Sunday, February 16, 2014

Final Post

My transition ended on Thanksgiving Day 2012 when I cut off my remaining relaxed ends. I had transitioned for 15 months. This blog was created in order to follow my transition journey -- mostly for myself so that I could watch my own progress. I haven't kept up with posting since I ended my transition. Feel free to browse through the archives to view posts that chronicle my 15-month transition from relaxed to natural hair. I posted monthly updates with pictures of my hair at each month of transitioning. I have been fully natural for over a year and I must say that it's the best thing I've ever done for my hair! If you landed here because you are transitioning, don't give up! I know it's hard and frustrating, but being natural is worth it.

Good luck and thanks for visiting.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

The In-Between Phase

I hit my one year natural anniversary back on November 22, 2013 (my two year relaxer-free anniversary was in September 2013) and I'm finally feeling like my hair is growing!!! However, I still feel stuck in that in-between phase where my hair isn't short, but it's not long either. I've definitely seen lots of progress, but I still get frustrated waiting for the day when I can do more with my hair when I gain more length.

My goal for 2014 is to take better care of my hair. I've grown kinda lazy in the past few months (e.g. waiting too many days to wash/detangle & not doing deep conditioning treatments), but this year I want to take better care of my hair so that I'm sure to retain length.

This video by MahoganyCurls is great motivation for those of us in the in-between. Check it out and let her long, gorgeous hair inspire you to be patient!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Don't Care More About What You Put in Your Hair than What You Put in Your Body!

I think a lot of women do care more about what they put in their hair than what they put into their bodies! I've been trying to eat healthier, whole foods and I'm feeling great! I've cut back on sugar and processed foods. I've never been one to have to have "natural" haircare products, but it's still a good point to ponder.

Think about it: What have you put in your body today?

Image via 100 Days of Real Food (A great resource if you're looking to eat whole foods)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

RANT: Mixed Girls Have a Voice in the Natural Community Too!

Natural beauty comes in many textures!

I am a big YouTube fan! YouTube is actually what inspired me to go natural. I got hooked on watching all of the videos by naturals and I wanted to learn to embrace my natural curls too. I enjoyed watching naturals with all different hair textures.

Of course, the women with hair close to my own texture are the most helpful, but I appreciate learning about hair that is different than my own too. Sometimes I just watch for the sake of being educated about natural hair. For example, while I was transitioning, my favorite person to watch was Lisa aka NapturallyCurly. Now, we don't have the same texture and I don't do any of the same styles that she is awesome at creating, but I got a LOT of inspiration watching her transition and learning to style and embrace the hair God gave her. It helped me tremendously!

So I was disturbed this week when I read a viewer comment on a video that said something like: "I'm tired of mixed girls telling me how to do my hair." Whoa, hold up! Pump the breaks! What is that about?! I don't know if the person who made the video is mixed or not, but this commenter basically told her that because her hair is a looser texture, she should not be making videos.

Aside from the fact that no one is forcing this person to watch any particular videos (ummm, you can pick and choose which videos you want to watch), why does this person think that people who have a similar texture to this vlogger don't want tips and inspiration too? Are all natural hair vloggers supposed to have her exact texture before they can make videos just in case she decides to watch?

This was such a divisive comment. Not only that, but I think it suggests on some level that this person hasn't truly embraced her hair. She is also implying that if you're mixed, you shouldn't have a voice in the natural hair community.

I'm biracial (black & white) and let me tell you, I've had the same issues with accepting my curly hair just like someone who isn't mixed. My hair isn't the "ideal" texture according to society and the beauty industry. I've felt the same need to straighten my hair through harsh relaxers and scorching hot flat irons. I felt the same urge to burn my hair into submission when I was in school and even as an adult. I've lost my hair twice in efforts to change the texture -- once in sixth grade when I got a horrible cut and relaxer and a second time about 10 years ago when I let an uninformed hairdresser convince me to get one of those Japanese straightening treatments. (Yes, I had to cut all of my hair off afterwards because it was so damaged.) Honestly, I have even struggled since becoming natural last fall with wearing my hair "out" instead of pulling it into a puff/bun. But I'm slowly gaining confidence and wearing it out more and more. I'm slowly learning to love my curls.

So to imply that just because you're mixed or have a looser hair texture that you shouldn't be part of the natural community or be giving advice and inspiration is crazy. Like I said, most biracial hair textures still don't fit the ideal standard of beauty that Hollywood and fashion magazines set. The ideal standard of beauty is to have long, flowing, STRAIGHT hair -- you know the kind that blows like Beyonce's when she's got the diva fan on?!  3b/c curls are not what's sold as ideal by the fashion and beauty industry. So those of us in the 3 category face the same doubts and insecurities as those in the 4 category.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this subject. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. I think this is a worthwhile conversation for ALL naturals to have.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Length Check! 7 Months Post-Big Chop

Okay, here's a timeline. I am now:

  • 7 months post-BC (BC was November 22, 2012)
  • 22 months post-relaxer (or thereabouts)
  • Last relaxer: September 2011
I haven't posted pics of my hair since I did my BC in November. I wanted to just forget about doing regular check ins because I didn't want to pay that much attention to my hair. Well, it's now been 7 months and I FINALLY feel that it's growing, so I decided to start doing length checks. (If you check the archives of this blog, you will find my monthly transition updates/pics). 

