Monday, April 22, 2013

Prelude to the " It's All for My Hair" Series

Hey everyone...lets grab a cup of our favorite beverage (mines is a hot cup of Foldgers Vanilla coffee), stand in front of a mirror, take a deep breath  and ask our selves out loud, " Have I been taking care of my hair!?" I'll be the first to admit,  I do get breakage and tangles and sometimes excessive shedding and worse of all I IGNORE IT! Yes! Yes! I know, why would I take myself through 15months of the transitioning phase to allow my natural hair to go astray? Well I had a line of excuses written up, ready to defend my reasons of neglecting my hair.
- " I don't have time to properly detangle"
-" No matter what I do, it still breaks!"
-" Maybe its in my genes to have damaged hair!"
-" Finger detangling is the DEVIL!!!"
-" I don't have the proper products!"
Trust me, the list goes on and on. But like everything in every aspect of  life, excuses are unacceptable!!

Lets think about it, while we look at the ends and strands of our hair; what are my hair goals? Now in MY mind, I think everyone's hair goal, natural or chemically altered, is to have long, strong, manageable hair. Am I right?! Now, since I'm not a mind reader, I'll play safe and speak for myself. My hair goals are to accomplish, longer, stronger, thicker, moisturized  and manageable hair! Now that you've thought about your goals, go back to looking at those strands; how close are you to accomplishing those goals? Again, i'll admit, i'm no where closer to my goals. I'll be bold and share picture of my strands but in a later post. Lets focus on what we're seeing; are you seeing frizzy or tamed strands, tangled or untangled curls, smooth curly ends or split ends/ single strand knots or both, and/or straight ends or curly ends( regarding excessive heat users). Now get a sheet of paper, opps forgot to tell you to grab that, and write down your observations. * take your time* Now, lets feel our strands and ends; how do they feel? Dry or moisturized, weak or strong, and/or soft or hard?  Now next to each observation, jot down what you'd prefer your hair to look and feel like. Doing this exercise can help us realize where we are on your growth, healthy, or definition journeys. Here's my list below:
                                   My Hair Analysis
Current                                                              Goal
Visual:                                                                Visual:
a) some split ends                                          a) little to no split ends
b)Some knots                                                 b)little to no knots
c) frizzy                                                         c) less frizzy ends
d) frizzy strands                                           d) less frizzy strands
e) some tangles                                           e) little to no tangles

Touch:                                                               Touch:
a) slightly dry strands                                 a) less dry strands
b) dry ends                                                  b) less dry ends
c) strong curls                                             c) stronger curls
d) soft curls and strands( for now)            d) Always soft curls and strands

 Making this list also might be an eye opener to some that they may not be taking care of their hair; which might be the reason for the excessive breakage, damage, tangles, and frustration. I'll admit, it took me a while to acknowledge the, for lack of better word, abuse I've done to my hair and even longer to take the first step to taking proper care of my hair.

After making that list, I thought of techniques I can use to achieve the above goals; I thought to myself about what I did to my hair daily, weekly and monthly, what I've been doing wrong during those time periods and what I can do to improve on them.

Current                                                      Goal
Daily:                                                        Daily:
Style                                                          Style less 
Moisturize                                                Moisturize when necessary
Mostly and heavily manipulate                Little to no manipulation

Weekly:                                                    Weekly:
Detangle with deman brush and              Detangle with fingers and deman brush when needed
shower comb
Shampoo( with gentle or clarifying          Gently shampoo hair(mostly scalp)
Condition or/and deep condition              Condition AND deep condition
Add leave in conditioner and seal            Add leave in conditioner and seal

Monthly:                                                   Monthly:
N/A                                                           Clarify with clarifying shampoo

Now I know this seems like a little too much to go through just for hair but going natural is a journey that I've became linked to and a part of my life that I want to improve and build. Plus taking care of it now may result in less frustration and work in the future. So to make this extremely long story a bit short, i'm going on a challenge; a challenge to improve each and every one of those techniques above to accomplish my Visual and Touch goals for my hair. I've started this two weeks ago and will post how i'm improving each techniques later into a " It's All for My Hair" series.

No one has to join this challenge but I do encourage anyone who's experience the same or worse with their hair than I am, to take a deep look into your strands and question yourself, " What do I want for my hair?!" I don't know how long I'll be doing this challenge but I know I wouldn't stop until I see the results that i'm expecting and hey if I do get those results then what'll be the point in ending the challenge.

Anywho, I wish healthy hair to everyone!! And we'll chat later on in the blog.  God Bless!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Journey into this NEW World--Transitioning Story

So, as I was sitting down, sipping on some mint tea I realized that I have not posted a blog regarding my transitioning journey and big be honest I've realized that months ago but I figured it's time to get you guys updated on that whole journey.

So jump in my nappy hair( yes I said "nappy") time traveling chair back to my transitioning days.

