What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

porosity

Did you know that we can moisturize our hair with water alone? Water is actually very essential to the health of our hair; that’s why we like to see it as the first ingredient in our hair products. We can wash our hair and scalp with water. This method is known as the Water only method which a lot of curly heads swear by. Water can even tell us when we apply too little, too much or when we need to replenish. But what water is really telling us is our hair’s porosity level.

Porosity is the measure at which our hair can absorb moisture and retain it. Each of our hair strands are made up of three important sections, the Cuticle (outer layer), the cortex (middle layer) and the medulla (most inner layer). Our cuticles lift depending on the amount of manipulation or processing your hair receives. Lifted cuticles allow moisture or water to penetrate and escape from our hair which is why some of us feel like our hair dries out very quickly. The more open the hair cuticles, naturally the more porous the hair as it can receive more water. But just as quick as porous hair receives moisture, the moisture escapes from the hair just as quickly.  This is why porosity plays a big role in reaching our maximum growth potential. It forces us to care for our hair according to our specific porosity level.

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There are a few tell signs that let us know immediately what our hair’s porosity level is. Luckily these signs are visible to the human eye so you’ll be able to figure out your porosity level after reading this blog post.

Learn your hair’s porosity by taking our short Porosity test!

1. Do beads of water collect at the ends of your hair just after washing?

YES       NO

2. Is it difficult for your hair to absorb moisture quickly?

YES       NO

3. Does your hair absorb moisture easily?

YES       NO

4. Do you struggle with retaining moisture?

YES       NO

5. Does it take a while for your hair to dry?

YES       NO

RESULTS

LOW Porosity = If you answered mostly YES, you have LOW porosity hair.

HIGH Porosity = If you answered mostly NO, you have HIGH porosity hair.

MEDIUM Porosity = If your answers were in between YES and NO, you have MEDIUM porosity hair.

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Characteristics of LOW porosity

  • Small beads of water collect at the ends of the hair strands
  • Water/moisture does not easily penetrate hair strands
  • Hair cuticles lay flat not allowing moisture in or out so alternative methods are used to help lift the hair’s cuticles
  • You usually do not have to moisturize hair again for at least 3 days

TIPS:

  • Warm up your conditioner before use or apply warm water to hair prior to applying a conditioner or moisturizer for more penetrating results.
  • Use indirect heat (green house method, hooded dryer, steamer, etc) to open the hair cuticles, allowing moisture, protein and nutrients to reach the cortex.
  • Squeeze and smooth moisture into hair with palms
  • Add oils to conditioner for deeper conditioning
  • Try the L.O.C. method of moisturizing

Characteristics of HIGH porosity hair

  • Hair absorbs water or moisture almost immediately
  • hair feels dry even after applying moisturizer
  • color treated or chemically processed hair
  • lifted cuticles

TIPS

  • Do protein treatments to seal the gaps of the lifted cuticle. This allows the hair to accept moisture easier
  • monitor your hair’s moisture and protein levels as too much moisture can make the hair just as supple and weak as dry hair
  • Try protective styling to prevent manipulating the hair so often
  • Always use a water based moisturizer or pure water alone then seal with a butter or oil. See our plant based hair products here

Characteristics & Tips of MEDIUM porosity

  • Can experience qualities of both low and medium
  • alternate between deep conditioning and a protein treatment each wash session

I hope you learn something new about your hair every time you leave here. Until next time My Sweets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.2-Treatments & Protective Styles

Treatments

We usually apply a treatment to our hair when all else fails or periodically and consistently if we love our hair and want it to love us back. What are treatments you ask? The activity of small but mighty microscopic bonds joining together to restore and defend the health and balance of our hair strands and scalp. It’s truly science at work. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments we consider the norm in the natural curly hair community.

Protein Treatment (frequency: monthly)

Protein bonds help fill the gaps of where our hair cuticles are fragile. Protein treatments help our damaged hair strands absorb and retain water more efficiently. Just as we have different curl patterns on our head, we also have different porosity levels in different areas of our head. Porosity deals with your hair’s ability to hold onto moisture. Because of the nature of our hair cuticles opening and closing, the more open your cuticles are, the more porous your hair is and the more water is able to escape.

