I’ve been natural for two years now and the journey has been interesting to say the least. There are plenty of ups and downs to being a Naturalista, but as much as I may complain, the good outweighs the bad and I would never go back. I wanted to show you an update and tell you what I’ve learned in the last two years.
Detangling is an extreme sport.
My arms arms are getting toned for summer and I can thank the detangling process. It’s like when you split your hair into sections, you rest in between each set. I thank the man above for my deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and argan oil.
2. Protective styles are life.
While rocking your curls, twists, and braid outs are what natural hair is all about, sometimes you need a break. I wasn’t prepared to have to twist my hair every two or three days in order to keep my twist out looking half way decent. Protective styles, such as wigs, braids, weaves, not only protect my hair, but give me (and my arms) a break too.
3. Knowing your hair type is important.
Naturalistas, in general, encounter similar hair experiences. However, when you separate us into categories based on our hair type, we begin to experience things a little differently. For example, someone who is 4C may require more oils on their hair and scalp since they are prone to dryness and they also experience more shrinkage.
As my natural hair journey continues, I’m aiming for longer length and definition in my curls. I’ll continue to update you along the way.
I wanted to give you all an update on my hair journey since the big chop!
So, my hair was growing very nicely, however it was uneven because I don’t do well cutting my OWN hair and couldn’t really see the back. I did my best and it wasn’t too noticeable. I continued to wash and deep condition my hair regularly, braid it up, and wear my wigs, which helped it grow as well.
I knew by December that I needed a trim to get rid of my dead ends and I decided to go all out and get it blown out with a silk press. I took about a month to find a stylist I felt comfortable with and with great recommendations from friends and family, I finally found one and she wasn’t too far from home. Major plus!
It sucked to see how much hair she had to cut after a year of growing it, but I had to remind myself that most of it was dead hair anyway. She also had to even it out on both sides.
Below are some pictures of what my natural hair looked like the last time I washed it before I went to the salon. Then, there are some pics of what it looked like about a week after I got the silk press. It took a week because I couldn’t keep my fingers out of my hair. It was so soft and I could feel my scalp so easily. I honestly didn’t know how soft and silky my hair could feel with a silk press!
It was a great change up and I have decided that I’ll get one once a year. Can’t get it done too often or my hair could break off. Trust me, I asked.
Going forward, the plan is to try some natural styles this summer with my healthier hair while also giving it a break and tucking it under a wig.
Wash day (Excuse my not so fleeky brows, no makeup, and conditioner in my hair)
(Honestly, my relaxed hair was only about an inch or so longer than this )
As you all know I went on a road trip to Canada recently. One of the big preparations I had to make was what I would do with my hair during this getaway. Slaying my lace front wig was not an option this time around as I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of daily maintenance.
I opted for convenient, bohemian style, à la mode braids done by Charlene Banks, otherwise known as BeYou’Ty By Char. She is a Californian native who recently moved back to ”The Golden State” after living in New Jersey for a number of years. After working in corporate America for BMW, Charlene decided to quit her job and pursue her passion for styling hair.
“I taught myself how to braid hair when I was 16. Once I got to high school, I was braiding almost every girl’s hair in school”, she stated.
Her signature style includes faux locs but she also does crotchet, braids (of course), as well as eyebrow microblading.
Check out her work in the pics below in addition to her Instagram pages and website:
It has been a whole seven months since I cut all of the relaxer out of my hair and things are coming along. My hair is growing healthily and my future with long natural tresses is becoming more visible.
Braid OutLength Check
I am still keeping my wash day routine fairly simple by just shampooing my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and letting the coinciding conditioner sit in my hair for about 45 minutes to an hour. I’ve also learned that detangling is a hassle and shrinkage is real. However, over all, I am learning and understanding my hair texture. They say your hair texture can change as it grows out and gets longer. When I first cut my hair, my texture was 4C. Then as it grew out little by little, I started to see tight curls and coils develop on one side of my head. The other side of my head has coils here and there but is mostly still 4c while the other side is leaning towards a 4b. I know, it sounds weird!
I’m not at ponytail length yet but I’m slowly and surely getting there. I am still using my lace front wigs as a protective style however I am looking to try something new. Maybe braids? We’ll see what the future holds.
