So this post isn't really about anything in particular. I just thought I'd share a few of my general thoughts, experiences, and natural hair goals.
I haven't even been natural for 6 months, so I still consider myself a newbie. But it has been almost a year since I relaxed my hair. Now that I don't do it any more, I must admit I find it strange that other people do. I don't miss the burning, or itchiness, or dry scalp, or anything else about relaxing my hair. I'm glad to be relieved of the burden of looking for cheap and reliable salons because, with the exception of braids, I pretty much do everything else myself. I keep saying I don't regret going natural, and I don't. But even I have to admit, that at times I miss the simplicity that came with having relaxed hair. I never had to worry about dry hair, or stretching. I rarely thought about heat damage, and because my hair was so long, retaining length was never a serious issue either. I guess that's the main thing I miss about being a natural newbie. I miss the length. Being able to put my hair in a bun or ponytail. My last hair fiasco set me back a couple months growth which did leave me feeling a little discouraged, but I have recovered from the ordeal :)
Seeing old pictures of my hair when it was relaxed has got me feeling particularly nostalgic recently, but I am comforted by the fact that it will grow, and in a few years, it'll be back to that length. In my opinion it will be better too because it will be full and curly and that's exciting.
But LENGTH! This middle, not-so-short-but-not-even-close-to-being-anything-else length is ANNOYING. I'm running out of things to do with it, and it's too cold to rock a twist out everyday. My end would probably dry up and disintegrate. So most of the time I'm doing little twists, or chunky ones, and covering my hair with a scarf. I'll be travelling in a few weeks, the weather will be very warm and hopefully, I will be able to leave it out for a little longer.
Leaving it out
I like leaving my hair out. When it was very short, like right after I cut it in June, there was little else I could do with it, so I rocked my TWA everyday. I miss those days. Shrinkage didn't matter because of how short it was already. Now that it's longer I'm more conscious of it tangling and breaking, or matting up if I don't stretch it out. So leaving it out now can at times be problematic. I also don't really know how to keep a twist out for more than a day. Twisting my hair every night which still takes a while just to take it out in the morning seems like a bit of a waste of time anyway. As I've said before, I don't want my life to revolve around my hair. Quick styles are best. I don't think spending more than 1 hour a day on your hair makes sense. And when I say 1 hour, I mean maximum!
I've made changes to my hair care regime too. I could wash it every other day when it was shorter. But it takes longer to style it now, and longer to dry. I do my hair in the evenings, and last time I went to bed with wet hair, I got sick. So I (co)wash my hair every 4-7 days. If I've been working out I do it every 3 days. I wash with shampoo every 2 weeks.
Conditioner I use to co-wash:
It's the coconut oil conditioner. It smells delicious, and I like the texture and consistency of the product. It makes my hair really silky and I feel like it cleans my hair and leaves it soft.
I do still condition my hair after a co-wash. I use:
This line of products generally is pretty good. For people who like to avoid sulphates, petroleum, mineral oil and all that other stuff that's not so great for the hair, this line would probably be a good choice. The conditioner is a bit like aqueous cream in texture. Very thick and creamy. It doesn't really smell of anything, but I think it helps moisturise the hair and that's ultimately what I look for in hair products.
I deep condition after every shampoo wash and sometimes after my co-washes too. I haven't been doing as many as I should. But I will try and get back into the habit of deep conditioning my hair at least once a week. I used heat when I deep condition my hair. I have one of those hooded cap dryer things that you attach to the end of your hair dryer.
It's practical, easy to use, cheap, and it folds up, so you can take it if you travel. I got mine from ebay, but they sell them on amazon too. So I normally apply a deep conditioner, the one I use 90% of the time is the Olive oil organics root stimulator replenishing conditioner:
It smells nice. Really like fresh, clean and citrus-like. I mix castor oil and olive oil into the conditioner and work it through sections of my hair. Then I cover my hair with a cap and use the hooded dryer for about 20 minutes. I use cool water to rinse out the conditioner. When my hair is really reeeeeeally dry, I rub a bit of conditioner into my hair just before the rinse. This is also a good time to de-tangle.
I use Cantu Shea butter as my leave in conditioner:
I spray my hair with water and glycerine the rest of the time and use leave-in if need be too and then twist it. Other than that, because of the length, there isn't much more I can do.
I'm tired of twisting my hair. It takes a long time and the effects don't last. Especially at he front of my head where my curls pattern is very loose. The twists don't even always stay in there. I'm looking for new and fast ways to style my hair, and I guess I'll update as I find them. My hair seems ok after the whole straightening and trimming mishap. I expected it to be very dry and brittle but it's fine. It's just shorter than it should be, and I can live with that. Natural hair can be stressful at times. Hair care can be time consuming, especially if you're not into weaves or braids like me. I'm thinking of doing braids this month when I travel. I need a change. Boredom is not good. The devil makes use of idle thumbs! I learnt that the hard way last week :(
I'm hoping to grow an inch a month. I noticed my hair growth seemed better when I was deep conditioning every week. Or sometimes twice a week. The steam cap at bedtime helped with dryness too. So I may revert back to that to get the length and results that I want. Hopefully by next summer I'll have a decent afro. That's the dream anyway. We'll see I guess.
So, that's all I've got today,