Typically if your hair is very porous (high porosity) it absorbs water too quickly and constantly needs moisture applied. Frequent protein treatments fill those gaps  Medium porosity hair can retain and absorb moisture just fine. However, monthly protein treatments are still good. Low porosity hair is difficult to absorb moisture and needs steam to open the hair cuticles to allow moisture in. However, once moisture is absorbed, it stays for a while.

There are different protein treatments on the market today like Aphogee. My personal favorite is Green Beauty’s REAL Protein treatment.

Hot oil Treatment (frequency: 2-4 weeks)

I especially love hot oil treatments in the cooler months when your hair and scalp tend to be the driest due to the lack of moisture in the air and low temperatures. My scalp tends to attract build up and get dry quickly and while I refrain from using too much oil on it now, my hair can still benefit. A hot oil treatment is just a mixture of your favorite oils heated up and applied directly to the scalp and hair strands for the ultimate moisture boost. Put on a plastic cap and let the oil get into the hair shaft as your body heat creates steam and lifts the hair cuticles. You can add oil to your shampoo so that it isn’t so drying or take your deep conditioning sesh to the next level.

We handcraft a super hydrating and lightweight oil which is how it got its name, Supersonic Hair Tonic. We fill each bottle with organic essential oils and other botanical ingredients like coconut oil, Argan and Jojoba oils. Our new line will be infused with dried medicinal herbs so be on the look out for these total luxurious hair and body oil blends.

 Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (frequency: when needed)

Dandruff is a layer of dead skin cells that sit on top of the scalp. It forms due to the scalp’s inability to produce a natural oil known as sebum at a normal rate. When natural oils cannot be produced on the scalp it results in a dry and itchy scalp, similar to how ash appears on the epidermis (skin). When scratched, the dead skin cells on the scalp will flake off. It’s not dangerous but it can be unsightly and embarrassing. Unfortunately there is no cure for dandruff and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek a dermatologist prior to attempting to treat this condition with store bought anti-dandruff treatments. This could make your symptoms worse or create a problem that was never there in the first place. Instead try all natural treatments like an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse or the use of essential oils.

For a natural remedy to dandruff I recommend ACV or mixing tea tree essential oil in your shampoo. About 6 drops per ounce is the 1% recommended ratio. If you experience itchy scalp or see flakes, add 6 drops of tea tree essential oil to an ounce of distilled water and spritz your scalp every day until the itching subsides. Tea tree oil and ACV are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so they help fight the symptoms of dandruff. You can also just apply organic apple cider vinegar with the Mother to your scalp and let it sit for a few hours then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Other treatments

These are some oldie but goodie treatments that are not as popular anymore but they’re still effective.

Onion Juice Treatment

Inversion Method

Maximum Hydration Method

Protective Styling

Now that you have restored balance to your hair and scalp, don’t you want to protect it and put it away for a little while? I know I do. If I don’t throw in some braids, Im wearing two flat twists for the week or if I’m feeling it, I’ll rock medium sized Two-strand twists for a few weeks so I can have a super defined twist out later. Whatever your preference, tucking away your ends via protective styling is the best way to ensure healthy hair. However, there are some pros and cons to everything that’s good in life right?

Pros

  • Low maintenance hair care for a month or two
  • More time on your hands
  • Less time to prepare
  • The best accessory for that fresh OOTD
  • Keep your hands out of your hair
  • Hair grows A LOT

Cons

  • Tight braiding can cause alopecia and balding
  • Tension can cause damaged hair follicles
  • Itchy
  • Neglecting hair underneath

Protective styling is a curly girls/guys saving grace. Just don’t get so accustomed that you neglect your actual hair underneath. Continue to follow the three steps in Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen just water down the shampoo and conditioner and I guarantee your hair will thank you. And if you’re worried about your style frizzing out, I have some tips and tricks for that too. See you soon.

