Dear #naturalhair friends…

Disclaimer: I am NOT a “natural-hair-blogger”. This blog’s sole purpose is NOT to discuss natural hair, or any hair for that matter. I am nothing even closely resembling an expert. It is just a topic that is important to me, since I’m fairly new in the game. Just had to throw that out there, lol. Yes, I know I talk about hair too much. No, it will never stop. lol. Alright, here we go….

Hey y’all!

First off, I’ve put the fro away for a while….

I know a lot of folks get nervous about micros when it comes to breakage etc., but for my hair, honestly braid extensions can do no wrong. My hair really enjoys the break. Plus with the next 2 months of my life including both a beach vacation and moving to a new apartment…. I definitely have more pressing things to worry about than keeping the ‘fro looking presentable lol.

Secondly, even though I’ve only had natural hair for less than a year, I’ve noticed that my research-loving super-nerd status has worked in my favor  as far as what I’ve figured out about how my natural hair works. And in turn, I’ve had a few people actually asking ME for advice.

Wait, really, Me? Seriously?

*cue the Goofy bashful stance*…. Gawrsh. lol.

Anyways, it’s flattering :) Especially when I’m about 92.6% sure that I don’t have any idea what I’m doing. lol. So for the benefit of my dear friends who are looking to me for advice, I wanted to lay it all out for ya. 100%, my natural journey (so far) from start to present. (And for the benefit of those who do NOT care one little bit about my hair, or anybody else’s hair, the rest of my blabbering is below the cut lol.)

So over the past 8 months or so, I’ve gone from this…..

…to this:

And it’s been a hell of  a ride lol. I’ve gained about 4 inches or so. I’ve learned a LOT, from stalking reading lots of hair blogs/boards, asking a lot of dumb questions,  lots of trial and error, and a lot of frustration, but equal rewards.

As of now (7/2010), this is my routine:

  • Co-wash 2-3x per week with Tresemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisturizing Conditioner (but I try to get my hair wet in the shower almost everyday, follow up with sheabutter-aloe mix as a leave in)
  • Deep Condition 1x per week with whatever I can find for at least an hour… (lots of oils, reg conditioners, I like to mix up whatever’s handy rather than buying stuff.)
  • Protein Treatment 1x per week, with plain fat-free yogurt, honey, and a few tbps of my oil mix
  • Cleanse 1x per month w/ Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  • Henna Gloss 1x per month

I try to focus on keeping my hair moisturized, since it’s super-duper nappy and prone to dryness. I also try to keep it stretched, to keep it from matting and tangling so much, so I twist my hair every night. Time consuming, yes, but in my in-between length stage, I find it makes detangling easier, and since my hair so loooooves to shrink, it helps me show off my length better.

Now of course with all the information out there, it’s easy to get a lil’ overwhelmed with what my hair “should” look like or how it “should” respond, and for the most part, I feel like that’s a huuuuge waste of time and effort. For instance: My hair is never, and I mean NEVER, going to look like this:

So why beat myself up about it, right?

One of the most important things (in my opinion) about going natural is learning to manage your hair the way it IS, instead of trying to change it. Be realistic! If you don’t have defined curls, you don’t have defined curls. No product will make your hair do that lol. If your hair grows UP, not DOWN, that’s all she wrote lol, stop fighting it. Work with it. So as far as the natural hair mantras, I try to keep it simple and stick to the following:

1. Moisture is EVERYTHING! My hair likes water. Seriously. Lots of it. I focus on getting water on/into my hair first, and the rest of it is just to keep the water there (oils etc.).

2. Be careful with sulfates and silicones. I personally avoid them, I don’t like the way either of them make my hair feel, and there’s info out there that they may not be the greatest for natural hair anyways. However, some people do use them with no problems, so research/try to see how your hair responds.

3. Be careful with your tools: straighteners, blowdryers, combs, clips, headbands etc. All of these can (and will) damage your hair if you don’t use them right. If you’re seeing a lot of hair covering your counter/floor/sink/tub drain, #youmaybedoingitwrong. lol.

4. You don’t necessarily need expensive products! There are a lot of less expensive alternatives. Try stuff!! Don’t swear by something just because someone else says so. Don’t be scurrred to mix up something yourself. And conditioner is your friend! Buy LOTS. lol.

