Monday, October 25, 2010

10 Rules to Control PJism

When I decided to stop chemically processing my hair 2 years ago, I ran through a good amount of products searching for "THE ONE" that would make my hair act right. Woe to the newly natural diva that is trying to find just the right product combination that makes her hair smell like roses, shine like glitter, render her tresses soft as cotton whilst giving her 4-day hair. It’s hard, I tell you. Very, very hard.

Enter the PJs…product junkie-ism.

When I finally found my perfect most acceptable hair care combo, I took stock of what was on my shelves. I counted more than 50 products.


To find what products work for you, you do have to try a lot of stuff. But once you’ve settled on your go-tos, it’s time to reform the product junkie that you have become.

Since I haven’t met a beauty supply store or product aisle that I didn’t like love, I’ve devised 10 simple rules for purchasing hair products on a whim.

  1. Set a time limit. It is easier to exercise restraint when you know that you only have 10-20 minutes to browse. The longer you wander, the more prone you are to dropping items in your basket.

  1. Always enter the store with a budget in mind and stick to it. This is easier said than done, but try. My rule: I don’t pay more than $2 per ounce for any hair product. If it’s an accessory, I don't spend more than $10. I will modify this rule and reward myself if I have exercised restraint on previous trips or if I have mad money. Example: I had $40 to pay for my boys’ haircuts last week but they had their own money and paid for it themselves. So…I purchased Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding on a whim since I had the extra cash. Did I love it? Yes…and no. Details later.

  1. Don’t browse for products when you are out of your normal go-to stuff. If your standard products aren’t stocked on your shelf at home, you’ll get amnesia and rationalize why you NEED to try that new deep conditioner when you know good and well that your standard does the trick. You know the saying, “Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry?” Same rationale.

  1. Always visit the clearance or discontinued section, if one is available. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what you find most times and can end up getting more bang for your buck.

  1. Don’t discount the “cheapie” drug store brands or shy away from “cones” and other “bad” ingredients. My hair loves some of the “no-no” ingredients that a lot of naturals say you should ban. Conversely, I’ve purchased some all natural stuff that did nothing for me. Do you.

  1. Don’t purchase products that have ingredients that your hair does not like no matter what kind of recommendations you get from your girlfriends, message boards, videos, commercials or print ads. What’s my “no-no” ingredient you ask? Protein. My hair was feeling dry and wiry for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out why. I started reading the labels of all my “natural” products and quickly found a common denominator…protein. No matter how high or low on the product list if I see it listed, I don’t buy it. I tested my rule and bought something anyway because protein was daggone near the end of the list and I still got the dry, wiry hair.

  1. Do your research prior to entering the store. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by all of those choices. Browse and have fun, but having a little knowledge on some brands will assist you into easily picking them or passing them up. If you’re a stickler about 100% natural products, why are you looking at other stuff?

  1. Exercise buyer’s remorse BEFORE you buy. If you put a lot of stuff in your basket, 5 minutes before your allotted time is up, think rationally and start weeding things out. I’m generally an impulse shopper. I love throwing things in the basket. But take stock of everything you put in your basket right before you head to check out and consider the cost. Do you really need yet another decorative flower…in black?

  1. Don’t use a shopping basket. This limits how much you can carry and ultimately, limits how much you buy.

  1. Take a small child or pesky teenager along with you. If I’m at a store with my teenage boys or with my hungry niece, the minute they see me v-lining for the product aisle eyes begin to roll and deep sighs commence. Those gestures alone let me know that they’ll be nagging and complaining while I browse yet AGAIN and is usually the one thing that will make me scrap my plans and move on.

Anything to add?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Running Towards a Goal

Let me be clear, I am NOT a fan of running. So ask me why I’m going to run my first 5k in November?

Go ahead…ask!

Well, I’m going to run a 5k because I can. Plain and simple. Actually, it’s not really all about the race. This race is a symbol, if you will. I have another goal in mind and I’m conditioning myself and training myself over the next few months so I can reach it. And since running has been known to be a thorn in my side and something I never thought I could do with success, I’m using this race to prove to myself that


I’ve been online and read a few beginner running plans and have pretty much taken what they said and modified it a little. My goal is to run the entire race in November and not walk. But if I should walk, the goal is to finish in less than an hour. I know I should just choose one, but in life, sometimes you have to switch gears a bit to reach the ultimate goal.


So this morning, The Kirk texts me at 5:15AM asking are we running today. My first thought was NO. You see, I have a problem with getting up in the morning when it is pitch black outside. Darkness equates to night in my mind and night means sleep. But I knew better. It’s no time like the present and if I shrugged it off today, I’d certainly shrug it off tomorrow. So I sent him a return text (he’s only upstairs, mind you) and tell him that I’ll be ready in 15 minutes and to wake up The Last , since he wanted to run too.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m still in bed and I get a knock at my door.

“We’re ready”.

*deep sigh*

I tell them I’m coming and hop out of bed, throw on my yoga pants, sports bra, t-shirt and shoes and walk upstairs.

We stretch.

I knew in my mind what my goal was: run/walk – 5 minute warm up, walk briskly for 90 seconds and run for 60 seconds. I didn’t know what my distance would be.

We started. The Last told me to “JUST RUN”. And I quickly let them know that unless they wanted to carry me home, I need to go at my pace to avoid injury and frustration. He then says, “Well when you get tired, just push through it”. Sounds good, in theory, but I had a plan and I didn’t want to deviate from it too much. As long as I reach my goal, I’m good. I told him to go on and I’d catch up at some point. Their goal was to run 1.5 miles to our local convenience store and back – 3 miles. I knew better and figured I’d run/walk about 1.5 miles total.

I start with the walk and quickly nix the idea of walking for 90 seconds. Seemed too long. I start jogging…but, slowly. I do this for one block because it’s too dark to be looking down at my watch and I can’t lose my pace. I don’t know much, but I do know that when you run, pace and rhythm are key. The boys had their iPods. I wasn’t smart enough to remember that so guess what song I ran to in my head: The Bedroom Intruder Song…”he’s climbing in yo windows, he’s snatching yo peepo up…” Thank God for Antoine. LOL

There was only one major snafu on today’s walk/run. Leg itching.!

I have experienced this feeling before during brisk walks. It is the most awefulest, irritatingest feeling in the world. Feels like I could scratch my legs to the white meat. I’ve consulted Google about this matter and well, it’s not an unusual occurrence.


If you exercise consistently, you have healthy arteries and capillaries that allow for maximum blood passage. If you are unfit, or have not exercised in awhile, then the capillaries can start to collapse. So when you start exercising again, the capillaries basically struggle to open back up which cause the nerves to create an itching sensation. This usually goes away once your body gets used to exercising. (Contributor, caramel825)

This makes sense to me. And when I think back to when I was really consistent with my exercise routine I remember the itching in the beginning but after a couple weeks of consistent exercise, it did disappear.

But let me tell you that today, I wanted to stop at the first sign of the itch. Because the last time it happened, I scratched my legs so much until red streaks appeared. Not cute! But then I remembered reading this blog post yesterday about a woman who just finished running the Chicago marathon. A good ways into the race, she felt soreness in her IT Band and what she did was recognize the pain and then leave it. She said, “…if we dwell on the pain in a race, we won’t get passed it and then we let our mind WIN!” So I acknowledged the itch and I moved on.

It worked!

All in all, I ran/walked about 2 miles today in 30 minutes. I felt great! I stretched afterwards and started my day.


Let’s just pray it remains this way.