April 22, 2014
Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why? (Tell us your natural hair journey)
I started my natural hair journey two years ago when I was pregnant with my third child. I had an urge to be chemical free and decided to go natural at that point.
My hair was becoming dangerously thin and I was becoming increasingly more annoyed with my thin, lifeless, limp hair.
Although I'd had my hair super short back in the 90's (I had a 'Halle Berry' moment!) I was too chicken to 'big chop' because I felt it would overwhelm my husband at the time. So I gradually grew my relaxer out and during this time I did extensive research online for natural hair and read a lot on different blogs such as Black Girl with Long Hair to name one. I also watched YouTube videos and came across Taren Guy aka Taren916 and was blown away by her beautiful hair and the fact that she embraced it so proudly. It was uplifting to see other vloggers such as naptural85 and shortysgs03 spread the message of natural hair care that impacted my choice in going natural.
It took me 32 years to figure out that I can finally say 'I love my natural hair.'
I didn't really know what my natural texture was because I had my hair relaxed for so long. My mother relaxed my hair for the first time when I was 9 years old out of frustration due to the fact that we lived in Germany where products for black hair were non existent, let alone for mixed people like myself. I also had a hair complex because I couldn't identify with anyone that had similar hair to me so I was more than happy to have the "flat hair" to fit in.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My family and friends all loved my decision to go natural and were encouraging. I was also excited to try different styles and frequently hear "girl that hairstyle is dope."
My husband is now loving my natural hair also but I think it was harder for him to accept because he has known me for so long with straight hair that it was a big adjustment.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair type is between a Type 3b-3c. Overall I'd say my hair is pretty thin. I don't know if relaxing my hair over the years has played a factor but I suspect it has because looking back at pictures of my hair prior to relaxing it looked healthy and full! Cursed relaxers!
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
My current hair routine is pretty simple because I hate playing around in my hair and when something works I stick with it! (You may call it laziness!).
I wash my hair with Tresemme Curl Hydrating Shampoo once a week and use the same Tresemme Conditioner. Sometimes I'll use the Knot Today conditioner by Kinky Curly. Once a month I'll do an apple cider rinse to get rid of residue and product build up. After that I apply coconut oil right out of the shower. I don't towel dry, I wring my hair and put it up until I'm ready to apply products. Then I'll apply the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie through my hair, comb with wide tooth comb and air dry. I don't diffuse because I hate heat and find that heat dries my hair out. If the edges look frizzy, I'll apply a little Eco Styer Gel and that's my routine. I don't do that many deep conditioning treatments (yes you've guessed I'm lazy), but when I do I like to use the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque.
I am currently playing around with co-washing, so if that works I'll include that in my routine.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
My nighttime routine is also simple. I 'pineapple' it, which is to place the hair into a very high ponytail to avoid frizz and maintain curls.
How do you maintain healthy length?
Although I love long hair and have my personal hair goal (to my lower back) I am not as "hung up" on length as I am with health. I think having healthy hair is so much more important. As a naturalista you have to embrace shrinkage, so the correlation between health and length is evident. Focusing on the products and having a routine that promotes healthy hair will enable it to grow. I've found that cutting my hair every 3 month did not promote health or length so I cut when detangling becomes a nightmare and curls fall limp. For me this is once every 6-9 months, depending on the hair... it makes its own rules!
What's the best thing about being curly?
The best thing about being curly is the versatility and flexibility of hair care. Although there is a certain technique to every routine, it is liberating to be able to just wash and go! It’s also great to experiment with different hairstyles, colors and accessories along the way but the most wonderful thing about being curly is to have the confidence to wear the hair in its natural state.
Where can folks find you on the web?
You can always find me on Instagram @fraujames