I did not want to have to blog about breakage again, but here we go. I already know the cause of it:
- Not protective styling enough
- Becoming lazy when caring for my hair
- Using too much heat (blow dryer & straightening brush)
- Not moisturizing enough
It’s all shameful because I know better. I know better. However, I took a break from getting my hair braided this winter and I’m paying for it. I became a very lazy natural and now I have breakage as a result towards the back of my head. I noticed more than the usual shedding and unevenness. I have no one to blame but myself, and I know what needs to be done to fix it. I need to do the opposite of all four things I listed above!
I’m going to cut off as much breakage as possible (try to even out my hair back there), give it some extra TLC, and then get my hair braided. It’s time, it’s been almost six months since I’ve been to the shop to have my hair braided. I tried faux loc crochet braids recently (see picture below) but could only tolerate them for almost three weeks because the synthetic hair made my scalp itch horribly! But they were cute! As always, I’ll keep you posted on my breakage saga. 😦
So why have I been making it so hard? Or am I just lazy/content with what I’ve been doing thus far? I think it’s the latter. Lately, I’ve been seriously thinking about other ways to protective style that will not hurt my pocket book so much. (I just showed my age saying pocket book LOL!) I LOVE going to the shop and getting my hair braided, however that’s not always financially feasible. Braids are a wonderful investment that you can get two – three months out of, especially when you find a great hair braider. Crochet braids only last for a few weeks (depending on style and type of hair you use) and then you have to take them down.
In the meantime, I’ve gotten myself into the bad habit of twisting or plaiting my hair and then taking it down the next day to wear a curly fro, then retwisting or plaiting to do it all over again night after night. Well, I’m noticing split ends and extra shedding. Not good. The shedding and split ends aren’t just because of over manipulation. It’s also because I haven’t been tucking my hair away this winter. The cold, harsh winter air has my hair dry and brittle. To be more loving and gentler to my hair, I’ve set a new goal for myself, inspired by fellow Naturalista’s on Facebook. My goal is to leave my hair in a protective style for a week and to keep doing it every week until it becomes a habit. I think this is a great goal for people like myself who desperately need to leave their hair alone.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany. Not only am I going to invest in more colorful scarves so I can wrap my hair in different styles, I’m going to also invest in a WIG! And not just any ole’ wig, I want a good wig that looks like my natural hair. I’ll admit that I’ve been resistant towards wigs for quite some time. I’ve never worn one in my entire life except for a talent show. I’ve always felt that I wouldn’t look right in them. But I’ve now had a change of heart and I’m ready to rock a wig! Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40’s and I no longer care about what other people think. Regardless of the reason, I’m here for them. I’m here for wigs!
Until I get my wig and more colorful scarves, here’s what I’m rocking today to keep my plaits in my hair:
Come through, hat! 😉
With the current state of my hair, I’ve decided not to have crochet braids installed. Instead I’m going to focus on getting my hair healthy again. I don’t think the tension and pulling of my hair is the best idea right now. One of the top things on my to-do list is to find a natural hair stylist who can give my hair the full treatment it really needs. If it means cutting off more hair than expected to get rid of the damage, then so be it. Next I have to find a really good moisturizer that is specifically good for the 4c hair that I have. If any of you have any suggestions please let a sista know in the comment section!
I have a funny story to share! Well, I can laugh about it now, but at the time it scared me to death! Last week I dreamed that I went to a shop and got a relaxer put in my hair. *GASP* The horror, right? There was no rhyme or reason for me doing it. All I remember from the dream is looking at myself in the mirror with all this hair on my head that was straightened and styled, and I was so upset because my afro, kinks, and coils were all gone. When I woke up I felt so upset and stressed as if this really happened!
If that dream isn’t proof that I’m in this natural hair journey for the long haul, I don’t know what is. Just as in life, there will be bumps in the road. There will be highs and lows, but they don’t last forever. My hair woes are of my doing, but they are fixable. It’s simply going to take time. So while I won’t be having another protective hairstyle installed just yet, I’m going to work hard at getting my hair healthy again.
