I have made many changes to my hair lately. It’s weird; when I was younger, I barely did much with it. I feel like even after I started going natural is really when I started experimenting more with the kinks. My hair used to be straight, shiny and flat. Now, it has so much more volume. It has a mind of its own. Every day, it looks a little different. Sometimes it wants to recede a bit and hide from society while on other days it chooses to stretch itself more; of course, though, when I put it in certain styles it makes it easier. Finger coils, twists, braids, and bantu knots as well as just keeping it out are the various ways I choose to show it.
Trying all these styles gave me the opportunity to learn so much more about it which was one of my goals of going natural. I learned about why it becomes dry. I learned about the different types of oils and lotions I can put in it to keep it moisturized. My hair experienced brown, red and currently purple hues to add on some unique flavor. I also showed it off with mohawks, afros and tapered cuts.
At times, I have struggled with how to put my hair for interviews or for the professional environment in general. I choose not to wear braids or anything tight to protect the health of my scalp. (Though I do miss those styles so much) I often also adorn or cover my hair in African print head wraps to preserve a style or to simply hide a bad hair day. It is still a challenge understanding my hair. Every day is a new adventure in the land of my naps. Yet, I am an eager learner and I accept the opportunity for knowledge.
Anyway, I cannot believe how diverse I have become with my hair over the years; especially the past two years. However, the coils sitting on my head is a reflection of who I am becoming. As I inch closer to 30, the 20-year old Tiffy would not recognize who she’s become today. But I know she would be proud.
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.
My Galaxy phone every few days reminds me of pictures I took years ago. Sometimes it’s a nice trek back into the past and at other times in brings up painful memories. However, today it brought back a natural hair milestone for me. A year ago today, I took a picture of my hair when I was first transitioning. I never noticed before until I saw that picture but you could see the permed hair meeting the new growth. It’s remarkable to me how much my hair has changed since I decided to go on this journey. I am so happy with how my hair is turning out even though my hair often times has a mind of it’s own.
You what I hate these days? I hate what Trump is doing to America; I hate driving in New York City and I hate doing a twist out and my style disappearing within two days. Honestly, it takes a lot for me to dislike or have anger towards anything. I find comfort in being cool about most things. But when you put time and energy into a style and it is gone…..it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain that zen like mood.
On Sunday night, I put my hair into twists. I sat in my bed while watching the Walking Dead and preceded to do my hair. My hands worked through my hair carefully parting each strand to the best of my ability. (I actually am very bad at parting, ha ha.) My hands put some time into each piece of hair treating it delicately. When I was done, I put a hair cap over it to preserve the look. My hair was left in the twists for about two days to continue the preservation of the look I wanted. On Wednesday, I took the twists out and the style did not look too bad. It had a mixture of perfect and lopsided curls that accentuated my style. It was not perfection, but it defined my look.
For some reason this morning, it looked even better. It had definition, volume and the curls were looking great. I was so excited. I went on to take a shower like I do every day. However when I was finished, the popping volume was GONE!!!! My hair had shrunk so much. It looked like how it normally does after a few days of a twist out. This has happened before after taking a steamy shower, but I am just so sick of it. It sucks when humidity ruins your hair. Venting here is making me feel a bit better, but it truly is frustrating when the warmth that actually puts you at so much ease into your routine destroys the time and effort put into your tresses.
However, I cannot help but love the diversity my hair naturally possesses. It changes when it feels best. I can only do so much to control it. I am loving my kinks but that love turns into frustration at times. It is like loving a child; you come into your once clean kitchen and find a tornado of a mess. Your anger rises quickly, but you find a way to swallow it and handle that situation like a champ (or try to) because in your heart you know the love you have for the sometimes wild one is unconditional. My wild mane will always have my heart. I will do my best to understand it one day at a time. So for today, I will put on my armor of chill and embrace the shrunken kinks my hair decided to morph into.
This was after a successful twist out. =)
UPDATE: When I originally wrote the following, it was back in May. I finally cut off those insipid ends. My hair now looks….alive. It is a rebirth from the conformed nature I put it through for so many years. Don’t get me wrong, permed hair is awesome; ALL hair types are incredible depending on the style of the individual. However, sometimes your hair just needs to breathe even for just a little while. I personally think I will always let my hair do it’s thing the way it was meant to. Not sure I would ever go back, but let’s see how I evolve over the next few years.
Here is the current state of my hair. I have a struggle dealing with my two type hair. One is growing quite vibrantly as it would showcase it’s tight coils like a beautiful garden of tulips. The other is trying desperately to outshine what’s naturally meant for my head so it shoots out at the front blocking my natural tresses from blossoming to truth.
There was a time when I started this journey that I couldn’t even think of cutting off my permed ends. It had become a part of me for so long that it was difficult to fully watch it go. I knew that going natural would mean eventually getting rid of my chemically straightened mane. At the start, however, I didn’t want to rush into it; taking my time was part of the process.
Now after about a year of going natural, I’m ready to cut off what was a part of who I was. In the past year, I’ve evolved so much from who I used to be. As a twenty-seven year old woman, I’m ready to shed off my old layers and become more of the woman I am meant to be; this includes cutting off my perm. Like a flower shedding off dead petals to make room for the new, I’m ready to blossom into the new me.
My hair blown out and completely natural.
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!!!!