Thursday, June 26, 2014

Transitioning: The Adventure Begins...

 Years of wearing sew-ins has made my real hair pretty dry. I didn't pay much attention at first because I was going to beauticians, and because my hair continued to grow longer, I trusted they were doing what needed to be done to maintain the health of my real hair. I also switched stylists a few times, and each one had a different way of doing things; which I'm sure didn't help my hair at all.

 Having to manage my real hair wasn't really an issue because as fast as I would take one weave out,  I would just get it braided back up for another sew-in so I didn't have to deal with it. Yes I know the rules, let your hair rest in between sew-ins, don't get a sew-in right after a relaxer, blah, blah, blah. It's humid as hell here and it was much easier to have a great hair day everyday with a sew-in. My hair didn't seem to be suffering so I started to bend the rules a bit.

You can see the different textures of real my hair \
after washing and air drying.

  I started to take notice last year, when taking down my sew in, that my relaxed hair was getting harder and harder to comb though, more tangled, serious shedding, and my edges were becoming thinner. Some of my hair was pretty straight from having received relaxers that were worked though thoroughly, while other parts of my hair are pretty course from going to a beautician for years who only put it in for a few minutes to make it more manageable, but who avoided straightening it a lot.  All these different textures and the lack of moisture made it super difficult to detangle. I realized that as much as I love my sew-ins, my hair needed my attention, and I needed to start working on bringing it back to health. This is when I started to consider transitioning.  (Transitioning to natural hair is the process of growing out your natural texture before cutting off the processed ends.) 
  Now anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a bandwagon type of chick. I don't like to do things because everyone else is doing it, so going natural is not something that really interested me. I also hate that some women who have chosen to wear their natural textured hair make comments suggesting that women of color who rock weave and wigs somehow have low self-esteem or some other deep issues that involve lack of self-acceptance. (Don't get all in an uproar natural ladies, I know that's not all of you, I said SOME.) I can never understand why some women feel the need to put other women down to make themselves feel better?  My belief  is that every woman should find what makes her feel comfortable and confident; who is anyone to judge? Go natural, grab the creamy crack and relax your hair; weave it up, whatever works for you!

  Over the years, I've seen a lot of women of all textures transition and achieve beautiful, healthy, natural hair; including some of my own close friends. Some rock their natural curls, some get their hair flat ironed regularly, one of my besties even has a head full of locs. To me, they are all beautiful because they are confident enough to rock what works for THEM and their lifestyle.

I decided to focus on getting my hair healthy and do what works for me, so I took a break from sew-ins this summer. My last relaxer was about three months ago.

 Weave-less Top Knot #nosocknofiller  ;)

  To start this process I got some great advice and instruction from  Danica over at the blog  KD Kulture who has been natural for many years now.  She gave me some helpful tips on maintenance, explained her washing regimen, and even came over to mix up an organic hair mask and demonstrate a few detangling techniques I needed to know. I knew natural hair care was hard work, but working with both natural and relaxed hair texture has been a real challenge for me due to the tangling.

Right now I'm just sticking my big toe in the natural waters. Before I dive in, I can't help but ask myself if this is something I truly want to commit to. Will I be able to stick to the grow out period? I guess I'll just take it one step at a time. The adventure is definitely just beginning!

Here are the products I am currently trying in my new healthy hair regimen. 
Click the links for more product info.

Step 1. Clarify scalp with a mixture of three parts water and one part Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Putting the mixture in an Applicator Bottle with an angled tip makes it easier to apply.

Step 2: Pre-poo with a DIY organic hair mask. Also a great time to detangle.
Check out some DIY recpies for homemade hair masks here.
 (I used random amounts of mayo, avocado, banana, honey, and one egg whipped into a creamy mixture.)

Step 3: Shampoo with a sulfate free conditioner.
I'm using Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-free Shampoo

Step 4: Condition  I'll be deep conditioning (including sitting under a steamer) weekly to work on regaining some of the moisture back to my hair. Here are a few deep conditioners I'll be using to see what my hair likes best:

Step 5: Rinse out deep conditioner and do the LOC Method.
LEAVE IN (or Liquid),
Read more about the LOC Method Here:  

Here are the products I'll be using:
"L" is for Liquid or Leave In. I have : Lily Of The Desert - Organic Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice  (This had done wonders for my itchy scalp!)
If doing the method with a Leave-in Conditioner I use Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner

"O" is for Oil.  I am using an equal mixture of the following:

Avocado Oil 100% Pure Organic Cold Pressed
Olive Oil Extra Virgin Organic Cold Pressed 100% Pure
Organic Pure Coconut Oil

(I also use a bit of Castor Oil Pure Organic Cold Pressed Virgin  on occasion. It works well, I just don't like the sticky texture.)

"C" is for Cream.
I am using Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream

Step 6: I'll be twisting or braiding my hair and allowing it to air dry.

On weeks that I co-wash instead of shampoo I'll be alternating between

Hopefully this goes well! I'm a bit of a product junkie so I'm sure I'll find lots more goodies that I'm interested in trying. Thanks again to Danica for sharing her regimen and make sure you check them out over at KD Kulture.

Feel free to share products that work for you in the comments section.
Thanks for reading!

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