Told you I’d be back with a post about my hair.  I’m going to keep this post very sweet and short. I haven’t lost any hair.  My hair is growing. A strict regimen is needed. The wigs may get a revival.

So, I’ve been growing my hair out since my cut last summer.

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I can tell you it has grown since this picture. That’s solely due to my three girlfriends and flat twist.  My comfort level with my natural texture has grown immensely.  Straightening my hair almost brings me no joy beyond the initial day.  I worry about heat damage and hair reversion, lol. I think you’re familiar with all my protective styles.  I embraced the shorter wigs as well.  My next will be a long straight model.

Over the summer, I decided to allow a stylist to wash and condition my hair once a month.  This would allow me to keep up with trims and get a little relief from the dreaded wash day.  I noticed my hair wasn’t shedding as much as normal. But, I was still messing up in an area or two.  I wasn’t keeping up with my wash days. Allowing weeks go by without washing my hair or deep conditioning. Recent stress had snatched two plugs of hair from my scalp and I wasn’t happy about it.  Back to the peppermint oil, I ran and added lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary essential oils and black seed. More importantly, I still had my edges!

The hair was recovering and I noticed a few more grays around the perimeter.  Then I decided to get my hair straightened for a wedding and my anxiety was high.  My stylists I absolutely trust with my hair were booked, one was preparing for a big show and the other was styling a wedding. (You better have multiple stylists you trust and I’m not about to argue.) DAMN DAMN DAMN! So, I remembered a stylist that was close to me and specialized in natural hair care, Meah.  I set up an appointment and I put my tresses in her hands.  Praying all would be fine when I washed my hair the following week.img_4815-1

She gave me a protein treatment, which I hadn’t had in ages, and proceeded to blow dry my hair. I felt safe when she pulled out the heat protectant and the Wild Growth hair oil. Then she hit me with the one line women hate to hear from any stylist – “you need a trim.” Wtf! Everybody tells me that- fuck it do it.  I hate raggedy ends more than single-strand knots.  After she finished, she showed me the remains on the floor.  It wasn’t much and it appeared she just dusted the ends. I dared not show it on the outside but I was overjoyed.

Finally, I got caught in a light mist at the King HS homecoming game and the hair started to curl. 🙂  Then I made the choice to wash and DC like I had always done in the beginning of this journey and within minutes ALL of my curls and coils were accounted for.  Meah, definitely had my stamp of approval and considering I only wanted my hair washed/ blow dried once a month as a treat she certainly could be added to the rotation. I don’t remember how long it took me to wash my hair, condition and style it but it felt good. For the 4th time during this journey has a professional placed a pair of sheers to my mane and not chopped most of my hair off.  I twisted my hair in those flat-twists and made a vow to never miss wash day for the remainder of this journey.

#Mission2020 has begun.  “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan to fit the goal.” My goal certainly has changed and I’m going to focus on doing my part to ensure I have the healthiest head of hair. Now when you see me in a few years with long Pippie Longstocking twists, remember I never gave up.  🙂

Have you had to re-evaluate your hair care regimen? What are your go-to methods for retaining length?

 

 

The #HealthyHairJourney is one of the most recognized tags in the world, right now. Everyone is embracing their natural hair or at least acknowledging those who have made the choice to take this journey.  Earlier this year I celebrated my 13th-year relaxer free and 3rd year with limited heat.  I’ve come to a very tricky fork in the road and the jury is still out with the verdict.

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Start of the year, my hair was booming.  Here it is after wash day in a flat twist. I noticed it was getting thicker and longer.  No one had touched my hair since the cut I received in November.  It was thriving and I was getting more excited about my next straightening and trim.  Time got away from me and I felt I needed to hold on a little while longer to retain a few more inches.  So, I decided to get some braids.

These felt comfortable.  The 1st set of braids I kept for 3 weeks.  On the next try, I called in the swift professionals at one of the local African braid shops.  Morning after morning, I jumped up, got ready for work and made sure my scalp was oiled.  I hadn’t had braids in a long time and I thought this would be the break I would need this year.  This had to be the best protective style for me.  My classic wig was starting to frustrate me – only because of its synthetic composition and the limited availability around town.  In addition, during this time I discover my hair is officially BLACK in color.  Not the same 1B it’s been my entire life.  The 2nd set lasted for 6 weeks.  I knew I needed to give my hair a break from this pulling of the braids.  This was my hair after removal.  I was in love.

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I did a YouTube search to find alternative protective hair styles to reduce the stress on my strands.  With an extra pack of braid hair on standby, I pulled off a high bun (but I didn’t get a picture).  I wore that for about a week but something wasn’t right with my hair.  It wasn’t performing as trained.  It felt harsh but I wasn’t plucking the knots anymore.  I knew I needed to get it trimmed.  Two flat twists with braid hair bought me a little more time.

