Crodabond CSA: The blend that claims to seal your cuticle layer shut.

10.01.2014

I get all excited whenever I learn about a new hair care ingredient that promises to significantly impact the health of the hair.  There's a company by the name of Croda who manufactures active ingredients to improve the effectiveness of products.  I've been following them ever since I first learned of 18-MEA.  They were one of the only manufacturers who offered 18-MEA to hair care companies for use in their formulations.

Well it appears that the good people of Croda has done it yet again!  This time, they've developed a blend by the name of Crodabond CSA.  What is Crodabond CSA? It's probably the most revolutionary ingredient in cuticle protection since the creation of synthetic ceramides.  Actually, Crodabond CSA appears to behave in a way that is very similar to ceramides but seems to have longer term benefits.  Check out what they have to say about this amazing compound.

Crodabond™ CSA is designed to combat lifted cuticles. It was specifically engineered to seal down hair cuticles that have been damaged through coloring, bleaching, perming or thermal straightening. As an oligo ester derived from sebacic acid and hydrogenated caster oil, Crodabond™ CSA adheres to the lifted cuticles, cementing them together and smoothing out the hair fiber.
  According to this article, the wonderful effects of a smooth, intact cuticle layer can last for up to 14 days after treatment.  That's super impressive.  Can you imagine having smooth strands two weeks after washing?  Imagine how that could impact your breakage levels in between washes?   Unfortunately Croda doesn't manufacture its own commercial products nor do they sell their formulas to consumers.  So I asked myself, "how do I get my hands on Crodabond? I need to have this!"  So far, I was only able to find one brand featuring Crodabond.  Tigi Hair Reborn Sublime Smooth seems to contain a myriad of Croda formulations including their 18-MEA formula, Crotein Cashmere, which is a keratin blend made from wool fibers, and of course Hair Reborn also has Crodabond CSA to lay that cuticle layer down.

The more I contemplate on Hair Reborn, the more I desire need it.  Where else can I get such a wide variety of Croda's healthy hair cocktails in one bottle?  I'm not even phased by the price because this one bottle has so many amazing properties.  I can not pass this up. 


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Style Obsession | This Jacket is the Bomb

9.30.2014

Typically, when I walk through a busy airport, I like to keep my focus on where I'm going.  But every once in a while, I see something out of the corner of my eye that sparks a bit of inspiration.  And that's exactly what happened recently while walking hurriedly towards to my departing gate. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of a woman who was perfectly styled with fitted jeans a white tee and the most perfect bomber jacket.

In that instant, I immediately placed a bomber jacket on my want list for all.  I have somewhat of a petite frame and rarely find jackets that make sense for my body type.  Often times, the fit doesn't work, the sleeves are too long, or the jacket covers up the outfit instead of complimenting it. The bomber jacket does none of that.  It's a dream come true.

 

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Monday Motivation | Hesitation leads to regret

9.29.2014

I learned a very valuable lesson last week and I felt compelled to share it so you can avoid making the same mistake. As you read this post imagine me sitting across from you staring you directly in the eyes as I beg you to heed my words.

I consider myself somewhat risk averse.  Simply put, I like to play it safe.  I'd rather save my money than invest it.  Before making a decision I like to weigh all the pros and cons.  And I also tend to hesitate with taking action. Sometimes waiting until it's absolutely necessary before I take a step forward.


Every time I hesitate in taking action, I rationalize that I protecting myself from an undesirable outcome.  I couldn't be further from the truth.  In fact, it is my hesitation that actually creates the undesirable outcome.  Any time that still, small voice tells me to take a step forward, I begin to logically break down the decision to see if it makes sense.  Nine times out of ten, I eventually end up going with my first inclination. And when I do, I realize how much my hesitation cost me.

