What I Did For My 24th Birthday! + Hair Update!✨

For those of you who don’t know, I had a birthday last Thursday, my 24th birthday to be exact! I had been thinking about the moment and how I would celebrate since back in December. Usually, once December hits, the days go by so fast and before you know it it’s a new year, and then March. I’ve never been prepared for a birthday no matter how much time I had in advance to do so. It was no different this year.

At 12 AM I got the sweetest message. From? It doesn’t matter. What it said also doesn’t matter but I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. Waiting up to be the first to tell someone Happy Birthday, making sure the message is perfect minutes before so it could be sent on time and being excited about it. I’ve done it plenty so I know what it’s like on both sides. I ended up talking this person for a while before I started doing my first official birthday activity…

At about 2:45 AM I was up taking pictures of my cats, this continued until about 3:20. Yeah, that’s right, on my birthday I was up taking pictures of my adorable cats loving every moment. Don’t judge me. I don’t get to see them as often since moving, so whenever I spend the night they love cuddling up next to each other with me, although it’s usually just Izabelle that likes to come sleep with me.I’m guessing I finally fell asleep shortly afterward since I don’t remember anything after that.

I told you all how I had just twisted my hair the night before and would be sharing the results since I did them a little differently. I used larger sections for the twists since it has grown more and because I wanted to finish as quickly as possible.
Just washed and conditioned, doing a quick length check update before twisting. 
The last update I shared with you all was my 1-year mark, back in June. This is where I was back then: The front reaching the top of my lip, and the back reaching my collarbone.

 

Shrinkage is still a thing, even with twists.

For this twist out I used a leave-in conditioner, a styling cream, and Jamaican black castor oil to seal the moisture all in. I washed my hair with the same line as the leave-in and styling cream. Find out which exact products in a future product line review!

I allowed the twists to dry overnight, and part of the day since I started late. You can also use a blow dryer but I prefer air drying so I didn’t mind waiting longer.

This is the twists separated once… Looks like noodles? Heard and seen that a lot throughout the natural hair community.

For more volume separate more, fluff more, and pick out. Note that this may also cause more frizz. I don’t mind frizz and I love volume! You can use an oil on your fingers before separating to minimize frizz, dryness, and breakage. Our fingers can be very drying to the hair. I use Jamaican Black Castor Oil but there are many options out there such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, the list goes on!

I separated the rest 2-3 more times each. Some sections required a bit more separating than others.

Here is the final result:

As far as my outfit goes… Well, it was so cold out, I mean I already knew and expected it to be cold but I didn’t think I would walk outside and be smacked and almost knocked down by a gust of freezing wind. I nearly ran to the car half confused. It has also been snowing so instead of wearing any of the clothing items I recently went shopping for, I put on a long blue sleeve shirt, a pair of skinny jeans, and one of my new pair of boots.

Most of the day was spent blogging, socializing on social media, and being around sick people. I may be next… I surely hope not. I didn’t actually leave the house until about 6 PM.

I never made it to the salon to get my eyebrows done, actually I made it there, I just left as soon as I arrived. I walked to the door and saw how packed it was through the glass and turned right back around. It was so full there weren’t enough waiting chairs available. I guess I’ll wait until another time or do them myself later on. Have you ever got your eyebrows threaded? To me it always hurts, they say if you get it done often enough it won’t hurt as much but that never happened to me. Sometimes I even shed tears! But in the end, they look great! Beauty is pain, right? Pretty hurts (cues music…) Okay, a better reason for threading is that the shape lasts longer than waxing or shaving.

I ended up doing a little more shopping at Burlington this time. This is another store I shop at often. I saw a few pairs of jeans I planned on getting but when I tried them on they were too big. I have been losing a lot of weight, (not intentionally) when I went to the doctor back in January or February I had lost about 20 pounds since 2017. Most likely due to a lot of stress. I’ve actually been trying to gain weight but I can never keep on the pounds. They come and go.Of course, I could have gone back and looked for different sizes but it’s not as easy at Burlington looking for the same exact item in a different size and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to look again, it was already late. I decided on a few shirts, after a long deliberation between some other clothing items. They were both florals, oh and a black sweater/cardigan that I just threw over my blue top.

I told myself the next time I go shopping I am definitely staying away from florals lol before you know it that will be my entire wardrobe. This is one of the floral tops I got, it’s in black and white so that when I wear it out one day and take pictures it will feel like the first time really wearing and sharing it lol.

