This blog was originally posted on myspace on Dec. 17, 2006.
Hey Everybody! :)
Okay, so I get a lot of questions about my hair and I've been replying to everybody individually and then I thought, well shoot girl, just write a blog! So I... wrote a blog about it, here it go... :) (Forgive me, it's early!)
Question 1: Is it a weave?
Answer: Nope, this is all my hair. We Browns are a thick headed bunch. :)
* Amendment... I still don't have a weave, but I HAVE become a new fan of the clip in extensions. So if you see me with rapunzel length "tresses"... know that a sister has clipped in some herr! LOL!
Question 2: How'd you get it like that? Is it a straw set?
Answer: Although I believe you can get your hair like this with a straw set, mine is not. I'm going to tell you guys exactly how I get my hair like this in a second, but first, if you will indulge me, I present:
My theory about black girls and our hair... :)
I think most of us have no idea what texture of hair we have because we've spent most of our lives braided, pressed, jheri curled (don't act like you didn't have one!) weaved and relaxed. How could we really know what we're working with? I had no idea my hair was naturally curly until I stopped relaxing it about 7 years ago. I think every sister should go natural at some point in her life just to figure out what's really going on.
Now a word of caution... the first six-eight months will not be easy (or pretty!) Remember, your hair has been used to being chemically straightened or pressed. The first bit of new growth will look like the motherland, for real. (Don't get me wrong, I love the motherland... it's just that a natural curly/kinky texture right next to a relaxed texture is going to look a bit strange. I think the kinky/curly is more beautiful, but I'm biased. LOL!) That said, the two textures fighting it out on your head for domination may not be the prettiest sight, but if you give it time to grow out, your natural curl pattern will emerge and outshine that funky old relaxed part. (HA!) And I bet it's nicer than you're expecting. Mine was.
The first year or so is spent trying to figure out what products work best for you. It will be tedious but worth it. No two curly heads of hair are the same. You have to find the exact mix of products that work for you... but once you do? WHOO-HOO, it's Christmas morning every day! :)
If during the growing out phase your new growth is hurting your feelings, you can use a texturizer on it just so it's not such a drastic switch from relaxed to natural. But if you do this, you're prolonging the time it takes for you to be completely natural because you have to wait for the relaxer and then the texturizer to completely grow out.
After awhile, once you hair grows out and you continue to trim your ends (or have them trimmed at the salon) you will have a full head of natural hair... and hopefully it's manageable.
Now, here's my process...
I wash my hair with Aphogee evening primrose shampoo (white bottle, green writing) or Motions critical repair shampoo. I heard Pantene has a great line for relaxed and natural hair as well. I then use any conditioner I can get my hands on and comb it through while my hair is wet. I rinse the conditioner out and then I towel dry a bit (you want your hair still a little damp) and then I saturate (and I mean SATURATE!) it with an aloe vera leave in conditioner by ic Fantasia. It's in a brown bottle with green and white writing. (All these products can be found at Sally's or any other beauty supply, by the way)
Once the leave-in is throughout my hair I scrunch (ball your fists up with your hair in your hands) all over. This encourages my hair to curl up. I then put a little bit of oil (what kind doesn't matter) on my ends and then I sit under a hooded dryer for about 30 minutes. You can also air dry but the dripping drives me crazy, so I just sit under the dryer.
That's it. That's my process. If your hair hasn't been "trained" to curl up yet, you can always put the leave-in in and do double strand twists and then sit under the dryer.
It's a long journey if you're switching from straight to natural, but once you train your hair to curl, it will. At least I've found that to be true for mine.
And one more thing... I am NOT a licensed beautician and I can't 100% stand behind anything I wrote in this blog... besides that, it's 5am! Who knows if I'm even coherent at this unGodly hour. :) Forgive me this little disclaimer, but my legal secretarial roots won't let me not explain that if you choose to try any of this stuff, please don't hold me responsible if it goes terribly awry. Everybody's hair is different. I'm just sharing with you guys what worked for me. I hope it works for you, but I can't guarantee that it will. Fair? :)
If it does work for you, please write back/post and let me know, will ya?
Peace and hair grease!
PS... you don't have to go natural to try the leave-in scrunching thing or even the twists thing. If you have a relaxer scrunching or twisting your hair and sitting under a dryer should produce some sort of wavy hair pattern, it just won't be all that curly.
PSS... I've been asked recently about how I can get all this hair to lay down when I pull it back into a ponytail. It's simple, water and LOTS gel... oh and prayer. :) If I'm going to wear it slicked back I usually decide right after I wash it. And instead of doing the towel dry then "saturate with aloe vera leave-in" routine, I just brush it back while it's still damp and COAT it with gobs of gel. Like almost "helmet head" levels of gel. I'm talking every layer of hair slicked down. The gel you use doesn't matter. I usually use one that's thick and doesn't flake. I think ic Fantasia makes a couple of versions. There's the clear gel with "sparkle-lites" that works by them and a brown gel that comes in a jar with a yellow top with black folks on it by them. (Gosh, this is turning into commercial for icFantasia. LOL! That isn't intentional, I promise. Their products just work on my hair for some reason.) But I've also used Pro-styl gel . Again, which brand doesn't matter as long as it's thick, doesn't flake and holds your hair down.
PSSS... I've just heard some not so good stuff about ionic hair dryers and black hair. So be careful using those, you guys. I've heard that they dry black hair too fast and breakage can be the result. Just a friendly FYI.
PSSSS... I know, how long winded can I be?! I just wanted to list a few more products that work for me: Mixed Chicks (love their leave in conditioner), Kinky Curly (great products to lay down unruly curls) and I'm a new fan of the shampoo and conditioner by Ion for curly hair. You can get Ion products at Sally's and the curly line is in white bottles with green writing and tops.
Okay, now I'm truly done. :)