Rocco’s Still Going Strong

Finally, today I gave Rocco the attention he’d been missing for the past two weeks. Sundays are my wash days but last week was my boyfriend’s birthday and I didn’t leave enough time to get Rocco washed so I put him up in a high bun and there he stayed… for the next week.

Today I gave him a steam, did some major detangling, got rid of plenty of shed hair, and gave him a good scrub. He’s now moisturized and up in twists. I haven’t been blow drying my hair after washing it lately. I think it’s probably been a good 8 weeks since I’ve last blow dried my hair. It makes for longer twists, and fluffier twist outs but I don’t mind not using heat on my hair for a while and skipping the blow drying saves me quite a bit of time as well.

I really don’t think about Rocco and my hair that much anymore. It’s sort of been absorbed into my life. It’s no longer ‘new’. It’s definitely fun, but it’ now has its place in my life and I know how to make my hair shine and dance and it’s great. Actually, I realized I’ll be 3 years natural in two months. I’m smiling now that I think about it because I can see my face now sitting in that chair. I remember how I felt, I remember the uncertainty and anxiety of my hair falling to the floor and the buzz of the razor. I also remember loving the little curls as they sprouted from my scalp. I remember the ease of wash days and the way I checked my length at certain points, always surprised by its progress.

My hair is now well past my chin and past my collar bone. I know it’s time for a trim with the number of fairy knots I encounter but… at the same time… I’m so happy by how comfortable I am with my hair. With myself. I’ve come quite a ways from my days of buying hair relaxer at London Drugs, putting on my gloves and getting to it. I dreaded each occasion but was happy once it was done. But it never lasted. I’d be right back there 10 weeks later, my scalp burning, my hands covered to protect them from the chemicals and I know I’m in a better place now. I know my hair and scalp are thanking me and I know this is me. Unashamed, free, me.

Cheers Rocco!

Smiling in the Rain

It’s as though October just arrived and it’s already on it’s way out. Before I know it I’ll be knee deep in snow. I already see it on the tops of some mountains so it’s only a matter of time really. At the moment it has been raining for two weeks solid. We haven’t had a break from it in so long. I saw the sun for about 5 minutes yesterday before it continued its deluge. This prompted me to get new winter/rain boots so now I am equipped for all of the precipitation! And next weekend Raffi will get his winter tires on and he’ll be ready as well!

Rocco

I’ve started wear my hair in smallish braids during the week, taking them down Friday after work and wearing it out on the weekends. This may change once it gets colder and I need to shield my hair from the cold but for right now it’s been working.

A length check is on my list. Just to see what’s happening up there. I can say I have now been natural for 2 years, 7 months and 5 days 😛 I love it!

A hair ‘uh oh’ that happened recently for me… I was at the optometrist doing an eye test and the lady who came in to help the person administering my test (it was her first time) looked at my hair and proclaimed ‘Ooh it’s so cool I want to touch it’ and without waiting for a response proceeded to touch my hair. She then followed that action with ‘Oh it’s so fuzzy, it’s just like Michelle’s’… Uuuuugh. Honestly, I’m not adverse to saying no to people who ask to  touch my hair. But at least give me that chance to say no before you dive in! Holy…

Here are some pics of my love, Rocco.

Fitness

I’m doing a sort of fitness/clean-eating challenge with my friend S. We kicked it off on Tuesday, as Monday was Thanksgiving and we wanted to eat all the pie. I want to see some changes so we’ve started a low-carb diet and we’ve been working out together. We both have the same trouble spot: the tire around our midsections. It has to go. So we’re busting our butts and I’m really excited because we’ve been doing quite well working out and going to the gym and such. I’m going to head their today and get in some work out time. I really want to put in the effort so I can see my body change for the better.

We decided on having a cheat meal once a week and while I chose to have mine on Saturdays I really didn’t go in that direction. For lunch with my boo yesterday I had this delicious smoked salmon salad. I was so excited when I saw it came with avocado (yum)! Also, did some knitting with L last night and we munched on kale chips and popcorn and drank soda water with squeezed lime juice (so good and refreshing)!

Life

I stumbled on the cutest illustrative blog. I had to show my boo because they were like us! You can find it here.