5. Document your progress! It helps to keep me from getting discouraged.

6. Find staple sites for inspiration/tutorials/information. This has helped me tons, knowing that if I have an issue or am interested in trying something, there’s info out there to help me make a decision, or just pretty afro pics for me to look at when I’m feeling discouraged. Some of my faves are:

http://bglhonline.com/

http://www.tightlycurly.com/

http://www.leaveinthekinks.com/

http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/

http://yeahwelikeafros.tumblr.com/

http://www.curlynikki.com/

So that’s really the simplest way to proceed, I think. I hope this helps, seriously. And ask questions! There are tons of people out there with natural hair. Stop girls on the street (in a non-creepy way of course, lol), ask for advice, do research! Shake off the haters. Don’t give up too easy. Don’t do too much at once. Remind yourself why you did it.  No, it’s not easy lol. But you did it for a reason, right? It’s worth it! Promise.

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92 Responses to “Dear #naturalhair friends…”

  1. badmammy Says:

    too cute!

  2. Word! I love my hair. And took a long time to get there. You go girl!

  3. SocialAnswers Says:

    Fairly new but already featured on the dashboard of wordpress!
    Congratulations and welcome!

  4. Eileen Roche Says:

    Lol, can you delete my comment. I was logged in under my work blog and not my personal blog. Lol. Thanks!

  5. I love it !! I’m mix but I’ve been 12 years ‘free’. I use Aveda Hang Straight if I want a sleek-style with the iron, other than that it’s all natural with Cinnamom oil from the Dominican Republic is very good for growth and avoid boldness/weakness; perhaps people could get in Chinese or natural products stores??. It’s been a wonderful ride, my hair i know is healthier and it’s longer now. Thanks for all tips and informative info posted here and very much welcome o this natural hair club !!

    Blessings
    Marisol Diaz

  6. didionsmommy Says:

    gorgeous! you look absolutely fantastic!

  7. Yes yes yes on everything you said! I had to educate myself on using the right products and treat my hair very well. Like you I twist my hair every night. I find it fun because I think of my hair as a garden that I’m tending. I am always excited to do my hair and see what it does.

  8. Claire Says:

    Hey. Have you ever visited http://www.nappturality.com ? That’s my favorite natural hair site.

    I’ll be sure to check out some of the ones you’ve mentioned. I’d never heard of that yeahwelikeafros.tumblr page. Thanks for writing an informative post!

  9. I enjoyed reading your blog. You know what’s sad? My hair looks a lot like the hair in your picture entitled my hair’s never gonna look like this. and what’s sad is that I find myself saying, my hair’s never gonna look like a white person’s hair! Why can’t we be happy? Your hair is beautiful. And so is mine. And so is the long blonde white girl’s hair. They are all beautiful – and different.

  10. Victoria Says:

    4 inches in 8 months is fantastic! I love your curls and the length you’re at. Adorable.

  11. glowacademy10 Says:

    Oh I love it, looks cute on you :)

  12. lol

    Very practical. Thanks much for sharing.

    Now I know my hair is NEVER going to look like that! :)

    2 years plus of the natural for me. Loving it too. Found a wonderful product called Ineral – Hair Fixer. Makes the after shampoo comb out much easier on my scalp.

    Congrats on your dashboard feature!

    blessings
    AA

  13. Isioma Enwerem Says:

    Well said boo! You know I already consider you my natural hair sensei! :)

  14. Holy hangrenades! So much love! I am so appreciative that you all are here reading my nonsense :) I am glad to be in such great cyber-company! Where would we all be without other naturals and supporters, right? Hopefully you all will stick around :)

    Keep it simple ladies!

    <3 you all.

    • Noelle Says:

      What brand/type of hair are your micros?

      • Honestly I don’t pay that much attention to the brand…. But I always make sure it’s 100% human hair, and I get some type of body wave. HTH!

        Thanks for reading!

  15. omg i love you !
    thanks im natural too since march i shaved it all off and its like 2 n half inches now!
    really struggling products wise but i usually keep my hair bradied just to give it rest and get direct contact ith sun and scalp…
    havent had time to go suana thats where i get my deep conditon for skin and hair !
    but yeah you shold talk more abut this alot of peopel are in desperate need of natural hair advice coz the media aint gonna show us nothing they only care about the majority! right!?

