College: What do I Wear?

Going from possibly wearing uniforms in high school to having to choose what to wear in college can take you for a loop. I had to wear uniforms for my entire four years of high school. Waking up every morning knowing exactly what I had to wear saved me a lot of time and effort. However, I was not able to express my individuality and creativity. Well, I could have but it was very difficult being restricted. When I started college, I realized that it was a whole new ball game, and it would be all up to me.

Being restricted and having to obey a dress code in high school made me judge everything that I would put on. Listening to “your skirt is too short,” “you cannot wear open-toe or open-heel shoes,” and “your pants are the wrong color” has made me re-evaluate the decisions I make on what to wear to class. After coming out of the restriction zone, during my first few weeks of college, I questioned everything I would take out to wear. Eventually, I came to the conclusions that it was not so much of what should I wear, but what should I not wear. After drilling this concept into my brain, I came up with a list of things that I would not wear to class and special events. I am going to give you my opinion, but remember that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.

Don’t wear pajamas. I believe that they are only to sleep in. Wearing pajamas to class gives off a vibe that you do not care and do not want to be there; even if it is just that you woke up late.

Don’t wear clothes that are revealing. By this I mean clothes that are see through. Wearing these types of clothes will bring a lot of attention to you, not that it is something you do not want to have, but this type of attention is negative. Also, do not wear clothes that do not cover up the most important parts of your body.

On the bright side, here are things to ear to class. I usually wear a t-shirt and blue jeans at least, just so my professor know I did not just hop out of the bed and come straight to class. On my good days I will put on a nice top to actually look presentable and decent.

If you have to present something in class, please be sure to dress accordingly, such as at least wearing business casual attire. Basically, this means not wearing blue jeans or tennis shoes. Wearing business casual attire also goes for when attending a special event. This event could be an interview, attending a conference, etc. Females, be reminded of the length of skirts, skorts, and dresses that you decide to wear.

What do you wear to class? Do you have a list of things that you do not wear to class?

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Fingernail Polish Review

I love to paint my nails. I usually listen to music while painting them because it relaxes me and keeps me calm. For this reason, I do this task at the end of the day. Although it seems to be easy, painting your nails can be frustrating, especially if the nail polish will not do right or it just does not come out the way you want it to. My biggest problem is that I will get my nails perfectly done, and then I start doing something else instead of letting them dry and mess them up. I have had to learn the hard way of allowing my nails to dry for an hour without doing anything but listening to music. However, I have also learned that it is not always my fault when my nails do not come out right, sometimes it’s the nail polish. Therefore, I have tried so many different polishes to try to see what I like the best. Here is a review on a few brands that I have tried.

Claire’s Cosmetics. I have the hot pink and dark green with glitter in it. I really like this brand because it dries fast and comes out really nice and smooth.

Finger Paints. I have only tried the lime green. It has a really smooth finish without using a clear coat.

Salon Perfect. I do not really care for this brand. The white does not go on nice. The Purple is really pretty, but does not last long and peels easily. I like the shine that the clear top coat leaves, but it peels right off leaving a matte look.

Rue 21. I love this brand. The polish goes on smooth and glossy.

Pure Ice. I like to use this brand as a coat on top of another brand. It is too transparent by itself.

Nail Lacquer. I do not like it at all. It is very gooey and peels right of after it dries.

Avon Nail Wear Pro. It only lasts a day, not even a full 24 hours. It is nice when it is first applied.

New York & Company. It is very thin but goes on well.

Parisian. This is not a good quality of nail polish. It is very gooey and sticky.

When I want my nails really decorated, I use nail stickers. I prefer Claire’s Cosmetic brand. They are really easy to put on. They last for at least a week.

Sometimes removing fingernail polish can be a challenge. I use 100% Acetone, and it comes right off. I also like Claire’s Cosmetics nail polish remover pads.

Other tips…

  1. Paint one hand at a time. Allow one hand to fully dry before painting the other. If you don’t, there is a strong possibility that you will mess up the first hand.
  2. Use a top clear coat. This will leave you with a smooth finish and your nails will last longer.
  3. Paint in thin layers. Use thinner coats rather than thicker ones for a better result.

What is your favorite brand of nail polish? Which colors work best for you?

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Mini Twist Out Challenge

I have decided to start doing protective styling on my hair. I have been wearing my hair down a lot, so I am making sure I am retaining length. I will be doing mini twists for the next three months and re-twisting them every three to four weeks. I have also changed my hair regimen to accommodate this challenge. I am going to go through the steps to this challenge.

