5 Reasons Going Natural Will Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Admit it. Black girls will completely forgo any sweat-provoking activity if they’re rocking any semblance of a straight style. Let the dewpoint read something like 65…there are lots of us who will opt to stay in the house or limit our activity to indoor, air-conditioned spaces. Unless, of course, there is a cookout or day party. That changes things a little. Lol. We might go ‘head and make it do what it do.

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I don’t care if it’s a 3 week old doobie from 125th, that they’ve most recently transitioned to a crimpy braid out, they ain’t sacrificing it for nobody’s workout. No way, no how. There is, however, a rare breed of us black women who, despite the straight style, will bust a move or two in the gym in an attempt to keep the body nice and tight. In fact, lots of millennials are hitting the gym…in droves. I’d actually venture to say that the spike/increased popularity in fitness may be consistent with the spike in naturalistas. I won’t pretend to have some sort of trend report on this matter but If someone did the numbers, I bet these trends would coincide enough to make a valid argument. Reason being, you aren’t going to pull off the 18 inch peruvian with a leave-out in the gym. Nor will you be pulling off that brazilian half wig. It’s an IG illusion.

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Lots of us have found the natural to be far more realistic when it comes to hitting the gym. Anyway, I know there are some who’re eager to join the fitness wave but you can’t seem to get a handle on your straight hair. I’ll be direct-YOU NEED TO GO NATURAL ALREADY! Here’s why:

  1. Sweating your natural hair out is nearly impossible. It’s already in it’s natural state. Even if you work up a heavy sweat during your workout, it won’t look much different from the style you came with. I normally like to lay my edges and I know I’m not alone. For many of us, if nothing else is laid, those edges will be! Lol. My edges are usually super fuzzy after my workouts and depending on how close to perfect I feel like being that day, I may or may not relay them. Twist outs may frizz up a little bit but you can combat that by leaving it twisted until after your workouts.
  2. Repetitive straightening causeses mad damage and breakage. Not cute. Now think about how much more you’ll have to straighten it after workouts to maintain the straight look you’re rocking-to match your roots to your tracks. Going natural is simply the healthier option for your hair provided that you detangle carefully and nourish your tresses.
  3. You’ll use healthier hair products by default. As opposed to the use of harmful chemicals with your relaxed look, most natural looks call for healthy and nourishing oils and creams. As a matter of fact, natural hair care products generally steer clear of parabens and sulfates that are abundant in relaxed products.
  4. Going natural can be a healthier option for your pockets as well. With most natural styles requiring minimal professional upkeep such as trims and cuts every now and then, you can vastly reduce your beauty spending and you can put that cash towards a vacation or  a weekly shopping sprees at Whole Foods. See how that worked out for you?! Two birds, one stone.
  5. The versatility of the naturalista just cannot be underestimated. You can literally rock a gazillion styles and look flawless. Many of them are a one shot deal and you’re good for the next couple of days or in some cases, weeks. You have the option of rocking a straightened look without the commitment. Not to mention that your blow outs will look bomb because you haven’t stripped your hair of all it’s moisture and lipids thus combating heat damage and split ends to the umpteenth power!

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So, let’s move on to styles, shall we! When I consider my hairstyles, one of the biggest considerations is the maintenance. I’ve found some tried and true styles that work wonderfully with my active lifestyle:

 

Let’s begin with the snatchback. It takes a few days for my edges and puff to take flawless formation but once they do, it’s all gravy. I use water, olive oil and my eco-styler gel to achieve the waves. The rest is me in all my nappy-headed glory. I can literally wake up in the morning, re-apply some water and gel and be on my merry way. I hit the gym, work up a tremendous sweat and won’t have to do a single thing besides finger my edges back into place.

My micros are by far my favorite workout style. I literally left these things in for an entire month. Add to that, I did them myself. It started out of sheer boredom. I then found myself on a three day mission to finish my head. I was braiding on the bus, on my lunch breaks, on field trips-it was bad. But once I finished, it was all good. I could wake up and literally GO! Working out was a breeze because I didn’t have to give my hair one inkling of thought aside from, of course, my edges. Lol. They were a b**** to take down but the style gave me so much freedom that I didn’t mint at all. Peep that glorious braid-out, too! Worth it, all worth it. It might also be worth adding that I rocked that braid out for about a week. So, yea, the micros were a 5 week style. Lit.