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A subsequent wash day displayed some disturbing news.  I found several patches of hair in my head that were the length of my pinky finger.  WTF!?  When did this happen?  There were areas of my mane that are touching my chest, neck, and chin.  My heart and spirit sank – NOT AGAIN.  Let’s add this to the mix, I stopped taking the vitamins.  I was under the impression they were the cause of an acne breakout on my face.  I had no motivation to continue taking them.  I started to look into a salon near me to assist in getting my hair diagnosed.  My frustration with the possibilities was getting the best of me.  I conceded to the defeat with more flat twists and the shit still wasn’t feeling right.

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Can you see the difference from the beginning of the year?  I’ll answer for you – YES!  Even if you can’t just act like you can.  🙂  By the time of this picture, I had an appointment to get this shit resolved and see the true damages.  Let me just tell you – I had a severe breakdown when I saw it up close.  The hair was gorgeous in some areas and look like a rat had been chewing on it in others.  I held the tears back but I knew what needed to be done.  The truth of the matter is; I’d rather have healthy hair over long hair.  I ran my fingers through my tresses one last time and in one stoic breath I said: “cut it.”

img_1120Now, I’m back to the drawing board.  I’m not completely warmed up to this idea of entering salon life, again.  In this first week, has been so conflicting.  I miss my coils, curls, and the fullness of my hair in its natural state.  However, on the other hand, I like running my fingers and feeling the wind blow through it.  The compliments have helped immensely.  I hate this happened but I’m glad I’m strong enough to know when to let go.  More than anything else – I still had my edges!

I know what my signature look is and I’m going to achieve it.  The vitamins may get thrown back into the mix.  It looks like I need to go back to my old ways – mixing my hair products and staying on schedule.  Another old friend will be making a few appearances. Can you guess who it might be?  I know it’s just hair to some of you – to me, it’s another accessory to set your look apart from the rest.  Staying focused is the name of the game.  The rules might change but who’s going to judge me.  This one head of hair is a small portion of my own happiness – I don’t care what India Arie says.  LOL 😉

 

 

 

Every couple of years a product hits the market that promises great results and financial growth.  You remember Noni juice, Body Magic, Mary Kay and Amway. I might be aging myself but these were companies that kept personal selling alive.  On my hair journey, I had researched all the supplements for hair growth.  I decided to give It Works a shot after hearing a few reviews about the limited to no side effects from taking the vitamin.

On New Year’s Day, I purchased a one month supply of the Hair Skin Nail vitamins.  The shipment seemed to take longer than expected but I took into account that I placed my order on a holiday weekend.  After my order was released from a hostage situation in the leasing office, I started me supplements on the 15th of January.  I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging.  (While I’m writing this, I’m sure there is another shipment being held in the leasing office. #MajorSideEye)

The vitamins are a pretty decent size.  I don’t have a problem with ingesting pills.  The problem I do have is taking them daily.  The instruction require you to take 2 a day with plenty of water.  I’ve been managing to stay the course.  All for the opportunity to create a gorgeous halo braid with my natural hair.  Another bonus, they DO NOT smell like vitamins.  Y’all know what I’m talking about – that almost medicinal yet herbal smell.  They feature a minty aroma which is somewhat inviting.  This has helped me immensely.

This is a close up of the ingredients contains in the supplements.  Recognize any familiar components from your healthy hair journey studies.  Trust me they’re all here.  Over these past few weeks, I have not experienced any breakouts on my skin.  In addition, some hyper-pigmentation I was experiencing on my face is healing faster than expected.

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Supplements were the last thing on the list of things to promote greater length retention and growth.  I’ve already been on this journey for almost 3 years.  Even before the setback, I wasn’t where I should have been in terms of length.  However, I’d rather have healthier hair than longer hair.  Please don’t hold your breath waiting for me to post a picture of my current hair length.  I didn’t take one.  There are several reasons why I didn’t.

  • I haven’t straightened my hair since November 2015.
  • I didn’t want to become consumed with measuring the results.
  • I wanted to be surprised by the results at the end of my 90 days.
  • I have a difficult time taking proper images of my hair.
  • Plus, I know how damaging those images can be for the another person on the journey.

In reference to my last reason, I feel that sometime progress images can be more harmful than good.  I understand they are meant to be motivating.  Some people like to see the results of remaining on this journey.  There have been times when I have wanted to call it quits because my hair is growing slower than others.  So once I finish the 90 day supply, I will show you my results.  Let me know if you’re interested and smile.

