Sweat & Slay: Live an active lifestyle with great hair!

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT QUOTE:

“Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You’re caged in. Your hair rules you. You didn’t go running with Curt today because you don’t want to sweat out this straightness. You’re always battling to make your hair do what it wasn’t meant to do.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

How many of us ever feel held back from engaging in physical activities because of our hair? Yep, I have definitely been there! When my hair was straight (relaxed), you could forget about me doing any type of activity that involved me sweating my hair out! Since transitioning to becoming fully natural, that has completely changed. More than ever, people have chosen to take the natural hair journey and rock their natural tresses. Even with natural hair, it can still be a lot to maintain upkeep and exercise regularly.

Sweating a lot on a daily basis can be damaging to the hair and can cause breakage and dryness. I live a pretty active lifestyle and I’m often asked how I maintain and protect my hair. Unfortunately, the first place that I sweat is my head, so I have to do a little more to my hair prior to working out.

Here are a few ways I protect  my hair against sweat:

  1. Moisturize, Moisture, MOISTURIZE! Typically before my runs or workouts, I make sure to thoroughly moisturize my hair. I use Coconut oil and Shea Moisture oil elixir spray (one or the other).
  2. Use a Leave-In Conditioner/Co-wash – In the Summer time mainly, I will dampen my hair and apply a good amount of leave-in conditioner to coat it. Also, Co-washing(Conditioning only) in between your actual wash days helps restore moisture to hair.
  3. Wear a head/hair band – This helps absorb the sweat.
  4. Protective Styles – Utilizing protective styles can be very beneficial. Wearing a protective style gives your hair a break and is not fully exposed to all of the free radicals in the air. Examples of protective styles: Braids, twist outs, locs, and buns.

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Here’s an example of one of my protective styles that I rock often when running or working out that’s quick and easy.

FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR NATURAL HAIR

 

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Sometimes it’s best to sample other curl-friends products before splurging on hair products you’re not 100% sure will work well for your curls. Recently, I team up with my fellow fit friend/DSU Alumna/curly girl, Nadia and had a hair day session where we tested each others products. Like me, Nadia lives a very active lifestyle as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She mentioned that her hair was feeling a little dry from her consistent workouts and needed some revitalizing. From previous blog posts, you know I’m a fan of the Kinky Curly line….specifically their Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner and Curling Custard. I’m also obsessed with the As I Am product line. They have a lot of jewels within their line, but I absolutely LOVE their Conditioning Co-wash. This Co-wash is truly amazing and never fails to bring my curls back to life; I knew it would be perfect to try on Nadia.

Let the product testing fiesta begin!

If you live an active lifestyle, your hair is bound to experience some dryness here and there which is why it needs moisture, moisture, Moisture! I started by saturating Nadia’s hair so it’s damp all over and sectioned her hair to detangle. After detangling, I saturated the hair until it was completely wet and applied the As I Am Conditioning Co-wash in sections (4 sections). This product goes a long way so you don’t have to use a lot of it. Next, we rinsed out the Co-wash and applied the Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner (separate into 4 sections). After the Leave-In is applied…use the Curling Custard.

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Before

 

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As I Am Conditioning Co-wash applied
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Kinky Curly Leave-In Conditioner applied
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Kinky Curly Curling Custard applied
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Hair Diffuser
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After! Revived curls!

Wah-lah! Nadia’s curls are refreshed, revived and beautiful! We could stop here and make it an official “wash and go” but I always like to diffuse my hair…so I tried it out on Nadia as well. Diffusing can take a while, especially if you have a lot of hair (that’s me…and Nadia!). It took me about 30 minutes to diffuse her hair, so not too bad. It’s safe to say she was pleased with her results and so was I! She loved the As I Am Co-wash so much that we popped into Target to purchase it!

Hair products are expensive and sharing is caring, people! I highly encourage product testing sessions so find a curl-friend and see what works best for you! In the meantime, let’s not let our hair get in the way of becoming a healthier, more fit version of ourselves!

Sweat and Slay…all day!

Until next time!

♥ Traci

** If you live in the D.C/MD/VA area and interested in Personal Training or Group Training, check Nadia’s website out!

http://www.npoweredfitness.com

 

Stress is a B*#@!

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“You can do ANYTHING…but not EVERYTHING.”

Oh, to be a kid again; no worries, no care in the world…no STRESS! With life’s everyday hustle and bustle it’s easy to fall victim to it. Life may even throw you a curve ball that will knock you right on down (been there). Stress can seriously take over your life…if you let it. There are endless causes of stress; loss of loved ones, work environment/work load, financial problems, relationships, loss of a job…the list can go on forever. I have dealt with all of these causes as I’m sure most of you have. Of course, everyone’s situation is different and affects us in different ways. The stress levels I endured for ALL were pretty high (some much higher than others). So…how do we deal with stress?

As you can probably tell from knowing me or from previous blog posts, running is my outlet…and actually blogging has become a new-found outlet for dealing with stress for me. These are both things that I love and enjoy doing. Among all the chaos in the world, I know that when I’m running or blogging nothing else matters and I’m completely in my zone. I’ve found that when you prioritize in your schedule what really matters to you and things that you enjoy doing it lessens the stress. There are several ways to manage stress…here are some tips that I practice and have found helpful.

HOW CAN I MANAGE STRESS?

  1. Shorten your “To-Do” list – I’m a stickler for creating a daily to-do list. However, my list is always forever long which results in me becoming super overwhelmed. By lessening my list and being able to physically check off what I have completed for the day makes me feel very accomplished (Accomplishment=happiness).
  2. Disconnect – Sometimes you just need to detached yourself from everything and just take time for yourself to recharge and refocus.
  3. Delegate – See quote above….”You can do ANYTHING…but not EVERYTHING”. We can’t always do it all by ourselves!
  4. Ask for help – Definitely something that I am still working on. My prideful folks know what I mean.
  5. Stop trying to be perfect all the time – Don’t be your worst enemy! We all strive for perfection but remember it’s a work in progress. I will literally work on something for hours until it’s perfect (well…in my eyes). I always want it to be as close as possible! I have learned that it doesn’t always have to be perfect…just put your 150% effort into it and get it done!
  6. Stay Active – Helps clear the mind. Find something you enjoy doing and make time for it!
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff – Trust me…it’s NOT WORTH THE STRESS!
  8. Listen to yourself – Learn what works best for you. Are you taking care of yourself? Are you eating well?
  9. Show up – Be present. Don’t let what you’re worrying about consume your thoughts! You will be in “LaLa- Land” all day (unproductive).
  10. Slow down – Breathe. Take a second. Stop rushing, it’s never a good thing (although sometimes it’s necessary).
  11. Talk to someone – I tend to keep things pent-up. I’ve found talking your problems out to someone is very beneficial and will definitely take some weight off your  shoulders.
  12. Take it one day at a time. 
  13. PRAY –  Last and MOST IMPORTANT. Prayer…It works!

DON’T LET STRESS GET THE BEST OF YOU!

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Stress can also wreak havoc on your skin, hair and overall health. The levels of your body’s stress hormones increases when you stress out, people! This creates excessive oil production and we all know oily skin leads to BREAKOUTS. In addition, stress can cause hair loss (Alopecia areata)  and gray hairs. As for your health, stress can affect the digestive system causing ulcers as well as the immune system which can cause a spike in blood pressure.

The main focus is to prevent stress from occurring in the first place. If we are able to take the necessary steps to manage stress, we will be well on our way to happier and healthier lives. 

How do you manage stress? I hope this helps!

STAY STRONG MY FRIENDS

Until next time!

♥ Traci