This month marks two years since I had my last relaxer and one year natural hair growth. I’ve been completely and wholly natural for a whole year. To say that I’m surprised, even as I write this post, is an understatement. I thought for sure I would have folded by now. Significantly since the beckon of the relaxer hasn’t yet dimmed enough to stop the daydreams, it’s truly a wonder.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that curiosity is a big part of continuing this journey. I know what my hair is like relaxed. I know it healthy, not so healthy, long, short, red-orange, purple; you name it. But a lot about my natural hair is still mysterious. For example, I know my short natural hair is much too thick and not for me. But as I gained length and ends, I also gained more control.
I can leave the shower in twisted cornrows now that will stay in place. Doing this means I can have sections to rinse that aren’t matted and tangled to blow dry.
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One Year Hair Growth
My hair has grown quite a bit over the last six months and one year. In fact, by now I think a silk press would confirm I am about shoulder length. This is about where I was when I stopped relaxing. I had some breakage and split ends before I gave it a good trim. Six months between trims is a lot, I think. I used to do them once a month or two when I was relaxed. It’s not so waxy with textured hair though, cuz you can really see the bad ends, as well as you, would like, and I haven’t been blowing my hair out very often either.
I tend to wash, air-dry and style without stretching and last a good amount of the colour on my ends, so it’s slowly going.
I haven’t had much in the way of a routine for that. I wear it out more since it’s easier to manage with some length and it means I am combing it more often. ‘Comb’ is relative thought since giant plaits for a week are my go-to style
My Experience with a Silk Press
I thought I would be a natural who wore silk presses more than my fro. That is, however, not the case. I’ve had one silk press so far, and this is how it went. The whole process took about four hours. For me, finding four hours in a single day is a lot. My press turned out nice, but the initial attendant pretty much struggled with my hair, much as I do. That’s fine. My hair is a lot, and I know it.
The press itself turned out beautifully. I ended up with some slight damage at the grown of my head, where I have a looser curl pattern. It took about 10 minutes to revert while standing under the water, but it’s not highly noticeable.
But unfortunately for me, it rained the same day I got my press, and that super sleek look lasted for less than an hour. I wore it home and wrapped it, but by the next day, it was going good but continued to fluff out. By day six, I had a pony puff. That wasn’t even long enough for me to get some good pictures since that ended up being a pretty busy week.
The fact is that it doesn’t last nearly long enough to make a difference except maybe to get a good trim and do a length check. That coupled with watching too many videos of women who ended up with more damage than they bargained for after they straightened, I’ve been hesitant to get another press.
My Hair Will NOT Dry Overnight
I don’t know who I thought I was. Before I even did this mess, I knew I shouldn’t have; after all, I couldn’t do it when I was relaxed. Anyway, it was early nighttime, and my hair needed a wash. My skin was doing the most because the hair was dirty, and I thought if it was going to get it done at all for that week, that was the time. But I was dog tired. I dried ‘thoroughly’ and thought, ‘What the hell. It won’t be dry in the morning, but I don’t have any particular place to be. It could be two days for all I cared.
I might not have cared, but baby, my sinuses sure did!
The next day I, had a presentation I had forgotten about and had to out in a style real quick. I was styling my hair wet, and as I said, this wasn’t a surprise to me at all. I had woken up with a little a bit of niggling drainage in the back of my throat. I also noticed that I couldn’t stand in the kitchen with mother in law because the scent of her lotion (which I hadn’t noticed for more than a week while she was with us) was basically karate chopping me in the face.
Friday rolls around, and team Reid makes a day trip to Montego Bay. For the entire car ride, my sinuses rebelled at the AC. I’d say in the back on the way down, passing through rain and fog as well as blistering heat. On the way back to Kingston, I sat shotgun. I couldn’t bear it. Halfway through, I went back to the back. Between the raging pain and the bright lights of oncoming traffic, I knew I was in the first stages of a migraine. Suffice to say, if I go to bed with wet hair, wet hair is what I am waking up with. Period.
Products that Worked for Me
Some pretty great leave-ion conditioners have helped me get through this one year hair growth with w bit more grace. The Creme of Nature Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner Leave-In Conditioner has been my best friend for years, and I am thrilled to say that is true why I am relaxed or natural. Honourable mentions are Creme of Nature Coconut Milk Detangling and Conditioning Leave-In and Lottabody Coconut and Shea Oils Fortify Me Strengthening Leave-In Conditioners. Pink Luster’s Shea Butter Coconut Oil For Natural Textured Hair Leave-In Conditioner was a gem find, and I have been using Pink Luster’s hair Lotion since I first relaxed at about 12.
My hair loves hair moisturizers, but my skin does not, so I am very picky about the ones I try. Additionally, I get more than enough moisture from the leave-in sprays I use. So far, though, DooGrow Triple Strength Lotion and Lottabody Moisturizing Hair Milk have my attention.
Shampoo and Conditioners
Creme of Nature Argan Oil Sulphate-Free Shampoo is a favourite right across the board. Garnier While Blends Repairing Conditioner: Honey Blends is the best conditioner I have found for my hair so far. I tried others from the line, like the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter, but that one didn’t work too well for me. The shampoos from the same line were a no. They dried my hair out terribly.
Creme of Nature Coconut Milk Detangling Shampoo and Conditioner and Creme of Nature Mango and Shea Butter Ultra-Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner also work really great for me. I tried a few others, but they were meh.
Cantu cannot. The products are trendy, but for me? No ma’am! They do not work for my daughter anymore with her thickened texture, and they do not work for me.
Brands I Want to Try
Thus far, I’ve tried products that were I have come across when shopping or if I’ve seen them online. I haven’t intentionally ordered or gone in search of new products to try. If I find a product that my hair likes and my skin doesn’t break out from, I’ll continue with it for as long as it works well.
O don’t have an affinity to drowning my hair on product for a style and prefer o use only as much as it takes to moisturize. That said, I am not a product junkie.
However, I’m still in search mode for natural hair products. Based on reviews online, I’d like to try;
- Shea Moisture products
- Mielle Organics products
- Lottabody Milk Honey line