September 2, 2011
I remember that day so clearly: I was driving with the BF and took a glimpse of my hair in the mirror and was reminded how atrocious my hair looked and had enough of it. So I turned to the BF and said, " You know what, I think i'm going to go natural!"
Very unaware of what his reaction would've of been I griped the steering wheel and inhaled and spoke very fast saying, " It'll only make sense, its very had to keep my hair straight and is costly to relax it and maintain it during the time period and maybe its time for a change. I'm sure it'll be easier also..." Surprisingly, his response was, " Cool, I think that's a good idea...I like natural hair anyways!"

So on September 2, 2011, I decided that I no longer want to deal with the battle between my relaxed hair and my natural hair NEED to take over. So that day started my transition. there wasn't any other explanation behind of it; I wasn't following any trends, or was inspired by a friend or lady I saw in the supermarket or on YouTube. *honest truth* I had no interest in "YouTube" before my transition. Anywho, I got on my laptop and started goggling information on going natural and from there is when I got sucked into the "Natural Hair Community". I couldn't believe that there was so much information on natural hair: rule/ advice on shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, pre-pooing, trimming, protective styles and the list goes on and on and oh so on!! Like anyone whom started their transition, I got addicted to youtube and the natural hair gurus and the natural hair blogs; they were my life!!! Every night I tried a new style, and new technique, I stocked up on products, watched videos til the wee hours, I mean I was HOOKED!!!!

The Drag

But then, after 4 months or so I got sucked back into my real life, and got reminding about my children and responsibilities and school and blah blah blah LOL. After a week, it became a struggle to juggle my hair and life and thoughts to myself, " UGH what they hell did I get myself into with this natural hair mess!?!?" Some days I did my hair and some days I didn't care for it and placed a cap, beanie, bonnet on....until I didn't care for it at all. I'd allow it to get tangles and frizzy and hard to manage. It wasn't until I moved into a new apartment and felt that drive for "new beginnings" and started caring for my hair again. Lets see now that was in April 2012 and by then I was 8 months transitioning  and I've tried plenty of styles.

Good and Bad

I experience lots of great energy while transitioning ; I got to know my hair, found a new hobby, discovered youtube and this amazing community, learned about the simplicities and difficulties of growing hair, discovered the mistreatment and breakage of my daughters hair, and many more. I got to admit, I became a different person since then...but it wasn't all good

The bad came with slamming hurt and pain from family. No one besides the BF  understood why I decided to go natural, my mother kept asking when I was going to relax my hair, everyone thought it was a phase and said cruel stuff. " You hair looks rasta, it looks like a mop, what they hell is going on with your head, when are you going to comb your hair, you look like a crazy person, what are you going to do with that thing..."  Yeah you got to love family huh..haha. Some days the comments hurt and other days I just brush my shoulders off. The epiphany of it all is that I became more confident with my hair and appearance and accepted who I was and what I wanted to look like. I tried more styles, and even go into make- up and nails and skin was a whole new world for me and boy am I loving it.

The Big Chop

September 2nd came around again and I was beyond the need for a big chop, I had less than 2 inches of relaxed ends to chop but I wasn't ready to chop. I wanted to do with when it felt right, when I felt ready..when the desire  was natural. So I saw my year transition pass by and  waited....until my BF Christmas Party in December. I was more than ready. I planned the whole thing out. I wanted to chop and flat iron my show everyone that it was worth it...that the length would be remarkable. BOY DID I SHOW THEM!
The party was on December 15 and wanted to make sure that everything was done absolutely right. I researched videos on flat ironing all week, I even went out and bough Chi Heat Protectant.  I prepooed my hair and started to chop off all the ends. Honestly, I was very easy since I had little relaxed ends left. Then, I shampooed, deep conditioned 2 days in advanced. Then the day of the party, I blow dried using the tension method and started to flat iron. That was a total FAIL. My hair was a poof ball; it would not straighten. So I did an up-do style and dealt with it! But after that day, I was and still am excited about my new hair

New Hair

I'm excited about my new hair of four months LOL. The texture is completely different that I expected and it's shrinkage is unbelievable BUT it is a task and some days a serious pain in the butt. BUT I do love it and I'm embracing every moment that I have with this new fluffy hair LOL

Words of Advice

 To anyone interested in going natural, do remember that it's just another change and journey in life. Some days you will like it and some days you might run for the nearest salon for a relaxer! Just breathe and take every bit of new information one and a time, the information isn't going anywhere and God's willing so aren't you. So enjoy the last days of your relaxers and EMBRACE the new day with your natural hair. Also, don't get caught up in the 'RULES" of natural hair like some of us do, just take it step by step and remember NO ON HAIR IS THE SAME!!! It took me 19months to acknowledge that! LOL

Well I stop rambling here and show pics of my Transition Journey to Now. ENJOY!!! BTW, the pics are out of order..sorry!!