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!