The two-strand twist back is arguably my signature look. I have yet to come across a naturalista who can rival my version of the style and believe me, I would give credit where credit is due. I’ve gotten it down to a science. I condition the crap out of my hair first, because this style requires some thorough detangling if you like it neat, like I do. Then I place my part, normally it’s down the middle because side parts make me look like someone’s great auntie. I then sop my crown with my handy dandy eco-styler gel and olive oil combo. I usually use a generous amount to avoid fly-aways. The next step is to take a soft bristle brush and lay my crown down. You kind of want to lay it so much so that the waves begin to sprout. Once they’ve appeared, I can begin twisting. Start with a teeny, tiny amount near the edge and progress back. Remember to carry the twist down the hair line to establish a little bit of a crown look. This style can usually last me 5 days provided I’ve tied my hair with a silk scarf at night. Workouts are a breeze with this hairdo and I normally get a few compliments per day.

The twist out is…well, it’s a twist out. We each have our own version of this and although they’re super tricky to perfect, they are a good workout option. Reason being is that you can manipulate your twist out into a lot of different styles once it’s had time to set. You can do a high pony, a low pony, half up with half down…the options are abundant. I usually go with what the workout calls for at the given time.

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It was hard to tell me sh*t when these things were in my head. Lol.

Anybody transitioning for fitness purposes? Drop your stories below and do tell if you have any tips or workable hairstyles for us fit chicks!

 

 

Beauty Essentials: 10 Wonderful Uses for The Almighty Coconut Oil

Everyone has those beauty products that come into their lives and change the whole game, right? Whether it’s a night cream or a lip color you love so much. Often we find these products and think to ourselves ‘How did I ever make it without you?’ Well, that’s how I feel about coconut oil! I’ve shared my love for this multifaceted must-have via Facebook before but I definitely didn’t do it justice. We’ve since (coconut oil and I) taken our relationship to the next level. Lol! Today I’m going to share with you just how involved we are.

My top 10 uses for coconut oil:

  1. Apply all over your body as soon as you get out of the shower to lock in moisture. I don’t mean to brag but I always get compliments on my skin and I have genetics to thank for that but coconut oil helps me maintain it. Timing is everything with this. Apply as soon as you dry off to get the best results.
  2. Use as a natural face wash. Yes, this works! I do have a traditional face wash and scrub on hand for when I need a thorough cleanse but I use coconut oil regularly because I never want to strip ALL of my face oils! That’s a good way to age yourself quickly. Keep it moist by massaging a dab of coconut oil onto your face for a good 30 seconds. Then grab yourself a hot wash cloth and lay it over your face for 15 seconds to open up your pores. Pat any excess oil with your wash cloth.
  3. Use coconut oil as an overnight cream. Coconut oil works wonders in rejuvenating your skin and making you look fresh-faced. Throughout the day, your cells will oxidize or deteriorate. Coconut oil can and will breathe life back into your cells. I can’t stress this enough. You’ll wake up with beautiful, soft and vibrant skin (provided you got a full night’s rest).
  4. Use as a hair moisturizer. Lock in or reapply moisture to your hair by applying just a small amount to your mane. This works for any and every hair type not just the kinky crew.
  5. Use as a hair gloss. I know some of use swear by oil sheen or shine serum but you should really give this a try. It’s better for our environment and it works. Coconut oil will give you a natural shine without weighing down your tresses. Just take a very small dab and rub gently over your hair-root to tip.
  6. Scalp and dandruff treatment. Is Head & Shoulders just not cutting it for you? Give coconut oil a try. Massage it into your scalp as if you were greasing it and let it sit for a good hour with a cap. Then go ahead and co-wash or shampoo all your itch and dandruff away. Simple.
  7. Apply as an after shave. I had always used baby oil to calm any irritation around my bikini area after a close shave but I’ve found that coconut oil provides longer lasting moisture.
  8. Use as cuticle oil. My cuticles are always cracking and peeling (probably an indicator that I need to drink more water). I use coconut oil during my mani/pedis to help stop the peeling.
  9. Use as a make-up remover. I use coconut oil on a cotton swab or q-tip to remove foundation and pesky mascara residue.
  10. Use as body food. Your imagination should kick in right now. Remember, it’s edible! Lol.

I hope you found this little read helpful. It was fun to write/share because it’s just too good a find to keep to myself. Do you use coconut oil? How so? Any beauty secrets I missed? Share below!

xo,

Jazz