Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"March to the Beat of My Own Drum" Regimen

The internet, being my main source of information for everything I do, is a blessing, but it can also be a curse! If I have a slight fever and headache, I often find myself visiting Dr. Google and suddenly I could be dying of meningitis. Once I was really sick and went to the emergency room with a print out of my diagnosis in hand!! Shaking my head at myself, just thinking about it!

Since I started my hair journey, I've found there is a plethora of information on methods on how to care for naturally curly hair. Today, I've reached my point of exhaustion! I'm sick of treating my hair as if it is a universal mystery that requires laborious hours of research and sometimes chemistry experiments! Most of the information I find out there are from people who have put in a lot time and effort. However, there is so much conflicting information that sometimes I just don't know what to follow! I've tried so many products and changed my regimen a million times. I've tried the no Poo and Curly Girl Method and these made my hair feel dirty, oily and weighed down. I've tried eliminating cones, but my hair loves them so I'm welcoming them back into my routine. I've tried sealing with shea butter, castor and coconut oil-- horrible end results! I'm also a true believer that an avocado in my stomach does 100x more for my hair than an avocado on my head. If I wash my hair with water everyday but don't drink enough water, my hair would suffer, thus it's what goes into your body that creates a healthy head of hair.

So today, I've decided to go back to a routine I used prior to transitioning. I will try it out for 1 month to see how my hair responds and report back towards the end of January with results.

This was my routine I used when I relaxed my hair every 3 months. My hair was full and healthy and responded well to this routine.
*1 x week: shampoo (I will use a non-sulfate shampoo)
*every other week: light protein treatment Update: only when necessary... have noticed that the front of my hair loves protein, while the back turns into a dry, tangled mess. So I'm going to back away from the protein for a while.
*1 - per week:  deep conditioner (winter: moisturizing conditioner, jojoba or olive oil + heat) (summer: moisturizing conditioner, jojoba or olive oil + honey + heat)
*every other day: co-wash, every day: wet/mist for styling
*use a leave-in conditioner, moisturize with a small amount of light oil (my hair doesn't seem to like heavy oils), and style with a small amount of gel

If this works, for my natural hair, then I've found my regimen, if not try and try until I succeed!

Peace & Love,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Without further ado

Details on my transition chop, sorry for the delay... I just have this thing called a thesis that has taken over my life!

Last week my husband and I had plans to go to an adventure park with family members. Friday night before the trip, my husband had an event to attend. I decided to stay home to do some school work and pack for the weekend. As usual, the all consuming question crossed my mind, what am I going to do with my hair for the weekend

As you know the previous week, I had already cut off about 3 inches of hair. 3 days prior I did a flexi rod set and the curl definition was already lifeless and frizzy. I became so frustrated with the idea of planning and plotting to blend the two textures that I ran to the bathroom and grabbed a pair of scissors. As I held the scissors in my hands, pacing back and forth, listing the benefits and negatives of transition chopping, I realized the torture had to end. All of the principles of transitioning were not working for me. My patience was exhausted, the tangles were getting the best of me and my hair was starting to physically stress me out. So I came to a conclusion, calmly sat down on the couch, picked up a book and waited for my husband to arrive home.

My husband arrived home very late that evening. I gave him a hug and told him that I wanted to cut off all my relaxed hair. He realized, I was all business and agreed. He admitted that he was starting to notice my transition hair was stressing me out and taking up a lot of my time. So with fearful joy, he began cutting, as I instructed. After the first chop, I was in shock, but knew there was no turning back. 

He did a decent job, there are still a few straight pieces here and there, but I snip them when I find them and as my hair grows they'll be easier to find. Yes a salon would have been ideal, but I trust him and as I mentioned this is Europe and salons don't come a dime a dozen, so Salon Hubby it is.

During my transition I had viewed so many YouTube videos, I assumed I would have a similar experience to most people. I thought I would feel liberated, light a free (and gravitate a little), but I didn't. I just felt like I got a haircut and was still adjusting, I jumped in the shower washed it and hopped in bed. The following day, I actually started to have mixed feelings about to the whole thing... guess I kind of went into shock during the process and needed time to sort out my emotions. The next day, I realized I hated it because of the length and curl pattern, so wore a hat the entire weekend during our trip to hide my hair. After a day of riding roller coasters and other attractions, we went back to the hotel. I took my hat and stared in the mirror, noticing parts of my face, I've never noticed before but when I looked up at my hair standing straight up on ends, no curl whatsoever, I hated it and felt ugly. 

