I was just about to apologize once again about not updating in ages and how I will try to do better, but it occurred to me that I am beginning to sound like a broken record ;(. Rather than apologize again, I think I will just work harder at putting up posts. My office internet seems to be working again so it looks like I can do updates at the office as well 🙂 (*fingers crossed).
My hair is growing and shiny. She looks so vibrant, don’t you think? Most of the hair in the front is all natural. At eight months, I really am proud :).
I know. I know. I promised to write soon and another month went by before I put my fingers to work. I apologise :(. I’m back now and hopefully, I will be able to be more consistent with my updates. I do have a lot to say so let me bring you guys up to speed with my work drama and hair growth.
Damn. I should have known things were too good to last. For those who don’t know, I’m transitioning to my natural hair and I just entered the 8th month of my transition. It’s not been easy but I am pulling it off :D.
Now I hadn’t received too bad a feedback with regards to my transition at the office so I figured that people were okay with dealing with my crazy styles. That was my naiveté speaking as I was soon to discover.
Some time, two weeks ago, two of my “older” female colleagues at work (I work as a writer in an advertising agency) cornered me beneath the stairs (on a day I had the flu and was feeling like crap) to give me a lecture about how my hair looked terrible, messy and dirty. How I have stopped taking care of myself and how I looked “off.”And so they were wondering if something was emotionally wrong with me.
I was like WTF?! Here I am, happily transitioning, back to running and eating better and this people can’t recognize positive change? Like seriously?
Please note that this is the hairstyle I had in that week. Big braids, braided together and pinned down. Kinda like a Princess Leia hairstyle from Star Wars. They were a bit messy cuz it was already Thursday, but they still looked decent and they took several years off my face. I looked like a fresh faced secondary school student, a look I am certain they will wish they have ten years from now.
Anyway, I spent my time there listening to them yammer on and on, when one of them asked me if the reason I’ve been looking unkempt was because my boyfriend left me and I was feeling heartbroken.
Of all the… Damn! People say the damndest things. Lol.
Anyway, I thanked them for their advice, told them nope I wasn’t suffering from any heartbreak whatsoever and walked away. They aren’t the first naysayers I have run into since I started this hair journey, but they definitely have been the funniest. *chuckles.
On to my hair. It has grown so much! Yippee!!!
Well, it hasn’t been measured with a tape measure yet and I don’t intend to anytime soon, so I don’t really know the length of my natural hair so far. But as you can see from the pictures, it is growing, and this is my hair at seven months of my transition, without any salon visits. Yup I kick ass and I’m getting a hang of this shit :D.
Did a bantu knot out but I haven’t perfected it yet so it didn’t turn out exactly the way I expected it to. Not like this wasn’t gorgeous as you can see :).
Tried re-moisturizing it cuz some of the ends were feeling dry. Big big mistake because I re-moisturized with my Giovanni Direct Leave-in. Needless to say, the water content in that was too much and it left me with drooping curls that just weren’t fun for me. Put them in a bun to work yesterday but the bun didn’t stay for long. I sucked at it and the bun unraveled. So I rebunned it this evening and voila. This is what I got.
Pretty cool isn’t it :). This is the fullest bun I’ve ever achieved. After checking out a post on nappilynigeriangirl.blogspot.com, I saw a post she made about buns. Modified it slightly, and voila got this gorgeous bun that blends my two textures and doesn’t have my relaxed ends looking like they’re suffering from some disease which is what they used to look like *sigh.
Will take a better picture of the bun at work tomorrow and put it up on my Instagram page :).
Anyway, decided to do a hair update today. Expecting new chapters of Naruto, Bleach and Kuroshitsuji tomorrow so I should be doing an update on those very soon.
I know I promised to put up pictures for the result from the flexi rods and state how my hair reacted to the hair mishap and reconditioning process, and I didn’t do so. I apologise for that. It’s been an insanely crazy two weeks, although that still doesn’t excuse it :(.
I did save the pictures though so that’s a plus. *Yay! I rocked my flexi rods set for a week, and then last Saturday, I did conrows, rolled the tips in permrods, loosened them, and rocked an awesome braidout throughout the week. Talk about awesome \dancing/. I’m really getting the hang of this whole working my hair myself thing :).
