Saturday, July 30, 2011

Transitioning in transit

This has been one whirl wind of a week....posting from my hotel room in St. Louis where we decided to pit stop on our way out west.

I'm popping in just to update primarily because over the last few days I've noticed my scalp issues flaring up around my front hairline again. I'm thinking this must be stress related bc I havent used anything new on my hair. I did miss 2 doses of Zyrtec this past week. It was very dry and tight and itchy. The more I rubbed and picked at it the more annoying it became and I got self conscious when I saw that it was flaking up.

I had an applicator bottle of vinegar in my toiletry bag so I bust that out and applied it to my hair line with a cotton ball. then I used cool water to rinse the most irritated side. I forgot to rinse the other side of my hair line which I'm regretting as I type this bc the vinegar smell has lingered. I applied a little moisture spritz to the area and sealed it with olive oil. After about 20 mins things settled down and I'm comfortable. Hopefully that spot has been set to heal. I dont plan to wash my hair until Monday when we prayerfully will get into our new place.

To tie up loose ends, here is a picture of my hair from my husband's going away party. I wore my hair in a flat twist out:

This is the style that I used the Elasta QP Silk Setting Foam. It turned out ok. I'm still just learning this set and will admit that the one I did for that day was not the best one I've done so far. but I think I salavaged it pretty well with the headband and using bobby pins to shape the sides.

That's a very tired....about to fall into the bed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Conditioner

So...a really quick impression of the infamous Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Pak.

I found this while going thru a drawer in my bathroom as I organize and get rid of stuff in preparation for the *relocation*...that is in a week! OMGOSH!!! I am NOT ready.

anyway, I'm trying to get rid of stuff, use up stuff that I can and ran across this last night. I've seen countless people on boards and on Youtube that use this stuff but honestly....I was skeptical. I wrongly assumed that it included mineral oil or petroleum since it's inexpensive and marketed as an ethnic hair product. I'm not militant about my ingredients but those two I'm trying extra hard to stay away from bc they truly dont do me any favors. I base this upon the fact that when I cut out all the products that included those items, my hair FELT so much better and my scalp is doing GREAT! That's after suffering with severe scalp psoriasis/dermatitis for YEARS...

I scan the ingredients and don't see mineral oil or petroleum so bam, used it today. I'm prepping my hair for my husband's going away party tomorrow. (the Organic Root Stimulator Hair Fertilizer did include Petroleum so I trashed the samples I had of that)

First, I washed my hair with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle shampoo then detangled with their conditioner. I applied the Replenishing Pak. I used about half of the package on my necklength transitioning hair.

First of all this smells like oranges. I'm not an express fan of the smell of oranges but points for originality bc I think this may be the first orange smelling product I've smeared in my hair. The consistency is like pudding. Imagine some lemon/orange take a scoop of that pudding and smear it on your hair. Exact SAME consistency.

Most of the mentions I've seen of this product stated mixing olive oil with it so I squirted in a few pumps of olive oil into my hand and mixed. I applied it kinda in sections and finger detangled before popping on a plastic cap and donning my heat therapy wrap.

I left the ORS RP on my hair for an hour with heat. Hopped back in the shower and rinsed with cool water. I attempted to detangle a little with my wide tooth comb and noticed this conditioner really doesnt have much slip. BUT i also noticed NO HAIR in my comb. At the end of this last rinse there was 1 lonely strand in my comb.....this is unheard of. at first, i was thought that wasn't that big of a deal since I detangled prior with the Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner but NO. this is a big deal bc everytime I comb my hair there is hair in the comb thanks to the the process of transitioning.

Afterwards, I squeezed with my hand towel and hopped to the mirror. I didnt notice major popping of curls in the top which is what I keep my eye on bc those are the more distinct ones that i can see but I did catch some major coil action above my right ear. I've never noticed that before.

I've read somewhere from someone who felt this conditioner was a good protein conditioner..I've read on MakeUpAlley a few accounts of this conditioner making people's hair hard. So I'm thinking that this conditioner probably leans more towards protein than moisture. My hair was not soft when I rinsed. Nothing like how my hair is soft when I rinse out my Protectiv Argan Oil stuff. I would venture to say my hair felt stronger. And since it is my haphazard opinion that my hair could benefit from a little protein here and there I will certainly purchase this conditioner again.