Thanks for dropping by. If you found this information interesting or helpful, leave a comment and let’s chat!

xo, Andy

 

Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen

Happy Fall everyone. It’s that time again. Take a second to look at your hair care regimen. Maybe its time to swap out some products for some more moisturizing ones and hopefully learn some good and natural habits too.

I love delving into this topic because there is so much to cover but for now, we will only discuss hair care for the fall and winter months.

I find out all too often that many of my Andy Candy customers and fellow naturally curly haired ladies and fellas have no clue about the basics of a good hair care regimen. I think not having one is the most intimidating part about going natural for the first time.

What is A Hair Care Regimen?

A hair care regimen is a routine to which one commits to maintain the health and nourishment of the hair and scalp (Quote me Webster lol). Having a hair care regimen will definitely smooth away any of that anxiety you get about your hair “looking” a mess or it being too dry and hard to manage. A good regimen is not in the products we use but the techniques we apply while using those products. Let’s take a look at some.

Cleanse (frequency: 2 weeks- One Month)

Every 2 weeks to a month you’ll want to cleanse your hair and scalp with a plant based and pH balanced liquid shampoo or an all natural no-poo or a shampoo bar (your preference). You catch my drift, a cleanser. A CLEANser is like starting with a CLEAN slate as it pulls the oils and all the nutrients and buildup from the scalp.

Most store bout cleansers that contain sulfates like sodium laureth and sodium lauryl (SLS) strip the hair completely of its nutrients leaving the strands dry or brittle for some people. Plant based shampoos and no-poos that contain organic or ethically sourced ingredients are great alternatives for this problem. Not only do truly organic products render the greatest benefits to our hair and scalp, they will penetrate the hair strands as opposed to just coating them like products with silicons tend to do. Read this if you’re curious to how that works.

During the fall and winter, this technique is good to do monthly or sooner depending on if your scalp needs it. After applying products throughout the weeks, you will want to CLEANse to get your natural oils (sebum) flowing again. I put emphasis on scalp because the scalp is the only place we should directly apply shampoo as to not disturb its natural pH which can bring nasty bacteria. Keep this up and you will have healthy and strong hair from the root.

Condition/Deep Condition (frequency: weekly)

After we cleanse we MUST DEEP CONDITION EVERY SINGLE TIME, Follow this rule even if you think your hair feels moisturized. Your hair needs that moisture and those nutrients put back into it, so this step cannot be skipped even if you don’t use a shampoo. Don’t shampoo? No excuse not to deep condition. There are plenty of clarifying and cleansing conditioners that give our hair strands a reboot and removes the leave-ins, lotions and potions applied throughout the week. It’s good to just wash your hair with a conditioner each week even if it is not time for a shampoo session. If you find that you get build up easily like myself, use a cleansing conditioner each week or an all natural no-poo then deep condition.

Regardless of your hair type, all hair needs moisture and all conditioners are NOT the same. Some conditioners won’t penetrate as deeply so be sure to always follow up with a deep conditioner and let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes under a plastic cap prior to rinsing. I know, plastic-yikes! There are not very many eco-friendly alternatives to this method so to get great results and still be kind to mother Earth, reuse the same plastic bag each week for now. Here is a link to my favorite D.I.Y and vegan deep conditioner. It’s totally free from chemicals and harmless to the planet.

This technique is very critical especially during the fall and winter. When it’s cold out, do you feel how your lips get chapped and your hands get super dry? The same happens to our hair. This is why it’s important not to skip wash day to get rid of the heavy products we use throughout the week. Especially never forget to follow up with a deep conditioner.

Moisturize & Seal (frequency: Daily)

Do this if you don’t do anything else, PLEASE! It is critical to keep curly hair moisturized which is why we deep condition with a really good hydrating conditioner and moisturize and seal more frequently than we do anything else to our hair. Do this every day as a beginner and you can dial it back when you learn your hair a little better. For me I can now wait up to 3 days before moisturizing and sealing again. This is called reaching moisture retention.

To moisturize and seal, take a section of your hair and a quarter sized amount of moisturizer (more or less depending on the length of your hair). Smooth the moisturizer into your hair between your palms. Then take another dime sized amount of a sealing oil like our Andy Candy Supersonic Hair Tonic and apply it to the ends of your hair for long lasting moisture. This is how I go 3 days without moisturizing- I seal in my moisture with my AC oil or my Andy Candy Butter Me Up whipped Shea butter.

