes from SC readers Michelle about hair types:

Hey orAKAle,

I am considering going natural and currently are in the first stages of transitioning.  Right now, I am not too sure of my hair type. I know I need to give it time to grow out, but I’m not sure of my hair type.  Can you explain more about this thing you speak about of “type 4 hair”, etc?  Am I that type or something else?

Thanks for question Michelle and congrats to your decision to go natural. I hope The Silky Chronicles and its readers can show you the positive and exciting side of being a naturalista!

Remember, your hair is supposed to be however God made it.  Please don’t try to “make” your hair look like your favorite celebrity or even your home girl down the street. Lol.  Embrace YOUR hair type and make it work for you.

When I first started to transition, I searched and referenced regular sites that spoke about hair types.  Please note – you have to give your scab hair (the immediate hair under the skin effected by chemicals that grows PRIOR To your natural texture coming out) time to grow out in order to really get to YOUR hair texture. So many new naturals quit after experiencing this for they don’t like it and think its to hard to manage.  Be encouraged my sister for this too will pass.

Getting back on subject, the below should give you some insight on the different types of hair:

Type 2: this type of hair is wavy or curls form throughout the hair in the shape of the letter “S”.  Hair sticks close to the head; it won’t bounce up, even when layered.

  • 2a – Fine, thin and very easy to handle; easily straightened or curled
  • 2b – Medium-textured and a little resistant to styling; has a tendency to frizz
  • 2c – Thick and coarse and more resistant to styling and will frizz easily

Type 3: this hair type has an “S” pattern with well defined curls and springy curls.   This hair has a lot of body and is not coarse by any means.  Hair is soft and very fine.

  • 3a – These curls are big, loose and usually very shiny
  • 3b – Medium amount of curl/bouncy ringlets
  • 3c – tight curls in corkscrews

Type 4:  this hair type is kinky or very tightly curled….either way you will see some sort of curl pattern to the hair.  This type of hair can be fine, thin and even coarse.  This type of hair is very fragile, so while it looks thick, you must be very gentle when matriculating.   Please note – this hair will shrink up to 75$ depending on your actual hair….so be prepared.  There are wo sub textures to this type of hair:

  • 4a – Tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an “S” pattern, much like curly hair. It tends to have more moisture than 4b; has a definite curl pattern
  • 4b – Has a “Z” pattern, less of a defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter “Z”; has a cotton-like feel

 

I am classified as a definite type 4a hair beauty!  While it was difficult in the beginning to adjust to my new hair type, I loved every coil and wouldn’t change it for the world.   Again, you have to be patient and make sure to show your hair some TLC…only then will you be living life to the FULLEST!!!

For more GREAT information on hair types, click here for a previous post on good reads while transitioning and for natural hair maintenance. Also Naturally Curly and Napturality are great natural hair forums to provide assistance with your hair type.

The orAKAle has spoken………

 

Sources: Naturally Curly

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Adult Acne (pt. 2) – Healing the Natural Way

As promised in part one of our Adult Acne series, below are some NATURAL ways to battle and heal your self from acne.

Do you know that YOU can assist in controlling your acne, without breaking your bank account from purchasing numerous amounts of marketed facial creams and surgeries? Upon doing research, I learned of many vitamins and foods that your body can use to keep your skin evenly toned, hydrated and to naturally heal the aftermaths of acne caused blemishes. While we all know that putting healthier foods and supplements into the body can do wonders for you overall, I did not know that there are specific green veggies and vitamins that target acne and can help to increase the healing process.

Below is a nice long list of vitamins that help in controlling ones acne. I suggest that you take a look at the back of your vitamin bottle to see if you are getting your daily vitamin intake to combat your acne prone skin. Please consult with a doctor before trying any new vitamins or supplements outside of your normal routine:

Vitamin A (with carotenoids) – strengthens the protective tissue of the skin and prevents acne. It helps reduce sebum production. This vitamin is essential for the maintenance and repair of the tissue which the skin and mucous membranes are made of. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant needed to rid your body of toxins. Did you know that a deficiency in vitamin A can actually cause acne? Recommended dosage to fight acne: 10,000 IU If you are pregnant, do not take more than 5000 IU.

Vitamin B Complex – help to maintain healthy skin tone. They are also helpful in relieving anxiety and stress. Stress can be a major player in causing acne. The B vitamins should always be taken together. The vitamins in the B complex are Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin (Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide), Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine and Cyanocobalamin. Each one of these vitamins has a specific role in promoting healthy skin, as well as overall health.

    • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) acts as an antioxidant ridding your body of toxins. It enhances circulation and assists in proper digestion. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Riboflavin works together with Vitamin A to maintain and improve the mucous membranes in the digestive tract. It is also essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. Acne is a symptom of Riboflavin deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is vital for healthy skin by improving circulation and helping your body with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A deficiency in Niacinamide will cause acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 200 mg 3 times daily.
    • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is popular for reducing stress. It is needed for the proper function of the adrenal glands. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is important in the functioning of your immune system and your antibody production. A deficiency of vitamin B6 can result in acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – is another “super vitamin”. It is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions in the body, including tissue growth and repair.Vitamin C protects against infection and enhances immunity. Bioflavanoids have an antibacterial effect. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 1000 to 1600 mg 3 times daily If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about the proper dosage.

