Saturday, September 28, 2013

Adventures in Seoul, Korea: Day 2

So here we are - Day 2 of our week long trip in Seoul! We actually got back pretty late the night before and were supposed to get going around 9 that morning, but we ended up WAKING up at 9 and leaving around 10! We ate breakfast at in our room which consisted of fried eggs (bought from the supermarket!), bread, and cereal (mhm mhm, American style breakfast haha<3) and then headed off.

We had planned this day to be our shopping day in Myeongdong which is filled with countless numbers of shops selling beauty (the bulk of what we bought) and clothing items. Our first stop was the Lotte Mall where we visited Star Avenue and the EXO pop up shop in Lotte Mall Young Plaza. Of course I freaked out in Star Avenue when I saw all the giant Super Junior photos (but I'll spare you all and only share one photo I took ;P) and hand prints! And for any of you avid Running Man fans, there was even a hand print by Kwangsoo! Lotte Mall itself was filled with quite a few nice Asian brands including Stylenada and an official SM permanent store on the bottom floor. My mom got so bored waiting for me and my sister to look at everything in the entire SM store so she left and went to walk around the rest of the building which was good because I ended up buying a door-length poster of Kyuhyun which cost 54,000 won (yes incredibly pricey but I don't regret it one bit ^__^). We saw some girl pick up THREE of the door-length posters (all costing 54,000 won) and buy them all and my sister and I were just like O__o dang..that girl is either loaded or a dedicated fan haha.

Kyuhyun will always have my heart <3

Big Bang!
Kyuhyun's handprint! Ahh was so happy to just touch it despite all the germs it was probably covered in haha <3
Pop-up shop!

Random cute puff wall (you can move the colored cotton balls to make images)

After we finished exploring Lotte Mall and taking a ton of pictures in the garden area outside and at Star Avenue, we ventured out to find the Dr. Fish cafe (also known as T & Coffee which is the sign that you see on the outside of the building) which yes, took us ages to get to because of super unclear online directions and a failing Google maps >:( But nonetheless, we managed to find our way there and settled in for some delicious drinks and a relaxing 20 minute foot soak with little fishies eating our dead skin! Sounds like a weird combo right? Don't worry, they don't give you your drinks until you're done with the fish spa (or you can choose to have your drinks first and then have the foot spa) cause I guess they don't want anything spilling into the water tubs? Anyways, the way the Dr. Fish cafe works is a bit confusing if you don't know how to read Korean and the workers there only know minimal English so it was a bit hard for us to figure out how the whole shibang worked. What you have to do is buy a drink or food - anything on the menu - and then you can purchase the 20 minute Dr. Fish treatment for an additional 3000 won. Each person must buy one item and one treatment, and you CAN'T buy just the Dr. Fish treatment without a food/drink item. Why they do this? To get more money I suppose haha. But it is a cafe and they do want customers to try out their menu items - which were actually quite delicious! I got a yogurt smoothie, my sister got a blue lemonade, and my mom (of course) ordered an Americano coffee. We also got our choice of a free honey toast (one of those giant square sweet breads that are toasted and usually come with ice cream and fruits and other toppings) or a green tea rice mochi (we chose this because it sounded more unique). The drinks were all super yummy and the rice mochi wasn't too sweet (perfect for my mother who hatees sweets) and had a nice gummy texture that I enjoyed.

The store that one episode of "We Got Married" was filmed at. We passed by this on our quest to find the Dr. Fish cafe!

Look at all those fish getting some grub haha~!

