I failed the healthy hair quiz

I found the Healthy Hair Quiz at Women’s Health Magazine. My professors would be disappointed in my grade…

Q: How long is your hair?

A: Long

Women with a wider distance between their roots and ends are more likely to have more damaged locks than those with shorter styles, said trichologist David H. Kingsley.

Q: How often do you cut your hair?

A: Every six months

Vow to maintain that mane with trims every four to six weeks. It’s the best way to keep split ends from traveling their way up your strands.

The article also advised women with long hair to use a rinse-out and leave-in conditioner to protect hair.

Q: How do you choose shampoo?

A: Sometimes I pick the good stuff. Other times I buy what’s on sale.

According to the article, you can shampoo your hair daily without suffering too much damage, but you have to use a formula that’s made for your hair. I need to use a shampoo meant for dry, damaged hair. I also need to use a shampoo that won’t weigh my hair down because it is so thin.

Q: How do you dry your hair?

A: Sweating under the high heat of my blow dryer

“An extremely hot blow dryer actually boils the water in your hair, causing little bubbles to  form along the hair shaft and weaken each strand,” Kingsley said.

Gross. Boiled hair. The solution is to hold the blow dryer farther away from the hair. If you feel your head burning, then it’s too close.

Q: Flat iron or curling iron?

A: EVERY DAY

The heat from these styling tools breaks down hair proteins, which leads to brittle hair. The article advised using a conditioning product to protect hair before using hot styling tools. (I totes already do that!)

Q: What’s your coloring sitch?

A: Never.

I may or may not be doing this one right. Coloring your hair doesn’t do the same damage as daily heat styling. I guess I just like my hair color!

Q: Wrap a strand around your finger two or three times. Pull your finger down gently but firmly. What happens?

A: Snap!

Point break is a barometer for the damage in your hair… A plant-based protein conditioner can reinforce your locks before they get any worse.

Q: Starting at the root of your strand, run your fingers down the shaft toward the end. How does it feel?

A: Silky for the most part and just a bit (more than the quiz will let me say) near the ends

Roughness along the strand will identify where the hair is damaged, and roughness close to the root is worse. Luckily, my ends are the only part of my hair damaged.

At least for now.

Q: What kinds of foods do you pile on your plate?

A: Mostly healthy and some sweets

Did you know you need to feed your hair? Five to six ounces of lean protein daily will keep your hair strong and shiny.

Q: Do you shield your hair from the sun?

A: Wait, you need SPF for your hair?

Oops. Apparently the sun is just as bad for your hair as it is for your skin. Instead of letting the sun lighten your hair in the summer time, just use hair dye.

Upon first impression, my results revealed that I have lovely locks. However, I have some seriously unhealthy hair habits that give me a bad grade in hair care.

Go figure.

How did you do?

OpEd: New Hair

Of the new hair cut…

Husband: “I think it’s cute!”

Friends: “So cute, Shae!”

Mother: “I love it!”

Me: “I still hate blow dryers, but shoot do I look good!”

And, quite unfortunately, that is all I have time for today. My list is so long, I don’t think it’ll ever end :(

School, school, school, school… I promise to cook something interesting and tasty next week! So recipes, and fitness tips, and health tips, and diet tips and… AH!

I just made another list…

NEW HAIR!

Guess what I FINALLY did today!

I got my hair cut off!

What once hung down to the middle of my back, getting trapped in my armpit and under my purse straps, now rests lightly just above my shoulders.

Let’s reminisce…

skinnyshaeSo long, sooooo long hair!

skinnyshaeWe won’t be seeing this messy bun nonsense for a while…

skinnyshaeRight before the slaughter.

And, drum roll please…

skinnyshae hair cutTa-da!

(Please excuse the terrible lighting, and the makeup free face.)

I finally got my hair cut after yammering on about here, here and here. Less Heidi Klum than Heidi Klum is, but I love it! (And I won’t go blonde.)

When the stylist measured it out for the first time (while all my hair was still attached), she asked me: “Right about here?” in reference to the top of my spine.

Inside, I had a mini freakout because I was nervous, and almost told her, “No. Just a bit longer, please!” But I said: “Yep, that feels about right.”

Feels, not looks, because I had to take my glasses off, and I can’t see a thing without them.

Less than 20 minutes later, because this is not a complicated cut, I walked out with my new hair!

(Only takes about 7 minutes to blow dry… thank goodness. I hate blow dryers.)

What do you think? Yea? Nay? It’ll always grow back if I hate it later! It’s like a weed!

