My name is RacquelTiara and I have been natural since May of 2007. That was the last time I had a relaxer but it wasn’t until December of that year that I chopped it off and went full fledged into my natural state. I know it’s really cliche, but the moments in that bathroom were so freeing for me, I felt like it was time for me to start living my life as myself. In hindsight, I know that I was just living the life of an individual who was hiding from herself.
I was 18 when I decided that I would go natural. It was many years before that I knew I wanted to wear my natural hair, but I was scared to death of what the result would be. Is my head shaped too funny? How would I style it? Would it FINALLY grow?! In my mind, the time was never right and even that December, I didn’t know for sure the time was right to cut it off. I knew I wanted a change and felt that keeping my hair the same would be a hindrance– I knew this because it was an embarrassment for me ever since I could remember. I know that hair is supposed to be a girl’s crowning glory, but for me it was a crown of shame. I was pretty much bald until I was about 4 years old and it seemed as if I grew hair right before I started school, but not really…..for me, it just wasn’t enough. Every other girl had long ponytails sprouting from her head with pretty twists. It just wasn’t happening for me because my twists were over before they started. I heard other people talking about, my “friends”, their friends, and mostly I heard it from my older sister. She was 8 years older than me but she reminded me in ALL her free time that I was “bald-headed”. Even when she was actually busy, I think she made time to torture me. I was walking with a dark cloud over my head and that dark cloud was my hair. It grew in the back, but the sides were a joke. The front had length but the middle was stubborn. And my dear mother, she took great care of it and made me feel beautiful but the world (and my big sister)beat me down. My hair was my black girl pain.
But the older I got the more I realized that I could free myself. I saw beautiful women on television and in magazines with big natural, nappy, kinky curly hair, and I knew I would get it one day. None of these women were in my world; I never saw them in the grocery store or at the park, but still I knew it was something I could attain. And sure enough I have. I have good days and bad ones. I twist and miss. I think about a weave every now and again, I think about chopping it all off again. But this joy that my hair gives me it incomparable. Although, there is still one minor problem… IT WON’T GROW! I have seen people natural for less than 2 years and have major length, but my hair won’t do me that favor. I have tried so many products and because they won’t work, I headband it up. But there is a part of me that desires to have a a head full of hair. Even all around, not noticeably shorter on the right side. I want it all: the length, the right amount of kink, the thickness, I deserve that for once in my life to have hair that I feel good about and looks really good.
So while I still feel free because it’s mine and I look cute with it, I still want my cake and I want to eat it too (who wouldn’t?). I deserve to have my very own crowning glory.
Are there any other natural girls who can help me work out the kinks? Anybody else that can relate?
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Hello, this is Flore.
I had the same issue. I will tell you thus, I purchased a Dominican product called CRECE PELO. It's a natural treatment for Afro textured hair. Since I have been using the entire line my hair has transformed a great deal. It really works and I know you will love it.
I stopped using heat against my hair and a comb. Since then my hair is thicker and softer then ever. To two strand twist I use the Crece Pelo leave in with blackseed oil.
Remember to be consistant with Afro hair. Do not use too many products on the hair and treat tour scalp delicately.
You remind me of myself. I have a non-existant hair line that has been receeding since I was 6 years old. I started relaxing my hair at 18. Stopped at 29. Relaxed again at 30 and now I am transitioning back to natural at 32. I always hide my sides therefore my hair is forever parted. I wish I were more like you. Beleive it or not, I am inspired. Much love and happiness + nappiness. Rudo'sKinks
I just happened to come across this and I wish I could give you a big hug. I swear we're descendants of the same tribe because not only do we share big eyes, lips and perfectly arched brows :), but our hairlines are practically identical. The few people who have seen it think it's like this because of tight scarves, wigs, headwraps, Mercury in Aquarius, etc, but it's been this way since I was about 13. It was a mix of bad perms, badder pressing combs (cause we hit a rough patch and instead of buying box perms, Mama tried to "warm press" my roots), and stress. It never grew back no matter how much I massaged my scalp, put whatever growing product juice, berry, herb, rock, praying hands, etc was out there, and nothing. Finally, when I was 18 and out of the scary confines of high school (waaay back in '95) I started transitioning and did the big chop six months later. My small hometown was so addicted to the cream crack, I had to have a former classmate who was Latina and just started doing hair to cut it. Beauticians I'd known my whole life thought I'd lost my mind and the barbers next door wouldn't "cut a woman's head" then. That was such a hard time for me because I truly felt alone. No internet guidance, no natural magazines, just my Good Hair book and the audacity of feeling dope.