Listen.  Every time you take a new action, you receive a new result.  Every time you hesitate, you are preventing that new result from coming into your life.  Every time your inner voice tells you to do something....you should consider that message as prompt to move into a new (wonderful) territory.  Forget the reasons and excuses.  Whenever the voice prompts. Ask yourself this question.  What good will come if I do this now?  Chances are, you will experience several benefits if you take that step.  If you don't, you'll lose. Maybe lose is too strong of a word.  Let's just say that there is a cost.  You delay the possibility of something new, wonderful, and amazing from happening.  You prevent yourself from moving forward.

Do me a favor, next time you hear the prompt to take a new action.  Analyze all the potential benefits that may come from moving forward with the action immediately versus putting it off.  Think about how much further along you will be if you start today.  Then go!


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Micro Trimming Part II - Keys to making the process sucessful

9.28.2014

We're on the topic of micro-trimming and how that could possibly be the answer to getting rid of thin ends for ever. I'm committed to taking off about 1/4 of length a month for the next six months (maybe more).  My goal is to cut off my current ends, over time, as my new growth comes in.  In essence, one should not lose much (if any) length using this process.

thick ends inspiration

Honestly, although this method is simple, it isn't easy.  I know that I'll be battling the mental block of having to cut ends that aren't breaking simply for the sake of thickness.  I can almost foresee the need for length taking over, tempting me to go back to my old ways.

I plan to make micro-trimming a dual focused process.  While trimming on a monthly basis, I'll also employ various strategies to promote healthy growth to balance the loss of length.  Wouldn't it be great to have thicker ends AND gain length at the same time?  That's literally a dream come true.

I actually think this is VERY possible.  It's been 1 day since my first micro trim.  When I manipulate my hair now, one very noticeable difference is how much breakage has reduced.  I anticipate a reduction of daily manipulation related breakage + a reduction of detangling related breakage on wash day.  As I remain consistent in the monthly micro trims, this reduction in breakage will be multiplied over time. Meaning, I will retain length simply from having trimmed, healthy ends for such an extended period.  Even though I'm cutting of 1/4 inches of hair a month,  I may actually retain more length in the long run.

But what's most important is that I focus on maximizing growth over the next six months.  Since we are entering into the fall & winter season, I've got to be even more diligent.  As part of my strategy, I will be going back to regular supplementation.  I can't wait for my first shipment of Beautifully Bamboo Hair, Skin & Nails supplement to arrive.  It's a supplement that I've formulated to include everything I've ever wanted in a hair vitamin.  More details on that later but the vitamins should be ready in early October (*EXCITED*).  I've also gotta make sure to eat healthy, drink loads of water and keep circulation high by focusing on cardio sessions.  Obviously, I'll be doing scalp massages and other growth promoting activities as well.  

I remember feeling terrible, a couple of years ago, because of having to chop off several inches of unproductive length.  Although my hair looked great, I was depressed over the whole ordeal.  Micro-trimming should provide me similar results while retaining/gaining length.  That's why I chose an aggressive strategy in the beginning.  Eventually, I'll then my trimming schedule to bi-monthly or quarterly once I've nailed the process.  

Let's do this!

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Happy Endings | The Micro Trimming Method for Thick Full Ends

9.26.2014

Let me ask you a question.  If you could be the same length as you are now (or maybe a little longer) but instead of tapered, uneven, or thin ends, you can have a full thick ends.  Would you want that?  Of course you would. What if I told you that there could be a way to achieve that. Would you be interested?

Before I explain the specifics let me first set the tone for our conversation.  I have had many internal conversations wondering how those of us who chemically treat our hair can have thickness all the way down to our ends.  It seemed almost impossible short of doing a major chop.  But even after a chop the length seems to eventually return to its former state.  Notice how many people are doing mini-chops after a touchup to eliminate wispy ends.  It just seems like a never ending problem.


The solution to this issue may come in the form of a method called micro trimming. This is where one trims off 1/4 to 1/2 inches of hair monthly, every other month or quarterly for the purposes of creating thicker, fuller ends.  Essentially, the regular trims will remove my current ends, and, as new hair grows in, my new length will take over the place where my old (thin) ends once were.

