June 30, 2009

YouTube - a great source

If you're transitioning to natural hair, YouTube is an excellent source (besides here - smile..lol).

Combination Worked

My hair feels lovely!!! What I did yesterday worked lovely on my hair.

I think the combination of combing the conditioner thru my hair and letting it sit helped alot.

Here's a list of what I used yesterday.
  • Alba Gentle Shampoo (Quarter size amount)
  • Organix Vanilla Silk Conditioner
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organix Coconut Milk Anti Breakage Serum
  • Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Serum

This combination worked well for my hair. But, since I don't shampoo my hair weekly (once a month), I will try this combo minus the shampoo the next time I wash my hair.

Now all I have to do is figure out how I'm going to sleep in this tonight.... I'll let you know.

Til next time..

June 29, 2009


Do you trim your own hair now that you're transitioning? I try to trim my hair every other month. I haven't been back to my regular hair dresser since making this decision in March 2009. Partly due to her possible reaction and the other doing with the fact that I've heard her say "I don't do natural hair" when a woman came in to get her natural hair relaxed.

I think I'm scared to let go of my length. I'm scared to go to a salon and find out they cut off too much!!! I've always had a nightmare about getting up from the chair and I have no hair left because she was scissor happy!!

Today was wash day. I know I should have done it yesterday but I couldn't find the time. So, when I got home today, I decided it was trim/wash day. Today, I shampooed my hair with Alba Gentle Shampoo. I used a small amount on my hair and took my time shampooing in the shower. Once rinsed, I used Organix Vanilla Silk Conditioner. I left the conditioner in and detangled my hair. I rinsed my hair with water as cold as I can stand. Once rinsed, I applied Organic Coconut Oil, Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum and Giovanni Frizz Be Gone serum. My hair is still soaking wet at this point. I twisted my hair and rolled it. Now I'm going to clean the house and put my son to bed. Once I'm done with that, I'm going to sit under the dryer for a while to get my hair dry.

This is the first time I'm using Giovanni Frizz Be Gone, but I've read some good reviews on it. When I first made the decision to go natural, natural products was the way I wanted to go. But, I find that so hard to do when you're used to a certain feel of your hair with all the synthetic products you've used previously. I think that's one of the hardest things to try and switch too. I know it's not required, but I wanted to try.

Til Tomorrow...

June 26, 2009

Natural Relaxer

(I'm multi-tasking. Watching 'He's Just Not That Into You' and typing a blog...if I go off topic, you know why..lol)

This is me pre-relaxer. I was about 5 or 6. Adorable right?? I had a HEAD FULL of hair. My mother never used a hot comb because she didn't like the amount of heat that came out of it. This from the woman that used to use an iron to straighten my aunt's hair but that's another story.

I had to ask my mother recently when was the first time I got my hair relaxed because I don't honestly remember. She said it didn't happen until I was 12 and she regrets ever doing it. I don't know why she did it exactly, but I think it had something to do with the amount of hair I have. But, I do remember this relaxer she tried on my hair when I was around 16. It was some sort of natural relaxer. I don't know if you can remember this informercial from the 90's about a natural hair relaxer...so natural you can eat.

We tried between relaxers. I didn't get my relaxers every 3 months during that time, so I always seemed to have alot of new growth. So, we (she) ordered this relaxer and get it in the mail. When it arrived, we even tasted it like the commercial said..lol. Don't recal it having a pleasant taste. What I do remember is...breakage and nothing much got straightened.

My hair broke off so much that I had to cut it the shortest it had ever been. Into a bob to my ear lobes. My hair from that point was not good. But, then again, I had no idea at 16 on how to manage my hair. I was never one of those girls who was always into appearance and did my hair. Money was an issue and I was never into getting my hair did! (yes DID! lol).

So, here I am almost 15 years later trying to get back to that original hair. My hair! I'm excited about my transition. I've said before, my new growth doesn't bother me at all. I love the progress and can't wait to let the straight pieces go.

June 25, 2009

Exercise Naturally

In my opinion, if you're going thru this process, wear contacts!!! The one thing I hate more than anything is smudged glasses! So annoying! With all the products you may end up using/spraying on your hair, it's going to end up on your glasses. So, do yourself a favor, get contacts.

That was my mini vent for the evening.

But, to the subject. How often do you wash your hair if you work out? whether you co-wash or shampoo?

I was my hair twice a week. I workout 3-4 days out of the week...now. When I would get relaxers, it ran my life. You know, don't want to sweat your perm out! That's the main reason why I didn't exercise that often while relaxed (i know, excuses, excues..). The maintenance after a workout. Washing, conditioning, styling, etc. It just took too much time to get it back straight. It was so easy to damage my hair with blow drying it to get the quick results.

