Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Am In Love With My Hair!!!

Well it's happened, I've fallen head over heels with my hair. Though I am still mid-transition (9 months in) it doesn't feel like it. The struggles with dual textures has stopped - I think that doing the mini-chop and getting rid of most of the dead, relaxed ends really helped. I am now sporting a head full of curls - actually, I have a couple of straight ends in the front that need a little coaxing, but other than that, the rest of my hair is a big curly mop and I LOVE IT!!!

I finally found a regime that works and some great tips on products from (THANKS NIK YOU ROCK!) and (KAI YOU ALSO ROCK!). I've been treating my hair like a new born baby - because really it is like a new born fragile, but growing stronger daily.

I'm headed to NY for my family's big, blow out summer BBQ (you know how we do :)) and I am going to henna before I go - it'll be my first time and I am super excited about it. I got my stash of Jamila Henna and I am amped to go. I'll post afterwards to let you all know the results.

Anyway, I know I have been more than remiss about posting photos of myself and my hair - but they are coming! I swear...LOL

Friday, June 5, 2009

Welcome to Summer - Summer Hair That Is!

Hello everyone! So I've been away a bit, busy with "Mommyhood", but I figured I'd take a few, sit back and chat - so-to-speak. So, I live in the MD/DC area and the humidity here is quite disgusting - maybe it's because DC was built on swamp land, maybe it's because it has alternately rained and been 85+ outside every day, but this heat does something to curly haired girls!

So in my last post you'll remember I did a mini-chop and got my hair bobbed. At first I will admit I wasn't all that happy with it, but I think that it was more because I was unhappy with my salon experience - but I'll save that for another day - let's just say, no one should be made to wait 3 hours before the stylist even touches their head! So anyway, I tried doing roller sets and then wrapping - just wearing it in a sleek look. Well...let me tell you ladies - my hair would look AWESOME until I stepped out the front door. Before I would even get to work I could feel my hair rising off my scalp and crinkling up - all of my careful work down the tubes.

Thirsty hair pulls in water from the atmosphere and causes the hair to plump. And my hair is perpetually thirsty, no matter how much moisturizing I do!

So I finally gave into the curl!! I mean let's be honest, why fight nature? Because nature ALWAYS wins...LOL! So I made my own little concoction of products that works really well for me and placed in a spray bottle. Every morning I just mist, diffuse slightly or air dry (depending on how pressed for time I am) and go!

I mix:

Giovanni Direct Leave (this stuff is absolutely great for my hair)
Shea Butter (for extra moisture)
Redken Curl Boost (for definition)

I shake this all together and it works great! Now I know that the Redken stuff is definitely not on the natural list, but it works so great for definition on my hair. I did try the Kinky Curly Custard and while it did define my curls quite nicely, it also left my hair crunchy, so I use it very sparingly.

Though I have been natural before - I've never had my hair in a nearly natural state (it has been 8 months since my last relaxer) at this length (just below my ears) and I've got some very nice ringlet action going on. My hair forms ringlets that are about pencil width in diameter. I'm so excited about this entire journey! And I am extremely proud of myself for sticking to it and not giving into the temptation to relax.

Anyway that's it for now!

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Change Of Plan...

So in my last post, I wrote that I decided to braid my hair for the duration of the summer to protect it and give it a break and to take my mind of of transitioning...well that idea has flown the coop so-to-speak.

I've decided to do a drum roll chop! That's right I'm cutting some of my hair. What is the motivation behind this move? Well it has a lot to do with the fact that my hair is breaking badly. Even with all the moisturizing and protective styles, I just can't save these chemically relaxed ends - I mean I can just run my hand over my hair and come away with strands. So in the interest of not going totally bald, I'm going to cut some of the hair off and get a bob. My hair is currently bra strap length, but hey I've cut my hair before so it's no big deal.

This is the style I'm getting:

I'm pretty excited - I'm getting it done today in preparation for Mother's Day!
Wish me luck and Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Summer Time!!!

Well it's that time again...summer time! When the weather gets steamy and my hair gets frizzy! LOL!! Don't get me wrong I LOVE summer weather. The clothes are cuter, my mood lifts and I just feel a buzz! But my hair does NOT enjoy this weather - even back when I was not transitioning, the hotter it gets, the humidity creeps and my hair either poofs out into a ball of fuzz or it falls flat into a stringy mess. Now that I am transitioning - 6 months in thank you very much - the two textures are at odds, so I have frizzy roots with stringy ends...ewww!! So I decided that the best route for me would be to get braids. My plan is to get a wash and get a deep treatment and trim my ends, then get braids let them stay in for the safely allowed time of 8 weeks - then take them out, give my hair a 2-3 week break bunning during that time, then get another set of braids.

I think this will get my mind off the transition and cut down on some of the transition breakage I am seeing. I've noticed that my relaxed ends are really fragile and snap like a dry twig in the heat. I've been moisturizing and moisturizing and moisturizing some more, but I've been relaxing for years so I expected this.

