Workin’ on My Fitness

Hey y’all!

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I was recently inspired by some of my more fitness savvy co-workers to join a weight loss challenge at work. Sadly, I was in a bit of denial about my holiday weight gain and when I burst through one of my favorite dresses, I knew it was time for me to make a change. Since exercise and a healthy diet promotes hair growth, I’ve decided to keep you updated about my weight loss progress over the next few months.

Here are the rules of our challenge:

  1. Weigh in every Monday and take your measurements (arm, bust, waist, hips, thighs)
  2. Drink at least eight glasses of water
  3. Don’t eat after 7pm
  4. Don’t eat carbs for dinner
  5. Exercise at least four times a week.

We had our weigh in last Monday and I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life (EEEEEEP!). I stayed on track by eating clean, drinking water and green tea, doing a combo of Insanity and weight training from Monday through Saturday. When we had our weigh in today, I had great results! I lost 2.5 pounds and at least an inch on each section of my body that we measured!

I’m still working on cutting back on sugar (because I love me some soda and juice!) and getting enough sleep (I probably sleep about five hours a day).

Stay tuned next Monday for an update and progress pics!!

Here are some sites that I’ve found helpful:

Chasing Skinny Blog (Two of my friends from law school started this great fitness blog. They have great workout tips, playlists, beauty tips, etc.)

Jersey Girl Talk (Man, oh, man, I love this blog! Don’t let the title fool you, this blog is a wonderful source for workouts, meal plans, and nutrition tips!)

Women’s Health Magazine (They are a great resource for weight lifting routines)

-Didi

Online Shops for Afrocurlitans

ATTENTION AFROCURLITANS: We wanted to share a list of online stores that ship hair products in your individual countries. Pleases keep in mind that this list will constantly be evolving and we would appreciate it if you would share some of your online stores with us!

GHANA

Kaymu Online Shop GhanaKAYMU

AFRO OBSESSIONAFRO OBSESSION

NIGERIA

Logo OloriOLORÌ (I’ve personally ordered products from Olori and I love them! They deliver straight to your door and their shipping is quick. I even pay for my order at my door through a POS.)

http://static.jumia.com.ng/cms/_dele/jumia_logo_NY5.gifJUMIA

NATURAL NIGERIAN

Bounty Brooks Ltd Sizzelle Online StoreSIZZELLE

CAMEROON/GABON/EQUATORIAL GUINEA

AVLON CAMEROON – HAIR PLUS

KENYA

JUMIA

Kaymu Online Shop KenyaKAYMU

SOUTH AFRICA

NICHE HAIR CARE

NATURAL MOISTURE

FAITHFUL TO NATURE

Tender Loving Hair

Salon Prep

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I recently moved back to Lagos and I don’t have a hairdresser here. I’ve decided to go to what my cousin calls a “nice looking” salon close to my house tomorrow and I’m prepping for my first visit.

I thought I’d share a few tips that will ensure that you get the most out of your hair session:

1. BE ASSERTIVE, BE…EE ASSERTIVE!

If you are soft spoken, shy, too polite, especially with hair dressers in Nigeria, if you aren’t careful, you will be taken for a ride and may even end up on Creamy Crack Lane. Hairdressers here will try and take over your hair appointment. They will almost force you to use certain products because they are convenient or use techniques that you are certain will damage your hair or (my personal favorite) complain about how difficult your hair is and expound on the benefits of a relaxer.

The only way to combat these tactics is to BE ASSERTIVE. If you want a wash and blow out, let them know that from the beginning of the hair appointment. You may even have to keep saying it during the appointment, so they know you are being serious. If they start de-tangling your hair from the root to tip, speak up girl, or deal with the split ends. Even if you are afraid of sounding rude or obnoxious, just remember this, you have to deal with your hair after the salon session, not the woman who talked you into ruining your hair.

2. COME WITH YOUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL

When I say come with your instruction manual, I don’t mean type out a 15-page instruction booklet titled “How to Style (insert name)’s Hair”. I mean, you are the expert on your own hair, so teach the hair dresser what she doesn’t know. Many hair dresser’s here never went to cosmetology school and are only comfortable doing relaxed hair. If you ask many of them to “co-wash” your hair, the most you will get is a quizzical expression. So, be prepared to teach your hair dresser how you like to co-wash/wash your hair, style your hair, de-tangle your hair, flat iron your hair, etc.

I’ve learned from past experience that many hair dressers are receptive to learning how to style natural hair. Just remember to be patient, polite, and also ASSERTIVE!

3. BRING YOUR ARSENAL

Always bring the products and/or tools that you really love using to the salon with you. If you only wash your hair with a certain product, don’t expect a salon to carry it. Salon’s usually have a specific line of products they use for the general population in stock, if you don’t like those products, do yourself and your hair stylist a favor and bring your stash.

Here is a list of products and tools I normally carry with me when I want to get a blow out (please keep in mind that I’m anal about my hair care routine):

a. My favorite conditioner (Pantene Pro-V Naturals Co-Wash Conditioner)

b. a wide-tooth comb

c. a denman brush

d. My favorite heat protectant (Got 2b Guardian Angel Flat Iron Balm)

e. Castor Oil (to oil my scalp)

f. Apple Cider Vinegar (Yes, I bring my bottle of acv because I’ve yet to visit a salon that carries it.)

d. My blow dryer (I have a nice Ionic Blow Dryer and I get much better results with it than most hair dryers I’ve tried.)

4. “IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN”

I’m sure William Edward Hickson wasn’t referring to a hair salon, when he first said this proverb, but I believe it applies. The first, second, or third hair salon’s may not be a hit for you, but if you prefer going to a salon to get your hair done, keep trying them out until you find a stylist you can trust.

LET US KNOW IF THESE TIPS HELP YOU AND FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR TIPS WITH US!

Wedding ‘Dos: TWA Edition

I’m not sure about the rest of Africa, but it seems like in West Africa, wedding season is a year round occurrence. For women with TWA’s who are attending or participating in these weddings, figuring out a cute hairstyle can be…overwhelming. I get the same complaint/question all the time, “I’m tired of wearing the same old afro I wear to work to a wedding, what can I do with my hair??”

Well ladies, there is no need to fret, because I found a few great tutorials on Youtube that should help (especially for those with Type 4 hair):