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?