Now I’m going to stop here because this has gotten wordier than I expected. These techniques are suitable for all hair types and they are a sure way to help you get started if you are new to the natural hair community. These techniques will also keep you on the right track if you are more experienced. For my beginners, take a look here for the perfect starter kit to help jumpstart your healthy natural hair journey.

Other tips

  • Give yourself time to follow these techniques to the T. I reserve the weekend for my wash days and I divide each technique by day. So Saturdays I will wash and deep condition and Sundays I will Moisturize and seal and style my hair for the week. Then do it again next Saturday and Sunday.
  • Wrap your hair in a satin or silk head wrap every night so the moisture you just sealed in won’t come off on your cotton pillow.
  • Keep a hair journal and document your hair phases and how your hair responds to certain products.
  • Keep your hands out of your hair during the week, follow these steps and watch it grow like a weed.

Catch me same time next week for Part 2 of this series where I will cover treatments and protective styling- the real fun stuff!

Until then check out our Etsy shop, Andy Candy for your personal care needs!

xo, Andy

My Plastic Free Experience-Tips, Tricks and Takeaways

My Plastic Free Experience-Tips, Tricks and Takeaways

We are still practicing sustainable living after our enlightening yet at times challenging #PlasticFreeJuly. I can honestly say that I have learned a few valuable lessons after that experience. Although I was aware of our outrageous and conscious consumption of things that typically carried a useful life of a year or less, I was not aware of our level of consumption for plastic and this happened completely subconsciously.

My boyfriend, Sammy and I decided (mostly I decided) to join yet another “do gooder” cause during the month of July called Plastic Free July. The explanation is all in the name but if you must know, Plastic Free July is a radical environmentally and socially conscious movement to Reduce, reuse and recycle our single use plastic to save our oceans. The marine life, our ecosystems and this planet is at risk. According to Business Insider, By  2050, the oceans could have more plastic than fish. I know what some of you are thinking. Here’s another tree hugging veg trying to make me feel bad about global warming and eating meat. Wrong! (Although, we should feel bad about cruelty of any kind). I’m not a veg, I still working on not eating meat because I love Mother Earth and I want to do better.

And so began my first lesson.

Zero waste does not exist2018-09-15 01.41.36 1.jpgThere is plastic all around us. However, we can reduce our waste with reusable items and by supporting companies that encourage environmental and social awareness. There are tons of options we have access to, like bulk food grocers and farmers markets. If you don’t have either in your community, there are plenty of bulk food groups, co-ops, community gardens and local farms near. Just check social media.

Some places are willing to have you pick up a batch of their fresh harvest and some times the surplus is even free. Some community gardens will allow you to compost your own scraps to really help you reduce your waste by turning it into plant food! So make friends. Get to know your local farmers and herbalists because they have some of the most ethically sourced and fresh seasonal produce that our bodies love.

I don’t know about you but there is something fulfilling about cooking and eating fresh and whole food ingredients. I mean have you had farm fresh eggs before? BIG DIFFERENCE. You maybe able to save your egg cartons and bring them back for a refill. (How’s that for zero waste)?

The other option you have is to grow your own food. You’ll see the terms permaculture and homesteading float around a bit too to help give you some ideas. Growing your own food would be a nice challenge to test out that green thumb of yours and see what you can grow this season, you may even love it. My dad gave it a try and now he can’t stop growing stuff and sharing his harvest with friends and family. But if you don’t have the means to do this, volunteering at your community garden is a great start and a lot of fun.

Takeaway: Buy bulk, local and fresh ingredients. Usually these items are cost efficient. Keep your reusable bags in your car and bring them inside with you to save even more just by bringing your own bag (B.Y.O.B). Whole Foods takes a little off your bill when you do this and they offer 10% off certain items for Prime members when you download the Whole Foods app (totally not sponsored)… AND they will even wrap your meats in paper only or let you bring in your own containers versus using plastic. Either way, keeping your bags in your car, prevents you from taking home any plastic bags and saves you and the planet at the same dang time.

