Monthly Archives: July 2013

Three Months Natural and Counting

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Sonya July 26 2013

Monday July 22, 2013

I’m three months into my journey of having natural hair and my excitement hasn’t died down in any shape or form. If anything I’m more motivated, confident, and anxious! As you can see from my picture my fro is growing! I’ve tried some new ideas such as Puhing (baking soda and water wash with apple cider vinegar and water rinse) and I’ve made some concoctions of my own with oils to moisturize my scalp and hair using organic coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E, and other oils. After spending countless hours on YouTube watching video after video on what everyone feels is best to use on your natural hair, I became very overwhelmed. If there was one thing I learned about YouTube, it’s that everyone has different reasons, recipes, techniques, and hair types and you have to sift through all of that info and decide what is best for you and your hair. This is not to say that there aren’t any good videos on YouTube with excellent tips and ideas, because there are many. But, you’ll drive yourself crazy if you watch too many of them.

I’ve read a lot about protective hair styles and how it’s a must that you use them to protect your hair. I had to stop and think about this one because when my mom was taking care of me and my 2 older sister’s hair when we were growing up, there’s nothing she did back then that’s any different than what’s being suggested as “natural hair gospel” now. She always made sure our hair was tied up at night, and for the most part our hair was always braided or plaited up in some kind of way. She  straightened or pressed (there is a difference between the two) with a straightening comb for special occasions only. Heat was not used in our hair on a regular basis. I had been doing twist out braids and two strand twists on both of my daughters since they were 1 or 2 years old using Blue Magic hair grease and water. Y

It makes me chuckle reading and listening to people make this simple (to me) task of twist out styles harder than it has to be. Like with many things in life it simply takes a lot of trial and error and a ton of practice. I know there are natural products that are better to use on my girl’s hair other than Blue Magic hair grease, and I have purchased and currently use them. But honey I have yet to find something that works on their hair that is comparable to Blue Magic that gives the same results – awesome curls! I also know that Blue Magic isn’t the healthiest hair product, but it does have its benefits when it comes to styling and taming your hair, especially if your hair is on the super kinky end of the spectrum. I think that would be 4c hair for my 9 year old daughter and 4b/4c for my oldest daughter. Needless to say, my daughter’s hair grew just fine when I used Blue Magic, but I still endeavor to use healthier, natural products on all of our hair.

My point in saying all of this is I firmly believe that less is more. The less you fuss with and manipulate your hair, the better off your hair will be. The other lesson learned is you have to listen to your own hair. Not everyone’s hair will be able to do the same thing or have the same results, so you have to figure out what works for you and stick to that and make tweaks along the way. My journey is far from over. I’m still in the beginning stages, but from lots of personal research and trial and error, the more I learn the more I love my natural hair. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision to leave the chemicals, aka creamy crack, alone once and for all.

Next up on my products to try is 100% Aloe Vera Gel to help with dandruff and promote hair growth. My oldest daughter and I have always struggled with dandruff so I look forward to seeing how this works for us, and of course I like the idea of it promoting hair growth. Till next time!

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The Big “Little” Chop it is!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

There was a lot of back and forth and indecision as to how I would go about this new change in my life. Most of it was out of pure excitement because this is something I had been thinking about and wanting to do for at least 4 years. I went from wanting to transition with the use of braids to wanting to cut my hair shorter, or “the big chop.” This past Saturday I went with my husband and our sons to the barber shop. I decided to let their long time barber shape me up, but when I got in his chair I told him to cut as much as the relaxer out as he could and to cut the little bang I had in the front. My husband just looked at me but he didn’t say anything. I just smiled at him and enjoyed every snip of the scissors and the rumble of the clippers!

George, the barbers name, did a really good job cutting my hair and doing what I asked and I felt so good afterwards! I felt liberated and FREE! Free to finally start my journey fresh and from scratch. When I looked at myself in the mirror at the shop I had the biggest smile on my face, and when I look at myself in the mirror now all I do is smile. I have zero regrets, no feelings of “What on earth did I do?” I think what helped was the fact that I truly wanted to do this. I wanted to make this change in my life and I was ready for it and therefore able to fully embrace it.

The compliments I’ve received across the board have been so heartwarming.The encouragement I’m receiving from my fellow natural sisters is overwhelming and I’m taking it all in because I need it and appreciate it. I’m still working with my teeny weenie afro, trying some products and some homemade things I’ve made myself. (Note to self: Invest in a pick! 😉 ) I look forward to seeing the growth and being able to experiment with different styles, especially the twist out. That’s a style I do frequently on my 11 year old daughter and she loves it. Her natural hair is so beautiful and her hair is so cooperative. Call me biased, but she has the face and confidence to pull off any style. My 9 year old daughter still likes her twisted pony tails, but I’m working with her to embrace her twist outs too. She’ll get there, but I won’t rush her.

