Ten More Pounds …    

The year of a flatter stomach, muscular legs and arms along with an amped up metablisim was 2007 for me (Pre-pregancy). That was then and this is now.  Flash forward to 2015.  I have to work a little harder to obtain the same physical goals.  That’s OK. I’m willing to do the work.  While at the same time I don’t want to experience uneccessary mental stress in my pursuit of physical perfection.

Ever watched a pot filled with water on a hot stove eye? Wondered when the bubbles would dance – indicating now is the time to add your food? For a while I developed that same attitude with my scale. Waking in the morning to see if the numbers were dropping. Not a good idea.

Once I decided to focus on actually making it to the gym and reaching my running goals and not the number on the scale, I saw results (current weight 145).  I’m not suggesting you don’t monitor the scale. I’m saying stop looking everyday.  That one thing can break down the strongest of women if we don’t see what we believe to be the magical number staring back at us. The body you desire can be yours and mine, we just have to focus more on on eating better, busting a sweat and getting the proper rest. 
– Step on the scale once a week or every other week

– Weigh yourself first thing in morning, when you do (empty stomach).

– Set realistic goals. 

– Save your money on waist trainers (buy a medicine ball instead).

– Don’t compare your body to others. It’s OK to look and admire.

* I’m not a certified trainer.  The views expressed are from my personal experience.  Consult a doctor before starting a new workout program. Now … Go get it!! 

Share your thoughts below and connect with me on Twitter @AlysseStewart and Instagram.



Rain, Sweat or Showers For 2: No Worries

I’m remembering the last rain fall. It seemed as if the water droplets would never stop falling from the sky. Sometime later on this particular morning, my mom arrived. I asked if she had an umbrella! She told me it was in the car. My mother l sports a short natural.  It’s clear she wasn’t concerned about a little extra moisture wetting her hair do. 

I feel the same way, especially when it comes to rocking locs. I walk in the rain, play in it sometimes and workout when I want too without fear of messing up my do.  If you too are sporting some form of a natural, take advantage of the freedom and get the recommended amount of daily exercise needed to keep your body happy and your mind free of stress.  

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a steady routine. That’s about to change! I’m on week two of my fitness journey (join me).  Hair is not an issue. Making time to get moving is the battle. 

How about you? Are you making fitness a lifestyle? Share your routines, ups and downs and success with me in the comment box.  

To follow my body changes follow me on Twitter and Instagram – links on home page.

To see some of today’s workout click here: http://instagram.com/p/0T4gfqKjqh/ 

*Quote: Tyra Banks

Lather, Shampoo and Repeat

I am an avid viewer of YouTube videos. I like learning about other folk  methods of hair care and their individual loc Journeys .  Every now and then, I come across a video where someone is explaining how much their scalp itches after being  told not to wet their hair or risk disturbing the perfectly formed loc coils.

Not cleansing the scalp and hair for abnormal periods of time is nasty and not healthy.  My first set of locs were cultivated. I waxed my hair with the hopes of perfect locs – I didn’t know any better. Youtube wasn’t popping like that during my first set. Eventually, I stopped using greasy products and shampooed more often – I kept twisting with each wash. Extreme manipulation is another bad practice.

Since I started free forming, I shampoo when ever the mood hits me. My scalp tells me when it’s time – no rules.  Some claim to cleanse their hair and scalp with water only. Personally, I don’t see how that works when the goal is to remove dirt and oils (natural and artificial).

If you aren’t into using shampoos, opt for products that aren’t as harsh on your hair and the environment. Lately, I’ve been using the 365 Brand from Whole Foods. It doesn’t lather as much or as quickly – more product is required during the cleansing process.  I’m also fond of my shampoo bar by J.R. LIGGETT’S.

At the end of the day, do what works best for your hair. No matter your choice it most important that you keep your hair and scalp clean.

Questions about my hair, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.

FreeForm locs: Mother Natures touch



From earlier post it was clear that I was in the middle of a serious hair struggle. I twisted my hair, allowed someone to use a latch on my hair , combined all my locs and uncombined them … too much drama!!!

After cutting my hair off in November 2012 and utilizing the towel rub method for about two – weeks I finally found myself on the right path.

