Thursday, 23 May 2013

The battle for natural hair- it has begun!

This Saturday will make me 13 weeks post relaxer. So far my difficulties have been with breakage, detangling and keeping my hair detangled. However, today I experienced another difficulty which shocked me more than expected- opposition to me going natural by my family.

Specifically, it was my brother who, in response to my mom when she mentioned my decision, blurted out that "natural hair doesn't look good."

*cue death stare*

Honestly, I was annoyed; more so at the ignorance of the statement than at the fact that it came from my own brother. However, I had to remind myself that people's opinions and preferences are very different, partly due to their experiences in life. Although natural hair has gained steady momentum in the past years, relaxed hair is still the mainstream in many societies including those here in the Caribbean.

So I really shouldn't be upset with my brother...he, like many of us, was socialized to prefer and desire silky, straight hair. I, myself, wasn't too fond of natural hair before I went on my hair journey. And the poor women walking around with neglected, half-done natural hair certainly doesn't give any support for women who want to wear their natural hair. Of course there are plenty of women who also sport relaxed hair that's far from healthy, but as long as it appears to pursue to Eurocentric ideal, it's okay, right?

My mother has also expressed concern over me going natural, mostly because she remembers how difficult it was to take care of my hair as a child, and she fears that I'm not ready to care for it on my own. I do understand her fears, and this week she had me swayed in the direction of  getting a relaxer and cutting off any damaged hair.

Also, today I was with my mom when she got her hair relaxed at the salon. The hairdresser (who used to relax my hair) looked at my hair and commented that it wasn't looking too hot. Ermm...duhh!
I do have 13 weeks of new growth poppin' out of my scalp! Farrr from tactful madame...

Anyway, today my conviction was sealed by both my brother and former hairdresser. How dare anyone tell me that the hair that God gave me doesn't look good? It's not a subject I will get self-righteous about, but it irks me when people look down on me and underestimate my abilities, thinking that the silly little child is not handling herself or her hair well at all.

It's hair. I'm going to be 18 and I am ready to make my own decisions. And at the end of the day, it's hair! I could be strung out on drugs or preggers with 3 baby daddies but all I want is to go natural!

(okay, that was a bit dramatic...)

I'm fed up of the relaxer process and I hate other people doing my hair. The people in my life who don't approve of my decision to go natural will just have to get over it, because God makes no mistakes, and I'm not on this earth to satisfy anyone's aesthetic pleasures.



Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Hair Update: 11 weeks post relaxer

Saturday 11th May made me exactly 11 weeks post relaxer.

This is a milestone on my hair journey seeing as I've gone so long without a relaxer and I still have a lot of hair on my head! *hoopla!*

For the past month or so I have not rollerset my hair. I'm reluctant to go back to rollersetting because it takes so much time and effort...Honestly, airdrying gives me satisfying results in half the time.

On another note, the ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner is really helping me to manage my two textures with less and less headache. Even 3-4 days after my wash day on Wednesday, my new growth was still soft and manageable!  The ORS Nourishing Conditioner is very effective in making my hair soft and slippery, and even though its a bit expensive, I will keep it as my new staple as I transition to natural hair.

**Note to self: I must be careful to rinse out all conditioners thoroughly from my hair! There were wash days when I was left with horribly sticky hair. Now I undo the braided sections that I wash my hair in while rinsing to avoid future trauma from hard, stiff hair and more breakage.

Last week I wore some jumbo twists which I then loosely flat twisted and pinned the ends up. Then on Sunday I untwisted them and wore a pinned up-do. On Monday I made two cornrows and pinned the ends around the sides of my head- sort of like a crown.

Today I washed and deep conditioned my hair. Detangling was painless and quick, thank God!

As you can see from the picture above, I have a mixture of natural hair textures- some strands have super tiny spirals while others have larger loops and waves. I even have some zig-zags (not pictured above) and strands that coil up on themselves. However, looking in the mirror at my hair, its difficult to find the exact line of demarcation, maybe because I have some texlaxed areas of hair that come between my fully natural hair and my bone straight relaxed hair. 

This week I also got some jojoba oil, lovingly purchased by my aunt (thank you aunty!) It hardly has any smell and has a relatively light consistency. I plan to use this to replace my ORS HAIRepair Vital Oils and to mix it in my shea butter once I get home.

I have at least one more week to go before I get my braids (extensions) installed. I'm happy that over the past weeks I've learned to manage my two textures better and have almost eliminated my previous stretching woes. I look forward to my natural hair growing longer and longer so I'll be closer and closer to the big chop!

How's your hair journey been going?


Friday, 10 May 2013

Shea Butter

Okay first of exams are finished!! So I'm back on the blogsphere!

Okay secondly, on Wednesday I bought 'Okay Shea Butter White Chunky' from Pennywise in Trincity Mall.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this brand has a website but disappointed that it didn't have much information about its suppliers. The packaging says "imported from Ghana" but I was interested in finding out if the company is involved in the actual shea butter production. Ah well...

The packaging says 100% natural so that's a plus! This shea butter also comes already whipped but I only spotted the chunky kind in the store.

Since researching natural hair care I found out that shea butter is very popular among naturals since it can be mixed with various hair oils to create a thick, creamy moisturizer.

Even though I'm only 11 weeks post (woop woop! New milestone) I thought that I should buy some shea butter to experiment with as my new growth grows out more and more.

So the plan is to get some new natural oils to mix with the butter. I used to use the ORS HAIRepair Vital Oils but I've gotten dissatisfied with it over time.

Here is an example of how shea butter can be mixed to create a personalized hair moisturizer: