Monday, January 28, 2013

No more Hair Woes...

As a child, I longed for a "perm", so that I could wear my hair out.  I was embarrassed about my puffy hair and wished for it to be straight and long.  I begged my mother for years and she finally relented on my 14th birthday.  It was also my first year in high school, which was a period when I wanted to impress people.  I was so excited.  We booked an appointment at the salon and I got my hair done.  I always scratched my hair, not thinking anything of it.  And, for anyone who has gotten a perm knows, scratching your hair prior to getting a perm is a big no-no.  It causes intense burning of your scalp once the chemicals are applied.  The process was torturous but I didn't care.  I had my long, straight hair!  Over the years I continued with this process and noticed that my hair was stringy and my scalp was completely dried out and in pain most days.  So in my junior year of college, I chopped it all off and went natural!  I waltzed right in to the barber shop and asked the barber to cut off my ponytail.  He looked at me like I was crazy and kept double checking to make sure I didn't just want a trim.  What freedom!  No more pain or worrying about it getting wet.  No more hours and tons of money wasted in the salon.  I will admit, like any haircut, it took getting used to, especially seeing myself with my little curly 'fro.  I wasn't 100 percent about it at first. I was young and naturally, worried about what others thought of me.  Natural hair wasn't in vogue just yet, people were constantly asking me why did I cut my hair and I didn't get the same attention from guys.  Looking back now, those things are so ridiculous.  I worked with it and after many different cuts and styling routines and products, I came to love my hair, just the way it is.  I occasionally like to wear it straight, and I have fun with that, but then it rains or I work out or swim and the production involved in keeping it straight reminds me why I don't wear it that way often!

My Permed Days
After the 'Big Chop'

A couple years ago, I came across one of my favorite blogs of another young woman who had just done the 'Big Chop' as it is often called and she chronicled her journey through videos and tutorials of styling info.  I love it!  She has great tips, styles and recipes which have helped me come up with a regimen that works for me.  Check her out here:

African American hair is very fragile and shouldn't be washed daily.  It is naturally dryer than other races hair and should be oiled often, wrapped up at night, and contained in twists or braids every so  often to give it a rest. I usually wash my hair every 10-14 days and this Saturday after the beating my hair received from the cold weather we've been having, it was due for some pampering!   My hair was dry and frizzy!   I gave myself a hot oil treatment and a vinegar rinse, to moisturize my scalp and make my hair shiny.  Next, I washed my hair ( just the roots, shampoo dries my hair out too much) and applied a deep conditioner for about two hours ( its not necessary to leave it in that long.  I always forget about it and get caught completing some other task!)  Then I rinsed it and used a conditioner to help finger-detangle it and separated my hair into 4 sections.  Each section I applied Ms. Jessie's Curly Pudding and a shea butter mixture (see for recipe) and twisted my hair.  Finally I tied it up with my satin scarf to let it set.  The next morning, I took the twists down and this is how it came out.  My hair is soft again and will last like this a few days, before I need to re-twist it!

Dry and frizzy

Almost done twisting...

Twisted up...

Next morning!

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