Now, slow and steady wins this race. I came home from my workout and co-washed my hair. Added my products (Shea butter, Design Essential Leavin-In Conditioner, Tui Oil) and rolled it. As I type this, I'm seated in my bed sitting under the dryer. I don't know why I couldn't take this time out when I had a relaxer, it just seemed like too much work to get it back straight. Now, if my hair is puffy...good. That's how it's supposed to be!

June 24, 2009

Unpardonable Sin

I’m addicted to reading cnn.com. I check it several times during the day, more than I check my local news website. There is always something interesting regarding black hair care.

When Clifton Green and his wife adopted an adorable little girl from Ethiopia, they knew they would eventually have to deal with the hair issue.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based couple, who are white, had read books about transracial adoptions that addressed how to deal with Miriam's springy curls that grew in full, dark and strong after a toddlerhood of baldness.

Green took it upon himself to learn how to care for and style his daughter's textured tresses.

"We didn't have any skills, but we had the desire," said Green of learning to do his now 5-year-old daughter's hair. "It's the culture, it's important and we want to honor it and respect it."

For many African-Americans, having a child walk around with unkempt hair is an almost unpardonable sin.


It's a beautiful thing that this dad realized he didn't have the skills and took the time out to learn how to style his childs hair. It is also a good thing that he doesn't put the same stimas on her hair as we already have gone thru growing up.

The good/bad hair issues we have is horrible. I used to say "I hope I have good hair". But, I had to really think about that statement. My daughters natural hair is beautiful and I told her that often. I never wanted her to feel like her hair was bad. She had alot of hair, but outside pressures got to her and she wanted a relaxer.

The pressure alone is enough to make people lose sleep. I was concerned how my friends & family would take my transition. I didn't tell my friends about my decision until I was at my 8 week point (when I would normally get a relaxer). Most of my friends told me "it won't last long, you'll get a relaxer soon". I told my father that I planned on cutting all my straight hair out in a few months. He gave me this look of complete disapproval. He told me "Keep your hair long, it looks good that way". I tried to explain to him that I was tired of relaxing my hair and I wanted to see what MY hair looks like. He just wasn't hearing it. But, 4 months later, no relaxer or heat has touched my hair! It's also starting to grow on my dad. I love my new growth. I've learned to embrace it. I don't care what other people think about my good and bad hair days. It happens!

I look forward to seeing Chris Rocks documentary, "Good Hair". I'm curious to see how he touches on the subject that our community goes thru with our hair issues.

June 23, 2009

Favorite Hair Style

This is my favorite transitioning hair style but it just takes the longest time to acheive. That's why I tried Bantu Knots. I saw it on this youtube video.

This picture was taken the first time I did this style on 04/01/09. I have to say..not to bad for my first time.

Now I didn't use everything in the video and I did this after washing my hair. But I think the main point was moisture since you will have to sit under the dryer.

This is what I did:
  • Co-Washed my hair with what I had at home. Nothing spectacI can't remember now b/c I've changed conditioners a few times.
Hair should be damp but not dripping wet.

Next I did:
  • Tui Hair Oil - Carol's Daughter. I used about a quarter size. Rubbed it thru my hair concentrating on the crown (my driest part).
  • Therapeutics Rx Leave-In-Design Essentials. I used a little more than a quarter size and rubbed it thru my hair. Again concentrating on the crown.
  • 15-20 Medium size perm rods. You can use whatever size you want here. I just haphazardly picked up 2 bags when I was at the beauty supply store. The bigger the perm rods the less you'll need. But it doesn't hurt to pick up a few bags. I find that the plastic piece on the end tends to break off. So, you may need extra.
  • Detangle hair!!! I haven't invested in a detangler product but the ones I listed above seem to work fine for me.
When I first started doing this, I used a comb to section my hair and section the pieces. However, this is NOT necessary. Use your natural combs (your fingers) to get the hair you need.

Do a two strand twist and wrap around the rods. Once you have all the hair rolled, it will look similar to this.

You'll have to sit under the dryer for a while or do this early enough in the day you're off work and let it air dry. Once dry....

Now, all you need to do is open your curls to get the full curly fro affect. I take Tui Hair Oil again and rub it thru my hair when it's like this and start opening the curls. No comb needed!

I still hadn't found an easy way to sleep with this style, besides going thru the process again. However, instead of co-washing, I use a spray bottle filled with Distilled water, Rosemary EO, Spearmint EO & Tea Tree EO. Rosemary is supposed to aid in hair growth so that's why I use that. The Spearmint masks the Rosemary smell (really don't want to smell like Italian food!) and Tea Tree is an antifungal (no moldy water!).

