Words To Live By: Speak What You Seek


February 2014 Hair Update and Status

It’s been forever since I’ve done a hair update. I apologize now for the bad lighting, humidity-ravaged hair, and for taking so long to share this with you. It is rainy and humid here and I just wanted to do a quick update. As you may or may not know, I started growing my hair back in 2007 and I created this blog to document my progress. I’ve been stuck at the same length for a hundred years now or at least it feels like that, but I only have myself and my bad hair habits to blame. You know when you know the right things to do, but you just don’t feel like doing them or you let other things get in the way?

In the photo below, I’m rocking a 3 or 4 day old braid out. To sleep, I just put it in one big braid, roll the ends on one red flex rod, and wrap it up in a scarf.


The longest that my hair has ever been (as an adult) was about 14″ on my tape measure. That’s not 14″ total… that’s 14″ from the bottom of my neck (where I start my measurements).


A few things have set my progress back and it’s mainly because I didn’t bother with all of my healthy hair habits. You know? Life happens. The last disaster was dying my hair 3 times over the course of the last 3 years because I wanted to rock the ombre look. That said, I had to do a few big chops to get rid of damaged ends and now I’m back at about 11″ on my tape measure. My goal is waist length which is about 15″ on my tape measure (I have a long torso). That means I’m 4″ away. My hair grows about 0.5″ a month and I’m really crossing my fingers to finally reach waist length in 2014.

To get through 2014, I’m considering natural hair styles like twists and braided updos and wearing them for months at a time. I will likely be using my own hair since it’s super fine and it can’t handle the weight of any augmentations though I do love the look of super long Marley twists. The picture below makes me want Marley twists so badly. Whatever I do, I’ll definitely keep you in the loop.



Feedback Please: Color Swatches for Hair Accessories

I am in the process of creating a hair accessories line. Why? I got burnt out on hair blogging, but I’m still an avid hair fan (as evidenced by the numerous pins on my #NaturalHair Pinterest board) and I love Mane and Chic readers! I thought it might be fun to take you along my journey as I go through this process just like I did when I first started transitioning to natural and shared my journey through the blog. I figured this could be a way to get back in touch with my loyal readers and hear your feedback. I love when you talk back. I’ll probably do a hair update sometime soon. (Sidebar: I’ve always dream to document and share with you the purchase, renovation, and decoration of my first home. I think it’d be really fun to do that because residential architecture and interior design are a couple of my other passions. Coming soon..hopefully! Light a candle for me or something, Darlings. LOL)

Anyway, I came up with some color swatches for my first collection from the hair line and I wanted to know what you think. All of the colors are below. I’ve labeled them 1-10, please participate in the poll, shoot me and e-mail, or leave a comment. Which ones are your favorite? Which ones are you most likely to want to rock in a headband/head scarf? Anybody have any color suggestions for the line or anything else? I’d love to hear them, or should I say read them. Talk back!





Is the Price Right: Silk Scarves

A couple of weeks ago, I asked and you answered. Over 76% of the poll participants said that they didn’t care if their silk head scarves were silk or not as long as they felt and/or looked good. About 23% of you said that silk scarves are an absolute must in your arsenal. Thank you to all of you that participated!

Now, I have another question for you. If you saw a fly, just bomb silk scarf… how much would you be willing to pay for it or how much do you typically spend on 100% silk scarves?

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 12.00.33 PM


Thank you for participating!

Favorite Instagram Naturals and Curlies

I have to admit, I was never into Instagram. Posting a few pics of my puppy Khloe was about all there was between me and Instagram. Essence had a list of their top 100 Naturalistas, but I’d love to hear from you. Who are your favorite naturals/curlies on Instagram? Please reply to this e-mail if you’re reading by feed or else shoot me an e-mail at info@maneandchic.com and let me know.


Are Silk Scarves a Must?

(Re-posting for more responses to the poll.) Are you rocking scarves? Do you have a fabric preference?