Insanity Fit Test… 1… 1.1… Second Insantiy Fit Test 1

Well… what would you call it?

:)

Since I decided to do Insanity Month 1 again before moving on to Month 2, for which I do not feel ready, I have two extra fit test days. Remember?

Why not?

My First Fit Test
Switch-Kicks: 71

Power Jacks: 43

Power Knees: 80

Globe Jumps: 6

Suicide Jumps: 12

Pushup Jacks: 15

Obliques… thingys…: 30

Second Insanity Fit Test
Switch Kicks: 73

Power Jacks: 50

Power Knees: 80

Power Jumps: 20 (I have no idea why these are not on the other days… but, YAY! 20!)

Globe Jumps: 8

Suicide Drills: 16

Pushup Jacks: 20

Low Plank Oblique: 49

I also figured out the correct names. :)

I’ll post measurements later today. I have so much to do! And I cannot reweigh myself until Sunday when I go to my mother’s to do laundry. We really need to buy a new scale.

Things I’ve noticed:
Studying is not fun anymore.

Seeing my friends once a month is NOT kosher.

Memorizing more and more words makes you forget the words you learned first.

Counting calories is impossible.

I should stop eating meat… except fish.

Multivitamins are awesome.

Finding simple recipes for food is hard.

Drinking enough water daily is actually quite easy, if I would actually do it.

I am never eating cookies again, and I am not allowed to carry vending machine-ready money.

I desperately WANT Top Styler but refuse to pay for it if it’ll ruin my hair.

Sandwich for lunch? I believe so.

From insanity to beauty

From INSANITY to beauty…

I hope you are not expecting a deep, fulfilling conversation about finding beauty in madness.

I hope.

Because I really just wanted to talk about makeup.  :)

After an Insanity workout, I look like poo…

Plyo Cardio Circuit Insanity Workout After…and, yes, this means that I did workout today. I totally didn’t get upset either.

Sweaty Head Band Soaked by InsanityAs a towel must be hung to dry, so must the nasty head band I use to hold my hair back.

Gross.

According to my calorie-counting watch, after 42 minutes of Insanity’s Plyo workout, I burned 647 calories.

I believe this very little, but, hey, whatever I can get, right?

Not important! The point of this post is to show you how I get pretty! We haven’t talked about beauty in a while, and diet and fitness have become depressing topics.

Moving on!

After my shower, during which I shaved my legs (but we’ll get to this later), I have to follow a certain routine.

First, I take care of my skin. Deodorant (always necessary), pimple cream, moisturizer and lotion. Usually, I would wear sun screen with a higher SPF, but we’re out, and I refuse to waste the tanning lotion.

Degree Deodorant, Clean&Clear Benzoyl Peroxide, Moisturizer, Eye Drops, Hawaiian Tropics Tanning LotionOf course, allergy eye drops are not for my skin but for my eyes; and I NEED them or bloodshot shall happen.

And then I need to pick out my outfit!

Independance Day Fourth of July Red White and Blue OutfitIt happens to be the Fourth of July, so I figured why not pull out something red, white and blue.

The skirt is the reason I shaved my legs. It is TOO hot to wear pants or long skirts, all of which I own are black.

I don’t need confidence to walk around in clothes that show off my legs. Apparently, I just need 100 degree weather sans nice breezes and moisture of any kind.

Who knew?

Next, I need to do my hair, which is probably the most annoying thing to do in this heat.

Fine, curly, long hair careSince I refuse to use hot air styling tools without standing in front of an A/C unit, I load my poor hair full of chemicals and air dry.

Chemical 1: Lotion for my hair to reduce split ends due to the use of hot air styling tools and free radicals.

Chemical 2: Fine hair protections spray to avoid the dry cracky feeling that comes along with the use of hot air styling tools and free radicals. It’s a shine spray, too.

Chemical 3: Without some gel to control the weirdness that is my hair, it will frizz like a crazy person.

I am not loyal to the Pantene Pro-V brand, but they provide a lot of coupons. Generally, I get the best deal on Pantene products.

Scrunch Gel into Hair for Curly LookScrunch it all in damp hair, comb through hair for even coverage and then shake it out!

I always pull my hair up in a clip before it completely dries to set a pretty wave.

Peach Blush for Fair Skin

Makeup is next! My usual routine is some moisturizing foundation… and glasses. However, I thought I show you my simple look for day.

My Day Look routine includes, light cream foundation, under eye concealer, soft face powder and peach blush.

If I’m feeling frisky, I’ll put contacts in and play up my eyes with green highlighting eye shadow and some mascara. Eyeliner did not happen today. Too harsh.

