4 Years of my Natural Hair Journey: 3 Years Post-Big-Chop

Greetings Daizies,

The time has come to celebrate my natural hair anniversary! It has now been 4 years of growth, frustrations, learning, and acceptance. But most of all having my natural hair as something that’s not anything new to me….but true to me (lol). Now that it’s been so long I am used to my hair and comfortable with it’s true texture of 4c and areas of 4b here and there. It’s apart of who I am and all of the hours of hard work every night have paid off in the form of moisturized and healthy hair. I still am amazed with the many forms of my hair and trying new hair products never gets old.

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August 2015: 4 months after Big Chop9594_1117975791545834_6669738727465956943_n.jpgDecember 2015: Braid outs were my friend

Updates on Last Year’s Goal

Last year my goal was to stay consistent with hair trims and I stayed true to that goal. I even learned how to successfully trim my own hair! The entire process took 8 hours (detangle, wash, deep condition, blow dry in sections, trim in layers) but my stylist said I did a pretty good job. My schedule for trims is every 3-4 months, alternating between professional salon visits and DIY. Each time at the salon, the amount snipped off is less than an inch… a BIG difference from last year when I had my first professional trim with almost 2 inches snipped off.

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Blow-out before trimming my hair

New Products in Rotation

This year I tried more new hair lines and products than I ever have in my natural hair journey.I felt like my hair growth was getting stagnant and was also having some issues with retaining moisture. I had been using the same products for years so it was time to switch things up. I previously wrote a blog post raving about Shea Moisture’s Red Palm Oil Curl Stretch Pudding and it’s definitely my favorite new product I’ve tried this year. The stretch is truly magnificent. Also one of the greatest hits this year has been the Apple Cider Vinegar & Indian Healing Clay masque( for both hair and skin) for an amazing cleanse and to rejuvenate my curls. But besides that I’ve tried:

TGIN Green Tea Super Moist Leave-in Conditioner – Miss

  • Price doesn’t always guarantee quality. This was the most I’ve ever paid for a product and I was utterly disappointed. For $16 I was CONVINCED this product would change my life. It didn’t do much at all. Granted it did say “lightweight” on the description but I took it as though it just wouldn’t weigh down my hair. I now know I really need a thick leave-in for my very dense and kinky hair. This product was too watery for my liking and for $16 I wouldn’t do it again.On the good side, it did smell really good. The other products of this brand sound interesting but right now I wouldn’t want to risk it not working for my hair.

 Maui Moisture Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie – Hit

  • I enjoyed this smoothie alot. It was thick and had a creamy consistency. A little oily but I liked the extra moisture. I used as a leave-in conditioner and for twist and braid out styles. I like that the first ingredient of this was aloe vera juice.

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask, 12 Ounce – Miss

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  • My positive experience with the smoothie led me to purchase something else for the line. I learned here that any masque that claims it can be used as a leave-in is not for me. I wouldn’t want something that’s supposed to thoroughly condition my hair to be light enough to be a daily leave-in. The cream itself has a consistency to watery for an effective masque so I used it as a leave-in. As a leave-in, the smell was way too overbearing to just sit on my hair.

 Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Curl Condition Hair Pudding, 14 Ounce – Indifferent

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  • This product had a good hold to it for twist outs. It did it’s job for the most part. The only thing I didn’t really like was that it was sticky at times. I often combined this by combining with an oil.

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Hair Milk Smoothie 8.50 oz – Hit

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  • I love a nice multi-purpose hair milk. Palmer’s is definitely pushing through in the natural hair community. It was a nice product for nightly use as I section my hair in a few braids. It helped with detangling as well.

Renpure Coconut Creme Curl Defining Cream, 12 Ounce – Hit

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  • I was initially on the fence after purchasing this because the directions said to use on towel dried hair. It works great as a leave-in right after wash day and on the following day as my hair is still damp. On dry hair it seems to make my hair feel sticky after too many uses so I find the best results when my hair is damp. I love detangling with it after washing and to form firm twists. 

SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Nourish & Silken Conditioner – Indifferent

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  • It’s a 3 minute rinse out type of conditioner. The smell kind of makes me feel light-headed. But it is great for a co-wash/in shower rinse out. I rarely ever do in shower rinse outs because it takes so long to get through my hair that the water just gets cold. But it was interesting to try a line from Shea Moisture that I rarely see in-stores.

Hairstyles of the Year

By now I’ve tried pretty much every protective style from wigs to braids to twists. About ½ of the year my hair is in some form of a protective style. I like to allow some time for my hair to rest but also time to wear my hair out and style my fro. Braids were a tride and true this year as they appear 3 times on my list, can’t really go wrong with braids. Other than that, I finally tried clip-ins, but soon grew tired of that and soon outgrew the length of the extensions. The best thing about natural hair, is you can switch around styles constantly throughout the year. Let’s take a trip down this year’s styles.

Braids (Half Cornrow Half Singles)

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September 2017 Accra, Ghana
  • I had this style done while I was in Ghana. Can’t believe the braiding and braiding hair cost $40 USD. It was a different style for me braiding wise, since I typically just get regular box braids. They didn’t last long though, I took them down after like 3 weeks because they started getting really fuzzy with my natural hair sticking out. Still a cute style and would love to play around with more braided styles.

Faux Locs

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November 2017: NSBE conference
  • It was a cute outcome which is what matters the most. Wouldn’t go out anywhere looking crazy but the process was brutal. Youtube really betrayed me with this one. The crochet idea was good in theory but ONLY if you have LARGE locs. I was trying to find medium sized locs but couldn’t find it in the colors I wanted (fuschia, violet, and 1b, complex I know). But anyways, I started off crocheting it with a base of french braids but it was so obviously crochet that I had to redo and do the single crochet version. That took HOURS and the locs kept unraveling omg. It was just… never again.

Clip-Ins

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December 2017: Youtube photo shoot
  • I was soooo happy when Heritage1933 sent me these coily clip-ins. I was on the lookout for clip ins and then I was sent some to review. They blended in really well for a twist out and even when I combed them out for a stretched look. I wore them for a few weeks and then just moved on to the next style. After a few months I pulled them out for Spring Break. It was great to be able to rock natural hair similar to my hair without having to take my hair down and manage it every night. By graduation, however, the clip-ins weren’t reverting between styles *stretched to twist out and vice versa* as easily. They were 12 inches and I think my hair has outgrown their initial length.

Flexi-Rods

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  • This style will require some more finesse. I attempted flexi rods for the first time and unintentionally ended up looking like a cast-member for Dreamgirls! Not quite the turn out I expected lol but still kind of cute.

Box Braids

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January 2018: Walking through campus.
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June 2017: Night out
  •  Box braids always the most consistent.

Blonde Curly Crochet

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April 2018: San Francisco
  • I was CONVINCED I was going to dye my hair blonde after this look. I loved the blonde phase of the spring. Had blonde box braids earlier in the year and was set on dying my hair blonde in the summer but then that faded away when I decided I liked having my dark brown/black hair color. I got over the blonde phase. Another plus of using protective styles is trying so many different hair colors without having to bleach or dye your actual hair.