So I've set my hair for tomorrow's party and to keep it interesting I'm using a setting foam that I've barely used a few years ago and certainly never on my natural roots.....HOPEFULLY it will give me good results tomorrow.

I'll record my impression of that either way....

*I hope to get back to recording my thoughts soon but everything is so up in the air with the relocation. We plan pull out of here on the 29th and take a few days to drive the 1000 miles.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It was bound to happen sooner or later.....

Something’s gotta change….

Friday I washed my hair after an 8 day stretch…..Travel and then revival at church all week left me with no opportunities to wash my hair. As I’m not a fully natural diva….i can’t just hop in the shower and wash my hair any ole place. I gotta have time, the right products, ect.

So late Friday night, I wash my hair. I was exhausted. See previous week of travel and church. I popped on my heating therapy wrap to deep condition and was so miserable, I decided to sleep in the conditioner and deal with rinsing, detangling, ect the next morning. Note to self: don't bother going to bed with the therapy cap makes your ears hurt.

That morning, in the shower as I tried to detangle, I was getting discouraged. Now surely, it was not as bad as the harrowing experiences I've read of women standing in a cold shower for 2 hours crying. No suh….ain’t gonna be that dramatic about it. But frankly it was more frustrating than it has been in a looong while. Unsure if waiting 8 days was a factor or not but heaven knows when I finally got out the shower and got dressed. I stood in the living room with my damp hair and I shook my head at my husband:

“Something’s gotta change”

(which led to an interesting conversation where we got into the chemistry of relaxing hair and the societal conditioning that we all have to see our natural hair as something undesireable and to be straightened out-but I'll touch on that later)

my relaxed hair is cut in an inverted bob so my front layers are signicantly longer than the back. I don’t have any troubles detangling the back. It’s the front that was being a donkey that morning….

So…I’m taking this as a sign that my regimen needs tweaking. Particularly how I wash my hair. I’ve read here and there about people who section their hair before washing it. They twist/braid it and wash it like this without loosening the twist/braid. I didn’t bother experimenting with this bc I didn’t think I could. I had very short hair in the back….but lesson has been learned. I will at least twist the front before I wash my hair again. That will be tonite.

In order to do this I’m also gonna have to experiment with my detangling process. I’ll need to do that at the sink. Now one option is to apply conditioner to DRY hair. Get it good and saturated (as I understand the hair absorbs more of it in the dry state) and detangle that way….I’ve also heard of saturating the hair with oil….once again on DRY hair then commence with the detangling. Since I’m planning at least 2 twist one on either side of my head, I think I’m gonna try them both and see which won wins my affections. The back I’ll probably just do what I normally do. hop in the shower and let the water wash away the definition left by the Bantu Knots…….then detangle with conditioner as normal….that is unless the heavens open and the sink detangling is such a breeze that I smh at silly ole me in the shower trying to comb my nest.

on a related note: I got 2 overripe bananas….I intended to make my husband some ‘Nana Pudding…poor man done went to the store and bought some Nilla wafers for it too…….would it be wrong of me to mash those bananas up with olive oil and put them in my hair???
Yes…yes it would. But I’m so tempted….so very tempted, lol. I better make the Puddin before I wash my hair or he’ll be mighty disappointed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

How I wear it.......

This will be a picture heavy post as I need to dump some pictures that profile how my hair has been looking for the last month or so....I missed some days of documenting but I feel that what I have is a good depiction of how I've been rocking my hair daily.

All style below are Bantu Knot Outs. I'm considering trying some braid outs after my last day of work.....July 15th. But for now...I've stuck with what works and looks good (most of the time). I've gotten bored with them so I'm definitely looking forward to mastering something else.

Bought this headband from Sally's. I believe it was $6.99

Brown Goody's headband from Walmart

Black scarf worn as headband. I allowed the tails to fall down my back. Bought this from Walmart too.

This was on a very tired knot out. I originally thought I was gonna have to wrap my hair up this day but I played with it and it didn't come out half bad.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beady Beads......

Quick thought...

I have "Beady beads"....little soft ones...fuzzy...kinda indistinct. But definitely present and accounted for. Located on the left and right edges of the nape of my neck. I noticed them about 4ish weeks ago.

So since then, I've either pulled them out with my fingers or hit that area with my brush really softly. A stroke is all that they need to stretch out as they are quite soft.

Now....I'm wondering if I'm embracing my natural texture, shouldn't I leave my little beady beads alone?

