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.

 

 

 

The tales of my hair are never ending. They include drastic change, growth, setbacks and milestones. If you really want to know, they mimic my life. Over the past year I have done everything to completely transition into a full on natural. No harsh chemicals, treatments or pressing comb. The biggest challenge for me gas been finding styles to compliment my hair and the agenda I set for it.

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As of April 2, 2013, I removed all damaged hair from my head and began me 4 year journey to healthier hair. It has been a real struggle to keep the heat away from my hair. It takes literally one pull from a pressing comb to have my hair flowing like the river Jordan. In all my conscious effort to keep my hands out of my hair I had to bind my hair up. This consisted of the sew-in weave as a protective style. I was upset after I removed the first install because I discovered that my hair had been ripped from the scalp from too tight braids. I concentrated my energy on reviving that spot through research and experimentation. For 5 months I kept my hands away from my natural hair and you’d be surprised to see what happened. The spot had totally filled in and I was on my way to maybe the healthiest head of hair I’ve had in my life.

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Not only did it grow, it shocked me! I had managed to take care of my hair under the mass of Brazilian virgin hair that was attached to my head strategically. I blew it dry just to see how big my afro had become since April. As I recall my hair has never had an issue with growing now I wasn’t interfering in it’s process. Being a person that sets goals for myself, I wanted to see just how far my process would take me through the end of the year. So instead of getting the weave re-installed, I ventured right back to my trusty wig. Only twisting my hair underneath for protection.

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All was well until I began to feel that something was missing from my hair care regimen. Proper care! Yes I was keeping the manipulation down, oiling my scalp, washing with the proper products but it still felt like I should be doing more. Then it came to me. (Ding dong) I needed to deep condition my hair more often. More like weekly. After visiting the M2 salon in Ferndale and receiving a deep treatment on my hair and loving my experience. I vowed for the remainder of my journey I would DC – deep condition every week. In the meantime I created a new problem area that requires my TLC. After taking the twists out that were installed after my trip to the salon, I placed my hair in a high puff. I’ll be honest it hurt like the dickens but I kept it in anyway. The price I paid was created another bald spot due to tension. So far it has shown improvement but I really didn’t need this kind of setback. However, nursing the 1st spot gave me knowledge on what I need to do for this interior space that’s crying out for my attention. (I have pictures but I want to save them for another post about the methods I used to bring it back) As you recall, my mane was straight for NYE.

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Scared for my life after a few days, I ran to the shower to throw some water on my head to make sure it reverted back to the curls. I didn’t grab no shoes or nothing Lord Jesus! Within seconds I was reunited with the head of hair I’d grown to love. So far I’ve kept my word and delegated a specific day to wash my hair. Currently, I’m experimenting with an assortment of products. This creates an air of excitement for me whereas I can get bored rather fast with the process. The constant in my hair care program is water and Sleeping Beauty hair garments. I’m trusting after this next move some of the subconscious stresses that I’m experiencing will be alleviated and we can obtain more consisted growth. Moreover, I’m going to be patient. i have a goal set but right now i want to focus on remaining strong in this lifestyle change. As I prepare to celebrate my 1st full year as a natural, I’m preparing to make greater gains in year two and become more familiar with the hair that’s suppose to be on my crown. 🙂