A Quarantine Hair Story

I’ve been #teamnatural my whole life but I am far from perfect when it comes to knowing and doing what’s best for my hair.  I have type 3 hair (though I’m 100% not sure if I’m A or B if I’m totally honest) and it has suffered through some major heat damage in the last 10 years due to straightening with heat. Since my sophomore year in college it has become a sort of traditional to straighten my hair every fall/winter, be it via a roller-set or blow out. It started out as something I did for internship/job interviews but later it I realized that having straight hair also made things much easier for me during the colder seasons as my curls are not fans of winter outerwear, hats or scarves.  (My hair tends to get a bit matted and seriously frizzy under any kind of duress from wool and other winter knits.)

How it started (March 2020) vs. How it’s going.

Quarantine began around the time I would normally begin transitioning back to my natural curls, however once it became obvious that I wouldn’t be working at the office anytime soon, I started to change up my weekly hair care routine in order to give my hair the care it desperately needed after so much neglect. By the time my birthday came around in May, I started to see an improvement so I fully committed to staying curly for the rest of the year. No heat styling at all.  (I even went so far as to packing my heat styling tools deep in storage so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep up with my old ways.)

While it did take some trial and error with products as well as patience, my hair now is the healthiest it’s been since probably high school. I know that all curls are not the same, but I wanted to share the products I’ve used  (in the order that I received and tried them) that helped get me to this point. I hope you find it helpful whether you have curly hair or not, as some of these work on all types of hair.

Disclaimer: Some of the products listed here were sent to me as samples for review. All opinions are my own. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Ok first let me just say  that this is probably the priciest product I will ever share on this blog ever, but I had to. I got a sample of this product last May as my Sephora birthday gift and from the first time I used it I was in awe. In an attempt to limit frizz, I tend to be pretty heavy handed when it comes to applying product to my hair which often times leads to my scalp flaking so having a product like this  I immediately went to see about getting myself a full size bottle only to see the $42 price tag.  It would be months before I could convince myself to spend that kind of money on my head but I don’t regret it for a second.

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Sweet Like Deadly Nightshade

Fun fact: When I was growing up, my father had major aspirations of my brother and I becoming child models. Every so often he would put up a white bedsheet on one of the walls in the living room, get some props and outfits together and we’d have our own photoshoot sessions right at home. I still have the albums full of the photos including the professional ones that he had done to send to modeling agencies. Neither my brother or I ever got a modeling contract as kids (Not for lack of trying, I mean we were adorable but I guess that wasn’t enough, hahaha) but at the very least we have the memories.

At the start of quarantine last year, my brother was actually the first one to point out that I could not use the pandemic as an excuse for not continuing to take photos and create content. According to him, I’ve been “trained for in-house photoshoots” and now I even have more space to work with than we did growing up. I initially disagreed because working in one space can be pretty limiting, but in time I took up the challenge, working around issues with lightening (my apartment is intentionally dark in certain spaces) and even did some much needed furniture/decor shopping which I had put off for the last 2 years.

I’ve done quite a bit of shooting at home as a result, some of which I haven’t shared yet, but I wanted to try my hand at something “different” for this new year. So armed with my trusty tripod, selfie light, new make up, new bedding and a lux velvet set I bought as a Christmas gift to myself, I figured it was time to try something way, way outside of my comfort zone – my own boudoir shoot. Continue reading

Golden Hour Royal Treatment

Since quarantine started, I’ve taken to shopping  for more lounge and sleepwear as I rarely leave the house now. This changed once fall came around and I found myself styling more outfits even if it is just to go around the corner to pick up something from the supermarket. And I’ll admit that sometimes I over do it, like this time, but its still nice to dress up every once in a while, even if you literally have no special event or place to go. 

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Curl Definition and Color – Review of CURLSMITH Hair Makeup

It didn’t take very long for me to start playing around with my hair once Quarantine started. For one thing I cut my hair a grand total of 7 times, though to be clear these weren’t big chops but rather small cuts to give my hair a different shape. I managed to give myself some sort of layers which was a nice change of pace as I’ve had the same asymmetrical hair cut since 2016 –  being shorter in the back and longer in the front.

I’ve since decided to grow out my hair, if only to try something new. I also got my first ever dry hair cut at the Miss Rizos Salon in Manhattan the weekend before last, (and I will be sharing that experience on the blog soon as well),  however, that (final, for now) hair cut provided me with more traditional layers and greater volume, so I basically have a new canvas to play with and that also got me to trying CURLSMITH’s  Hair Make up for the second time. Yup, second time, but we’ll get to that.

If you haven’t already heard about CURLSMITH’s  Hair Make up it is a temporary color and styling gel all in one, created specifically for curls. It does NOT dye your hair, but provides a layer of color pigment around hair strands that will wash off with water and shampoo. As someone who loves hair color but doesn’t like the commitment and is scared of bleach ruining my curl pattern, this sounded like an amazing product that would allow me to play a bit with color without much consequence. How did it go? Well, let’s just say it had its highs and lows so I’m sharing them with you today just in case you’re looking to trying something new with your own hair while we are still in this Quarantine/Lockdown period. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 

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Sunflower Summer Days

Living in NYC during a pandemic has been interesting.  Like I haven’t left my borough (Queens) except to pick up some things at the office back in May, making this the longest I’ve been away from the city (Manhattan) in years.  My summers usually includes work and taking long walks in the city afterwards usually around the neighborhood. Usually this involves browsing at the local book store, if not the library, meeting my friends for dinner and a movie, going to a marketing/social media/blogger workshop or checking out some of the events advertised on Facebook, like the Japanese food festival I attended last summer. Obviously things were very different this year.

Thankfully even with COVID and quarantine, Summer 2020 was not cancelled as most of us had joked when the season first started. Sure, I stayed closer to home yet this turned out to be a little fun because I got to do things like ride a bike again for the first time in 14 years and read a book under a tree at a park my parents used to take me and brother when we were kids. So much nostalgia and not just in Queens because just this past weekend, my friend Diana and I made the trek to Roosevelt Island, our favorite hang out spot back when we were in college to see how much it has changed since we last visited.

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