I haven’t shared my natural hair journey on here in a while, and I recently received the sweetest message from one of our readers about how she got inspired to go natural and stay natural, after reading my posts, sooooooooooo… here goes. As many of you know I started my transition in September maybe October of 2010. I did my big chop in January of 2012, and have been fully and happily natural ever since. I read that it was wise to keep your hair in protective styles during the transitioning process and after; as this not only helps the hair from breaking, but also aides in bringing back the once lost curl pattern as a result of a relaxer. So I kept my hair in twists all the time, which got incredibly boring as I like to change my hair as often as I can (everyday). I noticed there was lots of growth for a while and then my hair seemed to stop growing and was breaking a lot, despite the bi-weekly trimming I was doing (so unnecessary by the way). I hadn’t changed my haircare regimen, I was still deep conditioning and moisturizing like a maniac so I’m not sure what was happening… then I realized I’d been doing all kinds of things with my hair. I’d coloured it red, I was switching protective styles weekly, some days I fell asleep without a satin wrap… my hair was clearly pissed off, and showing it.
Day 1 of the challenge
So 12 weeks ago, I decided it was time to stop being lazy and to go back to loving my hair. I went onto BlackGirlLongHair for some Kink-spiration (my go-to for everything natural hair), and while perusing hundreds of articles, I came across a few that stressed keeping your protective styles in for as long as possible, as this not only helped eliminate breakage, but also helped retain length.
9 days in… Fuzzy and already locking/meshing
That’s all I needed to hear, the only problem is my hair normally starts to lock/mesh after a week, and this is why I was always messing with my hair. I wanna rock a big sexy afro this summer, so I need to do all that I can to ensure that my hair is strong and healthy. So I decided to challenge myself.
First twists with Elentee Soy Organics Twist & Lock Gel
I would do a protective style and leave it in for as long as I could. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong, I couldn’t even bare to think about the boredom of rocking one hairstyle for weeks… Ugh. So long story short, I did mini-twists and lasted 9 days. Then I found this miracle gel, called Elentee Soy Organics Twist & Lock Gel, and managed to keep my twists in for 18 days!
Re-twist after 18 days!
My hair didn’t lock/mesh once, it was so easy to untwist, and there was little to no breakage! I kept those twists in till about the first week of January (WHAT!!), but was in desperate need of a change; so rather than re-do the mini twists, I went for chunky twists instead. I’ve deep conditioned three times since putting in the chunky twists, and other than re-doing the front ones to make them look neater, I haven’t touched my hair… well until today when I did a deep condition 🙂
Things I’ve discovered since my low manipulation challenge:
1. It’s definitely harder than I thought, but so rewarding when you see the progress in length, strength and overall look of my hair.
2. Elentee Soy Organics Twist & Lock Gel is a winner for girls who wanna rock mini-twists but are worried about it locking/meshing.
3. My hair is longer, stronger and thicker.
4. I will ALWAYS ALWAYS…ALWAYS twist my hair with Elentee Soy Organics Twist & Lock Gel. Always.
My hair now (with shrinkage). Happy 🙂
peace and love
So I’ve decided to try something new.
Something new in the realm of a “sew-in“. For those of you reading who do not know what a sew-in is, it is a weave (full or partial) that is sewn onto a person’s own hair. I know, crazy. Never the less this process was totally necessary for my hair survival. I’m in training and my job requires me to wear my hair pulled back.
Which means that status of “no edges” is right around the corner! YIKES!! I had a friend ride with me to the store where we spent hours picking out the right hair color and brand.
I was so clueless that there were different brands and that they each had something that set them apart. I spent nearly a good $300 for my hair, and to get my hair done and styled! Expensive but for two months I will not be hassling over how to style my hair. Military life is beautiful but for women it is so stressful. So I cut my hair out of that equation.
I went from this, in February 2011:
To this (one year later):
I am living proof that protective styling produces growth and many other benefits.
So of course protective styling is necessary.
Some example styles that can be done to protect your hair:
-Two Strand Twists
The goal of all these amazing styles is to protect the ends of your hair! The ends help retain your growth. Protective also keeps your ever moving hands out of your locks. Its also used for moisture, growth, long styling, dates, get up and go, etc. I think you get the idea. If you have any questions on protective styling and how you can keep your hair looking fresh follow me on Twitter @IamInkWell.
I’ve been rocking bantu knots for about a week now, and everybody seems to love them, I’ve even gotten a few nicknames along the way, however i’m not sure if they’re compliments or… they’re compliments. I tried bantu knots earlier on in the year, but didn’t really like how they looked; but I was in desperate need to do something different with my hair, and decided to give them another shot… Success. They took me 10 minutes to do… WINNER! I love twisting my hair, but that usually takes me an hour soooooo, this may just be my new go-to protective style, especially because the weather in Toronto is still crazy.
peace and love
Everyone’s been saying that I’ve been “hiding” my hair. This is true to some extent, but I haven’t been hiding it; I’ve been protecting it. I kept it wrapped all winter, and it will remain wrapped up until the summer. I find it’s better to keep my hair wrapped up during the cold months to keep it from breaking, and the weather is so crazy during spring, that I prefer to keep my hair safe under my head scarf 🙂 However, when I’m home, the head scarf comes off, and my hair is free to “be” where the temperature is warm and STABLE. The fro will be back in the summer 🙂
peace and love
I’m sooooo over braiding my hair, so I’ve been trying out different protective hair styles in order to find my go-to style for winter. I tried wearing bantu knots for the first time and they are super easy to do. However, I didn’t have the patience to wear my hair like that for more than a week… They HAD to go.
So I tried twisting my hair and was pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to do, and also that they came out well. I can keep them in for than a week without getting bored, AND I can still co-wash and deep condition without having to take them out. Hassle-free. I think I’ve found my protective style for the rest of winter! WIN.
peace and love
I’m so done braiding my hair… I need to find a protective style that is fun, easy, and will keep my hair strong and healthy during the winter. Suggestions are more than welcome 🙂
peace and love