And voila! From INSANITY to beauty…

The finished product!

Why is it so yellow? No idea. So I played around with my forehead wrinkles and kissy faces! :)

Happy Fourth of July!  Ivan and I will be watching fireworks on the front porch. Hopefully, the neighborhood will put on a good show for us!

How do you do a simple day look?

What are you doing for the holiday?

The bane of my existence…

I worked out today!

Of course, it was only Cardio Recovery, filled with exercises I’m good at. Squats, plank, yoga, etc.

No cardio.

Maybe I hate cardio… No. I still think I hate it all.

Anywho! We’re not going to talk about that today because I hate it, and I’m in a good/sleepy/goofy mood! (Plus, I got a lot of stuff done at work today, too, so I feel accomplished at something.)

Instead, we’re going to talk about one of the many banes of my existence: cellulite.

Did you shudder? I did.

Cellulite: Hold the Cottage Cheese, Please
By Stephanie S. Saunders

(Apologies. I cannot find the original link to this article)

One of the most hated words in the English language must surely be cellulite.

For the 90 percent of women who are plagued by the “cottage cheese” dimples that can run across the backs of arms and the entire lower body, it can seem like the ugliest thing in the world. Sure, you can hide it beneath clothing, but once bikini season hits, it’s all over.

From a self-consciousness point of view, it’s as if you’re back in middle school. You might as well make it a trifecta of humiliation by slapping on some braces and a lime-green prom dress.

While there’s no way yet to completely rid your body of cellulite, there are a few ways to help improve its appearance.

(Fantastic! Lay it on me.)

The term cellulite refers to the dimpled appearance of skin that can occur at any point on the body where the skin is thinner. Under the upper layer of skin, there’s a layer of connective tissue that holds fat into place. In most women, this connective tissue has gaps in it, which allow the fat to push through, creating a bumpy appearance. The difference between fat and cellulite is simply where the deposit lies in relation to these gaps in the connective tissue. That, and the fact that even with weight loss and muscle gain, so-called “normal” fat may disappear, while cellulite seems to want to continue keeping your thighs company indefinitely.

(So far, dear article, you continue to depress me.)

Cellulite can occur in the thinnest of women and men and doesn’t seem to discriminate based on nationality, financial standing, age or weight.

There are believed to be hormonal and hereditary issues that can contribute to causing cellulite. Other causes may include poor circulation, lack of exercise and even too-tightly fitting undergarments.

But no one really knows for sure why 10 percent of the female population is gifted with not having to deal with cellulite, while the rest of us have rear ends that look like a giant golf ball.

(I hate those… lucky… freakin’… not fair…)

So when faced with the appearance of orange peel (orange peel?) on your thighs, what should you do?

Well, there’s good and bad news. The bad news is that there is no actual way, surgical or otherwise, to get rid of cellulite completely at present. No amount of vacuuming, injections, creams or painful massage will eradicate it permanently. But there are many things that can potentially improve the appearance of cellulite. The following is a list of options, ranked from the least to most invasive and/or expensive.

Diet. There are several diets out here that claim to remove cellulite from the body. After a bit of research, you’ll find that most of them are just healthy eating plans that tell you to reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, avoid processed foods, and drink plenty of water. This, of course, doesn’t really bring anything specific to the table for cellulite. It might help you lose overall body fat, which will reduce the appearance of the lumpy stuff, but no amount of pineapple consumption will completely remove it.

(Darn liars…)

Exercise. Magazines are full of articles on exercises to ban dimpled thighs. Again, these exercises are designed to promote muscle growth and fat loss. Unfortunately, a lot of them are exercises that only target very specific areas, which will not benefit your overall fitness level and are fairly pointless, considering that you can’t spot-reduce fat. Hard cardio and a toned physique will go just as far, if not farther, for reducing the appearance of cellulite. Overall, continuing with your P90X or INSANITY® workout plans will do more for you than will any number of leg lifts alone.

(Of course…)

Tanning. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has again come out with studies on how horrible the effects of tanning beds and baking in the sun can be. Tanning has now been compared to cigarettes and arsenic. Which is unfortunate because a little color on your skin can do more to mask extra bumpy tissue than just about anything else. Luckily, there are an abundance of tanning creams and spray-on tans out there that can give you a similar effect without the risk of skin cancer. Just be careful with application, and if you go the professional route, make sure the folks you choose know what they’re doing. I once attended a black tie event with hands the color of a pumpkin. Not pretty.

(Totally not me… it was the author. I don’t attend black tie events. I don’t look good in ties.)

