Dec 30, 2014

Wisdom Teeth Update: Dry Socket + Stitches Removed [Video]

10 Days post wisdom teeth extraction and I finally got my stitches out! I also learned that what I thought had been merely a tight suture was actually dry socket. For the record: Dry Socket is extremely uncomfortable, but INSTANTLY feels better once the dentist applies a dressing to the tooth cavity.

Watch the video for my update and like always, feel free to ask any questions below!

Dec 29, 2014

Balayage results on Natural, African-American Hair

After rocking my Indique curly sew-in for quite some time, I was ready for a hair change. It had been a while since I last had my hair professionally colored and I was feeling very curious about the new balayage technique. One of my friends and co-workers had recently raved to me about her experience, but I wasn't sure how it'd look on natural, African-American hair. Doing a google search there wasn't a ton of info, so like always... I wanted to share my experience with everyone!

Why Balayage?
I absolutely LOVE color and was started to feel rather blah about my hair. In the past when I've had color it made my curls come alive and I seriously fell in love with my curls. A friend had raved about her experience getting balayage, but I didn't know how the results would look on my natural, African-American hair. In short, it was one of those styles I lusted after on Pinterest... white girls were slaying it lol... but I didn't know if I could pull it off. Looking online there weren't many examples of black chicks rocking balayage, so I thought it'd be a great opportunity to take the plunge and share my experience.

Risk of Color Damaging my Curls?
Color is a chemical process on the hair, so there is always a chance of your hair being damaged. The appeal of balayage was the idea that I wasn't getting allover color, but instead highlighting hairs here and there. On top of that, my stylist didn't use any bleach and I was also equipped with more patience, knowledge, and resources than I had in previous years when I had my hair professionally colored. Also - - I was feeling like life was entirely too short for me to be nervous over hair color! I was taking care of my body inside and out, so why not have fun with my hair. My motto for the week: Life is short. Get the color! Lol...

I arrived at the salon with my hair detangled in 2 flat twists. I wanted to make it easier for my stylist to work with my hair, so I'd also recommend prepping your hair prior to the appointment if you also have natural curls.

Once I was in the chair, my stylist (Izzy @ Vasuda Salon in Seattle) and I discussed the color I wanted, along with me showing her the inspiration pics I pulled. I also showed her examples of what I did NOT want. Often people bring in a slew of inspiration pics for their hair appointment, but I think there is a ton of value in making sure you also show your stylist clear examples of what you would NEVER want.

I received the balayage technique over my entire head and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the process went. About 20-30 mins to apply the balayage and then another 30 mins to sit with the color and allow it to process.

Once the color was done processing we washed it all out and it was time to blow dry and flat iron my hair. I can easily create curly styles at home, so I tend to opt for straight styles when I'm at the salon. For some reason I've always struggled to recreate salon quality straight hair at home (sans the Brazilian Blowout), so I enjoy having a few days of salon straight hair.

My hair takes heat well, but getting the results to last an extended time isn't the easiest for me. I did a slightly bootleg job at wrapping my hair (without my trusty mesh wrap), so the results weren't as smooth. I took these pics the morning after in natural light to show a better look at how flawlessly my hair color blended. I wanted to keep my base color the same and naturally work the balayage highlights into my hair. I was smitten.

If you're on the fence about getting color, but itching for a change in 2015, I'd highly suggest going for balayage. You don't have to change your base color or deal with ugly roots growing out, which is a huge plus. On top of that you still get to play around with custom color and make your hair come alive.

For those in the Seattle area, please check out Vasuda Salon (I go to the Downtown Location) and ask for Izzy! She was absolutely amazing... such a talented stylist with the sweetest spirit and disposition. Tell them that I sent you

Dec 19, 2014

Wisdom Teeth Extractions - The first 24 hours

Yesterday marked the day I headed into the dentist and strolled out 90 mins later, 4 less teeth in my mouth. Although I genuinely felt one step closer to being a 1600s pirate (sans the scurvy as @Dovie_Golden so kindly pointed out to me lol), I was very excited to be getting rid of the teeth.

I've had my fair share of dental work done, so initially I was beyond excited about my appointment. The joy I felt at finally getting my wisdom yanked out far exceeded any doubts... that was until I started asking everyone under the sun their personal experience. Lord, I should've never opened up that Pandora's box. It was as if everyone had experienced some terrible thing - - dry socket in 1, dry socket in all 4, complications with removal, excruciating pain, etc... the list went on and on.

So, what was my experience like?

