Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle

7 Tips for Thicker, Longer Hair That Actually Work

I know that sounds like such a clickbait title, but it’s totally not. I started doing all of the below and my hair is noticeably thicker and longer. It’s true! If you somehow lived the bizarro version of my life, then you grew up with a mom who did everything she could to ensure I had long, black hair like every other good Indian girl. Her passion was so intense that I wasn’t allowed to get haircuts. Even when I explained how split ends work, and how it’s counter-intuitive but necessary to get hair cuts to grow my hair, it went in one ear and out the other.

SO, naturally, this obsession with growing healthy, long, thick hair to rival a horse’s tail passed down to me. After losing about 20-30 pounds (it waivers), I definitely also lost some hair. Making the transition to being vegan caused some hair loss too (but only initially). Once your body finds its groove, your hair will start growing healthier and shinier and thicker. Move over Herbal Essences models! Anyways, go and get or do the below 6 things and you’ll thank me later.

1. High Potency Biotin

I’m leading with the punchline here. High potency biotin is the secret to thicker, longer hair. I keep my bottles of vitamins at work so I can easily take them after lunch. The one I use from Whole Foods (and is often on sale) works like a charm. I ran my hands through my hair and could tell that it felt thicker and got noticeably longer than ever before.

2. Heat Protectant Spray

I have a bad habit of running my hands through my hair, only to accidentally pull out one to three strands at a time. Do this 30 times a day and that could easily equate to handfuls of hair. I started using heat protectant spray every time I wash my hair. I spray it on my slightly damp hair before I use the below and it helps prevent split ends as quickly.

3. Blow-dryer/brush

Instead of using all kinds of heat tools on your hair, find the one multi-tasking tool that works for you. When Ulta had this for 50% off, I jumped on the opportunity and can I tell you I have voluminous, shiny, silky hair because of it? I do. In fact, I’ve never received as many compliments on my hair as when I used this. Scout’s honor. I highly recommend it! It takes place of a hair dryer and a hair straightener. Just be sure to use an effective heat protectant spray.

4. Hair bobbles, baseball caps, and dry shampoo  

Embrace the dirty hair lifestyle. Your hair will get oily, and that’s OK. When it does, throw on your favorite baseball cap and live up that athleisure look. If you’re going to work, find some hairstyles that are work appropriate and easily conceal two or even three-day hair. My favorite are buns and half-up half-down hairstyles. A cute headband helps too! Be sure to use some good dry shampoo to help with the oil as well.

Hair bobbles are a must because unlike your traditional hair ties, they don’t snag or pull your hair out. They also don’t leave kinks in your hair.

5. A plant-rich diet 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I mean are you surprised about this one? Health starts from the inside out, and giving your body all the natural minerals and vitamins will help not only heal your body, but give it the boost it needs to develop as it naturally does! I could go on and on about this, but I don’t want to start a fight. Point blank–don’t eat meat or dairy. Eat plants. Love life.

6. A shower scalp massager

This is 100% an Instagram influenced purchase that’s actually legit. I throw a good dollop of shampoo in my hair and get it wet before I take to my scalp with this massager. Not only does it feel good, but lathers up the shampoo ensuring that my entire scalp gets squeaky clean. It may be in my head but the excess build-up, dead skin and sweat can’t be good for a healthy head of hair.

7. 10-week Trims 

Not going to lie. This one sucks. A lot. Not only because your hair gets shorter after the fact (I mean duh), but it also means you need to spend money on this. And when I saved up aggressively for the last down payment on our house (and designer shoes), my hair suffers. HOWEVER, it’s really important. Going every 10 weeks to shave off an inch, can help inches down the road. I suggest 10 weeks (because that’s what my hair stylist told me) because it depends on how quickly your hair grows. My hair grows super fast, so I should go monthly, but let’s be honest. I ain’t got time for that. I try to go quarterly if i can.

Question of the Day

What is your trick for longer, thicker hair?

Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle, weight loss

Wednesday Vegan Eats for Vegan Weight Loss

It’s been a rough couple of months since the new year guys. Am I the only one or can anyone else relate? I was motivated, decided to fall off the wagon (totally consciously), and get back on the wagon at full speed again. If you struggle with yo-yo dieting, this Wednesday weight loss tip will resonate with you. As soon as I changed my point of view to this line of thinking, it was like a huge lift off my shoulders. The revelation?

