My wedding day hair (natural bride)

November 9, 2013 was one of the greatest days of my life. I was able to marry my best friend, celebrate with loved ones, and still ROCK MY NATURAL HAIR! Lol ๐Ÿ™‚

I went with two flat twists leading into a BIG bun. He had to add to my bun of course. I love my hair, but I wanted big for my wedding day. I bought 2 packs of textured “braiding” hair, and he literally just pinned it to the back of my head and wrapped it around several times. I loved it.

3 things I loved most about this style:

1. Took 20 minutes

2. Showcased my natural texture

3. Was easy to take down that night (I couldn’t sleep with that thing in my head! So I un-pinned, took my twists down, and I was free to go!).

That’s it! Short and sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

~TS

Advertisements

Heat Damaged, but not broken (well, a little)

***Sorry in advance for the long post. I needed to vent!*** And spoiler alert: I’m a little dramatic ๐Ÿ™‚

So, after 2 years of taking great care of my hair and seeing decent length retention (on a strict no-direct heat regimen), I finally let a professional stylist touch my strands. I procrastinated and fought as long as I could, but the fact was I was getting married in November ’13 and I did not want to do it myself on my wedding day.

I did my research. I searched online, read reviews and ended scheduled a consultation with a stylist known for taking care of natural hair. I met a girl at a Curly Nikki meet-up with healthy-looking natural hair that recommended him from personal experience, so I trusted her.

My vision was simple, or so I thought. I wanted a low bun with my natural texture (willing to do a blow out if needed, but didn’t want a bone-straight style). Emphasis on my natural texture. I dreaded heat damage. Honestly, I’ve seen too many “gone wrong” videos. So I wanted my hair in its natural state.

Well, during the consultation he agreed with my vision, but when I arrived for the actual hair trial he said he needed to straighten my hair to trim my ends. I stressed that I didn’t want my hair straightened, especially since the style did not require it. He strongly suggested I get it straightened so he could trim, and I’ll be honest, I said “he’s the professional, maybe he knows what he’s talking about”. It’s a little sad how I immediately began to doubt my ability to take care of my hair even after seeing results.

So he flat ironed my hair. AFTER sitting under the blow dryer, and THEN blow drying my hair. Yep, there was heat damage involved (only a little though).

My curl pattern is just too tight, so the amount of heat it took to achieve his definition of straight, was too much for my hair to handle. Now the good news is, because my strands were so tightly coiled, the damage didn’t completely straighten my strands, but it definitely loosened my curl pattern…just when I was falling in love with my curl pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

In addition to the heat damage, he trimmed what looked like a good 3 inches. I could be exaggerating…you be the judge. I’m not sure I’m convinced that I needed that much cut.

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

If I’m being completely real with myself, I was more hurt about the length loss than the heat damage (#shame). I mean, my feelings were really hurt. Not only would I have to learn to deal with a slightly looser texture (which made a big difference in how I styled my hair), but I also had to work with shorter hair (no more faux buns!). Not to mention I was worried about length retention now with the strands being weakened.

For that week, I used pin curls to add volume and provide that curled look.

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

Wearing my hair straight was cool for a few hours, but I quickly missed my texture. Plus I didn’t know what to do with my hair at night, thus the pin curls lol. I’m not knocking straight styles at all. I’ve just learned that I really love my big, curly styles, and I can’t wait until my original texture grows back…no matter how stubborn it is!

After all of my whining, it’s not the end of the world. Many women have experienced much worse (all about perspective right?). The benefit of the looser texture is that it is a little easier to manage, but my ends tangle more easily.ย I’ve definitely noticed aย much higher amount of breakage, but I try not to let it discourage me. After all, mistakes will be made along the hair journey ๐Ÿ™‚

Since then I’ve been baby’ing my hair quite a bit. I’ve been doing (almost) weekly protein treatments and making sure my hair is moisturized throughout the week. Of course, back to my no-direct heat regimen. Styling mainly consists of twists to protect my ends. When my hair is “out” it’s usually a twist out from the latest installment of twists (still very low maintenance).