Upon returning home, I decided to give myself a deep conditioner and just figure out the best method to style my hair. I decided to try to adopt the Curly Girl Method, which uses co-washing and conditioner as a leave in. For more information Google or YouTube: Curly Girl Method. After my deep conditioner, softness and a curl pattern started to reveal itself. My husband's theory is that my hair went into shock after the chopping off all the straight hair that was weighing it down, so probably needed time and TLC to adjust. My response: hmmm.... so my hair and I are having the same reaction after the chop, nice to know I'm not alone. =)

Here's a picture of me after returning from my trip, sans hat and au naturel.

Let me just tell you what I love about my new hair:
-Regimen time: 15 - 30 minutes
-Washing my hair almost everyday
-Getting to know my texture
-Having curly hair 
-Dealing with one texture
-Reactions from close friends and family members (my Mother-in-law and Mom simply adore it).

...and what I dislike about it:
-Having short hair
-Reactions from some friends (a friend of my husband's: you cut your hair, I prefer it long, I don't hate it but I like it long. Me: C'est la vie, c'est ma vie, it's only hair it will grow back, hey at least I didn't chop off my face.) Humor really helps those kind of situations.
-Shrinkage!!! It's unreal! My hair is jaw-length and you would never know it!

Hey on the bright side, at least the positives outweigh the negatives!

Since my chop I started doing a video log of my hair experience, so I can perhaps help anyone out there on the same boat: I am by no means an expert, but plan on posting videos on my experience, how I care for my hair, and will still discuss transitioning experiences. I know what it's like to be in constant transition limbo. I wanted to transition for as long as I could, with a year being the minimum.  I am not disappointed I didn't reach my one year mark, because I listened to my hair. If my hair was not tangling so much at the end, trust me I would have held out for as long as I could. Now, I'm really excited to see my growth at my one year mark!

UPDATE:  Youtube videos are not really my thing. I'm definitely a blogger not a vlogger. My account is still active, but there are no longer feature videos posted.

Peace & Love, 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I transition chopped!

I did it on Saturday, with my husband assisting me! It was totally spontaneous, but necessary! I hated it at first and I'm starting to love it more and more as each day passes. My quest for long, healthy natural hair starts today. I started a new Youtube channel to catalogue my hair in different stages of this journey, will post more info soon! My hair has thanked me so much for this decision!! Photos and Youtube videos to follow!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Give and Take

Lately my hair has been a tangled mess! I was really frustrated with it and dreaded wash day (i.e. spend hours detangling my hair web)! I didn't understand why this was happening to me. I followed the key transitioner tips that most haircare experts and bloggers suggest: deep condition, finger detangle, co-wash, wash in sections, etc... what else was I not doing right?? Then it suddenly hit me, I never trim my relaxed ends! Upon close examination, it was clear that I had serious split ends. So I chopped off about 2.5 inches of hair and can I tell you that has made such a difference!

How could I've not realize that I was holding on to all kinds of split-end baggage, which would cause lots of breakage in the long run! So until my big chop, I'll be sure to continue cutting my relaxed ends as my natural hair grows in.

My hair has thanked me in so many ways and for the time being, I do not dread wash day!! After I finished cutting my hair, I realized it was the same length as when I started my transition, which made me happy to see it had grown so much! I imagine that I'll do one or two more drastic haircuts and then bite the bullet and transition chop... I'm becoming bored with having two textures and am liking the idea of a short hairstyle more and more--- I think I will definitely be a wash, shake and go kind of girl! I've become really knowledgeable about styling methods during my transition, but really am looking forward to shorter hair and less time styling!