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As your curiosity grows for this never ending world of sustainability you will start to discover more jargon and like I did, you’ll learn your limits of how much you’re willing to commit. Now don’t get me wrong, I support the zero minimal waste movement but it is very restricting as a beginner and a bit overwhelming. It can also be expensive if you let it.

I quickly learned not to go buy bamboo toothbrushes and safety razors so quickly (although I eventually broke down and bought a razor). I still didn’t ditch all my perfectly fine tupperware for stainless steel tiffins in one day. Not only were these swaps pricey, I already had a cute lunchbox and fully functioning tupperware that I just wasn’t ready to part with until I knew of what made this movement so important. So I swapped as I needed.

Sam and I did make small permanent changes at first and we each bought a reusable stainless steel water bottle which I love! Sammy got himself a stainless steel coffee cup but I am fine with making my tea at work with an old fashioned mug. I even use my mug for other purposes like making oatmeal. We also switched to filtered water after recycling the last of our plastic water bottles. This was the first step we made because I just hated seeing all those bottles collect in the back seat of my car and knowing that I was part of this growing plastic problem. Just to give you an idea of how frugal yet committed I was, I carried our silverware to work until I repurposed these cute bamboo utensils I was using for an old unfinished D.I.Y. We still pack our lunches in plastic tupperware because it’s what we have on hand. We say no to straws since we really don’t need them and we now compost and have a separate recycling bin.

After all, the movement is about reducing your plastic consumption, reusing what you have including plastic (if that’s what you have) and recycling your waste. If you make a mistake and buy that triple chocolate fudge brownie wrapped in cellophane, recycle it and do better next time. The idea is to be a conscious consumer and instead of shopping off impulse, ask yourself “where does this go once it leaves my hands?” or #whomademyclothes?

Takeaway: Don’t be so eager to follow the trend as this movement is about reducing your waste and reusing what you already have for a different function. Instead of buying new things, make a list of what you want to buy, take an audit of what you have and see what can be re-purposed. Example: I re-purpose old sauce (mason) jars to fill up with bulk items.

TIP: To remove the label from old containers, wash with warm soapy water and peel back the label. To remove the residual adhesive, wipe down with olive oil.

Get Educated 

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I know right, what do clothes have to do with being less wasteful? As Our demand grows steadily for new garments and new tech so does the demand for time and harsh working conditions for those who make them. in 2003 of the Rana Plaza collapse, over 1,000 garment factory workers lost their lives after being forced to continue working in an unstable and and unpermitted building, if not, they would lose their jobs.

On April 24, 2013 the building collapsed due to the constant vibrations of heavy machinery and an already unstable building structure. There were 1,134 fatalities and 2,500 injured patrons.

The #whomademyclothes movement runs in tandem with being zero waste and conscious because as we stop and ask ourselves this question, we force ourselves to see  think twice about buying new clothes because doing so indirectly exploits human rights. Shop sustainable brands instead or shop second hand. It’s like voting with our dollars. If we stop buying/supporting fast fashion, these big companies stop producing as much and over working their employees for pennies on the dollar.

To combat these sustainability issues, we can upcycle, donate or even resell our clothes to prevent them from going into a landfill where they will not compost and further produce green house gases from the chemicals and materials used to create them (polyester). We can also shop second hand. These days there are many conscious businesses that help support this cause and I know of a designer consignment shop in my area that sells only second hand high fashion and there are plenty more sustainable brands that create new and beautiful eco-friendly pieces.

I personally, have found some gems from my thrifting adventures and I love that I can keep the extra money in my pocket that I would have otherwise spent paying for that item at market value. But, we’ll talk about my thrifting and money managing tricks in another post. I love being just as economically conscious as I do being environmentally and socially conscious.

Let’s not leave off the tech and the aviation industries with their green house gasses mucking up the clean air and the ozone. If you’re interested in how a Netflix binge or your last instafamous excursion to some unknown island are piloting our one way ticket to global warming, read here and here.

