Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ahhhhh.....is that new growth I see????

About 2-3 months ago, I accidentally started going natural.

"Uh, going natural...what the heck is she talking about?"

Well if you have African-American hair that has been "fried, dyed and laid to the side", you know where I'm coming from. Since I was 12 or so, I have been getting my hair relaxed to get that fresh bone straight look. These relaxer are chemicals and you know if they are strong enough to permanently straighten hair, they can't be good for the hair or scalp.

(Before I go any farther, let me just say that, I am not, nor do I ever plan to be come some natural hair purist breathing fire on anyone that chooses to uses relaxers. At some point in time in the future, I may decide to go back to relaxers. But for me, at this time, I need to get my hair and scalp healthy...and I just don't think I can do that, getting my hair and scalp burned up with the creamy white fire in a jar.)

Ok, where was I before that mini disclaimer. Oh....all of the years of having my hair permanently straightened, all of the heat and all of the many, many, many not so good for your hair products I have used have taken a toll on my hair, but even more importantly, my scalp.

While I have always had fine hair, it has never been this thin. There may be some other underlying causes (going to see a dermatologist) but I think what I've been doing to my scalp all these years has a lot to do with it.

So, how did I end up on this journey to natural hair. My Mom, an aunt, a cousin and a friend of mine have all gone natural and I think most have been that way for about a year or more. I've been tempted to do it, but didn't want to take the time to care for my natural hair...let face it relaxed hair seems to be more convenient.

Around the beginning of July, I was do for a retouch.....but I could not stop rubbing my scalp because of itching...rubbing and that stupid hitting we do to relive the itch. (Why do we do that, it really doesn't stop the itch, does it?) If you've ever been relaxed and made the mistake of scratching even a little bit, ya know the creamy white fire and a scratched scalp should never, never, never meet. The blazing pain you get is like no other and that damned Seabreeze really does not help.

ell a week rolls by, then another week and another and the scratching continues. About this time I'm in a "new growth panic". You know new growth is the enemy to a sleek relaxed look.

There were no huge dandruff flakes or irritated scalp, just itching. Weeks turned into a month turned into two and two turned into 3. Before I knew it I was no longer having the "new growth" joneses. OMG I think I'm finally off the "creamy crack"! I was actually anxious to see more new growth. My Mom has got this sweet tiny tiny kinky coil texture....{Sigh} I don't think I have that texture, not sure I have a little hope, but I don't think it's in the cards for me. I may have enough new grow that someone can look after a fresh was and tell me what they think it may be.

I'm not sure what has happened to me in the past couple of years, I used to be quick to have hair cut to the bare minimum, but I've noticed I've been more reluctant to give up all my tresses. Not that I have long hair, I usually keep it just a little longer than chin length, then I'm off to have it chopped off some. Maybe it is the thinning that has me afraid to have it hacked off.

I decided to transition a few months before going for the Big Chop and having the rest of the relaxed tresses hacked off. I plan to go about 7 to 9 months before the BC. I had 2" cut off this weekened...I'd planned only to to 1/2 to 1 inch a month, but the more beautiful new growth I see, the more relaxed stuff I want gone.

Right now after a gentle wash...oh yeah, I've learned that I, like most African-American women are over-washing our hair. (I'll get to that in a later entry.) I am using Aphogee's Evening Primrose Deep Moisture Shampoo and a deep Cholesterol Conditioner with Shea butter (can't remember the brand but will get it when I go home.) and olive oil.

I shampoo once, twice at the most depending on how much working out I've done over the week. (Note: If I a have a serious workout week, then I do wash twice a week, hate doing this because the whole wash and set thing takes hours.) Then I slather on the conditioner and add some olive oil mostly over the top of the hair to seal in the conditioner. I don't get under the dryer, instead I keep this in for a couple of hours. After rinsing, I throw on a light leave-in conditioner. Then I two strand twist my hair into tiny sections and spiral set them on small perm rods. I use Organics Loc and Twist Gel, only because the relaxed hair doesn't seem to hold up as well without some help. I jump under the dryer for about 30 minutes. Then let my hair finish air drying for a few hours or overnight. If I'm not going anywhere for a while the next day, I'll take the rods out but leave the twists as is. When I'm ready to style, I use some shea butter and gently separate the twists. It makes a cute curly fro.

This is what I plan to do for the duration of my transition.

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