Saturday, 20 April 2013

Back to Roots: I'm "going natural"

Yep, I'm going natural.


I don't really like the term "going natural" since I've been natural most of my life, and have only had relaxed hair for about 5-7 years (first time when I was a preteen, after which I transitioned, then had my hair relaxed again around 13 years old) So, I'm going back natural, or I'll just say back to my roots. (no pun intended!)

Although I am very excited about my transition to natural hair, in no way have I become totally anti-relaxer. I still admire the women who maintain their healthy relaxed hair (shout-out to Jeni and Ebony!) and I will continue to read their blogs, use their tips and blog about the relaxed hair world.

I find it silly when black women go to the extreme and denounce the "creamy crack" which they themselves were so "addicted" to before they went natural. Hair is hair and I will not alienate my self or my fellow hair sisters by preaching the superiority of one form of hair over another.

To me, confidence and being comfortable with oneself is most important. The fact that many black women are so uncomfortable or shy about wearing their natural hair in public for fear of social rejection is truly sad. I do not want to be one of those women who hides her hair because she resents it. I admit, before the natural hair movement I thought I would never go back natural because my natural texture is very thick, coarse, and was a pain to take care of as a child...but that doesn't have to be the case anymore. With all the information available online, new products catered to naturals, and the inspiring blogging ladies who have transitioned, I should have no fear for lack of support for caring for my hair.

Its time to finally throw off the ancient stigma and condemnation black women have faced for wearing their natural hair. I will not let fear of myself or the opinions of others rule my life.

Life is about exploring and taking risks! I have no reason to force myself to bear with my relaxed hair when, recently, it's been making me perpetually unhappy.

So...I'm on another adventure. The first was my healthy relaxed hair journey...now this one is a healthy natural hair journey!

In my blog description I wrote: "Healthy relaxed hair or bust! Who's with me?"
So did I achieve healthy relaxed hair? Up to a point, I did, and then for reasons I still haven't figured out, my breakage increased and my hair's health has been decreasing ever since.

I don't consider my relaxed hair journey a complete failure since I learned a lot about healthy hair care, achieved my first year's goal of armpit length hair and discovered some amazing hair blogs- by both natural and relaxed hair women!

Again, I am excited about this transition. I'm exactly 8 weeks post relaxer and my roots are hecka thick, but a bit uneven since I have texlaxed areas from my last relaxer. I initially planned to get braided extensions installed today, but my mom won't be able to do it and I trust no one else to braid my hair. I might have to wait until after my final exams to get them done. That's about 4 weeks away...yikes! I've hardly stretched my relaxer longer than 8 weeks post without difficulty so I do have a challenge ahead...Thank God for youtube tutorials and ORS Nourishing Conditioner that I hope will get me through the first phase of my transition!



I'm going to 18 years old in August and it just seems significant that I chose to go back natural at this point. Becoming an "adult" brings fresh experiences, one of which will be my health natural hair transition. Who knows, maybe I'll "big chop" for my birthday! (Probably not, though. I'll only have 6 months worth of new growth!)

Cheers to being unafraid to experiment and falling in love with me...a woman fearfully and wonderfully made!

Some of my recent inspirations:
urbanbushbabes.com
urbanbushbabes.com


kandeelovesya.tumblr.com


Where mah 4c hair ladies at?? I'll be needing some tips! =)

~Hatter

Friday, 19 April 2013

Wash day @ 7 weeks post relaxer



On Monday I washed my hair at 7 weeks, 3 days post relaxer.

What I did:

  1. Sectioned my hair into 8-9 parts, spraying diluted moisturizer on my roots to soften them and help with the parting. Finger de-tangled, applied ORS Vital Oils and braided each section. 
  2. Pre-pooed for about an hour under my heating cap. 
  3. Shampooed with ORS Neutralizing Shampoo.
  4. T-shirt dried my hair for about 2 minutes, then applied ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner, using 1 & 1/3 packs. Sat with heating cap for about 1 & 1/2 hours.
  5. Rinsed my hair and T-shirt dried for about 5 minutes.
  6. While hair was still damp, I sprayed diluted moisturizer on my hair, focusing on the roots. Applied Herbal Essences Split-End Protector and de-tangled. 
  7. Blow-dried lightly, using tension by pulling down on my hair while blow-drying to stretch my roots.
  8. Sealed with ORS Vital Oils.
  9. Cross-wrapped my hair for bed and done!


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The next morning I bunned for the first time in a looong time. After doing my hair it felt very soft and manageable. I definitely attribute it to the ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner. It always make my new growth a breeze to de-tangle!

Unfortunately, the breakage is still occurring but I've almost accepted that as normal (sad isn't it??) so I ignored it and styled. I'll be dealing with this issue in a later post.

I planned to wear the bun for the whole day but...5 minutes after going outside it collapsed!
I didn't secure the ends well so when I charged into the wind...let's just say it was hair blowing left, right and centre =P After that I took out the bobby pins and just wore a simple ponytail.

Hair fails... they're inevitable!


Have a great weekend =)
~Hatter

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mini hair haul

Last Friday I went hair shopping, and although I had a long list of items to buy, these are all I ended up purchasing:

 
Can't wait to use my ORS Nourishing Conditioner! This is fantastic on my new growth, so I hope that it'll help to make my hair softer and decrease my manipulation issues.

I also bought a moisturizer from the new Shea Butter Miracle line from African Pride. I already use the original moisturizer I described here, but I took this one just to see if it'll be any different on my new growth.

