Tell us a little about yourself and your hair journey.
I am Tracee and I am a Lead IT Specialist that has resided in Maryland for the last 10 year, but I always claim my roots of Mississippi as “home.” My hair journey began in 2013.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 16 months and relaxer free for 20 months.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love the thickness!!!!!
Why did you choose to go natural?
I didn’t really choose to go natural. Going natural actually chose me. I have had some type of chemical in my hair since 5th grade starting with a “curl” then changed over to a “relaxer” by 8th grade. My hair would always break of at different points and in different sections, never making it pass shoulder length. In 1999 during my Sophomore year in college, I ventured into short cuts for the first time. My short cuts were off and on while trying to grow it back out only to go back to a short cut again due to it breaking off. This went on until 2013 when I decided that I wanted to attempt grow out my hair again. My boyfriend noticed that it was really thin at the top. I kind of brushed it off at the time, until 2 weeks later; it completely broke off in the crown of my head. It broke off to the point of fuzz. There was basically a bald patch at the crown and there was thinning on the top where hair remained. My scalp was red, inflamed, and itched like crazy. I set an appointment with the dermatologist and after a biopsy I was diagnosed with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. The doctor stated that I came just in time to try and save the hair follicles that were remaining. I was prescribed a topical solution which quickly started relieving the inflammation and itching. There isn’t a root cause, but I vowed to never get a relaxer again. I made an appointment to get kinky twists installed once my stitches from the biopsy were removed. There was not enough hair in the crown, so the kinky twists where placed all around and I kept them in a ponytail as to not reveal the bald patch. After 2 months of having them installed, I decided there was enough new growth to do my BC…. This was the best decision I have ever made regarding my hair. The “dead” hair follicles will never grow hair again, by my hair is so thick that only I know where my hair is less dense.
What is your hair regimen?
My regiment is pretty basic in my opinion. My hair has become longer and more time consuming to detangle, so I try to stretch my style. Currently, I have been shampooing my hair every 2-3 weeks. This process in done in sections. After shampooing, I sit under the dryer with conditioner. Once the conditioner is rinsed out, I go through each section and apply my leave-in, oil, and styling product. I detangle and place in large 2 strand twists to partially dry or to dry overnight. I then style my hair in small 2-strand twists with my oil. I try to keep my twist in 1.5-2weeks, then release them into a twist out until I feel that it is time to shampoo again.
My current products include:
Shampoo: Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Moisture & Shine Shampoo
Conditioner: Curls Unleashed No Restrictions Moisturizing Conditioner
Leave –in: Design Essentials Hydrate Leave-In Hydrating Conditioner
Styling: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie - Coconut and Hibiscus Oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?
Has it been easy or difficult or both?! The most memorable part of my journey was the 2 months that I spent researching natural hair. I had a short time to develop a plan on what I needed/should do once I removed my kinky twists. I spent countless hours on-line. I purchased products and went for it. I remember looking in the mirror as I cut my kinky twists out and then the remaining relaxed ends down to the short remaining new growth. There was no turning back. I shampooed, conditioned, and went to bed. I awoke the next morning to my new “TWA.” This whole process post BC has been a lot easier than I could have ever imagined.
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
My favorite hair style is a twist out. This is whether all out or pinned by bobby pins to create a different look.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, You Tuber’s, or blogs?
I love all things natural hair. I am always searching websites, Instagram, or YouTube for new ideas and information.
Where can people find you for more information?
Instagram - Tcwashin