Did you know that in 2017 Burberry burned over millions of dollars in off season merchandise just to keep their clothes from going on sale or being handed down to a discount store for a lesser value?

Takeaway: Shop second hand and make it fun to see how much money you save each thrift trip versus how much you would spend paying the retail price. While doing so, try to down size and reduce your clutter by replacing your old rags with your new ones. If you have a fetish for fashion, choose which items you cant live without and donate the rest. There are still lots of people struggling after 2017 natural disasters and many 501 (c) organizations and consignments that would graciously accept gently used clothes.

So there you have it. I could list a million more reasons why it’s a good idea to live more consciously and incorporate minimal waste habits into our daily lives or why we should at least consider it, but I’ll leave that up to you.

Feel free to drop me line in the comments. As a beginner, I am open to hear more on green living and sustainable suggestions and experiences.

xo, Andy

Prague, Czech Republic- All for $582

Prague, Czech Republic- All for $582

What’s up! Are you looking for a Travelers adventure or are you the type to read travel blogs on end and scroll through the picturesque Instagram feeds of inspiring vagabonds, tagging their posts to your ‘Bucket List’ Collection archive like I do? This year, I took that leap. I gave up on the wishing, dreaming and vision boarding this year, partly because I just didn’t make the time to complete my board and mostly because all the things I envisioned started to manifest as soon as the new year began. Guys, I am here to tell you, skip that step and just do it already! Yea I know it’s easier said than done but because I love you all so much, I am going to give you some tips and tricks that I applied that got me all the way to Prague, Czech Republic.

While this opportunity was by total luck, the budgeting and preliminary steps for it was planned and the most important part. So do you want to know how I traveled through Europe for only $582? Keep reading.

First, I have to shout out my cousin Jazz a.k.a my Travel Buddy for sharing her awesome and scholarly news in the family group chat and asking if any of us would be down to accompany her on a week long Euro-trip free of lodging charges. (I told you it was by total luck).

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1. Get a Passport

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Okay for the preliminary steps of how this whole thing kicked into gear started by getting a passport of course. This little blue book can take up to 6 weeks and depending on where you are going, your passport may need to be in active status for at least 6 months! There are lots of locations to choose from when you apply for your passport like the post office and the tax collectors’ office. Make sure you have a lot of patience, 2 forms of ID- a birth certificate and a drivers license, $150 and more patience. You can set an appointment if you have enough time before your trip and this may save you from the long wait.

2. Get an International Data Plan

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Check with your cell phone carrier and inquire about an international data plan. There are alternatives if you want to save a few bucks. You can get another sim card, download WhatsApp but you will need a reliable wifi connection everywhere you go for this option or just simply unplug. The international data plan came in very handy because not every place in Prague had wifi. Not to mention it was pretty spotty at times and irritating when I wanted to “facetime” my family the city and post on the gram.

Verizon offers the Travel Pass for just $10 a day. After turning your phone on roam it will send you a text noting when your time expires (24 hours). It draws from your existing data plan so keep in mind not use all of your data before your trip or you will be stuck connecting to the spotty wifi like all the other tourists wherever you go if there is a hotspot at all.

Which brings me to my next preliminary tip!

3. Get an adapter and/or converter.

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What’s that you ask my fellow clueless first time vagabonds like myself. Here is a very simple run down. The outlets are very different abroad because of the voltage. Here in America the standard voltage is 120V whereas in most of Europe it is about 200V+. Unless you want your devices blowing up, you need a CONVERTER to CONVERT our voltage from 120V to a higher voltage. You then will need to hook that converter into an adapter that has prongs to fit the outlet of wherever you will be, hook your phone charger up to the contraption, plug it into the wall and voila you’ve got power! Luckily most devices have a built in converter so all you will need is the adapter piece which will cost you way less than having to purchase both the converter and the adapter. I’m a bit of a techie but my frugality supersedes all of that so I searched for some good ones and found a very inexpensive adapter on Amazon for less than $8! You’re welcome =)

 

4. Budget Budget Budget!

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This was probably the most I spent on anything the entire trip.