November 2013

November 2013 | twists pinned up in back with bang

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

January 2013

January 2013 | twists pinned to a small side bun

December 2013 | Twist out

December 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

It’s been about 4 months since the heat damage/trim, and I’ve gained some length back, but I’m looking forward to getting back to a healthy hair state!

Thanks for letting me vent! Actual wedding day hair pics coming soon. Here’s a hint…it was all worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

~TS

I’m back!!! … for a late 2-Year length check

Hola chicas! I am SO sorry for being MIA over the past year, but life just kind of took over…in a positive way ๐Ÿ™‚ Over the past 8 or so months I got married, started a new job (again), and moved into a new place with my hubby! But enough about my personal life, on to the important stuff, right…hair ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m awful at “legit” length checks with the measurement shirts and rulers (not taking away from any ladies that do!), but I do have a few pictures comparing the start of my journey to two years out. So this is a retro-post that should’ve happened in like Sept 2013 (sorry!).

For those who are just joining me on my journey, it started Sept 2011 when I received my last relaxer (check this out for the full story).

Sept 2011

Sept 2011

After being fed up with breakage, I chopped after one year of transitioning.

Looks like about 5-6 inches???

August 2012

photo 5

September 2012

Fast forward to present day (well, September 2013).

IMG_2801

September 2013

IMG_2802

September 2013

IMG_2803

September 2013

Throughout the year I primarily wore twist outs and faux buns (see below).

September 2013

September 2013

September 2013

September 2013

Okay, so I skipped a lot, but to see more pics follow me on instagram and I’ll follow back! (savvyrenae). Here’s a snippet:

Aug 2012 - June 2013

Aug 2012 – June 2013

 

Aug 2012 - June 2013

Aug 2012 – June 2013

Overall, I was really pleased with my growth. The greatest fear I had when first going natural was not knowing if my regimen would provide the desired results. Looking at the progress, I felt much more confident in my regimen (more to come on the regimen).

Great story right? Well, everything changed after my wedding hair trial. After handling my own hair successfully for 2 years, I dreaded seeing a professional stylist. No, I mean I literally lost sleep over it! Even after doing my homework. But I won’t bore you on this now…more to come on that soon…

Until then…

~TS

Tried Curlformers…again

When I was transitioning, curlformers were my savior! Take a look!

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

Curlfomers on transitioning hair

So I figured I’d give them a try again after 7 months of being 100% natural. I’d heard good and bad stories about curlformers on natural hair. For some, the results were beautiful, but for others, the curls never happened. So I wanted to know how it would work for me.

Yea, so it wasn’t a complete failure (meaning the curls actually happened), but it was definitely DIFFERENT. The actual set came out okay.

Curlfomers on natural hair

Curlfomers on natural hair

It’s when I tried to separate the curls that everything fell apart…literally. I don’t have a picture because I was frustrated and running late lol, but I will say after separating (and I was careful!), it looked like I had just woken up and did nothing to my hair. So I went to what I knew :).

curlformers pulled back into an afro puff

curlformers pulled back into an afro puff

So see, it wasn’t a complete failure, but definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

Random side note/ramble: I do have to give a shout out to As I Am Twist Defining Cream. Between that and the smoothing nature of the curlformers, my hair felt so smooth that I thought someone slipped me a relaxer while I was sleeping :).

As I am pic

I’m talking very little frizz, which meant a lot because over the past couple of weeks my hair was starting to feel mushy or “spongey”. I’m thinking it was because of over-moisturizing (and not balancing it with protein). I added Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor back to my regimen (co-washing), and my hair is feeling normal again and is able to hold styles better.

I’ve rambled enough ๐Ÿ™‚

~TS

My hair’s been busy

Alright, I am probably the most boring when it comes to styling hair. I just really am not that creative, and I don’t have the patience. It was the same story when I was relaxed. I wore my hair either in a wrap, ponytail or bun. That’s it. So, I’m not too surprised, but I have recently noticed I’ve been trying new things lately. So I wanted to share the styles that worked ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

All twisted out!