Here are new growth comparison shots showing how my hair is progressing. I'm really proud about how far I've made it into the journey! I've changed so many of my ideas on what is beautiful. That for me is the beauty of transitioning.

about 6 months ago

Monday, November 14, 2011

Change of Mind

I'm over 8 months into my transition!! As I approach my one year mark, I'm really excited for all the future holds. Not just for hair, I'm not THAT obsessed. I've been doing some side projects lately and getting back into some things I used to enjoy a lot, but somehow stopped doing. I don't know why, but around the end of every year, I get energized and motivated to take on more and learn new things. Although I hate the cold, I love how winter forces us to become more intimate and reflect more on life (or is that just me).

Speaking of winter, I've let the bun into my life and am kind of loving it (shh don't tell anyone)! I noticed that braidouts were starting to pull my hair out, the constant rebraiding routine at night, was just not doing me any good. For the moment I am wearing my hair in a bun during the week and switching it up with my flexirod set sometimes. I'll see at the end of the year if I have achieved more growth, but I can say for sure that my hair feels healthier since I've eliminated braidouts. Once I'm all natural I'll try my hands at it again, but for the time being my transitioning hair just couldn't handle it! To make the style a little more playful, I've been wearing cute headbands and also wearing a high messy bun. I even received compliments from the husband, who wasn't super crazy about buns (or any updo for that matter) before (guess he's transitioning too)!

On another note, I took a huge decision last weekend! [Drum ROLL]...

I gave my stock of relaxers to my former Dominican Salon!! Yes, the creamy crack is officially out of my life! On Saturday, after my Zumba class, I stopped by and asked if the salon owner had any use for them and she was thrilled to take it off my hands. She was really shocked that I decided to stop and wished me luck. It felt genuinely heartfelt and not like "good luck, you're gonna need it sistah!" I have to admit, I went through withdrawals after leaving the salon. That day her hair looked pretty amazing, so shiny and bouncy! But then it dawned on me, I felt pretty damn good all sweaty and glowing after my work out. And you know what felt even better? The fact that I could go home and wash my sweaty scalp, just like that and not worry about ruining my perm. Later that day I went on Curly Nikki and read some inspiring transition stories, which reinforced my belief that this decision is for the best. This is starting to sound like a bad break up "Affirm relaxer, it's not me, it's you. This is really for the best, we've experienced 18 eventful years together and that's something we can both look back on and smile about. I just really need to be on my own for now-- and by that I mean forever, no hard feelings."



P. S. - At the end of this month, I'll be posting new growth comparison shots.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Protective styles. Do I have to?

I am almost 8 months post-relaxer. The date of my transition chop (TC) keeps changing from 1.5 years to 1 year. There are days like today, where detangling is a breeze and my comb just glides through my hair. And then there are days when I can barely pull a comb through my hair. This yo-yoing causes me to frequently change my TC date. As of today, my TC date is on March 5th, which is 1 year after the start of my transition.

I really want to have more length before I chop, partly due to the fact that I'm afraid of hating my hair short and curly. Tiny cropped fros are cute and look wonderful on many people, but I'm not sure if it will suit me. I'd hate to chop off myhair at and not love it, without any solution. I'm not a fan of weaves or extensions, so that wouldn't be an option. My hair is growing and I'm trying to do everything I can to keep it healthy, so it grows to its full potential. I'm eating healthy, exercising, deep conditioning and using natural oils. I've reduced my use of direct heat. The first time I used a flat-iron was last week and I hadn't used it for 3 months prior to that. However, there is one thing I am not doing a lot of and that's protective styling. 

Protective styling, often referred to as, a low manipulation styling technique (e.g. bun) that keeps the ends of the hair tucked away for an extended period of time. I really dislike my hair in buns, particularly in its current state. I have really thick new growth and my relaxed ends are thin. Add that to the fact that my hair is all different lengths! Whenever I put my hair up it just looks odd! Typically, I prefer a braid out or roller set as I enjoy wearing my hair down. I've read that protective styling is a must for length retention. However, I just really don't want to wear a style that I don't like.... So that's my dilemma, protective styling, do I have to? According to many, who have transitioned to natural hair--- yes!

