So … About My Natural Hair Journey …

Ok. So. I . Decided . To. Go. Natural. 

****First and foremost, I want to thank all the beautiful women that surround me daily. You guys have been such an inspiration, and it has been with helping hands and the influence of all of you naturally amazing ladies that I even thought about giving this a go. You guys are a daily muse, each and every one of you. xoxo

Now, I didn’t do the BIG CHOP… I couldn’t do it. Praises to all of you that had the balls to do it, you all will forever be my heroes.

However, I did decide to go natural through transitioning. Transitioning to natural hair  is a simple process of growing out your natural texture before cutting off the processed hair or damaged ends. Transitioning can sometimes be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be completely complicated.

My last perm was over a year ago, and I literally have an inch or two left of my processed hair left. After I take my hair out of the protective style I have in now, I plan to cut the last bit off. I’ll admit in the beginning I was being stubborn and trying to hold on to all length and hair I had possible. Now that my hair is a good and healthy length on its own, its time to just let it go, plus anyone with natural hair will tell you how much faster their hair started to grow once they got rid of all the dead hair. I’ll keep you guys posted when I do the chop.

IMG_0107I chose to transition simply because I refuse to ever cut my hair short again. Remember the Rihanna cut that took over a few years ago? Yea, I was one of those that fell victim to it, and although it was cute, the grow out process was the worst. The mullet, the mushroom, every time I see how much my sides have grown back I rejoice and celebrate. That’s why transitioning was always the answer for me.

Last year, I went back and forth with whether I wanted to dive into the natural hairstyle, and one night while frustrated with my hair … I permed it, and instantly was filled with regret. My hair wasn’t as full, and I naturally have really soft hair, so all my body was gone. It was at that point that I decided to just bite the bullet. (Perm pics below.)

AND HERE I AM ! A little over one year later, and so much happier with my hair. Theres no such thing as “good hair,” all hair types are beautiful, and manageable if you take the time to learn how to properly take care of your hair type.IMG_2036

When I first started on this journey I read any and every blog post, and article on transiting to natural hair so I could figure out what worked for me. So far I’ve been really impressed with my hair growth, and the state that it is in. I wanted to share some of the things I found most helpful.

1. Gradually Cut Damaged Ends

In my opinion, this was the best solution to my Big Chop problem. Instead of going balls to the wall, gradually trimming my hair every 4-6 weeks was a nice compromise and made for a good fix. The cutting wasn’t abrupt, and trimming in general is good for your hair. It was a win/win.

2. Protective Styles are Gifts From the Hair Gods

Protect. Protect. Protect! Until you get to a length that you are comfortable and happy with, a protective style is your safest and best bet. There are endless styles, and the key is to find a wonderful and understanding hairstylist that is willing and ready to venture into this hair journey with you. I personally don’t keep a style in for more than, 8 weeks. If I really want to push it, I do 10 weeks, but no more than that. After a certain amount of time in a specific style, it can actually do more harm than good to your head.

3. Protective Style Doesn’t mean Neglect

JUST BECAUSE YOUR HAIR IS PUT UP, DOES NOT MEAN FORGET ABOUT IT. You still need to act like you have hair on top of your head. Proper nourishment is key to growing your hair. If you have braids, make sure you still wash, and handle your scalp. If you have a sew-in, treat that Brazilian as if it has grown out of your very own head. Don’t get anything that tortures your edges. The goal is to not have to use these protective styles forever. If you don’t take care of your real hair, you’ll always need some style to cover it up.

4. Shampoo Type Matters

Whenever my hair is out, I wash it every 10-14 days. As far as shampoo, the healthier/gentler in ingredients the better. Purchase a shampoo that states no sulfates, no parabens. That info usually is always on the front of the bottle. Of course there are all sorts of shampoos, but that type is always a good start, and has worked wonders for me.

