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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!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

9/8/15 LOTD: Transitioning Updo

Hello lovelies!

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!! I'm here just to show you guys how I am styling my hair at 9 months ( 9 months, y'all!!) post relaxer.

Typically on wash days, my faithful standby is a twist out. I can't help it. It is a style that I know will give me a reliable outcome. This week, however, I am positively tired of twist outs. Since I had so much free time on my hands, I looked up updos for transitioning hair and what you see below is the result. I saw this style on Mo Knows Hair and I just knew I had to replicate the style!

I got so many compliments from adults and my students (and if you're around any 7th grader for a reasonable amount of time, you know that they are the most honest people on Earth, lol!) which was a good definite plus. I plan on wearing this throughout the week and will continue with my wash days as scheduled. I will say that transitioning is really not that difficult once you hit 9 months, especially if you aren't forcing your hair to be straight.

Anyway, enough of my yammering...check out the pics!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

First Impressions: Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Moisturizing Milk Masque

Hello lovelies!

Today I am back with a product that I received in July's Curl Kit but I didn't get a chance to try it until recently. If you been following my transition ( and I know you have!), you know that I have mentioned how my new growth needs increasingly more moisture. My current mission has centered around finding super moisturizing products for my hair and let me tell you, this product definitely makes the cut!

Price: ~$6.99 for 11.4 oz +tax (from local BSS--I received mine from a Curl Kit I ordered)

Ingredients: Water (Water) (Eau), Glycerin, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Polyquaternium-37, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cicaprylyl Carbonate, Mica, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Argania Spinose Kernel Oil, Panthenol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polysorbate 60, Dimethiconol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Ceteareth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylisothiazolinone, Cl77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Cl19140 (Yellow 5), Cl 14700 (red 4), Cl 42090 (Blue 1)

Their claims (per the label): No Frizz, No Shrinkage, No Dryness! It's time to reclaim healthy curls with our Moisturizing Milk Masque, packed with repairing nutrients from Argan Oil and Argan Butter. This essential deep treatment is formulated for all curl types to strengthen, restore, and hydrate distressed hair, preventing damage.

*No: Sulfates, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum*

**Perfect for: Deep Conditioning or Co-Washing**

I have to admit that I was excited to use this product because it says that it is for all curl types and transitioners. As someone who is 8 (almost 9 months) into their transition, I really wanted to see how beneficial this product would be for my hair. I used this product as a deep conditioner, immediately following my protein treatment with Komaza Protein Strengthener. I applied this to my hair in sections (to ensure that every part of my hair got the moisturizing goodness) and DCed with a heat cap for about an hour.

When I first opened the product, I couldn't believe how thick this conditioner is! It really is like a butter! I initially thought that with my hair and the thickness of this conditioner, I was going to run through that jar in a wash and a half. To my surprise, a little really went a long way! This conditioner spreads easily and my hair absorbs it with no problem. I can see one jar lasting me 4-5 washes (since I wash my hair weekly, about a month).

As far as smell goes, this product smells like any other Creme of Nature with Argan Oil product---kinda sweet, kinda medicinal. The smell doesn't bother me too much and it goes away once you rinse the product out of your hair. It may bother those who are sensitive to scents, however. If you look at the ingredients, you see that fragrance is pretty high up in the list (it's the 5th ingredient!!). This means that there is a scent and a lot of it. So for my scent sensitive've been warned!

Another potential red flag is that this product contains isopropyl alcohol and it's high in the ingredient listing (the 12th ingredient). Isopropyl alcohol can be found in holding hair sprays and can be drying to the hair. It seems counterintuitive to put a drying ingredient in a product that claims to moisturize hair and that alone can make you reconsider putting this product in your hair.

Ok but how did the product perform!?!

After I DCed for an hour (with heat) and rinsed my hair out, I was blown away by how soft my hair was, especially my new growth. My comb was able to glide through my hair with absolutely no problems. I also saw my new growth begin to curl up--which is my indicator that it is moisturized. To that end, the claim that this conditioner hydrates hair is absolutely, 100% true. My hair definitely got some moisture. As far as strengthening, I can really speak to that since I do a protein treatment prior to deep I know my hair is being strengthened but not by this product. Quickly glancing at the ingredient list, I don't see any ingredients that would suggest strengthening capabilities. For that reason alone, you should consider this product a moisturizing deep conditioner.

