Saturday, June 23, 2012

Protective Style: Box Braids

Transitioning is NOT an easy process. I began to feel frustrated with my hair, because I did not know how to roller set and I was continuing to damage my hair with the flat iron. I didn't have enough time t learn how to roller set/ rod set my hair, and that added more stress to the whole process. I never stopped to consider the possible retreat back to getting a relaxer, but I knew that I had to do something to solve my problem. I looked up many transitioning styles, and came across box braids as one of the many possibilities for an easier transition. Solange Knowles was a BIG inspiration for wanting to get the braids, and a site on Tumblr called I Love Box Braids was a even bigger inspiration to wanting to put them in my hair. 

I searched the web for stylist around my area that knew how to braid; my first finding was a fail, but the second person that I contacted seemed more helpful and a lot more professional. On June 10th, after church, my mother drive me to her house (because her salon is in the basement of her house) and after a 30 minute wait, a woman working with her did my hair. It took almost 6 hours to do my hair. I specifically told them that I did want box braids, but I did not want them to be very big, because my hair is thin & I knew that they would look awkward on my head. At first I was skeptical, but after a couple of minutes of having them in my hair, I began to love my braids and now I do not know what I would do without them LOL! 

I did get stares from my classmates and wherever I went, but people that I am close with and family loved them and gave me compliments. Even the people that I work with complimented me on my braid (and they don't even like me that much) :) 

I will most likely get these braids after the 3 month stretch, because that is when I will need to take them out. I'll continue to get them until I feel comfortable with my natural hair and the length.

I WILL continue to post more on here, because I am out of college for the summer and I will have a little more time on my hands to get things done.

Whoever reads these, thanks for reading :) Please share! & I'll be writing on her ASAP.

My first day wearing my braids to class.

The last day of my freshman year in college. 

Just chilling around the house.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Been Forever!!

I've been so busy with school and work! I feel like I haven't posted a new blog in ages (sorry!). I still don't know if anyone reads my posts, but I feel like this is more for me than anyone else. As of this Thursday (May 31, 2012) it will have been 3 MONTHS since I've had a relaxer put in my head :D It's been hard to come up with the last time I've had a relaxer (since I don't keep in touch with my former hair stylist that much), but I can tell you that I haven't had a relaxer in March, so I'm starting with that month.
So far, it hasn't been that hard and I'm very thankful for that. Since my last post I've done two shampoo and conditioner treatments on my hair (followed by a leave in conditioner - Wen). Because I haven't taken the time out to learn how to do a roller set on myself, I have continued with the flat iron, but I stay away from the transitioning line. Hopefully I will learn to do a roller or rod set very soon.
I think I have about an inch of new growth. Nothing major. I'm trying to stay patient. I haven't felt like going back to a relaxer, but I have felt like cutting it off and just getting braids. I might do that for the summer, so that I won't be touching my hair so much.
Anyways, I will try to post again soon *fingers crossed*.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Results After First Co-Wash...

I'm very pleased with how my hair turned out :D It has so much body and it still looks nice, even without having had a relaxer for over a month. My ends are SO much thicker and when I run my fingers through my scalp, I LOVE feeling all of my new growth. I'll be so excited to rock my hair all natural!!

First Co-Wash...

It's officially been a week since I've had all my dead ends cut off & my last shampoo/conditioner combo. I decided to do my co-wash a week and a day later so that I can set my co-washes every Saturday (because it's the weekend and I'm not in school). Instead of washing my hair in the sink (which I used to do & is VERY bad), I decided to wash my hair in the shower so that my hair will less likely get tangled up. So I'm gonna stop the rambling and get on with what I did :)

1. I parted my hair into four sections and washed each section with Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint (see previous blog post). I made sure that I didn't "scrub" the product throughout my head, because that can cause hair to tangle up and you will lose more hair. Instead I ran my fingers throughout my hair and made sure that I rubbed it on my scalp (since my new growth is the main focus).

2. I combed each section and the my whole hair with a wide tooth comb like this: 

3. I put Olive Oil Deep Penetrating Conditioner all over my hair, put a a cap over my head & let it sit for about 50 minutes while I did stuff around the house. You can also leave this conditioner on your hair for 10-15 minutes if you sit under a hair dryer... it is also better to do it that way (so it gets to the root), but I was pressed for time and had other things that needed to be done around the house before work.

4. After letting the conditioner sit on my hair for 50 minutes, I hopped back in the shower to wash the product out of my hair and then proceeded to towel dried my hair.

