Postpartum Glory

Disclaimer: This post is just my own hair experience. I am not a hair-guru, stylist, doctor or expert. I have been natural for years now. The information I know is from my personal experience and what I’ve learned from doing research, reading articles, and watching YouTube videos. I have formed some opinions along the way. Some of which I did not necessarily have before. This post is just that; my opinion. It does include some facts I pulled from the experts. Share your constructive thoughts in the comment section.

 

Glory! Glory! Glory! No, not hallelujah. I’m talking about hair here. Hallelujah for this 90-day hair challenge I’m starting today though.

“And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering”, 1 Corinthians 11:15 (NLT). Don’t stop reading here. The King James version says, “it is a glory to her”. This verse is not at all saying all women must have long hair. Whatever length of hair that naturally grows out of your hair is a glory to you. God gave it to you as a covering. He knows that we don’t all have long hair that is touching the ground. Some of us have curly hair, others straight, some coils, others kinky, loose curls, tight curls, wavy etc.… You get the drift. The point is, whatever God gave you naturally is your glory. Before I go any further let me just say I am an advocate of HEALTHY hair. Your glory can be healthy natural or processed. I have seen and experienced terrible glory on both ends of the spectrum.

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Let us move on. What happens when your glory isn’t up to par? When it is falling off against your will or desire? I will come back to this.

Here’s a little hair background. I was natural for the first 13-14 years of my life. I remember if I was 13 or 14 when my hair was relaxed. I remember it being after I started middle school. I had to beg my dad to allow me to get it relaxed. Why? I couldn’t take the agony of my mom doing my hair any longer. From there I had to go to the hair salon with her every two weeks to get my hair treated and washed. I hated that too. I hated doing roller sets and sitting under the drying. The next thing left to do was petitioning to do my own hair; which I did. I felt like I was old enough. I had these awesome twin girlfriends that would braid and style my hair for me when I asked them to. I was a teenager so it all made sense to me then. I didn’t start wearing weave in my hair until I was in college. In other words, out of my parent’s home. My dad always said my hair was long I didn’t need it and weave was of the devil. I still don’t know how but it’s funny. While in college I shaved my hair twice. The first time because I was tired of relaxed hair and didn’t have the skills or patience to transition my hair to its natural state. The second time because I visited home after my hair was dyed blond, yes blond, honey blond, and my dad was so upset he wouldn’t stop talking about it. By the time I left, I was so angry and irritated I got all of it shaved off. I could have just dyed it a darker color, but my emotions ruled me. I started wearing my hair in sew-ins and box braids as a form of protective style and a means to grow my hair out without having to do too much. I never really learned how to properly care for my hair. I started wearing wigs a couple of years after I graduated college. The only reason being fear of that thing falling off my head while I am out in public. I could make time to explain all the things I’ve done to my glory, like dying it jet black and getting a RiRi cut, but I know you don’t want to read all of that. My glory has been through it. The journey back to healthy hair was a struggle. It is all under the blood of Jesus.

My hair was finally long and healthy. Long and healthy hair is my pride and joy. It grew longer and thicker while I was pregnant with my son. That was everything. I was so happy and excited. I promised myself after I gave birth I was no longer going to invest money into buying anymore weave. I want to solely invest in better care and treatment for my natural hair. Then BOOM! I hit 3 months postpartum and the unexpected happened. I took some pictures for my blog and while reviewing the images it appeared as though my hairline was receding. I was a bit taken back so I started analyzing every picture I took after that. It appeared to be getting worse. I was concerned enough about it to talk to my doctor and do some research. So, what do you do when your hair starts felling off against your will? Be depress and cry until you figure out a solution? What if there isn’t one except for “time”? The doctor advised for me to continue taking my prenatal vitamins the hair loss will stop on its own after it runs its course, 6-12 months postpartum. That was not very comforting to hear. One day I woke up and noticed a bald spot on the right side of my hair. I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it did. a couple of weeks later there was one on the left side of my hair. Then my hair started to come out in chunks. And just like that my edges were gone.

