My Hair Play Too Much
It's been a while since I've done a hair post. Mainly because there are thousands of people out there that are much better at hair health than I am and I’m all for supporting women making major moves so keep supporting your favorite hair bloggers (and maybe send me a few suggestions)!
I did, however, want to report of a major milestone of my own: As of September 2017 I've reached my healthy hair goal! (Yes, I too have them.)
My FIRST wash-and-go in FOUR years!
For background, it was the sweltering summer of 2013... but to make a long story short:
Got a Dominican blowout. Rocked it. Washed it. Natural curl pattern destroyed, shedding like crazy and breakage from. the. root.
Guys, I had patches in my head.
So yeah, all those flexi rod/twist out/ protective styles weren't just for trying something new. Each and every time I shampooed my hair I had to style it to hide the heat damage, possibly even chemical. [I've heard similar experiences with some claiming to have discovered relaxer mixed into product, but I have no "real" proof. Hmmmm... jury's still out.]
Can you believe that even after a lifetime of dealing with my natural hair I still made a major mistake?!
I think that's partially why I've been reluctant to share my story. Like, "How could you not know that was a bad idea, girl?!" The truth is even the most seasoned naturalistas still fall for trends in hopes of some temporary relief from their part-time job of natural hair maintenance.
So what lessons can I share from my 4-yr journey?
1. TRULY learn your hair and not just your curl pattern.
I'm talking porosity, density, strand size and the whole nine. I used to think since my hair was thick then it must be coarse. Wrong. Density and strand size are not always directly correlated as are all the other hair classifications. Knowing the differences are imperative for maintaining healthy hair.
2. Live by your hair type.
No matter how tempting those products or styles are, learn what it takes to keep your hair at it's best.
Gels vs oils. Protein treatments or nah? Ask these questions with your hair in mind, not after looking at a bomb hairstyle with a few tagged products.
3. Establish heat freezes.
This should probably be #1. I used heat freezes a lot during my hair journey. This typically meant ZERO heat (not even low-heat blow drying) for 3-6 month periods, which can take some planning. However, this was THE KEY practice that I believe fast-tracked my hair recovery. Plus, I think as I learned to love and take better care of my hair it learned to love me!
4. Approach trends with extreme caution!
That's both thermal texturizing (straightening) and protective styles.
Everything ain't for everybody.
5. Patience truly is a virtue.
Four years is a long time. Granted I maintained most of my length so I was able to disguise a lot of the damage that had been done, but there were still times I was discouraged and thought I'd never get my hair back to its original state. Oddly enough, my hair is even thicker and healthier than it was before my fiasco.
Prior to my blowout I was pretty lazy and hid behind the length of my hair as a signal of health. Seeing it damaged forced me to be disciplined in my hair care and learn to prioritize health over length.
These tips may sound so simple, but it only took one, I repeat, ONE hairstyle to set me back four years.
Achieving my first wash-and-go (and probably my best one yet) was a HUGE testament to what patience and discipline can accomplish-- even outside of just hair care. Think about that the next time you get lost in the hashtags.
I'm just tryna help somebody stay hair healthy out in these timelines!
Oh, and #6: All hair types matter.
BUT this post focused on my hair journey because of my traumatic experience. #blacklivesmatter #lesson
| My Hair Journey
Hair texture from birth to just before the Dominican blowout:
Hair texture post-Dominican blowout (made it as cute as possible but still thinned out and major change in coils/curls):
Hair texture 4 days after my first wash-and-go! Curlzzzz still poppinnnn!
| My Hair Type
Density: High (thick hair)
Strand Size: Fine
| Products I Love!
shea moisture | manuka honey & mafura oil (only on damp hair) + coconut & hibiscus shampoo, moisture mist and curl enhancing smoothie
lola cosmetics (Brazil) | curly wurly cowash & pudding + creoula agua de coco (I love this stuff more than any other products, but can’t find a distributer in the states. #Heartbroken)
lush | R&B hair conditioner (strong scent so use sparingly)