After our relaxing spa break, we hit the streets for some hard core shopping in the Myeongdong area. If you want to buy any makeup or beauty products, Myeongdong is one of the best places because ALL the makeup brands have at LEAST one shop located there and they all give out free samples for just walking in and taking a look around! Pretty awesome right? *looks at all my fellow freebie loving asians* ;D Most shops give out cotton pads, face masks, makeup remover wipes, or small skincare samples at the door but there are always better "gift with purchases" that they give out if you buy a product. Lots of Korea celebrities (especially kpop artist *__*) support/sponsor makeup brands and sometimes the shops will have posters of that celebrity that they will give you if you buy over a certain amount! Definitely an incentive to buy more makeup for me haha <3 If you find an occasionally nice salesperson (or maybe clueless), you can ask if you can have the poster and they might actually give it to you for free - that's what happened with me and my sister when we went into this giant supermarket near Seoul square that had small open beauty shops in the middle. Yoona has always sponsored Innisfree so when we saw a poster of her, we were like OOOH WE WANNT so my sister went up to the saleslady and asked her if they had the Yoona poster and the lady was like "Oh you like Yoona? *smiles* hmm.. *looks around* yes I think so, just hold on" and then she called up another saleslady and somehow they found a HUGE stack of the Yoona posters and she just handed us TWO! Was NOT expecting her to give it to us for free but the fact that she gave us two was super nice and awesome :)
The newest collection from Innisfree - with, of course, Yoona's delightful modelling :)
SPAO! This clothing store is sponsored by SM artists and of course, seeing Kyuhyun's pictures in beautiful clothing.... oh my I went crazy aha. But don't worry the clothes actually aren't too pricey - probably about the same pricing range and style as our American GAP.
There's even a Everysing store on the top level of SPAO which sells lots of SM products like posters, pillow cases, mugs, etc. There's even a photo booth where you can take pictures with the SM artists (obviously editted in but still pretty cool right?!) - it costs about 10,000won though so a bit pricey but you can decide if it's worth it or not XP (Me and my sister didn't do it but it was just cause we didn't have money on us at the time haha!)
We shopped around Myeongdong until around 7 when we decided to go get dinner from Myeongdong Gyoja (Address: 24 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu 100-809). It's a pretty famous place, or at least I think it must be because it was listed in one of our travel "must go to" places and there was quite a line for the restaurant. We had to wait about 7-10 minutes to get a seat and the entire restaurant was packed and waiters were bustling around trying to serve everyone. They actually only have 4 items on their menu, one being their famous mandu and the other three being either spicy something (forgot because we didn't order it haha :P), noodles (what we ordered), and some other thing that escapes my mind. We ordered the mandu and noodle soup for my mom, sister, and I and both dishes came out REALLY fast (which I suppose makes sense since they only have 4 dishes so they can easily prepare them a bit ahead of time) and we were stuffed after our meal (meaning the portions are a good hearty size). The great thing also was that neither of the dishes were spicy because we aren't used to all the spicy food Koreans love to make (not that it doesn't taste good!! But a break from all that spicy was nice). Their kimchi (freely provided of course) was REALLY spicy though! They use some sort of spice or something to flavor it that gives it this weird chemically (in my opinion) taste that actually didn't really  make the kimchi taste all that great. It could be that kimchi in America is just different and I wasn't used to the REAL kimchi since some other places we went to also had a similar flavored kimchi.
Entrance to Myeongdong Gyoja
The Kalgatsu (Noodle soup) dish

After dinner, we moved to our next location which was.... Namsan tower! It was a bit of a far walk from the subway station but it's pretty easy to make your way to the elevator that takes you to the cable cars which take you to the tower since all you have to do is look at the tower and walk towards it! :P You have to purchase a ticket to ride the cable cars and then wait in line to take the cable cars (we had to wait in line for about half an hour.. yes there was quite a lot of people..perhaps because it was a weekend?). They pack people into the cable cars quite tightly so make sure you hold onto your purse/wallet never know.. The cable car ride lasts about 1-2 minutes (it isn't too long) but long enough for you to get a nice view as your ride up towards the tower! Once you reach where the tower is, you have to purchase ANOTHER ticket that lets you into the tower. When you enter the tower, you have to wait in yet again, a line, that takes you up to the top of the tower. This line went by a bit faster and the elevator ride up was super fast and they have a cool video for you to watch so you get to the top in no time! Once you get up to the tower, there isn't actually too much to do though other than take a few pictures of the scenery, maybe grab a coffee from the Twosome cafe located up there, or visit the couples area (yes there's an actually section of the top tower dedicated for couples). There was also the Locks of Love area which is at the bottom of the tower. For some reason I thought it looked a bit different but basically there's these giant tree looking blobs that are actually all piles of locks building on each other and couples go there and hang a lock as a symbol of eternal love~<3
A view of the tower from the bottom of it. (Don't know why I took the picture with it slanted like the Leaning Tower of Piza -__-)
A view from the top of Namsan Tower~ !
Locks of Love
After we finished exploring Namsan tower, it was about 11:00 PM and we STILL had to wait in line to take the cable car down to the other station we had first went to and there were still people coming up the cable car to see the tower! Anyways, we got back down to ground level and took the quite long walk back to the station. I feel like we were all completely exhausted because of the long day AND the fact that we were each holding what felt like 100lbs of face masks and cosmetic purchases we had accumulated in Myeongdong. It was a relief to finally get back to our home in Mapo and hit the sack. ^o^