After you give birth it’s expected and normal to shed some hair because your hair follicles are no longer in a resting stage. Postpartum hair loss is a whole other demon. Not all women experience drastic hair loss after giving birth. Some women don’t notice much of a change during or after pregnancy. Talk to your doctor to rule out any factors that may be more serious as hair loss could be a symptom of an underlying issue. I did panic at first because I’ve never lost that much hair before let along my edges and having bald spots. Since there was no way to prevent my hair from falling out I turned to preventative methods and taking really good care of it. It’s now my second baby I need to care for and look after to ensure healthy and proper growth. I continued taking my iron pills and prenatal vitamins. For a month now I’ve also been taking a food-based Multivitamin & Mineral Complex. I can’t accurately say whether it helped because its only been a month and it won’t stop the postpartum hair loss.

I contemplated getting a wig, but I decided not to and proudly rock my glory. I gave birth to an amazingly sweet little human and part of my cost was losing some hair. So be it! I refused to allow that to make me feel less than anything God says I am. Two bald spots later and with no edges left to lose I joined some ladies in this 90-day hair growth challenge. Starting today I’ll be taking It Works Hair, Skin, & Nails nourishing Complex Dietary Supplement. The bottle contains 60 tablets. I will be using J.LaShea Naturals’ products for my hair care. My goal is to achieve and maintain moisture, definition, volume, and length. God’s Word says, “but the very hairs of your head are all numbered”, Matthew 10:30. I’m going to trust he’s going to increase ALL the numbered hair that is left on my head. If I could just anoint and lay hands on every single strand. I guess I could but ain’t nobody got time for that.

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One part of the challenge is to drink plenty of water daily. This part is the easiest part for me. I love drinking water and prefer it over anything else. Even milk and I LOVE milk. Yes, milk. There’s nothing like a cold glass of milk. The saying goes you must drink half of your body weight in ounces to drink enough water. Most people I know hate drinking water and are probably walking around in this Florida heat solely on God’s mercy. I weight 129 pounds. Half of that is 64.5 pounds. Let us just round it to 65 pounds. For me to drink the amount of water my body needs, I need to drink to drink 65 ounces of water every day. That is equivalent to four 16.9 ounces bottles of water. I have a bottle that can hold a little over 32 ounces of water. Two of that bottle is enough for me.

I wash my hair with shampoo once a month and twice a week with conditioner. I use TRESemme anti-breakage conditioner with vitamin b12 and gelatin to co-wash twice a week. I use PANTENE PRO-V shampoo once a month to clean my scalp and hair and to fight frizz. Normally I use a TRESemme shampoo also, but I wanted to try PANTENE. I’m not a product junkie so I don’t have or use too many hair products. My hair has high porosity. Moisture is everything! My hair freezes easily and needs a lot of moisture. Thankfully it’s not dull looking or easily tangled. The way to test your hair porosity is by taking a stand(s) of clean dry hair and place in a clear glass of water. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If your hair goes to the middle, you have medium porosity. That “just right porosity”. If it goes to the bottom you have high porosity glory.

I’ll be using the Shea Souffle for moisture and shine. It also helps stimulate growth. The kit comes with an herb-infused growth oil that I’ll be using 3 times a week. It contains MSM which helps create keratin. My hair needs a lot of strengthening due to how much of it I’ve lost. The Henna Gloss every 2 weeks will help with that. Also, the Henna Strengthening Hair Mask every 6 weeks. I’m leaving the Multani Clay Wash for when I do my wash day. The J.LaShea Naturals Kit comes with a pamphlet that explains what each product contains and how to use it.

My current length

My texture

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My attempts of protective styles

This is probably the longest blog post I’ve published. At least it feels that way to me. I’m glad you made it to the end. Here’s to long, better, healthier glory!

Today is my 28th Birthday! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! Yes, glory hallelujah! Glory to God.

Until my next publication, see you all on Facebook and Instagram, where you will hopefully share this post. This month’s interview will be with the beautiful and amazing CEO of Chosen Vessels Apparel, Faint Adams. Lookout for that!

Stay encouraged!