This method is one that requires a long term commitment.  No longer will I only be focusing on the short term needs of my hair (such as dryness, breakage, etc) I must also have a long term strategy in place.  Since it's #FearlessFriday, I decided to institute microtrimming starting today.  I actually washed my hair at 6:00 am so I can trim during my roller set.  After my first micro-trim session, I'm already loving how much better my hair feels.  Can't wait until next month until I do it again.

In my case, I think I'll take the aggressive route and start with monthly trims.  Yes. Every month, I'll take off 1/4 of an inch.  I'll do this for at least 6 months then assess my progress. Essentially, my length could remain about the same while my ends appear fuller.  Notice I said,"could" remain the same.  In the back of my mind, I'm devising a plan to achieve both length and thickness!

We'll discuss this more in part II of this post. But for now, I invite you to reflect on your journey to see if this method could be beneficial to you.  Is anyone already doing this now?  Please share your experience.

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The Beauty Secret of the actress who hasn't aged in over 20 years.

9.23.2014

I'll admit it.  After writing the post sharing coconut oil of the beauty secret of the flight attendant with gorgeous skin, I was on totally on board.  I tried that method for a few nights and, my skin loved it!  Then I fell off.

But, I've now found new reason to get my behind right back on track.  But before I tell you what my motivation is, let me first take you back.  Many moons ago, I watched a movie called Class Act with Kid & Play.  One of the love interests in the movie was this woman with amazing skin & gorgeous hair.   I mean....just look at her.


That was 22 years ago.  Recently, she randomly popped into my mind and I decided to do some digging to find out whatever happened to her.  Honestly, I was a little nervous to stumble on updated pics because I've had too many experiences where I'm disheartened by the current state of my childhood heroes.  The last thing I wanted to find out was that time had gotten the best of her and was Alysia was now only a shadow of her former self.   Turns out that Alysia Rogers is pretty active on Facebook so it wasn't that hard to find her.

But I was not ready for what I saw when I landed on her page. The woman has barely aged in the last two decades!  Immediately, I went into hyper drive scouring her comments for signs of beauty secrets buried within her skin care regimen.  Turns out that others were just as curious as I was to know her routines as I was.  So when she invited her followers to ask her a question, you know everyone was asking about her beauty/skin care routine.

Here's what she shared:
"I keep it really simple : Its crazy I went through my phases with slight skin problems (pimples ) but I soon realized it was the soda and what I was putting in my body . Start from the inside ...drink lots of water ..even if you hate it !! Wash your face every night and use a mild astringent after. I then take a little coconut oil and use it as my moisturizer ...I know oil but believe it or not Coconut Oil is natures secret to skin, hair and health !!!"

You don't have to tell me twice Miss "I haven't aged in 20 years."   I will faithfully drink ample amounts of water and keep my skin supple with coconut oil.  Going to bed greasy is the truth. Since this is the second time I've heard the message of coconut oil for beautiful skin (in less than a month), I'm once again a believer and vow to stay faithful to this practice for years to come.



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Monday Motivation | Use the Domino Effect to change your life

9.22.2014

We have about 100 days left in the year (yes I am counting down).  My intention is to max out as much potential from these last 100 days as I possibly can.  What I plan to do is leverage the power of small actions to compound and eventually provide a significant impact.  Someone said it best when he stated that every day, we should focus on knocking over the domino.

Take a look at this quick video as an illustration.



I love where the guy said that a domino can knock over another domino that is 1.5X larger.  That is a really powerful message if you think really about it.  Notice how small the first domino is.  Heck, I'm not even sure we can label it a domino.....more like a chicklet.  The largest domino is 100 lbs.  Then the guy goes on to blow our minds by saying that if they had 29 dominos in place (each one 1.5x larger than the last), then the tiny chicklet would essentially have the power to knock over a domino the size of  the empire state building.

