Starting my Natural hair journey : Refusing to cut it all off
For almost twenty years I abused my hair with relaxers. After suffering hair loss and other issues I finally decided to stop processing.It has been a whole year of no chemicals or relaxers.I can say I am off the addictive process of perming or relaxing my hair. This 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 for fear of what others might say.Fortunately more women of color are embracing the idea of being natural and are wearing natural styles nowadays. It seems like everyone's doing it. Natural hair is in. Yeah!
I decided to go natural for several 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.
What to do first?
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 or new relaxer. Instead of running out and buying a perm I started 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 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 haven't had a relaxer for 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.But 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.Sorry , this was only temporary because after the fourth month it began to break again.This basically meant it was time for another trim.I 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 .I also needed a better shampoo and conditioner to help soften and moisturize my hair.
I finally decided to try the Aphogee line of products I bought.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.
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 restores softness back to hair.First I washed my hair thoroughly with the shampoo ,then I conditioned it with the keratin 2 minute reconstructor. 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 a desired style.I like the wave pattern the braids give my hair so I will rock this do as long as I can.I eventually will have to start trimming the perm out of my hair but I 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 less 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 people might say or even do in response to their natural locks. 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. With that being said I want to embrace my natural hair and live a healthier life style starting with my hair.
It's 2015 and I'm still wearing my hair natural. My hair is softer than ever and very manageable. I wear braids and love them.
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