I want to have really healthy hair, so if this is what it takes I am willing to try. So until the end of October, I will enjoy letting my hair down and starting next month I will challenge myself to do protective styling for 30 days to see if it really makes a difference. If by the end of November, I notice healthier, moisturized hair, particularly, my ends, I will do more protective styles. The only problem, I am not very talented when it comes to styling, so the only protective style I know of is the dreaded BUN. I'm not really a fan of buns, always thought I looked so matronly when I wore them! However, it seems like this is the only way, so I'll have to just deal with it for a little while. Guess, I'll go out and buy some cute headbands to make it a little more playful!

Peace & Love!

Just think my head looks odd when I sport a bun.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hair Regimen Update

I'm a strong believer in listening to one's hair, to decide what it needs. I fell into the traps that some other transitioners may have experienced-- YouTube. It can be a blessing but also a curse! I don't know how much time I've spent watching naturalistas discuss their hair care regimen. I've developed quite a few hair crushes and spent hours imagining what it would be like to have hair like my hair crushes. Sad, but true. I started using the products they used or adopting aspects of their regimens. Bad idea! Last month, this left me with greasy, tangled matted hair that took days to get back to its normal state.

I'm now back to doing me. If I could give any transitioner or even any natural hair beauty any piece of advice it would be the following:
1. Love you, do you, accept you (and your hair).
2. Profit from the knowledgeable advice from others on products and styling, however, tweak it to fit your needs.
3. Be patient with hair growth, since most of us don't want our lives to go by fast and want to enjoy every moment, the same should be true for hair growth. There's no overnight miracle to butt-length hair, so enjoy your hair at all stages.

With that being said, here is my current regimen, which is likely to change as I continue transitioning:
Co wash
2 x week (1 out of the two times, I do a deep conditioner). If I do sports I wash my scalp with water only, to remove any buildup or sweat.
once every other 2 weeks. I typically dilute my shampoo in water
(1:3, e.g. 1 cup of shampoo, 3 cups of water) and apply it only to my scalp.
Once every other 2 weeks (day before my shampoo). I apply a mixture of oils and honey to damp hair, plastic cap, towel on pillow, go to sleep.
Light Protein
once every other 2 weeks (on shampoo day), follow it up with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

  • Braid outs are still my go to style, they're simple, cute and require low manipulation. I was having difficulties with them in the beginning, because they often unraveled. Someone recommended I roll the ends with flexi-rods, however I wasn't so happy with the end effect. Recently, I got the idea to cut up an old satin scarf into small pieces, I wrap each piece around the end of my braid and fasten it with a clip. This keeps the ends protected, allows a thicker end so the clip stays in place and stops the hair from unraveling. I'll post pictures later. I also now do 8 braids vs. 4, I find I achieve more definition and it dries faster.

  • Flexirod sets, I've mastered my technique and am always happy with the results.
  • Buns-- I rarely wear buns, because I find they dry my ends out... I'll probably do more buns in the winter and try using a silk hair tie.
Satin scarf. I'm on the hunt for a satin pillowcase.

Moral of this post: Your grass should always be greener.

Peace & Love

Friday, September 9, 2011

Safe Cosmetics

Going natural, is also a good reason to research natural products. After viewing this video, it made me ponder the things I put on and in my body:

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I'm so proud to have celebrated my 6 month NO RELAXER anniversary. I'm a bit nostalgic thinking back on the good old relaxed days-- just kidding! I haven't felt this free and confident for as long as I can remember! When I wear my braid outs, my hair feels so special and different. Knowing that this is probably 1/4 the amount of voluminous intensity I'd have if I were completely natural, makes me giddy! When I'm out with my hubby, strolling around and it starts to rain, I don't freak out if I don't have an umbrella and enjoy the tender drops that caress my hair.

I'll never have to worry again about crazy hair experiences! When my husband and I married, my family flew over to attend the ceremony. I had no idea what I would do about my hair, because I didn't have a stylist here. A couple of weeks before my wedding, I contacted a friend from Ethiopia. She recommended I go to someone who does her relaxer.

It was a small African owned salon that reeked of chemicals, weaves adorned the wall behind the counter and pictures of women with straight hair added detail to the other walls. The salon owner sat me down and put her hands in my hair. Her opinion was, in order for me to look beautiful on my big day I'd have to 1) touch up my new growth-- my hair had been relaxed 3 weeks prior and I barely had new grow, and 2) get extensions. I was horrified, because I kept imagining walking down the aisle not looking like myself, my husband barely recognizing his fried and weaved up bride of Frankenstein.

