For so many years I hated my hair. I could never get it to do right. Well, lets be honest, I could never get it to do “white”. Every standard of beauty I saw growing up was a Caucasian woman with long shiny tresses. A relaxer and weave could get me the illusion of that but it was so much work to keep up the façade. Every time my natural hair would peek out from beneath a relaxer or weave, it had to be “tamed”….**sigh** I hate even thinking about those days. Water was my enemy because water in any form (snow, humidity, swimming, water guns, rain, fog,…ANY form) could destroy $30 to $60 worth of salon work. Then on top of that every three months I would have to spend about $80 on a relaxer. I had to tie my hair up tight to bathe or shower. I needed to be set free.
In 2008 I had decided I had had enough chemicals and I refused anymore relaxers. I still got my hair straightened because I did not know how to keep and moisturize my curls. So I still had to avoid water. I loved the look of my natural hair when it was wet but once my hair dried, it drew up into dry tangled mess that made me want to cry! So wearing it natural was out of the question unless it was in a pony tail.
The Epiphany: Then one day I was sitting in my hairdressers chair about to get flat ironed AGAIN. When in walks Miss Natural Diva herself, Kisha Fisher. She and I had not seen each other in awhile. When I looked at her I could not stop staring at her hair. There she was standing there with the curls I saw on my own hair when it was wet. But her hair was dry! How in the world!? “Girl! I LOVE your hair! We have GOT to talk!” I exclaimed. She just smiled and said “You have beautiful hair, why aren’t you wearing it natural?” That was it. She gave me websites and ideas and pointers. I left the beauty salon UNIRONED and my life was changed forever.
Crossing over: I read everything. I started with Kinky Curly products. I bought everything they had and used them all wrong. It took a lot of trial and error. I would load my hair down with product and it would be all stiff and flakey. Or I would not put enough in and it would puff in one area and have defined curls in another. But I eventually figured it out and began to see and love my natural curls.
Also I decided not to big chop. Call me a chicken but, I was in no emotional place to have that kind of big change look me in the face in the mirror every morning. So I mini chopped. Since I had been without a relaxer for a few years already my curls would loop beautifully. However some patchy areas (about 2 inches from the end) would stick out straw straight and fuzzy.
So one day after about 3 months of trying to use curlers on the ends (and getting a very different curl pattern and texture) and getting frustrated with trying to hide the straw ends. I mercilessly chopped those two inches off and never looked back. My curls immediately sprung to coiled perfection!
How it is now: Today I love my hair! I have the most amazing curls! And they are MINE. My hair the way God put it on my head. Everyone loves it. (especially my husband, he says my hair makes me look very exotic) I have never heard an unkind word about my hair. I wear it any way I please. Out and wild. Single or double clipped back with curls cascading down the back, a top fountain of curls…you name it. As of this writing I am wearing braids a bit longer than shoulder length (unstretched) my braids end with pretty pencil width coils that keep the braids in place.
My favorite products are the Shea Moisture Products, mostly because I am lazy and I can pick them up locally (and pretty cheaply when I find it on sale at Walgreens).
Cleansing: I co-clar. Which means I co-wash and clarify. I use any really cheap conditioner the same way I would use shampoo. I do not use shampoo. And I also use OACV (organic apple cider vinegar) to clarify and cleanse my scalp periodically.
Conditioning and Daily Regimen : I L.O.C my hair daily, but also immediately following a cleansing. LOCing is a method of locking in moisture. Each layer of moisture locks in the previous one keeping my hair shiny, moisturized and protected.
L= Liquid (water, spray on conditioner,/moisturizer, etc.)
O= Oil (any clear oil, jojoba oil, EVOO, Neem Oil, etc.),
C=Cream (any creamy, smoothie, thicker styling cream)
First I spray my hair down with water and spray-on moisture. Then I put in a clear oil and run it through. (This locks in the liquid I just sprayed on my hair) Then I apply a layer of a thick conditioning cream, my favorite is Shea Moisture Smoothie, and I run it through (This locks in the oil I just put in) Now my hair feels heavy, thick and greasy (like a Jeri curl from the 80’s) but as it dries the moisture locks in and my hair absorbs the moisture. I had to learn to trust this process! Once dry my curls are shiny, beautifully defined and not at all greasy to the touch.
Growth: I wanted my two inches back. I use GHE (Green House Effect) and Monistat. I heard about using Monistat for accelerated hair growth. It had been the buzz for years in forums, hair loss chats, and medical sites. Several theories may explain why some experience accelerated growth including: it kills fungus that inhibits growth on your head, hair growth is effect of the cream itself and it oxygenates the scalp allowing more blood to flow, hence longer hair faster.
No official study has been done but whatever the cause, thousands of people have caught on. So I did the controversial thing and tried using it. (about $4 at Walmart for a generic tube). I apply it to my scalp at night before I GHE (green house effect) which is put on a cheap plastic shower cap and a du-rag over that before bed, causing a natural green house effect on my scalp. My two inches grew back and more. I am now very happy with the length, very happy with the results and above all very happy being a natural girl!