I then went to spend some time with family where there was some good laughter, watching a movie (Split) and just overall good vibes. But my birthday celebration isn’t over, it’s barely begun so this weekend I will be having dinner, going out shopping again, and a few other cool things!

Update (Sunday 3/11)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to continue my birthday celebration this weekend because I did get sick… Found out it’s an upper respiratory infection. I haven’t been able to enjoy my birthday dinner or any other meals for that matter. I’ve been extremely tired, even feeling weak. I had been hoping I wouldn’t catch what everyone else had but I guess if you’re going to be around sick people, expect to get sick as well. I wanted to post this on Friday but here we are, me typing this update on Sunday after taking some NyQuil (I’ll be knocked out soon hopefully not before I finish up) and you all reading it on a Monday. No Stream of Consciousness this Monday, and hopefully I’ll be getting back into the Hobby Adventures this Friday. I should be all better by then!

Everyone is like it’s okay we’ll have a dinner for you when you’re feeling better, we’ll go out when you’re feeling better. It just won’t feel like a birthday celebration anymore. Better luck next year! THANK YOU SO MUCH to those of you who sent birthday wishes on my previous post, I know some of you sent me a message on Instagram that I already checked, I really appreciate you all. I’ll be getting to your comments shortly!
How did you celebrate your last birthday? Do you have one coming up soon?

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Natural Hair Tag!✨

Last summer I did a natural hair series documenting my journey while inspiring others with confidence and tips along the way. I’ve been mentioning doing more posts on the subject so I’ve been planning and brainstorming ideas behind the scenes but recently, I came across a natural hair tag that I couldn’t pass up on. I came across this tag on kozdiaries and thought it would be the perfect way to introduce natural hair to my blog again. Be sure to visit kozdiaries after reading!

Let’s get started!

When did you start taking better care of your hair? 

Back in 2015 is when I knew I needed to take better care because my hair was starting to thin and break off. I went to the bathroom and chopped off a significant amount leaving me with the Dora cut. I wasn’t really getting relaxers anymore at the time, twice a year at most but I was still getting my hair flat ironed, which of course causes heat damage. I didn’t start my official journey until June of 2016 when I got the big chop. I haven’t used a relaxer or heat since January or February of 2016.

What’s your two favorite natural hair products?

This was hard, I think I’m still testing products out lol. Any good conditioner or moisturizer is a favorite of mine but if I have to just pick two things and be specific I’d say True By Made Beautiful Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner and my Denman brush. JBCO came very close!

What’s your ultimate goal length? 

If my hair grows past mid-back length (when stretched) I’ll probably cut it. Nothing longer than that.

Which do you prefer healthy or long? 

Healthy. If it is healthy most likely the length will come also.

What’s your favorite part of your hair regimen? 

Conditioning! Oh, and when I’m finished with the whole process lol.

The most annoying part of regimen? 

Detangling and styling. When I’m having a bad wash day this is what makes me rethink my whole journey and lately, I’ve been getting lazy with styling. But I always get over it, I never regret making the decision.

Oils or Butter? 

I use both occasionally. But lately, I’ve just been using JBCO.

Wigs or weaves?

I’ll say a good wig because when I’m tired of it, need to wash or miss my natural hair I can just pull it right off. Yes, I’m wearing a wig pictured below and it was my favorite. I’ve had two.

What’s your take on growth aids? 

In the beginning of my journey, I really wanted that quick growth so I added Wild Growth hair oil to my regimen. It may or may not have worked, I didn’t really keep track because I didn’t use it consistently. I didn’t like the smell. Now in my journey, I won’t be buying any products made specifically for growth aid. I’ll just take care of my hair with a good regimen, live a healthier lifestyle and let it do its thing.

What’s your take on salons? 

During school, my dad would take me to the salon once every two weeks. I do believe that my stylist helped keep my hair healthy (while relaxed) but with our natural hair, some stylists just don’t know what they’re doing- or there’s that evil chance that they do. Either way, I prefer to take care of my hair myself now. If I want something done that I can’t do myself, I’ll go to a close family member I can trust. Usually, one that has done my hair before.

What product do you feel is underrated?

I think aloe vera gel is quite underrated. Most people use or started with eco styler gel, myself included. But I have been using aloe vera gel lately which I now prefer.