5. You Will be Nothing without Moisture

Keeping your hair conditioned and moisturized is basically the key to natural hair growth success. Google or read anything about growing your hair… all the posts/articles are going to go on&on about moisture and everything in between. After I shampoo my hair, I deep condition every time. I saturate my hair,  often using 2-3 conditioners at the very least. I’ll use the shampoo that goes with my conditioner, I’ll add a deep conditioning treatment, and honestly whatever else I can find. I mix all of them, and then put a plastic cap on my head. Leaving conditioner on for more than 30 minutes increases the effectiveness by 60-100% ! Exactly. That’s amazing. Heat opens up the hair cuticle, but if you don’t have an overhead dryer, just keep the cap on for a while. Sometimes I even leave it in over night. Whenever you wash it out, use cold water. Why ? Click here !

6. Use Heat Sparingly

This is a no brainer kind of. A crazy amount of heat is harmful to any type of hair, use it only when necessary. When I have my hair out, I try to only use heat every 2-3 weeks. As of this last year I have only used a blow dryer, as far as heat utensils. I use coconut oil on my hair, and spread that evenly through my tresses as a heat protectant.

7. Wigs . Game Changer.

I remember reading an article years ago about how this woman grew her hair to waist length with the help of wigs. My hairdresser has wonderful hair, and I use to ask her all the time what was her secret, and she swore by wigs. I’ll admit , at first I was hesitant because no one wants to look wiggy. It all comes down to finding someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to constructing wigs. How it helps? Wigs enable you to still care for your real hair properly, while having that brazilian on your head. I got one bomb wig done, and I promise you I will never get a weave again. It was a game changer for my world.

8. Leave it Alone

Let your hair breath and just be great on its own for a while. Whether you take it out of a protective style or just have it out, leave it alone. What I mean by this is, just let it be. I use to be the hair dye queen and even though it has killed me not to throw some color on this thing, it has been for the best. I have seen such an amazing change in my hair when I stopped fussing with it. No perm, no products, no hair dye etc. Leaving it alone has actually given me the opportunity to appreciate my real texture/grade of hair.

9. Vitamins

Vitamins have been known to be a great asset in aiding hair growth. Biotin, prenatal pills, or some hair vitamins from some store. Locate some, take them everyday, and make them part of your every day life. A good vitamin will not only promote hair growth, but will strengthen your hair as well. You can’t have flowing locks if they are weak and constantly enduring breakage. Get you some vitamins and give your mane the extra push it needs.

10. Educate Yourself

No one can help you, like you can. Educate yourself, and learn some things about your hair, and find interests that will make this journey more enjoyable. I am a sucker for DIY projects, and sometimes its fun to sit at home and find a good experiment on Pinterest. Different things work for different people, find out what works for you.

11. Be Patient

This is the most important point of them all. Be patient. We would all like to wake up and have the hair flow of Tracee Ellis Ross (my hair goal crush) , but sometimes that’s just not how it works right away. Stay focused, optimistic, and patient. If you keep doing what you need to do, you will get what you want to receive. The smallest things use to turn me off when I first started this venture. Shrinkage is real and I use to get so discouraged after I would wash my hair and see this curly fro on top of my head. One day I got curious about my actual length and decided to get a bomb blow out … and my hair was FAB. That alone was enough to keep me going, and now months later when I wear my hair out and people notice my growth or make positive comments it feels that much better because LAWD knows I have worked for this. lol. Now keep in mind, I’m nowhere near being Tracee, but I’m far from where I started, and that’s good enough for me. My point is … you will get to your hair goal, just keep on pushing.

* Now, by NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM am I natural hair guru. Far from it. I’m just sharing my journey and what I have been doing. I understand this natural movement isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. I am just sharing my journey and what has helped me. For those of you on this natural hair ride with me … please share your stories ! I would love to hear about other tips, and how things are going with you on your personal hair venture =)

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15 comments

  1. I can definitely appreciate this post. I always think of it as seeing the person for the first it me once you see the natural hair. And very beautiful. I know during the transition emotions can be all over the place but in the end I think its well worth it. By the way you look great too! 🙂

    1. You know, I must agree. It is something really intimate and refreshing about having your natural grade of hair out> i was just talking to one of my friends the other day about this actually. When I was younger it seems like men wanted weave and all types of stuff. As I’ve gotten older I have noticed that men really do appreciate a woman’s natural hair and beauty. Thats so inviting.