So that's the end of day TWO~! I hope you guys enjoyed the, once again, length and overly detailed post. Please comment down below if you do enjoy these or if you want any more specifics on places we visited. I will probably be posting more photos later but I don't have access to all of them at the moment so look forward to that~! I will also be posting up my Korea haul later on! UNTIL NEXT TIME MY FELLOW READERS ^__^

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Adventures in Seoul, Korea: Day 1

We started off the trip by arriving at the airport around 2PM from Hong Kong and meeting with a representative of the residential home that we would be staying out. He helped us get our "egg" (aka wifi hotspot) from the airport and drove us to the residential home where we were pleasantly surprised with. The website for the residential home we stayed at is: and you guys should all go check it out if you're looking for a pretty cheap but nice place to stay at in Seoul (though the entire website is in Chinese so if you don't know how to read Chinese.. well there's always Google translate!). The owners of the residential home spoke Cantonese, some English, and Korean and were super kind and helpful. Our "home" was located in Mapo and was literally right next to the Mapo subway station which was super convenient!  Plus, everyday someone would come in and tidy up the house a bit which kept it nice and clean for the 7 days that we stayed in Seoul. I'm glad we chose to stay at a residential home rather than a hotel because it was about the same price, if not cheaper, as all the hotels we were looking at, but it included a stove (with all utensils, dishware, pots&pans, etc included!), washing&drying machine in one (never seen before so I thought it was super cool!), free wifi, TV, and many other amenities that most hotels don't have! Okay enough of my gushing of our living area - no I'm not being paid to say all these good things about them, I really just enjoyed it and felt quite nice at home! The website has so many pictures of the room (I forgot to take actual pictures) but it really does look like the pictures! Honestly the pictures don't even show how amazing the place is.

After we had gotten settled into our room, it was about 4:00 PM so we decided to go out and eat a late lunch/early dinner. There were a lot of restaurants - almost all were Korean BBQ shops - near our apartment/home so we didn't have to walk far before we found a place we wanted to eat at. I must say I think all the restaurants were a tad bit expensive and even the place we chose, it cost 35,000 won for a plate of beef!! That's basically $35 US dollars which is crazy expensive and there wasn't even that much meat! That was the second most expensive meal we ate in Korea - coming after our meal at the seafood market where we totally got ripped off. However, the meal was still good (though the taste did not quite match the price).

