Happy New Year!!! How you doing? Lol. Today, I wanted to mark down the transitions my hair has gone through in the past year. I have made drastic changes with it from 2016 to now. Check out how my hair used to look back in early 2016 :
How my hair looks now:
I went through the transitioning stage (that was a challenge), cutting off the rest of my permed ends, working out an Afro, trying out a brownish red tapered look and now currently rocking out a fiery mo-hawk. During my permed days, I would just depend on the hairstylist to make my hair magic. Now I make my hair magic. Or at least try to. =).
It was not easy understanding my hair. I am still learning so much about it and am still making mistakes in this journey. But I am overall happy about it. In the past two years, I tried different products, went to CurlFest, looked at different YouTube tutorials on various topics like dry hair, my hair type and unique hair styles. Last November, I even went to an awesome class by Ancestral Strands where I learned more in depth about the biology of hair and the best oils to use to treat your scalp and hair qualms. (Now my hair consistently smells like lemongrass. Lol.)
Through this self-discovery of my hair, I have evolved. My tresses have grown with me; flowing and screaming for attention at times when touched. I am here for you; my strands, you are a part of me and you carry on as I develop. Here on the Heartbeat Life I decided to showcase the transitions my hair has made. I am excited to see how it flows in 2018.
For anyone who caught my post last week, dry hair is a terrifying feat for me. My tresses deserve to have the right moisture to keep it popping and smooth like I know it can be. And of course, that’s up to me; I am the sole person responsible in the quality of my hair.
I did some more research after discovering that my hair has low porosity and put it to the test last week. Some of the natural hair queens on the information highway (Remember when it was called that?) told me that butters and oils are important to hair’s moisture. A site also mentioned that Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo (I know, I know. Don’t judge. I still use Shea Moisture. Despite their stupid mistake, I can’t deny that their products work well for me) does magic for dry hair. In my resistance to the dry hair plague, I had to proceed to try this product. Let me tell you when I massaged this poo into my scalp, something happened. My hair felt different. I consistently wash my hair once a week. It always feels the same until I put this product on my scalp. My hair TRANSFORMED. Like Bumblebee going from car to robot, my hair came alive. It felt more silky and smooth. I had found the cure; Well one of them.
However, the replenishment of my kinks did not end there. The queen from Napturally Curly asserted on using oils like argan oil and apricot oil to seal in moisture after applying water to the hair. After I applied some apricot oil to my hair, the magic was done. My hair has not felt so much moisture in a long time. I was pleased to finally give my tresses the caressing that it needed to slay. Of course, the process does not end. There is still so much for me to discover and to understand about my hair. But I am glad to discover even a little bit from the tree of knowledge in the betterment of the overall health of my kinks.
My Hair after I washed it and applied Cantu’s Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner and an apricot oil grape seed oil mixture.
My hair after I did a twist out. I applied Cantu’s Shea butter Leave In, the apricot oil mixture and Shea Moisture’s Coconut Hibiscus Curling Enhancing Smoothie (The ever so wonderful LOC method – Leave In, Oil and Cream) to my hair before twisting it with curling rods after wash day. I left it in for another day, took it out and voila – what you see above.
To put in my hair or to not put in my hair? That is the question. Choosing the right hair product is like going to a new restaurant. Everything looks divine. You read the ingredients, check out the pictures, even the smells masking the venue will have your taste buds bouncing around in a frenzy. The combination of it all makes it difficult to make a choice. This is how I feel when I’m in the hair product section. Everything looks so enticing in terms of what can be put in my hair. Think about the language they use to write about each product.
“This soothing lather seeps into your scalp leaving your hair rich with volume and shine.”
“Tame those tresses while keeping your mane fresh with our shine and frizz control.”
How do I choose? It’s a tough decision, but the best way to pick what belongs in my hair tool kit is that magic place that lives in our hands, in our laps and in our homes. The internet introduces me to a bountiful amount of opinions made from all types of women with different hair issues. It’s always so reassuring to find a related hair issue to mine there.
Through all of the various products that I read about (Dr. Miracles, Mixed Chicks, Carol’s Daughter, Cantu, etc), there’s one that always seems to be at the top of the list: Shea Moisture. Without even realizing it, my Shea Moisture collection has grown. Throughout this process, Shea Moisture has held it down in making me feel more at ease and comfortable in transitioning. My tool kit will lead me to the natural hair glory that I’ve been waiting for. I’m so excited!!!!
Hair in natural style on my birthday last year.
I’m used to having hair of one. solid. texture. It iis either permed or natural. Hair, pick a side already. The problem I have right now is not knowing what to do with it. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see the same person anymore. No more straight locks. No more bounce. No more stability. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of days where my hair was out of control when I had the perm. If I did not go to the salon and did it myself, it would make this tent formation. My hand would fly into my hair every so often to erratically comb down the tent into something somewhat pleasant. Of course, my hair had its own plans. It was not going to stay down for nothing.