Amazing Twist Outs and More Natural Hair Styles

  • I grew to absolutely love and perfect my twist outs. The length and fullness of my hair has been creating my dream twist out and my technique has improved so much with the years. While it does take 2.5-4 hours for the perfect twist out, it’s absolutely worth it. I also did a lot of styles with my hair out on the months where I wore it out. I moisturized diligently every night and did several low maintenance styles and some that took more time.
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May 2018: Wash & Go
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January 2018: Braid-Out
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May 2018: Blow Out Fro
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March 2018: Stretched Fro with Clip-ins
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NYE: Beads, Shells, & Things
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March 2018: Half-Up Half-Down Style

Updated Hair Goals

Now that my hair looks like how I dreamed of when I first went natural, I am just focused on loving everything my hair does and is. I am truly celebrating my journey and all of the effort I have put into getting it to where it is now. Length was my goal for a while and yes I want to continue to grow it as long as possible but I feel less pressed about making it grow in a certain amount of time. A specific goal is caring for the crown area of my hair which is the most breakage and dry prone. I am also excited to try more essential oils this year and experiment with more DIY masques and mixtures. And overall hope to maintain more length, especially during the cold months, through consistent moisturizing and trims.

-POP

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Product Review: Shea Moisture Red Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter Curl Stretch Pudding

Hey Daizies,

This year I’ve tried a lot of new products and this curl stretch pudding is by far my favorite new product of the year. It gave me the best twist outs ever for grad season and so much more. In the past, I’ve never felt strongly about any product that was allegedly for twist or braid outs because they typically worked like any other leave-in conditioner or moisturizer. But I was amazed with the results of this one.

Pre-Purchase Research

I heard about the Red Palm Oil line on The Friend Zone podcast wellness segment and I was interested in learning more about the red palm oil ingredient because I had never heard of it being used in hair products.  Upon further research I learned that red palm oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. The oil has a reddish tone which is where the name “red palm oil” comes from. It wasn’t super easy to find information on red palm oil benefits so I had to do a little digging to find out what it was all about. According to Dr. Ericz, red palm oil is full of Vitamin E, “water soluble antioxidants”, and phospholipids. A lot of science terms basically saying there’s some good stuff in there.

The Red Palm Oil Shea Moisture line was kind of hard to find in stores and especially on Amazon Prime, so I waited about 4-5 months since I didn’t want to pay shipping costs to buy it directly from the Shea Moisture website. One day I found the very last curl stretch pudding at Walmart and swiped it for a whopping $11.97. I was like “this better be good” for a whole twelve dollars.

Aesthetics Review

This product is perfect for those allergic to coconut oil. There are so many products infused with coconut oil, especially in the Shea Moisture line, but this product uses cocoa butter instead which definitely adds a familiar scent. I loved that the product was very thick and creamy. I mean thick as in if you gently shake the jar from side to side, the cream won’t move. This is perfect for my dense and coily 4c/4b hair and I was excited to have such a luscious product. The smell was so unique, especially since I’m used to the typical shea and coconut oil combo scent.

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Twist Out Application Process

I washed my hair  2 days prior to starting the twist out process. I like to stretch my hair for two days so that it’s easier to divide my hair into twists and I don’t have to detangle as much. I applied the curl pudding to each section and then finger detangled the piece to make sure I would have a nice and neat twist. I wanted a ringlet look so I used smaller sections.

Does it Do What it Says?

“Curl Stretch” ” Elongates and Defines Curls”

How can a product stretch your curls? I sure found out with this product. The curl stretch pudding contains flaxseed oil, which is known to aid in stretching natural hair. When using any water based product, it’s common for a little shrinkage to occur just by nature. Normally when I do twist outs, my twists hang at the back of my neck. But with the curl stretch pudding I could feel my twists hanging at my shoulders and even my collar bone. So it actually DID stretch my curls! I know I’ve already posted tons of my grad photos, but of course professional pics are the best way to show off what I’m talking about!

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I used this product the day before my grad photos. An Interesting day to try a product for the first time but I tell you I had never seen such an amazing twist out in my life as I was getting ready for my pictures. I was so happy with the results! I used it again for my actual graduation and I knew then that this was the product for me for twist outs. I had a full and lengthy twist out without having to wait for the second or third day for volume and hang time.