Then he goes into the science and proclaims that only a little bit of push is required to bring the "domino" to the tipping point.  Then you get all that energy back again which is more than enough to knock over the next domino.  This is a brilliant example of how massive results can be created from small actions.  When the guy said that we should knock over a domino each day, he was referring to taking one action that creates energy (momentum) to propel into the next action.  Soon all of the energy builds up and we are knocking over even larger dominos than when we first started.  Next thing we know, we have built up enough potential to create the greatest of results.

For the past week or so, I've been applying the 1% rule into my daily actions.  Basically, I work to improve what I do by just a little bit each day knowing that my actions are compounding over time.  My goal is by the end of the day, I've improved in some way, shape of form, over how I performed the day before.  This, my friends, is my way of knocking over a domino.  I take an action, no matter how small, towards goals.

To ensure that I'm focusing on enjoying the process, I celebrate the act of taking action instead of looking for a result. The result is coming.  It's inevitable as long as I keep improving even by 1% .  Can you imagine how big the domino we knock over in 2015 will be if we practice this habit today?

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Style Inspiration | Date Night

9.20.2014

I've been debating on whether I should purchase I white playsuit ever since I grabbed the black one.  All doubts are behind after being inspired by this amazing look.

This look, or a variation of it with a full length bodysuit, will flatter anyone.  I'm a complete sucker for simple pieces that make a huge statement and this outfit does just that.  Her jacket adds a bit of edge to the soft, feminine look.  Speaking of the leather jacket, can we talk about how perfect it is?  The length is just right. Love the fit on the sleeves.  Officially on the hunt for the perfect cropped leather jacket and I will have one by the time spring rolls around again.


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Inspired By | Achieving Flawless Skin

9.19.2014

One of my favorite Pinterest boards, that I like to visit quite regularly, is the one that filled with examples of my vision of perfectly flawless skin.  Way before I was on Pinterest, I visually imagined what I wanted my skin to eventually look like. This was during the time that I was suffering from chronic cystic acne, scarring and rough skin.  Things are different now.  I hope to one day obtain this level of skin perfection but until then, I will remain consistent with taking collagen, drinking bamboo tea and lots of water, exfoliating with my Clarisonic Plus, Riiviva and these awesome Alpha Beta Peel wipes.

There are times that I slip up from my routine, and my skin begins to backslide, then I take a look at my inspirations and I get back on track.






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Fearless Friday | Make Friday the day your conquer your fears

After writing that post on courage and wearing the red lip, I began to reflect on the other areas of my life where I am harboring these tiny little fears.  These "fears" are so small that I don't even identify with them as a fear. More like something "I don't want to do." Truth is, I don't want to do them because deep down, it makes me uncomfortable. 

I'd like to rid myself of the habit of not taking an action simply because it's outsize of my comfort zone.  I read online once where a guy, who mentors several people, would deem every Friday as "Fearless Friday."  On Fridays, each of the mentees would select something they are afraid to do (or are uncomfortable doing) and conquer it.  Although I'm not directly a part of the group, I've decided to take on that challenge in my own life!

I've plugged in a message in my phone as a reminder that each Friday, I must do an act of courage.  I don't have to skydive out of a plane in order to meet my Fearless Friday requirement. It could be as simple as doing something that I've been putting off. Another way I will approach Fearless Friday is to revisit activities that I stopped doing because I was not good at it.  It's the fear of looking bad/stupid that made me stop.  Friday is the day that I will set aside any negative self talk and just do it.  Eventually, this will become a way of thinking for me each day but until then, I will practice extending my comfort zone using Friday as a springboard.

I think I'll start by taking a cold shower this morning.  Talk about doing something you don't want to do.  I literally have to fight every fiber within me that wants a warm comfortable shower.  The whole process is an exercise in courage. Back when I engaged in regular cold showers, I noticed that I would display courage in other things I did throughout the day.  It was fascinating to watch experience. 

Let's build the habit of moving forward through our fears hesitations by taking on Fearless Friday as a thing.  We do this because NEW ACTIONS = NEW RESULTS. Who's with me?

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