In April 2015, I decided I no longer wanted to chemically straighten my hair. I threw out my last box of relaxer and started growing out my hair in its natural, kinky, beautiful state. And one year later, I’m loving it! Don’t get me wrong; it has not been an easy journey by any means. A lot of the time I struggle with my hair because it can be so time consuming to manage. But I actually LOVE washing it and feeling my blow-dried hair shrink between my fingers into their natural curly state once wet. My hair feels and looks so soft, strong, and healthy. I don’t have as much length as I was hoping (I grew a little over 5 inches in 1 year; the average person can grown 6 inches in a year), but I’m happy with how much healthier my hair feels. Here’s how my journey has been so far.
When I first decided to transition–the period of time when you grow out your chemically straightened hair and end up with two textures on your head: straight at the ends and naturally curly at the roots–I was wearing my hair curly by coiling and pinning my hair into bantu knots, letting them air-dry overnight, and unraveling them in the morning. This was my go-to style for months until I decided I needed a break. Then I put twists in my hair a couple of times, which lasted me about 6-8 weeks each time. I also wore different clip-in hairstyles that were super convenient. I tried crochet braids at one point, but the fake hair irritated my scalp SO badly that I had to take it out after a week.
At the end of 2015, I decided to get my first major chop: I cut off about 5 inches of straight ends and ended up with a cute bob. I love how easy the bob is to manage, but the challenge with a bob is you always have to wear your hair straight so I was constantly blow-drying and flat-ironing my hair. This can cause heat damage, so in April, I decided to get my first sew-in weave in years. It was VERY convenient not having to deal with my hair in it’s natural state, but I found it hard to wash my scalp and new growth properly since the braids underneath the weave were so tight and hard to reach. I took the weave out last night after 6 weeks.
Today, I’m wearing my hair up in a bun. I have a new hair regimen, with my main focuses being my scalp (it gets so dry and itchy) and moisture retention in my hair (to keep it healthy and prevent breakage). Here’s my process:
- Mix Organic Root Stimulator Scalp Scrub with equal parts baking soda until foamy. Apply to my entire scalp and gently rub it in, and let it soak for 20 minutes. This was my first time using this product and so far I LOVE it.
- Thoroughly rinse out the scalp scrub. Shampoo with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo.
- Add a generous amount of Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle conditioner to the hair and comb through to untangle. Put on a shower cap and leave in for at least an hour or overnight.
- Rinse out conditioner. Section hair into 3 parts: two sections in the front and one section in the back. Rub a generous amount of Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner through each section and comb through to untangle.
- Apply Glover’s Medicated Scalp Solution to the ENTIRE scalp and rub in well.
- Apply Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk all over hair and then blow dry each section with cool air (no heat!)
- Apply Kinky Curly Curling Custard gel to hair and style as usual.
I’ll see how this regimen works for me over the next couple of weeks. I’m debating which hairstyle to try before my next vacation. I can’t wait to see what I end up doing. I’m thinking to use these kinky straight clip-ins that I just ordered. They are human hair and can be washed and curled. Or maybe I’ll do havana twists, which I’ve wanted to try for a while now. That would actually be perfect for when I visit Cuba in two weeks. :) In the meantime, I’ll enjoy having my own hair back! :) The plan is to let my hair grow out for another year and then I’ll hopefully be brave enough to completely chop off the straightened ends and be 100% natural. I’m halfway there! :)