For my birthday, I put my hair in braids. It is so much easier to manage in the summer so I just just but length single braids. I took a very long time, I might add but it looks great. In this photo I have had it in for a little over 2 weeks and still going strong. When I wash my hair, I dilute my shampoo with water in a dropper bottle and use my shampoo brush to massage my scalp. Afterwards, I spray leave-in conditioner to my hair and put castor oil on my scalp.
I have been wearing my hair out just enjoying the feeling of my hair. It is so soft, and dark, and just feels healthy. Even though it is still cold outside (I know, in April?!) my hair is thriving. The only issue I have is that my edges, oh girl, we ain’t tryna lose them. I don’t know if they are thinning out as I have always had a thinner hairline especially above my brows. I am using castor oil to ensure they are moisturized. I have begun to cut down on the sleeked edges because laying my edges are not as important as actually having edges. Preach!
I wanted to try something a little different. I have never done space buns before, but I love how they look. After washing my hair, I moisturized with Shea Moisture JBC leave in. While my hair was still damp, I part it and laid the hair down the my Olive Oil Eco Styler gel. I laid it with a silk scarf and I love how it turned out. I wore it for the style for 3 days starting on the Friday and co-washed on the Monday. I will definitely be doing this again!
High Puff September 2018
After4 days rocking a wash and go (co-washing twice), I decided to finish off the last two days before wash day with a loose high bun. I spritzed my hair with my DIY Aloe Hair Refresher, and put a tiny bit of EcoStyler around the base of my head. Using a soft bristle brush, I guided my hair upwards, securing it in place with a thin black headband.
First Wash & Go
Never have I ever completed a true Wash & Go. Even as a natural newbie, I know that a Wash & Go is a staple in the curly hair world. Now I have done a few bantu-outs and single strand twists outs but never let my hair flourish with its true curl. It has been so real that I didn’t even truly know what my coils look like. I mean, EVER since for as long as I can remember I have always blow dried my hair. This time, I used my Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner and my Olive Oil Eco Styler (which I know is “cancelled” now but my hair reacts fine to it, and to be real, I don’t have the time to get a new gel right now so imma use it until this jar is done).
It looks promising, cant wait until it dries (its gonna be a 3 hour wait… the 4C struggle is real).
Single Cornrow and Slick Bun
Inspired by a Yara Shahidi look I saw on Blackish, I decided to do a natural protective sleek bun style for the week. The twist was that it had a single cornrow down the centre and a jewel adorned to make it look a little more stylish.
To slick it back, I just used water, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Leave-in and a handful of Olive Oil Eco-Styler gel (which I know is “cancelled” but I haven’d had any negative experiences with it so far. I will use it until its done, then try a new gel). I moisturized my hair with water every two days and banned it with a silk scarf for the night. Because I watered my hair, it did not flake very much.
I was able to keep the style for a week until it got really itchy. I shampooed with a Argan’s Shampoo to rid my hair of the gel, and deep conditioned with the some ORS Hair Mayonnaise.
The night before going to Africa, I decided to try something different with my hair. I have never had any sort of colour in my hair (besides brown of course) so I decided to attach grey extensions to my hair while I was traveling in Africa. I absolutely love how it turned out, it almost looked like a silver or metallic colour which earned me the nickname “Storm” at work. The braids were about 22 inches long and I loved the length. I had this in for 1 month and took it out August 10th. My hair grew nearly 1.5 inches! Hopefully I can retain this length.
I Tired Bentonite Clay As A Hair Mask
Bentonite clay has been used for years as a powerful ingredient to care for the skin and the hair. I tried making a deep conditioner hair mask filled with olive oil, bentonite clay and Rosemary essential oil. I put a plastic cap over my hair for about 1 hour to really let it soak in. Perhaps the cap wasn’t the best choice as the mask is supposed to dry not stay moist so it was dripping out of the cap the entire time. I also had a really hard time washing it out. It would not let go of my hair at all. I tried warm water, shampoo everything it simply would not budge.
Maybe next time, we let the clay dry first. But my hair felt very strong and had amazing shrinkage (maybe from washing it out three times). I put in my leave in conditioner and sealed with oil.
All Natural High Bun
Today I managed to put my stretched hair in a sleek high bun (no flat-iron necessary) using a bun maker. Attention ladies and gents, my hair is long enough to FIT over a bun maker.
I washed my hair and deep conditionned with a shower cap then worked it in to get the blood flowing as normal. I went back to my OG heat tamer from Treseme as well. I was using the CHI one for a while but nothing is as good as my holy grail.
I still need to get a silk scarf and a silk pillowcase though to complete my natural hair care collection, but hey, one thing at a time!
April Bantu-out 2018
Its been a while since I’ve bantu-out my hair so I decided to do so. I finally got my hands on the infamous EcoStyler and decided to give it a try. I also got the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Leave In Conditioner and wanted to try my hand at a nice twist out.