  16. […] Because I am at a different point in my life, much much much more comfortable in my own skin, I feel the need to approach 30….I cringe as I write that, with a new outlook. I can’t believe that I will be 30, I have nooooo earthly idea what it means to be 30, but anyway, that’s a blog for another time…. Disclaimer: I am NOT a "natural-hair-blogger". This blog's sole purpose is NOT to discuss natural hair, or any hair for that matter. I am nothing even closely resembling an expert. It is just a topic that is important to me, since I'm fairly new in the game. Just had to throw that out there, lol. Yes, I know I talk about hair too much. No, it will never stop. lol. Alright, here we go…. Hey y'all! First off, I've put the fro away for a while…. … Read More […]

  17. I went from relaxed hair to natural hair three years ago. I usually wear it braided with a weave, but for the last 6 months, I’ve been wearing it out. I LOVE it! My hair is so healthy and it’s grown tremendously, I’m at about 14 inches. Every now and then I think about relaxing it, but it doesn’t take long for me to come to my senses.

  18. Priscila Says:

    I’m you fan. We need more people with this light view of beauty outside, giving opinion, appearing, transforming our standards. Congrats!

  19. Love the site! When I chopped all my hair off a couple of years ago, I had the exact same ideas! I make my own conditioner of 100% melted down Shea butter and organic olive oil..TRY IT, you’ll love the results! I tried to start a support group with my gf’s but eventually we all either stayed in braids or went to relaxers because the upkeep of an afro is ALOT especially when you have no 1 to give you tips! Kudos to you for being proactive and as I reach the, “My relaxer is holding me back” phase again, I will be trying some of your suggestions!

    Thanks!!!
    http://theblackcouple.wordpress.com/

  20. I’m so scared to go natural. I tried one time before and it’s just not for me. My hair is EXTREMELY thick and crazy lol but I really like your hair :) makes me want to try it again!!

    • Don’t be scurred lol. Think it over, try a different approach this time. or don’t, no pressure of course! I’m sure you’d be beautiful either way :) Thanks for reading/stopping by!

  21. Great blog, keep it up.
    My daughter is mixed and I have been using alcohol free gel for days when she wants to look nice and neat. We don’t use it often because I was told it could damage her hair if used daily. I noticed her hair looks the cutest with wild little ringlets…usually after a day at the pool or the lake. I wish I could capture that look w/o the gel.

  22. your natural hair looks beautiful :]

  23. Great post. Good going on the natural hair journey! It’s pretty amazing and I love how it’s becoming so normal these days, for lack of a better word. I’ve been natural all my life except that one time I tried a texturizer before my friend’s wedding to disastrous results but anyhoo, yay natural hair! It’s my perpetual state: natural me–it’s the only way I really know how to be.

  24. I loved it!…I love talking allllll day to my BFF about hair…and we are both going through the process of growing out our hair in it’s natural state. Mine is curly and so is hers. It’s growing rapidly and healthy. I don’t have to use combs at all..which is awesome and I wish I would ahve been done this, but I was too caught up with not knowing how to do…i became a big girl and said..you need to figure it out..lololol….and so i did. thanks for all of ur great tips and ur story..God Bless

  25. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. I’m going to have a little root around now to see what else you have. Your hair is great!

  26. Dreamer Says:

    I love this post! You are so right about just going with the flow and how your hair naturally is.

  27. girl i feel ya…. braids is the way to go….especially in the summer when you want to get in the water….. you know how our hair do…lol…

    beside as long as you use humanish hair…its all natural whether it grows out of your head or from a pack…

    Hope
    http://hopelesslycrushingonyou.wordpress.com/

  28. Enjoyed this post and passed the info on to a friend who has been struggling with the process. I hope it’s some inspiration for her. good work. keep it up.

  29. Thanks for the wonderful advice Sister, and why am I the only brother here?

  30. I’m a student at a HBCU law school, and I gotta say natural is beautiful!!!

  31. I love this post! I like how your hair is so cute natural and how you can pull it off so well. Applause to you! :)

  32. great post!! keep up the great work….and I love, love, love your pics. So freakin’ cute!!

  33. This post is great, I’m trying to convince my wife to let my daughter keep her natural hair until she is old enought to decide for herself. Great info!

  34. i like this post a lot! as a white girl who isn’t 40, i went ‘natural’ with my grey hair for my entire 3rd pregnancy and then some. it was liberating and scary at the same time. the comments never stopped! i broke down and colored it a few weeks after the baby was born and sorta regret it now.

  35. Hi! Just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on making Freshly Pressed. Its great to see another Natural on the front screen. I read through a few of your posts and I really enjoyed them! Keep up the great work… stop by my blog sometime and check me out. http://www.dollfaceproductions.wordpress.com
    I’ll look you up on twitter too @DollFace_Prod
    ~Peace and Blessings~

    • Thanks so much for reading!! The online natural hair support community is soooo on point right now, I’m just glad to be a part of it. Good luck on your own journey, your hair is lovely! And I’ll definitely stop by your blog :)

  36. Loved it. My hair is absolutely unmanageable and I finally left it alone. Funy though – just today, I was thinking of concocting some crazy gunk and leaving it on, like honey, peaches and olive oil. Just for the kicks of it.