This part is probably my favorite. It truly speaks to that dorky accountant in me. I can literally crunch out calculations all day for no reason at all. But it served a purpose for me this time. Can you believe I traveled through Europe for a week with only $582? The timing for the trip was impeccable that I was able to use my tax refund for the airline ticket and my passport so all of the $582 was used towards spending money for the entire week. To be more precise I converted 454 USD for 125 Euros and 6,100 Czech Koruna prior to leaving to avoid any crazy currency exchange charges. I probably could have gotten away with exchanging less because I did go back with some cash but those made some nice souvenirs. But, here’s how you can make that money stretch. In the beginning, I used my Czech cash for whatever but as time went on I started to use my credit card for points! lol no but to save my cash for street vendors and some dope ass souvenirs. My credit card charges totaled $128. Combined with what I exchanged before I left, my entire trip came to $582! That is one hell of a deal. $582 may sound like a lot but I had no idea what to expect for my first time and TripAdvisor gave me some solid advice to budget at least 1,000CZK per day which was about accurate. Between the site seeing, eating and tipping 10% on top of every 600CZK meal, and the fact that they charge for water and a to-go box (lmao), it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides, you can always hang on to the money and get it converted back to USD when you return. I’d still like to challenge myself to travel for less than $582 next time.

Bank of America ships your currency the same day if ordered by 2pm. For a small shipping fee, it can take 3-7 days to arrive to your mailbox or to a Bank of America facility near you. Mine arrived in about 24 hours max. You can also notify your bank that you are abroad via the app in less than 2 minutes so that you can begin using your credit/debit card right away.

5. Register with the U.S. Embassy

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This last step is optional, I didn’t do it but you can notify the U.S. Embassy of when you depart and arrive. Signing up for the STEP program allows you to stay abreast of any current issues happening around just incase some crazy shit goes down. Also it is helpful to download a translator app just so you’re not completely lost communicating in the native tongue. Plus its always respectful when you try to recognize another culture that is not your own. Learn a few catch phrases like “Thank you,” “Yes,” “No,” before you arrive because the second you’re off that plane, the culture shock is real.

Now that you’re ready to go, check back in next week for part two where I’ll list some exciting activities, food (mmm… European pastries) and the overly dope air bnb that we called home for the week right in Old Town.

xo, Andy

Wash ‘N Go-For VERY Kinky Coily Hair

Wash ‘N Go-For VERY Kinky Coily Hair

Back again, My Sweets! I am very ecstatic about this post because as we Naturals know, the Wash ‘N Go is more like a Wash ‘N Wait and can be a journey in its own. So let’s embark! This past weekend I attempted my second wash ‘n go and boiii did I discover something new about my hair! This lead me to explore more styling options and really dig deeper into the science behind my coils, kinks and curls.

FUN FACT: This post is very old guys. I actually wrote this on February 29, 2016. I was confused because there are only 28 days in February but I checked. That was a leap day!

*** Most of these ingredients in each step, I had on hand so please do not run out and get anything if you do not have it. Step 3 and on is the most critical to achieve this style with super definition so alter these measurements as you see fit. Always remember the amount of definition is your preference. =) Let’s get started!

Preparation

STEP ONE: Make your Bentonite Clay Mud (or hmu here and I can make you a custom one).

            Materials/Ingredients:

  1. Bentonite Clay
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Distilled or purified water
  4. Non-metal spoon
  5. Large non-metal bowl

Add 2 T of Bentonite clay, 2 T of ACV, 4 T of water and mix with a spoon until you achieve your desired consistency.

STEP TWO: Make Aloe Vera Juice Leave-in (You can hmu here about this too).

            Materials/Ingredients

  1. Aloe Vera Juice, Whole Leaf (KEEP REFRIGERATED)
  2. Distilled or purified water
  3. Spritz bottle

Add the above ingredients to your spritz bottle, shake and set aside

Other ingredients that you do not have to make, include:

Andy Candy Supersonic Hair-Tonic

Styling Gel

Deep Conditioner

HERE WE GO…

STEP THREE: Detangle and section your hair. Dampen each section with your spritz and apply the bentonite clay mud (step 1) to your hair. Coat every possible strand as best as you can. You should begin to see definition. Let mixture harden on hair for 10 mins before rinsing out.