What do you dislike about your hair?

My hair is very thick, and while that is a good thing it can also come with negative experiences. I go through products very quickly, I have to use so much to cover each section. I also dislike that it can get extremely dry. Detangling and styling can also be a pain but other than that I love my hair.

I hope you love yours as well and have enjoyed this tag, I am tagging any naturalist that wants to participate. Stay tuned for more natural hair posts, an update on my journey coming soon. Thanks for reading!

A Natural Hair Journey (1 year)💛

(View in browser)

She was sweet but insecure
Her mind was rotting
But her heart was pure
She was afraid of the world
Too many times she had been hurt
So many times she had been made fun of
So many times she didn’t feel good or pretty enough
Not happy with her appearance
Or her own thoughts
Little body
Big facial features
Hair that grew
But not too long
At least not long enough
Not long enough to who?
She tried to look pretty enough
A diamond in the rough
She was
But she didn’t know
She became so stressed out
That her hair did the same
She had to make a change
There were things she needed to cut from her hair and her mind
And you know what they say
A girl that cuts her hair, is about to change her life…

She had been “relaxed” for as long as she could remember. She grew up a part of a culture that was basically brainwashed to believe their hair was unruly, unattractive, and needed to be tamed and straightened permanently. Long straight or wavy hair was the standard for beauty and her hair was far from that if not relaxed every 6 weeks.

Her father decided to keep her hair healthy and growing by taking her to a professional salon every 2 weeks. Her stylist was very good at her job because her hair definitely started to grow and even feel healthy. The only problem was that the stylist clipped her ends almost every 2 (sometimes once a month) weeks also. Whatever growth she was having wasn’t really being retained.
To make matters worse she eventually decided she wanted to try out honey blonde highlights. Going to the salon definitely helped keep the bleached hair in good condition but after a while she just got tired of waking up early on a Saturday morning to be in a salon for hours.
She didn’t have any real knowledge on how to care for her hair on her own and didn’t think she really needed to. She had friends, and family that could always do it for her. Besides, she only wore it flat ironed or in roller sets.

(Below images; 2013-2015)

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Natural hair started to become more popular and she had a best friend who had been natural for years already. This friend encouraged her to take the leap of faith but she was too afraid.

Natural hair wouldn’t look right on me, I wouldn’t be cute with shorter hair or an afro…

She thought to herself

Eventually she tried transitioning but after about 6 months of no relaxing, her sisters grew tired of doing it. They told her she needed a perm, the new growth was too unmanageable.
So she got a relaxer.
This happened several more times over a period of 2 years. A lot of external and internal stress then led to her not caring for her hair anymore. Even in “protective styles”

Taking her crochet style out after not taking proper care of her own hair she learned the consequence, her hair was breaking off and thinning

She hated her life, her hair, her crooked glasses and everything else.

What was she to do? Let it continue to split and break off? Start paying money to get it professionally done again? Cut it off and face those fears of not being pretty enough?

Enough is enough, she decided.
Without even thinking she grabbed a pair of scissors, looked into a mirror and cut away. But this was only the beginning. She still had heat damaged hair, and her hair was still relaxed, only shorter.

(Jan 2016)


Giving herself this sort of mini chop allowed her to gain a boost of confidence that she would soon need a lot more of.
She was 22 years old, it had been a year since cutting her hair and she still wasn’t quite happy with results, even though she was flat ironing, and relaxing still. That should have explained it but again, she had no knowledge about hair care especially her own natural hair.
The only thing she could think of to do was go to YouTube. There she searched natural hair care, transitioning, and everything else she could stumble across on natural hair. YouTube was a great source because she learned a lot of information and got the inspiration to let it be and be free.
She knew she couldn’t transition for long because it was highly possible she would turn back to the creamy crack (relaxer) so instead she decided to big chop once more! She had about 6 months of new growth and was finally ready to take that leap

She even pinned it up and cut a small section down to the new growth for more motivation. Once she cut she couldn’t go back. See below:

Relaxed hair braid out (June 2016)

Now she was ready for the big chop! Keeping up with 2 different textures trying to transition was becoming too much of a struggle and she was just over it

June 29, 2016
Her journey began.