Chromium – aids in reducing infections of the skin. To get the adequate amount of chromium in your diet, chromium should be taken in supplemental form called chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate. Chances are you are chromium deficient because the form of chromium in foods is not easily absorbed and is lost during processing; and high quantities of sugar in the diet cause a loss of chromium from the body. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 150 mcg per day.

Zinc – aids in healing of the tissues and helps prevent scarring. It helps prevent acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. Zinc promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. It is also an antioxidant which helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals. Acne can be a sign of Zinc deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 25-30mg per day.

Vitamin E – an antioxidant that enhances healing and tissue repair. It prevents cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of lipids (fats) and the formation of free radicals. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 400 IU daily.

Here is a list of foods that help to prevent acne as well. I’ve tried some of these, but can not guarantee if your skin will be effected by these foods. As always, consult with a doctor before eating anything new (outside of your normal routine) if you are not sure how you may react:
  1. Organic Green Tea – This is rich in an anti-inflammatory chemical called catechins, which helps to combat free radicals and prevent fine lines.
  2. Olive oil – good monounsaturated fats like olive or sesame oil contain essential fatty acids that are needed for good health. Fats are an integral part of cell membranes and will help to nourish the skin and give it an inner glow.
  3. Walnuts – They are rich in omega-3 oils, another powerful antioxidant that helps to keep the skin plump and flexible. Omega-3 oils are also found in oily fish such as salmon, or in flaxseed oil.
  4. Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries are all rich in phytochemicals that are protective of skin cells. You can’t get the same results though, from frozen or preserved fruit.
  5. Lemon Juice – It’s a natural bleach and can be used to fade sunspots and freckles. Put a slice of lemon over the spot and leave it for 10 minutes everyday for a week, or exfoliate by rubbing a cut lemon and half a teaspoon of granulated sugar over the skin for a few minutes. Be careful not to get any lemon in your eyes and stop immediately if you get a bad reaction as some people have extremely sensitive skin.
  6. Watermelon – Some people believe that rubbing their faces with the rind of a watermelon will give them beautiful skin.There is plenty of truth to this, as the pulp of the fruit is a good exfoliant and watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B and C. The fruit contains a lot of water which serves to hydrate the skin and the gentle massaging action will stimulate lymphatic drainage.
  7. Low-Fat Dairy Products – One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
  8. Whole-Wheat Bread, Cereals and Brazil nuts – Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs. Brazil nuts are the richest ordinary dietary source. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
  9. Yogurt – Yogurt is a very important natural beauty aid. Apply yogurt on the face every morning. Wash it off after a few minutes with cold water. This will keep the complexion smooth, healthy and fresh. A mixture of yogurt and lemon juice is ideal for softening hands.
  10. Water – While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water – not liquids such as soda or even soup – experts say skin cells rejoice.

I hope the information in this series has been helpful and let me know your acne secrets (if you have any). Lol. The orAKALe has spoken…..


For further research, check out the below sources on more tips and strategies to combat adult acne:
About.com: Holistic Healing
Acne Care Tips

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Adult Acne….The Unspoken (but livable) Plague


Family, I’m about to really expose myself with today’s post. The subject of (adult) acne is one that is sensitive to me and hard to speak on. Why you may ask…because for the major part of my life, I never suffered from it. Of course there was the occasional break out here and there, but never like what I’ve been experiencing since turning 25 years old. Over the last 5 years, I’ve really began to know what it means to have adult acne and how to live with it.

I love it when I run into people who really believe that acne is not an experience that we face or relevant in the black culture. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, acne has no color or gender barriers. It attacks any and everyone depending on how it feels that day. Lol.

While I know that everyone can Bing what acne is and what to use to help decrease breakouts (no need to bore you), instead I wanted to provide you with some facts associated with specifically adult acne:

A) It is not like having acne as a child/teen: Adult acne is cause by totally different things as you get older. It can be a result of stress, medications, bad make up (ladies) and also hormones.


B) Chocolate is not the reason for the breakouts: I don’t know about you all, but I grew up thinking that eating to much chocolate or consuming to much caffeine would break out my skin. Who would have thought that all these years later I could’ve eaten as much candy bars as I wanted and still not had bumps….lol

C) Dermatologists are not a money scheme: For someone like me, going to see a dermatologist probably could have been avoided, but since I was so “upset” about the changes in my skin, I decided to do so. This type of specialist can be a huge resource for those who are suffering from serious acne issues or those who just want a professional opinion (like I did). If you can afford it, go see one just to make sure that there aren’t any major underlying issue with your skin.

D) Facials are not just for pampering: My general practitioner once told me that every women should invest in getting a facial every few months. Why….well not only is it therapeutic, but it also helps to unclog your pours. The esthetician will help to determine your skin type and how to better manage acne (if needed).

