One year natural me…what the heck does that mean?  Well, it’s been a little over a year that I decided to go completely natural.  I’m going to answer some frequently asked questions regarding my hair regime.  The pictures throughout this post are chronological from the start of my natural hair journey to today.  So, let’s back peddle to catch everyone up.  Let me warn you now….this post is long!

One Year Natural Me
First off, what is natural hair?

The term natural hair typically is referred to by African-American women/men hair.  Natural hair is basically the natural state of your hair that you are born with.  Hair that has not been permanently or chemically altered.  So no color, no heat, no chemicals, just rocking your natural grade of hair.

One Year Natural Me One Year Natural Me
Why did you decide to go natural?

I’ve always been natural, for about 13 years.  I just would use a ton of heat on my hair and over years realized that my hair was stunted and breaking off!  Even though I never did anything different, I expected my hair to grow.  Using heat, over styling and not truly taking care of my hair caused it to not be healthy.

One Year Natural Me

One Year Natural Me
Starting to see a difference in length.

Have you noticed a difference?

Huge difference.  The first thing I thought that was going to happen was length.  I thought laying off the heat would give me long tresses immediately.  Well, I was wrong.  After a few months in addition to some growth in length, I noticed how much fuller my hair got.  I became so focused on my hair not getting longer that I ignored the fact that it was first getting healthy.  I always thought I had “thin” hair, turns out it just wasn’t healthy.

What technique do you use?

I’ve noticed the biggest change when I started doing the LOC method.  I talked about this in this post.  LOC stands for L- leave-in or liquid, O-oil, and C- cream.  My hair is naturally dry because it is porous.  This itself could be a post because it’s too long and complicated to explain.  Basically after doing my research I got to know how my hair is and how it reacts to certain products.  Watery products do nothing for my hair.  I need a thicker product like a cream to penetrate my hair shaft and fill the space in the follicle.

What products do you use?

When it comes to washing and conditioning my hair, I make sure my products do not contain sulfate.  They basically dry and strip your hair…defeating the purpose of trying to get it healthy in the first place.

How often do you wash your hair?

I was always told that black women should was their hair once every two weeks.  Don’t be grossed out y’all.  Our hair doesn’t create oil as fast as our Caucasian counterparts.  Therefore it is possible to go longer lengths in time without washing.   Once I learned about caring for natural hair, I realized I needed to add a co-wash in on the weeks I was not shampoo washing.  Also, no matter whether I’m washing or co-washing, I ALWAYS deep condition my hair.

My go-to deep conditioner is by Hask and it’s a protein pack.  Basically it’s a keratin protein rich deep conditioner.  Naturally curly hair relies on proteins, nutrients and oils to support healthy roots.  Be sure to lock in the heat from your head by placing a plastic bag or wrap over your head while you condition.  I usually deep condition my hair any time from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  Sometimes I sleep with my deep conditioner in and wash it out and style in the morning.

One Year Natural MeHair results after diffusing my hair for the first time.

One Year Natural Me
First time getting a blow out in 7 months

One Year Natural MeNo heat was used for these curls. My cousin gave me a blow out the night before and I slept with foam rollers in my hair.

One Year Natural Me

This is my natural curl when I let my hair air dry. Taken on Christmas Eve 12/24/16

What’s co-washing?

This is washing your hair with just conditioner.  It has been said that shampoo can be so damaging that it actually isn’t necessary.  This is because most shampoos contain sulfates which strip your hair of it’s natural oils.  Well I think that’s kind of gross because you have to cleanse your scalp and get rid of any build up.  There are many brands that make “co-wash” such as Shea Moisture, Creme of Nature and Cantu.  I co-wash my hair every other week.

One Year Natural Me
1/26/17

One Year Natural Me

Will you ever straighten your hair again?

The answer is yes.  I don’t plan on wearing my “natural” curls for my wedding next year since they don’t go with my “theme”.  Until then, I plan on doing a proper length check and get a trim some time this year.

Additional tips

  1. Be patient.  Your hair will not grow overnight.  Some people don’t see true results for years.  It’s nice to do a length check every now and then to really see your progress.
  2. Treat your hair first from within.  Drinking enough water, diet and taking hair vitamins will definitely help the growth of your hair.
  3. Invest in a de-tangler brush and wide tooth comb(s).  First off when using a comb or brush, BE GENTLE!  If your hair grew 2 inches this month and then you rake through your hair, you are defeating the purpose.  Yes your hair will shed some but your comb should never be full of hair.  If you get knots, take your time and work through them gently.
  4. NEVER COMB YOUR HAIR DRY!  Not unless you want your hair to break off.
  5. Always diffuse your hair on cool and setting low.
  6. No you don’t have to do the “big chop” to go natural.  I didn’t!  BUT you just have to power through the awkward stage of new growth near your root and straight/relaxed hair towards your ends.
  7. Natural hair is not for everyone.  Some people don’t have the “patience” because it is ALOT of work!  Just remember, natural hair is beautiful.  Society shames and calls it “nappy” or “unkempt”.  That couldn’t be further from the truth!  Embrace what you have.  Also, at the end of the day, you save SO MUCH MONEY.
  8. Avoid sulfates at all cost.  Pay attention to the ingredients in your products.

Overall, I am no hair expert.  I just wanted to share my hair journey over the past year.  I get a ton of questions about my hair so I’m hoping this helps.  This journey hasn’t been easy but it’s a lot easier now.  I still dread wash days lol but my hair is so much easier to manage now.  If you have any questions, want to see specific YouTube videos regarding natural hair care leave a comment below.  I’ll do my best to cater to everyone!

Thanks for reading!

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*Disclaimer: I am not a hair expert, I am just sharing what works for my hair*