I haven’t posted about hair in quite some time, if ever. But recently my inbox has been full of questions regarding my natural hair, what are my regimen, and any recommendations. So I thought to myself, why not just blog about it. This is handbags, hair, and heels, right? Let me put this disclaimer out there… I do not know it all, I am not a hair care professional, this is simply what works for me.
This is a straw set, looked like I was natural
My decision to go natural was simple. 6 years ago while in Jamaica I decided that I wasn’t going to get a perm again. I don’t know what person or reason prompted the decision, but I wanted to wear an afro. As you know from a previous post, the 70s has ALWAYS been my era of choice; the music, the fashion, and of course the hair. For me doing the ‘big chop’ (cutting the perm out) was not an option. I am known for wearing long, jet black, straight hair that swings with the beat of my hips (lmao, couldn’t resist that insert). So me going natural was a totally different story in regard to my family not agreeing with the choice. Yes, I did endure the negative, but at this point; most of my family, if not all are natural by either choice or force (from over processing). I grew my hair out with the assistance of my beautician and with a little trial and error. I mostly wore my hair straight in the begining and sometimes I rocked a straw set (totally time consuming). She would cut an inch off each time I was in the chair. One day I woke up and my hair was see thru lol, that was when we knew that all of the permed ends had to be cut. My beautician explained this as the line of demarcation, the permed hair was weighing down the natural hair (or vice versa, I can’t really remember). After the permed ends were cut; my hair had grown enough to have a bob. To be honest, I didn’t actually learn to do my own hair until I moved to Virginia in 2007. In Georgia, I had two stylists. One would straighten my hair and the other would do different types of natural styles. I came to Virginia with a quick weave, I.Am.Not.A.Weave.Girl. Weave just never works out the way I want it to. When I took it out I had no clue what to do. My hair was a ratchet mess!!! At that time there wasn’t a lot of information on natural hair, but the internet and YouTube became my new besties. I also joined meet up groups and met women who were able to assist me. Let me not forget to let you know that I’ve had my share of BAD salon experiences and documented those on my yelp page (except for one salon because it was owned by an AKA).
Fast forward to almost 7 years later, I think that I can breathe a sigh of relief and say I know my hair. I am a little sketchy on which products to use when wearing it straight, but I know the process of getting my hair straight, silky, and shiny. Long gone are the days that I sit in a chair aggravated and silent to the fact that someone is doing my hair incorrectly. I reserve the right to walk the hell out; with my hair attached to my scalp, money in my pocket, and my precious time to write a yelp post on the negative experience. Once again, this is what works for me, use it as you please, but you may not get the same results as I’ve had.
This is a 2 strand twist out
I know that a lot of people don’t like to categorize their hair type but I think that helps in regard to what products will work best for you. For me, my hair type is 3c around the edges and the middle is 4a. That just means that my edges have a softer looser curl pattern and if I straighten it’ll be easier for me to get heat damage there. As for the middle of my head, the hair is super strong and coily lol. I found out just last year that washing my hair in sections cuts down the styling time tremendously. I part in four separate but not equal sections; shampoo and condition, detangle and twist it. I repeat this until I’m done. I also rinse the conditioner out, detangle again and twist and clip it up. I definitely recommend a package of clips for this because if you have thick hair as I do, they will break on you. I don’t have a staple shampoo or conditioner per se; but I’ve used the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration (shampoo and conditioner) repeatedly. I really want to try the line with honey next. I hate to say this, but I don't wash my hair as often as one should lol, sometimes once or twice a month. If you follow me on Instagram (yes that’s a plug to follow me), I usually document my wash days and the products I’m using. I use a leave in conditioner by Kinky Curly-Knot Today (Target or Whole Foods), that helps me detangle my hair. If I don't use that, I use The Bodifier by Talijah Waajid (beauty supply store). The Bodifier is a great moisturizer and has a tiny amount of protein in it. Although, it is a mist; the consistency is a bit too thick to just spray on daily (it needs to be rubbed in). If my hair is extremely dry, after I washed it (before the Knot Today) I'll spray in my mixture of glycerin and water. I get the glycerin from the beauty supply, the brand is Africare. I don't know the exact measurements. Play around with it, too much and it’ll be too sticky; not enough and you won’t see the effect. Glycerin is a humectant that'll draw moisture from the air so that really helps. I’ve heard that some people can’t use glycerin, but it’s worth the try. I also use Juices and Berries from Oyin (this is my FAV product) as a refreshing mist; it smells GREAT and is also a humectant so it helps with moisturizing. I usually use this to refresh my twist out on day 3 or so. My styling aides are Shea butter (from the beauty supply store) and sometimes I'll use Whipped Pudding from Oyin (www.oyinhandmade.com). I use those to twist my hair with. You may have noticed that I don’t use products with Olive Oil; my hair absolutely HATES it. I don’t buy anything with that as an ingredient. After twisting, you can use a bit of coconut oil on the ends to seal in the moisture. I use Organic Root Stimulator Nature’s Shine, its a spray formula. This product will also solidify if the temperature is below 64 degrees. I have an old video on my YouTube channel in regard to the way that I twist. I actually just use the method that they use when they do Senegalese twist. My YouTube channel is Akakristin, I haven't updated it in a while but the video is titled, Twist while Twisting. In regard to gel, I do use gel to slick those edges down. My gel of choice is Fantasia Blue gel, this formula is for color treated hair but it’s what worked for me when I was a blonde and continues to work today. What I learned firsthand, is that natural hair/styles are going to be trial and error.
In case of a bad hair day, Turban Power
Although those are my go to products, I’ve been trying to use the products sent to me from Curlbox since I get a box of goodies each month. By the way they are going to open membership on the 19th at 3 pm. Curlbox is a great way to try new products at only $20 a month. If you're interested you have to be online at 3 because they sell out super quick. As much as you don't want to be a 'product junkie' you may become one because you have to figure out what works for your hair. Currently I am at bra strap length and my goal is to reach waist strap length by October (we’ll see). I hope this post is helpful, I don’t do anything major to my hair, and this works for me. Feel free to ask questions and leave me tips on what works for you.
My hair currently