      I am doing pretty well. It’s growing pretty fast so I’m not heartbroken. lol and thanks a lot .Glad you like it 😉

    1. First off thank you !!! I love that you love the article and I’ so happy & grateful that you took the time to check me out =)

      As far as daily hair moisture I use coconut oil. I actually wrote a post about it , if you would like to check it out http://theeleventhletter.net/2015/06/19/5-home-remedies-every-woman-should-know/

      I use shampoos and conditioners with no sulfates, paragons, etc. Green tea, Olive oils, its a whole bunch of stuff on Pinterest to check out.

      I really will try any kind of protective styles . I’m actually going to post a blog about that, but i usually do wigs,weaves, or braids . They just make things so much easier. I love them. =)

  2. I also want to know what kind of protective styles you use. I love visiting your blog page because I see so many wonderful things and styles from you . I love it. What are some of your favorites? and how were you able to keep them going ?

    1. I plan on writing a post about my favorite protective styles. I keep them all up the same way, I wrap my hair. Invest in a really good big bonnet and it works for all hair styles. Its the best investment everrrr lol

    1. No I can’t see me perming my hair again. I mean never say never but right now I don’t see that in my near future. My hair feels and looks so much better in its natural state. Whenever I got a relaxer it was always a quick fix to my problem. Now that I have taken the time to really get to know my hair and experiment , I am happy with this =)

    1. The picture at the top is from when I chose to cut my hair in 2011. I kept my hair cut that way for about a year and a half before I decided to grow it out. While it was cut it was permed, it was just so much easier to keep the style.

      lol I decided not to cut it all again, because I really don’t want to go through that process again. It took FOREVER for my sides to grow back and the thought of going through that again I was like no way lol. Growing out my hair, and cutting it gradually was always the best choice for me.

      After I take out these faux locs I plan on getting the last bit of my processed hair cut off. I heard after you make that step, the hair really starts to grow so I’m pretty excited about that =)

  3. I started this process a long time ago however was mission the key element of patience. I got 10-11 months in with no relaxer constant protective styles and trims in between; however that transitioning period was ferocious. And I got to the point where I couldn’t do ANYTHING with my hair lol. Long story short I learned how to take better care of my hair but I had to relax it. Congratulations to you for making through that ferocious transitional period. Must success on your hair journey. Y’all got that good hair 😉

    1. YES! lol that happens to the best of us haha . Natural hair kind of forces you to get to know your hair better and learn all the many ways to take care of it. I was never really big on all the various ways of hair care UNTIL I started this journey. Now I am all about wrapping my hair at night, going to a salon every 2 weeks, deep conditioning lol I had to step my game up and I’m so proud that I did. haha Thank you so much and congrats to you too ! We in this together boo =)

  4. For some time now, I have been contemplating the entire transitioning from relaxed to natural process and after four months without a relaxer…my contemplating came to a halt — I folded and went to see my favorite Dominican. I even voiced my thoughts about becoming natural to her and she was all for it, but I know how I am with managing my hair…my patience level after some time is dumb low. Congratulations to you on your journey though, and more power to you! *flips relaxed hair*

    1. lol LOVE IT ! Look, its all about knowing you and knowing what you can and can’t fade lol. In general I wear a lot of protective styles anyways , so the transition was easier because i was already kind of doing that. Thats exactly how I got a relaxer last year. I got frustrated and was like forget it lol. However after I got out of the rough stages things did get easier lol. YAY

      so thank you and i love your honesty. Your hair is fabulous. Do you boo *twirls around room lol

      xxoxo !!

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