Ya'll know Black Women will scream that to the far side of heaven as soon as you switch it up! I love us so much!
I was texting with my girl Bre this morning, discussing what I should write about today. I had a pretty stressful night, so I wanted to lighten it up today. She goes "why don't you write about why you switch your hair so much?" Excuse me miss! I can't believe she read me like that. LMAO. She's definitely been a hair inspiration for me. Her fineapple is poppin!
But, my girl is right ya'll. I switch my hair every 3-4 weeks. Natural FINEapples and blow outs, crochets, senegalese twists, box braids, feed in braids, sew-ins... you name it. However, I cannot for the life of me perfect a twist out or braid out. It's sick. Here's a little back story on my hair journey:
I have no idea when I decided to become natural. I do know it was during these 20 somethings. Maybe around 23/24. I'd been reading a lot on social media about girls doing away with the relaxers & chemicals. I didn't do a lot of research about it, I just said I'll do it too. My aunt has been a hairdresser since before I was born so of course, I asked for her help. She said transitioning would be pretty easy, since I had a "good grade of hair." I think I'm about a 4-4B. About 4-5 weeks later, I discovered...she lied! Wasn't shit easy about transitioning! I was using handfuls of gel to try to make my hair look halfway decent. I had a fro at the roots and a blow out on the ends. Bitch, no. I couldn't take it anymore and I caved in and got another relaxer, and after a few more months of that, it was over and I ditched it. I haven't looked back since.
At that point I decided to do my research. I was tired of my scalp being burned, I wanted it to grow and I wanted to be able to wear it curly and do wash & go's! My aunt wasn't really into hair anymore, but another one of my "aunts" (you know black people have those long distance, unrelated relatives) was. Jocelyn said "this is what we'll do..." and she made a plan. I was consistent with her WHILE wearing my protective styles. I didn't want to do a big chop. My head is already big, plus I'm BIG. I wear my hair as a crown and I was super afraid of what any and everyone would say. So, we did it little by little. Trim after trim. But I noticed significant differences. My hair would only last 2-3 days with a blow out. Roots frizzing up like all hell. But, my blow outs were more luxurious than ever. The body was amazing! It held moisture and shine very well! Finally, there was about 2-3 inches left of my hair that held the relaxer. I told Jocelyn to cut it before I changed my mind and she did. Lord, was I stressed. That baby ass ponytail was a shame.
I was never a product junky. First of all, that shit is too expensive for me to not know if its going to work. I (still) barely know what works for my hair. Not because I don't pay attention, but because I haven't experienced much that didn't work. I'll know when I use too much or too little of a product, but that's about it. I do know that my scalp is dry most of the time, so I have to oil it about every other day. I have been religiously using Ebony Snow's hair care products. I love her growth oil and scrub. The oil is heavy enough for my scalp and light enough for my hair. It's magical. She now has a storefront in Buffalo, NY so it's more than worth it to check it out if you can. Also...keeping a scarf/bonnet is also essential protecting your hair!
One weird fact, my hair is two different textures. A more wavy texture on one side and curlier on the other (pics below). Split right down the middle. SMH. Initially I thought it was heat damage but, nope. It's my natural curl pattern, which is why my twist-outs and braid-outs never come out flawless. However, my hair holds moisture very well. I tend to use extremely small amounts of oil on my hair shaft . I prefer to use Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and Conditioner. It seems to be one of the only shampoo's that doesn't dry out my hair. Whenever I go to see Jocelyn for a wash/blow out, she uses whatever she has there. I don't ask questions, because I know she got this.
In addition to continuously keeping my scalp moisturized, I started playing around with more protective styles. Rule number one about hair (especially black women) YOU CANNOT LET ANY AND EVERYBODY PLAY IN YOUR HEAD! Did ya'll momma's not teach you anything?! Each time I strayed away from my normal hair stylists I regretted it. Luckily, I didn't lose any hair in those cases. My daaawwwggg Adrienne is IT when it comes to anything braiding, crochets and twists. She does it ALL and is GOOD at it. She is just as particular about her work as I am about my hair so our relationship in that aspect always works out well. If I want braids or twist, she'll explain why they'll be fine or why they won't. I can FaceTime her from the hair store and ask her how hair will look on me and she'll give me the details about the curl patterns. Crochet styles are amazing for transitioning especially when you want to switch it up. There are so many options to choose from!
When it comes to inches, I call myself the Bundle Baddie. I loooveee a good, 24" luxurious body wave bundle! You cannot tell me I don't have Beyonce fan when I walk when I have them. However, sew-ins are not my go to style unless I'm going out of town. Why, you ask? A few reasons. Number one, they're expensive. I'm all about being paid for your work. But, I cannot leave a sew-in installed for months at a time. I NEED to wash my hair. And whenever I attempt to wash my sew in with the hair still installed, it just doesn't come out right. Reason number two; now that I'm all natural, having a leave out isn't the greatest option. I wouldn't want to continuously flat iron my leave out and cause heat damage to a much needed part of my hair. Now, my homegirl Fy is who I go to for the ill sew-ins. She's heaven sent when it comes to laying a closure. Like Adrienne, she is particular about her work so she takes her time in plucking, bleaching and laying the closure. I haven't been disappointed at all. A word of advice from my dumbass after cutting out a piece of my hair... Have someone else take your closure/sew-in out for you! Just because you can see the thread, doesn't mean there isn't a piece of hair attached to it! LOL It has since grown back, praise the Lord.
Overall, my hair journey has been absolutely worth it! I do not miss my scalp being burned, or how thin my hair seemed after a relaxer. I enjoy the body that my hair contains, how fast it's grown and how thick my bun is! Not everything is going to work for everyone. I've tried rollers, flexi-rods, all that shit. Nope. I let it be free. I don't rock my curls because they look crazy in my opinion, but hopefully one day I'll get it together. Don't be scared to ask your fellow natural sista what products they use and how their transition was. Everyone is different! All I will say is Rule #1 - Don't let just anyone play in your head! Look at a stylists work before you make an appointment. Look at his/her clients edges and make sure they're still in tact before you go paying to get your snatched off. Rule #2 - do your research on the big chop vs. transitioning. Find out which will be better for you and determine that by time, willingness to experiment, the amount of damage to your hair, and how much help you'll have throughout this experience!
This was a really fun post for me to write! S/O Bre for the inspiration! Going back and looking through my journey and actually seeing how much I've switched my hair was hilarious! I'm not a Baldina anymore!! Going into 30 I'm definitely going to focus on the growth of my hair. It's pretty healthy, but I want to be a Natural Bundle Baddie! Any tips, tricks or suggestions holla at ya girl!