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super defined first day twist out

“Moisturizing Cocoa Butter”

Shea butter is more prevalent in this product, seeing as how it is the 3rd ingredient listed and cocoa butter is the 14th. So it’s hard to tell if what I’m loving so much is the shea butter or indeed the cocoa butter. Either way, it’s a good pairing of both the cocoa and shea butter. All together, it felt moisturizing without being too oily or heavy.

“Frizz-free finish”

I didn’t have any problems with frizz during the take-down process. The strands came out exactly in the form that I had twisted them. I simply unravelled them and didn’t even have to separate them too much in order to get my desired fullness.

“Light hold”

The style lasted throughout the day and maintained it’s look. With the humid weather, the twist out expanded and got a little poofier as the days went on. To make the twist out style last for a few days, I recommend sectioning hair into about 4-5 ponytails at night and moisturizing with a light oil. You can even twist the front few pieces to allude to a fresh twist-out.

Overall

I love the red palm oil curl stretch pudding. It’s my favorite product right now. I haven’t tried it with a braid out yet but I am excited to see those results. It’s a pricey product, so I am trying my best to use it sparingly. I’m interested to see how the entire line works for my hair. There’s a conditioner, shampoo, shine butter, and styling gelee that I hope to eventually try.


Shea Moisture Curl Stretch Pudding, 12 Pound

What are your favorite curl stretching products? Feel free to share in the comments.

-POP

Love,

Daizha

The BEST DIY Hair Masque for Defined 4b/4c Natural Hair

Hello Daizies!

I’ve discovered my absolute favorite DIY hair masque for my 4c/4b natural hair. I wanted to use it twice to make sure my reaction to the masque was consistent. Each time I’ve used this for my hair I am amazed with how many curls just come out of nowhere as I’m washing it out of my hair. If you haven’t tried Indian Healing Clay/ Bentonite Clay+ Apple Cider Vinegar for your hair, you need to stop what you’re doing and try it NOW!

What You Need:

Indian Healing Clay $9

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Apple Cider Vinegar $5

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In a plastic bowl or cup, pour a generous amount of clay into the container. Mix about equal amount of ACV to the clay so that it forms a creamy mix.

I used about 40-50% of the jar within one use lol! I plan on using it more sparingly next time so I can at least get 3 uses out of it. I plan on doing the clay masque at least once a month.

How to Use it:

This clay is a cleansing clay and takes out all of the dirt, toxins, and metals in your hair so it’s purpose is more of a deep cleanser.  I first section my hair into 4 sections and then start with one section by first making it damp using a spray bottle. Breaking the sections into even smaller sections, apply the mixture to each strand of hair from root to tip. I make sure to massage my scalp as well. Now if you’ve used Indian healing clay as a face masque, you know that it gets really hard and dry fast. But you can feel the tingly and pulling feeling so you can definitely tell it’s working. On your hair it will feel dry at the time but don’t let that stop you from completing the masque. It takes about an hour for me to apply the clay to each stand and I then cover my hair with a plastic bag for about 30 minutes. I use the remaining clay for my face for the last 10 minutes of the time.

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After the 30 minutes are up I head into the shower to rinse it out with warm water. The clay just melts from my hair and I can immediately feel hundreds of super defined curls! I can feel my hair super moisturized and with more curls than I ever feel after using any other type of cleanser or even deep conditioners.

Lastly, I follow up with a conditioner to make sure I get any remaining clay from my hair and scalp. I seal with coconut oil to lock in all of the moisture. I am always amazed with the results!

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I usually never wear a wash and go because I feel like my curls dry up and get too tangled or frizzy., However, with this masque my curls remained defined and in tact the next day so I finally wore a wash and go. I never knew my hair was this curly and I love that this DIY masque brings all of the coils and curls to light.

Stay tuned for more updates and my very special grad photoshoot coming soon!

As always, remember to…

-POP

ORS Hair Mayonnaise Review | Protein Treatment for Natural Hair

Greetings Daizies!

