Starting my Natural hair journey : Refusing to cut it all off
For twenty years I abused my hair with relaxers and after suffering hair loss and other issues, I finally decided to stop processing. It has been a whole year of no chemicals or relaxers. With confidence, I can say I am off the addictive process of perming or relaxing my hair. Starting the process was a struggle for me, at first but I decided after years of debating to embrace my natural hair and go for it. I wouldn't have done this in the past. I had anxiety or fear of what others might say. Fortunately, more women of color are embracing the idea of being natural. A lot of black women now are wearing their hair in afros and other natural styles. It seems like everyone's doing it. Natural hair is finally in. Yeah!
I decided to go natural for three reasons:
- I am tired of going through the pain of relaxers every six weeks.
- My hair is getting thinner and looks thicker without chemicals.
- It is healthier for my hair and scalp.
Six weeks after my last relaxer I noticed my hair was getting harder to manage and was feeling dry and brittle.This would usually be the time I would get a retouch of my relaxer. This time instead of running out and buying a perm I started my natural journey. It started with my cleaning regimen I began washing and conditioning my hair three times a week. I found my hair easier to manage when I kept it clean and conditioned.I started off by using a cheap shampoo and conditioner because I was washing it so much.The idea was to keep my hair and scalp clean and conditioned. I did not want to go broke on expensive shampoos and conditioners. After I washed and conditioned my hair I rubbed castor oil hair and scalp conditioner from root to tip.Then I separate my hair into eight to ten sections and combed my hair out to remove all tangles.This part takes some time to get used to. I hadn't had a relaxer in so long that my scalp actually hurt, but I soon got used to it after a week.
I never knew going natural would be so time-consuming.I have to admit the extra attention is worth it. I was so happy when I was able to comb through my hair without it breaking around week ten. Sadly , this was only temporary because after the fourth month it began to break again.This basically meant it was time for another trim. I then also started using co-wash cleansing conditioner. This product helped my hair maintain moisture which helps stops breakage.
8 Weeks in the Breakage Begins
Eight weeks into my journey I noticed my hair started feeling very dry and brittle. It was beginning to break as I combed it. I knew a little breakage was to be expected because of the dead ends and the damage from the years of relaxing. It was time for me to make a decision on what I was going to do next.I knew I wasn't going to cut all my hair off in one big cut. This was too big of a challenge and also I needed a better shampoo and conditioner to help soften and moisturize my hair.
I finally decided to try the Aphogee line of product.I purchased the shampoo, balancing moisturizer, and the keratin 2-minute reconstructor. These products cost about $15.00 for the three and are a great investment. I immediately noticed a difference after the first use. These products helped me through my transition.
Breakdown of products
- Aphogee Deep moisture Shampoo: makes styling easier, restores body and vibrancy, and controls frizz.
- Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer: Infuses moisture, improves manageability, softness, and shine.
- Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor: adds strength and softness in one step, quick and effective against heat, and effective against chemical damage
These are excellent products that restore softness back to hair. First I washed my hair thoroughly with the shampoo, 2 minutes then I conditioned it with the 2-minutereconstructor. My hair immediately felt softer and it looked great. I then parted my hair into six sections and combed it out.There were no tangles and no breakage.The great thing about these products is you only use these products about once every two weeks Aphogee products are so effective. I still wash my hair often but I use my dollar store shampoos and conditioners in between treatments.
What to do with my hair as my relaxer grows out?
What to do with my hair is the big question.I decided to braid it in six big braids and keep them in overnight.The next morning I took the braids out and finger combed my hair into the desired style.I like the wave pattern the braids give my hair so I will rock this style as long as I can.I eventually will eventually start trimming more of the perm out of my hair but I still can't cut it all off in one whack.
Around ten weeks natural I noticed my hair looking straggly on the ends and it was breaking a lot.I decided to get a trim and this helped tremendously with breakage.I simply trimmed about one inch maybe an inch and a half off my ends.I noticed less hair in the comb and it generally looked better when styled.It was also getting easier to comb with fewer tangles because I kept my hair moisturized.I again had to trim at week fourteen because of breakage but I only trim one to two inches at a time.
Deciding to go natural is a big decision that takes courage in today's society, especially in the black community where many women feel they are defined by their hair. Some are afraid of what neighbors or coworkers might say or even do in response to their natural styles. I am so glad that I am old enough to know that I am not my hair and it does not define who I am. I couldn't care less about what others say. I want to embrace my natural hair and live a healthier life style starting with my hair.
It's 2017 and I'm still wearing my hair natural. My hair is softer than ever and very manageable. I wear braids and twist outs mostly.I finely love my hair,
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