I don't have thick long hair and I've been growing mine out for two years. I can just get it into a ponytail, but I'm taking better care of it. My hair gets dry easily, like I can wash it and it'll be dry within an hour if I don't put any product on fast enough. Even though I still get frustrated and have periodically tried wigs, locs, short cuts, I am a mother and my daughter has my hair. I have to be the example of how she feels about her own hair.
You may not have children yet, but somebody is always paying attention and you have to be the change you want to see. Keep embracing what God gave you and don't focus so much on what's missing and what others have. Hey, certain pulled back styles won't work for us, so we have to find other ways to rock it. Trust me, after 15 years natural, I've learned how to be creative, like having braids on the side patterned in ways that make my hairline look more in tune with the rest of my hair. I hope this comment helps and know that you're gorgeous just the way you are, lil sis.
I think you are gorgeous! I'm having somewhat if the same issue and also some bald spots along my edges from bad weaving. Hey, if you decide to braid it up or weave it, make sure you considiont you own hair underneath and get a stylist that KNOWS what she is doing! My opinion, stay away fromthe galleries… they will braid every single strand on your head and your baby hairs and edges will HATE you for it later.
Try stimulating your scalp with organic aloe vera gel every otehr night with a stimulating massage.
I concur with everyone — you really are a beautiful girl. All the advice is amazing, especially the "get rid of the headband" stuff. And I definitely ain't mad at the monistat! lol (I ran over to my medicine cabinet and almost slathered my head full of stuff as soon as I read that!)
I have to say, if you have been struggling with growth and always in the same areas since you were small regardless of hair regimen, you may want to explore a medical option and get it checked out. I know a lot of people are saying dermatologist, but what about a trichologist? This is a person that treats hair/scalp in particular.
I remember reading on Dr. Lisa Akbari's website that she does free consultations by phone. Maybe you should get into contact with her? Her site was one of the only ones that I ever saw that talked about different, rarer types of alopecia that occur in black women (even ones with natural hair) as a result of genetics and/or damage from relaxers.
Hang in there and keep up hope. Your letter was very brave and courageous. I agree that you deserve your crown of glory — but sometimes you have to FIGHT, and hard, for what you really want. It only makes the achievement and the victory all the sweeter. Hold out girl! Update us on your progress.
You my friend are very beautiful. Everyone couldn't have said it better! Stay Beautiful…and those eyes… 😉
This is why the Curly Nikki community is SO great…such a generosity in information and encouragement! I further encourage you to continue building your confidence and not let the hair rock you but you ROCK THE HAIR!
If you really take a look at the women many of us admire- they may have some nice hair but I find it’s really personal style and confidence that captures attention and admiration…own what you’ve got and work it…I don’t care what anyone is working with- you can make it ALL on purpose and be as fly as the Maker intended! Continue to embrace what you’ve got…them gorgeous brows, that lovely shaped face and them lips…shoot, couldn’t nobody tell me nothing!
God's blessings RacquelTiara!
Hello. Detox your scalp with one of the clays, betonite, etc. Take a good multiple vitamin for hair with Biotin, MSM & Silica. Loc or two-strand hair for at least two-to three weeks continuoulsy for six months. Do not experiment or manipulate with your hair. Use a sulfate free shampoo! Get elctorlite trace minerals. Use only natural products. Take extra B-vitains along with the vitamin for hair. Lastly, if you can stand on your heard or shoulderstand — yoga poses, so blood will get to the head everday. I guess laying on your bed with your head down would also do. Good luck. And pray, prayer works and will guide you as to what to do.