  37. Hey, you think you could talk to my girlfriend. I wish she would wear her hair natural. She spends a whopping $200.00 every two weeks on her hair! That’s insane, right!?

    Anyway, great post!

    PS. And I noticed you were a science geek. Me too! Welcome!

    • Haha well i appreciate the vote of confidence, but personally I’d flip out if someone tried to tell me what to do with my hair lol. I mean hopefully with the right information, she’ll make the best decision for herself. I do my best not to be a “Natural Hair Nazi”. It’s not for everyone… *shrug*.

      Thanks for reading!

  38. Hi, my name is YuaJAH, I liked your blog, I too am on a natural hair journey, I have been for 8 months now and I love it. Your pics are so cute, thank you for sharing.

  39. teresz Says:

    Loved this post. Your dead on about just accepting your own natural curl pattern as it is. Even with my own two sisters, we all have different curl patterns and all have to use completely different hair products. Thanks for the websites and sharing your own personal hair experiences

  40. Thankyouthankyouthankyou all for your words of encouragement. Hopefully I’ll be able to dish out some more great content that you will enjoy! If I wasn’t nerding it up at work I would love to reply to each of you, but alas, no can do. But you are all awesome!

    <3

  41. Your hair looks fantastic!

  42. Love your blog! I have dreads down to my booty now! ;-) Been 10 years and I have not looked back. Natural is the only way to go!

  43. great blog! I’ve been natural for over six years now. I only deal with dry scalps but I love being a dread!

  44. Davina Says:

    nice blog, you answered all of my questions

  45. Frankly I think you look super cute with natural hair.

  46. […] Disclaimer: I am NOT a "natural-hair-blogger". This blog's sole purpose is NOT to discuss natural hair, or any hair for that matter. I am nothing even closely resembling an expert. It is just a topic that is important to me, since I'm fairly new in the game. Just had to throw that out there, lol. Yes, I know I talk about hair too much. No, it will never stop. lol. Alright, here we go…. Hey y'all! First off, I've put the fro away for a while…. … Read More […]

  47. :) Your hair doesn’t have to look like that to be BEAUTIFUL! :D i likes it!

  48. shesmyhusband Says:

    I also went natural, and began straighten all the time, it wasn’t bad but I want to go back to these days, and just moisturize and twist! Congrats! I love the blog.

  49. maasanova Says:

    It looks 100% better than the original pic. Actually the second pic is not bad either!

  50. erased Says:

    never read a hair blog before – but enjoyed reading your post! gave me something to think about thats for sure. I’ll be making a point to pop in every now and then, especially when my hair decides to be an ass and not do as its told lol.

  51. I thank you for this information. I am white and I have four sons but I am adopting a baby girl from Uganda this fall. She’s four months old now and she has a full head of hair already. I am now a student of how to care for black hair, and this was helpful. I’m glad you went natural. I love it.

  52. I love your hair! You look great! :) I just stumbled across this via the WordPress dashboard! :D

  53. I wear Locs of Love.

    Vivian Dixon Sober

  54. I just totally chopped off all my locs, and now I have like two inches of hair. I’m trying to grow my hair out, and braids have been my salvation in the corporate world.

    I can’t wait till my hair is long enough to go back to the fro. Natural hair rocks!

  55. Everything natural is always beautiful. I never tried to change myself or tried to change people around me. Don’t ever change [like scratching nose when amused, meeting of eyebrows when mad, etc.] They communicate and tell others familiar with you what’s true and real in you.

    I liked Michael Jackson really. I mean as an artist and an awesome singer and performer. I don’t understand why he changed his natural skin color though.

  56. gloss2beauty Says:

    I have found that you have really put your heart into your hair.You are so great.

  57. Thank you for writing a comprehensive non black power or die post about natural hair care.

    I haven’t had a perm in 2 years and grew out my hair from a short bob to mid length. I have natural curls but my hair frizzes horribly. I’m now at peace with it.

    It’s good to know that someone is actually taking the time to take care of their hair, not relying on perms and comfortable with where there hair is and what their hair is capable of.

    Kudos.

  58. preetybird7 Says:

    I love your hair, really like it.