  1. Wash hair. I washed my hair using the As I Am Coconut Cleansing Conditioner. I really like this product because it cleanses my hair just as well as shampoo, but does not strip my hair of its moisture. Even though it is a conditioner it serves the same purpose as shampoo, I also used Aussie’s Moisturizing Conditioner. I use this product to help soften my hair. I do not leave it in, because I have a leave-in conditioner that I use. This works well with whatever I use to cleanse my hair by adding moisture.
  2. Apply leave-in conditioner. I use Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner. This product really leaves my hair soft. It helps to prevent breakage and damages to my hair. I occasionally use Paul Mitchell’s Leave-in Conditioner, but I am using Shea Moisture for the mini twist-out challenge.
  3. Apply styling product. I made my own mixture for the mini twists. I mixed black Jamaican castor oil with shea butter. This was my first time making this mixture. I usually mix olive oil with the shea butter. I like the black Jamaican castor oil better. My hair is really soft. I have had the twists in my head for four days now and my hair is still very soft and moisturized. I have not had to apply anymore product, since I twisted my hair. I applied the mixture in sections, because I wanted to make sure each strand of the hair was covered. I made sure my ends were moisturized as well. I applied it to the big sections and re-applied as I twisted my hair. It left my twists soft and bouncy.
  4. Twist the hair. I have about fifty twists in my head. I divided my hair into eight sections. I took smaller sections within those eight in order to twist. I did two strand twists by wrapping two very small sections around each other.

I am loving the protective styling so far. I wrap my hair every night with a silk scarf. When I take it off in the mornings, my hair is perfectly fine and I do not have to do anything with them. When I was wearing my hair down, it dried out by the end of the day. The twists are really maintaining the moisture well. I am going to rub the mixture in the palm of my hand and apply it to my hair every week.

I encourage you to try this challenge. Have you ever challenged yourself to try something new in order to help the growth of your hair?

 

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Managing Type 4C Hair

Managing type 4c hair can be very difficult considering the coarseness of its texture, shrinkage, and undefined curl pattern. Learning how to deal with this type of hair takes time and patience. I have type 4c hair, and I have learned how to manage my hair, so here are some tips.

Moisture Keeping type 4c hair moisturized is very important. The hair is more prone to breakage because of its texture. Moisture should be applied daily. The easiest way to keep this type of hair moisturized is to spray it with a conditioner and water mix every morning. You can always find another way to moisturize daily. There are a lot of products out there that will help to keep the hair moisturized.

Styling The best way to style type 4c hair is to use protective styling. Protective styling helps to preserve and retain length. If you do not use protective styling, it will be easy for your ends to break off. Protective styling includes twist outs, braid outs, up-dos, etc. These styles may take a while to do, but keeping them in for two weeks is very beneficial. They allow for low manipulation, which increases the chance of length retention.

Detangling I have learned that the best way to detangle is by using my fingers. Combs and brushes tend to snap the ends of my hair. If you decide to use detangling tools, get a wide tooth comb and a soft bristle brush. Also, detangle while the hair is wet, because it will be easier to move through the hair. Detangling your hair in sections will be a great benefit, for the process will be easier to handle.

Products Make sure the products are alcohol and sulfate free. The alcohols cause dryness. Use products that are meant to add moisture to the hair. Always use a leave-in conditioner, which helps to protect the hair from damages.

Shrinkage Sometimes shrinkage can be very frustrating, especially if your hair is down your back but appears to be above your neck. Type 4c hair can shrink up to eighty percent or maybe even more. There are ways to elongate the hair. Twist outs and braid outs usually help to lengthen the hair. These hair styles also help with creating a definite curl pattern. Due to shrinkage, type 4c hair does not have much of a curl pattern. There is a pattern, but the coils are really tight. Wearing a fro and embracing the shrinkage is cool too, but remember to moisturize the fro in order to prevent breakage.

Managing type 4c hair can be tough, but it creates a very distinct look that helps individualize an individual. No matter how much time it takes to do my hair or how difficult it is to manage my hair, I have learned to embrace what I have. My type 4c hair is a part of my identity and individualized style.

Do you have type 4c hair? Do you feel as if it is the most difficult hair type to manage?

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Natural Hair Routine Challenges in College

Before I started college, maintaining my natural hair was a lot easier. However, I did not realize it until I started college. I have faced some challenges in my routine, but I am pretty sure I have it all figured out now.