 

I am she
She is the old me
I am the new her
With our new hair

Very happy and confident 1 year later



Dry, no product. You can also see Izabelle in the background😻

Freshly washed, no product. Looks like the water is beading. Could that be low porosity? I’ll have to test it out again, I did in the beginning of my journey (float test) and got high porosity.

June 29, 2017Styled using water, Eden Body Works Coconut Leave In Conditioner, JBCO, and a denman brush.

I usually twist my hair after washing and leave my twists in for a week, then rock my twist out for a couple of days or as long as the style lasts me. Here is a comparison of a few months. And yes your twists will shrink too. (Dec-May)Returning natural was the best thing I’ve done for my hair and I wouldn’t go back to the creamy crack for anything! This whole year has been full of learning to love myself for who I really am and embracing every bit of my natural beauty. When I had longer hair I would constantly wear it down to cover my forehead, to hide most of my face because at times I hated it.
Free, and confident, that’s what I felt. I thought I would quickly be ready to throw on a wig but nope! Wasn’t about to cover up that new found beauty!
If my story doesn’t convince you enough to stop relaxing/or flat ironing your hair so often
maybe these pictures will:




Always remember that no two heads are exactly alike. This is something you need to keep in mind for growth especially. The average hair growth rate is about 6in per year. This can vary due to genetics, internal and external care and health, and how much you are retaining. Your hair could be breaking off just as much as it is growing which could make it appear to not be growing at all. Relaxers/heat will definitely contribute to that. 

Not everyone will support and like your decision, even family will sometimes judge you but don’t let that discourage you because the results are beautiful! 
I’m so excited to see where this next year of my journey, or even the next 6 months take me.

I hope you all have enjoyed and learned from this natural hair series! 
Are you rocking your natural hair? Do you plan to big chop or transition? How has your journey been so far? Let’s talk in the comments!

Hair Porosity???🤔

Hair porosity is how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. Knowing your hair porosity can be very important especially for natural hair to know how you can properly keep your hair moisturized, and know what methods and products to use.

Knowing your hair porosity will allow you to maximize the benefits from your conditioning products. There is low, normal, and high porosity. 

Here are a few ways you can test what your hair porosity is:

(Please note that the hair should be freshly cleansed, no product on the strands for accurate results)

The Float Test

  • Fill a glass of with room temperature water
  • Take a couple of strands from your clean hair and put them in the water (do not push down)
  • Watch and wait for a few minutes 
  • After 4-5 minutes of your hair is still floating on the top of the water, you have low porosity. Low porosity means it’s a bit harder for your hair to absorb moisture. The cuticles are closed so moisture does not enter easily.
  • If your hair slowly sinks/stays in the middle you have normal porosity. Normal porosity is usually ideal because it absorbs and holds moisture well
  • If your hair sinks immediately you have high porosity hair. High porosity means that your hair absorbs moisture quickly, but can also lose it quickly

The Slide Test

  • Using a strand of your hair, starting from the end, slide your fingers up the hair shaft
  • If it feels bumpy you have high porosity 
  • If it feels smooth you have medium-low porosity 

The Spray Test

  • Section your hair and spray a section with water (you don’t have to drench it)
  • If the water sits on the hair or beads up you have low porosity 
  • If your hair absorbs the water quickly you have high porosity 
  • If the water sits for several minutes then absorbs you have normal porosity 

Care For  Low & High Porosity:

Please know that I am no expert but I’ve done a lot of research and trial with my own hair. Also, everyone’s hair is different so some things might work for ones low porosity hair that usually doesn’t for most, the same with high porosity. The tips below are general tips for each type.

Low Porosity:

  • Use low heat to open cuticles for moisture to be let in. You can begin washing your hair in warm water, or deep condition under a hair dryer (with plastic cap) heavier products just sit and weigh the hair down
  • Use lighter products and oils like Argan, and grape seed oil
  • Make sure you keep the hair free of a lot of build up which can also block moisture

High Porosity:

  • Heavy products like creams and hair butters are great for high porosity 
  • Heavy oils like castor oil, jojoba, coconut
  • Protein is good for the hair but not too much! Start out trying protein treatments/masks or products with protein once a month. I think that more than twice a month is too much.
  • Deep conditioning is good for all hair

If you have normal porosity, keep doing what you’re doing. Deep conditioning when needed, regularly.