It’s been a while since my latest hair post but in the past few months I’ve tried so many new things with my hair. For the first time in the almost 4 years of my natural hair journey, I used a protein treatment. I was a little apprehensive about trying a protein treatment because my initial thought was that it would make my hair feel hard. But after doing more research, I felt comfortable and excited to finally try it out!

Is a Protein Treatment Right for You?

Hair Needs

This year I wanted to revamp my haircare staple products and try some new brands because I felt my hair was becoming stagnant as far as growth and moisture retention. My long-term hair goal has been to reach waist length hair. I really want to retain length while also having healthy hair. However, there’s always been a troublesome portion of my hair that’s coarser, drier, and about 2-3 inches shorter than the rest of my hair. This area is the crown of my hair and even when I had relaxed hair, this area was notoriously shorter than the rest of my hair. I really want to strengthen that area of my hair, and considering that what I’d been doing for the past 4 year hasn’t helped that area of hair at all, a protein treatment would help add extra strength to that area of hair that’s extremely prone to breakage. Taking an examination of your hair through a long term lense would help determine if a protein treatment would be beneficial for you.

Since hair is made up of 70% keratin protein, adding a protein treatment helps to maintain the protein balance of your hair after the constant hair manipulation, washing, and styling.

Hair Porosity

In my spare time I also gathered updated results on my hair porosity by doing the water-in-cup method. On freshly washed hair, I found stray strands of hair to then slowly place into a clean cup of water. If your hair sinks to the bottom you have HIGH POROSITY hair, if it floats in the middle then you have NORMAL porosity, and if the hair just floats at the top then that is considered LOW POROSITY hair. I tested strands from different parts of my hair and the strand from the crown of my hair was definitely HIGH POROSITY and some strands around the outer portions were either HIGH or LOW porosity. For the longest time I thought I had low porosity hair because majority of the strands I tested before sank to the bottom of the cup, but I had the terms wrong. I’m actually more on the normal-high porosity hair.Having high porosity hair means that the hair cuticules are open wide and moisture gets in really easily but exits the hair strands just as easily. This is why my hair would feel dry even after using leave-in conditioner ever day. I know now that after using the leave-in conditioner I should make good use of my shea butter and seal that moisture on a daily basis. Knowing how your hair reacts to moisture really helps in determining which protein treatment to purchase and if adding extra moisture or oils would be necessary.Hair_Porosity_Levels_large

Damaged or Chemically Altered Hair

Although I haven’t colored my hair since the big chop, a protein treatment might be right for you if you have used hair dye or other chemicals. Using hair color can sometimes alter the porosity of your natural hair, and a protein treatment would help restore the protein levels of your hair.

ORS HAIRestore Hair Mayonnaise with Nettle Leaf and Horsetail Extract


I purchased the ORS Hair Mayonnaise from Walmart for $6.99. My sister tried it and really liked the results, so I wanted to see how it worked for my hair. This hair mayonnaise claims is described as

  • Rinse out, deep penetrating, moisturizing conditioning treatment for weak, damaged hair
  • Helps stop breakage & repair damage
  • Rejuvenates and renews weak fragile hair

It contains blends of whole egg and olive oil for rich moisture and strengthening. I added 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to help the mixture enter my hair cuticles.

In 4 large sections( plus one small section in the middle for the section I’m paying most attention to), I applied the protein treatment to each strand and slowly detangled the section at the same time. I also made sure to massage the treatment to the scalp to help stimulate blood flow. I twisted those sections and tied with hand bands and then covered with a plastic bag with a heated deep conditioning cap for about 30 minutes. You can have a heated deep conditioning experience without a deep conditioning cap by dipping a towel in hot water, wrapping your hair with it, and then putting another plastic bag over the towel. Adding the heat to your hair during treatments help to open the hair cuticule for a more intense and beneficial treatment.

After the 30 minutes were up, I rinsed the protein treatment out with warm water. My hair felt normal but more moisturized of course because of the rich ingredients applied to my hair. I plan to do this treatment at least once a month and then I’ll have some results as to how beneficial protein treatments are for my hair.