Faith and Beauty – Felicia Crowe, SHIFRA Beauty

“Mirror, mirror, mirror on the wall

Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws

That isn’t who you are

That isn’t who you are” -King & Country

If we’re all honest we can admit we have all had moments in our lives where we felt less than beautiful. That moment for me was while I was pregnant and after I gave birth to my son. I struggled with feeling beautiful. I gained so much weight. I dreaded stepping on the scale during my doctor visits. My skin broke out and was discolored on certain parts of my body. I can’t recall right now what condition my doctor said it was, but he promise it would eventually go away after I give birth. The stretch marks that showed up at the very end of my pregnancy was icing on the cake. While I was grateful and blessed to be pregnant my self-esteem went down the drain. I love my son and would do it all over again. I couldn’t imagine not waking up to that big bright beautiful smile he greets me with every morning. However, the struggle was too real. I faced confidence struggle I never imagined I would experience in my life. I kept telling myself I had 8 weeks to get back to “normal”. I was in for a surprise. I did not go back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and the process back to “normal” was a lot slower than I wanted to have patience for. The truth of the matter is my body would never be what it was before and that is okay. It’s a new kind of beautiful. It experienced changes that were permanent, but they serve as a reminder of one of the most beautiful processes in life. While others thought I looked fine I felt fat and unattractive. I assumed my husband would feel the same way, and others would have no mercy when they blurted out how “huge” I became. My husband was beyond sweet in reminding me I am beautiful, and I should be patient and kind with myself. As soon as I looked in the mirror he knew what was about to happen and would tell me to leave myself alone. I even caught him privately scolding one of my little brothers after he continued to tell me how I still looked pregnant. My brother meant no harm and I knew that. I was still hurt by it though. My husband able to see the hurt on my face each time my brother would say that. I remember him telling me, “babe you’re a mom, your body has been through a lot, you gave birth to our son, that’s beautiful, you should look at yourself and be proud of that”. I’m sure you can imagine how emotional I was. He was right. I shift my focus and changed my thinking. My son by far is one of my greatest blessing and miracle but you know what, like any other woman I have fears and insecurities. I now love and appreciate my new body. I’m focused on being fit and healthy and being the mommy Ozi needs. I have been granted one of the best honors in life. Who God says I am is far more important than my cruel feelings. “Godfidence” (confidence in Jesus) is the best form of confidence.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” -Provers 31:30

It was an honor to interview founder and owner of SHIFRA beauty, First lady Felicia Crowe. SHIFRA believes in “Preserving Live and Beauty”. SHIFRA is about making a difference; not only in preserving our natural beauty but also in the life of others. One dollar from every item sold will go to New Beginnings, a non-profit adoption program. SHIFRA is not only an investment in yourself, it’s an investment that will help make a difference in someone else’s life. That is beautiful!

Lady Crowe is beautiful inside and out. I am glad to have her a guest for this faith and beauty blog. Her transparency is relatable. You will laugh and be blessed.

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1) What is SHIFRA?

“SHIFRA is an all-natural skin care line.”

We need more of that in a world driven by artificial things.

2) How do you define beauty?

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think everyone sees beauty in their own way. I see beauty in almost everything. I cried during the Avatar ride at Disney because it was so overwhelming beautiful to me.”

This is hilarious to me. I’m imaging seeing your crying face on a ride.

3) What beauty standards do you live by that are from the Bible?

“The Proverbs 31:30 Scripture comes to mind “beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised”. It reminds me to not get so caught up in my outward appearance. Sometimes the pressure to make myself beautiful by the worlds standards conflicts with what God is asking of me. The praise you get from being “beautiful” will fade when your looks fade but what God sees as worthy to be praised is forever.”

I agree and there is so much that’s conflicting.

4) What is in your purse right now or beauty bag?

“Let’s take a look in my beauty bag that is currently located at the bottom of my diaper bag under all the extra outfits, diapers, bottles and snacks. I have SHIFRA’S Manuka Honey Lip Balm, Rose Mint Lip Oil, and a travel size Rose Water Face Mist (obviously *winks*). other items include eyelash curler, clear brow and eyelash gel, mirror and tweezers.”

