Revelations and Routines

Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 by DeeLovely79


My next post was originally going to be about nutrition and fitness but I've had a few hair epiphanies that I just have to share.  Inspired by Curly Niki's post about how black folk did their hair back in the day, I asked my mom about her hair (which I haven't seen in decades due to her wigs but I vow that before I die I will know the truth).  She says her natural hair is wazy but she used to relax it herself when I was young.  The funny part is I don't ever remember seeing her relax her hair but I do remember relaxer in the house (because I decided to relax one of my white dolls hair with it, Black Barbie for some reason didn't need a perm).  I asked my mom about how she did my hair and she told me that she put Vigorol, in my hair.  I didn't remember this until I looked the stuff up and suddenly the horrible smell brought back memories of this disgusting clear liquid.  Apparently this stuff is some kinda of texturizer that my mom says she used to make my hair easier to comb so that it was easier for her to press (which she barely ever did).

I don't think this stuff really straightened my hair but I do feel like I've lost the ability to say that my hair was natural until I was fourteen. This could be another reason why my texture seems so different that it did when I was younger.  I am starting to feel a sense of pride associated with being natural and it feels good.  But then the point of going natural now is to move on from the old relaxers and texturizers and start taking care of my hair.

I'm also a little obssessed with my hair growth at this point.  I like the TWA don't get me wrong but I can't wait to do some twists and coils.  I one of those ladies who is used to having long hair to play with and I when I was young my hair was so long, I keep looking back at those old pictures just salivating over my hair.

This is good shot of how long my hair was back then, I believe I was about 10:

Sorry for the mean mug, my 3 year old brother was being a 3 year old and messing up the picture.  Dang ponytails.  *Sigh* Moving on.

I've had another revelation concerning my hair.  My routine is out of date!! Yes its only been 3 weeks since I BC'ed but after reading a post about winter hair care for naturals, I need to reformat my hair routine for the winter.  So here is the new plan (I'll post result pictures later on in the week)

Clarify - Weekly - Apple Cider Vinegar rise (1 Tblsp ACV to 1 cup of warm water)
Co-wash- 2x a week - Natures Gate Tea Tree Conditioner followed by Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Conditioner
Deep Condition - Weekly - Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol Plus (contains Mango Butter) - I'm thinking about adding Olive Oil to this when it starts getting really cold
Leave in Conditioner - Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner
Sealant - Mix of  melted Unrefined Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil and Sweet Almond Oil
Curl Definer (Depending on mood/style) - Garnier Fructis Style Fiber Gum Putty or Herbal Essences Set Me Up Gel
Daily Spritz -Water, V05 Moisture Milks Strawberries and Creme

So basically I removed as much glycerin out of my styling routine as I could (the  Suave has some glycerin in it) and added a weekly deep conditioner.  I have some Aphogee Essential Oils from my relaxed days, this is pretty much a hot oil treatment but as it has protein in it I will only use this on a monthly basis. My hair is pretty strong and I'm getting a little protein from the V05 and Suave so I'm thinking that should suffice.

Product Testing Session - Curl Definition 10.25.09

Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 by DeeLovely79

So I've been reading about the Curly Girl Method (CG) on and I've been using modified CG routine for my hair.  There's so much to learn about CG products and how my hair reacts to cones, protein etc that I just can't go full out CG right now.  Here is my current routine

Clarify as needed - Apple Cider Vinegar rise (1 Tblsp ACV to 1 cup of warm water)
Co-wash- 2x a week - Natures Gate Tea Tree Conditioner followed by Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Conditioner
Leave in Conditioner - V05 Moisture Milks Strawberries and Creme
Curl Definer - Aloe Vera Gel
Sealant - Mix of  melted Unrefined Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil and Sweet Almond Oil
Daily Spritz -Water, Glycerin, V05 Moisture Milks, Strawberries and Creme

I live in DC and it's getting to cold to do daily wash and gos, besides I don't like having to do my hair in the morning so I'll do my Co-washing and Conditioning at night and when I wake up in the morning spritz my hair and then use my sealant mixture.

And this is how my hair looks as a result:

I believe I have that 4a type coiling hair as its starting to coil up the more it grows.  I've been trying to figure out what type of products that 4a's are having success but I haven't been able to pin anything down. I think that I've found some good conditioners which I'll be sticking to for a while, the ones for curly/wavy hair seem to work the best  for me.