☺️

Low Porosity

High Porosity 

General



Natural Hair Series: Products I Use✨

For part 2 of my Natural Hair Series I’m going to be sharing all of the products I’ve used so far. I’m sharing the ones I love and the ones I will not be purchasing again. Hair care products are trial and error. It’s easy to become a product junkie but I think for the first year I’ve done pretty well not purchasing too much. What works for my hair may not work for yours, just as what works for yours may not work for mine. Everyone’s hair is different and takes to products differently. Again, it has to do with your hair porosity, texture, thickness etc. Later on in the week I’ll show you ways you can test your hair porosity.

The first 3 products are from the Cantu natural hair line. It’s the Hydrating Cream Conditioner, Complete Conditioning Co-wash, and the Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream. All have a light tropical scent! This was the first line I tried when I big chopped and I would recommended them to anyone just starting out who might be clueless on what products to use. This may not be the absolute BEST line but it works just as well as some of the most popular/expensive brands in my opinion. I have nothing negative to say. Cheap and works well? That’s all you need! This is also the only line I’ve used at least 3 of their products. Like most natural hair products, the line uses no sulfates, silicones, or parabens.


The next products are Shea Moisture’s JBCO Strengthen, Grow, & Restore Treatement Masque, and their Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.  I love the masque and would definitely buy it again, it leaves my hair super soft and curls poppin’! I use a masque about twice a month. I do want to try their manuka honey masque though. I think it will be just as great if not better. The shampoo however is not a favorite. I feel that it does a good job getting my hair clean but even while using it my hair feels dry and I also end up having to use so much to get a good lather. I’ll finish this bottle but I probably won’t purchase it again. Shea Moisture is one of those popular/more expensive brands I mentioned. A lot of curly gals swear by SM! And I agree some of their products are pretty good but nope, this shampoo is a no for me.

The 3rd bottle in the picture is True by Made Beautiful’s Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner for all hair types. At first I wasn’t so sure about this product because it’s not really thick and I find that my hair loves thicker consistency in products. The bottle sold me though, and because it smells amazing! It also has a tropical scent, a bit stronger than Cantu. I went to a birthday party after using this product along with Cantu’s Curl Activator Cream and hugged my cousin…The first thing she said was “Mmm! Girl your hair smells good!” Lol.

The 4th bottle is so far my favorite conditioner! Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle, this stuff is really the truth! And again, many curly gals, even women with straight/wavy hair I’ve seen swear by this product so I highly recommend it. I usually detangle my hair while using Aussie Moist on wash days. It’s not a leave-in so I do go in with a leave in afterwards but if you want a good detangler, or a good deep conditioner that you only have to use for 3 minutes definitely give it a try. I’ve used it for 3 minutes and it does work, but I usually leave it in for 6-10 minutes and it works even better my opinion.

The Creme Of Nature Perfect Edges edge control should actually be in my list of products I won’t be purchasing again, I put it in this shot because it looks nice with the treatment masque. In the beginning I felt it was necessary to have slicked edges, or my “edges on fleek” well, I’d rather have my edges grow and not break off. It’s okay to do them occasionally with certain styles, but you don’t need to for every single style. I won’t be purchasing it again because it doesn’t even work for my hair. Maybe for an hour (if that) and then those edges curl right back up so what’s the point? Many type 4 naturals have this issue, and some use gorilla snot gel which I haven’t tried yet. The name is kind of off putting lol but supposedly it has a super strong hold.


I’ll definitely be trying more of the True line. Izabelle just walking by, she stays by mama lol.

The next 3 products are the oils I use and gel. Jamaican Black Castor Oil helps strengthen hair, nourishes, seals in moisture, and helps promote hair growth. This is something I will probably always use. A holy grail for sure! My hair always feels soft and moisturized for days after using. They have different kinds and I may try them all but so far I’ve only tried coconut. I recently purchased the original and will be trying it sometime this week.
I use the olive oil Eco Styler Gel, but they also have others like their new Black Castor Flaxseed Oil gel that I definitely will be trying. I’ve literally had this for a year! It lasts so long and a little goes a long way. I only use it for my twists and when I start to do braid-outs.



This last shot is of the products I will not be purchasing again.
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I actually didn’t purchase the Garnier Fructis products, my friend who actually has straight hair gave them to me because she didn’t like them for her own hair. Her hair was dry and damaged due to coloring so she was looking for something to help reduce frizz and rough ends. If you have heat or color damage the only thing you can do unfortunately is to cut it off. No product is going to bring it back to life. I’ve used Garnier Fructis products when I had relaxed hair and it worked well but i’m not quite sure I want to try it on my natural hair. If a product has any kind of alcohol in the first few ingredients, I usually won’t try it (besides Aussie Moist; since i’m not leaving that in) I took it because I do kind of want to test it out but ehhh..??? IDK.