Twist out

Twist out

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (more stretched)

twist out (hair is a bit more stretched)

twist out (hair is a bit more stretched)

Flat twist out gone wrong lol

Flat twist out gone wrong lol

flat twist out (separated my hair for volume)

same flat twist out (separated my hair for volume)

We be bunnin!ย (these are actually faux buns :). A glorified afro puff per say…I just used several pins to make it look more like a bun).

side bun

side bun

side bun

side bun

side bun

side bun

Back of side bun

Back of side bun

 

high bun

high bun

high bun

high bun

bun to the back

bun to the back

Just twisted! (honestly, after all that hard work, my hair deserved a much needed break!)

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

two strand twists

 

You may be underwhelmed, but for me this was a lot of change within the past month or so :).

Cheers,

TS

6 months since “big chop”

Just wanted to document 6 months of growth. I chopped after transitioning for 11 months. I also trimmed my ends twice since I chopped. Enjoy!

“Big chop” Early Aug. 2012

IMG_1517

Day after big chop…flat twist out

IMG_1575

8/8/12 – I believe this was after I trim my ends…I cut off at least an inch or so (I still struggle with understanding what healthy natural ends look like!)

8/8/13

8/8/12

6 months later…

IMG_2036_2

2/5/13 – Right after a wash, so may be a bit more stretched than usual…lOOK AT THAT SHRINKAGE!! lol

IMG_2039 IMG_2037

Sorry for the rough photos lol ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, favorites styles along the way…

This actually wasn't styled...I was about to wash my hair

This actually wasn’t styled…I was about to wash my hair

Two large flat twists

Two large flat twists

IMG_2022

twist out, not separated all the way

twist out, not separated all the way

Night before I had two large flat twist going around my head...i just took them out and fluffed

Night before I had two large flat twist going around my head…i just took them out and fluffed

still my favorite...flat twist out

still my favorite…flat twist out

IMG_1943

twist out pulled back into a puff

twist out pulled back into a puff

Hope you enjoyed…til next time!

~TS

Keeping my hair stretched!

It’s been almost 5 months since my “big chop” after 11 months of transitioning, and I’ve learned quite a bit. Of course moisturizing is super important, and so is protective styling. I don’t really wash in sections. For me, it’s just quicker if I wash the fro, then detangle. I imagine as it gets longer, I will shift to sections.

There is one thing, however, that has saved my hair life, keeping it stretched. As of now, banding is my go-to method. I read about banding in The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy (and I’m sure in a few blogs/youtube videos as well), and I gave it a try a couple of months ago, and it has been one of my best hair decisions, by far!

Banding is stretching the hair using scrunchies/ponytail holders. You secure one at the root, and continue along the length of the hair, securing the final ponytail holder at the ends.

I allow my hair to air dry in the banding method for 30-60 mins after putting in my leave-in (currently using Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner) and sealing with Hot Six Oil (plus a little Tea Tree oil). It looks crazy (my fiancee gets quite the laugh in lol), but it works!

Hair banding pics

Hair banding pics

Hair banding pics

Hair banding pics

Hair banding pics

Hair banding pics

Once dry (or close enough), I add my cream (Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie), then proceed with styling, which is either two strand twists or flat twists.

Throughout the week to keep my hair stretched, I do large bantu-knots at night. I’m talking like 8-9 total. In the morning, it never looks like I styled it lol, but it does keep it stretched after I’ve moisturized it for the night. When I wake up, I’m able to wear a larger, fuller afro puff. I love it!

Here’s a photo of my stretched fro as of December. I wish I had a pic of a non-stretched fro, but I don’t dare let my hair air dry without stretching lol, so try to use your imagination :). I do, however, have a picture of my fro back in August when I first cut off my relaxed ends. I admit it’s not a fair comparison, since I’ve had a couple inches of growth since August, but I’m including it anyways ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, I still don’t use any heat on my hair.

Sorry for the rough pic lol (Aug. '12 Fro)

Sorry for the rough pic lol (Aug. ’12 Fro)

Stretched + a couple inches of growth (Dec. fro)

Stretched + a couple inches of growth (Dec. ’12 Fro)

Cheers,

~TS