After we left, we stopped by a GS-25 which is basically like our American 7-11 store and filled up our T-cards (if you live in Hong Kong or have ever visited Hong Kong and know what an "Octopus card" is, then the T-card is Korea's version of an Octopus card). For those of you who don't know what a T-card or an Octopus card is, they are both cards that can be filled with money to be used to pay for the subway, buses, and even some shops or stores will accept them. T-cards are a must-have if you will be traveling in Seoul and using the subway because then you will not have to purchase a subway ticket each time you go into the station and you can very conveniently "beep" your T-card which will cover the subway fee. For our entire 7 day trip which was packed with subway rides from touristy place to place, we used a little bit more than 20,000 won which wasn't too bad - the subway is actually quite cheap, much cheaper to take than a taxi and less confusing than a bus since there is enough English for most people to get by on. As a warning though, the subway stations in Korea are HUGE (waaay bigger than the ones in Hong Kong). You usually have to walk a good amount if you're trying to transfer to another line and it's not hard to get lost or go the wrong way when you're looking for you subway train. ALSO, for all my fellow Hong Kongers, the subway trains are not as frequent as the ones in Hong Kong (which come like every less than 5 minutes), so you'll often see people running through the subway stations in Korea trying to catch the subway train because they don't want to wait for the next one.
Subway art <3
After filling up our T-cards, we went back to our hotel to go chill until around 7:00 when we headed down to the subway station and headed off to the Namsung bridge (also known as the Banpo Bridge) to see the rainbow waterfall show which started at 8pm. The bridge isn't very close to the nearest subway exit, and we had to walk about 10 minutes, following some instructions my sister had found online and while we were a little bit sketched out when we had to go underground, we made it safely to the bridge! ;D I'll admit we got lost quite a few times the entire trip, but it's kind of inevitable with all the super not clear walking directions blogs give (some of them weren't even accurate..) and Google maps failed us and could never come up with walking instructions even though it knew our location and the location of our destination. -__-' Anyways we were also going to go visit the Floating Island which is right next to the bridge but to our utter disappointment, apparently on rainy or cloudy days, the Floating Island isn't lit up/doesn't have the nice show display that it usually has. It was a bummer since that day was pretty cloudy and so when we arrived to see a boring little island with no pretty lights and waterfalls, we were definitely disappointed. We were also worried that the Namsung bridge show might alsoo be cancelled at about 8:10PM the rainbow waterfalls started! I took a TON of pictures and the show was definitely worth the wait! The show lasted about 20 minutes and had super cute accompanying music (kudos to whoever chose to play Jason Mraz ^__^).
Photo of the Namsung bridge before the show

Photo of the Namsung bridge during the show. Ooooh pretty colors~! ^__^
 Once the show was over, we walked back to the station to head back to our home in Mapo but somehow we found the Gangnam Underground Shopping Center (the entrance looks like a subway entrance) and so we decided to stop by and take a "quick" look - that quick look turned out to be more than an hour. We didn't even finish looking at all the shops because many started to close down since it was quite late but also, the underground shopping area is HUGE. There were many jewelry, accessory, and clothing shops down the halls and they were all pretty decently priced. Some places you can haggle in Seoul, but this shopping mall is not one of them. You don't really need to haggle here though because there are so many sales on clothes for 5000 or 10,000 won!  It's also connected to the subway though so we were able to find the subway entrance there and take our way back to Mapo.

A photo of the Gangnam Underground Shopping Center - as you can see..there is no end! Endless shopping~!
This was one of the jewelry shops we looked at and the guy apparently wanted me to take a picture of him (or well he said "Kimchi!!" and pointed at my camera so yea.. LOL. He was okay with it though and actually asked to see the picture haha. (For those of you who don't know, while in the US we say "Cheeseee" when taking a picture, Koreans say "Kimchi!")

There is a supermarket in the Mapo station that closes around 10PM so we stopped by it to grab some food for the next morning such as eggs, milk, bread, and ramen. Also, as a heads up, FRUIT in Seoul is crazy expensive. 4 small baby bananas that weren't even that nice looking cost about 9000 won (!!) and all other fruits are so expensive. We were super exhausted after our first day and crashed almost the moment we got back. Overall, our first day (which wasn't even a full day) was super fun and I was so ready for the rest of our trip to get started~!

I hope this extremely long and overly detailed post will help any of you who will be visiting Seoul soon and look for my next day posts! ^__^

My Hair Care Routine - How I grew out my hair & all my tips and tricks for awesome hair

Hey everyone~! I've been growing out my hair for quite some time now, but I suppose the most rapid hair growth has been in the last year which is why I've decided to write a post on how to successfully grow out your hair. I'm not saying that I have miracle tips to make your hair just shoot out of your scalp, but I think I have found some helpful little things that would benefit all you fellas trying to grow your hair out!
 Photo to show you the length of my hair (note I was at a hotel and sending a shameless selfie to a friend so looking a bit silly I know..)