SIDE NOTE: I would have put in a leave in conditioner, but I haven't found the right one just yet.

5. I put Olive Oil Moisturizer throughout my hair so that it would not get dry while I blow dried my hair (NOTE: I did not put heat directly on my hair, I held it about 10 inches away from my head and moved it around my hair until it was dry).

6. After blow drying my hair, I sectioned my hair off into four sections and put Garnier Fructis Flat Iron Perfecter throughout my hair so there would be no heat damage to my relaxed hair.

7. Next, I used my Bed Head flat iron to straighten ONLY my relaxed hair. I did not touch my new growth at all. I did not even get close to the point where the relaxed part started and the new growth ended.

8. After I was done, I put a a small amount of the Olive Oil Moisturizer throughout my hair so that it would not be dry.

DISCLAIMER: I know I said that I would do a roller set after I cut my hair short, but I have school next week & I did not want this Saturday to be the day that I experimented with doing a roller set by myself. I will save that for another time. While my new growth is still less than an inch, I will flat iron, but once I see more growth I WILL have to start using roller sets as a transitioning hairstyle. As long as I'm using a heat protector and making sure I moisturize my hair daily, I know that I will not ruin my hair.

One Month & a Half Without Relaxer...

As you can tell I have close to an inch of new growth. My sides are starting to come in a little thicker :) SO happy!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Hair Care Products...

During my research on transitioning hair from relaxed to natural, I found out that the products I currently use on my hair won't work for my transitioning hair. Also, the amount of times I wash my hair won't work either (OMG!). It is suggested from people who have or know about transitioning hair, that you wash your hair about once a month and co-was (no more than once a week) with a conditioner. Both products MUST be sulfate free or the chances of your hair breaking off/ruining your new growth will be great. Finding this out, I ran (not really) to the closest Wal-Mart to find different products I could use on my hair. After what felt like weeks in the isle of hair care products, I finally decided on buying L'oreal EverStrong Hydrating Shampoo (for normal to dry hair) and Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint (sulfate-free). I chose these two products because they are both sulfate free and claim to moisturize/hydrate hair. Because my hair will not be in the best shape throughout the transitioning process, I wanna be able to maintain enough moisture in my hair so that it will not break off.

I just had my hair washed yesterday (shampoo & conditioned), so next week I will make sure to only condition my hair and start the process of roller setting. I know that I probably won't commit to these two products, but for right now I know that I at least have the right kind of products for my hair. I will continue to search for more products (i.e. deep conditioner, hair mask, setting lotion).

I'm really excited about the outcome!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Length of Hair BEFORE Cut...

I love Hello Kitty :)

The First Step (Cut Off Unhealthy)...

Today, I decided to go into the nearest Great Clips I could find so that someone could cut off my dead ends. I knew that I would have to get my hair cut, but not to the extent of "nearly" shoulder length hair. My stylist, Derica, ended up to be a very nice lady who listened to me blabber on and on about my hair, and my decision on going natural. Instead of the normal response of "Why" "You're hair is SO pretty though..." or "It's gonna be hard work", she actually encouraged me and gave me some tips on helping my transition process to go a little smoother. After washing, blow drying, and flat ironing my hair, Derica finally pulled a strand of my hair to show how much unhealthy hair I had accumulated on the ends. At first I was shocked, and a little speechless, but I eventually told her that my intention was to come in here and to do what needed to be done. She continued to encourage me, saying that everything would be okay, and that after she cut it my hair would feel and look so much healthier. 
When I felt my hair get a little lighter and started listening to the sound of scissors cutting chunks of my hair, I suddenly turned red and almost felt like crying. Yet, I kept my composure and tried to keep telling myself that I had to do this so that my hair would be healthy again. Derica was finished after about 10 minutes and could see the concern on my face and once again encouraged me that mu hair looked so much better and even than before. As I looked into the mirror I couldn't help but LOVE what I saw looking back. Although she had cut about 2 1/2 inches of hair, for the first time in a LONG time my hair looked somewhat healthier and thicker. I won't lie and say that I was crazy about the length, because my hair hasn't been this short since elementary school. But I will say that I did come to terms with my hair being exactly what I wanted it to be - even, thicker feeling/looking, and all the dead ends cut off. 
Now that I've started the first step to transitioning my relaxed hair to natural, I can only look forward to the long but rewarding future my hair has.