Latoya of the Quarter Life Chronicles writes:
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been all natural for almost three weeks! In these past few weeks, I’ve learned a lot about not only my hair, but about myself as well:
- I’ve learned to not be so sensitive. So when my mom smiled and said I looked like a pickinanny (meaning, pickininny), I wasn’t offended. I actually thought it was funny and I was happy that she didn’t gawk at my hair all night. (My mom has a tendency to poke, prod, and stare. Imagine my mom inspecting my face after a break out. Not fun. At all.)
- A lot of my appearance is wrapped up in my hair. I never realized how much I loved my long, thick hair… until it was gone. I know I am not my hair, but I am. I am! Patiently waiting for it to grow back. I will NEVER cut it again.
- Overuse and abuse of oil will result in a breakout. I can’t remember the last time I had a breakout, but last week I tried a mixture of olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Fail! Major fail! Every time I touched my hair, I would have a handful of oil. That same oil dripped onto my face and caused a major breakout on my forehead and temples. I immediately stopped using olive oil and attacked the breakout with Salicylic acid (Neutrogena astringent). My face is clear once again. Now, I stick to my hot six oil/spray, coconut oil, and shea butter. No more trips to the kitchen for me.
- Wash and Gos are not for me. In my hair, wash and gos resulted in a shrunken, matted mess. And that’s ok. They are just not for me. Instead, I do a flat twist-out and for the next 2-3 days, I use Cantu Shea butter. I get the same results as a wash and go and it’s less time consuming.
- My hair loves water-based products and conditioners. The key to moisture in my hair is deep conditioning, the use of water-based hair creams, and great leave-in conditioners. Then seal lightly with oil and shea butter when appropriate.
- The Denman brush is worth all the hype. At least to me. I thoroughly detangle first with my shower comb, of course. Running the brush through my hair softens and smooths the texture. It results in great twist-outs. And it doesn’t pull out my hair either…
- I learned to curb my PJIsm. Over the fast months, I would randomly buy products because I heard about it on a blog, or YouTube. I’ve curbed that habit. Instead, I’m focusing on how to use those products and particular techniques. I hate Cantu Shea Butter as a leave-in. It has been in my cabinet for months. But on YouTube, someone mentioned that it is a great alternative for wash and gos. So I tried it and it worked. Try looking up how others use the products you already have. Also, look up techniques. Don’t be so quick to run to the store. Take the time to learn more about your hair, develop a routine, and figure out what is missing. The only products I am really interested in purchasing are Shea Moisture (as an alternative to Cantu Shea Butter since it flakes and I’m not fond of the smell), and Aloe Vera Gel (my Bee Mine product has Shea and Aloe Vera Gel. Love it!)
- DO ME! No matter what someone suggests on a blog, forum or on YouTube, I have to DO ME! I have to take the time to learn my hair and what works for me. Some disapprove of cones, my hair has no problem with them. Some don’t believe in washing hair, I do. Some disapprove of straightening natural hair, but I like the versatility. It’s my hair so I’m going to DO ME!
What lessons have you learned on your hair journey?
I've learned to to do me. You are so right.
i dont agree with #1 because i dont think my sensitivity would be the reason for my offense of being called a pickaninny.
the lesson ive learned is moisture, moisture, and more moisture. as long as my hair is moisturized i have no problems 🙂
this is all very good! What i didn't expect were the multiple textures! I thought curl patterns all came in one variety on ONE head…I wish that were the case, I like consistency, lol, but nope. My challenge is always single strand knots….even with it in mini twists right now, I've found some on the end…they plague me constantly…i spray my hair with a moisturizing spray that i made and seal but I still find SOME knots…blech!
nice post dear 🙂 as always i look up to them hearing from u 🙂
love this article. i had been trying so many tip,tricks and hair products from reading forums and watching YT. Well none of those things worked out for me. Anything that i tried always left my hair dry and brittle! I accidently mixed my regiment up. I found out for my hair to be soft and retain moisture, I must FIRST apply a water based moisturizer to my wet hair,a leave in conditioner and then seal it with an oil. I hair is now soft to the touch. This has been trial and error for me but Im happy I figured it out! Now that i know what works for me I don't have to go broke buying all these different products
it's been six weeks since my big chop (chop number two) and i had to learn patience and to not let others discourage me no matter what. i'm laminated. their comments just roll right off me now!
I've learned not to be caught up in curl envy. My curlies have their own unique characteristic and as long as I take care of them they will thrive.
Love post. LLP~OGC
I can definitely relate to the mama drama lol Every since my big chop, My mom is constantly giving me this look of utter disgust when she catches me doing my hair…followed by her favorite quote: "All your glory..is just gone..you should just be shamed of yo'self Elizabeth" lol I'm learning to laugh it off too, thanks girl
I learned that my hair is my hair and I have to do what works for me.
I really enjoyed reading your article. I am almost 15 weeks into my transition and your tips really hit home for me. Like luvmylocs said, your hair confidence shines through and your hair looks fab! I too am learning to do me and have pulled back on the pjism ( I was one breath away from purchasing some oyin and strawllers on line.) I decided to make do with the shea moisture products I already purchased. 🙂
love your tips and your hair confidence. that really is key!
I also hate Cantu as a leave in but doctor it up with a few oils and its a great overnight pre-poo.