Hi Raquel,my name is Lola i live in UK and i don't know anyone with natural hair, so i just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and not sugar coating your struggles, to a girl like me who is transition it means alot.
Raquel, you should check out beemine products. I think that is beemine.com? They have products with sulfur and I've read some really good success stories for hair growth. Also using henna would be a good idea to strengthen your hair. You can visit afroveda.com also. They have very good products and oils. You may want to research ayurveda treatments as well. It's a hair treament practiced by Indian women. I've heard good things about that as well. This can be found on afroveda.com
There is a paste you can make with these oils, and amla powder asd well.
Mix hair conditioner (preferably an organic one) I like nature's gate myself….with amla powder, skikakai oil, brahmi oil, vatika oil, and coconut milk (you can find coconut milk at any health food store).
Also check out butters-n-bars because they specialize in ayuvedic treament as well and you can find those oils there. Also don't forget about beemine sulfar treaments.
Use NO heat, and henna if you can. No peroxide-ammonia hair color because it sucks!
Good luck and hope to hear an update from you in the future. God Bless!
I suggest that you see your Doctor and have the tests done to see whether you may have a thyroid issue. Also, have the Dr. check for hormonal imbalances.
I just have to say that you are BEAUTIFUL!!! I love your eyes, your eyebrows and your skin. You look fabulous! Besides, it looks like you have plenty of hair. Just be patient and don't compare yourself to others. Always remember that the benefits of having curly hair is that it can be longer on one side and NOone would ever know. Just wear it like you MEANT to wear it like that 🙂 Walk with confidence…
My sister's hair grows very slow, so slow that even i started wondering what was wrong with her hair. While my hair flourished in length, hers seem to snail along.Your sides are very delicate so I would highly recommand a protective style. My sister went a full year with protective styles. She braided her hair with the around the world style or you can corn roll your hair back. She wore quick weaves and wigs for a year. inbetween styles she would let her hair out for maybe two weeks, and get it restyled. becareful with wigs, because they may worsen your edges, quick weave are best. i swear within three months she had GROWTH! within a year my sisters hair had grown so much! For your edges please place castor oil on them to keep them strong. Hope this helped you.
Hey RacquelTiara! Please, please go to the dermatologist. I know you probably didn't need to hear that again, but that's how strongly I feel. There may be NOTHING wrong with your scalp, but you need to rule out scalp issues as the problem. Also….
1) Stop stressing the hair line, bobby pins are your friends
2)Pure Coconut oil and/or pure olive oil on your ends (2nd half of hair) is a MUST do
3) Look for a conditioner with behentrimonium methosulfate or (behentrimonium chloride)and amodimethicone. I know silicones can be a controversial issue, but amodimethicone has DEFINITELY made my hair stronger.
4) You've already done the BC! Don't go backwards with a weave. You'll figure out what works for you and a lifetime of healthy hair will follow.
First off, DO NOT compare your hair to others'. Everyone is different and just because some folks can grow 12 inches in a year doesn't mean you and I can.
Secondly, before you spend any more money on products (for growth or anything else) look at what you're doing with the care regimen you have right now. If, as I suspect, your hair is similar to mine (4b/4c), the less you do to this hair, the better. I cannot emphasize KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) enough.
Case in point: I recently BC'd again because I'm at a stage in my life where I need my hair to look good all the time with minimal effort. I use maybe 2-3 products at a time TOPS…that includes my washing agent (shampoo or conditioner or baking soda), my moisturizer (water-based), and if I remember, my sealant (oil-based). I've always loved the freedom of being able to wash/rinse, moisturize/seal, and go…but the ironic thing is that by doing this, my hair will grow like a weed, which means I'll be getting shape-ups more often, lol.
If my hair were longer I'd probably keep it in protective styles that hide the ends and/or keep me from manipulating the ends on a daily basis. By that definition, a puff is NOT a protective style. You may want to wear extensions (not too tight) for a while if you can't do comb coils or you don't like twists at your length.
