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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I Thought My Hair Was Normal Porosity....WTF?

Hello lovelies!

Well here I am, 8 months natural and still learning all manner of new things about my hair. To be more specific: I'm learning that what was true for my relaxed/transitioning hair is not necessarily true for my natural hair.

Over the past 8 months, I have been the stereotypical wash and go natural because (let's face it), I'm lazy. However, one thing I have noticed is that my hair gets dry rather quickly. Like tumbleweed dry. I could put the most moisturizing of DCs and moisturizers in my hair and my hair would just soak that ish up. This really perplexed me for awhile because I am not used to my hair doing this. Then today I figured it out.

My hair is high porosity.

Waaayyyyy back at the start of my journey when my hair was relaxed and super damaged, my hair did this exact same 'soak up all the moisture' routine. With love and care, I got my hair to normal-ish porosity and moisturizing my hair wasn't a super big issue. The problem was, I have carried this routine with me even though the condition of my hair (going from relaxed to natural) has changed. I failed to adjust!!!

So what to do with this newfound knowledge? Well, I have to treat my hair like the high porosity hair that it is. I have a plan of action based on a few things I have noticed. Product-wise, thick DCs and moisturizers make my hair sing. Here are the products that are working thus far:

TGIN Honey Hair Mask
Camille Rose Algae Renew DC
Kandy Kurls Hair Mask
Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage DC
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil masque

Oyin Hair Dew
Oyin Whipped Pudding
Camille Rose Moisture Milk
Kinky Curly Knot Today (I swear this product is bae)

See the trend here? My hair just doesn't respond well to thin DCs or moisturizers (I'm looking at you Mielle Organics Babbasu hair just laughed at it. Now it's sitting my my bathroom collecting dust. Same goes for liquid leave ins.....waste o'time). Now the trick is making sure my hair holds on to the moisture that I give it for longer than a few hours. Which brings me to my next point.......

I'm also not sure why I shifted from regularly using protein conditioners. I know their benefits in helping my hair hold on to moisture but for some reason I just stopped. In this sense, I need to get back to what I know works (Komaza Protein Treatment here I come!).

I also am willing to give the Shea Moisture High Porosity line a go. I've used the finishing elixir on my hair this week and I am noticing a difference in the appearance and moisture levels of my hair. I've also seen the rave reviews of the deep conditioner. I'll purchase it this weekend and give it a go.

So the moral of the story is this: you can be that natural that thinks being natural is enough for your hair so you don't have to do anything extra or you can be that natural who is so used to routine that you fail to adjust your routine to meet the new needs of your hair. Both ends of the spectrum are equally terrible and can result in much frustration. Thus, a big lesson my my natural journey that I'd give to any new natural is to 'ADJUST if you MUST!'

Just something to think about......

Sunday, September 11, 2016

7 Months Natural: Progress Check!!

Hello lovelies!

The last time that I checked in, I informed all of you that I was fully natural. Then I disappeared again lol. I have to admit, I am spending a LOT of time trying to figure out what works best for my hair and really trying to nail down styles that I can do. Due to my hectic schedule this past summer, that style was a wash and go puff. Unfortunately for y'all, that means there really isn't much for me to report (sucks I know!).

However, last weekend I wore my hair out and free and I noticed that my hair is much bigger than it was when I first BCed. Being natural, it's really hard to discern progress (without straightening) because my hair still doesn't touch my shoulders when it is in a fro so I didn't really do any type of length check. Last weekend changed all of that. At 7 months post, I have a big afro! I was floored.

So clearly, my hair grows OUT before it grows DOWN (hmmm.....I think I noticed that when I was relaxed too!). As further proof of my progress, I stretched my hair and saw that the longest portions of my hair are APLish (compared to the CL it was when I first did the big chop). Additionally (and this is perhaps the most important finding), I can do my twist outs using a flat twist with a bantu knot at the end (the same way I did them when I was transitioning). When I first chopped, I could not do this AT ALL and doing 2 strand twist outs on my hair are always a fail. Either way, I am excited about my progress and I am amazed that how I was able to achieve that progress so quickly. Shoot, it took me a year to reach APL from SL when I was relaxed.

So what have I been doing? What have I learned in the past 7 months?

1) Washing and DCing my hair 1x a week works best for my hair. Washing daily makes my hair revolt something terrible.

2) Shea butter? I use that s**t for everything. My hair loves any product that has it.

3) Finger detangling is done every time I wash my hair. I rarely use combs.

4) Low manipulation works. I think I have retained so much by wearing a weekly puff, putting my hair in twists, and/or wearing head wraps ( I have been slowly accumulating pretty head wraps for this purpose).

