29 February, 2012

Coloring with Henna and Hair Texture

So, I've been a Henna head for more than a year now and I'm still on the fence about it. Why you might ask? Well, here's the thing, I don't really know if it made a difference in my texture/density. I just never could tell. One reason for this is that I was really bad with keeping track of how my hair reacted with certain products. I was using so many things at once so I really couldn't tell how a particular product was affecting my hair.

Now that I've cut my hair, it's a new start right? And since that is the case, I didn't want to start using henna in case it did alter my curl pattern. I just wanted this particular hair journey to be as organic as possible.

But here is the dilemma, even though as I said above, I don't really know whether henna made my hair denser or not. What I do know is that I absolutely loved/love the rent tint it gave to my hair

Pardon the shadow but this was a good picture of my texture

The color/tint is only really visible in the sun as you can see above. It is a very faint tint.

So, the question is, should I continue to henna for the color or should I just let my hair grow out to 0ee what the true texture is in case the henna altered it in some way? What do you think ladies?

Wash and Gos and Single Strand Knots.


In my post yesterday, I talked about single strand knots (SSKs) as being one of the cons of doing the CG method. Oh boy, they nearly drove me crazy because it just felt as though they were multiplying by the 100's. I know this was not the case but it just felt that way.

After much research, I decided the best course of action is to leave and let be. I mean if I'm not playing in my hair, I won't feel it in the first place right? And I'm not talking ignorant oblivion. I'm talking... if I don't touch my hair as much, then the knot formation will be minimized. I just can't be bothered to stretch, twist-out, braid-out and whatever else that is said to help keep them at bay.

If I find that I need a trim/dusting 3 or 4 times a year, then I will do that and I'm sure I will still retain plenty of length. So, that's my determination and final argument...I will leave the knots be!

Are any of you lovelies experienceing knots when you're doing WnGs? If so, what are you doing about them?

28 February, 2012

Curly Girl Method

So, I've been doing the curly girl (CG) method for three weeks now - ever since my haircut - and I must say, I absolutely love it! This post is a short run down on what the CG Method comprises of.

The main steps involved from what I understand (or at least what I'm doing) are the following:
  • Use of all-natural products
    • or at least products that do not contain sulfates, silicones or ingredients that do not rinse out with water
  • Co-washing (conditioner washing) every day or every other day
    • It is important to leave the majority of the conditioner in your hair and let air-dry
  • Deep conditioning as needed or 1x/week
  • Finger detangling mostly
  • Absolutely NO SHAMPOOS
  • An all-natural gel can be used for hold/curl definition
That's it really, which is why I love it! I love the simplicity of it and how stress-free it makes hair care. While your hair adjusts to this method, your hair might seem worse-off but please, please, please, give your hair time to adjust. Just trust the process and wait and your hair will begin to turn around in a great way in 2 to 6 weeks.

I'm in my third week now and these are the observations I've made; both pros and cons:
  • Pros:
    • My curl definition is the BEST it's ever been
    • My hair remains moisturized for longer now
    • Hair care is the easiest it's ever been for me
    • My results are consistent - great all the time!
    • Low-manipulation
    • I get to enjoy my curl/coil pattern
    • I LOVE IT!! - and that's all that matters
  • Cons:
    • Detangling with my fingers only was a bit challenging at first
    • It requires consistency over a long period of time for the moisture levels to build up
    • My hair feels dry at the end of the day (but that's okay 'cuz I get to wet it in the morning :) )
    • I still haven't figured out how to get second-day hair (mostly 'cuz I don't use gel) 
    • Single strand knots (I just leave them alone)
The below is my personal regimen if you want to get an idea of products:
    • Cowash every AM with:
      • Aubery Organics White Camellia or Island Naturals Conditioner
      • I will apply the conditioner thoroughly section by section and rinse out about 40% of it leaving the rest in
    • Deep Condition 2x/week with the same conditioner(s)
      • basically, I apply the conditioner on dry hair and cover with a plastic cap and go to bed
      • I do it on Tuesday and Thursday nights
    • Protein treatment once a month with
      • Aubery Organics GPB conditioner
        • again, I apply it to dry hair, cover with a shower cap and leave it on for about 30 minutes to 1 hr 
    • Washing/Clarifying 1-2x a month with:
      • Terressentials Hair Wash
 I do understand that this might not be for every one. But for those who are looking for a way to simplify their hair care regimen and get consistent and fabulous results all the time, I think it is worth a try. If you don't mind shrinkage and love your curl pattern, give it a try and I almost promise you will love it.

Here are some links to some YouTubers who utilize this method:MahoganyCurls and  I also posted a video on my new YouTube Channel ChysCurlz.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all  about this method and I will be willing to answer them.

14 February, 2012

I BC'ed...again + Curl pattern + Curly Girl Method

I love my coils!

I did my second BIG CHOP (BC)!! Why you might ask will someone do that after almost 4 years of being natural? Well, I was just....fed up! I was fed up with my hair not behaving the way I would like it to on a regular basis. I wanted to get to know my curls better...not curls from twist outs and braid outs and all of that. Just MY curls, the way they sprout from my head. Isn't that the reason a lot of us went/go natural in the first place...to discover and love our natural textures.

I kept thinking to myself, if that is the case, why do I on a regular basis try to alter that same curl pattern that I wanted to discover and love? It just didn't make sense to me. Let me say that I have absolutely NOTHING against twist outs and braid outs and styles of that nature, it's just that I got tired of the unpredictability and nightly twisting and all that. I.WAS.TIRED.

Now, before going for my hair cut, I tried WNGs for a couple of weeks thinking that it will enable me to manipulate my hair less while enjoying my curls. Can I say what an absolute FAILURE that was!! It failed because for the 3+ years I've been natural, I've either been weaved up, braided up, twisted out, protective styled or a combination thereof. I really never invested time into getting to know my curls and appreciate them so when I decided to WNG, what ensued was a matted, tangled, single strand knotted head of hair and I was frustrated.

I knew there had to be an easier way. That's when I remembered something I had read before about how simple being natural truly is. I wanted that simplicity and ease so I BCed and I love that I did! This time around, I will learn how to take better care of my hair, how to achieve length - and retain it - without giving up on or sacrificing my natural curls.

I love the shape!

The back

This shows what it looks like from afar

Enter the Curly Girl (CG) method (stay tuned for more posts on this....) I'm still researching and learning all I can about this method but I'm excited. I'm excited to perfect my wash and go's -wearing my coils and curls out in all its glory - without dealing with tangling and a cacophony of SSKs while maintaining length. I will be posting more on this as I want to journal my journey on a weekly basis.

The two things I want to do is 1. research more into the CG method (I like these two videos by TheBlackRawFoodist and Mahoganycurls  and 2. try to figure out ingredients in conditioners that my hair likes and dislikes.

I know I'm not the only one out there who after many years of being natural still do not like how their hair turns out on a day to day basis. If you are out there, please let's talk and learn from each other. You do not have to BC or go CG but maybe this will be an opportunity to truly get a mastery over our gorgeous mops!