Don’t get me wrong, the curls were great, my hair is naturally a little frizzy but I love the volume. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of flakes it left in my hair. Girl, you’d swear it was Christmas.
Good thing I did this at the end of the week and was about to wash it out so I didn’t have to walk around for too long with it like this. Anywhoo, I want to try this again with some more practice to see if I can get it to not flake.
April Length Check 2018
Don’t mind my hair right now, its looking a little crusty but this was the end of the week and I was about to wash my hair. My hair is so much thicker and longer too. I have never seen my hair like this since I was a kid when my mom took care of my hair. So its very refreshing when I take my hair out like this and see so much growth. Not just length-wise but in the health and strength of my hair.
I did a length check at the end of March. I periodically cut my ends off because I am trying to level out my hair. Once I get everywhere to 7 inches then I will focus on growing length. But for night now, my focus is fullness, even-ness and health.
Right Front: 6.5 inches. Left Front: 7 inches. Front Middle: 7 inches. Right Back: 5.5 inches. Left Back: 5.5 inches. Middle Back: 6.5 inches. Crown: 6.5 inches
I have never been too adventurous with my natural hair. Braiding styles yes, by my real hair is usually styled quite simple. With all the hype of the Black Panther movie coming to theatres, I decided to style my hair for the event. I did one large plat down the centre, and two large one’s on the sides of my head bordered by small plats. The hair was all gathered at the back of my hair as a large bun. I really enjoyed this style and it gave my signature cornrows and low bun a fun twist, adorned with braid charms.
I got so many complements and would love to recreate this again.
Poetic Justice Braids
25.01.18 I decided to put my hair in a protective style to give it a break. On the 8th of the months (after the party) in large single braids. To do this style, I washed my hair for the first time in under 30 minutes. I shampooed and conditioned in the shower then put in a deep conditionner while my hair was parted into twists. I prepped my hair with Aloe Water, Treseme Heat Protector, blow dried my hair then moisturized with lotion and oil. My hair felt super moisturized and soft.
I washed my hair on the 22nd of the months (after 2 weeks of this style). I put in leave in conditioner throughout my hair as well. I have also noticed that my roots are growing out pretty fast. When I take out these braids, I have to remember to do a length check!
Now That's An Afro
One of my close friends had a birthday party in January, and I decided to muster up all my courage to wear my hair in a afro for the first time this Winter Season. The last time I wore it out like this was in the summer months, long before I truly became committed to my natural hair.
As you can see, I have my dress on underneath my sweat-pants and long shirt because girl, its is cold here in Canada!
...Now That's An Afro
None the less, my hair was fully moisturized (thoroughly dried), baby hairs laid and I was ready to make my natural hair debut.
Everyone at the party could not stop talking about my hair. My friends know my journey and struggle with my natural hair so it was a big moment for them seeing my embrace my natural locks.
I Flat Ironed My Hair For The First Time in 1 Year
I decided to flat iron my hair for the first time since committing to going natural. I did my hair routine as normal, wet my hair with leave-in conditionner and heat protectant, sealed it with some oil and blow dried, and moisturized with LUSH’s R&B. My hair stayed nice and soft for two weeks in this pressed style. I also decided to trim my hair a little bit because I could really see what ends needed to go.
What I was most afraid of was reverting my hair. But I made sure to take extra precautions before-hand with a good leave-in and protectant. I pre-pooed my hair for 1 hour in my signature 6 twists and left it with a plastic cap on. When it was time to wash it out, I managed to successfully revert my curls with ZERO heat damage! ZERO!
Its back to Oil for Me
As you know, I have been forgoing oil on my scalp but after blowdrying, it felt quite dry and flaky. I decided to use a light oil to moisturize instead, jojoba oil was my choice because it is a very light oil.
You can really see the difference in the texture of my hair. Then ends are very thin and almost see through but the roots are thick and black. I'm loving this growth.
Blow Dry Hair
I needed to wash my hair so bad because it was so greasy! I've been pretty lazy with my hair and just kept moisturizing it. I think I went almost 10 days without washing which is a stretch for me. Because of all the product build up, I decided to wash with a clarifying shampoo and to condition and detangle with my Aussie Moist (my fav!).
This time, I used a DIY protein using banana, egg, avocado oil, olive oil and bentonite clay. I love with it did for my scalp and my hair. My scalp felt so clean but not dry and my hair felt really thick.
Its not even all around but it has grown a good 2 inches overall! That's amazing growth, and my hair has honestly never been this long. I want to get all of my hair to a solid 8 inches then I'll cut the ends to even them out. Cross your fingers, I'm already half way there!
Right front: 7.1". Left front: 8". Middle front: 4". Crown: 8".
Right Back: 4.5" .Left Back: 5". Middle Back: 6"
For the month of November, I consistently wore my favourite protective style (6 cornrows as you already know). Everyday, I hydrated my hair with my everyday hydrater (water and aloe in a spray bottle).
