Summer = More Protective Styling

Well, summer is here and the humidity is in the air. In the humidity, my natural hair shrinks while my relaxed ends straighten (not a good look!). I first experienced this a couple of weeks ago while at the gorgeous beaches in Cali (not too humid, but of course a lot of moisture in the air from the ocean). Ultimately, this means that the flat twist out, I’ve rocked almost every day since the end of March, no longer works. I end up looking a hot mess.

I can get over my natural hair shrinking (I’m sure I’ll freak out when I am 100% natural), and I don’t really mind the frizz (again, will probably be more of a problem when I am fully natural), but the problem is the straight ends. It turns any twist out to a “did you just roll out of bed?” look.

In Chicago this weekend the temperature got up to the 90s and I wasn’t taking any chances. I did a handful of flat twists (front to back) and wore my handy-dandy “hair net” (not sure what to call them lol). Below is an example since I didn’t take any pics this weekend. I usually leave some hair out up front so it looks like an “intentional style” lol. It’s the most protective style I know how to do.

So, I need help. I need more protective styles for the summer and this humidity because I refuse to have another Don King hair day! 🙂 YouTube here I come…



Natural Hair Takeover

Changes, changes, and more changes. I guess that is the essence of a transition, huh. Funny thing is that, just when I feel I’ve gotten a handle on my hair, it reminds me that I’m in a transition. Gotta love it.

It’s been 8 months since my last relaxer, and I’m feeling tempted once again. Not tempted to relax my hair (not even an ounce of me!), but I am tempted to chop these relaxed ends! Why? Well, let me just give an overall update (I like to start with the positive!)

1. Detangling has gotten a lot easier over the past month. I’m seeing less breakage (still quite a bit just because of the two textures, but it has definitely gotten better). I am attributing it to finger detangling and making sure I balance moisture and protein conditioners. I may have veered too far toward moisturizing conditioners right now. My hair seems a little limp. I usually do a protein treatment (with Aphogee 2-minute Reconstructor) and I get more “bounce back”. I will probably do one within the next week or so. But I’m loving how easy it is to detangle lol tradeoffs!

2. My one go-to style is still going strong (kind of lol). I cut at least 3 more inches of relaxed hair about a week and a half ago to make it look more lively (sometimes I feel like the relaxed ends weigh my hair down). I think that was my last time cutting my hair. I was reminded that I am not a stylist lol, but I still look presentable. My next cut may be the “not so big” chop!

3. SHRINKAGE!!! (yes, this is why I’m ready for a chop!) I’m not mad about the shrinkage. Not at all. But mixed with relaxed ends it presents a dangerous situation, lol. In all seriousness, I’m actually kind of excited to report my first experience with shrinkage. It makes this transition so real! And scary. Where do I begin…

I was in California on vacation for the past week and I wore my usual twist out.

Before the beach…already starting to lose a bit of curl and definition but nothing like at the end of the day (couldn’t even take a picture of it!)

We spent a lot of time at the beach (absolutely beautiful!), and although I wasn’t fully immersed in water, the moisture was definitely in the air. By the end of the day my natural hair shrank so much, and my relaxed ends completely straightened out. Honest to God, I looked like Don King lol. Better yet, picture a big cotton ball with strands sticking out…yea, that was my hair. I was so embarrassed 🙂 Being around so much moisture, I expected my relaxed ends to lose their curl a bit, but I hadn’t had this much natural hair to notice significant shrinkage. Surprise, surprise.

I have about 4 inches of natural hair now, and I feel like the game has changed. It took a little longer to co-wash today because my natural hair was very tightly coiled. My styles are also starting to look a bit different. Right now, all I can say is that they look a bit “poofy-er” lol, or less defined. But I will keep an eye out in order to give a better description 🙂

So that’s it! Great news! I feel like it’s really starting to happen. I am really on my way to becoming fully natural!



Product Challenge Contender #1: Vatika Coconut Oil

Last week I mentioned it’s time for me to venture out and try new products. This came about after noticing I was using the same products since the beginning of my transition about 8 months ago (and some even since I was still getting relaxers). I did an entire post on how adjusting is one of the most important parts of a transition (read it here), but here I am, stuck with the same old same old. So I’m embarking on a product challenge.

I laid out the plan for my challenge in the last post, but here it is as a reminder (mainly for myself :):

1. First I will document the products I use now, the effects they have on my hair, and why I love/don’t care for them.

2. I will alter one product within my regimen at a time, and will try to use it for at least one month to give it time to work (hopefully I can report out results on a monthly basis).

3. I need some type of goal for this challenge. I’m not trying to maintain length because I still have relaxed ends that I cut off every couple of months. So instead, I’m going for less breakage (as a result of more moisturized and more manageable hair).

So, addressing step 1: I did a quick documentation of what I use now, and it really helped me quickly identify what to focus on first, detangling!.

I will start with my pre-poo/detangling process. It’s time to lose Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and move on to something a bit lighter, but still effective for detangling. I actually love Herbal Essence, and am not losing it altogether. It will remain my go-to conditioner for my co-washing sessions, but as a pre-poo, I’m afraid it is a bit too heavy for my hair.

I quickly researched blogs of countless helpful ladies (see blog roll for my go-tos), and it seems like EVERYONE is using Vatika Coconut Oil for pre-pooing. From what I’ve read, it seems light and effective, so I’ll give it a try. I plan to buy it before I wash this Wednesday.

As promised, I will give it a good month before I review or make a “keep it/toss it” decision. So stay tuned!