Tuesday, February 25, 2014

4 Months Post Relaxer :)!

It seems like just yesterday I decided to go natural. Today, I am four months post relaxer. I'll admit that I was scared to start this journey and January was a tough month for me. I thought about giving up and shaving my head almost every day. But I found my stride in February and a hairstyle that I love. I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel. Months four and five of the transition process can be very difficult. I'm hoping that once I make it through March, April will be smooth sailing. All I can do is take one day at a time and hope for the best :).

Here is a picture of my new growth at this point. It's not the best picture but you can see some of the curls among the straight hair.
 4 months post relaxer

Until next time :)!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wash Day: Success and A New Challenge

Yesterday's wash day was both a success and failure. For the past month I've noticed a good amount of hair in the shower after my normal wash day routine. I started washing my hair in loose braids in January to prevent tangling/knots and to decrease manipulation. This seemed to work but the shedding and breaking increased. While breaking and shedding are normal during this process, I was starting to get a little worried. After doing a little research about shedding (the average person can shed from 40-120 strands a day depending on age, length of hair and growth cycle) and breakage, I decided to change my wash routine just a little. YouTube came to the rescue yet again :)! I found this video and it helped tremendously.

I was happy... until I started to detangle my hair. After using a very generous amount of Kinky Curl Knot Natural Leave in Detangler, I used a wide tooth comb to detangle my hair. I had three huge knots in my hair!  I defeated all of the knots except for one. By this point I was tired, it was late and I just wanted to be done with my hair. I got the knot out (probably not in the best way) and ended up losing some hair along with it. Even though my relaxed hair will eventually be chopped off, I have to be careful that I don't experience breakage with my natural hair. Oh the joys of transitioning!

The pesky knot and the hair I lost with it :( .

On a happier note, I also tried an apple cider vinegar rinse based on this post to help with my dry, itchy scalp.  My scalp felt great after and I hope to see a difference with continual use. Check this out  for more ways to use apple cider vinegar to promote healthy hair .

That's it for now. Please feel free to share some tips/advice on how to prevent knots during the washing process. I may try out some of the homemade detangler recipes seen here.

Until next time :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Starting to get excited :)

Happy Friday!

It's been pleasantly warmer the last two days here in the 'Nati and it almost feels like spring..almost. I'm also starting to get excited about the BC, which is something I never expected. The last few days I've been searching Google, YouTube and of course Pinterest for ideas/inspiration. Now I know it's a little early (I'm not planning on doing the BC until the end of April) and I don't know how much new growth I have yet...but I can't help myself! Lol. I already know that I definitely want a cut with shape and maybe something a little edgy. This might be the only time I have my hair this short, so why not have some fun?!

Here are some of my favorite hairstyles/cuts so far:

Photo cred: Pinterest

Photo cred: Pinterest

Photo cred: Pinterest
Photo cred: Pinterest
Before the BC I'll need to figure out my curl pattern and figure out what shape/style will work best for my face. I'm all about learning and playing with hairstyles but I will be going to a professional (for a consultation and the actual cut :)). There is no way I would do it myself. Lol.

I also picked up a copy of Better Than Good Hair by Nikki Walton (founder of curlynikki.com)  from the library. I love it and plan on buying myself a copy. I know, I'm a nerd but I want to get as much information/advice as possible.

Oh and so far I'm loving my DIY skincare products. It's too early to tell if there is improvement. I'll keep using what I made and probably try some other things too. Hopefully I'll have some noticeable changes within the next couple of months.

Let me know if you have any BC haircut ideas or styles. I would love to see them. Feel free to post a comment here or send  me a pin on Pinterest.

That's it for now. Have a safe and fun weekend. Enjoy the nice weather because next week the cold weather returns :( .

Until next time :)!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

DIY Spa Night :)

Happy Saturday!

I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day. Our Valentine's Day was low-key and very nice.

Although I'll be blogging primarily about my journey to natural healthy hair, I will also write about skin care products/topics as well. Having clear, blemish-free skin has always been a dream of mine. Over the years I have tried countless facial creams, pills and changes to my diet. In high school my mom promised "once you're in your 20's your acne problems will disappear". Well, I realize that isn't the case for me. So I'm going to try homemade remedies to improve my skin. I will share the homemade recipes here on the blog and give you my thoughts about the results.