I took out my hair yesterday and washed it. I tried out a new conditioning hair mask using honey and avocado oil which left my hair super shiny.
I then blow dried my hair on low heat and sectioned my hair in 6 to style my hair (note to self - you need a new everyday hair style haha) but hey, it works.
It's been a couple days since I put oil on my scalp and I noticed that its not too dry. Now, there are certain places that on my scalp that are dry and a little itchy, but I haven't experienced much flaking. Also, I noticed a big difference in hydration after starting to put the oil on the ends of my hair instead. The only thing is, I sometimes put too much oil leaving my hair feeling greasy. I'll switch to a lighter oil.
Any how, I washed my hair today and did an avocado protein mask as well as a deep condition mask. I tried the Argan conditionner once again but the product just doesn't give me as much slip so I used Aussie's Moist once again to compensate.
I styled my hair in 6 cornrows like I normally do, but this time, I added longer extensions onto the ends. Its really easy to do and doesn't take a lot of time. I left the style in for 10 days and took it out on the 24th of October pretty much because it started to itch haha.
Two Strand Twists
Today I tested out a new style, Two Strand Twists. My mom used to do this to my hair when I was little, but I never truly liked it. Until now that is. The style is so cute! Sleeping with this hair style in firstly is the most amazing part, nothing pulling, tugging at my roots and nothing uncomfortable. Not to mention, when I wake up my hair isn't flat like when I leave my hair out naturally.
In the morning, I just moisturize with some water and it looks brand new again. Once I style it, using a style lock leave in conditionner, it stays and I don't manipulate it at all which is amazing because my hand is always in my hair. Come to think of it, this is the perfect style to trim my hair as well. One thing I did try this time was not oily my scalp. This method is supposed to let your scalp breath. We’ll see about that.
I decided to trim my hair today and measure it after washing it. I trimmed about a half an inch all around, making sure to cut off more of the heat damaged portion of my hair. The nape of my hair and the front especially. I want to level my hair but for now, I'll just trim the damaged hair so I can at least still style my in a decent afro.
Here are my measurements so far:
Front Right: 6.5 ". Front Left: 6". Front Middle: 3.5"
Back Right: 2.5". Back Left: 2.5". Back Middle: 3". Crown: 7"
Cornrows: Professional Protective Style
I had just taken out my braids and and for the first time did a protein mask in my hair. I proceeded to try a Cayenne Pepper hair mask to my scalp and sectioned 1 egg into my hair. I washed my hair with Argan's Shampoo and conditioned with the same brand.
I continued with my regular routine as normal (moisturize and blow dry) the separated my hair into 6 sections and braided my hair using extensions. At the base of the next, I added a large piece of synthetic hair to the end of the cornrows and wrapped it around the back to form a sleek bun. This time, I forgot to measure my hair length but I'll do it next time I wash my hair.
I use a combination of castor oil and aloe to hydrate my hair, trying a new recipe but my hair felt very wet. The aloe made my hair feel mushy. I'm not trying that mixture again. At least the moisture absorbed into my hair so it no longer felt like that. But it was really weird, it felt thick but oily and wet at the same time.
Today was the first time I tried Finger Coils. I've seen the style around a lot online and I wanted to give it a try myself. This method simply uses gel to coil the hair around your index finger. One by one, each strand coils to form a super defined look.
To make this style, I use my Clear Ice Gel, it's a really inexpensive gel I got from Walmart. I like it for my baby hairs but I do find it flakes quite a bit. I only had this style in for 3 days because the flakes were unbearable. I used a leave in conditionner along with the gel, and I don't think they work well together.
I then co-washed my hair and put it in two loose cornrows for the rest of the week. The style itself is really pretty and I like the definition it gave. The front of my hair through still has heat damage so it did not coil as much as I want. I want to cut those pieces off but only after my hair grows a bit more.
And So We Begin...Wash and Bantu-out
13.09.16 There's always a moment in a black woman's life when she decides that she wants to make a change in the way she views herself. I have always been under the impression that I had to tuck away my hair, straighten it, hide it to look beautiful and to be accepted. YouTube opened up a whole new world. I saw countless naturals taking care of their hair, and growing out their curls. I thought, "thats great for them, but that would never happen for me."
And then one day, I thought to myself, "Why Not?" Why could I not experience the same amount of growth with my hair? I didn't even know where to start. I have always had my hair in protective styles but it still wasn't growing. This was because I knew how to style my hair, but I didn't know how to care for it.
Today marks the start of my natural hair journey. I did not do a big chop, and I've been natural my whole life (no perm, no colour). But being natural means more than braiding your hair every 3 months, it means loving the hair that grows out of your scalp and creating an environment that allows your hair to thrive. My journey to waist length is just beginning. It will take some time, some sweat and tears but I will get there. Believing I will is the first step, so I'm already much closer to my goal than I was yesterday.