AU Natural by Dark and Lovely (made with mango oil and bamboo milk) just didn’t impress me at all. I got this in the beginning of my journey to try to reduce some shrinkage. I later realized that those products that claim to be “Anti-Shrinkage” are a waste. Do not go for those products. Most likely you will be disappointed, it may help reduce a little shrinkage but then you wonder how? Dark and Lovely is also a popular relaxer/perming brand. No product will be anti-shrinkage, you’re still going to experience it unless your hair is completely damaged or relaxed. Shrinkage shows that your curly/kinky hair is healthy! I had to use so much of the shampoo, and I don’t even remember how the leave-in conditioner was. The only good thing I have to say about this product is that it smells nice…

Lastly, Wild Growth Hair Oil. So many people swear by this product, men and women. But the scent isn’t pleasant and I just can’t believe that a product made specifically for growth really works unless you really test it out. I don’t mean try it out for a month and see if your hair has grown… How do you know that it was the product and not just regular hair growth? How do you know it’s not other products or what you’re doing, or putting into your body? I feel like the only way you can get somewhat of an accurate result is to not use any growth products for a period of time and measure the growth, and then use the product for the same period of time and measure if it’s grown more or less. Or maybe cut/shave some of your hair on each side, on one side use the product consistently, and on the other side not at all. Something I don’t want to spend time doing. Many people don’t do this when they give their reviews. I purchased this product when I first big chopped because I was obviously wanting length at the time. Cutting my hair off I was nearly bald! I wasn’t comfortable with my hair that short because short hair is not usually seen as the most attractive for girls, I was even made fun of and had disapproval by family members. Still to this day actually and it’s been a year. But now I don’t care so much about length or others opinions. My hair is beautiful, healthy, growing, and is no longer chemically treated to be in a way that it wasn’t meant to be. That’s all that matters.

*Update*

I forgot to add Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Leave In Conditioner and Johoba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo. I picked these up from the dollar store, I haven’t tried them yet so I can’t give any type of review besides that they both smell really good, I’m trying the shampoo because it claims to be moisturizing. They didn’t have the complete line to either which is why I got 2 different. I went to YouTube for reviews and so far the best reviews are for the leave in conditioner. I’ve seen mainly negative reviews for the shampoo, hopefully this is different for me. I’ll be trying them out sometime this week.


What products do you use for your hair? Have you used any of the products I mentioned? Are there any products you would recommend trying? Let me know in the comments.💛

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Natural Hair Terms: Part 1 of my natural hair series!✨

As you all know, or just might be finding out, I will be doing a short series leading up to my 1 year natural hair anniversary. My anniversary is on June 29th and all week long I will be sharing hair related posts. On Saturday I will share my own journey for the first year. I would really love to collaborate with any of my followers in sharing your hair journey or hair care tips on your blog also this Friday. If possible I would love to have 3 other bloggers to collab with, 1 with straight hair, 1 with wavy hair, and one with a loose curl pattern (I have the tighter curls/kinks) just to show that all hair types are beautiful and need to be cared for in some different ways but some similar ways also. Please email me at goldenpinkj@gmail.com or comment below your email if you are interested!

The natural hair movement first began as a way of encouraging women of color, or with African ancestry to celebrate, learn about, and love the hair that naturally grows from our scalps. Kinky/coily, and even curly hair was not always seen as beautiful or even professional. Some employers would go as far as not hiring you with afro textured hair saying it is not professional in the work environment. That’s like saying someones face (that they can’t do anything about) bothers you so much that they can not be allowed around you to work. Some students in schools have even been targeted because of their hair, having teachers and principals call it a distraction. Again, that’s like saying someone’s face is a distraction. Kinky coily hair has most often been seen as “unkempt,” people think we can’t comb through it or that we don’t wash it, and that it is nappy. The natural hair moment was started to show that straight hair is beautiful, but so is every other texture- and length! But the movement is so much more than texture and there are some terms you should know or may come across and would like to know…