  59. So, um, totally random – but I am a writer working on a novel and needing to describe an African American character’s hair (can you tell I’m a white girl, yet?). Anyway, I want my readers to know she’s black when I describe her hair, but don’t want to inadvertently say something rude. So, what’s the best way to describe her hair? Can I say, “Afro” or “African hair” or… Any cool terms I, in my white-girl-hair-world don’t know?
    Thanks,
    Layla

    • I would stick to “coily”. maybe “cottony” or “kinky”. I use the word “nappy”, but some people are offended by it, so i probably would leave that out. Maybe making some mention of how it grows up/out instead of down? alluding to the volume that natural hair tends to achieve? Hope this gets at what you’re going for!

      <3

      • Thanks, Asante! (It’s a teen book, so I’ll probably avoid ‘kinky’ ;), but coily or cottony would work great. Thanks again for your help. And like everyone says, your hair looks great!

  60. Very fun! Seriously, hair is definitely one thing I could talk about all day long. And sometimes I do.
    ANd yes, your hair looks great! I’m not a hair judge, just a hair lover!

  61. you’re beautiful.

  62. You’re so pretty.

  63. Based on what you have written, you do know what you’re talking about. Give yourself some credit. When you are finished doing that, pat yourself on the back and while you’re at it, go ahead and do the tootsie roll.

    I really appreciate your entire paragraph about not moping over what our hair should look like and what not. I haven’t straightened my hair in over eleven years. For the past nine, I’ve been locked up and loving it. Thank you for you post.

  64. shfwe Says:

    Nature is good.gg…

  65. […] This gave me hope. But in general? I am wondering if going completely bald is the only way to get manageable hair. Got there once, who’s to say I won’t again? […]

  66. Songbird Says:

    You look fab!!! That hair really suits you!!

  67. It is just a topic that is important to me, since I’m fairly new in the game. Just had to throw that out there, lol. Yes, I know I talk about hair too much. No, it will never stop.

  68. I love natural curly hair but I have thin, limp and straight hair. Your hair is fabulous!

  69. kitsunefirepaws Says:

    Wow, great blog. Entertaining, informative, and well-written.
    My friend/co-blogger/partner-in-crime Samantha is also going natural and growing her hair out, I will be sure to show her your lovely blog :-)

  70. natalie scott Says:

    You’ve actually encouraged me to start up my own hair blog, no lie. My hair is natural and always has been but occassionally i have the odd weave (2wice a year maybe)

    I feel the reason i rarely use weave is because, not to blown my own horn but i have good hair. you’re probably thinking what’s good hair. Well it’s just easy to maintain when looked after properly. It’s really curly (similar to mix race, although i’m black caribbean) iLOVE my hair and i’m glad to see you do to! i WILL DEF BE READING YOUR BLOG AND TAKING DOWN NOTES! Thanks a BUNCH!!!

  71. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart…I know I have no room to talk, as I myself am not dealing with the issue, but I think that the natural look is the way to go…I am always casing on my african and african-american friends who talk about hair that is “too kinky” or skin that is “too black” (my friend from Uganda SERIOUSLY says that about herself…), and I just want to encourage everyone to embrace what God has given them, whether it be seriously hardly any hair at all like me, or a head full of gorgeous fluffy hair! (Can u hear the theme from “Hair”?…).

    Thanks for making this a blog topic! Hopefully the Dashboard exposure will make this a topic of discussion “around town”…

  72. Audwina Says:

    Thank you so much for this post and congrats on being featured on the dashboard! I chopped the relaxer out of my hair a couple of years ago and I also have very thick, very “nappy” hair. I keep it braided almost constantly and I have days where I think I’ll just go back to relaxer but articles like this encourage me to leave my hair alone – growing out of my head the way it should !
    And yours looks beautiful by the way x

  73. WeirdOne Says:

    Aaaaah, U so lucky! My curls are too smooth for an afro… Even when i make tangles inn my hair and try to make it puffy with a comb, it just won’t stay!! I asked a hairdresser about it once and she told me I had too silky hair. I curse my curls!!

  74. u look great

  75. i really appreciate this post! very inspiring

  76. Pamela Says:

    I love your blog. I have been growing out from a relaxer for 7 months. I did the big cut a week from Wednesday. I have 3 1/2 inches of hair. The website is very insightful. Thanks for giving us your knowledge.

  77. Nice blog. Good job

  78. […] blog post in almost a week. Here’s hoping I can continue riding the popularity wave from my “Freshly Pressed” post […]

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