Natural Loves Natural


Update

My last relaxer was in November 2009, and the "big chop" June 2010.  So that is about three years without a relaxer, and about two and a half being fully natural!  Boy does time pass!

I wear my hair STRETCHED most of the time, now braiding it every other night or as needed.  Here are a few pictures of my everyday look:






Here is a recent picture of my hair straightened to see the length a bit better:


Pretty awesome right?  You see, black girls CAN grow long hair, you just have to treat it right!  I have cut a few inches off at one point due to very bad ends (the hair growth from the beginning that was damaged for not transitioning correctly), so it should be longer.  Nevertheless, I LOVE MY HAIR!

Youtube

Before and during my transition, I spent HOURS browsing Youtube learning from other natural women across the world!  I've learned much from natural hair expert Kimmaytube.  She introduced me to the "unknown" aspects of natural hair such as PH balance and how it affects the structure of hair in general.  It may seem a bit technical, but it is crucial to know the structure of black hair so that you can better take care of it!  Click here to check out her Youtube channel.  As a start, I recommend browsing the videos on the left panel where it says "start here."

Here are a few more Youtubers that I learned a lot from.  Of course there are other informative channels out there, but you can start here:

Mahogany Knots
Black Onxy
Nikki Mae
Taren Guy
Hair Crush (my natural hair inspiration!)
Curly Chronicles


Transitioning & Deep Conditioning

Black hair NEEDS to be treated very gentle since the hair is more prone to break (Kimaytube explains this very well in her Structure of Hair video series!).  While transitioning, You DO NOT want to use much to NO heat at all.  Why?  Where the natural hair and relaxed ends meet is VERY fragile.  Heat, combing hair while dry, or just simply doing too much to it, will cause premature breakage and damage to the new hair growing in!  Treat it as you would do a new born baby's hair, VERY GENTLE.  This is even so being fully natural, that is if you want your hair to grow.  Til this day, I rarely use heat!

During my transition to natural hair, at first I was not taking care of my hair adequately.  I flat ironed my hair often to blend in the two textures and wore it straight.  So therefore, I incurred a lot of heat damage!  This was after taking advice from another beautician and a Youtuber who transitioned the same way (watch it, not all natural Youtubers do things correctly!).  I did not want to transition any other way, because I was still hanging on to the straight look that I was use to.  BAD CHOICE.  So therefore, I stopped flat ironing and wore my hair in protective styles (twist-outs and braided extensions).

Since my hair was a bit damaged already, I began to deep condition WEEKLY (when my hair was not in braids) and a few months being fully natural (no relaxed ends).  This process allowed my natural hair texture to grow in as it should, and I began to see curls growing in.  I had no clue my hair was even curly!  I waited until my hair grew about four inches (about six months) before I cut off the relaxed ends.

Here are a few effective products I used to deep condition my hair after the heat damage.  I continued using them a few months into being natural, using them now only sparingly.  They are both plant based conditioners that I switch up between:

Hesh Brahmi Powder Herbal 100g
Hesh | Brahmi Powder
You mix this with warm water  and oil (conditioner is optional).  Is a bit messy,  wear a towel over your shoulders.   Leave it in for at least an hour (the longer the better), rinse it out , then shampoo and condition.  This can be found at the Indian Food Store and Banyan Botanicals if you want to buy in bulk.

Aztec Secret | Indian Healing Clay| Bentonite Clay
You mix this with water (oil is optional).  This is not as messy as Brahmi Powder.  Leave it in my hair for at least an hour (the longer the better), rinse it out, then shampoo and condition.  This can be found at The Vitamin Shoppe.
My Products and Other Recommendations

After the "big chop" I was a product junky, my shelf was full of MANY different products.  You may have to do the same.  LISTEN to you hair, know what it likes, know what it hates, it WILL tell you by the way it feels and reacts to your hair style wishes.  My regime may not be the best regime for your particular hair, but you can start here!  Find what works for you!  I have FINALLY been able to boil it down to just these few:

Dr. Bronner's Hemp Tea Tree Pure Castile Soap (can use as Shampoo)
I use this as a body wash and on my hair!  It works well, leaves your skin and hair very soft!  You do not need to condition after usage, it is THAT good!  This natural product also helps with backne!  It is a God!

Kinky Curly| Come Clean: Shampoo
Use it as needed, otherwise I use Dr. Bronner's (above).   Rather than being a deep conditioner, this is a deep cleanser!  It really cleans the hair from all previous product usage.  I use this about once a month, or before I wash it to  flat iron my hair and I wash it to revert back to my curls.

Kinky Curly| Knot Today: Leave-In
A MUST HAVE!!!!!!  Makes detangling much easier, and leaves hair soft and manageable!

Shea Moisture| Curl Enhancing Smoothie: Moisturizer
This smells great!  I switch between this and Miss Jessie's, they are both great moisturizers!  You must apply on damp hair!

Shea Moisture| Raw Shea Butter| Restorative Conditioner
This is the absolute BEST conditioner I have ever used for my hair!  As a tip, if there is a product having shea butter as a main ingredient, it would probably be wise to try it.  Shea Butter works as a good moituriser for natural hair.  This product leaves hair soft and manageable, and it smells GREAT.  I also leave it in my hair if I want a curly look, adding oil sheen for shine!

Miss Jessie's| Curly Pudding: Moisturizer
This is my main moisturizer   Use it to braid up my hair at night, and apply  small amounts when re-braiding it during the week.  You must apply on damp hair!

THIS IS A MUST HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Makes detangling much easier, quicker, and less harsh on your hair.  GET THIS!  You can find it at Salley's Beauty Supply.

Bottled Water
You will need this when your hair goes dry during detangling.   DO NOT detangle your hair when it is dry or your hair will break off!

Africa's Best| Herbal Oil
To me, any oil will do.  Either it's Tea Tree or  Flax Seed Oil as long as it is not Vegetable Oil.  I've tried many different oils and they all seem to have similar results.  The ingredients for this particular oil includes Jojoba Oil, Walnut Oil,  Safflower Oil, etc.  I apply this on my scalp  while my hair is wet (with a pointed applicator), and at times on my braids or twists before I take them down in the morning.
BB| Smooth Sheen Conditioning Spray| With Olive Oil
I use this EVERYDAY to add shine to my hair.  I even apply it when my hair is wet.  Not all oil sheen products work for my hair.  Some did not add shine at all.  This is a good start!

Kinky Curly and Miss Jessie's and Shea Moisture product lines I highly recommend trying first.  You can find them and many more at CurlMart.com or Target.  If I am dissatisfied with their prices, I check Amazon.com.  Shop around!

There you have it!  Stay tuned for the next Natural Hair Series post including a tutorial showing how I achieve my everyday look!  If you have questions, please post a comment and I will get back with you as soon as possible.  Later loves :)


~ Jo Jo

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