Yesterday evening, I had an appointment to get Marley Twists but changed my mind at the last minute after imagining how chunky the hairstyle would be on my head. I love the Poetic Justice movement; I just don’t think it’s appropriate for work. It’s too much a form of expression for the field I’m in. I didn’t want to have to go through another insecure week patting non-abiding synthetic hair down. I wanted a hairstyle I could flip and ponytail and not think about for two or three months.

Now, the woman that did my hair last time was very talented so my disliking for the hairdo was partially my fault. I couldn’t really see the difference in colors at the beauty supply store and ended up walking around with three different colors sticking any which way up out of my head for as long as I could stand it. Also, I expected the hairstyle to have more movement and the crochet actually limits every strand of hair in the place it’s crocheted. The crochets lasted two weeks.

A VERY DIRTY TAKEDOWN

During takedown, I became very worried because a lot of shedding was occurring. The hairstylist that did the crochets braided my hair down with a little bit of synthetic hair to either catch my real hair or to add volume (which is unnecessary since my hair is pretty thick). I wasn’t sure if the hair coming out was the synthetic hair or crocheted knots I missed or my hair but it was a lot! My hair was also filthy with chunky dandruff. My husband massaged my scalp a little but it really wasn’t that soothing because of the loose braids making me feel like my hair was being pulled out. I did one deep conditioning treatment through the crochet braids because my hair was clean before they were installed. Telling by the looks of my natural hair, I should’ve done better.

I took the hair out pretty late in the day (too late to do a coconut milk wash I mean) so I did a hot oil treatment and wrapped it for work the next day. My hot oil treatment consisted of:

I rationed it out based on how much would cover but not saturate my hair. And, of course, I was way too excited and sure did burn the middle of my scalp on my first pour.

A VERY NATURAL WASH DAY

The next day– Friday– would be wash day. On my last few coconut milk washes, I’ve been trying to jazz it up a little by adding a dash of honey or olive oil in it. I even cracked an egg into it because, for the longest, I’ve been meaning to experiment with eggs and milk in my hair washing regime. This time, I made a full concoction made up of the following:

  • Coconut Milk (can’t remember the brand)
  • Redner’s Clover Honey
  • One whole egg
  • Essential Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 scoop of my husband’s Dymatize Nutrition 100% Whey Protein
  • Kuza 100% African Shea Butter
  • A little bit of the African Royale Hot Six Oil and Softee Coconut Oil

I blended it in my processor and it turned into a perfect hair smoothie. I first used coconut milk washes as a natural alternative to lay my roots down but I wanted to get as much of a protein treatment as I could out of my natural wash, hence all the protein. Consequentially, I was sacrificing the moisture that would lay my roots down. Especially since shelled eggs only come in one size, I had to use less coconut milk than I would in this mix.

I don’t know if hair ingredient deactivation is possible but Yahoo! did an article about contents in face washes and moisturizers deactivating each other. I learned that raw protein treatment should always be followed up with moisturizers so, if nothing else, I wanted the protein to work first to tackle the shedding. Deep conditioning wouldn’t be a problem. I could have even done a pure coconut milk wash if it wasn’t getting to be so late.

Well, I left this mix in for, I don’t know, an hour. I baggied my hair with a shopping bag, a hairnet, and a stocking cap and talked my husband’s ears off the whole time to make the time pass. That’s how long it takes for me to start a story and end the story with a completely different story.

As I was rinsing it out, I noticed not a strand was coming out! I account the hot oil treatment and the protein treatment for that. Oh yeah, and I followed this rinse up with a tall cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and water (1/4 was ACV). My scalp was squeaky clean and not a bubble of soap was used! Since my hair now had the consistency of bark, I deep conditioned with Africa’s Best Organics Cholesterol Tea-Tree Oil Conditioner (something I used a lot as a kid but probably not properly). I only had a little left because I’m always so generous with it. I decided not using too much deep conditioner would be fine, though, because I needed my hair to stay protein strong. I baggied that the same way and left it in for about thirty minutes– about as long it takes for me to watch one protein tutorial and end up watching ABC News clips.

NEW PROTECTIVE STYLE AND NEW RULES

The next day was my hair appointment. Like said, I changed my mind from Marley Twists to Box Braids because I didn’t want to bother with huge chunks of hair piling on top of my head like I was going to AfroPunk every weekend. There wasn’t enough time to do Havana Twists and, since I bought Kanekelon hair, I had no choice but to settle for Box Braids. I was excited nonetheless. It’s not too tight and I love the look of it! My next steps will be maintenance. For the next two months, I will try not to let this hairstyle get the best of me by being curious about my natural hair growth and being a hassle maintaining product buildup.

Deep conditioning following a protein and ACV cleanses are a must. Deep conditioning will be weekly. I’m not sure if protein/ACV treatmeats are necessary on a weekly basis but they definitely will be fortnightly. The purpose of the protein treatment is to make sure takedown isn’t as horrific as last time.

A slowly, stressful, budding concern at this very moment is that I have two different deep conditioners that are three and two years old and I’m not sure if it’s wise for me to use them. I’ll probably get another container of Africa’s Best Organics Cholesterol Tea-Tree Oil Conditioner or devote those three hours it takes to paint pure coconut milk onto my scalp, set it, and rinse it out.

NATURAL FRUSTRATIONS

I watched GlamFun‘s channel the whole time I was getting my hair done and I really feel her pain. I have had two bad experiences with perms and texturizers but, other than that, my memories while my hair was processed are trouble-free. Since going natural, I have been introduced to the kind of stress that taunts you. I think our hair textures are the same (I’m not sure since I really have never seen my natural hair texture) so I can understand the frustration of having no moisturizers or regimes work for you. It really makes you want to hate your hair and that more has to do with the hair’s behavior, not the natural hair culture. I’m actually really afraid of trying anything that isn’t organic at this point. But I was excited to see a little bit of new growth and curl so I may expand to highly recommended brands and pray they work. Pour example, I have not even cracked my Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner open since I purchased it back in February so I should research hair product expiration dates before I do that.

I’m actually wholeheartedly skeeved out by recent pictures of my thinning, shedding, breaking, toxic, wet-dog-looking-as-of-late hair. I’m disgusted with myself the way aspiring stylist Rachel is. I’m just not in college anymore.

All in all, successful naturals have had their own troubles. They make it look so easy now because they’ve figured out what works for them. I’m slowly accepting that the luster and shine that holds in their hair is a result of several attempts. As a result, mine own hair will take to a regime when I find the regime that allows mine own hair to retain mine own shine and luster.

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