Ehhh...I don't know. I'm not sure if I'm gonna leave them back there to chill. If the whole nape section beaded up then I'd just call it a day and leave them to do what they do....but the random 1 or two I get on each side just seem to 'stick out' to me. I do see that several natural women have them....

Now there is a lot of negative social connotations with 'beady beads'. Most know it so I'm not going into that here. I'm starting to think about my feelings regarding that negativity. One of those ideas is that if the hair is rolled up/beaded that it is "unkempt and not groomed". I think that's my primary concern. Since they are so soft and fuzzy does that mean i should just comb them? They don't roll back up later in the day...and often they aren't there the next morning. They reappear every few days..perhaps when I moisturize my scalp with my spritzer.

I don't know what I'll ultimately decide to do....for now, I will either brush them or stretch them out with my fingers. Perhaps if they get longer they will decide what they want to do....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daddy Dearest.....

During the visit with my MomMom, I saw my dad.

I wore a Bantu Knot out during my visit and when my father arrived the Knot Out was certainly on its last legs. It was droopy and frizzy and NOT CUTE. He initially asked me if I had a 'piece' in my hair bc he noted the different textures of my roots and the curly part. I told him that I was transitioning to Natural Hair.

Oh! Like your mom?


Did you guys plan to do this together?

No. We started at our own times and then find out later that we were transitoning together.

Later at the table, he is looking at my hair and comments that he thinks I should be 'Okay'. now he never expounded on what 'Okay' was but he said the word a few times and he went on to speak on his sisters, my aunts, and stated that they all had 'Nice' hair, so I should be 'Okay'.

I've seen pictures of my aunts from back in the day when their hair was natural....I guess in a way he was telling me not to worry...that my texture should be 'manageable'. Which of course I know it will be bc I'm managing it. But it was curious to hear his word choice. I know that I do not have what is traditonally known as 'good hair'. I am far from glossy curls and waves. My hair is not thick and shiny. What seems to grow from my scalp is dull and only after I add oil can I claim any 'sheen' at all. I do not know for sure if he was insinuating anything at all but it did bring that mind that.

But aside from all that. It's nice to have my parents 'on board' for this. Clearly my dad has come to a level of acceptance since my mom is going thru the process herself. My husband and I plan to go home for the holidays and by then I will have Big Chopped. It's nice to not be nervous as what their reactions will be. I have 3 little brothers. 2 rock dreads. and one has a fade (he's experiencing premature pattern baldness. He's 19. I'm sure he's got heavy feelings on hair right about now). So now the only 'worries' about family reactions will be with my husband's family.....

but that is surely a whole 'nother post bc I have many many concerns regarding their reactions.

After the 4th....

Over the holiday weekend I went to NC to visit my MomMom (maternal grandmother). It was a very short trip but I'm so glad I got to go bc she was very happy to see me. It was a surprise. I'd only told my mother who has been staying with her since the beginning of June as a caretaker since her knee replacement surgery.

My MomMom is natural. My mom has been transitioning since Oct/Nov and I've been transitioning since Dec. So natural hair certainly came up in discussion. My mom is having a difficult time and has a lot of breakage. I got to see it first hand. it's pretty bad. there is a section in the center of her head that is completely broken off while other places in the back have a few limp strands hanging on for dear life. Then in the top and front she has pieces that are easily 10 inches long. in short her hair is a mess and she knows it but she is nowhere near ready to chop. even though I think she knows that's what's best to do at this point.

She claims her texture is 'gungy bush'. yet I detangled her hair for her and set it in bantu knots and I would not characterize her hair as so. She has very thick dense hair but I was able to comb thru her natural hair with no problem. What's making life so difficult for her right now is the relaxed ends. The coil/curl pattern is similiar to my own. She has used a TON of heat during her transition so I'm unsure if this is her real texture or if her growth is heat damaged (she's been pressing it). I am concerned bc she wants 'curls' and she said that if her hair doesn't 'curl' then she's going back to the relaxer. My mom is 51 years old. I wanted to ask her but didnt get the opportunity: Why are you doing this? I'm not sure what her motives are but it currently doesnt sound like one of them is to embrace her texture. Bc she doesnt seem willing to do that. What I hope is that after the relaxed ends are gone and her hair is easier to manage, she will grow to accept whatever grows out of her scalp.

I hope to be an example of that. Whatever I'm left with after I CHOP, I'm gonna embrace.