I’ve also tasked myself with a budget I need to stick to. I spent way too much unallocated money last weekend. I know it was Thanksgiving long weekend but I think I was a little too free with pulling out the card. So I’ve got my budget in place and I plan to make the most of it.

Also, I’m not big on Halloween. Actually I’m not a fan at all. But if I were to go I would go as Suzy Carmichael cause she’s awesome.

Now that it’s Sunday I have to wash my hair, prep my meals for the week and relaaax before Monday!

Here are some rainy pics me and boo took on a forest walk.

I hope you have a great day!

Why Does It Only Rain On Weekends? Gr…

Why is it sunny and hot throughout the week and raining on the weekends?

Answer me that.

I was planning to bike to the coffee shop to meet my friend but… I’m not feeling it now that the heavens have opened up.

i did run 10 k today with L. It was a good pace. Next weekend I’m going to try my race pace for 10 and see how I do. I’m feeling okay right now. No real aches or creaks. I’m really excited for our trip. We have a wedding coming up in three weeks so we thought of knitting them a blanket together since we have 16 hours on a ferry. We’re meeting for coffee to look up blanket patterns for the wedding present and meal/packing plans for our camping trip.

I haven’t had beer in about 6 weeks. Ever since I started my gym plan May 20. So you can believe there will be a cooler full of beer for the evening after my race and it will be glorious! lso this Haida Gwaii trip will be belt, jeans and underwire free. It’s gonna be a weekend of leggings softy bras, and baggy everything. I can’t wait.

I’ve been keeping up with the gym. I know I need to put the maximum effort into each workout in order to see results, but it can be tricky.

Rocco

I’ve been keeping Rocco twisted away during the week. About two weeks ago I had a couple of days off and I just had to let him loose. He was so full and big it was great. He started out with some definition in his twist-out, then it was a little rainy and he poofed a bit. But he still looked great and I rocked him big and proud for the day.

Yesterday I made a huge mistake. I was getting out of the shower and saw my friend was heading to the market. I thought, sure I’ll go with. This was the first time in forever where I was washing my hair loose instead of in 4 braids/twists. I put on a headband and wore a large puff, did some towel drying and headed out the door. I had some water dripping down my neck which was uncomfortable. I didn’t mind wearing my hair out but in the back of my head I knew it was not going to be fun getting Rocco back in order afterwards. But for now… I just wanted to enjoy some veggie rolls, chicken kabobs and rice noodles as is my summertime Saturday tradition.

When I got home I knew it was on. Put in a Will & Grace DVD and I got to it. I tried to start with finger detangling because I knew my hair had dried in zig zags and spiralling around each other. I also hadn’t deep conditioned it so my hair was squeaky and felt really brittle. It was not fun. It’s all twisted up now and I have (re)learned my lesson. I honestly haven’t washed my hair loose or let it air dry like that for over a year and this experience confirmed my reasons why.

Life

I really wasn’t sure what I was going to wear for the wedding that’s coming up so I gave in to peer pressure and ordered two dresses from Forever 21… ugh. I was at L’s and she was ordering two dresses (why did I give in to peer pressure? Believe me there was a lot of mental back-and-forth. I even checked out how to cancel the order, but they don’t have that option so looks like two dresses will be heading my way. Of course as soon as I got back from L’s I looked in my closet and was surprised to see a suitable summer dress from (yep) Forever 21. It was a Value Village find. I’ll make sure to post the options and you can all help me decide! 🙂

While I wasn’t happy I spent $68 on dresses, I did get my quarterly GST rebate a week later so that helped. I put the majority of it onto my  MC to cover the dresses. Thanks for the dresses Government of Canada!

My first adjusted student loan payment went out. Blah. Bye $1000. I’m glad I’m doing this though since $150 is interest paid, so really I’m only applying $850 to my principal. So with my previous payments of $392 I was applying only $242 to my principal. Don’t be satisfied with only paying the minimum. Unless you want to hang on to that debt for forever and pay so much more than the original.

Oooh! At the market was a kennel of about 6 puppies. They were SOOOO CUTE!!! They were $50 and ADORABLE! AAAAGH!! I held one and he fell asleep in my arms… gosh.

Dresses:

What do you guys think?

Kinky TRESSES: Meet Ndeshi

I’ve been featured on Black Zulu. Just wanted to say thanks to Nekisha for this great piece!