Natural Hair Terms To Know

Hair Typing/Texture System; Created by Andre Walker

It is possible to have more than one texture. I am in the 4 category with probably 4a, 4b, and 4c in different areas or at least 2 of them! Type 1 is straight hair, type 2 is wavy, type 3 curly, type 4 kinky/curly/coily. The hair typing system isn’t as important as knowing something such as your hair porosity (hair’s ability to absorb moisture) which we will talk about another day:)

While there are many terms in the natural hair community, these are the ones I feel are most important to know, or are used most often:

APL– APL stands for arm pit length

BAA– BIG A** AFRO 😉

BSL– Bra strap length

Bantu Knots– A hairstyle created by carefully parting the hair in small to medium sections, then twisting the sections in one direction until they wrap into neat knots.

BantuKnots

Big Chop– Cutting off ALL relaxed/damaged portions of hair, leaving only new growth that has not been altered. (this is what I did to return to my natural texture, you can also transition)
BigChop.jpg
YouTuber;ChevysWay

Bonnet– Used to protect the hair/hairstyle at night while sleeping, like a scarf. But bonnets and silk/satin scarves are best to use. Cotton can dry out hair and cause breakage.
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Paula Almeida

CBL– Collar bone length

Creamy Crack/Perm/Relaxer– “Creamy Crack” is a term created to describe perms/hair relaxers because of the tendency of being difficult to stop using during the process of returning natural. Perms/hair relaxers are chemical products used to straighten the hair, permanently changing the natural texture. Once you relax your hair (most of us have been relaxed since we were kids) the only way to have the natural texture back is to grow it out not using relaxers anymore and cut the relaxed ends off.

Coily– A term used to reference the texture characteristic of natural type 4 hair, the strand resembles a small diameter ink pin spring. Most evident when the hair is wet and/or defined with a curling custard/gel.
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YouTuber;Kimmy Boutiki

Cowash– This is when you wash your hair with conditioner only. Washing hair with shampoo often can strip hair of its natural oils and be very drying.

Holy Grail– Refers to ones favorite hair products they always use

JBCO– Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Applying castor oil regularly can help moisturize your roots and scalp to prevent dry hair, as well as promote hair growth and thickening.

Loc Method/LCO– Method used for styling and sealing in moisture to hair using a liquid, oil, and a cream product. I do LCO, Liquid (water or leave in conditioner) Cream (a curl definer) Oil (JBCO to seal)

Pineapple-ing– Placing the hair in a high ponytail on top of the head in order to maintain curls/waves from a twist out style or other styles, and taking it down the next morning. Similar way of preserving a style as the bonnet.

Pre-Poo– Using a deep conditioner, damage repair treatment, or oils for a period of time (15 minutes or so) before shampooing.

Product Junkie– Person who buys and tries a lot of hair products, especially new.

Protective Styling– A hairstyle that protects the hair, mainly the ends (oldest part of hair) to minimize manipulation which can lead to breakage. This includes avoiding heat on the hair, avoiding everyday styling, combing/brushing. Examples include no heat, twists left in for a week or longer, weaves, wigs, and braided styles.

Shingling– brushing/raking gel, conditioner, or other product to hair to spread it from roots to end, which also defines the curls.

Shrinkage– Shrinkage refers to natural hair that shrinks usually half or more than half its actual length. It happens when your hair curls or coils up into its tightest state, usually after getting wet and drying. The curls shrivel up as they dry. Many of us try to avoid shrinkage to show off that true length but shrinkage is actually a good sign that your hair is healthy because it means your natural curls have reverted back. Say if you flat iron your hair and later wash it, if it does not revert back… You have experienced heat damage which is not healthy. This also means you can be natural (no chemical alterations) but have been straightening your hair so often that you have lost your natural pattern through heat damage. Below are examples of shrinkage

Transitioning– Transitioning is when you grow out your natural/healthy hair to desired length, gradually clipping away ends instead of jumping right in cutting off all of the relaxed/damaged ends like you would do in a big chop.

TWA– “Teeny Weeny Afro” lol how cute. This is basically a small afro. Which is usually the first stage when you big chop without transitioning.

stages
The 4 stages. I am in between 2 and 3. Stage 2 is often referred to as the “awkward” stage.

That’s all for part 1 of this hair journey series! I hope you could learn something??? Did I forget anything? And remember if anyone is interested in collaborating please leave your email or email me!

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