If you keep telling yourself that you’re on a diet, you’ll keep perpetuating the idea that you have weight to lose. If you go about life as you enjoy it, you won’t keep restricting yourself.

I know. Try it and let me know how it goes!

Vegan Breakfast Option

I normally don’t eat breakfast as you all know. I’m just not hungry enough! This morning though, I worked out and figured I would nourish my body for the hard work it put in in the morning–and instead I went back to my old habits.

Workout: 30 min. Run+walk on the treadmill

Breakfast: I planned to have Apples and Cinnamon Oatmeal, but had my usual Nespresso latte with 8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Vegan Lunch Option

Many days, lunch is spent at my desk while working. Lately, I’ve been trying to get better at taking a break and truly stepping away from all the screens.

Activity: Stood while working :/

Lunch: healthy life low calorie bread with daiya provolone cheese and light life bologna. Side of cherub tomatoes (ate the tomatoes before they had a chance at a photo)

Going Out as a Vegan

My colleagues and I went out for a quick drink after work. I usually get wine but switched it up and got what the restaurant called a Moscow Muddler. Was good! We also had some appetizers of hummus with pita and fries.

Vegan Dinner Option

I was kind of lost for what to do for dinner. I usually meal plan, but with how busy I’ve been since I started my job over a year ago, it’s been tough! So I made do with the Apples and Cinnamon oatmeal I planned for breakfast. Sorry, forgot the picture!

Question of the Day

What is your favorite go to vegan lunch option?

monthly favorites, Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

February Favorites

Happy March VCF family! Not unlike January, February was equally short as it was long. Losing two to three days at the end of the month is bittersweet; happy because March is full of exciting things for our family and sad because, well, it’s two days less of time! Any who, you’ll see some February Favorites that are classic OGs and others that are new. What have you been loving this month?

Swiss On Shoes

I’m trying to pick up running again. My schedule barely leaves me time to breathe so I’m trying to fit it in where possible. I know once we move into the new house, my fitness will get back on track, but for now, my treadmill in my living room (ew) will have to do, and these shoes I bought when we were in Manhattan Beach, CA a couple years ago have regained my love.

Best of all, according to PETAOn is 100% vegan.

iPad Pro

I’m constantly thinking about work and things I have to do. Instead of carrying around numerous notebooks and post-its and notes, I now do everything on my iPad. Don’t get me wrong–I miss my old fashioned writing and still write in my gratitude journal every morning, but this iPad guys…game. changer.

Ember Cup

Hasn’t failed me so far. I use this Ember mug once if not twice a day, morning and night.

Faux Fur Infinity Scarf

Polar vortex. Snow. Ice. Slush. I hate it all, but this faux fur infinity scarf is coming through to keep my neck nice and warm. Best of all, it’s a Target find, for less than $15 (at least when I bought it a couple years ago).

Question of the Day

What are you guys loving this month?

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle, weight loss

One Small (and easy) Step for Quick (and healthy) Weight Losses

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional. Please seek advise from your general practitioner before starting a new routine or healthy lifestyle. 

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! You may be one of the 45% of Americans going into 2019 who resolve to lose weight, and I don’t blame you. While it’s not at the top of my list every year, I can certainly say that it’s been kind of a priority since I was in middle school, and more so when I wanted to join the Varsity Tennis Team in High School. However, I lost weight in both healthy and unhealthy ways. But unlike the majority of New Year’s resolvers who start every year with gumption that fizzles into Netflix and Chillin’ come February 1, I’ve cracked the code to healthy weight loss.  

With that said, look out for a weekly Weight Loss Wednesday series where you can follow along my weight loss journey as a vegan, where I also give you some tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that believe it or not, is not completely about omitting the things you love.

This week, I’m going to share one tip that may help loads of you. 

HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS TIP: Eat Fat, Get Fat 

This is by far the simplest thing you can do. Intaking pure fat is the quickest way to gain actual fat (or add to your adipose tissue). I say pure fat because there’s a difference between pure fat and healthy fats as you probably already know:

Pure Fats – Oil, in any form:

  • Olive oil – reducing the intake of oil is the easiest thing you can do for your weight loss journey 
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (dairy or vegan)
  • Cheese – reducing the intake of cheese and dairy is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for your body 

Healthy Fats 

  • Avocados
  • Nuts (be aware of serving sizes. A handful can easily be between 300-800 calories). 
  • Chia seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Soy beans (keep daily intake low)

If I can’t have oil, what do I cook with? 
When you sauté, cook with water or vegetable stock. Another alternative is cooking spray. 