My hair comes out soft and silky. I love the curls.

Being Lazy

Since last weeks bantu knot issue (hair was still wet in the morning), I hadn’t tried it again. I’m thinking I put too much vegetable glycerin in my spray bottle which causes my hair to feel like it has a lil residue in it. You know that feeling where there seems to be too much product or something. I think I need to add more water to the mix. Maybe that will help it thin out some.

So, since I’m being lazy, I’ve been wearing ponytails and headbands for a while. I just hadn’t felt like rolling or even messing with my hair. This is probably the only time that I’m glad I hadn’t cut my hair! I want to cut it but like most people, I’m scared of the short hair. I’ve had shoulder length hair most of my life and I know that the image of the natural hair I have in my head won’t be the actual image.

I’m also starting to realize that I have about three different textures in my head. Don’t ask me about the 3b, 4c stuff because I have no clue. However, if I were to part my hair down the middle, on the right, left and right in the crown seem to be all different textures of hair. I know when I cut all the relaxed hair out, the texture will be really different, but I’m anxious to see what MY hair looks like.

But in the meantime, I’ll try to hold out a little while longer. Maybe a few more months. Hopefully, that will give my hair time to grow out some more and I can have a nice size fro.
I also tried a new condition the other day. Giovanni 50/50 Balance Conditioner. Since I mostly co-wash (conditioner wash) my hair I wanted a good conditioner. Based on some youtube.com reviews, this is an excellent conditioner. The jury is still out on that. I tried it one time so far and I’m not impressed with the results. Maybe I’m used to the all the chemical based conditioners. Giovanni products are 100% natural. I will try it again in a few days and let you know how it works out.

Lazy picture source

June 19, 2009

Bantu Knots

So, I’ve finally figured out how to do Bantu Knots after a few weeks of trying. The problem is, I never get the consistency I want. One day, they’re perfect, the next I’ll have to do some kind of funky updo to conceal the mess that is my hair!!! Today is that day. I was doing 2 strand twists with perm rods every night. But that took up so much time, that Bantu knots would be a better option. But, with this hot mess on my head, I may go back to the 2 strand twists.

I’m 4 months into my transition and I have about 1 inch of new growth. Although, it seems like I have more than that in the crown area. Everyday, I rehydrate my hair to make it more manageable. I have a 12oz spray bottle filled with Distilled Water, 20 drops of Rosemary EO and 20 drops of Lemon EO. That area being the hardest to comb thru! It works out o.k. I get some breakage and my hair is dry in the morning. So I tried something different.

After watching several youtube.com clips, I saw several people talk about Vegetable Glycerin (I always think of Nitroglycerin when I think of it..not the same). Well, Vegetable Glycerin is supposed to make your hair soft and keep it moisturized. Since I need moisture, I picked up a 32 oz bottle from the health foods store for $20. One video on YouTube said that it should be a 75/25 ratio in your spray bottle. That’s 75% water and 25% vegetable glycerin. That’s what I did last night.

I lightly sprayed my hair, combed it thru and did my Bantu knots. I blow dried the knots a lil and tied my hair up. I woke up this morning and took out my knots and some were still damp. But, my hair is definitely softer!!!! Not only is that, but my curls in my natural hair are more open and loose. I just wish I had more than an inch…

June 18, 2009

Why I’m going natural…

I decided on a whim to go natural. Partly due to a life change and mostly due to what I was telling my daughter.

My daughter had natural (chemically untreated) hair all her life, until one fateful day when her father decided to relaxer her hair without my permission or knowledge. When I went to pick her up, I was pissed to say the least. It hurt me to my heart to see that her hair was relaxed. She had beautiful curly hair. But, she wanted straight hair to be like the other kids in school and because others (not in my family) were telling her she needed it. I always told her that her hair was beautiful and she doesn’t need a perm. She has the rest of her life to mess up her hair.

Fast forward a year later, her hair is 4 inches shorter than when she got it initially relaxed. Not due to cuts or trims, but due to breakage. I took on the responsibility of getting her hair relaxed ever 8 weeks and I teach her the importance of her hair care. She still gets relaxers because she wants it. But, I still try to encourage natural hair on her whenever I can. This is where my transition comes into play.

I figure, I can’t teach my daughter why she should love her natural hair if I’m still getting relaxers. So, my last relaxer was February 2009 and hopefully, it’ll be my last one for a long time.

This is my journey to learn & love MY hair… because it doesn’t define me, it’s just a part of me.


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