Anyway, that's my plan, I feel like it's a good one. I found a braider here in my city that specializes in helping women such as myself that are making the trek towards healthy, natural hair - so she has done this whole, transitioning with braids thing numerous times.

Wish me luck and happy summer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Henna Help!!!!

So...back to hair... ;) I have been reading and researching and reading some more about henna and the benefits. This is definitely something I want to try, but I must say that I am a wee bit hesitant, because let's face it folks I am soooo new to this hair thing. I think other than it's outward appearance, this is the most attention I have ever paid to my hair. The only reason I am hesitant is because plain and simple, I don't know what to do. I read all of the directions on and they seem simple enough, but what if I do it wrong???? I don't want green of fire engine red hair! My hair is a really dark brown or an "off black". I like having dark hair and would really want to keep it that way and I believe I can do that with henna and retain the benefits of strengthening my very fragile strands. I've read curlynikki's post about henna and I am building up the courage to give it a try.

If any of you wonderful henna using ladies out there have and tips for this newbie, please - POST!!! Let me know what's good, bad or in between about it. Thanks again....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not All About Hair

Okay - I know the title of this blog is "My Curly Journey" - but I need to vent if you will about something not related to my hair. I am a working mom and wife like many women out there and we all face some real day-to-day struggles. Sometimes I really do forget that I am not "Super Woman" able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Anyway, this weekend my hubby comes home and tells me that it looks like there is trouble brewing at his company in the form of letting some staff go and he doesn't know where the axe is going to fall. So I say to him, "Ok - what's your plan?" One thing to understand here is that I am a HUGE planner - I know, I know - can you say type A personality, but I believe in that old addage 'If you fail to plan, plan to fail'. He just stood there looking at me and says, "I guess I'll just wait it out and see what happens." In these economic times where it can take months and months to find a job - who just waits around to get fired????

I totally blanked out - I couldn't believe he could be so cavalier!! We have a 16 month old son, a mortgage and a car note. One income is definitely not going to cut it. So I proceeded to inform him of what I thought of his wait and see attitude. He just looked at me and said, "You see all that getting wound up is your problem. There is nothing wrong with not rushing head long into a solution without knowing that there really is a problem."

I couldn't believe it - I promptly went for an hour long walk to breath - I know I can't be completely wrong about this. But I did come to one conclusion - I am definitely not Super Woman.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bad, Bad, Bad Hair Days...

So.....I still can't work it out with my hair. I am walking around with a giant puff ball on top of my head because I am trying not to put direct heat on my head, therefore no blow drying it straight. To that end I've been doing a sort of go forth and be curly routine which would be great if my hair would curl. I never had any problems with my hair going curly before but lately it'll go wavy sort of...

So to hide the craziness of it all I bunch it up on top of my head in a bun sort of thing. I did a twist out that came out so horribly that I had to actually rinse my hair out to get rid of it. I don't know if it's the dealing with dual textures or me just not having realistic enough expectations - i.e. me not knowing what the hell I am doing, but this is definitely trial by fire!

So me and my bun have been hanging out hard - the only good thing about this is that I have been making sure I put on a little something by way of make-up to draw attention away from the fact that my head is a mess LOL!!

It's funny, my son seems to like the funky hair - he's a baby so I guess the texture is interesting to him. He'll rub his little hands in my hair and start laughing...ah to be 1 years old again!

Well, I'm sure it can't get too much worse....

Here's to looking towards better hair days 5 months and counting....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two Seconds From Shaving My Head!!!!!

Mama said there would be days like I am 4 months into transitioning and my hair is growing like crazy, that's a good thing right? Except I can't do a dern thing with it!!! I am trying to do the whole protective styles thing - you know, buns, twists, french braids - which works, but because of the two textures it is tangling and then I try to detangle etc. in the shower and it works, but then my hair is sopping wet - I am having a time!

Then of course this past weekend I went home to NY to visit and my hair was looking crazy, so I decided to get a roller set while I was up there - it seemed like a good solution at the time, but with my thick roots and straight ends, it just looked crazy and my husband wanted to take me out to dinner - I just couldn't pull it together. I cried and refused to go out - he thinks I am being crazy and said maybe I should start with trying to texturize my hair and gradually go natural that way - bless his heart, he's been reading some of the blogs so he can be supportive - but me being stubborn, I want to go full monty so-to-speak and don't want to do that.

So now that we're back in MD - I've been just wearing two french braids twisted around into a fancy bun - it works but getting my edges under control takes some work. I had scissors in my hand and really thought about just BCing - but I don't want to do that either.

....Sigh....patience, I just gotta have some patience.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Transition Times...

So as you may know I have begun the process of transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair. I am currently 4 months in and have really embraced it. The one thing that I am both surprised and I must say, VERY excited by is how much support I've gotten! I know that there are tons of young women that are doing it and I get a lot of on-line support (THANK GOD FOR YOU ALL), but I am getting lots of support from family and friends. My mom as I mentioned (Hi MoMo) went natural and is very happy that she did, but the rest of my family is as straight and silky as they want to be....LOL as are the majority of my friends. Nothing wrong with that - I say to each their own and do what is right for you. But I was almost sure that there would be some nay-sayers in the bunch and surprisingly I've gotten a lot of, "Really? Well you go girl! That's great!"
I guess it just goes to show that you never really know how folks will react to anything.