Black Zulu

As promised, this week’s Kinky TRESSES: takes us across the globe to meet fellow natural hair blogger – Ndeshi, who currently resides in Canada. She is a Zambian-born natural beauty who started her hair (re)discovery journey in early 2012.

Tell us a bit about yourself and the life of your hair before going natural.

I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia, Canada. As a kid my mom would do my hair. I spent hours at her feet, head bent this way and that way as she hot combed, braided, twisted and cared for my hair. After my first relaxer at around 9 years old, I would relax my hair infrequently. Having a small black population they didn’t have very much available for our hair so when my dad went out of town we would get him to bring us hair products. When I moved away at…

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Two Years Natural

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCCO!

I just want to take a moment to say.. TWO YEARS?! Holy wow. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was getting my hair buzzed off. I wasn’t sad to see my fragile, broken strands swept away but I was sad I didn’t have a scarf to keep the cold air off my newly exposed neck.

There are going to be so many photos in this gig. I need to one-up my one year anniversary post. Plus there’s going to be some cameos from my Big Chop buddy! My momma!

Rocco: The Early Years

I think my hair had better things to do than grow when I was younger. Legit. My hair follicles were unproductive. I rocked a mean TWA until I was like 4… and then I rocked a fluffy ‘fro. My hair took its sweet time to make an appearance and I wasn’t wearing cornrows or braids until I was about 5 or 6. No biggie. My hair had other things to do, I get it.

Throughout school I wore my hair in braids, corn rows, we hot combed my hair *cringe*, I got my hands on a curling iron and I rocked rolled out bangs like nobody’s business. Around 9 I got my first relaxer. One lady in town relaxed my hair, but it was pricey so I didn’t go very often and they didn’t sell boxed relaxers where I lived. In between I mostly flat ironed it and occasionally wore box braids.

When I moved away for college I was loving that I had access to more hair products so I relaxed my hair and then got it cut at salons. I’ve only ever had maybe two good hair cuts and one of them was at a salon in the mall. Michael only charged me $7 as a ‘bangs cut’. I tipped him well. But when I went back for another cut he was gone. *sob*

After a couple of years I realized this life was no longer for me. Now I know I wasn’t taking the best care of it. I didn’t deep condition it and I flat ironed it like crazy. After straightening it I would have a collection of matchstick strands surrounding me. Rocco was not in good shape.

I had a wise idea of trying to get it sorted out at a local hair salon. My hair dresser had no idea what he was doing and decided to wing it (and I foolishly let him). You can bet I wore my hood up leaving that salon. A couple of weeks later I lopped it all off. Two years later, here I am.

Natural Days

I still stand by the fact that my TWA was the most freeing period in all of my hair history. Washing was easy, drying was easy, moisturizing was easy. There was no detangling, no combing, no SSKs, no major bed prep. There was no blow drying, no teasing and no straightening. I barely had to do jack shit. I slept with a satin cap, and for my 6 am runs I whipped it off, suited up and was out the door. It was sooooo eeeeeasy!!! #sospoiled

Why Am I Still Natural?

This hair of mine is versatile. Sure, there are days when my hair is dry, tangled, uncooperative and makes me wanna just put a hat on. This tuft up there is so unique it makes me happy. When someone says, your hair would be so long if you straightened it. Sure, I could straighten it but then what would I do with it? It would just sit there. I feel as though my natural hair allows me to be creative and get funky and have fun with it. I find my hair matching my mood and it gives me that extra kick of funky charm 😉

Not to mention the community. The online support, suggestions, finding your hair twin, making your own hair products, tweet chats, finding a product your hair loves, this is all gold people. The encouragement, the helpful suggestions, the conversation surrounding natural hair can be so positive and so uplifting and so inspiring. You’re never alone on your journey and you’re always learning.

Rocco’s 2 Year Length Check

I find myself forgetting to do length checks. But that’s because this is just my hair now. It’s less of an experiment in hair growing and more, this is my hair. But since it has been a while I’m excited to see how Rocco’s been doing length wise.

Front:

I’m looking at about 8 inches all round. I’m not mad at that. My ends could use some dusting this spring but otherwise. Thanks for reading!! Have a great Friday!