 

STEP FOUR: Rinse mud from hair with little to no touching with your hands. This prevents the curl pattern from being disturbed. Let the water do all of the work until the water runs clear. HELLO SQUEAKY CLEAN HAIR!

 

STEP FIVE: Apply deep conditioner of your choice, smoothing (praying hands) conditioner into hair. Wrap hair with a plastic cap for 5 mins.

 

STEP SIX: Rinse the conditioner from your hair. Again, little to no touching of your hair.

 

STEP SEVEN: Spray your aloe vera leave-in spritz all over your head (step 3) and apply oil mixture, sealing in the moisture (step 2). Rinse the excess oil from hair. NO TOUCHING. =)

 

STEP EIGHT: Smooth in your favorite styling gel using the praying hands method.

images
IG: @Natashaleeds

 

STEP NINE: Clump your curls (shaking your head without breaking your neck) You should see extreme definition and your curls clumping and elongating. (This step can be messy you can go outside or wrap a t-shirt over your head. I didn’t care. I just cleaned the mess).

 

Let hair air dry, diffuse or use a hooded dryer and voila! YOU’RE DONE QUEEN/ KING! 

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IG: @andycandy.co

xo, Andy

Masks & Mimosas

Masks & Mimosas

Andy Candy marked a milestone last weekend and the vision board isn’t even complete yet! It was so liberating. So rewarding. So sensational to vend our first event and it was a curly hair event at that! We sold out of our oils and butters with just a few samples left over. I really hope you all love your products as much as we do and find the benefit and purpose for Andy Candy in your hair and skin care regimen.

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Photos by @arosita

This opportunity came quickly after a month or so of opening our shop on Etsy and could not have come at a more perfect time. I started following this local photographer, Abby from the Tampa area. One day she posted a video about natural hair and of course I wanted to show love. She inboxed me about a curly hair event she was having and the rest was history. (Real genuine networking at work huh???) I was anxious at first when Abby asked me to participate but I knew that if I didn’t seize that moment, I would really regret it and be so disappointed in myself. Check out this podcast (scroll to 5:51) by Lavendaire that I listened to pretty recently to help me face those kinds of moments.

We arrived to Masks & Mimosas at 10am Saturday for the vendor setup. Thankfully my best friend came with me to help because I really could not have done it without her. The event started at 11am and we started selling at 11am. Andy Candy was flying off the fixtures despite that I left one of my fixtures at home that morning. Surprisingly the two scents I was planning on discontinuing made a huge comeback and were our top sellers so we’re going to revamp those a little and keep them around a little while longer. Stay tuned for that!

I was asked to be a vendor and guest panelist where I’d give my 5-10 introduction about Andy Candy. At first I wasn’t too comfortable with doing that but I knew that if I just gave myself the chance and spoke my truth as if I were having a conversation with the people, it’d be much easier. So I practiced my words the entire week leading up to the event and sure enough when the time came, the words flowed. There was so much love and good energy in the place that the next day I received a message from a young woman who was so inspired by my story that she big chopped! The event was so dope and well ran by the GroWithYourFro Group. There was a beautifully decorated table with whole foods and fresh fruits for our DIY hair and face masks and endless bubbles poured all day topping off our mimosas. It was a laid back networking atmosphere with a bunch of rising artists and small businesses in the Tampa Bay area and we all gathered there at Due Amici’s for 2 common goals: healthy hair and to show genuine support for one another.

Mission accomplished.

Here are some Tips to Success I learned from preparing for my first event

  1. Tablecloth measurements (with full drop) WxLxH Total Width= Width of surface of table + the height on either side, Total Length= Length of surface of table + the height on either side Standard 6ft banquet table= 90x132x30″
  2. Use your resources and contacts to delegate tasks to those willing to help
  3. If you have to publically speak, freestyle it, then write it, then practice saying it in different places the way you wold perform it live. Practicing in front of people is also helpful.
  4. Believe In Yourself but don’t take yourself too seriously.
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