Silk Scarf

There are many pros and cons when it comes to rocking silk scarves. If you’re vegan, silk scarves are a definite no. For more on that, check out  Why Vegans Don’t Wear Silk. Another reason some women don’t wear silk is because they are allergic. I had no idea that you could be allergic to silk until a reader told me about her silk allergy a couple of years ago. Another reason people opt out of silk scarves is that most screen printed 100% silk scarves can be hard to care for. It’s hard to just throw a silk scarf in a washing machine and expect it to still be intact and vibrant when it comes out. Finally, silk scarves can be really expensive. A nice one could run you upwards of $100. The look and feel of silk in undeniable, but is it really necessary?

There are many reasons for choosing a scarf made of other silk-like fabrics. These scarves are more affordable, more readily available, and are typically easier to clean and care for. You can pick up any old every day sleep scarf from your nearest beauty supply store for under $10. They might not always be the nicest, but they get the job done.

How do you feel about silk scarves? Are they mandatory or are they banned from your head? Please participate in the poll and leave your feedback in the comments.

Gallon of Water a Day Challenge

*Update: Shortly after I wrote the post below, I ended my gallon of water a day challenge. It was just much too much. I actually started to get nauseated from forcing myself to finish the gallon a day. I think the lesson here is to listen to your body and mine was NOT having it. Do you know anybody who consistently drinks a gallon of water a day? It was unwieldy. I tried. I’ll still be more conscious of drinking more water, but a half a gallon is more reasonable for me. Bottoms up!

A Gallon A  Challenge

Did you start 2014 with a bunch of resolutions? I didn’t. I had a couple of financial goals and that’s it. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks into the year that I decided to adopt some new habits. I’d love to say it was based in pure willpower, but it was not. Around Christmas, my face started freaking out. I wasn’t hydrating or eating properly. I was drinking and eating whatever. It had gotten so bad that I either had to cake on my makeup a la full drag or else just stay home.

I heard about some celebrities drinking a gallon of water a day. I decided to do a Google search on it and found out that celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Beyonce, and Adrianna Lima partake in the gallon a day practice. Now, having met Gabrielle Union in person, I can say that her skin is flawless and was shocked by seeing the beauty of her skin up close. So, I thought I’d give it a shot for 30 days just to see what happens. A gallon is about 128 ounces, I drink 8 of those 16.9 ounce water bottles every day. I end up drinking a little over a gallon, but the more the merrier and I don’t have time to measure out a gallon and it’s much too much to carry around a whole gallon of water.

Well, at the writing of this post, it’s been 1 week since I started the challenge, trial, or whatever and I am already starting to notice some things. As I said earlier in this post, when I started this trial, my face was freaking out. Every day when I woke up some other issue was appearing on my face. Since I started, I haven’t gotten any new blemishes. I missed a day on Sunday and would you believe that I woke up with something on my forehead? Now, this could be a coincidence or it could be the extra water intake. Well, since I missed that day, I made up for it by drinking an extra half gallon for 2 days after and so far no new face issues.

I also noticed another huge benefit for increasing my water intake. I read somewhere that most people are dehydrated and we tend to eat when we’re really just thirsty. I decided to drink 1 or 2 of my bottles before I eat. If I’m hungry or craving a snack, I have a bottle or two, wait 15-20 minutes and see if I’m still hungry. I used to get really horrible night snacking craving until I upped my water intake. Now I stop drinking and eating at about 7 p.m. I go to sleep at around 11 most nights and I don’t want anything interrupting my sleep, so I have to stop the water intake by 7. I might have a cup of something after 7, but never copious amounts like I do during the day.

It’s not practical for the average person. I work from home so it’s convenient for me to drink a gallon a day, but I can’t imagine doing this if I were on the go all the time. My homegirl finds it hard to believe that Gabrielle, Beyonce, and Adrianna drink a gallon a day. She says they are all lying. I’ll admit, it is really challenging. I just always keep a bottle by my side. I had to put myself on a schedule to make sure I would be able to drink it all by 7. Drinking it isn’t the biggest issue, I always need to be very close to a lady’s restroom at all times. I just can’t see Bey stopping her rehearsals or recording sessions for a bathroom break every 30 minutes. I definitely can’t see Ms. Union stopping a scene to make several potty runs. At this point, I think a gallon a day is great for a short term detox or when I know I’m going to be able to deal with it, but it’s not at all practical for me as a long term daily habit. I think it will be more practical to do half a gallon a day once I’m done with this 30 day trial.