Overall, I liked the process of protein treatments and expect positive changes for my hair’s strength and especially for the crown of my hair. I liked the ORS hair mayonnaise and will continue to use it while adding different variations of oils to it.

Have you ever tried a protein treatment? What was your experience?

As always,

-POP

Easy Bedtime Routine for Natural Hair

Hey Daizies!

Times have gotten so busy and flying by faster than ever. I took out my braids because they were getting a lil raggedy and I was high-key missing my fro. This quarter I’ve had consistent late nights in the lab finishing coding for my Information Systems class, so spending two hours on twist outs just aren’t doable right now. But I’m still keeping my hair moisturized with an easy, time efficient routine.

  1. Divide hair into 4 sections
  2. One section at a time, distribute shea butter from root to tip. I pay special attention to the ends of my hair, especially since the weather is getting colder. I bought a gallon of shea butter while I was in Ghana (the most authentic ever), but you can get shea butter from most beauty supply stores and even on Amazon. I LOVE shea butter because it’s thick, soft, and has just enough of an oily finish to coat the ends but not too much to where my hair feels weighed down

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    Shea Butter from Ghana
  3. The next step is to seal with an oil. For this part I usually use castor oil and/or coconut oil. I often spend a few minutes massaging my scalp with coconut oil to help stimulate blood flow which ultimate helps with hair growth. When managing my hair I only use my fingers to detangle. I’m able to accurately locate knots and soften them with the shea butter and oils
  4. After coating with shea butter and oils, I twist my hair in four sections using a hairband and wrap with a satin scarf.
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Go-to hairstyle

Nowadays, I am wearing my hair in a high-puff or a low side bun with a twisted bang. Fridays are usually the days where I where my fro out loose since wash day falls around the weekend. Honestly, don’t have as much time but still enjoy taking care of my hair. This routine takes around 10-20 minutes depending on how quickly I’m trying to go to bed. In the mornings, my hair is still pretty moisturized from my night procedure so just a tad of leave-in conditioner does the job.  Next up in natural hair is TRIM SZN! More updates to come.

Xoxo,

-POP

3 Years of Natural Hair: 2 years Post-Big Chop Update!

It’s been a little over 3 years since starting my natural hair journey and it has been filled with so much learning and discovery of not just my hair, but of myself as a person. My last update was at the 2 year mark and I finally had some length going on and I was extremely proud of my progress. Since passing the big chop, and short/long stage, I am now at a length that was my ultimate #goal when I first went natural. While there are things I want to work on, I finally have that carefree Solange inspired healthy and thick afro that I always wanted.

Protective Styles of the Year

  • Box braids

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I LOVED this summer style last year. I used 4 1/2 packs of Xpressions hair in the color 1B and some highlights of the color 2. They lasted for about 2 months before I moved on to my next style.

  • Marley twists

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There’s just something about dark brown and honey blonde twists that I just LOVE! Definitely one of my favorite styles ever. This style was low maintenance and great for traveling.

  • Fro out & Loose Styles

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I had a lot of fun styling my hair this past year. The new length was always exciting. Within the last year, I embraced my natural 4c hair by wearing it in its natural state and realizing I don’t always have to do twist and braid outs that mimic a looser curl pattern to have a good hair day. This was the year of loving the way my hair is and not trying to force curls that just aren’t always there. When I first went natural, I had the 4a/4b hair texture in mind and longed for the loose spirally curls. After the big chopped I soon realized that my hair is only 4c around the edges but for the most part I would be dealing with 4c hair. I kept my kinks and coils masked in twist outs that made my hair look wavy, and rarely wore my hair out unless it was manipulated in some way. This year, I gained the confidence to wear my hair as it was in loose fro’s and other styles that didn’t always require curl manipulation and enhancement. There’s always more to the journey, even 3 years into my path.