I arrived at my dentist's office at 9 and immediately went back to begin the process of getting numb. Once my dentist confirmed I was numb, the first 3 wisdom teeth (upper/lower left and upper right) came out within 7 mins. No joke. I didn't even have time to put on my headphones because he started the process so fast. The final tooth (lower right) was closer to the bone, so this one was going to take a bit more work. For some crazy reason this part of my mouth took forever to get numb. I had to get quite a few shots and wait at least 20 mins, but then we were good to go. Since the tooth was so close to the bone, my dentist ended up taking this out in 2 parts. I also had to receive suture on that tooth cavity, which is probably why I experienced more swelling on that side.


Leaving the dentist's office I headed straight to Walgreens and got my prescription filled for Vicodin and Ibuprofen. My dentist recommended managing my pain during the day with the Ibuprofen and using the Vicodin about an hour before bed. For some reason Vicodin does NOT make me sleepy, so I took it before bed but was still wide awake. I randomly work up around 3am THROBBING! Like, y'all... that ache was so serious. I instantly went for the Vicodin and within about 20 mins the pain was at bay and I was back asleep.

This morning I woke up and made breakfast so I could have some food in my system before taking more meds. Although pain meds don't necessarily make me sleepy, I am always subject to the dreaded sour stomach. I'm still eating soft foods, so I made some scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes. The icing on the cake? Another Vicodin lol...


Oh, the fun part... food! I'm restricted to soft food for the next few days. You'd imagine that I grubbed on a bunch of stuff pre-dental work, but I didn't. In hindsight I should have lol. Anyways, I've been eating pho broth, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, juice, popsicles... and I'm already over it lol. I'm not sitting over here starving, but I'm just ready to eat stuff with substance.

Dec 15, 2014

"You never really know what someone is going through..."

Titi Branch - Co-CEO of Miss Jessies
Titi Branch, Co-CEO of Miss Jessies
When I woke up this morning and saw news of Titi Branch, Co-CEO of Miss Jessies, having taken her own life my spirit was filled with a deep sadness. Not again. Not another one... another beautiful spirit lost to the darkness of depression. This is an illness that slowly creeps up on you, almost suffocating its victim in a deep, dark embrace of sadness and despair. It's an illness. Something you can't necessarily fight alone.

Every week it seems like we're sending out virtual condolences to someone who has tragically passed due to suicide. I'm starting to lose count of the number of times I've seen the statement "You never really know what someone is going through..." online.

Although it's an honest sentiment and something I think most people would agree with, I'm still left questioning -- what about the times you DO know what someone is going through? What do you do when you have friends and family around you who have expressed their feelings of depression, darkness, anxiety... I mean, what are you to do when you do have an inkling that someone is not okay?

While I may never fully grasp how or why a person chooses to take their own life, I do feel like I have been aware of those around me expressing their own battle with depression and dark thoughts... it just leaves me wondering what can I do? And primarily what can I do now to help them? I don't want to send out sweet words in memory of someone I love. I don't want to set up a charity to honor their memory, spirit and fight... I want to be able to champion for them while they live and breathe... give them the strength to overcome this disease which has claimed too many lives.

In this moment I feel frustrated. There are so many things occurring in the world which leave my spirit in a state of unrest... I just want to start somewhere. Help someone. I've started sharing my journey on the road to improving my emotional, physical and mental health. I have played a part in encouraging two close friends to seek out professional help. I hope I can help even more know that they don't have to travel down this road alone.

Dec 12, 2014

"All We Wanna Do is be Free" (via @JColeNC)

This song right here... absolutely beautiful! Thank you J. Cole.

 "Be Free" - J. Cole
And I'm in denial
And it don't take no x-ray to see right through my smile
I know, I'd be on the go
And it ain't no drink out there that can numb my soul
No, no

All we want to do is take the chains off
All we want to do is break the chains off
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is take the chains off
All we want to do is break the chains off
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is be free

Can you tell me why every time I step outside
I see my niggas die,
Ooh, I'm letting you know
That it ain't no gun they make that can kill my soul
Oh, no

All we want to do is take the chains off
All we want to do is take the chains off
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is take the chains off
All we want to do is break the chains off
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is be free

Are we all alone fighting on our own
Please give me a chance
I don't wanna dance
Something's got me down
I will stand my ground,
Don't just stand around
Don't just stand around

All we want to do is take these chains off
All we want to do is break the chains off
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is be free

All we want to do is take these chains off
All we want to do is break the chains off
All we want to do is be free
All we want to do is be free

Dec 1, 2014

How to Care for your Kinky Curly Sew-in Weave

I intended to post this video a few weeks ago when I originally filmed it. I was nearing the end of my 2nd installation with the Indique Bounce Collection Coil Curl hair and wanted to share with everyone how I'd been caring for it the 2nd time around.

Alas, I've already taken this sew-in out, given my hair a break for a few days, and gone into my 3rd sew-in with the hair lol... but the way I care for it is still the same. Take a look and let me know if you have any questions.


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