This is funny to me because I carry around my son’s diaper bag with some of my belongings. Things go missing quick. I love the lip oil and hand cream!

5) Why was it important for you to do a natural beauty line?

“Crafting natural products just feels right! When you have a few family members diagnosed with the evil C word it makes you more conscious of the toxins you put in your body every day.”

I appreciate people with the gift and passion to create less toxic beauty products.

6) How do you handle stress?

“Small stress: I take deep breaths (in through the nose out through the mouth) Major stress: I don’t get often because I do this often…Worship!! Not patty-cake worship but the kind of worship that transcends you to the feet of Jesus. You just lay there for a while and It all becomes so unimportant in His presence.”

Yes, and Amen! Worship and prayer is the best stress reliever. A lasting one at that.

7) Why do women need SHIFRA?

“The skin is the biggest Organ we have. We must take care of it and SHIFRA provides natural God given care for all of your skin needs.”

Come to think of it, I don’t think too many people remember the skin is an organ. It would make a worlds difference in how we choose to protect and take care of it.

8) How do you showcase beauty?

“I walk in purpose knowing I am a daughter of the king and when people look at me I want them to see through me and see Jesus. The joy, the love and the mercy. That’s a beauty I don’t mind showing off.”

“I walk in purpose”… I love that!

9) What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear beauty?

“My children.”

This warms my heart and of course, I’m thinking of my sweet little Ozi.

10) What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“That I was the perfect wife and mother. Even though I know I’m far from perfect it was still amazing to hear “

You are a great mom and wife.

11) How do you feel when people tell you that you’re beautiful?

“I feel surprised! Like ‘who…me’?! lol.”

Lol! It is true others tend to see us far more beautiful than we view ourselves.

12) What do you want women to feel when they use SHIFRA’s products?

“I want them to feel a difference in their skin. I want them to feel like they are glowing.”

I do feel a difference and feel good I’m making healthier choices for my skin.

13) What is your favorite SHIFRA’s product?

“That’s a tough one. I would have to say the Radiant Face Oil. It has made a world of difference for my face that started to lack luster.”

I need to try that one. It hard to find the right products that don’t dry out my face or cause a breakout.

14) Do you like the way you look? How does SHIFRA help with that?

“After having three children via C-section and in my 30s I honestly struggle with feeling confident in my looks but my husband constantly tells me how beautiful I am and that really pushes me to not give up on my appearance. SHIFRA is a whole skin care line that pampers your skin with goodness so you can’t help but feel better After using it. The Honeycomb body wash makes me feel 20 again!!”

I don’t think I need to go into details about how much I felt this and can relate.

15) What do you think it means when people say that beauty comes from the inside?

“Love, Joy and Peace aren’t necessarily tangible so when people see it manifest outwardly they are attracted to the beauty that can only come from within.”

I agree true beauty can only come from within.

This interview was beautiful and refreshing. Be sure to follow SHIFRA Beauty on Instagram, @Shifra_beauty. Purchases can be made at shifrabeauty.com. Thank you, First Lady Crowe, for taking the time to answer these question and, sharing your thoughts on faith and beauty. For more information and further questions email SHIFRA at shifrabeauty@gmail.com.

Almost everything in its right is beautiful to the appropriate set of eyes. Beauty is often equated to attractiveness. However, it is so much more than that. It’s class, grace, and elegance. True beauty is not in outer appearance. It’s not expensive clothes or costly hair groomings. Physical beauty ultimately fades away. As the word of God put it, we are frail. Here today, gone tomorrow and forgotten. It doesn’t matter how well we dress and present ourselves if our spirit is nasty. It doesn’t matter how beautiful we deem ourselves if our soul is filthy or Godless. True beauty should reflect Christ image and likeness within us. True beauty is the mind of Christ in us. It can be seen in those that fear the Lord.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” -Proverbs 31:30

Who are you apart from your physical health and beauty? If your beauty diminishes, will you fade away along with it?

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