Dry Hair, More of a Scare

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So I am a huge Walking Dead fan. (In fact, check out this vid of me talking about it with the awesome crew on Drinks with Geeks) Well I watch it every Sunday when it comes on. No one can interrupt me after 9 pm. No texts. No calls. I prefer that whatever urgent thing you have to tell me it can wait until either a commercial break or when the show is over. I can wait for the tea; the suspense of Rick and the group dealing with Negan is way more cray. I am also really into the follow up series called Fear the Walking Dead. It finally came back to kick off season 3 this past Sunday. My buddy reminded me and I almost forgot (I know. I should be ashamed). Anyway as 9 o clock approached, something else strange happened. It was a horrifying thing I myself have been dealing with. I usually try to push it out of my thoughts and deal with it the best way I can. However, that night it crept up on me like an annoying mosquito. A chill went down my spine while the thought possessed my mind. It took over my conscious making me ignore the most important thing on a Sunday night. I was being taken over, but I could not stop it. I had to know how to fix my problem. I had to find a way to combat my dry hair.

Yes people, dry hair. I have been dealing with this horror for months. Naturalistas gave me advice on how to keep my hair from being dry. Moisture is key they said. Deep Conditioning is important they said. However, after deep conditioning my hair once a week, my hair always eventually became a dry Brillo pad. I love my kinks and you must nurture what you love; I must continue nourishing my tresses. The itch for understanding took over this past Sunday and I missed the first seven minutes of Fear the Walking Dead. (Side note: It was an incredible episode. Please check it out if you have not. We got the gift of two.) I started looking up my hair type – a search I completed about a year ago but was still not completely sure at the time. A dope site called Black Naps had a quiz which helped me learn that my hair type is…… drum roll please………4b.  I learned that my hair type shrinks up to 70%, benefits from protective styles like buns, twists and braids and requires a lot of moisture, continuous deep conditioning and gentle cleansers.

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Through more research, the goddess at NapturallyCurly showed me the light in understanding why my hair is a Brillo pad. In an article about moisturizing your natural hair, the author of the site Lisa wrote about the importance of understanding your hair’s porosity which is how open your cuticles are on your hair shaft. Low porosity means that your hair is not getting enough moisture while high porosity means your hair is getting too much moisture. There was a link that led to a test in discovering your hair’s porosity. An adventurer at heart, I had to continue the quest in creating moisture for my kinks. As Travis was going through hell in fighting for his family, (Bit of a spoiler but you still need to watch to find the goods =p) I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. The test: I had to put a strand of my hair in the cup to see if it sunk. If it sunk, my hair has high porosity. If it floated, my hair has low. As I sat back down to continue my show with the cup in hand, I sent a mental message to my hair follicle; “Little buddy, I am depending on you to help me understand you. We’re all rooting for you. I know you can do it.” I put the glass on a surface and placed the hair strand in the water then waited. While Fear the Walking Dead continued, my kink peered up at me as it stayed on the surface. A few minutes went by and it was still chilling at the top.

Discovery: my hair has low porosity. After all this time, now I finally know. The article  went on to explain how to care for the both high and low porosity hair which for me is with buttery products and oils like jojoba oil and coconut oil. The quest in understanding my kinks continues. I plan to try some butters and oils this week and see how it may help my hair. Though I loved the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead once I was able to fully focus, the fear of dry, brittle hair is far more scary. These now brown red, tapered kinky coils that sprout up from my scalp are a representation of who Tiffy is; I must honor, respect and treat them with care.

 

Natural Hair Milestone

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.

 

Trimming the Tresses

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.

 

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My hair blown out and completely natural.

 

Hair Half and Half

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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.

 

 

Salon a Changing

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Hair done. No perm.

For years, I’ve embraced the routine that is going to the Dominican Salon.

Step 1: Show up

Step 2: Tell the stylist what you want (usually a perm or wash and set)

Step 3: Wait for them to call you to wash your hair.

Step 4: Get your hair done which includes *drum roll please* washing your hair, getting it conditioned (if they ask), hair dryer for 15 minutes, washing out the conditioner, roller set, sitting under the dryer for 45 mins and then finally the style or wrap.

This is a process I have been doing more or less every two weeks for years. It’s part of the ritual for looking fly. Having a fierce bob to rock is heaven for me. All of you women can relate (or maybe even some men can too) on receiving a nice glow once you get your hair done. Everything and everyone is just wonderful once your locks are looking tight. Sometimes, my style changes a bit but this process has never really changed.

However, since I decided to go natural things are a bit different. Of course, I’m abstaining to putting the relaxer in my hair. So this process, as I learned the other day, will be a bit different. The hair magicians who do my hair for the most part are pretty awesome. But I feel like every time I make a trip to the salon lately, they react to my locks as if my growing truth is an insult to their optics.

Stylist:  Since your hair is not permed, what am I supposed to do?

Me: I don’t know. You can blow it out.

Stylist 2: That’s what I said.

The attitude and shade is enough to keep me away. My hair is different now and I know it’s something they’re not all too used to. But it’s hair. Please just take care of it the best way you know how. It’s difficult enough going through this journey when discovering the “terror spot,” the breakage and the fact that the oh-so-wonderful cream I’ve been using is oh-so-deadly in damaging my scalp. The least I could get is some positive vibes and work ethic. As I go along this journey, I hope to find more people who could bring great energy to me. The shade and attitude package can stay outside. In all, let the new year be more filled with uplifting hair experiences (possibly at natural hair friendly salons?)

Happy New Year! =) =) =)

 

 

 

Hair Scare!

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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.