She’s just a small town girl! Living in a natural world!
Hey guys! So Chapter Seven of the Chop Chronicles is very comparable to the undocumented fourteenth month of my last natural hair journey. There was a red mohawk, there were curls and there was a girl whose natural hair journey could be described in three words: “trial and error.” When my Chop Chronicles journey began, I promised myself that it’d be about becoming one with myself and not just my hair. I tried to do headwraps and hoop earrings. I tried to sport the Erykah Badu afro. I even tried rocking protective styling but I found myself reverting back to my favorite me: the girl with the red mohawk. Having color treated hair meant that I was going to have to do more than just rub olive oil into my scalp (Which if you have a shaved head is amazing) and I promised myself that if I would dabble into the color treated world again, I’d go in with a plan. So, Chapter Seven of the Chop Chronicles talks about the Natural Hair Journey so far.
Hair Journey: For The Love Of My Hair.
The first round of my journey, there were a lot of don’ts that I did. I bleached my hair multiple times in a month. I was putting heat to it a lot, and I still couldn’t get used to the fro hawk. It just wasn’t a part of my hair that I liked which I’ve learned a lesson about the second go. Every part of your body is a part of who you are, even if you don’t like it so learn to love it! To me, nappy was a thing and I didn’t want to have nappy afro hair, I wanted to have straight, sleek, gorgeous red hair. The more I gave heat to my hair, the more it became dry, brittle and far from the look I wanted to achieve. My hair wasn’t fried but definitely had lost it’s original structure and sleekness.
It was a friend of mine who works at Sally’s who introduced me to a new method of dying my hair that didn’t use a high dosage of bleach, if any at all. It didn’t burn when it went into my hair and it left it ridiculously close to it’s normal curl pattern. The best part is that my hair takes to the shades of red I’ve used phenomenally, so I only have to dye my hair once every three months or so.
It wasn’t long before I stopped straightening my hair so much and started waiting. That was one thing I refrained from in my past journey was waiting. Patience isn’t my strong suit, what can I say? Yet, now when I’ve had the urges to have super straight hair, I’ll run my fingers through my curls. They’re crazy! The less I straightened my hair, the more I started to see it transform back to its springy, soft, self. On top of that, when it came time to straighten it, it cooperated with the help of my heat protectant because it wasn’t constantly being burned straightI found that the more I ran my fingers through my hair, the more times I’d reach over and grab moisturizer and just gently run it through my curls. My hair LOVED the feeling of my hands. You know how we as women (or men, if they’re reading) were told to love ourselves first before we are loved? I noticed that when I would give my hair that gentle attention, I would feel more amorous toward my hands. I started easing up on the way I bit my fingernails and they began to grow a little. The love I shared with a part of my body became universal and I started loving myself fully. It was that easy.
So because I’ve been keeping a journal of my hair growth and the changes it’s made not just through the last journey till now but also each month, I thought I’d share some of my dos, don’ts, and of course my regimen with you guys. Remember my disclaimer: Everything that works for me may not work for you. I still haven’t taken the time to venture into trying to learn about what my hair type is because there’s been a lot going on in other aspects of my life but trust and believe that it’s still just as important. That being said, again.. experiment, play around, learn what works for you. I’m blessed with a crown of hair that cooperates and listens to me but I also bless my crown with the nourishment it asks me for.
My Personal Dos And Don’ts.
Do take pictures to track your progress. I get excited looking back on my folders from my shaved head all the way up to the present month. It makes me feel so accomplished. Consider making this a backpacking trip through your mind, body and soul.
Don’t continuously compare your growth to other people. I’m short. I’ve always been short. I’m 22 and 4’11. I don’t compare the methods of eating and nourishing my body to that of a person who is 6’11. People grow differently and you shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Wear your length proudly. I obsessed over this huge fro that Bea had, turns out one day she just straight up said it was a wig. Imagine my disappointment! I was devastated, but it taught me that I can’t continuously compare my hair or myself to others. You never know what you may learn.
Don’t use a billion products at once. I talked about that in my last CC. Seriously, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t push yourself. Hair-wise, body wise, mind wise.. Understand that encouraging yourself and pushing yourself are different. I’ve come to learn that when I push myself too hard mind wise, my hair suffers. My body and I are one in the best and worst ways. I like to use the term guide myself because to me it implies no negative reinforcement. People are going to mistreat you and talk down to you in life. Why would you do that to yourself? If you don’t believe in you, who will?
Finally do listen to your body. Your body will speak loud to you. If you do like me and perm your hair after dying it because you’re in the middle of a mid-mid life crisis, and it begins to fall out by the handful, you may have goofed. Which is okay. Just because you don’t listen to someone right away doesn’t mean that you can’t still take their advice. Your hair as well as the rest of your body will indicate to you its likes and dislikes.
And Now the Reason That You all Came Here… The Regimen!
Daily: [When My Hair Is Straight.]
Dr. Miracle’s Hot Gro is on my scalp, massaged in with my lovely fingers followed by a calm edges and ends rub with Castor oil.
I use Fantasia Heat Protectant serum when I’m using my flat iron, because it can get hot and the serum keeps my hair soft when it’s straight.
I wrap my hair every night and yeah! It’s golden.
I wash my hair every third week of the month. Although it’s advised to use color treated shampoo on color treated hair, I use Shea Moisture restorative conditioner and moisture retention shampoo because it makes my hair smell phenomenal. I’d advice against it if you’re using a color treated regimen because using a non color treated shampoo may strip your hair color faster.
I also make my own homemade deep conditioner and there are tons of recipes on the web for that!
Daily: [When My Hair is Curly]
I use pink lotion each day to rub into my scalp, (not pictured above) is hair mayonnaise. Oddly I started with Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise and then eventually start making my own and keeping it in the Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise jar so that my grandma wouldn’t yell at me. It’s what makes my curls retract back to their spirally tight cuteness after a wash and then I seal all that moisture in with tea tree oil. There are so many oils that you can use, but I heard that peppermint oil is supposed to do wonders for people with dandruff and DO I HAVE DANDRUFF! So, tea tree oil, mixed in with peppermint oil is phenomenal.
Regardless of what my hair looks like, I do my best to wrap it every night.
I get asked all the time about what hair dye I use, and my answer is simply that I use a lot. I think people think I’m being rude and not wanting to “share my secrets” which is just not the case. I use tons of different dyes. Each time I go to change my hair, it’s a different color because I use a different dye. That being said, try what works best for you with EVERY THING.
Be one with your body and yourself. More importantly, remember that I’m 4’11. Some of us weren’t made to have big hair but we were all made to wear our crowns proud.
This naturalista is hasta la vista!
Till next time, and there’s so much more to come.