After researching several recipes this week,  I declared tonight "Spa Night" (just an excuse to try out some of the recipes ;)).  Tonight, I'll be using:

1)  A Brown Sugar Scrub 

A picture of  the finished product

2) A yogurt cleanser- I used yogurt, honey and lemon juice. Go here for more ideas.
My yogurt facial cleanser

3) Avocado Mask- I'm adding kiwi to the mix as well. I haven't made this yet but I will post a picture of it another time.

What are you favorite homemade skin care recipes?

Until next time :)!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bantu Knot-Out: A fun and cute way to flaunt curls

Happy Thursday!

I have some exciting news: I did my very first Bantu Knot & Bantu Knot-Out :).

At this point in my transition quick and easy hairstyles are a must.  I need hairstyles that require minimal maintenance and will blend the two textures on my head (relaxed and new growth). One of the great things about transitioning is the opportunity to try out different styles. I wanted to rock curls this week so I decided to try Bantu Knots.

When I first saw a picture of Bantu Knots, I thought "there is no way I could ever do that to my hair!" All of my natural friends claimed it was a fun and easy hairstyle. I was skeptical but my curiosity got the best of me. I searched YouTube and found a great Bantu Knot tutorial by DrugStoreQueenNene. Click on the video below to watch her tutorial.
Armed with this video, EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil), Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Hair Moisturizer and a rat tail comb, I got to work. On Monday, I went through my usual wash day routine and waited until my hair was about 90% dry (I air dry) before doing the knots. I sectioned my hair and applied the EVCO and Elasta QP to each section. All in all it took about an hour to finish.

My first Bantu Knots :)
I decided to rock my Bantu Knots on Monday and Tuesday before doing a knot-out on Wednesday. I was thoroughly impressed that my knots survived pole and my other fitness classes.

Without further ado, here is a picture and video of my Bantu Knot Out:

Last night I did the knots again but this time I used the "two strand twist" version on dry hair. I spritzed my hair with water and used EVCO along with Elasta QP.  The results were great. I plan to co-wash tonight and wear the knot-out again this weekend.

This is a great go-to style for transitioners.  I plan on wearing this style more and playing around with different Bantu Knot-Out Styles.

*** Edit***---Check out this article for more tips on Bantu Knots from Black Hair Media.

What are your favorite Bantu Knot-Out styles? Please feel free to share your styles or ideas :).

Until next time!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Welcome to my journey!

 Welcome to my blog :)! The purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts, feelings, failures and successes during my journey to healthy natural hair. I know that I will need advice and motivation along the way, so please feel free to comment!  For those of you who know me well, going natural was something I never thought I would do. But I finally realized that there is freedom in accepting my natural hair.

My healthy hair journey

As a young girl my mom always told me to keep my hands out of my hair. My hairstyles and other hair decisions were usually made by my mother or my beautician.  My mom relaxed my hair when I was 2 because she couldn't handle my thick hair.This continued throughout high school and well past my college days. I never believed that I could do my own hair or learn how to maintain healthy hair. I was at the hair salon faithfully every two weeks to have my hair shampooed and styled. I relaxed my hair religiously ever 6-8 weeks. That all changed last January a week before my 30th birthday. I decided that it was time I learned how to take care of my hair. I read books, watched YouTube videos, joined hair forums and followed blogs, specifically justgrowalready.com .  I began stretching my relaxers (extending the time I got my hair chemically straightened), trying out hair products and wearing hairstyles that protected my ends.
My go-to protective style

Over the next several months my hair looked and felt healthier. After seeing Chris Rock's Good Hair with my husband, it really made me think about why I continued to relax my hair. I was also curious to see what my natural hair looked like. I relaxed my hair for the last time October 25, 2013. It took another month before I made the decision to go natural. Once I made the decision, I consulted a friend's hairstylist and went from shoulder length to a bob.

going from shoulder length to a bob with layers
Another view

Today and looking ahead

Instead of doing a BC (big chop-process of cutting off all relaxed hair down to the new growth) right away, I chose to transition. My initial goal was to transition for 8 months. Now as I approach my fourth month of transitioning, my goals are more realistic. Transitioning without braids or extensions is hard. There is breakage and shedding. Hairstyles that worked last month no longer work. It is definitely a learning process. So my new goal is to transition for 6 months and BC on April 25, 2014. Will I make it? Time will tell. Some days I feel like I can make it and other days I have to walk away from my husband's razor.

Either way, I'm excited and determined to embrace the journey.

Until next time!