Monday, September 12, 2011

Holding Pattern...

That's where I believe I am right now. For the most part I'm just hanging in until I get to my Chop date.

What I'm currently doing:
Shampoo with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle
Rinse out Condition with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
Deep Condition with Proclaim Argan Oil Intense Hair Masque OR Silk Elements Deep Treatment Hair Mayonnaise
Moisturize/Leave In with SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner
Seal with Castor Oil OR EVOCoconut Oil

I then set my hair. I find that setting my hair while it is still damp sets the style well and I don't currently need any additional styling aid.

I've tweaked my techniques here and there. Most notably: finger detangling. I washed my hair yesterday and didn't use the comb at all. Nor did I the last time I washed. It seems that after the fine tooth debacle, I've swung the other way completely.

I've been using my Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo more versus cowashing. My hair seems to cope fine with both methods. My husband had been complaining about his hair and dryness. So I've ditched the harsh Equate dandruff shampoo he'd been using and let him use my stuff. Even convinced him to try co-washing and he liked it! Since my stuff cost more/not available on the ground where we live, I'm determined to find him something else that's cheap and sulfate free so we can have seperate toiletries. I really prefer having my own stuff. I've been sharing my facial moisturizer with him for a while now and I just don't like it.

The rest of my transition I hope to focus on my styling. I want to get better so that I'll feel confident after the Chop. Making the decision to stop wearing my hair straight back in May was a very important. I'm now used to seeing myself with very short hair. Seeing it highly textured. Getting used to my poofy edges. Discovering that natural hair styles look good on me. I've gotten to know my hair and am getting practice at listening to it and giving it what it needs.

For example, the key to my dry scalp issues really do seem to be related to how much water I'm drinking. I really slacked off this weekend bc I made lemonaid and that frankly is tastier than water. Me and my husband nearly drained the whole gallon in a day. Now my scalp is dry where as before it had been fine. I'm sure my kidneys will appreciate that my vanity has me reaching more for the water pitcher today than anything else.

So that's that.

Monday, September 5, 2011

9 months in.....

I've now officially been transitioning for 9 months.

Let's see.....were there any new techniques or styles that I tried over the past month that I found helpful?

Yes! I washed my hair in sections for the 2nd time this last washday. Instead of braiding or twisting (which is what I tried the first time back in July) I chose to divide the hair in 4 sections and simple clamp them with butterfly clips. I then washed my hair section by section, first shampooing then applying conditioner. Definitely a keeper. No more loose washing.

I also tried pre-treating with coconut oil the night prior to washing. Doing this lessens the amount of protein loss during washing and also lessens hygral fatigue. Since I'm striving to grow my hair out, I believe the coconut oil is an important ingredient to incoporate into my regimen. Speaking of which I finally ran across some organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil in my local grocer. This wonder oil cost $12. It hurt my feelings.

I've been leaving my bantu knots in most days. If I'm not going out in public, then I dont take down the knots. I guess this would qualify as protective styling. I've started doing this in an effort to lessen breakage.

I've mentioned that I did my first full henna application and also wasted my time with a demised henna gloss. I probably will not do another full application until I get some Amla Powder to reduce the chance that my natural curl pattern with loosen. I will eventually get around to doing a full post dedicated to my impression of henna. One of these days.

I've also discovered The Natural Haven and just can't get enough. I'm a nerd and this is so up my alley. Love it! She does great diagrams that really break things down and help you understand the science behind hair care. Love it! Because of this site I've decided to get serious about washing my hair in sections and using coconut oil. Reading some real science motivated me to do my best during the last of my transition.

I've certainly made mistakes. I got the ridiculous idea recently to really detangle my hair and get rid of all my shed hairs. So I went in with a fine tooth comb. That.....was ridiculously time consuming and frustrating. I also probably lost a lot of hair unnecessarily. I hope I remember this lesson and do not feel the need to repeat.

I also pulled out a ruler a few times but I believe this falls into the mistake category. A watched pot certainly doesnt boil and by watching my hair closely the past month it seems it didn't grow much at all. Soooo...instead of relying on the ruler, I'm just going to snap a picture of the front portion stretched. It seems that that moves a teeny bit while the ruler tells me otherwise. My natural hair in the front is currently between my eyebrows.

So 3 more months to go....I can do this. I know can do this now since I've made it this far.