...hair. Yeah, I know my blog has mainly been about sewing and creating, but this month marks the 1 year anniversary of me cutting my hair all off until it was less than half an inch long. I thought it was time that I did a little post about my hair. My natural hair. So if you're not interested in a hair post, so sorry, but I'll be back to our regurlary scheduled programming in the next post. ^_^ If you are, please....keep reading. (And don't worry this isn't going to turn into a hair blog. :P)
I didn't really have to think long and hard about it, but there were tons of reasons for me to do it. (More on that in a minute.) I hadn't chemically relaxed my hair for several weeks at the time, mainly out of frustration, being too busy, and just because I flat out didn't care to do it anymore. So out came the scissors. Snip, snip...oh snap I think I'm going to cut it all off! And there you have it.
I've been straightening my hair since I was about 5 or 6 years old. My Grandmother sent me to my Aunt's house for a visit and to Grandma's surprise I came back with bone straight hair! So that's how my hair was for ever. Straight and that was that. While I was growing up all of the women in my family chemically relaxed their hair (Two of my aunties have gorgeous locs now!) and I suppose that's just the way it was supposed to be. My guess is that we all had done it for so long that none of us knew what to do with a kink, curl, or a coil.
My hair has been in so many different styles but natural all my life. It's been short, long, blonde, red, honey brown, braided, I even wore weaves. My favorite was this waist long blond brown weave I had once. I just swore I was an R&B diva!! :P Sadly, I don't have any pics of that do at the moment, but here are some the looks I've had over the years.
I can honestly say that I don't miss a single one of those hairstyles. They were fun, they were cute (at least I think they were. :P), but none of them felt like.......me. Natural hair isn't for everyone, you either like it or you don't. I happen to like it and I'm all for people doing whatever they want with their hair. Shave it, relax it, press it, flat iron it, weave it. Do what makes YOU happy ladies! :)
When my little one came along I knew that she would have a head full of kinks, coils, and curls. I figured I would do just what my family did with me. Relax it at some point. I struggled with her hair for years, because just like my family, I had no clue what to do with it. I've braided her hair, had it flat ironed, twists, one poof on top, two poofs on the side, I even considerd getting her a texturizer to loosen the curl pattern, because I thought it would be easier for me to manage.
But one day it literally just hit me in the face. Bella asked me, "Mommy, how come my hair isn't like yours?" I wasn't sure how to answer her. It really got me thinking.....your baby's hair is gorgeous, naturally coily, brown and full of life! Why would you lock her hair in the same chemically processed prison that you were in all your life? I didn't want her to have to be a slave to her hair like me and the rest of the women in our family. Why not let her hair be wild and free? Why not just let it do what it supposed to do? Be natural?
What better way to learn to take care of her hair, than by learning how to take care of your own? The following week I chopped it all off and I've never been happier!
1 year later - July 2012
Now I must say, it hasn't been an easy year. I've had to learn how to take care of my new found coils and it's been mostly trial and error. A LOT of experimenting and I can't even tell you how many different products I've used on my hair and on Bella's hair trying to figure out what works. I've had many, many people ask me what products I use, so I'll share a little bit about what I've been doing.
In the beginning I spent a lot of time on YouTube looking at product reviews, tutorial, and testimonials, and it all started to mash together for me and was just so overwhelming and confusing, until I found MahoganyCurls YouTube channel. Her hair is SO GORGEOUS and her methods are SO simple! She uses the CG Method and suggested viewers check out a book called Curly Girl: The Handbook. This book has saved my hair's life and it's a fantastic read for all Curly Girls of all ethnicities.
I've managed to really simplify what I do and it has worked wonders for my hair and for Bella's as well.
Here's what I use:
TRESemme Naturals Conditioner (Vibrantly Smooth w/ Coconut Oil and Jojoba Extract)
I wash my hair with this daily.
Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Conditioning Cleanser, Citrus Cream
I cleanse my hair with this once a month, more during the Summer with the pool and beach visits.
Eden BodyWorks - All Natural Deep Conditioner
I Deep Condition with this once a week.
And that's basically it. Very simple, it's all about keeping the curls hydrated and mositurized. I stick to products that don't contain sulfates, silicones, parabens, or mineral oils. I don't use any special combs or brushes, I finger comb and detangle my hair when it's soaking wet in the shower. I don't use oils on my hair and I sleep on a satin pillowcase. Mahogany Curls' blog can fill you in with tons of details, but this way works for me and my daughter and I wish I had been doing this sooner.
Yay for natural hair!