  • High Puff

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Once I figured out the headband method and my hair was of length, you couldn’t tell me nothing with a high puff. This is the style I always wear one day post wash day. It allows my hair to dry and stay out of the way to reduce tangles.

  • 2 stand twists

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At first I didn’t think my hair would stay twisted and would unravel, but when I finally tried wearing two strand twists as a style, I was so thrilled. It’s a great style in between wash days and lasted 5 days of traveling when I was in Barcelona. I like to add some golden puffs as an accessory as well as some head wraps. The best part is that you can untwist them for a 2-in-1 protective style.

  • Hair wraps

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Headwraps have saved me so many mornings of stress and chaos. If I was ever in a hurry, I knew that head wraps could always save the day. Even when I’m not in a rush, I loved wearing bold patterns and vibrant colored head wraps and looked up different ways of wearing them. I formed a collection when traveling and now have an assortment of wraps to choose from. I’m glad I hopped on the head wrap train!

  • Freetress waterwave crochet

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Crochet made its way back into my life with my birthday wavy style. I’m not a strong French braider so its great that I can cover the base braids with whatever type of hair I choose. This time I wanted to try a short wavy bob.

  • Straight hair crochet

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I was interested in wearing straight hair without actually straightening my own so once again crochet for any and every hairstyle wish! I was surprised with how long the style lasted. With Janet Collection kanekalon hair, the crochet lasted 6 weeks.

  • Wigs!

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After weeks of researching wigs, I finally purchased my first units from Aliexpress and Same beauty. My favorite is Veronica (first image) because the closure easily blends with my natural hair. Full review can be found here: https://youtu.be/eK6UPnzItJs

  • Silk press

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I finally went for it and got my first silk press and a long overdue professional trim.

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And most recently, I tried crochet Havana twists and this style was a 3-in1. From wearing it in long twists, to unravelling, and then cutting it short, I loved the versatility this one style had to offer.

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With all of the growth and changes, it’s amazing to see how far I’ve come. This photo was 1 year post transitioning and 4 months post Big Chop.

Favorite Natural Hair Products

I still have my favorite brands that were solidified last year. I select my products based on ingredients and my hair needs of frequent moisture. My all time favorite products are from Trader Joe’sCantu, , Shea Moisture, and Taliah Waajid.

 

How My Routine Has Changed

Wash and go’s just had to go. I used to be able to co-wash my hair the day of class or work and just go, but with more length to my hair the shrinkage is harder for me to manage. I prefer to go through the entire process of detangling before and after wetting my hair, and so with the 3rd year of my journey, I stopped doing wash and go’s.

I now stretch my hair every week which has helped minimize matting and tangles. After wash day, I typically wear my hair in a puff while it dries. Then I braid my hair in about 8  large braids and wear my hair in a stretched braid-out. I found that keeping my hair stretched allows for quicker nighttime styling and for the detangling process when wash day rolls around.

My recent blog post’s of prepooing and using apple cider vinegar, shed a light on my favorite new additions to my haircare routine. During my first couple of years through transitioning and after the big chop, I often went straight into the shampoo process of wash day. I now make the prepoo/detangling process a necessity for wash day.

Furthermore, I figured out the right proportions that make apple cider vinegar rinses work for me. I had tried ACV in January of 2016 and I didn’t like it at all but it was because I basically used almost half the bottle of ACV within one rinse. After I figured out the 1/4 ACV to 3/4 water proportions, the mix has changed my scalp game forever.

Things I wish I knew

I got my first professional trim since my big chop in 2015. Going into my appointment, I was just sure that the stylist would barely have to cut any hair off. After my hair was blow dried, I was shocked to witness the dead and split ends with my own eyes and ended up having almost 1.5 inches of hair cut off. I know I hadn’t trimmed my hair every 3 months like I should have but I still thought I was doing a job trimming my hair at least every 4-5 months. Cutting my hair when it was fully blown out with a dryer helped make the split ends more visible and I decided in May that I would only cut my hair when it was blown out. Three months later I held up that goal and recently trimmed my hair by myself. I still plan to get a professional trim at least twice a year now, so that I’m not in for a shock later down in the line.

