A Reflection—9 Months Natural

So I’ve been natural for 9 months today. What a journey!

Here are some stages of my natural hair.

First 3 Months.
My hair was easy as pie. I was still getting used to seeing myself in the mirror with hair like my brother’s. A good scalp massage was all I needed and I just had to make sure it was moisturized. I didn’t need a shower cap and although I didn’t co-wash every day, I did let it get wet in the shower. Wash and Go’s were my best friend. If I didn’t shower that day, I just spritzed with water, massaged my scalp and allowed what little curls I had to spring up. No biggie. I slept with a satin cap to keep my ends safe and that was pretty much all I needed. I didn’t bother wearing headbands, clips or anything. I recognized how simple my hair routine was, realized that point was the easiest it would probably ever be and I took advantage of that fact.

3-6 Months
What’s this I see? Now I was sporting a not-so-teeny-weeny afro. It was long enough to twist and I did have to work some tangles out with my fingers. I was now wearing headbands, bows and other accessories. It mostly stayed out of my way and I didn’t feel the need to have it constantly stretched. I still rocked a mean Wash and Go. I did notice though, that if I rocked WnG’s without combing through my conditioner-covered strands in the shower I would get these little thick coils. Mostly on my right side for some reason. But those little coils were just itchin’ to make their own locs and since that wasn’t the direction I was going in I made sure to comb through those curls and separate them. At this point I noticed my curl patterns were most distinguishable. Twist-outs were still fun to do when I had time but otherwise I left my curls alone.

6-9 Months
My hair is now at the length that if I have it in a twist/braid-out or otherwise have it stretched I can feel it resting on my ears and my neck. I hadn’t felt that in forever. One of the things I had to get used to after my Big Chop was having bare ears/neck. But now my hair is finding its way back. It’s great but it does take more thinking and planning. I prefer having it in a stretched style. So I will often sleep in twists or braids. At the 8.5 month mark I noticed I was dealing with too many tangles and I didn’t want that so I trimmed my ends. Exactly what it needed. I can run my fingers through a section and they’re not getting caught or tangled up.
Also with my hair gaining length I find myself able to wear actual styles. I can twist and pins my bangs and wear my hair ‘down’ or ‘up’. It’s pretty exciting. I can’t wait til I can wear a bun!

Some things that have changed are:
1) Wash and go’s are not my best friend anymore—Feeling my hair in its completely shrunken state means a) I will need to detangle and braid my hair at some point and b) this is one day hair. I don’t find myself wearing W&G’s for more than a day. My hair gets flat in the night and then bringing back the curls the next morning? Pass.

2) I find myself scheduling my hair-time and considering styles or washes days in advance—I need to wash my hair this week? Maybe Saturday or Sunday morning? Then I can braid it and have it dry for work in the afternoon. Oh, I have to ride my bike to work.. not wearing a twist-out fro because I have to fit a helmet on that… hm…

3) I prefer having my hair separated and taken care of before bed—I don’t like going to sleep with my hair out. I feel like it’s protected and also resting when its twisted or braided up. I just oil and moisturize my hair and put about 9 braids in, put my cap on go to sleep. Next morning I feel like I have more options with my hair.

One thing I have in mind for 2013? Protective styles. Hopefully January or February I will be able to purchase and install Havana Twists. I like the way they look, I like that my hair is put away and I feel like I could install them on my own.

This natural hair journey has been a great learning experience. I have made mistakes and learned from them. I have watched others and learned from them. I’ve really learned to listen to myself though. I do my hair up at night before I’m too tired and want to ignore them. I trim my ends and notice how much healthier and less tangled they are.

It will always be a process but it’s fun, what more can I ask for? 🙂

Stay inspired and happy Friday!


My favourite thing ever!

This piece on ‘3 Ways Daily Co-Washing Can Damage Hair’ got me thinking. I normally co-wash daily. I do this because I normally shower daily. For me, the idea that I can have my hair wet daily is a novelty. With relaxed hair my shower cap was my best friend. So the fact that my hair is not scared of water makes me really happy. That’s probably why I jumped on the bandwagon of co-washing with ease. Does my hair need to be washed with conditioner daily? Probably not. From what I’ve read conditioners themselves have a lot of cleansing properties the way shampoo does. So, I removing some build up daily. Which makes me ask myself whether it’s necessary to do it daily. Mostly for me, getting in the shower and getting my hair wet allows me to massage my scalp and ‘wake up’ my flattened curls. Saying this I am aware that I can wake my curls up by simply spraying in some leave in conditioner and massaging my scalp and moisturizing my hair. That’s an opportunity to give my hair a day off. Is that good? Leave it out of the steam of the shower and just moisturize and wet it on its own?

I don’t have a strict regime at all. I try and keep my hair watered and moisturized but that only happens before I leave the house and before bed. I shower close to everyday and wash my hair once a week. And actually, I’m leaving my hair washings a little longer. I think if I can take it to two weeks I’m going to aim for that. So far I’m at 8 days and my hair still feels good. But yeah. I try not to get in the way of my hair. So I don’t twist and pull it too much. I don’t really even like wearing headbands. I just have to remember to deep condition my hair. I may have to find a day, overnight on Saturdays? I’ll make it so that I don’t run Sunday mornings. And I probably work late on Saturday so I could just wear it overnight. Hm…

On that note. I need a leave in conditioner. Or do I? I’ve been using John Frieda’s ‘Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioning Spray’ and it has been good to me and it’s a decent price so I may hang onto it. I was looking at Giovanni’s leave-in conditioning spray and it was $10 for about 100mL… which is just too much for me. So I may just pick up another bottle of Frieda. No biggie.