Hard Water I did not understand that there is a difference in the water depending on where you live. The first time I washed my hair on campus I noticed that the texture was different. My hair felt really dry and brittle. I had not done anything different with my routine, so I knew it had to be the water. The water is considered hard because it has more minerals in it, but unfortunately it does not agree with my hair. In order to counteract its effect, I deep condition my hair before or after I wash it. This allows my hair to soften and gain moisture. Also, after I wash my hair, I apply a leave-in conditioner and olive oil. The hard water is my only option, so I have learned to work with it.

Not Having Enough Time Before college I was at home with more free time. Now that I am in college, my life is being run differently. I am on a different schedule with less free time. In order to solve this problem I had to find where in my schedule I had the most time and used it accordingly. I have learned to split my routine into two days for time purposes. I wash and moisturize hair one day and style it the next. I usually wash my hair at night so that it will have all night to dry. It is also a time where I can be inside while my pores are open. Maintaining my hair is very important to me, so finding the time is crucial.

Not Having Enough Space I was used to having a tub and a whole house to move around in. After starting college, I feel as if I am in a box compared to before. Limited space can be an inconvenience especially when you have a lot of products and accessories. Having a smaller shower has pushed me to limit the products I use and limit my washing process. I have learned to adapt to this situation by only using a cleansing conditioner or shampoo and a regular conditioner. When it comes to styling, I set up a little area in my dorm room with only the things I will be using. Do I feel restricted? Yes, but I make my only option work.

Limited Budget College limits the amount of money you spend. I am not able to buy products as frequent as I would like. I cannot just go buy a new product when I feel like it and try it out. I am limiting myself by only buying a product when I run out of one of them. This helps with my limited storage space as well.

What challenges have you faced with your hair due to a change of your environment? How have you adapted to the changes?

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Makeup: How to Get Away With the Minimum

Makeup takes time. I have the patience to do my hair, but I do not have as much patience to do my makeup, so I have to settle for doing the minimum. Although I have always been around people who wake up every morning and apply a full face of makeup, I have never been a big fan of it. I really just started getting into makeup over the last six months because I felt as if I wanted to try something different with my appearance. Well, I have learned and still learning by experimenting. I have watched a few tutorials, but they didn’t help much because they are too advanced, and I am just beginning. I have decided to settle with doing the least with my makeup because of the time it takes and my lack of skill with it. I understand that you may be experiencing the same things so I am going to share my makeup routine and what I have learned through trial and error.

I use e.l.f., Mary Kay, Covergirl, and Claire’s. My routine goes as follows:

  1. Apply primer. At first I did not use primer, but it helps with the smoothness of the foundation. I use e.l.f.’s mineral face primer. I use just enough to cover my face.
  2. Apply foundation. I have two foundations, which are from the Covergirl Queen Collection and Mary Kay. They are both great foundations, but I tend to wear the Mary Kay more because it feels lighter and oxidizes with my skin tone. A little goes a long way with the Mary Kay as well. I did not like wearing the liquid foundation at first because I would touch my face and it would get everywhere. I started applying less of it and it helped.
  3. Apply cheek color. I do this step sometimes to add a little more definition to my face, but it depends on my mood and my effort level. I use Mary Kay. I usually use a darker tone.
  4. Apply eye shadow. I use Claire’s and e.l.f.’s eye shadow. I usually blend light and dark brown together. I hardly use any color because I like my makeup to be very subtle. I have not had any problems with any brand of eye shadow. Eye shadow is eye shadow to me.
  5. Apply mascara. This is my favorite step. I always put on mascara even if I don’t do steps 1-4. It makes my eyes pop. I coat my lashes at least three times to help elongate them.
  6. Set your makeup. I use e.l.f.’s makeup mist and set spray. This enhances the look of my makeup.

There is obviously more to makeup than these six steps. Not being a makeup fanatic, this is how I get away with the minimum by doing the basics. However, my makeup collection is huge, even though I only use a select few out of it. I will be sticking with the basics for a while. If I ever decide to go all out with my makeup, I will let a professional hook me up.

How do you get away with doing the minimum? What products do you use?