Now this probably among the number one things you can do to let your hair grow and I'm sure everyone knows this, but hey, the more times you hear it, the better it'll sink in. Supposedly it takes hearing something 7 times for someone to actually remember it. So I'll repeat myself, don't use heat!!! I used to straighten my hair basically everyday my freshman year of high school because I liked the nice straight look and hate the little waves or creases I might have from the night's sleep. However, with the constant straightening and the 2hrs a day, 6 times a week in the pool.. my hair health was definitely taking a toll. So what did I do? I found ways to avoid getting creases in my hair and learned to love the slight kinks in my hair. How did I do this might you ask? Well, it took some time and practice, and not all these ways made my hair perfectly straight the next morning, but they definitely did help me avoid the heat so try them out until you find the one that works for you (everyone has different hair~!).
[NOTE: Always sleep with your hair dry or else you will DEF have kinks in your hair the next morning!!]

How to go to bed and wake up with nice untangled hair:
  1. Sleep with your face up, back lying all the way flat on the bed and part your hair down the middle putting equal amounts of hair on both sides. 
  2. Using the same sleep position, you can also put all your hair on one side - both this and the above way work for me though I prefer to put my hair all on one side. If you toss and turn a lot during your sleep/neither of these two ways work for you, try the next option.
  3. Use the same sleep position (which by the way, you should sleep with your face up all the time to avoid the hair oils/dirt that might be embedded in your pillow case. Plus it's supposed to give you a face lift!) and tie your hair (loosely to avoid hairband kinks) into two low pigtails. This is great if you move around a lot in your sleep.
  4. If you don't mind small waves, two loose braids on either side of your head are great options for untangled and still decently straight hair. You'll most likely end up with some nice beachy waves which can look great if that's what you're going for. Adjust the looseness or tightness of the braids to your liking~
  5. For those of you ladies with naturally beautiful locks, there is a video on Youtube that I saw where the girl wrapped her wet-damp hair around her head and bobby pinned it down every 2 inches and it gave her REALLY straight hair the next day! Click here for the link to the video!
Hopefully one of these ways works for you, but even if they don't, the best ways to avoid heat are to find heat-free styles. Ponytails, high or low buns, and braids (and there are SO many possible braided hairstyles) are just among the possibilities that you can use to avoid the heat. And don't forget, let your hair air dry when possible - this was a pretty easy thing for me to do since I never needed to blow dry my hair as it dries pretty quickly. Try to not shower too late at night so that your hair has enough time to dry and always gently pat/squeeze the towel around your hair to remove excess water instead of vigorously ruffling it dry. This prevents breakage and speeds up the natural drying process. If you absolutely MUST use heat, spray on a heat protectant and blow dry on the cool setting. To be honest, as my hair started to grow out, I think the weight of my hair just pulled itself down and made it straighter which made it even easier for me to avoid using heat! Not to mention, I've found the perfect way to curl my hair without heat (took some time and practice) and I might upload a short picture tutorial on how I do it! It's really simple :)

What do I mean by this? Simple! Just treat your hair like your baby. Now that includes not putting heat on it every day, but also deep conditioning it, using hair masks, and being gentle with your hair (I'll explain what I mean in a bit!). Deep conditioners should be used once a week SUPPOSEDLY, but when my hair was at its worst, I used my deep conditioners 2-3 times a week! Of course I wasn't slathering them on my scalp - that probably would have given me a giant oil head - instead, I focused the conditioners mostly on the scalp. Not to mention that I also didn't shampoo my ends. Because the ends of your hair are always the driest, don't scrunch all your hair up and lather ALL of it when you're shampooing. The best way to do it is to only put the shampoo product on the roots of your hair, lather GENTLY - meaning use your fingers, not your nails, and gently massage the shampoo into your hair, and then rinse it out letting the shampoo foam/suds seep down over your ends as the water washes it down. I'm not sure where I learned to do this, but I thought it was basic common sense until my sister told me she didn't do this (and her hair wasn't in the best condition!). So if you haven't been shampooing your hair this way, START DOING IT! You won't regret it :)