Now my hair is shorter and mixed: half natural and half permed. Natural hair has an authentic wonder radiating from the truth residing in all of us. Permed hair shows a different transition our hair can go through in bringing out a unique look to our overall character. Both have their definitions of beauty. For the past few years, black women have started to embrace their true locks rather than depending on this chemical tool for straightened hair. I am finally now on this path too. It is just difficult dealing with the two textures at the same time. Before my hair gets to the point of where it was meant to go, it is imperative to take care of the new growth and what is left behind. This means I must learn to embrace both textures. Hair, I am ready to do all that I can for you to be at your best. Even if it means going half and half for the time being.
Ryuk from Death Note
It is crazy how something you practically pushed into non-existence can become such a scary problem. This thing is like a grotesque reminder of why it is never good to let some things slide. It even reminds me of this anime character Ryuk from Death Note – it is always there some how reminding me of my impending doom. Alright, I’m going to pull it back because I’m getting a bit carried away. However, this “terror spot” is no joke and it must be taken seriously.
My best friend Gabby, who has amazing hair styling skills, (Seriously, if you ever need your hair done hit her up.) helped me untangle my hair when I took out my marley twists. She taught me that when taking out transitioning hair it is good to place the hair in a conditioner and to comb through it in order to soften the hair. It is better to do so to also limit how much damage caused to your mane. She saved me from making a terrible mistake. I almost just combed through it without the necessary precautions. When she was helping me out, there was still some breakage to my hair. For any woman who wants to swear they do not let their hair bother them, I’m sure none of them can stand on a soap box and say hair breakage does not have any effect to them. For certain, it woke me up. Then if that was not enough, the “terror spot” had gotten bigger. Gabby informed me that I had to cut more of the permed hair because basically the two textures cannot function together. It is like they are fighting against each other and the natural hair is winning. I have to take more steps to help my hair get from weak to strong. Through all of this, I’m so grateful to have a person like Gabby to be by my side during this process. Me, my hair and my scalp are being reacquainted. The little follicles on my head are desperate to meet me again. Believe me, I’m eager to meet them again too.
In the spirit of this holiday season, I hope to give myself the treat of taking better care of my tresses. Anyone out there who has the gift of advice, support, or whatever you have to offer, it would be greatly appreciated. We could become a part of a community of sisters helping each other out in any hair journey. To all out there, happy holidays. Wishing you all the best to you and your family during this season.
Marie. Johani. Paulette. Terry. Do you know what all these names have in common? Each of these lovely people have been my hair stylist in the past year. Weird right? Personally, when I get used to someone, I get used them. I don’t like to wander around looking for new faces even if their doing a service for me. If my hair started falling out or if the prices became ridiculous, then I would not be returning to that particular hair care establishment. However, ever since I could remember, I never stayed with just one hair stylist. And there is one strong influence contributing to this factor: my dear mother.
She is a queen who must have the best of the best. When it comes to her garments, her humble abode, and her source of transportation, she looks for the finest in quality and style. So of course when she has her bi-weekly hair appointment, her tresses has to look tight. As a representation of her, it’s important I look my best too.
From being a preteen to now, I followed my mom to the various salons experiencing hair glamour which every woman is entitled to. Fingers would massage my scalp while also revitalizing my hair every two weeks. It’s pure pampering with a twinge of discomfort depending on the style you get (relaxers and sometimes braids for me). I’ve had half a lifetime of satisfying yet also unpleasant hairstyles.
In this year, my hair has transformed a bit more from the usual bob to a more asymmetrical look. However, it didn’t maintain that way from just one hair stylist. Marie was incredibly quick and knew the precise formula for creating great color and texture to my hair. Even so, my mother and I didn’t stay there long (At least not long during this year). Johani was skilled at creating fabulous body and curls for my signature bob. Although with her having an off day resulting in my mother not liking how it came out, we were off again. Paulette gave me great advice about a hair issue I was having. The service at her salon was also impeccable. They take your number and email; I love how they are on top of reminding customers about their appointments. You also always get the same hair stylist. Unfortunately, my mother did not like her hair one day and we were off again to stylist number four. Terry was a mastermind at the tresses using his hands to mold my hair into a luscious ensemble of curls.
As of now, this is where we are (or at least my mother). I’m honestly at a dilemma. Each of these salons has talented stylists with their own unique flair to taking care of hair. I’m not going to bounce around anymore like a ping pong. Seriously, I will get dizzy from the constant moving around; not good for my hair. Lol. But anyway, the one salon will come and I will stay there for as long as I can. Until then, I’m bringing out the shampoo and conditioner from under my sink to attempt to create hair glamour myself.