In the end, I decided, with the help of the women in my family, I'd style my own hair for the wedding--- it turned out lovely and I was really happy with the results.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Yep that's right, I went to the salon on another occasion. Why you might ask? I was desperate, feeling down. I had been doing my own hair and stretching my relaxers for 2-3 months. It was growing and getting really thick, likely due to the infrequent relaxing. My hair was becoming too much for me to manage on my own and I was terrified each time I relaxed it myself. So, I thought I would give the salon a try. I bought my own products and wrote down words I didn't know related to hair in French, to prepare myself. I was just going to have the stylist relax my hair and blow it dry, no flat-ironing or pressing.

I met with the stylist, Ashana. She wore a bright red weave that swung down her back. She looked me over and told me to have a seat. I gave her my products and she began to spread globs of relaxer in my hair, not yielding to my request that my goal was not bone straight hair. I asked her twice to rinse it out and she repeated that she had to do a couple of areas and in a minute she'd rinse it out. Finally, I stood up in protest and said I wanted her to wash the relaxer out of my hair that very second. She then asked me if I'd like her to comb it through my hair, as she does with most customers and then she pulled out a thin, narrow-tooth comb! I was aghast and declined the offer. She showed a look of surprise, but finally obliged to rinse out my hair.

As the she rinsed out the relaxer, she proceeded to stay, "Wow you have that real America hair, so soft and silky." I thought to myself, my hair is only that way, because it's been stripped of all its texture and loaded with a protein conditioner--- I knew it would only be temporary. However, I politely smiled and thanked her. (Later, I would find out I was one of the few relaxers she had done, because weaving was her specialty and what most of her clients sought). When it was time to style my hair, she began to blow-dry my hair on high heat with a round metal brush. Although it was freezing outside, I told her she didn't have to finish, because I was in a hurry and had an appointment. I threw a hat on my head, never to return again and feeling worst than ever.

One would think after that experience, the message would sink in that maybe I wasn't feeling good, because I was forcing myself and my hair to do things that just weren't necessary. I wasn't embracing myself. I don't mean any disrespect to any woman who has a relaxer when I say this. Personally, I was feeling really bad at that time and only feeling confident when my hair was relaxed and styled perfectly.

I wish that was the last time I received a relaxer, but it wasn't. 6 months later, again, growing tired of doing my own relaxers and going on 3 months without a relaxer, I found a little African beauty supply store and peaked inside. The owner was a really sweet woman from Ghana and I decided to ask her for  recommendations for hair dressers. She gave me the address of a Dominican salon. As I walked around the sitting searching for the salon, I finally found it tucked away discretely in the basement of a commercial building. I went inside and met with the owner, Marisol. She too wore a bright red weave, thrown up into a high ponytail. I made an appointment with her that day and told her I'd bring my own products.

The day of my appointment when I arrived, there was a woman from Mozambique sitting inside the salon. She had gorgeous reddish, brown skin, cheek bones for days and a small afro. I was intrigued and wondered what services she would have done. I sat down in the chair and we greeted each other. My hair was pulled up in bun and the stylist asked me to remove it, while she mixed the magic potion. The woman stared at me and told me how beautiful my hair was, so long and silky. Then stated in Spanish, "American woman are so lucky to have hair like that". I understood her statement and just told her it was not natural and was because of the product. The Dominican woman concurred, stating she too had to use a relaxer to achieve such straight results and that her natural hair, mine and the other client's were probably very similar without it. The other client watched as she put the relaxer in my hair. This time the process of applying was better, but again the stylist wanted to leave the relaxer on my hair for way too long! She snuck and tried to wash certain sections, leaving the relaxer intact on parts she deemed not straight enough! When she finished washing my hair, she put it in curlers and I sat under the dryer. At least roller-setting is healthier than blow-drying, I thought to myself.