Today, honey watch out! I love my hair! I shampoo, dry and go. No more twisting, no gel, no wax. I let go and let God have control.

Note: my locs are all different sizes, grow flat and sometimes try to marry at the root – I separate to avoid congos. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to express yourself.

I can also be reached on Twitter  and  Instagram too.

Starting Over: The Big Chop












Around mid November I cut my hair, after finding I could not come to terms with the knots formed in my hair after interlocking.    The sad thing is that I’d  done research on this method of maintaining and or combining  locs.  From what I read I knew it was something I never wanted to try on my hair.  However, I went with the flow after it was suggested that perhaps my individual locs were too small.  Everyday I would look in the mirror and see the mistake I made in going against my instincts.  As opposed to growing my hair out and cutting just above the knots – I opted for the big chop.

Today, I can say I’m completely happy with my loc journey.  I do not twist, interlock, palm roll or use any other method available when it comes to maintaining locs.  I’m officially a Free Former.  I shampoo my hair every two days with clear shampoos.  I do not use commercial conditioners.  When I  feel as though my hair  needs extra moisture, I use whole leaf Aloe Vera gel as a pre-poo.  No oils, wax or  commercial gels.  For me less is more.  At night I sleep on a satin pillow case, although I’ve heard some free formers say they sleep on regular cotton pillow cases.  I find that makes my hair unhappy and dry to the touch.

Now you maybe wondering what kind of responses I get walking around without doing something to my hair.  Surprisingly, the response has been great.  It could be in part because I own my choice.  I never apologize for the decision I made to wear my hair this way.  I love my hair.

A family member kept saying she didn’t like my hair every time she saw me.  Once I told that person I didn’t like their hair choice either. Case closed.  There is also this guy that I workout with sometime.  He doesn’t like my hair.  He is someone very concerned with what others think.  He said recently that I would look great with cultivated locs.  After I told him that’s not what I wanted … he let that conversation go.  At the end of the day it is not my job to worry about what others think about me or my hair.  When I tell you, someone say’s I like or love your hair every week – it is the truth!  I hope this helps you in decision to free form your locs or however you decide to rock your natural hair.

Foot note: After I cut my hair and did a shampoo, I took a small hand towel and dried my hair in a circular motion.  This in turn formed small loc clusters. I did this for a couple of weeks before my hair started to tangle and do its own thing.  This is often times referred to as the rub or towel method.

I’m working out quite a bit these days.  I have a goal in mind, plus I know fitness is very important for us all.   I plan to share some of my physical journey in  future post.  Until then, meet me on Twitter or click LIKE on my natural hair Facebook page (find the link on the home page).

Imperfect locs: Free Form Journey











No sooner than I mentioned the plan was to Free Form my locs, self-doubt moved into my doom and set up shop.  How long will it take for my roots to grow out and start forming? Does this really look OK? Maybe I should continue with cultivating my locs.  All of those thoughts filled my head every time I looked in the mirror or happend to see someone on the street with the perfect locs.

The truth is I gave up and started twisting again.  Meanwhile I’m still not happy with my hair.  I don’t like the super neat look on me when it comes to my hair.  And on an occasion I will see a man with locs that have been sectioned off perfectly with neat uniformed locs growing from his scalp.  I find myself thinking that’s too much – he looks pretty.

I’ve been back on Youtube seeking out women that Free Form .  I found three that have inspired to stay the course (I will feature their videos in a future post).  Once again,  I’m declaring and embracing the Free Form method.  I  will shampoo when needed and try to keep my fingers out of my hair.

I will not let others opinion of my unkempt roots take me off course.  This is my hair.  No apologies or long explanations shall be provided  for those that feel I should explain my decision to let my hair do what it will naturally.

If you are a Free Former or no of one that might be of inspiration to others, please share the information in the comment section below.

My Decision To FreeForm: Growing Locs

The first time I grew locs I admit I had very limited knowledge. Thinking back on the experience I didn’t know anyone that had locks.  My journey for lack of better words was a truly a natural occurrence.

Tired of living the LYE I instructed my long-time hairstylist to cut my hair off.  The chopping process stressed her out to say the least. She thought I was making the wrong decision, one that only time could correct.