Finally, as a last resort (and I only say that because it takes TIME and PATIENCE that most people don't have IMO) you could always start locs. I had them for 3.5 years and if I still had them they'd easily be past my waist by now.
I would def go see a dermatologist to make sure that your scalp is in the condition that it should be. I am kind of in a similar predicament. I haven't had a perm in a while but I don't have the growth that I believe I should have. So I've decided to change a few things:
1) I've started to take multi- vitamins
2) Changed up my diet: fruits, veggies,etc. Even stuff you don't like- make yourself eat one meal of salad a day and in a couple days it won't phase you. This has made me feel INCREDIBLE. What you eat DEEPLY impacts what your hair does.
3) Exercise. Start slow. I'm doing it 2X a week. The weather is changing for the better where I am so I go out after class and walk around campus for 40 minutes. Hey, its better than nothing.
4) I feel like I have a similar texture to your. I'll be honest: you hair looks dry. Water is essential. Get to know your hair. Even after all the years since I've been without a perm I've only really gotten to know this recently.
5) Can't go wrong with shea butter.
6) Most importantly: For my hairtype (4) I have come to terms with the fact that I retain the most length when I do protective styling. Previously I went to the local beauty supply and purchased "kinky" afro hair and just did kinky twists throughout the winter. It was wonderful. Now that spring is here I am just twisting my own hair and ROCKIN it out.
I hope this helps. I haven't even fulfilled these goals to the extent that I would like and I already see a change (thickness & healthy ends). I hope this helps.
you have been given some excellent adice on here. I just want to say again make sure you go to a dermatologist! I hope you will get the most healthiest hair ever!
I can't anything to what the others have posted. Seems that everything I would have suggested has been suggested and more. I just wanted to encourage you to hang in there. Your willingness to post this will be an encouragement to others facing similar difficulty. This indicates to me that you are probably a beautiful person in the place that counts most — inside. By the way, you are also beautiful outside, too. I love your smile and I'm sure your hair will improve greatly as you apply the suggestions given.
1. Shea Butter- melt in your hands and work through your hair – gently around the hairline.
2. Evening primrose oil is v. good for ''women's things'' and moisturizing inside out.
3. Water Water Water
4. Get rid of the hair band! Get yourself a silk or satin pillow case – don't cover your head when you sleep!
5. Don't massage the thinning areas – this places unnecessary stress on the follicles. Use a spray if necessary – but do very little this area. Leave it be!
6. Check your iron levels – or better yet take a iron supplement – many women are deficient in this. Make sure its liquid as opposed to tablet form. The body absorbs liquid better.
7. I wouldn't waste my time wiht specific hair supplements Nioxin – once you stop using them the new growth falls out – focus on your diet.
8. Keep your hair regime simple- 2 strand twists looks like it will suit you.
It will take time but you will see results, take pictures and compare once every few months. Don't over analyze the area everyday and most importantly KEEP YOUR HEAD HIGH!!
I would have to agree that hair growth starts from the inside out. It looks like you have breakage. You should consult a dermatologist and also look into problems like alopecia, because you've had it since you were a child. If its not treated your hair will not grow back no matter what you do. Vitamins are good too. But first you need to make that doctors appointment.
Thanks for sharing your story. In addition to what everyone else has said so far, I'll add one more thing – get rid of the headbands. Hats, headbands, scarves and anything else rubbing the scalp in areas with problem breakage will only make the situation worse. I know it's difficult to do but you need to keep your hair free of any irritant that might add to breakage. On top of that, take lots of vitamins (especially biotin), drink lots of water, keep your head as moisterized as possible and exercise. I notice that when my body is most healthy, my hair is too. Hang in there girl!!!