New bobby pins! I'm sure every girl knows what it's like to have these disappear right under our nose! I shouldn't lose all 120 any time soon :)


Love

~Hatter

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Hair Journey Spotlight: Alsha from myfroandi.com

In this post I explained that I'm thinking of going natural.

Since then, I realized that going natural would not be the end of my hair journey, and I definitely shouldn't feel disappointed in myself if I do decide to transition.

I know that if I transition that its my personal choice for the health of my hair, as well as to satisfy my curiosity about my natural texture.

Soooo, I've been scouring the internet for 4c hair ladies to act as my inspiration...and here is one of them!


Meet Alsha from myfroandi.com

She is a South African blogger with beautiful type 4 hair. Looks similar to how mine was as a child!

Here is a sample of hairstyles from her recent 30 hair style challenge.

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I was amazed at the gorgeous styles this woman can do! She totally changed my perception of the styles that can be done on 4c hair... I used to think that our thick kinky texture was restricted to twist-outs and afros, but I'm glad that Alsha proves that it's not so.

I think it's so inspiring to see women confidently take the challenge of caring for their type 4 hair...and loving the process!

Check out her website for more pictures of her updos, and information about how she cares for her natural hair.


Who are some of your favourite natural bloggers?

~Hatter

Matta Season! Getting ready for exams

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Hello fellow beauties!

I have 2 weeks and 2 days until my final exams begin...as you can imagine, I'm nervous!
BUT I'm determined to devote all most of my remaining time for studying.

Oddly, this semester I'm actually a bit excited about exams (say what??!)

Maybe it's because I did well in my finals in last semester that my confidence has been given a boost.

However, in no way am I placing my confidence in my own abilities or intelligence. I know that everything I do is because of the gracious God that blesses me with the ability to do it!
I constantly see God's favour in my academic life, and I'll be darned if I don't acknowledge HIS favour in my studies.

So I'm praying constantly and having confidence in Him to help me do all that I can do, and allow him to do the rest for me.

*By the way, "Matta season" means study season here on Milner Hall. From next week the Hall will implement study zones, quiet time and even have "matta food" for sale for the residents. How awesome is that??


Are you preparing for exams? Good luck being a matta beast! =)


~Hatter

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Winds of Change: Relaxed vs Natural

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Relaxed or Natural?

That is the question!




 For the past few weeks I've been considering my hair situation quite seriously.

On one hand, I did want to stick out my breakage in the hopes of finding a product/technique that would restore my hair's health. On the other hand, I was severely frustrated and fed up with my lack of progress over the past few months.

From breakage to texlaxed roots to consistently uneven ends...I think I may have reached the end of my rope.

I know that on my healthy hair journey I'm supposed to expect difficult periods and motivate myself to endure them, but recently I haven't seen the point in constantly enduring stress and frustration when I really don't have to.

So, I'm considering "going natural" or transitioning.


And before you think I'm simply "giving up" on my hair, let me explain further:


  • I admit it, I'm fed-up. Fed-up of being disappointed and not gaining pleasure from my hair. It's said that madness is essentially repeating the same steps while hoping for different results...well I might be mad! I have been trying to solve the source of my breakage but all the techniques that I've tried have yet to resolve them. More and more, I'm feeling emotionally detached from my relaxed hair. So why not try a different method all together?

  • I have also come to appreciate natural hair much more. When I wrote my post about the natural hair movement I, like many other relaxed ladies, felt very tempted to join the movement. It seemed cool, embracing your "roots". Looking back, I'm glad I didn't because I didn't have the emotional appreciation of natural hair and an earnest curiosity or desire to take care of it. Now, I feel much more committed to the idea and even excited about growing out my afro. The youtube tutorials and tumblr blogs I've been following are very inspiring and I have been valuing natural hair from a different light. My new growth is quite tame (shock upon shocks!), easy to comb and its just so fluffy. I'm very curious about my natural hair texture.


"But aren't I supposed to be consistent on my hair journey? Why give up? Shouldn't I stick it out with the end results (health and length) in mind?"


Jeni of justgrowalready.com is one of my relaxed hair-spirations. Through thick and thin she has cared for her hair and gained amazing results!

Honestly I'm not too sure how to answer this question. Sometimes I feel like a should give my hair more time and be persistent on my relaxed hair journey. Then at other times I feel like its too much of an emotional, time consuming burden. At the end of the day, hair is hair. I don't want to be worrying about my relaxed hair issues more than my assignments and other responsibilities. For me, its a matter of eliminating unnecessary problems. (Ouch, does that sound as harsh as I think it does? lol)

I know that natural hair (especially my thick 4c texture) is no laughing matter, and will require a lot of work. However, seeing that it would be chemically stronger than relaxed hair, and there is now so much useful natural hair information online, I know the challenge would be much easier than years ago when I used to wear my natural hair.


"So if you 'give up' on this hair journey, who's to say that you won't give up again on your natural hair journey?"

Time will tell, but I certainly don't plan on starting another hair journey with failure in mind. And who's to say that I am giving up? Transitioning doesn't change the fact that I'm continuing to work towards healthier hair. It just changes my strategies and overall orientation towards taking care my kinky hair.


So what's your opinion? Is it okay if someone on a relaxed hair journey sacrifices it when times get tough? Is it all about the commitment to relaxed hair or personal satisfaction? Have you ever felt like calling it quits on relaxed hair and "going natural"?


I appreciate your honesty!

~Hatter