So, I have a confession to make. I’ve been natural for more than three years and I had never tried a wash and go. Crazy, right?
I know, I know. I guess I was reluctant to do try it because of all the shrinkage that my hair is prone to. As shallow as it may sound, I didn’t want to look like a had no hair. It’s bad enough that without fail the day after wash day someone asks me if I cut my hair. “No, no,” I say for the umpteenth time. “I just washed my hair and it’s not fully stretched out yet.”
Well, I decided to finally take the plunge over the weekend, being that it’s still ridiculously hot in Long Beach and my window for a comfortable (read: not chilly) wash and go was, well, shrinking. See more of this staple style after the jump!
In all the excitement about the new year I totally forgot about this Jan. 1 being my two-year natural hair anniversary. Yes, two years ago I took the plunge and decided to wear my hair in all its kinky, coily glory, the way the good Lord gave it to me! What a journey it has been. The above collage is just a few snapshots of my favorite hair moments from 2012 and 2013. The largest picture was taken in January 2012 during a trip to the DMV area, about a week or so into joining Team Natural. I realize that the past two years have been about me embracing my natural texture and getting comfortable with styling it, and trying new things, including an array of products – some hits, some misses. I played with scarves, experimented with many an updo, dabbled with braids, and ran wild with Senegalese and Marley twists.
I can legitimately say that I’m nappy and happy! Yes, there were great days when I felt like a luxurious Nubian princess after turning heads and garnering compliments. And yes, there were difficult days when my tresses didn’t want to cooperate and I dreaded being seen in public. Either way, I took the good with the bad, toughed it out and learned a lot. Now that I’ve gotten acclimated with my natural hair, I’ll be focusing on growth and length retention this year. I’ll finally get an extremely overdue trim, try some Jamaican Black Castor Oil to even out my disproportionately shorter edges and commit to a results-driven regimen. Heck, I may even start doing length checks. I’m super excited to be at this juncture in my journey.
What are some things that have worked for you in growing your hair? Are there any hair products or supplements that have done the trick? I’d appreciate any recommendations in the comments section below. Thanks!
This past week I tried something different! After washing and conditioning my hair, I set it in two-strand twists with a center part. No biggie to the average person, but it was a huge leap for me to break from the norm and do a new thing. In the past I just didn’t like the way the middle part looked on me. But I believe I’ve turned over a new leaf, because when I began unraveling my twists I found that I looked kinda fly (if I can say so myself). The above captures the range of emotions I felt throughout the process. That and I wanted an excuse to post my many and varied “faces.” You’re welcome.
The promise of macadamia oil in the Bain de Terre Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, which came in my November Birchbox, was deceptively enticing. But it turns out, this product just isn’t for me and my 4A/4B tresses. Overall: 2/5
PROS: Both the shampoo and conditioner are paraben-free and contain Argan and Monoi oils. The conditioner had a good amount of slip and was easy to work through my hair while finger detangling in the shower.
CONS: With these oils boasted on the packaging, I expected the scent to be a lot more pleasant. It’s a bit strong and I immediately sought to mask the smell with my tried-and-true Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner. Instead of nourishing my hair, the shampoo left my hair feeling brittle. It does specify for “fine to normal” hair types, which is troubling because to me, my natural, God-given hair is “normal,” and I refuse to believe otherwise. But I digress. You win some, you lose some.
I’ve had a lovely time styling my Marley twists and enjoying the luxury of not having to worry about the frequent upkeep of my 4B tresses. But all good things must come to an end, as they say. Here’s a look at a few of the many ways I styled these twists. Given the countless compliments (I’m amazed at how many people thought it was all my hair — a true testament to the great blend of the Marley braiding hair with my natural texture) and ease of wear, I will definitely revisit this style of twists.
One of my hair idols, Chescaleigh (Franchesca Ramsey), recently posted a rope crown tutorial on her YouTube channel that looked absolutely beautiful on her. She has lovely locs, but I thought I’d give the style a go on my waist-length Marley twists. After fidgeting around with the style for about 45 minutes, I finally got it to stick. While Chesca’s rope crown is regal and elegant, I think the style on my Marley twists was a bit bulky. I suppose that’s OK if I was looking to turn heads on a night out. However, this look may be a bit much for the work week.
What do you think of this style? Yea or nay?
I was missing my Senegalese twists that I rocked this past winter, so I opted to go with some Marley twists. My sweet little sister, Ayesha, did them for me during Labor Day weekend after consulting a couple of YouTube videos for technique recommendations. I enjoy the fact that I can give my natural tresses a break with this protective style, and I love that they’re thick, super long (waist-length) and blend with the texture of my 4B hair. The only downsides are that they are heavy and warm during this Indian summer we’re having in Los Angeles, and they’re too thick to snatch up in a top knot bun. But I’m hoping they will last through October. I’ve been having a great time trying new ways to style my Marley twists.
Rocking a twist-out usually means re-twisting my strands before going to bed. It’s a time-consuming process but a necessary one if I want to look presentable in the morning. Other methods like pineapple-ing do nothing for me (my hair doesn’t fall down after releasing the scarf). However, I think I found a faster way of keeping my twist-out intact that doesn’t require re-twisting.
After coming home late from a recent night out, the last thing on my mind was spending a good 20 minutes re-twisting my hair. So I grabbed six of these clips, pulled them tightly around the ends of my hair so that they were stretched taught, wrapped my satin scarf and called it a night. Though the hard clips felt a little awkward to sleep on, I’m happy to report that this bootleg routine worked!
I just had to fluff it out a bit in the morning, but I was ready to start my day in a matter of minutes. I will definitely use this bedtime routine again when I’m in a time crunch. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you?
What does your bedtime routine entail?
I love how the best ideas are sparked from necessity. Case in point: this pompadour-puff hybrid. I needed to get cute in a snap to go out in public (By the way, my hair is in dire need of a wash and deep condition) and knew I needed to snatch my coils up somehow, someway. I wanted to do a pompadour but didn’t have the time to slick my unruly mane back and neatly arrange the bobby pins. So I settled for the best of both worlds. I present to you the pompa-puff.
I received this Joico K-PAK Revitaluxe Bio-Advanced Restorative Treatment as a sample in my June Birchbox and decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because I probably would not have tried out this product otherwise. Overall: 4/5
PROS: The product left my hair feeling soft and very moisturized in five minutes’ time. It was the perfect addition to my wash-day routine, as my hair was well prepped for a twist out after applying it to my hair. The texture is thick and creamy, and the scent is pleasant, which is always a plus.
CON: It took a lot of product to work into my thick head of 4A/4B coils. With it being on the pricier side (one online retailer had the treatment listed at $40 for a 16-ounce bottle), it may be an expensive habit to maintain.