Finally, I have only used this product as a deep conditioner, not a co-wash. Going forward, I would only use this product as a deep conditioner. While I'm sure that it would be great as a co-wash, I prefer to use cheapie conditioners that I can run through and repurchase without putting a significant dent in my pocketbook. If I were to use this as a co-wash daily, I could see myself running through a jar a week, easily. Over time, that adds up!

Bottom Line: This is a solid moisturizing DC for those who are transitioning. It provides hair with the moisture that it needs and a little goes a long way. It is a great DC to add to your rotation! However, there are 2 red flags with the amount of fragrance added and the presence of a hair drying alcohol. These two ingredients alone may be enough for some to pass on this product.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

8 Months In and Miles To Go

Happy Thursday lovelies!!

I'm back with an update on my hair thus far. Last Wednesday, I removed my box braids and got to see my hair for the first time since June!! After washing my hair, giving it a much needed protein treatment, and deep conditioning it, I prepped my hair for a twist out that I rocked for about 5 days while I was home in VA for my birthday weekend. When I returned back to NC last night, my hair needed a wash in the worst way so that's how I spent my evening. Here's what I noticed:

* It takes A LOT more time to do my hair on wash days.

I'm finding that I have to do everything in sections. I have to wash my hair in sections, apply my protein treatment in sections, apply my deep conditioner in sections, and detangle and add my moisturizer in sections! I understand why I have to do this. I have a lot of new growth happening and if I didn't section my hair, it would make for a very frustrating wash day. I'm also finding that sectioning my hair is the only way I can ensure that my hair (both the new growth and the relaxed portions) are getting what they need.

* My new growth needs moisture more than my relaxed hair ever did*

I found out pretty late in the game that my relaxed hair needed equal amounts of protein and moisture...I couldn't venture too far in either direction. Now, however, I'm finding that my new growth drinks in moisture! I still use protein (primarily to strengthen the infamous line of demarcation) and I'm finding that the addition of protein allows my new growth to better accept the moisture that I am giving it. My once properly moisturized, my new growth curls with delight and that's how I know my hair is loving what I am doing to it.

* Oyin products may become a staple for my hair*

I've been using Oyin Hair Dew, Greg Juice, and Burnt Sugar Pomade for awhile now. Recently, I have added the Whipped Pudding to the list. Last night, I detangled my hair using Greg Juice, followed up by adding Hair Dew and Whipped Pudding, then sealed by using a tiny bit of Burnt Sugar Pomade. This combination is the best thing ever as far as my hair is concerned. Moisture like what!! I think these products may be staples for awhile.

* Not trying to keep my hair straight= somewhat easy transition*

Years ago, when I first called myself transitioning, I still was trying to maintain a straight style. As a result, I was constantly blow drying and flat ironing as a way of blending my 2 textures. My hair wasn't having it. It was constantly reverting and I was constantly flat ironing it straight. It was frustrating and one day I figured that since I was trying to keep my hair straight, it would be more beneficial to just relax. Which I did. This go round, I am not trying to make my hair do anything that it does not want to do. Meaning, I am not straightening it. I have no desire to right now. When I want to wear my hair out, I know how to do a great bantu knot out or twist out that looks good but blends the 2 textures as well. When I take out styling stress, it make it that much more easier for me to focus on the actual care of my hair. If it were up to me, this tidbit of info would be one of my top 5 tips to transitioners. Work with your hair and not against it.

School will be back in session soon and I'll probably be wigging it up for awhile. The first few weeks of school are so hectic that I just need an easy breezy style until I get back in the swing of things. I'm thinking that wigging will take me through month 9 (maybe even month 10). My wig of choice is Tammy and I probably won't break out a curlier wig (Outre Ulla) until December of so).

Also, last Thursday (August 6th) was my 30th birthday!! While I spent the day reflecting on all the progress that I made mentally, emotionally, and career wise during that decade known as my 20s, one of my friends brought up the incredible hair journey I went on as well. I was 22 when I started taking the steps necessary to care for my hair and I have entered my 30s with a wealth of knowledge of all the practices needed for me to have a healthy head of (relaxed) hair. Now I begin the new decade of my life learning to care for my natural hair after 18 years of relaxing (first relaxer was at age 12). It's gonna be an interesting journey but I am so ready for it! I leave you with a collage of my hair from age 20 to's crazy to see where I started from!