If you have any suggestions for natural hair products, please leave them in the comments below. I have become a product junkie and am looking for new things conditioners, shampoos, and oils to try.
So recently, I was given a Scalp Soother to try by Luxe Therapy. I opened it and had moderate expectations being that I’ve used products like this before, however, this was divine! It was thin enough to slide right underneath my wig and it got those hard to reach spots that can be difficult to scratch.
As you can see, it is built just like an old school pick but it is a bit thinner.
So stop patting those weaves and get you one of these!
You can definitely use this Scalp Soother no matter what your hair type is. Just make sure you rinse it off between each wash and do not scratch too hard especially if you just got your braids done.
Check out Luxe Therapy on Twitter and Instagram @luxetherapy
So three months ago, as you may or may not know, I cut off all the hair on my head that was chemically relaxed. That left me with a short, tapered, and curly fro. I was unsure about the look at first, however, I knew it was a step in the direction of being able to enjoy my natural curls.
Since the chop, I’ve been keeping a very low maintenance hair routine (depending on what you call low maintenance). I shampoo and condition my tresses for 45-60 minutes every 7-10 days and keep it in braids underneath my wig.
The wig that I’m currently wearing I made with two 18-inch bundles, a 16-inch bundle, and a 14-inch closure.
I wear it on a regular basis because it has the texture of what natural hair would feel like if it was blow dried and maybe flat ironed, which is why people always stop and ask “Wow! Your hair is so long! Is it all yours?”. That’s when I have to let dreadfully let them down and tell them the truth. Why not just tell them it is my hair? Because why lie? That way, I can also promote myself as a wig maker :]
Here are some updated pics:
This was after I took my cornrows out. AKA a braid out
I’ve noticed some length between when I cut my hair and now. It’s literally not even an inch but it’s growth !
You know I had to throw a little filter on there.
I could always use some hair inspo, so if you have encouraging words drop them in the comments below !
Yes, you read correctly. My hair is a little longer than two inches and I am officially Team Naturalista.
It started out as a typical wash day and ended like this …
Why did this happen you ask? Well, my intentions were to snip a very small unnoticeable section of my hair just so I could see the difference in the growth pattern and texture compared to the rest of my head which still had relaxed ends. Along with that, I wanted to practice cutting a little bit before the time came for me to chop it all off.
At the end of the day, I had good intentions….but they were only intentions. Cutting a little section turned into cutting a bigger section, which then turned into me having a nostalgic moment. I wasn’t just cutting off my hair. I was getting rid of the old Tia who didn’t want to know life without a relaxer and thought “Natural hair is not for me”. I was brainwashed by media and my peers into thinking that the natural hair that grew from my head was inadequate and that I needed to mirror society’s beauty standards so that I could be “pretty”.Over time I’ve realized that there are too many things wrong with society and I’m not trying to fit with it. So I got scissor happy and before I knew it, most of my hair was on the floor. My head felt lighter too.
Then, I was hit with three seconds of WHAT DID I JUST DO AND WHY DID I DO IT?!
But, I had to remind myself of my end goals and what my mane will eventually look like in the future. This was ultimately a good decision.
Through this experience, I’ve learned that there are two major ways to go about The Big Chop and it all depends on you:
Be like Nike and Just Do it. At the end of the day, it’s just hair. And unless you have a sickness or hair growth issue, you have the luxury of knowing your hair will grow back. It’s not going to grow back over night or in a week. Probably not in a month either, but you knew that. Eventually, it WILL be back to normal and most likely a lot healthier too. Plus, if you don’t like the short look, there are these things called wigs and weaves that can be slayed to look like the hair is coming from your scalp. That’s how I plan on protecting my hair through this process.
Take your time. If cutting off your relaxed ends is a huge deal and something you’re not ready for, don’t do it. You are already making a huge transition in your life to go natural and you do not want to stress out about the fact that you can’t put your hair in a bun or it’s not long enough to do a full on hair flip. I feel you. Also, you may not want to dive into the world of weaves and wigs because it can get expensive. You gotta pay to slay! #RT