Now, this was my first Dominican hair salon visit, so I was unaware of the usual procedures. After she took the rollers out, I thought she would just comb my hair out and style it. NO! She proceeded to blow-dry my hair manually, brushing it out until it was all straight. I started to collect my things and turned to say goodbye to the woman from Mozambique. I saw her carefully selecting her potion of choice: Dark & Lovely. She sat down and told the hairdresser, "I have a sensitive scalp, but want to have results as straight as hers, so do what you have to do." I left the salon, happy with the finished product, but worried about my hair's health. My hair smelled like burning chemicals and I was self-conscious the entire day, wondering if others could too smell what I did.

So as I celebrate my 6 months with a nice glass of white wine, I can say that I'm so happy to never put myself through those situations ever again!! I still feel bad that my overprocessed hair was the inspiration to another woman. I always look for this woman when I'm out in the city, hoping that I can talk with her and tell her about my new decision and hope that will inspire her too.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I'm keeping this post short and sweet, because I have deadlines. I'm really excited to celebrate my 6 month no relaxer anniversary!! It feels wonderful!!
I am having a bit of hair drama at the moment, but nothing a little TLC can't solve! With each day that passes, I'm getting closer and closer to my transition chop and can't wait for that day! My relaxed ends are looking more and more pathetic in comparison to my new growth.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blow-Out Flexirod Results

I'm thrilled with the result of my dry flexi-rod set. First, I blow dried my hair on the lowest setting. I didn't blow-dry until my hair was 100% dry. My hair is really thick, so I wasn't looking forward to it,however, since my hair was well conditioned and already in 3 parts, it was really easy to do.

What I noticed with this method, was less breakage and shedding. I believe, flexirod sets on wet hair require more manipulation and since the hair needs to be soaking wet, it's more vulnerable to breakage. Also the curls were a lot looser and flowing vs. the flexi-wet set, which leaves me with overly defined curls that take forever to fall! The only down-side is that I slept with the rollers in my hair... took me a while to find a comfortable position, but in the end it worked out! =) 

Here are some pics I took during and after. I will definitely be trying this again, perhaps I'll air dry my hair next time. If I get the same results, I'll be thrilled, because that means curls without any heat!

Washed, conditioned and deep conditioned hair. I blotted it with a old poly/sateen scarf before blow drying.

Natural hair growth check!

Yay for curls, had no idea this was hiding underneath my relaxed hair all these years!

 Scarf, baseball cap (15 minute-20 mins).: a little trick I use to smooth my roots and edges. Since I didn't apply heat to my roots they were a bit frizzy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm braided and bunned out and tonight I hope to rock the blow out! I've been sporting only braids and buns for the past 5 weeks--- I'm just not that creative when it comes to styling... I hope this will change, but I'm just proud I can achieve those two styles during my transition.
I'm writing this entry, while deep conditioning under the heat of my soft bonnet. My plan is to try a blow out (on super, duper protected and oiled hair) and then set it with rollers to see if I can achieve a looser wave with my flexirods... I'll post pictures later this week!
I just want to say that washing my hair in segments is so amazing!! My wide tooth just glides through my hair! It may be too soon to speculate, but I think this might be love! I dont want to jinx it, bc in one of my posts I mentioned my hair was easier to manage as I approached 5 months, then all tangling hell broke loose. For now I'll enjoy not having to pick up half of my hair out of the shower and not getting the comb stuck in my hair every second!

Peace & Love

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hair Dessert

Recently, I tried some new things out on my hair. I'll just describe the procedure and results.
1. Honey Deep Conditioner:
Method: Mixed 1 TBSP Olive Oil, 2 TBSP Honey, Conditioner. Placed a plastic cap on my head and went under my hooded dryer for about 30-40 minutes. Rinsed with warm water to effectively remove honey.

++ Oh lala, my hair felt immediately moisturized and SO soft. I noticed my new growth was super shiny afterwards and looked so replenished. My relaxed hair responded to this well, however I could really see the results on my natural hair. My next day braid out was very soft, defined and shiny.

2. Under Water Detangling
Method: With hair full of conditioner, lie down in the tub, submerse hair in the water and detangle.
+- Comb did glide through hair a bit easier, however the position required to do this and the effort it takes is not worth it.