I can honestly say that I am at the happiest with my hair for the first time in forever. No more curling irons or flat irons, no more spending $65 every 2 or 3 months on relaxers and hair cuts, no more worrying about breakage because of my chemically weakened hair. No more worrying about nappy kitchens (at the back of the neck) or edges. The only concerns I have now is which pair of big earrings am I going to rock today!

Braids or Big Chop? That is the Question.

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Thursday May 30, 2013

Ever since I made the decision to go natural I wanted to just cut out all the relaxer and go from there. I did a big chop before I made the decision but I still have a small amount of relaxer left in my hair…..and it’s irritating the crap out of me! I want to cut it out so I can truly feel like I’m starting this transitioning journey from scratch.

I see and hear about all these wonderful ideas and processes that others have gone through with wonderful results and I want to try them all! I’m just that excited. Just yesterday I had my mind made up on getting braids and I commenced to searching for a new hair braider, and I even asked my FB friends for recommendations. The thing with braids is they are an investment, and with that investment I have a few requirements:

1. If I’m going to spend $200+ on braids the person doing them better be very good at what she does and fast! By good I mean her work is neat and precise. No sloppiness, no inconsistency with the braiding, and I better not have braids falling out after a one week!

2. The hair braider must be professional and the shop or home they work out of must be clean.

I don’t think that’s asking too much, do you? Today I changed my mind on the braids and decided that the big chop is the way to go. With some big hoop earrings and my face done up I could rock it! At least that’s what I’ve convinced myself of. 😉 I think what the big chop signifies for me is a total release of my former creamy crack addiction. I need a clean break from the chemicals, and the only way I’d get that is by cutting out the rest of the relaxer. So the plan is to go to my husband’s barber this weekend and have him take care of that for me and shape me up. Only then will I be chemical free with nothing standing between me and my beautiful, natural, kinky hair.

The Decision

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April 19, 2013 is a pivotal date for me. That’s the day that I officially decided that I had enough of beauty salons and all the drama that comes with them, including putting creamy crack, aka harmful chemicals called relaxers in my hair. My disgust with my beautician of 8 years on that day helped me make a firm decision to go natural, a decision I had been pondering for at least 3 or 4 years. I had already damaged my hair by curling it constantly with the curling or flat irons at the crown of my head, so the only answer for that was to chop it all off and start from scratch. I’ve always loved having short hair so that was an easy decision to make. But the short hair also made it easier for me to begin the transitioning process, so  here I am today.

To date I have not had a relaxer since April 6, 2013. Today is Thursday May 30th. I have a small fro going on with a small amount of relaxer on the ends. I will post pictures of my progress soon, but in the mean time I have posted pictures of my hair in various hair styles with a relaxer in it with the exception of the picture of me in kindergarten . I’m full of excitement, questions, and I’m open to any and all suggestions from my fellow natural sistas. I’ve been watching YouTube videos and getting inspiration from Pinterest and pinning hair styles and healthy DIY hair products. I haven’t been chemically free since I was 15, so I’m excited to see my natural hair in all it’s glory again. I have no delusions that this journey will be easy, that I won’t have days where I want to give up and make an appointment at the new salon I found before I decided to go natural and get the creamy crack again. I know there may be days when I look at myself in the mirror and wonder why did I do this to myself. Despite all of that there’s a huge part of me that is very determined to see this journey through all the ups and downs, the highs and lows. Deep down I know this is the best thing I can do for the health of my hair and scalp. More than anything, I want to set the example for my two girls.

Last year I made the horrible decision to give my girls kiddie relaxers. They looked beautiful for the first few months and then the breakage started. The breakage actually started with my youngest daughter almost immediately. She was 8 and my oldest daughter was 10 when I gave them the relaxers. When I saw the extent of the breakage I stopped giving them the relaxers and began the transitioning process for them. They haven’t had a relaxer in almost 6 months. I keep their hair braided and moisturized and it’s been growing back just fine. My oldest daughter told me when she had her relaxer that she missed the poofiness of her hair, her natural curls. That made me feel even worse. Here this child is recognizing the beauty of her natural hair and all I was thinking about was how relaxers would make my life easier as far as taking care of their hair. That wasn’t true at all. My girl’s hair was sooo much healthier and beautiful without them, and putting chemicals in their hair will always be my biggest regret when it comes to them.The good thing is we are all in this transitioning journey together as mother and daughters.

Sonya4 3-26 ????????? Sonya 11-20-12 Sonya 10-234 Me April 10 Dimples 4 year old Sonya 2-15-13 17