My Updated Hair Goals

I am now on my quest for waist length natural hair but this time without in a specific time frame. After my first silk press and trim in May, I stared at my collarbone length hair and got very sad once I realized I wouldn’t reach waist length natural hair by the time I graduated. That was always my goal, and I had this illusion before flat ironing my hair, that I was almost there. After the trim of dead ends, I faced the reality that I wasn’t quite there. I thought to myself, what in the world have I been doing wrong? I had been moisturizing, deep conditioning, doing hot oil treatments, protective styles, you name it! But still, I was only at the length I had when I had my hair relaxed.

What got me out of this  funk, was looking at  my old throwback pictures from 2015 of my big chop. Even looking at the pictures from last year, I can tell my hair has grown so much! My deep conditioning sessions weren’t in vain because even the stylist noted how moisturized and healthy my strands were. Like I said at the beginning, my hair right now  is what I dreamed of when I first went natural. This is what I had to remind myself because what I have now is what seemed like would take forever to get to. One day I will have waist length hair, it may take a few years but I know one thing…I HAVE TO GET FREQUENT TRIMS!

I love the path I am on and the dedication I have to caring for my hair.  My hours of deep conditioning and massaging my scalp are also a form of self care because. Seeing my hair grow and thrive is exciting and I’m ready for this next year of healthy hair and life!

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-POP

DIY Prepoo & Detangler for Under $5

Hey Daizies! Detangling has made my wash days so much easier as my hair continues to grow. Detangling is the process of unraveling the tangles from root to tip of each section of your hair. This process allows my hair to not got extremely tangled when the water touches my hair and shrinks up. Your hair is in its weakest state when its wet, and tangles ultimately lead to breakage. I want to maintain length and healthy ends, which is why I always detangle before any part of wash day.

The term prepoo alone involves lathering your hair with a conditioner so that less nutrients are stripped during the shampoo process. While you can always buy sulfate-free shampoo, the process of manipulating your hair and using water still can strip a little bit of nutrients from your hair.

I combine both methods by using pre-poo ingredients and the action of detangling at the same time. There are tons of detangling products you could buy but I’ve come up with a DIY detangler that’s worked great for the past year.

$1

The first ingredient is Vo5 conditioner. I can’t believe this dollar tree staple of childhood would find its way back into my hair care routine. Because you can find it at the dollar tree, you probably would overlook it but you don’t always need to break the bank to maintain your hair. This conditioner is great for detangling because it is thick, creamy, and has great slip. It’s nourishing formula is provides an ample amount of hydration that is needed while I’m manipulating my hair and therefore, the strands won’t be prone to snapping when I’m going through them with my fingers.

The ingredients:Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Glyceryl Stearate, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Soy Molk, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Biotin, Niacinamide, Polysorbate 20, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Red 40 (Ci 16035), Red 4 (Ci 14700), Orange 4 (Ci 15510).

Nothing amazing stands out in the ingredients but there aren’t any red flags among the formula.

$3-$4

The next step that takes the Vo5 to the next level is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. EVOO is a penetrating oil and really gets through the shaft of the hair strand. This extra moisture is an excellent prepoo ingredient and the more moisturized my hair is, the easier it is to detangle as well. You can get olive oil in the oil and flour section of your grocery store for around $3-$4. It doesn’t really matter what brand you get since the ingredients should be the same.

I mix together the conditioner and oil with water and shake together in a spray bottle.  You can also use a plastic bowl you don’t care about, but the application is easier for me if I use a spray bottle. I then section my hair in 4 parts and begin the process of detangling which takes me about an hour on a good day.

What is your favorite DIY detangler?

-POP