E) ACNE IS NOT CURABLE so just stop it: While I know there are many products and famous acne systems/procedures (ProActive, laser skin treatments, etc) out there that you can do, acne is not something that you can “cure”. You can however keep it under control with a system or method that works for YOU and YOUR SKIN. Don’t become obsessed with products and go broke to try to clear up something that is not curable! Lol….because I really get frustrated when people claim that they can “cure your acne”…pleeeeaaase….


My Current Facial Regimen

If you read any literature on adult acne, it takes trial and error to find out what works best for you. Currently, I think I’ve found a good system that is yielding some good results. Below is my current daily regimen:

Morning: cleanse w/Arm & Hammer baking soda, apply Ambi fade cream to dark spots & seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer

Mid day = cleanse with Cetaphil daily cleansing bar and seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer ( this is only if I work out during the day)

Evening = cleanse with either Cetaphil daily cleanser OR my favorite exfloiteator, apply Ambi fade cream to dark spots and seal with Cetaphil daily moisturizer

One thing I’ve learned is that you have to give it time to see if products are working for you.  When I saw a dermatologist, she suggested that I use Cetaphil for its the best over the counter product AND it has many of the same ingredients that “high end” facial cleansing products use. Why pay more…..(you know the rest). I recently started with the baking soda as a cleanser, so I will let you know how that goes. Maybe, I will post some pictures for those who really want to see. Lol


The Lesson

……..of this post was to show that we all are a work in progress and you can’t let your flaws (cause we all have them) get the best of you. This subject is one that has plagued me for years (and those who really know me will agree) during my adolescent years and young adult times…but I decided no more. I am taking back my life and my self esteem and refuse to get hung up on physical appearances, rather than thanking God for making me in his image. I

I usually have moments when I get down about my physical features, especially my face…but that is when I have to stop and give thanks to God. One of my line sisters (and closest friends) suggested a good scripture to reference in times like these. Take a look at Psalms 136 when you get a chance and use it if you have these sort of low moments. I encourage you to post this somewhere where you can visually see it daily…as a reminder that God loves you for who you are and that you are FABULOUS just the way you are!

This is the first part in a two part series about adult acne and how to live with it. Soon we will discuss how to NATURALLY control acne and the benefits to watching what you put into your body.

Until then the orAKAle has spoken…


For more information on adult acne and how to live with it, please visit the below links OR consult with your neighborhood dermatologist:




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For the Love of Shea Butter!!!

Today I wanted to weigh in on the ever so popular (and somewhat main streamed) Shea butter.  For those who chat with me on and off the blog, shea butter is my staple product for my hair and body (and has been since transitioning to a more natural life).   For those who may be new to this ingredient/product, let’s start with a basic description of what it is and then work our way up to how you can use.

WHAT IS IT ANYWAY……

Shea butter is a light gray or beige colored seed oil that is extracted from the seed found inside the nuts of Shea tree. It is also referred to as the Karite tree. This unique tree can be found in 19 countries found only in the continent of Africa.

These trees only grow in the wild and can take up to 50 years to mature..but can live up to 300 years (crazy right)! Destruction of the shea tree tree is said to be prohibited because this little nut can provide a valuable source of food, medicine, and income for the population. Shea butter is sometimes referred to as “women’s gold” in Africa, because so many women are employed in the production of Shea butter.

HOW CAN I USE IT….

Neat thing about this supplement is that it can be used for just about EVERYTHING. Shea butter can be used as to help heal burns, scares and also reduce wrinkles. How… it moisturizes the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation. One of its common use is for the hair and skin care. Since shea has proven to be an effective moisturizer (due to the fatty acids that are needed to retain skin moister and elasticity), commercially, it been added to many cosmetic products (shampoo, lotion, oils, facial treatments, etc) we use today!

It can and will protect the hair and skin (if used properly). As for the hair, Shea butter can serve as a natural moisturizer for the hair follicles, but also can be used to repair damaged hair. Since it is natural, you don’t necessarily have to add a bunch of “other” ingredients to this supplement to get the desired out come. Some people prefer to use it solely by itself, while others use it as an ingredient to a SUPER mixture for their hair and body regimen. I say why not do both! You can repair and naturally moisturize yourself from head to toe!

HOW IS THE orAKAle USING IT…….

Well I am glad that you asked!! Currently, I am using unrefined Shea butter in my scalp oil, daily body butter mix which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, and in my weekly leave in conditioner.  Since I have type 4 A/B (and sometimes I see some C…but I digress) hair, this supplement is perfect for the perfect moister point I seek, plus my coils are defined and LOVE IT. Not only am I protecting my silky coils, but also keeping it properly moisturized AND stimulating hair growth (repair if needed). I am overly conscious about my hair/skin and its moister…..I’m always looking to see if its to dry, overly oily, etc. Well with adding Shea butter to my daily hair and body regimen and making sure its a staple in my alternative shampoo’s and conditioners, I know that I am treating my coils good (and in return..they will do the same).

My goal is to update you all on my hair growth and regimen regularly…now what does “regularly” means, who knows; but know that I am trying to do better all!  If you use this product and have had some great results, weigh in on the subject….

Until next time, the orAKAle has spoken………………

Sources for this post can be found at the following links:


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