Thank you to my fellow naturalista’s who have reached out to me with your encouraging words here on my blog or via Facebook! Thank you for your positivity and support. That is so needed in our community, especially for the newer naturalista’s like myself. Let’s keep encouraging one another and lifting each other up ladies. 🙂
Arnold’s face pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now. I’ve had my Kinky Twists for 42 days now. Count them – 42 days – and my new growth is out of control. If you lifted up the braids in the back of my head you’d get attacked by the untamed afro that has grown back there. The woman that does my braids is one of the best hair braiders I’ve come across since I’ve been getting braids, so the quality of her work is NOT the issue. What I’m having an issue with is the investment ($$$) I made in getting these braids with the purpose of getting two and a half or three months worth of wear out of them!
I tie my hair up every night, I don’t pull my braids back into pony tails, nor do I put them into cute buns or any other jazzy style. Remember, I’m team SAVE YOUR EDGES! I basically do everything I’m supposed to do when you have braids. My dilemma could be viewed as a good thing because at the end of the day what I’m “suffering” from is rapid hair growth. Who would’ve thought that a woman would complain about her hair growing too fast? Granted I know there are some women out there who do have this complaint, but it’s unheard of for me!
Then I had a moment….
My “EUREKA” moment was me realizing that back during my creamy-crack days when I got braids installed, my hair did not grow as fast. The only time I experienced mega hair growth back then was when I was pregnant and had braids. Mothers, you know how those pregnancy hormones work. Everything grows, and it grows fast! But when I had braids and wasn’t pregnant, I was always able to keep my braids for the 2-3 months because the growth was slow. Isn’t that something? Now that I’m 100% chemical free (no hair dyes either) and have been natural for 2 1/2 years, my hair growth with braids is rapid. Hmmm…..could it be because I now have a healthy scalp due to no longer putting harsh, harmful chemicals on my hair? Could it be because I use healthier methods and regimens to take care of my hair and scalp? EUREKA!
When I think of the positives of why my hair is growing so fast, I no longer feel so cheated with the shortened length of time that I’m able to keep my braids. Hair growth is a good thing. Hair growth is a positive thing. Hair growth, although it has never been my main concern since going natural, is what I want – but in a healthy way. Sometimes you just have to leave your hair alone and let it do what it do before you see results, and that makes the saying “less is more” all the more true. Protective styling has many benefits, and it’s especially beneficial for me. I LOVE having braids in it’s many forms, and I will continue to rock them. I just have to come up with a back up plan for when I only get 42 days or less out of my braids. Crochet braids here I come! My sis in law got that hook up! 😉
Here in the midwest we’re in the midst of the dog days of winter. Since becoming natural almost two years ago, I had decided that as part of my winter hair regiment I would get braids during this time. For one, it gives my hair a much-needed rest. During the spring and summer months I primarily rock my afro. The dry, cold winter air is so damaging to our natural hair that you must cover it up and consider some type of protective style to keep it healthy and protected.
Around January 2nd I had crochet braids installed by my sister-in-law Gina. She’s the crochet braid queen in my book! She used Freetress Water Wave hair, 2 1/2 packs. The install from start to finish took about two and a half hours.
The picture on the left is the night she installed them. The picture on the right was taken about three and a half weeks later. The hair still looks good, right? I kept these braids in for one month, which is about the length of time they typically last before this type of hair starts to get matted and knotted up at the ends – even with tying it up every night.
To keep my natural hair moisturized, I spritzed my cornrows underneath the crochet hair with a concoction of olive oil, avocado oil, peppermint essential oil, and water. Just put it in a spray bottle and spritz it once a day or every other day.
My second protective style for the winter: Box Braids.
I took down my crochet braids and decided to get box braids right after. It has been years since I’ve had box braids. I’m talking sometime in the mid 1990’s! I didn’t want them to be too big (ala Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice), so I opted for medium-sized ones. The install took about seven hours, and that’s mostly because my appointment didn’t start on time and there were a few interruptions along the way. The good thing about these braids is they’ll last for three months or more, and I typically keep them in for three months. You can still wash your hair with them in, but I wouldn’t recommend washing your hair too often as that will cause you to lose braids and cause too much pulling and friction on your hair. I use the same spritz I used with the crochet braids of olive oil, avocado oil, peppermint essential oil and water to keep my hair moisturized. While I love rocking a big fat bun, it’s not something I’ll be doing on a regular basis because of the pulling and friction it causes on your edges. I am team SAVE YOUR EDGES! LOL!