The rule of thumb is to intake up to 8-10 grams of fat per day at most…

…but more than anything and as with any healthy lifestyle–moderation is key. AND don’t let the scale dictate your day! 

Your changes should not be a diet. They should be a part of a healthy routine that fit your lifestyle. Not the lives of someone you see on Instagram or even your co-worker or friend who’s schedule and day-to-day is completely different from yours. 

I was going back and forth about starting this kind of series. Is this something y’all are interested in?

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monthly favorites, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle

September Favorites

The leaves are changing colors and while I hate (like a lot) to see Winter come, I LOVE any opportunity to throw on my boots, a scarf and some cozy sweaters. Yes, I’m a #basicb*@$h and proud of it. Fall always reminds me of that line from You’ve Got Mail where Tom Hanks (aka Joe Fox) tells Meg Ryan that it reminds her of a big bouquet of new pencils: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

Anyways, as we’re transitioning from Summer to Fall, I’ve loved these throughout the month of September.

1. Tom Ka Kai soup

I’ve legit made this vegan Tom Ka Gai soup (aka Tom Ka Kai, Tom Ga Kai) three times last week, and each time it lasted just a little under a week. Guys. It’s SO good. I suggest adding as much lemon juice as possible so it’s nice and acidic. Is your mouth watering? Mine is! Also, I just load it up with veggies. I also used the regular coconut milk in a can, but I suggest the low-fat version so that it’s not as rich.

TKKFinalNoBread

2. Trestique Lip Crayon

I’ve been on a lip binge lately. This lip crayon goes on so smooth, and it gives your lips just the right amount of shade and gloss. LOVE IT. If you want the best of both worlds (lipstick and lip gloss), definitely give Trestique lip crayons a shot.

But Samantha, are they VCF? Definitely cruelty-free! Are they vegan? Here’s the answer on the Trestique FAQs:

WHAT IS YOUR INGREDIENT PHILOSOPHY?

We believe in high tech, high performance makeup. Why? Because you get better color, smoother application and longer lasting results. trèStiQue is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances and petro chemicals. We infuse our products with natural plant ingredients wherever possible, such as coconut oil, which is why we know you will love them! Most importantly our products are never tested on animals and everything is made with love.

3. NYX Lip Gloss

If you can’t wear lipstick because it literally wears off once you blink, then you’ll love this NYX butter gloss as much as I do. In “Tiramisu” it’s literally a your (or my) lips but better. It’s pretty much the same color as my natural lips but make them hella juicy–your welcome. I personally think it’s the perfect substitution for chapstick (which isn’t at all good for your lips).

Is NYX vegan

While not all NYX produts are vegan, they do have a vegan dedicated line. Check it out here!

Is NYX cruelty-free?

According to their website, they are. BUT they are owned by L’Oreal Cosmetics, which is not cruelty-free. (WHY!!!)

4. Hair Protectant

I seriously think I have hair protectant to thank for how long and thick my hair has gotten in the past few months alone. Stay tuned this week for a post on how to get strong, long and thick hair. Hello #hairgoals! I’m still on the search however for an amazing (and good smelling) hair protectant that’s VCF, so if you know of any, please comment your recs below! Appreciate ya.

Is OGX cruelty-free?

According to their site:

Are OGX® products tested on animals?

OGX® does not initiate animal tests on either finished products or ingredients whether directly or indirectly. All ingredients used are carefully monitored. All suppliers are requested to confirm that their materials have not been tested on animals. Ingredients which do not have this data supplied for them are not used in any products. OGX® is against the suffering endured by animals when ingredients and products are tested. We support suppliers and organizations that are developing alternative methods of testing without using animals.

5. Book I’m Currently Loving

Image result for an american marriage book
Photo c/o: Chicago Review of Books

I’ve been starting a new feature with  monthly favorites, and that’s my favorite book of the month! Ya’ll can judge me, but it’s definitely The Secret! It changed my life, and I have the book to thank for taking my already positive self to a whole new level and understanding. If you’re not into it, I also really loved An American Marriage. 

Questions of the Day

What book are you loving lately? Any change to your routine that you’re loving?

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