The Struggle to Straighten

The Struggle...

So last week I got a little cocky...

Feeling like a superhuman hair guru, I decided it was time to straighten my hair. I also thought (being the pro that I am), it was time to give my hair a trim.... <--- I AM NOT A HAIR GURU OR A PRO AND NEXT TIME I WILL NOT BE A LAZY CHEAPSKATE. I WILL HAUL ASS TO A SALON!!!

I think because I'd seen how long my hair is when I blow it out, and after watching this video: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl_P6ROpLCc&feature=youtu.be] Β [[In case you can't see the video, it's a girl who has been natural for over a year, who has type 4B/C hair (very kinky hair), straightening it]]

I genuinely believed that if I straightened my hair, I'd be left with silky bouncy hair that flies around in the wind, and shines in the sun <----NO!

In the video, the girl said she didn't need to blow dry her hair. She stretched it out, teased and combed it, and she was ready to go. So, forgetting that my hair really ISN'T THAT LONG, and that our hair textures are completely different, I decided that was also what I was going to do. I wish I'd filmed it so that you could really witness the nonsense that took place that night....

I washed my hair, twisted it, and left them in to dry and stretch out my hair over night. The next day, the struggle truly began....

Took out my twists, hair was soft, silky, curly. But I wasn't satisfied. I decided I'd use the Cantu Shea Butter leave in, and castor and almond oil as my heat protectants, and I began. I sprayed the hair (in sections) with water, brushed, applied my protectants, brushed again and straightened. My hair hissed, sizzled, stank, and crinkled up again. Stroke 2 with the straighteners, and my hair is STILL curling up. Stroke 3, and the hair was frazzled, smelly, and still not completely straight. The dry ends were completely ashy and nasty too. So I grabbed my stationary scissors...

The "trim"

It seemed like a good idea at the time; trim as you straighten, and end up with healthy, even, bouncy, shiny straight hair. <---NO

So I cut the first straightened (burnt struggle section), seemed like I only cut maybe half an inch off. Just the dead frizzy, dry ends. NB: Trimming your hair WHEN IT NEEDS IT is an important part of hair care. Cutting off dry split ends promotes healthy hair growth because you cut the the damaged ends off before they have time to travel up the strands and damage the cuticles completely, but it's better to visit a salon if you don't trust yourself to do a good job, or to AT LEAST use proper hair scissors.

Everything seemed ok. I continued to straighten and trim. Straighten, trim, straighten, trim and so on. It was only when I got about halfway through that I realised my hair wasn't really that straight. In fact, it looked like a sloppy blow out. What I was creating was in fact, was a weird mushroom-like afro.

I didn't think to much about it, and decided that since I was almost done, I might as well finish it and then see what it looked like. I didn't keep track of what I was doing so I didn't cut the same amount off everywhere. The end result was literally a crusty afro. I was disappointed and tired and frustrated. My hair wasn't straight, or even, or shiny, and it looked shorter than I expected. It took over 2 hours to do and I had nothing to show for it. All I could think was "Man... this is NOT how my hair was supposed to turn out...". To make matters worse, I exposed my hair to A LOT of unnecessary heat, caked it with oil and product, and trimmed it with blunt scissors. Not good.

I thought wrapping it in a silk scarf over night would help flatten it a little bit. So I sprayed some of my Hawaiian silky moisturiser into it and started to brush. MY HAIR STARTED TO CURL UP AGAIN. At this point I knew I'd lost the battle and it was time to give up. I put the scarf on anyway and decided I deal with the mess in the morning.

The next day I had an early train to catch to I tied a scarf over my hair and went about my business. I took a picture on Day 2 though of what my "trimmed and straightened" hair looked like:

So What have I learnt?

I've learnt not to "trim" my hair myself. I know a lot of people who do it, but I can't. I was reluctant to go to a salon because I was scared that a stylist would cut too much off but I ended up doing that anyway.

I've learnt that my hair IS curly, and although I will be able to rock it straight soon enough, I need to fully embrace the way it is now, and learn to work with it as it is until it's a little longer.

I've learnt that blunt scissors are NEVER a good idea.

I've learnt that natural hair is fragile, and you have to be careful when handling it.

I've learnt not to assume that what works for other people simply cannot/will not always work for me.

I've learnt that I am not a superhuman hair guru lol. Far from it. I am very new to the whole natural hair care thing, and I need to be patient.

I've learnt that it's ok to make mistakes. I was a bit annoyed that I cut so much off, but as I've said before, it is hair, and it will grow back.

Soooooooooooooooooo I'm back at my month 3 hair length now. Serves me right really for thinking I could do what whatever to my hair without any repercussions.

Thought I'd share my mini disaster with you. Hopefully I've helped someone avert their own.

Much Love

xxxx