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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tales From the Roots: Natural Hair Update

      It has been a couple months since I've done a natural hair update so I figured it was about time! At this point in my journey I have learned a lot and I have a lot of advice for those new to the natural hair life.
Before I get into my updates I just want to go over my natural journey time line to get you up to speed:
May 2013- Last Perm
June 2013- Partial Chop, Bob hair cut
January 2014- Big Chop
May 2014- 1 Year natural Anniversary 
July-Sept 2014 Weave
October... about 16 months natural 
     I am now starting to notice a significant change in my hair length. This summer I used protective styling for about 2 months and it really helped me
1. Give my hair a break from constant styling
2. Give me a break from those long nights of twisting
3. It helped my hair grow.
     After taking down my weave I quickly realized that my hair had grown a significant amount. It actually took my about a week or so to figure out that the styling techniques I would use for my smaller TWA just didn't cut it anymore. When I first big chopped I was more concerned with curl definition and having a very neat, uniformed look. Now I am more concerned with showing off my length.

     I put my hair in chunky twist, which I stretch and bobby pin to my head, almost every night using my staple products and pick out my fro in the morning. I usually get the best stretched look about 2 days after washing it. Even though my hair has grown a great deal when I style it wet, or if I use smaller twists, my hair will shrink back to a fro about the size that it was in January (not to mention that it literally takes forever for it to dry now). It will be cute and coily but it won't hit its big, fierce, fro potential. This is why I like my hair to be in a mostly dry state. Even at night when I retwist it I hardly ever get my hair really wet with product.

Routine Changes 
My most recent Wash Day
     I am still washing my hair once every 2 or 3 weeks. This is probably the only thing that has been consistent since my relaxer days. I really cannot stand dirty hair and I really can't deal with product build up. My hair itches like crazy and my hair becomes dull. I know a few natural hair guru's on YouTube who can wash their hair once a month but I'm just not there yet lol.

     I am also using the same products. My staples for the past 6 months at least have been Cantu Shea Butter Leave in conditioner, Argan or coconut oil, and Eco Styler Gel.

     I have not straightened my hair since April since the Chicago humidity pretty much makes that pointless in the summer months but I will be doing it in the winter months. I actually haven't put any type of heat on my hair since April and I doubt that I will personally ever do it. I know that there are a lot of tips and tutorials on YouTube demonstrating how to straighten natural hair but I personally feel that I am not patient enough to do this and I don't want to damage my hair in the process. So if and when I straighten it I will be having a professional do it for me. 

     As I said earlier the new length of my hair has changed the way that I style it. Lately I have been doing a chunky twist out nightly and picking it out in the morning. I usually do about 10 twists that are not too neat. I use a little oil and cantu leave in and that's it. I have also been rocking a puff. This is the first time in my journey that I have worn this style. I never though it looked cute on me when my hair was shorter but now I love it! It comes in handy on the mornings that my fro is cooperating or if I skip a night of twisting.I have been doing some research on other styles and up dos that  I can do on my fro. The only thing that I have noticed is that most of them require a lot more length than I currently have. I'll be excited when my hair gets more hang time in the front so I can do styles with bangs and parts. I'm also limited in the face that I cannot, for the life of my, figure out how to do a flat twist! But I am working on it!
Future Plans 

Fresh Twist out after wash day.
     In the near future I plan on getting a sew-in for a protective style for a month or two to give my hair a break. I also just miss having straight hair and I think it will be a nice change. I do want to color my hair. I've been talking about doing this for months and months. I doubt I do it any time soon but it is always something I consider doing it. All of the mixed reviews I get about dying natural hair does play a factor in my decision making process. What I have gathered is that it takes a lot of diligence in the moisturizing department in order to avoid breakage. I personally think I do a great job of moisturizing my hair but on the other hand I'm just not ready to commit to something like that knowing  I can get lazy with my hair. Maybe I will dye it when I'm feeling more adventurous but for now I will stick to weaves and the occasional flat iron to get my kicks. 

January- May


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