Anyway, I did find a product that I REALLY like - it's called Sexy Healthy Hair - Tri-Soy Wheat Protein Leave-In Conditioner. Now my hair has a huge tendency to be very dry so since I have not been wearing it straight I definitely wanted something that I could put in and leave in. I was shopping around looking for something great that didn't smell awful or that wouldn't leave my hair gunky and came across this. Now I know I am a novice so I am not 100% sure about all the ingredients, but I do know that my hair feels amazing!! Not heavy, but very soft and subtly protected. Maybe if someone who is more up on all the good vs. bad ingredients took a look they could give a much better review of this product than me.

Until next time...happy transitioning....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Products, Products Everywhere

Hello out there! So as I am going through this process, I've been trolling sites looking for some products that will be kind to my hair. As I've been reading, I realize there are a million products, combinations of products, must dos and absolute no, nos out there and I must say I am confused!!

I know to stay away from products with alcohol - and let me tell you that cuts the field down to less than half (yeesh...who thought it was smart to put alcohol in your hair?), but still I'm at a loss. Moisture is key - I get that and I know that my hair craves moisture and has a tendency towards dryness (can you say Sahara Desert), but really what should I be looking for? Is a product with Shea Butter better than one with Aloe Vera? What about a combination of the two?

Another thing - what about product hype? I read a lot of mixed reviews about Miss Jessie's products - either you love them or you hate them. I got the travel pack - you know the 2 oz of everything for like $50 as opposed to one jar at $50. I tried the Curly Meringue and umm, I have to say that I didn't like it much. I realize that I am NOT completely natural yet, but I was curious, so shoot me, but it made my curly hair oddly crunchy. Now the Baby Buttercreme wasn't bad, it actually smells good and gives me some moisture - however it did work better on my son's hair (he's got a head full of curls). I also did a coil-out using the Curly Buttercreme on my mom who has 100% natural hair. She made the switch from relaxers over a two year period due to a horrible incident where her hair literally broke off from a bad relaxer (yikes!). The coils looked great - nice texture, not crunchy or sticky.

I'm still getting the hang of everything and as I go along I'm sure I'll find the right combination of products to work for my particular hair type - whatever that is, because I'm confused about the whole hair typing thing too, but I'll save that for another post.

I am reassured by all of the posts on other blogs and forums out there from other transitioners that are running into the same issues on their journeys. So from them I glean hope and know that while the road might be tougher for some than for others, it's not a bad road - it just requires some work.

Until next time, happy transitioning!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stepping Towards Freedom!!

Hi Everyone!! I wanted to create this blog to chronicle my journey as I step towards freedom - freedom from hair chemicals that is! Since I was 13 I have had chemically relaxed hair with a few breaks as I got older and chopped all my hair off. I've toyed with the idea of getting rid of the relaxer all together off and on for some time now - it's not as if I don't know what I look like without it - when I was 22 I chopped all the relaxer out of my hair and had a TWA of cute curls. But as it grew I didn't know what to do with it and got sick of wetting my hair and gucking it up with gel. So needless to say I went back to a relaxer.

Over the years I've grown and cut my hair, had braids, weaves - you name it I've done it. One day about 5 years ago, I saw an ad with a young woman with a great head of natural hair - it was gorgeous! I thought to myself, "I can do that," but back then I lacked the courage to go natural but wanted the look, so I found a product (Aveda's Be Curly) that worked really well on my hair - you see even though I relax my hair, I only do it 2 maybe 3 times a year so my hair still curls up when it is wet. Anyway I rocked the curly look off and on for a while. But never went completely natural.

So what brought about the change? Why do I now want to be free of chemicals? That's easy - I had a son. My son Jayden is the absolute light of my life. He's 1 years old and just developing his own little personality. One day while he and I were at home and were watching television a commerical came on with a young african american woman with long, silky, clearly chemically treated hair and Jayden pointed at the t.v. and said, "Mama." Now of course he doesn't know what he's doing, but it became routine that every time he'd see an african american woman on t.v. with long straight hair he'd point and say "Mama."

I don't want my little boy to grow-up with a misconceived notion of what beauty is. All women of color are beautiful and that is not determined by hair. I took a good, hard look at myself and my 'hairstory' and realized that my curls are beautiful and that I don't need straight hair. So I am embrassing the me that God created.

So here I am in transition - I haven't relaxed my hair since October 18, 2008 - right before my wedding. I currently have about 2 inches of new growth. I've decided to transition without the big chop, I enjoy my length and have no shame about that. My hair right now is about 3 inches past my shoulders and I am going for BSL.

I've decided that I will wear transitional hair styles - mostly just wearing my hair curly to blend the two textures.

So here I am making my first steps towards freedom....