Rocco’s Previous Milestones:

9 months natural
8 months
6 months
My natural hair story

Havana Twists Are In! Round 2

I’ve gone back and forth several times about putting in Havana twists these past few months. Initally I said I would put them in when it started to snow but that never happened. There was a good week where it was warm enough for me to run outside and I took advantage of it so I didn’t want extra hair weighing me down. But now we’ve got a solid 2 feet of snow and I was also thinking… If I put them in now and wear them for four weeks I can take them out right before my 2 year natural hair anniversary mid-march!

They took me about 3 hours to put in and I did it all myself! I was pretty jazzed about that. I started out with huge twists but they weren’t looking that great so I went smaller and I’m glad I did. I got a rhythm down and I was flying through them in no time.

As far as prep, I had washed, and blown out my hair the previous Sunday so my hair was stretched and good to go. Last night I sectioned my hair into the size of twists I thought I would use for the extensions and twisted them up so it would be easier to manage. I also moisturized and detangled as I went.

I used one strand for each section so I only ended up using 1 full pack. Am I cray? I really like how it turned out. Last time I sort of gave up and they looked a little wonky but I was consistent (and patient) this time around.

I like this with one pack actually because it feels a lot lighter than the first time around.

What do you think? Have you tried this style before? Would you give it a go?

Wash Day: Rocco’s Routine

At 22 months Rocco’s got length and height and is a handful if left to his own devices.

I normally wash my hair once a week and generally on the weekends. It used to be on Sundays but that was getting in the way so it’s now been moved to Thursdays.

Products I Use

Water | Giovanni Deep Moisture Shampoo  | TRESemme Naturales Conditioner | Shea Butter | Coconut Oil | Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (sometimes) | Olive Oil Deep Replenishing

Step 1: The Pre-poo (30 mins)
If I can convince myself to take the time, I try to moisturize my strands before hopping in the shower. This is also a good opportunity for me to detangle a bit. First off, I section my hair into 4. I used to spritz with warm water but recently I have been steaming each section with the Q-Redew. I’ll section a piece and, after steaming, work coconut oil in and make a chunky twist and secure it with an elastic. I put a plastic bag on, wrap a towel on top and clean my room or something.

Step 2: Wash (15 mins)
Depending on the state of my scalp, I sometimes give it a good scrub with apple cider vinegar. It’s actually been a couple of weeks since I’ve last ACV rinsed and my scalp has been okay. I have my hair sectioned in 4 and I shampoo, rinse and condition my hair and put them back in their twisted sections. I try and detangle in the shower with a wide-toothed comb while my hair is lathered in conditioner and since I did some detangling while pre-pooing this doesn’t take too long. I will put the section back into a twist and secure it with an elastic. I leave my hair in sections when I get out.

Step 3: Deep Conditioner (45 mins)
I dry my hair a little and then I put coconut oil through it followed by the deep conditioner. I detangle with my fingers and a wide toothed comb as needed and twist each section back up. Leaving my hair in its 4-6 sections I put the bag back on for 45 minutes or so. After that I rinse out my conditioner but I make sure to leave it in sections and twist each back up afterwards. So in the end, all of my detangling has occurred during the conditioning process and I won’t have to worry too much about detangling as it’s drying.

Step 4: Setting My Hair (1 hour)
I’ve gone through the trouble of keeping my hair detangled in sections to make this step a whole lot easier. Now I need to stretch my hair in one way or another. This may include blow drying, putting it in two-strand twists, braids, bantu knots, banding it. I stretch my hair depending on the style I want for the week.

Normally I’ll put them in medium twists that I can wear throughout the week. It’s usually evening by this time so it has to be a style comfortable to sleep in. Also this is when my initial layering of oils comes in. I took all the time to moisturize so now I want to make sure it continues to be moisturized.

Coconut oil is my base. I take a portion and run it through the sections of hair. Shea butter I usually use on my ends as it is a little heavy but that’s generally my sealer. If I’m twisting it up I’ll run some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie through it. Lately I have been blow drying it using the tension method.

In general it takes about 3 hours if I do all 4 steps. If it’s a quick day I will simple do steps 2 and 4. Generally it will be steps 2, 3 and 4 but if I have the forethought then it’s all the steps and I generally feel pretty good about myself at that point.

It sounds like a drag and a total time waster, but actually it’s nice having this time to pamper myself. It allows me to sit for more than a moment. Maybe read some blogs or write a post 😉

What does your wash day look like? Does it vary?