Now, I have used a good share of conditioners&deep conditioners from Dove, Organix, Loreal, Etude House, Herbal Essences, Aussie, Clear, and many others so I think I can confidently say I know which ones are better than others. Note there is a difference as deep conditioners aren't meant to be used every day, but who says you can't find an amazing nourishing daily conditioner? ;) Keep in mind that everyone has different hair types though so what works for me may not work as well for your hair - but nonetheless, I do think the conditioners that I will recommend are AMAZING and have worked for all my friends who have tried them. Plus none of them are too ridiculously expensive so it can't hurt to try them out, right~?
  1. Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner - This is one of my FAVORITE conditioners, hands down no questions about it! I've heard it's comparable to the "Macadamia Natural Oil" brand products which are WAY more expensive, but honestly, I just love this conditioner. It doesn't feel incredibly thick, but it makes my hair SO smooth, soft, and shiny after I use it. Plus, it doesn't make my hair too oily or weigh it down. Love love LOVE it! I haven't tried the deep conditioner from this line, but I'm sure it's just as good (though I like to stick to this daily conditioner version so I don't have to worry about waiting super long for the conditioner to sink into my hair and what not! Ain't nobody got time fo dat! ;P) 
  2. Clear Damage & Color Repair Conditioner - Another one of my favorites (now that I think of it, if I'm recommending these, they must all be a favorite right?). The first few times I used this, I didn't know you were supposed to put it on your scalp, so I only put it on the ends of my hair and blech! Did NOT like it at all. I didn't feel like it was moisturizing my hair at all! Then half a year later, my friend told me the whole focus of the line was "nourishing the scalp for healthier hair" and that you were supposed to put the conditioner on your scalp! I was totally mind-blown and decided to give it a shot. Used it and put the conditioner on my scalp and BAM, it was amazing. It made my hair feel so incredibly soft and silky and wow. This brand is pretty new (well newer then most other brands I mean haha) but definitely go check it out. There's always deals at Target or coupons in the mail so look out for those! 
  3. Herbal Essences Hydralicious Reconditioning - I absolutely love this line from Herbal Essences. I don't say conditioner for this line because I usually buy this in a two pack where it comes with the shampoo and conditioner and I love both of them. The shampoo lathers nicely and I do feel like it actually does something for my hair (usually I'm really whatever about shampoos because they all seem the same... unless it's a hotel shampoo that doesn't lather at all - yuck!), but the conditioner.. I can't say enough good things about it. It's definitely a thicker consistency, but it doesn't weigh down my hair and a little bit really goes a long way. My hair just drinks in the moisture and I love how nice my  hair feels afterwards. I used this conditioner a LOT when I was swimming loads and it did wonders for my hair.
  4. Dove Nourishing Oil Care Treatment Mask - I actually picked this deep conditioner up in Vietnam when I went there for a volunteer trip because the conditioner I had brought was running out and I just needed something to keep my hair healthy for those 3+ weeks. Little did I know I had bought one of the best deep conditioners I have ever tried. It comes in a tub like most deep conditioners and has a nice thick consistency so it doesn't like fall off your hand when you're scooping it out of the container. I actually could use this for multiple days in a row, though it was a bit annoying to have to wait the 5ish minutes (or more if you feel like it) that deep conditioners ask for, but it really does nourish and treat your hair. I would definitely say this is better than the Loreal deep conditioners and the Aussie 3-minute miracle treatment that everyone seems to love.
Hair love doesn't just stop with conditioners though. You gotta give it after-shower care too! Yea I'm telling you, your hair needs lots of love. As I mentioned before, ALWAYS use a heat protectant when you're going to be heat styling or even blow drying. You have to make sure that the heat protectant has completely absorbed into your hair and that your hair isn't damp because using heat on wet hair increases the damage by ten folds (okay well maybe not that much but a lot!). You should also be using some sort of leave-in product such as Biosilk's Silk Therapy or Chi Silk Infusion. Both are on the pricier range, but work WONDERS for your hair. They really help to smooth your hair, add shine, and REALLY strengthen and nourish your hair. Plus they keep away split ends! I got the Biosilk Silk Therapy at Target in a value pack that came with the shampoo and conditioner (though I didn't particularly enjoy either) which made it way cheaper and it helped my hair SO much. I still haven't ran out (you get a pretty large amount in a full size bottle) since I only use about 1/3 of a dime amount and run it through the lower half of my hair. Avoid your scalp area as this CAN make your hair oily. There are also lots of leave-in products that you can apply to add body/volume/style to your hair such as the Organix Coconut Leave-in Mousse while also nourishing your hair. I actually have this and I pumped some into a spray bottle and added water so I also use it as a leave-in mist when my hair looks like it needs some extra moisture (it also works great as a detangler haha :D).