Try Nioxin Follicle Booster and Recharging Complex to boost growth. The Follicle Booster is a topical treatment and the Recharging Complex is a multi-vitamin supplement. As far as hair care, I've found that my natural hair loves WATER. That is the best moisturizer. Try daily or 3x week co-washes. I like Pantene Moisture Renewal or Aussie Moist Conditioner. Load you hair with conditioner, let it set and comb it while sopping wet with a wide tooth comb. After rinsing I apply Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine leave-in Conditioner. This has been my regimen for a while and my hair seems to love it. Experiment, give your hair what it wants, and most of all know that you are beautiful no matter what. Good Luck!!!!
Keep the faith!! I've been down lately because my hair is growing like weeds in the front and back, but in the middle of my head/crown it is shorter and thinner. That area of my scalp is also tender to touch. I can't even wear my hair in an afro anymore because the length difference in noticeable, maybe a half to a whole inch. 🙁 I big chopped in February of '09 and have been elated with my hair transformation, it is truly a life changing experience. I was doing so good and then slammed into this roadblock. We have these high aspirations, thinking that since our hair is 100V% natural, we will rarely have hair issues again. Wrong! My hair his fine, like yours seems to be, and so balancing protein and moisture can be a challenge, especially in the wintertime. Yet and still, we are so blessed to have the most unique hair texture on EARTH!
Anywho, I have been doing some research myself thaht may help you with your dilemma. Aside from seeing you dermatologist to check out your scalp, also check your thyroid, and hormone levels. My new regimen will include:
*I agree a protective style will help. I am going to keep my hair is braids for the next 4-6 months.
*Massages (myself) to the problem area with essential oil to stimulate follicles
*Make sure you're getting zinc, protein, and Omega 3's in your diet!! This can help tremendously. (Oily fish, greens, nuts, and chicken, etc)
*Indian herbs like Brahmi, and Amla infused in coconut oil.
*be gentle with your hair, don't comb it unless you need to. Cover it at night.
*I also agree with keeping a hair diary. I have been DC'ing like crazy due to dry winter weather, but I think it has made my hair too moisturized = weak. I did rhassoul, banana, avocado, coconut cream, all kinds of recipes I found on youtube! lol. I think I did overkill… Now I'm sticking to coconut oil, Shea butter and my reglaur routine. of AO and MHC and Giovanni.
Hope this helps!!
The others have offered great advice on the hair issue, but I just want to say, you are stunning! Your eyes and brows are just gorgeous. Forgive your sister, if you haven't already done so. Hurting people hurt people. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, sister!
I've been natural for about 18 months and I've experienced the same issues. Most of my hair loss was in the back. After some research I discovered that an iron deficiency can lead to major hair loss. I've been anemic all my life, but I never knew this was linked to hair loss. I don't eat alot of green vegetables, therefore I am not getting enough iron from my diet. I've been taking supplements for a long time, but I neglected to take them on a regular basis for about a month. The next thing I knew my hair was falling out in the back. It's best to see your doctor if you think this may be an issue for you as well. My goal is to eat a healthier foods and ditch the supplements.
I'm a 4a/b and I just found a regiment that works for me. Here's my new regimen:
-Wash with Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap (I like the Lavender Liquid Soap)
-Condition with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner
-After conditioning I part my hair into 8 sections and do big two strand twists or braids. I let it dry overnight. Then section by section I untwist it, wet the ends, part it in small sections and using Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter I create small two-strand twists. Small twists will last at least 10 day. I also like to use Carol's Daughter Hair Milk to maintain my twists.
I've tried everything and learned that less is more. I hope this helps!
I had the same problem after a bad weave. I was bald in my temple areas for 5 years after that. I wore styles to hide those areas while I tried products to encourage growth. The best thing is to keep the pressure off the hair line. Twists will help a lot with that. I grew my egdes back by mixing Wild Growth light oil moisturizer with Sulfur 8 grease. I dont know if it will work for you but it is worth a shot. You can look for my results at http://knaturalandknit.blogsot.com. Stay positive and try to reduce stress in your life and with your hair. Eating healthy and maybe taking vitamins will help. Using natural oils and butters are very beneficial too. Don't be discouraged! BTW, my hair broke off a lot
when I was using certain birth control pills. Hormones can affect your hair growth/rate of loss too! Hope this helps!