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Alternatives to Dying & Bleaching Your Hair

I think it is pretty safe to say that the only thing more beautiful than a big bush is a big bush with a vibrant pop of color. Around my second year of being natural I started to get really bored with twists outs and braids outs, and I wanted to do something different with my hair. I looked into different hairstyles that I could try out, but nothing really sparked my interest. I checked out natural hair blogs on Tumblr and that’s when it hit me, I could dye my hair! I was so excited about dying my hair until I realized I had to strip my hair of its natural color and potentially damage it. I refused to settle for a plain brown bush, so I immediately started looking for other alternatives.

One of the very first options I came across was eyeshadow. I know it sounds crazy but eyeshadows serve as great alternatives for dying your hair. You just rub the palette across a strand of hair and Viola!They’re quick, easy, fun, and most importantly they do not damage your natural tresses.

I was extremely excited about discovering the versatility of eyeshadow, but not long after I was using it on a daily basis I realized that it tends to get everywhere. I immediately went searching for other options and I came across hair chalk. Hair chalk comes in so many fun colors and they work perfectly for people with naturally dark hair who do not want to risk damaging their hair.

I played around with different brands of hair chalk, but my favorite by far was Anastasia Beverly Hills. They had colors in lots of different shades and hues, so if I ever wanted to achieve a certain look it was almost always certainly possible. As of lately my favorite go to product for when I want to dye my hair would definitely have to be ProShots and ColorMe. I purchased both of them from a professional beauty supply store, but I’m sure they are available online.

IMG_6811 I love ProShots and ColorMe so much because the color you see on the bottle or the label is the EXACT color you get. I have to admit that these are both a little more expensive than a eyeshadow palette or hair chalk, but it is completely worth every penny. The other really great thing I loved about ProShots and ColorMe was the precision I could achieve. The design of ColorMe is similar to that of mascara, so you just take the “spooly” and apply the color directly where you want it. ProShots is pretty similar when it comes to precision because you pump the dye onto your hands or an applicator brush and there you have it!

I honestly believe the only “down side” to eyeshadows, hair chalks, and ColorMe and ProShots is that you won’t really be able to achieve a “natural” color so to speak, but wouldn’t you much rather have popping purple highlights rather than boring blonde ones?

So as you can see there are lots of options out there if you’re interested in dying your hair, but you love your hair a little too much to risk damaging it. What are you waiting for? Go and grab an eyeshadow or two!

 

 

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My Hair Does Not Define Who I Am

Is wearing natural hair a professional style? This question is often raised when it comes down to getting a job and interview time. Although my hair does not essentially define who I am, my hair IS a part of me. Accept all of me or none of me, right? I do not intend to be rude about my opinion. I just do not want to work for someone who does not approve of my natural hair. I do not mind the standards of professionalism, but I think natural hair should be accepted as long as it is well-kept and maintained.

In order for you to get a better understanding of why my hair does not define me, I have written a poem that conveys how I view myself and my future. I hope this poem will be an inspiration to someone else. As you read the poem, think about how your natural hair enhances your beauty, but not necessarily affect your goals and aspirations.

 My Hair Does Not Define Who I Am

By: Chekaylah Bradley

I am more than the 4C type

It does not get me where I’m going in life

The kinkiness does not exemplify what I am capable of

Just how I present myself out of love

I am more than the twist outs, braid outs, and wash and go’s

Even more classy than the glamorous afro

I am deeply enriched in intelligence

To support all of my investments

I am more than the olive oil and coconut oil

I’m just in love with my future to which I am loyal

I am concentrated to make it through

Just like the conditioner and shampoo

I am more than the natural hair product

Even though it not working would just be my luck

I am on a bright path towards my future

In which my dreams only need to mature

I am more than the deep conditioning and protein treatments

For my success does not have limits

I am going to be somebody

But I don’t know if the world is ready

I am more than the bad hair days

Because I conquer them in many ways

I am often misunderstood

In fact I knew that I would

I am more than my hair

Including its texture and style that makes people stare

I am only focused on the characteristics and traits that make up my personality

Therefore, my hair does not define who I am most importantly

 

My self-confidence came with time. Since I have been natural for five years, I have had the time to learn about what makes me who I am and realize the value of my self-worth. The next time someone comments negatively about your hair, tell them that your hair does not define who you are. You are more than what can be seen about you from the outside. The only thing people should worry about is what is on the inside of you, such as your character and personality.

Feel free to share this poem with your friends and family.

Does your natural hair define who you are?

