Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Last week, while my boyfriend waited patiently at my desk chair, I whimpered "I have nothing to wear!" This, in fact, was not true because I had a closet full of clothes, but all I saw were things I don't like or haven't worn in forever staring back at me. It made me ask myself why I was holding on to clothes I don't even wear anymore, which made me finally began the endeavor of cleaning out my closet and putting everything I don't want into trash bags so I can give them away.

I should probably clean out my closet more often so that I don't end up with three trash bags full of clothes...

I got rid of everything...
  • I haven't worn in over a year,
  • I wouldn't buy today at this point in my life,
  • that has noticeable signs of age, even though it pained me to get rid of my favorite striped cardigan which was such a great layering piece, and 
  • everything that doesn't fit. 

Seems obvious, doesn't it?

I then color coordinated my closet--I actually had all of my tops sorted by color, but none of my dresses. I'm not typically a super-organized person, however this process is very simple and helped me wrap my head around just how one color dominates my wardrobe.

Nothing fancy; I just put like colors together in order from dark to light.

This lack of organization resulted in me wearing the same set of dresses again and again and nearly forgetting about other gems in my closet. Once I organized my dresses by color, I realized I have a lot of red/pink/orange dresses... which probably means I shouldn't buy this dress from the ThreadOverHeels Etsy store even though it's adorable:


It's freeing to get rid of old clothes that essentially were just taking up space. I haven't done a complete purge of everything old/not fabulous in my closet, but it's a great start! I've identified some gaps in my wardrobe as a result of this process, like a lack of work-appropriate skirts and blouses, and slacks that aren't black or blue. Basically, all of the gaps in my wardrobe revolve around (a lack of) work-appropriate clothes. Such is the life of a 25-year-old...

What did you get rid of this Spring? What criteria did you use? Who else waited til Summer to do their 'Spring' cleaning?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Shrinkage Struggles

#Shrinkage #CurlyHairStruggles
Don't mean to brag, but I've been having crazy good hair days lately! My hair has been soft and moisturized and is really flourishing. But as the weather warms, shrinkage is becoming more and more of a "problem." I put problem in quotations because it's not so much a problem than it is an annoyance. Let me explain; a couple weekends ago, I rocked a bomb twist out to a dance party (#CRANKPARTY, what up?) but after dancing the night away, I ended up with a TWA by the end of the night. My hair shrinks down to like 25% of it's length and reverts to it's curl pattern very easily. It can be frustrating to start the evening out with stretched hair and end the evening with shrunken, not to mention, tangled hair. No need to make detangling sessions more time-consuming than they need to be, so I prefer to keep my hair at least semi-stretched through braid outs or twist outs.

Disclaimer: The idea of combatting shrinkage can be a controversial one. It sort of implies that kinky/curly/coily hair needs to be "fixed" or "managed." I don't know about you, but my hair does need to be managed. It's just the way it is; it doesn't make my hair any better or worse than someone with a looser curl pattern or straight hair. The fact of the matter is that when I don't stretch out my hair (with braid outs or twist outs), my hair will tangle. If you're not into "combatting shrinkage," skip this post...

Here are a few things I suggest for combatting shrinkage this Spring/Summer:

  1. Use less water in your hair. I know what you're thinking: 'But water is what moisturizes my hair!' Yes, that's absolutely true, but as the weather warms and the air gets more humid, the natural moisture in the air will contribute to the moisture in your hair. That's why after dancing in a crowded club, my hair soaked up enough moisture to cause it to shrink.
  2. Skip the water-based products. Again, I know this sounds like crazy talk, but hear me out. Water-based products add a tremendous amount of moisture to kinky/curly/coily hair, but again, when there is already moisture in the air, no need to add more.
  3. Add humectants to your products. Humectants are products that attract moisture. Examples include vegetable glycerin and honey. If you're going to be using water less often in your moisturizing routine, the addition of glycerin to your spray bottle will ensure that your hair remains moisturized. Even after the water dries, your hair will continue to attract moisture, but at a slow enough rate that won't cause extreme shrinkage.
  4. Use heavier oils or butters. Now, this depends on your texture, but for my hair, which is in the type 4 range, olive oil works like a dream. The idea is two-fold: (1) you seal in the moisture (water) you have put in your hair, and (2) using a heavier product will "weigh down" your hair so that it would be  less prone to shrink.
How do you combat shrinkage and avoid tangles in the warm, humid Spring/Summer months?