this is gonna sound completely crazy… Monistat! you can go to longhaircareforum.com and search "monistat" and see HUNDREDS of women's pictures and success stories from "oiling" their scalps with Monistat or Neosporin AF. the active ingredient – miconazole nitrate – is supposed to increase hair growth by killing fungus living on the scalp that slows hair growth by blocking the follicles. I started using it last week and i'm still alive!! it tingles a bit – the same tingle i get when i spray my rosemary oil/peppermint oil/water mixture on my scalp. i've always been one to try crazy things – you might want to follow the sound advice from everyone else, like seeing a dermatologist, doing protective styles, and also checking your product ingredients for harmful chemicals – i just thought i'd put another option out there for you to consider!
When you had a relaxer how often did you do touch ups and how much new growth did you get? Your hair is probably growing but it is breaking off too fast. We need to know what your hair routine is assuming you have no medical/hormonal issues. I'm a 4a and to me your hair looks dry but if you are a 4b/c that might not be true. For dry hair water, coconut oil or olive oil will absorb into the hair shaft. You can also use shea butter to seal the water into your hair. Only wash/detangle your hair 1x a week and leave it twisted the rest of the time. Take weekly photos so you can see your progress. Maybe keep a hair diary of water products and techniques you have used. I recently tried an apple cider vinegar diluted with lots of water rinse and it really did make my hair softer.
Hey! I love your motivation,its very inspiring and ur hair is BEAUTIFUL. Firstly I think that you should see your dermatologist and see maybe if it might be any genetic factors contributing to the lack of growth.You have beautiful hair but headbanding it all the time will stress the hairline. Try massaging natural oils like peppermint oil into the scalp to stimulate it and moisturize,condition and protective styling is the watchword my dear natural.Be strong sister,and goodluck!
I Agree With Savvy Brown Questions & The Comment Below Her. Make Sure You Take Care Of Inside And Outside. Twist It Up And Leave It Alone, Make Sure You're Not Putting Any Pressure On Your Edges.
I Think Your Hair Looks Great!
You hair does grow- it's just breaking at the same rate- so it gives the appearance of no grow. You need to learn to retain length. Jumping from 1 product to the next is not the remedy. Little manipulation is. Do 2 strand twists- leave in for a week at a time. Protect you ends and moisturize them with something as simple as shea butter. Do not get discouraged. Keep us updated on your progress.
First of all you are a beautiful woman because of what's IN your head, not what's ON it. That being said, I'm sorry that you have been feeling so self-conscious about yourself. What is your diet? Do you eat a lot of processed foods? Do you take a multivitamin? Have you ever taken a vitamin suppliment like Biotin. Is there a history of alopecia in your family? There is also a wonderful natural hair product out called Nature's Blessing that has been known to stimulate hair grwoth. (I watche dmy dad use it to fill in his growing "bald spot". All of these things could be playing a factor.
Hi Racquel, thanks fo sharing your story. Recently on bglhonline.com there was a post on remedies to boost hair growth. Someone recommended seeing a dermatologist for a scalp analysis. Other than that massaging the scalp with castor oil and other natural remedies was encouraged. Someone even suggested using a mixture of olive oil and organic cayenne pepper to massage the scalp. Also some ladies endorse the use of growth vitamins. Keep the faith!
Hi Raquel, hang in there girl ! You look beautiful. It will grow….just take care of yourself inside and out, drink lots of water, eat right, you may even consider taking a multi-vitamin if that's okay with your doctor. I felt like you at one time, don't worry about other's growth, yours should come, our hair grows at different rates. jay808
Hang in there. I think you look beautiful the way you are. My sister has ezcema and it has affected her hair. She has no hair at the sides, so she uses that to her advantage. She either shaves it all off or she grows her mohawk for a few inches and sports her curls.
If she's not in the mood for all the attention she'll don a hat or a wig.
you have been incredibly brave in sharing your story and with time you'll realise that the opinion of others is none of your business. Who cares what they think?
You look god the way you are!