Creams. There are thousands of topical treatments available that can cost anywhere from $10 to several hundred. Most of them have the common “active” ingredients aminophylline, caffeine and theophyilline. Sad to say, none of these creams can deliver the needed concentration to the necessary depth to make much of a difference in the connective tissue. They’re promoted as increasing circulation, but ultimately, you’re just using a very expensive moisturizer.

(Celtrixa is a lie. Wait… that’s for stretch marks. Still a lie.)

Massage. Massage is another attempt at breaking down connective tissue and increasing circulation in the area. Unfortunately, cellulite is a tougher problem than can be fixed by a single day at the spa. However, there have been studies that consistent, rather aggressive massage techniques can really assist in the cottage cheese reduction process. Before scheduling a daily visit from your massage therapist, though, try intensely rubbing the affected areas on your own with a moisturizer for a few weeks and see if there’s any change in appearance. Thankfully, most cellulite appears on areas of the body you can actually reach.

(…areas you can actually reach? Back cellulite! The itch you just can’t scratch… lol.)

Wraps. (What? I’ve not heard of this.) Wraps have been around forever and still have devoted followers all over the world. The idea of the body wrap is to dehydrate the area, removing all excess water, supposedly creating a leaner appearance. Wrestlers and ballet dancers alike are infamous for wrapping themselves in plastic and sitting in a sauna for ridiculous amounts of time to try and drop “weight.” These results are temporary and will usually return to normal with any intake of water. Wraps may in fact moisturize the skin, but so will a bit of inexpensive aloe vera cream.

Supplements. Supplements can be extremely effective in helping you achieve fitness goals, but like all things I’ve mentioned thus far, no combination of herbal remedies has been proven effective in the fight against cellulite. Most contain some sort of ginkgo biloba, sweet clover, grapeseed bioflavinoids, oil of evening primrose, fish oil and soy lecithin. All might assist your metabolism, and possibly your immunity and brain function, but none will make the dimples disappear.

(Lies, lies, lies…)

Injections. Here’s a cellulite remedy that can cause actual discomfort. Mesotherapy is a series of injections to the cellulite-affected area. Very similar to Botox® for your back end, it’s highly controversial and can require up to 10 visits to see any results. The medication injected has been approved by the FDA for other cosmetic issues, but wasn’t designed for use on cellulite, and is so new that all potential side effects haven’t been discovered yet. Before you choose to go this route, make sure to discuss it thoroughly with your medical practitioner.

(No thank you.)

Suction massage. (Say what, now?) Endermology was created in France about 15 years ago for the temporary reduction of cellulite. The machine creates suction, pulling and squeezing affected areas, which eventually seems to redistribute the fat somewhat, but in truth, it doesn’t change the fat’s makeup. Sessions last about 45 minutes, require 10 to 12 visits, and are rather expensive. Without regular maintenance visits, the appearance of cellulite will simply return.

Lasers. The FDA has approved two different laser options, both used with either a suction device or massage therapy. A low-level laser is radiated on the skin as some type of massage is administered. Both TriActive and VelaSmooth® require as many sessions as Endermology, in addition to continued follow-up maintenance, and can cost thousands of dollars. The effectiveness of laser treatments on cellulite is still unclear, but for individuals with enough cash to spare, this presently seems to be one of the best possible options for cellulite reduction.

Remember, while many of these approaches can improve the appearance of cellulite, none seem to remove cellulite completely or permanently. Until a method is found that will accomplish the total eradication of cellulite, it might be better to spend less money on expensive creams and injections and more on nutritious foods and activities that support a healthy lifestyle. Not only will this help to improve your skin tone, but it’ll make you feel better about your whole body, inside and out. And isn’t that more important than a few extra dimples?

(The answer to that question is most obviously… no. Ditch the dimples!)

Now, to all you ladies out there with perfect skin and cellulite-free thighs, I sorta hate you. Don’t take it personally.

The bane of my existence! Cellulite! We’ll talk about armpit hair and stretch marks on another day.

Remember: Don’t buy the creams!

Summer’s (not) lovin’ (my hair)

Stealing Dana’s hairstyle didn’t quite work out for me in the end.

summer hair style long
Step Bun!
summer hair style long
End result... no pins.
summer hair style long from Dana
And then I noticed that dent in my hair...
summer hair style long
But I got over it and smiled for the darned camera.

Well, folks, after much deliberation, I have decided I am going to cut my hair off. It’s too hot! Even after I decided that I looked OK with this hair, I put it up anyway because of the heat!

Summer requires short hair! (And thanks to the advice of friends.)