I am excited to see what new benefits become of this challenge and I’ll try to report back weekly. Any of you drink loads of water on a daily basis? How much are you drinking? What changes do you notice when you stop? What benefits have you noticed?

Favorite YouTubers with Natural Hair?


I’ve been off the YouTube naturalhair scene for a minute. There are a few people that I watch, but I wanted to hear from you. Who are your favorite YouTubers?

I have subscribed to the following channels:












Shameless Maya


Taren Guy

Tiffany Darlyn

Tracee Ellis Ross


Who are your favorite YouTubers with natural hair? Leave a comment or if you’re reading this via e-mail, hit reply and let me know.


On Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting

For the past couple of years, I’ve been an Intermittent Faster. When I’m good, I do it pretty consistently; however, there are times when I fall into a pattern of not doing it for a few weeks or months. When I’m not consistent, it’s typically because I’m in my ideal weight range.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

In it’s most basic terms, intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. What it means for me is that I don’t eat 16 hours out of the day or that I only eat in an 8 hour window every day. That means I typically only eat between 11am and 7pm. The not eating before 11am thing isn’t hard for me at all especially since I’ve never been a huge breakfast person. The challenging part is stopping at 7pm especially on the weekends and holidays. For that reason, I do my best to rearrange the times on the weekends especially if I know I’ll be going out at night and eating.

There’s a couple of reasons why I do it. The first reason is because I am a recovering chronic nighttime snacker. I would always just eat junk, whatever I could find at night for no reason. Nothing I ate after 7 was ever good. Being on a meal schedule gives me the structure that I need to stop snacking at night. It also allows me to exercise my discipline muscles and stay focused. It also helps me to maintain my weight or release some extra pounds when I need to. It’s supposed to be an effective way of burning fat, but I don’t know.

I’m not recommending it to anyone, but if you’re interested in finding out more about it, do some research, ask your doctor or trainer, and make your own informed decision.

Anybody else do this or tried it? What’s your take?

Squat Challenge - Day 8

Squat Challenge

I told you I didn’t have any new year’s resolutions, but shortly after I decided to do the daily gallon of water challenge, I decided that I wanted to get in shape. My problem area are my legs and more specifically my thighs. I’ve always had a hard time doing squats and I really wanted to challenge myself. I decided to hop on the 30-Day Squat Challenge bandwagon.

I do standard squats, nothing crazy. I might get more advanced, but for now I’m crawling before I walk. The first day was the hardest. I was so sore that I could barely walk. That lasted for about 3 days, but now at day 8, I can do a set of 50 with no problems. I might take a before picture and then an after when I’m done to see if I notice a difference. I might post it. I’m not sure. When I first started this blog, posting my hair photos here and getting the support of my readers really kept me on track. I am in the process of working on my fitness and releasing some weight. I’ve been on a 1200 calorie diet for the past couple of weeks. I might start blogging more about that or figure out another avenue to share my progress for those who are interested. I’ll be attempting to release 3″ from my waist and about 10-15 pounds.

Here’s my squat challenge schedule:

Day 1-50 squats
Day 2-55 squats
Day 3-60 squats
Day 4-Rest
Day 5-70 squats
Day 6-75 squats
Day 7-80 squats
Day 8-Rest
Day 9-100 squats
Day 10-105 squats
Day 11-110 squats
Day 12-Rest
Day 13-130 squats
Day 14-135 squats
Day 15- 140 squats
Day 16-Rest
Day 17-150 squats
Day 18- 155 squats
Day 19- 160 squats
Day 20-Rest
Day 21- 180 squats
Day 22- 185 squats
Day 23- 190 squats
Day 24-Rest
Day 25- 220 squats
Day 26- 225 squats
Day 27- 230 squats
Day 28-Rest
Day 29- 240 squats
Day 30- 250 squats

Anybody else doing a squat challenge or successfully completed one?