 

 

 

I really don’t know how long this “natural hair journey” is going to last.  The first big chop took place April 2, 2013 and I was making good progress.  A pretty good balance was created between protective styles and heat.  However, I developed a pretty nasty habit and it has been frowned upon.  After my appointment had to be cancelled, I had to figure out another plan. The results are bittersweet.  Stay around for the deets.

Let me start by saying, the time and effort that goes into natural hair care is underrated and appreciated.  These last few weeks have proven to be more stressful than any other week in my journey.  Every morning I’m brushing, twisting, fluffing, blending and styling to look presentable.  When I get home I’m thinking of a way to style it so I won’t have to manipulate it in the morning.  If the Mista wants to have a little QT, I’m out the game.  This whole routine had become very stressful to me.  Not to mention my almost non-existent wash days.  I’m up for work then out until the evening.  The domestic chores I need to complete are done during this time.  Then with extreme pleasure I head off to the football field for the games on Saturday.  On the seventh day, she rested and tries to get things together for the coming week.  Can you find the room for the detangling, pre-pooing, shampoo, condition, deep condition and style?  Right!  I couldn’t either.  I will honestly say that this journey has become very frustrating to me.  I wanted to do something about it and check the health of my hair.  You’ve seen the pictures of my hair over the year – it’s been growing.  It was time for someone to confirm the visual professionally.

I reached out to the 1st stylist to set up an appointment on a day I was planning to treat myself to a day of beauty.  She responded with her regrets due to travel.  Then I scheduled services with another stylist that I trust.  As we get closer to the day, I receive a text requesting I select another time due to an unforeseen event in their lives.  If I reschedule, I’m not going to do it at all.  Once I have my mind set on something, it’s either yay or nay.  I cancelled my appointment and was on the hunt for someone with education and availability.  I was recommended to a young woman in the Metro Detroit area that was familiar with the healthy hair practices. With faith the size of a mustard seed, I awaited for my appointment.

The location was nicely tucked away and welcoming.  I described my practices and the things I was interested in with my hair.  She talked with me about the products she was using on my hair and educated me on some of the things I have learned.  What I didn’t have much stomach for was her up sell of my need for a stylist on a regular basis, the phone conversations held while completing my hair and the amount of time used to complete the appointment.  The highest offense I took was her disparaging tone with regard to the education some of us naturalistas have adhered to on our journey.  Yes, all of these practices may not work to the favor and glory of everybody but they have guided and taught so many of us along the way.  Yes, my hair wasn’t in it’s best shape and I hadn’t retained as much lengthy as possible but I did grow my hair to collar bone length with no help.  I held my tongue and allowed her to do what I came for.  Wait, let me not forget how she talked down on the products I was using at home.  I knew in that chair I would never come back to this shop again.  Leaving crossed my mind several times but I was committed to the plan I created for the day.  She commenced to straighten my hair and it had grown tremendously.  I could have been prude and just figured it out for myself but I knew I needed to do this.  I had some problem areas and I needed her to resolve them.  She offered me a suggestion for Manetabolism.  I’ve never taken a vitamin for my hair but it’s worth a shot.  Let me give you the final diagnosis on my hair from the good doctor.

Even though my hair had grown substantially, I have been snapping the knots, split ends and being very rough with my mane.  It was discovered that there were multiple area of my hair where some strands were long and others were shorter in length.  She told me it may be “nervous energy” and you all know I had a lot going on over the past few months.  So she may have hit that disorder on the head and I told her to cut.  I’ve never been afraid of cutting my hair.  There’s another idea brewing in my head to retain as much length as I can in the next year.  Thant’s why I’m calling this BC #2.  Here are the final results.

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Does it look like mom hair?  I like it but I miss my fluffy 3c-4a hair.  The feeling of the wind blowing through my hair and wrapping it up every night brought back some old memories. I’m going to stretch this until Thanksgiving and then I’m getting back on the wagon.  After I straighten my hair I’m always worried about it not reverting to it’s natural state.  It’s so soft!  I refuse to fall in love with this because I can’t wait to see is all curled up.  Speaking of curls… those Lee beauty supply stores are only good for 3 things to me:

I was going to say 4 and add my wig but I just found some amazing placed to purchase from online.  Which I just ordered because I will need it in the off season coming up!  I didn’t even mention her “don’t wear wigs everyday” spill.  I think that’s what keeps my hands out of my hair most.  Anyway, I went and picked up some new flexi-rods because my sister lost the other set I owned.  In addition, I got some smaller perm rods for the shorter hair in the back and can’t wait to style it.  So, if you asked me if I like the cut?  I’ll tell you, yes, only because I’m thinking of every imaginable style I can recreate.