Besides all the products you can use to love your hair, keep in mind you have to be gentle with your hair. That means don't subject it to constant heat, don't put it in tight ponytails or braids (ie. corn rows - these can really pull at your hair and cause lots of breakage), brush your hair GENTLY - don't mow through knots!, and dry your hair with care. When you're brushing your hair (something I actually don't need to do too often for some reason - lucky me!), if you come across a knot, hold your hair gently and in small but firm strokes, slowly detangle the knot with your brush. Detangler sprays come extra handy during times like these. You can use a leave-in sort of spray like I mentioned before or use the Suave Double Dutch Apple Detangling Spray (my absolute favorite, well the only one I've ever tried, and I've used it since I was a little kid. It smells freaking AMAZING!). Also, do NOT brush your hair when its wet! Your hair is most vulnerable when it's wet (you'll notice that if you brush your hair wet, more hairs come out than when it's dry) and if you're trying to grow out your hair, you definitely don't want to be yanking out any long locks. As I said before, gently towel dry your hair by pressing your hair in between your towel and gently patting. I used to go all-out crazy ruffle mode with the towel which worked to get out the extra water in my hair but it definitely caused breakage!

I love to say that word "Au naturel" and I absolutely love to butcher the pronunciation and pronounce it as "Ah-yooh nat-cher-ral". Yes I know that's wrong and yes I love to emphasize how wrong I say it. It just sounds cooler that way ;) But either way, this last tip just means go natural! Embrace your natural hair and skip the styling. Let your hair just flow down when possible and let it grow! I know people say you're supposed to get a trim every 3 months or whatever but I say FOOZ-WAZZLES to that! No way, I refused to get my hair cut and I haven't gotten it cut or trim in over 2 years now. I trim my own bangs and cut off the occasional split end (surprisingly I haven't had many!), but I was, and still am, totally against letting anyone but myself touch my hair. If you have a ton of split ends then yea you might want to go to a hairdresser and get a trim, but go to one you know and trust to listen to what you say and only cut off the least amount possible to get rid of the split ends. You can also just trim your own hair like I do, if you're comfortable with that! Not only should you avoid cutting your hair, don't dye or highlight your hair either! This can cause serious damage to your hair and loads of split ends can result. You don't need those kinds of chemicals in your hair! Now I probably shouldn't be talking since I have had my fair share of hair dying, but take it from me, dying your hair can really damage it. Especially if you're going lighter and bleaching it.. you are NOT going to be pleased with state of your hair afterwards! If you absolutely must/want to dye your hair and are using a box dye (ie not going to the salon), stick to one that advertises nourishment. I would recommend the L'oreal Superior Preference or Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme. Furthermore, you HAVE to condition your hair like crazy (definitely use hair masks multiple times) for next week after you dye your hair if you want to avoid the worst damage effects. Lastly, part of going "au naturel" includes leaving out the styling. I can't stress it enough but honestly letting your hair down, straight or curly, whatever your natural hair is like is the best thing for your hair. There are so many easy, hair-friendly hairstyles that require little effort and can fit any look. And honestly, for a lazy girl like myself, leaving my hair down is fine by me! Saves me the trouble and gives me a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning :) Hair accessories like little bow or flower clips or headbands can really jazz up your normal hair without causing stress on your hair. So embrace your natural hair and you'll for sure be rewarded~ ^_^

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this long LONG post (took me ages to type out) and found it at least somewhat helpful. Growing out my hair took me ages, but it's finally in a place where I'm happy and it's happy. It's actually getting a bit long tbh and I'm not sure what to do. I'm thinking of cutting it a bit, just because it's gotten so long it keeps getting in my way LOL. But who knows, I absolutely LOVE my length and the health of my hair - def don't want to mess with that! Also, if you want to learn more about my daily hair care routine, I just posted up a video that I made talking about it (filmed a while back though) so click here to watch it! Well, toodles for now... go check out my other videos or stalk me on instagram or twitter (though all I use my twitter for is to tweet, ok I mean stalk, celebrities =__=) @creamydinner . Love you all and talk to you soon~!