As far as curl/coil definers go I've been seeing a lot people posting that they are using various types of gels and pomades so I figured I'd buy a few of the most popular and test them out.  Earlier today I purchased
Luster's S Curl Wave Jel Activator,  Herbal Essences Set Me Up Gel, Garnier Fructis Style Fiber Gum Putty , IC Hair Polisher Styling Gel with Sparkle Lites Hard to Hold:

I tested them on different sections of my hair, I'm do to wash my hair so there is some build up from the past few days but I didn't feel like washing my hair to try all this stuff and then having to wash it out again.  Besides if any of these products can define a curl on 3 day old hair, fresh wash hair will be no problem!!

First up Scurl

Nada, I really didn't think that this would work on my hair but I've seen tons of posts of people with 4 textured hair saying that curl activator helped define their curls. Oh well.  Maybe this will be good for twists when my hair gets longer. So for Curl Definition on a scale of 0 to 5 curls this gets, 0.

Next Herbal Essences


It's hard to see with all the product build up but this stuff really made my coils come together in a defined fashion.  It was like I put a texturizer in my hair, I was surprised because deep down I really didn't think that any of these gels could make my hair curlier I was never the person who could gel my edges down and make them look smoother, but then I was using products for relaxed hair so it make sense that that stuff didn't work.  This stuff even smoothed and curled up my edges.  This product gets 4 Curls.

Next Garnier Fructis

Hard to see again due to the product build up but pretty much the same results as the Herbal Essences. I will say that this product has a gummy consistency and when you scope it there is  like a fibrous trail from your hand to the container that has to be cut.  The best way I can describe it is that it's kinda like if you were to pull some salt taffy there would be strings left hanging from the taffy just pulled. So in that sense you need to be careful how you use this product cause it could wind up all over the place. Aside from that this is a good product and I would give it 4 Curls as well.

Last but not least we have the IC Gel


This product curled a little better than Scurl but that's not saying much.  As you can see there isn't much difference in the side of my head where the product is and the back of my head which has no product.  This product gets 1 Curl.

So out of 4 products reviewed I've got two new products that I'll be using after co-washes to set my curls/coils: Herbal Essences Set Me Up and Gariner Fructis Fiber Gum Putty.    Now, believe that there are some cones in these products (I'm still studying this so I'm not exactly sure) but they aren't high on the ingredients list so I'll take my chances/do ACV rinses as needed.

Thinking About Our Hair

Posted on by DeeLovely79

Hello All,

I'm posting today to get some thoughts off of my head about kinky/nappy/textured hair.  So I'm entering my 3rd week post big chop, I'm feeling more comfortable/proud of my hair everyday.  I'm also enjoying the freedom from styling: not having to worry that working out will cause my hair to sweat out, not having to check my hair and see if it's out of place during the day, not having to spend much time on it during the week and finally people can focus on my face more now that my hair is out of the way.

Now that I'm learning about my natural hair texture it's making me realize that I've had a lot of preconceived notions about my hair (and very sure a lot of Black women will recognize these ideas):

It is hard to find the right products for my hair - So many of the products branded for African American hair are not good for our hair as they contain chemicals that are harmful to our natural hair texture and only work marginally well on hair after it's relaxed.  There are so many products made for curly hair that work just fine on our type of hair but because we've never tried to use them because we think "that only works on white people's hair".  Well it turns out that hair is just hair, now if you start changing the chemical structure of your hair and you eat junk food all the time I can't say those "white" hair products are going to work on your hair because it's so damaged.

I have thick coarse/rough hair- After using products that are made for curly hair, my hair is soft to the touch and getting curly/coily.  My hair is actually medium textured but it's very dense, so while I can get a lot of volume from my hair I need to protect it because my strands aren't that resistant. I wore my hair naturally until I was 14 and don't remember having any distinguishable curl pattern and it was always dry.  Well my mom used grease (which was mostly petroleum jelly or mineral oil) in my hair and waited until it was dry to try to comb and brush it, no wonder it was so hard to manage. Consequently, she would only wash it every 2 weeks probably because she didn't want to have to deal with it. It's no wonder why I wanted a  perm.

My hair is so puffy, I wish it would lie down flat like everyone else's hair after it gets relaxed - Yes my hair was puffy, my poor roots were trying to fight off the chemicals that's why a little bit of sweat would have them trying to coil up again.  That's why after I'd wash my hair or even just after a relaxer, my hair would stand up at the roots and I'd have to flat iron it after drying it to get it to lay down.  But why should my hair lay down? Why does my hair have to be straight? I can wear it curly, braided, twisted or straight if I choose.  My natural hair gives me so many more options. Why on earth did I use a chemical to straighten my hair and restrict my options?