Those are the 4 main things that I have done. Product wise, I'm still all over the place. Thus far, my hair loves Camille Rose products (the shampoo, the deep conditioner, the hair milk, and the curl maker gel); Kinky Curly Leave In and Curling Custard; Oyin Hair Dew, Whipped Pudding and Burnt Sugar Pomade;and Kandy Kurls Peppermint Cowash and Hair Masque. I've had some products that didn't live up to the hype for my hair (ex: Mielle Organics Cowash and the Babassu DC). All and all, I'm still figuring this all out. I am aiming to get my hair straightened in February (which will mark 1 year of being fully natural) but I am terrified of heat damage! Either way, I'll figure something out. I know that thus far, I am loving this natural hair journey!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Natural Regimen/Products I Use

Hi lovelies!

Even though the products I use for my natural hair are still a work in progress, I figured that I would post what I use at this particular moment in time. These products are the ones that I will consistently re-up on ( and not the ones that I am experimenting with)

Shampoo: Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Conditioning Cleanser: Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Co-Wash/ Miss Jessie's Co-Wash

Rinse Out Conditioner: Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle

Deep Conditioner: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask

Leave-In: Kinky Curly Knot Today/ Oyin Juices N Berries

Moisturizer: Oyin Hair Dew/ Oyin Whipped Pudding

Gels: Olive Oil Eco-Styler ( for slicking my hair into a puff)/ Kinky Curly Curling Custard/ Miss Jessie's Coily Custard

I currently wash my hair with shampoo or a conditioning cleanser about once a week and I follow that up with a DC using my heat cap for 30 minutes. From there, I rinse the DC out, completely saturate my hair with water and apply my Kinky Curly Curling Custard (sometimes I'll apply Kinky Curly Knot Today before this step). Afterwards, I will either leave my hair out or put it in a puff and let my hair air dry.

Two to three times a week, I repeat this process but instead of using a shampoo or conditioning cleanser, I use a regular degular conditioner. I moisturize my hair as needed with water or a little bit of leave in

That's it!! This whole process does not take up my entire day and it seems that my hair is thriving from it. I am sure once winter rolls around, I will be sitting under a dryer to get my hair dry before I step outside.

I'm Natural Now! ( And Other Random Updates...) *sorry about photo size!!!*

It has been awhile since I have been here.

But so much has happened over since the last time that I wrote.

When I last left you, I was transitioning. I was pretty much getting through the transition by wigging it up or doing the occasional twist out. Styling my hair during my transitioning stage wasn't the issue ( like so many folks think that it would be). Detangling on wash day was. My relaxed ends loved to tangle and give me grief. As a result, I was prone to leaving my hair alone for long stretches of time. I JUST DIDN'T WANT TO DEAL WITH IT.

* My hair at various stages in my transition*

Fast forward to a random Friday night in February where I began to get really curious about my curl pattern. I knew that my relaxed ends were keeping me from seeing my coils, so I cut them. And kept cutting. After 13 months of transitioning, I did the BC and my hair looked like this:

The picture in the top left corner is my hair the day of my BC

I wasn't immediately comfortable with my texture so I continued to wig for another month. In that time, I began trying new products and really having to figure out what works best for my natural hair. As a relaxed head (and a transitioning head), my hair needed slightly more protein than moisture. However, as a natural, my hair needs more moisture than protein. As a result, my PJism is back in full effect! I love to try new cowashes and deep conditioners because I know that is what my hair adores. By the time March rolled around, I was ready to try my hand at my first wash and go puff:

*The first puff

I absolutely loved it! Plus I got compliments of approval from my 7th grade students (if you've ever been around 7th graders, you know that they can be the most blunt people on Earth!) which felt pretty good. March through May were spent trying to find ways to get the coils in my puff more defined. I found myself doing more cowashing than ever and actually seeing the benefits of doing it (as a relaxed head, I cowashed every now and then but it wasn't the groundbreaking experience that it is now.).

*My puff. My easy breezy go-to style*

Even though I love my wash and go puff, the process to get my coils defined took an hour. A FREAKING HOUR!!! For a wash and go, that is way too long. In June, LHCF introduced me to the Dickey method for wash and go's. This method takes a hot 15 minutes and had my coils POPPIN'! This is a method that I have been using exclusively this month and I can use it to actually wear my hair out. Prior to this method, my hair kinda looked like a mullet ( which is not cute.). So this summer, I've have been wearing my natural hair out more frequently.

There it is!! My hair! Through the course of the past 4 months, I have found out that my hair is primarily 4b, with some 4a sprinkled here and there. It does extraordinarily well with moisture and I can typically get away with just finger detangling my hair. As I am still a newbie, my staple products for my natural hair are still being determined but I can make a list of the products that work for my hair. Wash and go's are my staple because my hair isn't quite the length that I want it to be for twist outs and even though my natural hair makes a fro, it's actually SL when stretched. I am finding that I am once again in an awkward stage....and I am loving every minute of it!