3. Wash and Detangle in Sections
Method: Place hair in three sections and hold in place with a clip. Saturate hair with water and co-wash one section at a time (do not rinse), continue until all sections have been conditioned. Return to the first section, add water and detangle, rinse conditioner, repeat for the other sections.
++ This is the only way I'll detangle and condition from now on. Before my hair tangled a lot, so I've learned the key is to work with smaller sections. This reduces tangles and breakage.

4. Tight Curly Method (slightly adapted)
 I read about this method on Curly Nikki, it looked really promising. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure if this method was possible on transitioning hair--- and didn't find any info online. I basically conditioned twice (using the section method), detangled and did not rinse out the second application of conditioner. After this I scrunched a little and attempted a wash n' go.
+- Leaving the conditioner in my hair made it shiny and very soft, I will try this again! The Wash n' go, didn't look horrible, but also didn't look great... think I'll have to wait until I'm fully natural to try to style with this method. However, I do believe it works well as a nourishing leave-in.

Tonight, I simply dampened my hair with a mixture of setting lotion and oils, sealed with coconut and other essential oils, put my hair in three plaits and wrapped it. We'll see if I'm able to maintain the moisture and shine for more than one day.

Other than these new methods, I continue to drink lots of water, eat my fruits and veggies and work out. This weekend, the weather was gorgeous so I went on a hike with a friend. When I got to the top, I had this breath-taking view, which made me feel so small and blessed!

Peace & Love

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

5 Month Post Update

I'm happy to say that I'm more than 5 months post-relaxer and my hair has recovered nicely from my recent protein overdose. It feels soft and moisturized and is no longer a frizzy nightmare!
 I will probably do a protein treatment again towards the middle of this month, but only if my hair feels prone to breakage. On another positive note, the conditioner and shampoo I purchased a few weeks back are working wonderfully. I was worried when I saw alcohol under the list of conditioner ingredients, but it turns out the specific alcohol, cetearyl has good properties for curly hair. I stumbled across this website, which apparently from the fan base is HUGE in the curly hair community: This is what the Tight Curly Method founder, Teri says about cetearyl alcohol:

"Used as an emollient, emulsifier, conditioner, and thickener. Not the same as SD alcohol or ethanol. This is actually a mixture of Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 142]. This is one of the ingredients I like to see near the top of a conditioner's ingredient list. When left in very curly hair it adds needed weight without being greasy."

I've always been a product junky, but would like to find my staple products (keep my money in my bank account, where it belongs). My new rules of thumbs are:
1. To use the products I have and buy new ones when those run out. I can always add essential oils to a shampoo or conditioner to increase its moisturizing properties.
2. Never have more than 2 of a product (shampoo, conditioner, protein treatment, etc.). I always like to try different things, however if I switch up products too much, I'll never know what works right for me. Not to mention, I'll stop invading my husband's "half" of the cabinet.
3. Experiment with items already in my home such as olive oil, which I added to my cheap conditioner last month and this worked wonders*!
Wonders meaning, my hair felt moisturized and detangling wasn't as horrible as usual, however it is still a task to detangle transitioning hair--- requires A LOT of patience!!

Proof of my product addiction:

Products from my drawer

Products from my medicine cabinet

I'm thankful everyday that I finally decided to stop relaxing my hair and transition! I only wished I had done so sooner. If anyone is reading this and contemplating going natural (big chop or transition), I would highly recommend it. It took me so long to realize how beautiful natural hair is, I feel bad that I've suppressed my curls, coils and kinks all of these years. 

I have also set a new heat goal for myself. In one of my entries I wrote that I flat iron my hair once every month. I don't want to incur damage when my hair is all natural, so I would like to reduce my use of heat. I've read horror stories about people experiencing irreversible damage to their curl pattern due to heat styling tools. My current goal is to flat iron my hair every other month (i.e. 6 times per year). I will use other styling methods such as protective styles and roller sets. When I do flat iron, I am going to try to let my hair air dry the day before and reduce the heat setting on my flat iron.

Tomorrow night, I'll try a homemade honey treatment that I've concocted and a new detangling method....will report results later!

Peace & Love