My hair is thick and unmanageable and I hate to do it (style it) - I used to hate doing my hair, I'd have to: wash it several times due to crazy dandruff that wouldn't go away; condition it; put in a leave in conditioner and  hair glosser and oil; blow dry my hair for over an hour to get it dry; flat iron my hair in sections for over an hour to get it flat and smooth and then curl my hair.  The style would look good but it would only last for one day unless I rolled it up in sections over night.  I held this idea in my head that relaxed hair was easier to manage and gave me more options, probably due my experiences as a child. I was never taught how to do cornrolls or twists or anything.  I knew how to braid but I wasn't allowed to "mess in my hair" (I know a lot of you out there remember that!, I bet if I told a White girl that I wasn't allowed to do my own hair or cut my own hair as child she would even know what to do with that! I can see the look of pure amazement right now!) so I never got a chance to be comfortable with my own hair and I was going to extreme lengths to make my hair look like something it wasn't.

I am coming to the realization that all the things that our mothers and grandmothers taught us about what to use on our hair and how to do our hair were wrong *looking over my shoulder hoping that Mama Dear isn't going to come out of no where and knock me up side my head*.

I can't blame them, they were only doing what they were taught and what some clever person figured out that we could do to make white people accept us more.  Back in the days, White folks were cheating us out of money, land, jobs etc.  They were lynching us just for looking Black.

All of this stuff was adaptive, people were just trying to survive.  Even though things are better now and you can get fair treatment just being the way you were born (I said can get fair treatment, not necessarily meaning that you will get fair treatment) we still have those old mindsets.  It's going to take us more that 30 years to get over 300 years of adaptive strategies.  But if any one can do it, we can.

I'm really liking this new look

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 by DeeLovely79

So I said I'd do a new entry on Friday, well it's your lucky day I'm posting early.  So I've been going to work for 3 days now with my new look and I've gotten a lot of positive responses.  And quite a few people who have chosen not to acknowledge my new look (which in my mind means they don't like it).  Many people have said that they like it and that is works well with my face, but the true is that I have pretty strong personality and I don't think that anyone at work has the confidence to tell me I look ugly to my face.  Well, actually one of my direct reports  slipped and gave me back handed compliment, she was like "You look so pretty" so I say "What I was ugly before!!". She's all like "No, No I'm not saying that!!!".

The really good news is that I like my new look.  I did this for me, for my health so it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says.  See this is what happens you turn 30, you stop letting other people's perceptions, ideas whatever influence you and your choices.  I'm not saying that I ever did let other people rule my life, but after I cross the 30 mark I just gave so much less weight to the opinions off others.  I don't know why, maybe I realized that life is short and shouldn't waste time on anything or anyone this isn't supportive of me. 

So anyway, back to the title of my post.  I really like my new look,  I'm not a classic beauty or anything but looking at myself with my TWA I really feel like model beautiful.  There's something kinda edgy about it. I've been wearing some foundation and powder and just focusing on my eyes by shaping my eyebrows and applying eyeliner.  See below:


Here are some pictures of my old hair.  The past year I've been wearing it short, I got swept up by the resurgence of the asymmetrical cuts (Salt and Pepa's here!!) last year.

and the after two months got sick of it and I was trying to grow it out before I started thinking about going natural.  Prior to that I usually rocked shoulder length hair:

And now I'm rocking a short afro, I haven't had a cut this short in almost a decade (I had to take swimming classes in college so I figured instead of letting the chorine break my hair off I'll just cut it crazy short until the class is over) and I'm loving the fact that it's so simple!! All I have to do is wash it every few days for the next few months!!!   Well, actually I do co-washes, I'm working on following modified Curly Girl routine which I will discuss in future posts. I want to keep my routine going for a few more days before I write about the products I'm using and their effects.

So if you have any comments or stories about reactions to your big chop. Please post them.

First Step of the Journey

Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 by DeeLovely79

Hello Out There.........

Is anybody here?  I think I'm chatting with myself but whatever!! This is my first post of my first blog.  I've been watching so many great videos on Youtube and  reading so many wonderful posts on Blogger that I've decided to share my experiences. 

My main motivation for starting this blog is to discuss my experiences "going natural".  I decided to stop chemically straightening my naturally nappy hair a few months ago.  I was motivated by my desire to stop putting dangerous chemicals in my body in order to improve my health/prevent disease.  I began a primarily organic/chemical free lifestyle this summer (this will be the topic of a future post) and I've seen tremendous benefits.  Then I realized, I'm spending all this money on fresh, preservative and hormone free food and yet I'm still putting this toxic chemical on my scalp every four weeks!!