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Working Out With Natural Hair

Between school work, extracurricular activities, working and having a social life, going to the gym can seem to be a tedious task and having to consider your hair can also make it pesky. As someone who avidly and likes to work out multiple times a week (I try for daily but no promises), I an assure you that working out and keeping your hair clean and healthy is not as difficult as it may seem. It’s taken me a while to figure out what works for me but figuring what works out for you and your hair is always a trial and error process. Here are some things that have proven to be successful for me in balancing hair and body health:

  1. Stay Organized: In order to incorporate gym trips into your weekly schedule, you will need to know how your week is going to run. If you have a planner, map out what you plan to do each day and see when and where you can fit in times to visit the gym. Once you have that set up you should consider your weekly hair routine and what hairstyles will last the best throughout your gym trips.
  2. Keep a Moisturizing Hair Mist: Your hair will be more prone to dryness due to your sweat so creating a DIY or buying a moisturizing spray is highly recommended. If you want to make your own spray, mixing water, your favorite hair oil and a cheap conditioner to mist your hair with after each workout will keep your hair hydrated and fresh.
  3. Tie Your Hair Back: A loose bun or ponytail or even braiding or twisting your hair back to keep it out of your face will prevent your hair from getting frizzy and tangled from your workouts. It will also stop you from playing with your hair or constantly brushing it aside which causes breakage. I personally like to keep my hair twisted back into a low ponytail because the style that I wear my hair in most of the time since it’s shorter now. When my hair was longer I would always go with a bun. Be sure to use ouch-less ponytail or satin ponytail holders!
  4. Hair Rinses: The most that I ever wash my hair, whether with shampoo or with conditioner, is once a week. If I find that my hair has gotten really dry or just needs to be completely refreshed after a workout, I will simply rinse my hair with nothing but water. This helps clear my hair of sweat and restores moisture into my curls. After a hair rinse, I usually style my hair in bantu knots or flat twists with a light conditioner and style my hair the next day.

All in all, your hair health shouldn’t take precedence over your overall health. Working out often has caused me to keep a simple hair regimen that doesn’t require a lot of time or products. Let me know which tips helped or what you found to be a better alternative!

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Starting From the Bottom: Transitioning to Natural Hair

Let’s rewind back to 2009. If you would have asked me if I would ever get a relaxer and big chop again after my first time going natural, I would have scoffed, rolled my eyes and replied with a simple, “never!” Here I am, 5 years later, natural for the second time: short hair, a good amount of products and confused by the follicles growing out of my scalp. Surely by now I should be used to this but I’m not. Last September I made the decision to relax my hair with the desire for something new and the need to start all over again. I loved it. My hair was straight and flowy as I twirled my signature flip in constantly with a hair straightener. I felt sassier than ever.  As the months went by, my relaxed strands became dull and my natural hair more prevalent. “Oh yeah,” I remember thinking, “my real hair!” After 10 short months of transitioning, my scissor happy hands found themselves snipping away at my color-damaged orange and brown strands 10 minutes before I had to leave for work. What on earth was I doing? If you were to ask me this question every time I did something with my hair I would probably tell you the same thing each time: I have absolutely no idea.”

Starting over is difficult. When I first started to cut my hair for the second time, I was terrified and immediately stopped after snipping off a small section. However, my desire to start over was overwhelming. My relaxed hair was nothing but a memory of all the hurt and difficulty I encountered in my sophomore year and since my junior year was only weeks ago, I told myself that it is only right that I start new with no attachments. So for the second time, I started over.

My second cut may not have been as drastic as my first cut back in 2009 but I am going through the same struggles that I once faced. Seeing myself as beautiful, working out which styles I can do with my hair (I may be African but my braiding skills are not the best) and playing with products and figuring out how to maintain moisturized strands. Coupled with my hectic life schedule and school load, returning to natural again is a lot more difficult than I initially imagined. But day by day, I am getting through it. I am becoming more accustomed to what my hair likes and what is a recipe for a disaster.  Remembering what I once did and finding out new tips and tricks have led me to a place where I am more comfortable with my hair.  I definitely won’t  be returning to my pastime favorite of playing with hair colors. My accumulated damage is what led me to start all over. Instead, I want nothing less than healthy, happy virgin hair that I can grow out to my goal length and more importantly, enjoy! However, hair is an accessory after all and I will still be experimenting with some natural dyes and treatments. I hope that you all can join me on this roller-coaster ride of ups and downs as I ride towards my hair goal of waist length. Stay tuned to my posts on CurlyinCollege  and follow me on my personal networks if you want to see more of me! I am a golden unicorn of magic so expect to see a lot of me!

XOXO-Ivie

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