So here's where I am now...please excuse the weird angles and bad lighting. I'm trying to perfect the self-portrait thing. I will take some better pics next month and actually measure my hair so that I can start tracking its growth. I have a lot of strinkage and I'm not in love with the cut. Next year I am going to NYC and planning to get either a Deva cut or a cut at the Ouidad salon.

Just wanted to post a little update. I'm still patiently letting it grow! I hope that where ever you are on your natural journey, that it's going well. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

My New Favorite Beauty Product – Milk of Magnesia

You may have heard it before, that Milk of Magnesia (a medicine for constipation) is a really good for oily skin. I heard this months ago on YouTube and have been meaning to try it. I guess the delay was partly because I didn’t really believe it would work. But I came across someone recommending it again a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to fork out the five bucks to try it.

Now, let me say up front that my skin is extremely oily. I mean by 10am I look like I’ve been deep fried! I have to carry blotting papers in my purse (or just regular tissue). My poor makeup slides everywhere. I’ve tried other products that claim to combat oil, but none have ever worked for me.

I’ve been using Milk of Magnesia consistently for about two weeks now and I am impressed. All I do is apply a thin layer to my oily spots (T-zone) area and then apply my primer and makeup as normal. It does leave a white film on my skin, but my foundation/makeup covers that right up.

I do still have to blot my skin, but overall, the oil is much more controllable. I don’t look in the mirror at noon and think OMG! It just requires some minor touch ups and I’m good to go.

Now, full disclosure. I’m also using a new product called “De-Slick” by Urban Decay. It’s a spray on oil controller/makeup setter. So that may be helping with the oil too. I haven’t really done a test of these two products independently to evaluate. I have a feeling I’d be more impressed with the MoM on it’s own vs. the De-Slick on its own.

So that’s my review. If you have oily skin, I would recommend that you at least try out MoM. It’s really cheap compared to products that are marketed to oily ladies.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Experience with Scab Hair (It's Real!)

I read about scab hair early on in my transition, but I never thought I'd actually have to deal with it! A few months into my transition, I noticed this small section of hair at the roots on my front hair line was different than the rest of my new growth. I can't really think of any words to describe it, but it was dry and seemed to be a totally different texture than my other new growth.

To be honest, I didn't think much of it while I was transitioning. It did kind of get on my nerves, but I never suspected it was scab hair or that it would be an issue once I chopped off the relaxed ends.

I transitioned chopped on Thanksgiving day in 2012 and that's when I realized that this piece of hair in the front was going to be an issue. It didn't curl like the rest of my hair. Instead it was extremely dry, course and worse of all -- straight! I find it ironic that I was mad that a piece of my hair wouldn't curl considering I'd spent years and years trying to get it straight. But there I was with this head FULL of curls and then this life-less, limp chuck of hair that couldn't be in a more inconvenient place -- the very front of my hair! It's not a large section of hair (thank goodness)'s maybe an inch wide across the front of my hairline. But it's enough to annoy me and mess up the look of my hair.

I searched for answers online and found that there are quite a few naturals who are dealing with this issue. I haven't found anything scientific about scab hair, but one article I read states that the cause could be damaged hair follicles from years of harsh chemicals.

I don't believe my hair is heat damaged because I used very little direct heat during my transition. I'm actually proud to say that my flat iron is collecting dust in a bathroom drawer! And like I said, I noticed this hair was different very early on in my transition, so I'm positive it's not heat damage.

To cover up this piece of hair, I've just been using bobby pins to pin it down. I have noticed that the roots of this section do have more of a curl pattern and feel softer than the ends. The ends are horribly dry and won't hold moisture. But I'm slowly cutting them off so that I can get to the new, healthy hair at the root. I'm hopeful that this scab hair business is only temporary (fingers crossed).

If you notice that you have sections of scab hair, take heart. Like I said, I think there is healthy hair coming in this section now. I just have to "transition" this section by chipping away those dry ends. I think it's important to eliminate the possibility of heat damage -- especially if you used lots of direct heat during your transition. Heat damage can alter your curl pattern and dry out your locks. So the symptoms could be similar.

I was skeptical about scab hair when I first read about it over a year ago, but now I'm a believer. I'm so glad I'm not putting those chemicals in my hair any more. The transition was worth it!