This is going to be short. Anyway, Saturday was washday for me, and I decided to deep condition because my hair needed it. I’d not properly moisturized my hair in days and it was feeling extremely dry and forgotten. So I detangled my hair (not carefully, which was my first mistake), and stepped into the bathroom to wash off the product buildup. Used shampoo (another mistake), and stepped out to apply my deep conditioning mix. After putting on the hair therapy wrap and allowing my hair to soak in the goodness, I stepped into the bathroom for another wash. Now here’s where the big mistake comes in. I did the black tea rinse, rinsed, then did the ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinse and that was where the biggest mistake of the day happened. I got distracted with the rinse in my hair and ended up leaving it in for 20 mins (instead of the standard and widely advised 3 minutes). When I was free, I rinsed, conditioned, rinsed again, soaked up the moisture with an old tee, then tried applying oil to the scalp. This was when I realized what I’d done. The 20 mins ACV soak had stripped my hair of all moisture :(. I mean it was so bad you could feel the static. What the hell had I done? I tried recovering by spritzing with water then styling my hair in flexi rods, so it can be ready for work on Monday.
Was chatting with my best friend this morning and told her what happened, when she confirmed what I’d known but was trying to avoid doing. I needed to recondition my hair to restore moisture. When she said so, I nodded, then prepared a hot oil treatment. Applied my mix of Coconut, Olive and Avocado oil to my hair, until she was soaking with it, put on a plastic wrap, then the hair therapy wrap to administer heat to the strands. 40 minutes later, I was back in the bathroom. This time around, I cowashed with Nature Vital conditioner, which my hair loved, and absorbed its goodness, rinsed, applied my black tea and ACV rinse (but stayed within the time frame this time around), then conditioned with Giovanni’s deep moisture conditioner. When I stepped out of the bathroom and ran my fingers through the strands, I shouted an hallelujah. My hair was back to being well moisturized and oh so soft (whew). That was a close call.
Did a 3 inch trim (big deal since it was the first trim I’ve done since I started transitioning and I think I took off more hair than I should have 😦 )and then put my hair in flexi rods. I used 29 rods in total, and a mix of the two colours so I will probably have a mix of big and small curls. Did them late this afternoon so I’m really hoping they get dry before tomorrow morning so I can rock the curls to work :).
Anyway, that was my hair mishap. Figured it would be a good idea to document it. Just remember that whilst transitioning, you are discovering what works for your hair and what doesn’t. A setback is simply a learning opportunity to fix whatever went wrong and acquire new knowledge that can be useful some time in the future. So now, I have knowledge of a workable deep conditioning mix for when my hair is in dire need of moisture, a moisturizing conditioner to use as a cowash, and the reason why ACV should not be left in for too long. See? Quite a lot to learn in one Sunday isn’t it. Everything is a learning curve ;).
Like I said in my last hair post, I’ve never styled my hair before. It’s always easier to just go to the salon and have the hairdresser worry about it. I did spend final year deep conditioning and washing my hair myself, but actually styling it? I have never done that. So, the fact that since I started my transitioning, most of my styles have been ones that I’ve pulled off by watching Youtube channels and reading blogs, is a thing of great pride for me.
Take this braidouts for example: I was so excited when I successfully took out the braids and got this look. It perfectly blends my two textures and neither I nor my friends can tell my natural hair from my relaxed ends apart. And the best part? It’s long lasting, you don’t need to comb it every day and it’s a very good protective style. Wins points on all sides for me :D.
How to Get the Perfect Braidouts
A clean scalp. I’ll advice, deep conditioning, shampooing, conditioning and oiling your scalp with a bit of scalp massage thrown in before starting the braids. A clean scalp is a fresh palate and you can get the most from any style this way.
Fingers or a wide toothed comb for parting your hair into sections. I tend to use my fingers because I wanted the hair to have a more messy, not so defined look.
A leave in conditioner to apply from root to ends.
Oil to seal in the moisture
A spritzer with water for damping the hair should it get dry mid braiding.
And finally, time and patience to make the braids and take them down. Usually, I work with my hair whilst watching my favourite shows. Doing that just makes me calm down and makes the time fly by. So, learn to work with your hair while doing what you like. It helps. A lot. Trust me ;).
After having my hair in braids for about six weeks, and in a weave for four weeks before that, I decided to go natural. Why? I can’t honestly say. It was a combination of events, words, books and speeches that led me to it. I had just finished reading Americanah (a review of that lovely novel coming soon) and watching Chimamanda Adichie’s interviews and I realized something, natural hair really is gorgeous. Now, I have quite a lot of friends who are natural and I have been seeing natural hair around, but it never really clicked for me. Yet, just a couple of days before I was to take out the braids and make the regular appointment with my hairdresser, I read a novel, saw a couple of interviews, viewed some blogs and I decided that I’d had enough of my scalp always getting burnt with the relaxer. It has always been a sore point for me. I’ve been relaxing my hair since I was eight and every single time, my scalp suffered and it would always take a couple of weeks for it to heal. Now why the hell would I put myself through that shit every six to eight weeks to get straight hair that would start to fizz and thicken three to four weeks after that? And don’t get me started on how the rain ‘ruined’ my straight and beautiful hair. It made absolutely no sense.