This didn't make any sense and so I did what any self respecting black woman working in a primarily white corporate environment would do....I continued to relax my hair and feel conflicted.   (You thought I was going to say I shaved my head?  Well wait it gets better, I promise!)  I mean, I didn't want to relax my hair but what was I going to do with it?  I thought about braids, but I hate the fact that they tend to take your edges out.  Then I came to the conclusion that I was going to start wearing weaves.   Now for someone who is always used to wearing her own hair in many different hair cuts, this was a big step for me, I always had this thing about wearing my own hair and being proud of the fact that "I got hair" and "My grows fast" etc.  I didn't need to put anyone else's hair in my head because my hair is so thick.   Shoot, my hair was so long when I was young, the kids used to call me "white girl" and I didn't care cause "I got hair"!!!

So my plan was to start with some braids and alternate between braids and weaves.  Two weeks later, my roots are starting to grow and I can't front I didn't have money to get my braids done (I wanted some box braids and I don't have $200 just laying around chilling saying "spend me, spend me") so I brought a wig.  I continued to wear that wig for 2 weeks and then the wig got tight with all my new grow so I hacked off a bunch of relaxed hair so it would fit better. ,I didn't need that relaxed hair, I am growing my hair out natural besides I can grow more (as I type this I'm shrugging shoulders like a wise guy saying "Fuggetabout it"  because I can grow more hair.... and now I'm doing the "Fuggetabout it" since I just typed grow more hair, I just can help it, it's like knee jerk reaction).  Then a few more weeks went by and the combination of textures was driving me crazy!!! I couldn't keep my hands out of my wonderfully thick nappy hair and having to wear the wig every day was becoming more than I could deal with.

So I ended up chopping off my relaxed hair (See I told you to be patient).  What a relief!! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of that day because I went back to wearing the wig.  But at that point something happened.  I did a search online about natural hair and then a bunch of videos on YouTube of strong black women (I'll put up links to my favorites in a future post) talking about their triumphs and frustrations in trying to transition to, grow out or care for their natural hair.  I was hooked, I'm still hooked.

See for me this wasn't an emotional thing.  I wore my hair natural until I was fourteen, I didn't dislike my natural hair, it's just that my mother never took the time to do it and I got tired of the same style (One long French braid, year after year I wore my hair in one long French braid).  Now in high school I was a little obsessed with getting my hair bone straight like the other girls but once I started doing my own relaxers at 16, I realized that I had a lot of thick resistant hair and my hair was never going to be as flat as the other bald headed, I mean thinner haired girls at school.  By the time I was in college I just accepted that I had a lot of thick hair and by then I was doing a relaxer every 4 weeks because I couldn't afford to wait until 6 weeks because my hair grew so quick and got so tangled.

But for these women on You Tube there was a lot tied into this and I began to see that I did have some emotions about this change, but not regarding straight hair and styling but around beauty and femininity. I began looking at myself in the mirror after cutting off my relaxed hair and looking at myself with  my tiny weenie afro (TWA) I first thought I looked ugly, that I looked like a boy.  Every day I'd come home from work and take off my wig and stare at myself in the mirror.  "Well I'm not ugly, I've seen worse" I'd say to myself.  "I do like the way my eyes look, maybe a little make up will make me look better".  After several days I became more comfortable with what I saw in the mirror.  But I was still unsure about going out with my TWA, I'm very tall so there are times that have been mistaken for a man from the back solely because of my height.  Now I want walk around with a cesaer?  Don't know, I mean some women can rock a baldie or TWA and look amazing, I wasn't sure if I could?  

At this point I started hitting on some videos about being confident with my TWA and I don't know, it's like they helped me break the chains.  I guess I needed something to remind me that I was doing this for me and not for approval or feedback from others.  And then I was ready.  I brought some clippers and some styling products that I found on some websites (I'll be posting on my experiences with those as well) and I gave myself I nice shape up on this past Saturday.  And today I went to work with my TWA.  And just to let the suspense build I'll post my work experiences and pictures of my first week post big chop (BC) with my TWA on Friday.  Meanwhile, I'll work on putting up some relaxed hair pictures.  

Welcome to my journey (the first of many, I love nothing better than to learn new things, if you're not growing and changing then you're dead). Please post your thoughts in the comments section. I want to know what you think of my first post!