That same night my date cancelled after learning that my ear length, bone straight haircut had become a thing of a past. He made a smart azz remark, one which had all his subsequent calls going straight to voice mail.  We never spoke again.

Present day.

Over a year into my loc journey I have decided to use the  FreeForm method in maintaining my hair.  My regimen will consist of shampooing when needed, natural oils and keeping my locs separated.  Twisting my hair will no longer take place.  Being someone who works out often I’m sure this new routine will better suit my lifestyle.

I really appreciate the beauty of my puffy, kinky, cotton “feel” like roots.  I guess that’s why I can’t stop touching my hair.  This is day two of my commitment to FreeForm locs.  I will include pictures along the way.

A future entry will highlight the combining of some 200 locs (mine). The photo below shows my hair  joined and thread stitched.

My locs untwisted
One of my loc inspiration photos

Singer Goapele’s Hair Braiding Session

I thought you might enjoy this footage of singer Goapele getting her hair braided.  I came across it while reading my Facebook timeline. Goapele in terms of natural hair is probably best known for the long locks (locs) that she used to wear not to long ago.  By the way, if you see any other videos featuring celebrities with natural hair let me know so that I can share them here.  For more information on this artist including photos, concert updates and more here is a link to her Facebook Fan Page. Or check her out on twitter @Goapele.

Singer Goapele

Pipe Cleaner Curls – short locs

My 2nd year anniversary post the BC (big chop) was right around mid-September. At that time I didn’t feel like writing about it, taking pictures or posting any videos to Youtube.  I realize my blogging needs more effort, so for the new coming year I plan to make a better effort when it comes to my updates.

Today, I’m sharing my personal experience with Pipe Cleaner Curls. Two words: Love It!  I have no idea why I didn’t try this style the first time I grew locks.  It is fairly simple and it looks cute on short, medium and long length locks. I have posted comments / questions on videos featuring women showcasing this style.  I have asked how well the curls held up after a workout at the gym.  To my surprise most have answered back that they don’t workout.

Side note: Your hair style should not keep you from participating in physical activity. We all need some form of exercise.  I have learned first hand, that the curls do hold up during intense physical training.  The results will probably vary depending on hair lengths.


Pipe Cleaner Set

Items use for my new style:

Pipe Cleaner Curls from Micheals (craft store), also available at Walmart.

LottaBody Setting Lotions from Sally’s Beauty Supply or Foam (optional) 

Spray bottle to hold liquid mixture (setting lotion and water)

Standard hooded Dryer

(Day #1) Light finger comb

I ended up using brown Pipe Cleaners because I couldn’t find any black ones in stock.  Although the material on the cleaners don’t shed much.  I had a little concern that loose fiber would show up in my hair if I failed to remove any of it.  To eliminate that possibility, I also rinsed my cleaners before introducing them to my natural hair.

The Steps:

* Fold the Pipe Cleaners in 1/2 and form what looks like a needle head on the closed end (after bending)

* Rinse Pipe Cleaners and squeeze excess water (no need to dry)

Shampoo & Condition the hair

Apply diluted setting lotion to hair sections (see bottle instructions)

Wrap each lock (I used up to three on each Pipe Cleaner), thicker hair may look better with less (1 to 2).  Note: wrap the hair around the cleaner starting close to the end that resembling the head of a needle for easier removal later. I didn’t use  any specific pattern. The style is basically a roller set without the rollers.

Once  the Pipe Cleaner set is complete sit under a hooded dryer for faster drying time (optional).  I wore my Pipe Cleaners over night with a satin cap.  The following morning I removed the Pipe Cleaners and finger styled.

Update: Day #5 photos (just after workout) 

Day #5 Side view

My locks were started with the finger twist method. I didn’t do the traditional parting with a comb.  I now use essential oils for re-twisting. Every now and then I may twist with Jane Carters Twist & Lock Cream.  If you have any  other questions, please post them  below.  Don’t forget to share this article via the share buttons below.  Thank you for supporting this blog and please come back again soon. Stay up to date with natural hair journey blog post via my Twitter  page or subscribe to this blog now.

Celebrating the beauty of the black woman's natural hair, mind & body.

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