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I’ll post some style photos as I have a little fun.  The point of it all.  I’m still on the journey, experienced a setback but I’m positive it’s in prep for my comeback. 😉 Keep smiling!

My hair… What can I say about my hair?  It’s grown, healthy and as frustrating as ever but I’m not aborting my natural hair growth mission.  I’m still trying out styles and wearing my infamous wig.  Here’s an update on everything that’s been going on with my hair through the eyes of my iPhone. 🙂

   
    
    
    
 

  
I’ve went through a multitude of hair styles in the last six months.  My ends have been trimmed and healthy as ever.  Cold wave rods have become my go to and transform into the perfect poof after a few days.  Recently, I was asked to be a hair model for a natural hair class.  It was a great experience and allowed me to learn more about this type of event.  The next time I attend I’ll be a vendor.  My hair journey seems to be on break.  I’m not noticing any dramatic growth.  There might be a need for a side by side photo.  As discouraged as I get some days, I remember the pact I made with myself.  We’re a little over the half way point.
The stylist Maya Mitchell used flexi rods to achieve the last couple looks.  For the 1st time in my life, I had my makeup professionally done.  The effects of the make up were shocking but I liked it.  There’s always something going on with my hair and I just like to keep you all in the curls, coils and kinks.  🙂

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How can I start? I’m enjoying the natural hair journey I’m on. It does become a bit tiring, especially on wash days. However, I’m a woman of my word. I planned to continue until my son graduates high school. This year started off with great discipline and hair care practices. I’ll tell you why I don’t believe I’ve taken the best care of my hair this year.

In the beginning of 2014, I was mixing treatments, rinsing in cold water, deep conditioning weekly and wearing my wig. My excitement about my first full year being natural using limited heat was my motivation. I went in for a trim in June after being told at my spring straightening that my ends were a little damaged. Educating myself on a few protective styles, ditching my wig left the summer and my ends open to a variance of issues.

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I began wearing flat twist halos and puffs on the regular. Ping ponging between another sew-in, braids and the financial obligations of life which included moving created several hurdles in my plan for 5 months undercover, so to speak. Before I knew it – September was here. No time for extra cash bring spent now. The kid was scheduled to go back to school (and you know what that means – more money bring spent). So, I couldn’t pay for an expensive hairdo. The summer was lost and I still couldn’t afford it. Oh yeah, I decided to throw my old faithful wig “Babygirl” away for esthetic reasons. Then I decided to have my hair curled during the fall. By this time, I’m washing my hair every 2 weeks and deep conditioning when I had the time. There is notable shedding but I am not concerned by this much. People are telling me my puff is getting larger and softer. Then I have an idea to keep my hair in a sew-in for the remainder of the year.

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By Thanksgiving Day, I’ve aborted the whole idea for the year. Wash days have become more infrequent. The deep conditioning is a a halt. I’ll have to wait and see what’s the final outcome at my NYE appointment for heat, protein and curls.

I’m definitely going to do better next year and not giving up on my curls, kinks and coils!

I’m still on my healthy hair journey.  Let me tell you, it’s proven to be more work than fun – but it’s growing!  It has been trimmed, straightened and curled.  My current regimen includes weekly deep conditioning and low manipulation styles.  This past summer, I didn’t run to the sew-in as I had last year.  However, I think this created a slight setback.  I don’t think I’ve retained as much length as I could.  Hair won’t rule my life.  So, I’ve decided to braid my hair for the remainder of the year.  Here are a few things I’ve done to my hair over the last couple months:

Straight layersThe PuffWind Go Away

Office Curls

 

In my process to achieve this great head of hair, I’ve chair hopped quite a bit.  Stephanie started the straightening process this year. Meagan trimmed the dead ends and treated in the middle.  The most recent hands in my mane have been Erin of the Pink & White Salon in Southfield.  I know those aren’t great practices, but who goin check me, boo? 😀  The cold wave rods and a bundle of braiding hair have transformed my look in a flash.  Me and this hair of mine have been having a great time this year.  I even wore braids and a bun – but I don’t know how I did’t get a picture of that.

I’ve reduced my product shopping and have vowed to rid myself of everything in my stash before repurchase.  Currently, I’m using Organix shampoo and conditioner.  The only thing being purchased with any frequency are disposable shower caps.  I just never seem to have enough – that may be a reason to buy in bulk.  Other than this, Everybody is getting a kick out of my growth rate and how pretty it is.  No one is more excited than me.

If you’re having your own natural hair journey revelations, I’d like to hear about them.  I know I’m not alone but hey I’m still smiling confidently.