Category Archives: Natural Hair

Post Pregnancy Hair Shedding

maxresdefaultThis is a late post, but I forgot to mention that about 7 weeks post pregnancy I experienced tremendous hair shedding. Something I never experienced during my first pregnancy, yet that was 10 years ago!

I mentioned before that about 3 weeks before child birth I got my hair done in yarn braids. When I took them out 4 weeks post pregnancy I did notice “some’ shedding, which alerted me because I’m not a big shedder at all!

A few weeks later my hair was shedding at a rapid right especially during washes. Anytime I even looked at my hair it would shed. I researched and topped my problem off to post “pregnancy hormones”; but I was so afraid that I stopped using one of my favorites since my big chop, Coconut Jamaican Black Castor oil by Jamaican Lime & Mango.

I read that sometimes black castor oil can cause excessive hair shedding as well. And I also know all the jibber about losing 100 strands a day, but I decided to cut out all products besides my basics until I seen a reduction.

Here at 4 months post pregnancy my hair has stopped shedding to the touch and it has minimized tremendously when washing. Although it’s still not at the extremely low to none, rate it was pre pregnancy!

Honestly it appears that my hair is continuing to grow and the shedding didn’t make too much of a difference in appearance.

I’m hoping that by 1 year postpartum things are back to normal. Or am’ is my hair just going through a different stage, I am close to 30 now, lol. Anyways, I love to hear about some experiences post pregnancy or hair shedding in general.

-Angel

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2015 Summer Hypothesis

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The season of summer was filled with a lot of joy; I gave birth to my second son in 10 years! I was also searching for a “protective style” to help me during my last few weeks of pregnancy and my post period. I simply didn’t want to maintenance my hair everyday while taking care of a newborn.

I ended up choosing “Large Box Yarn Braids”. This is a typical braiding style using yarn instead of human or synthetic hair. They are quickly installed, yarn is cheap and they last pretty long! Some folks actually also use yarn as a locing’ method.

I kept them in for 6 weeks as they were starting to produce a lot of buildup. Although some naturals use constant protective hair styles for long periods and as a hair growing aid. My last big chop consisted of a lot of simulation to the head and regular washing. With “yarn braids” I could not do such. And as much as I do not necessarily “love” the progression period of my hair right now, and I actually enjoyed having some hair (well yarn) on my head, I was missing my natural hair!

Throughout the summer season I experimented on a lot of techniques. I found that less is sometimes more, and the only way to find the best products for your hair, you must complete many trials (and error). I found that my hair thieves more when dry, and using Jamaican black Castro oil. Needless to say in general “Jamaican Black Castro oil” is one of my favorite products and daily conditioner. From the very start of my big chop until today, I have eliminated several products and still on the lookout for more. My hair is still pretty short so I don’t do much to it. I have to admit this is the hardest period of growing natural hair for me. And because I do not use a comb so the actually length is preserved.

I ended using the following:

Water

Jamaican Black Castro Oil (by Jamaician Lime & Twist)

Kemi Oyl (very rarely and very little)

Hair Butter by Dark & Lovely Au Natural

Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Crème (on wash day)

As I am Co Wash

As I am Leave-in Conditioner

SheaMoisture Curly Shampoo

Pantene All Natural Deep Conditioner

Pre-poo every other week with Coconut Oil, Olive oil & Black Castro Oil

Re: Pre-Poo Formula 1#

On 6/24/2015, I actually tried this particular pre-poo and shampoo routine for the first time. After reading several reviews about pre-pooing and the ingredients used, I chose the ones I thought may produce the best results and were cost effective. In a pursuit to find the perfect combination of ingredients! There were many ideals from any essential oil, to banana to crushed avocado.

I will be honest, after the full process I didn’t notice any immediate difference in my hair texture or quality. Although I’m not too concerned because I understand pre-pooing is a protective routine and more likely gives long term results.

At first I didn’t fully understand the concept of using all these ingredients then shampooing. The theory in pre-pooing is it helps protect the hair, as shampooing can be very harsh on the hair. It may seem like you would coat your hair after the shampoo to protect it, right? Or you’re wasting products, by using then shampooing? But in theory of other instances, wound care or even surgery prep, you protect before and after, right? So in a sense, pre-pooing does make sense. (1) You protect the hair – prepare for shampoo, this is pre-pooing. (2) Shampooing is the major procedure. (3) Deep conditioning is the last step to seal and cover the wound, protect from damage (infection) after the procedure.

Going forward I will allow the pre-poo formula to penetrate longer, maybe 2-4 hours. I will try to use better measurements of the ingredients to create a “thicker” consistency. Overall, I will continue to pre-poo, but less then proposed, every other week instead. Oh yeah I was not blown away by the deep conditioner I chose to use “Coconut Shea All Natural Hair Masque”. I was expecting my hair to be extremely-extremely soft afterwards. Though I do admit the natural ingredients are pretty good. I may try the Black Castor Oil Conditioner by Jamacian Lime & Mango next.

Eliminations as followed:

Plain Natural Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup): I believe I used to much yogurt and not really sure if it’s a necessary ingredient. Plus yogurt expires pretty fast, I don’t want to keep buying it to accommodate pre-poo days.

Coconut Milk (1/3 cup): Coconut Milk seems to carry some of the same benefits as coconut oil, makes hair soft, heals scalp issues, strengths the hair, etc. I can do without this ingredient, especially as it can water down the formula.

Apple Cider Vinegar (1/2 teaspoon): I remember using apple cider vinegar to clean my locs. From what I understand pre-pooing is for protecting the hair prior to shampoo (which excessively cleans and can strip the hair). To me natural loose hair does not a apple cider vinegar cleanse on a regular bases. Also, the smell is very strong.

Pure Coconut Oil (2 tablespoon): will continue use.

Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tablespoon): will continue use.

Jamaican Black Castro Oil (1 tablespoon): will continue use.

Pantene All Natural Deep Conditioner (1 tablespoon): will continue use.

Pure Honey (1 tablespoon): will continue use.

Pre-Poo Formula 1#

1st Pre-Poo

Plain Natural Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup)

 Coconut Milk (1/3 cup)

 Pure Coconut Oil (2 tablespoon)

 Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tablespoon)

Jamaican Black Castro Oil (1 tablespoon)

 Pantene All Natural Deep Conditioner (1 tablespoon)

Pure Honey (1 tablespoon)

 Apple Cider Vinegar (1/2 teaspoon)

 *Mix all together, apply thick coat, seal with plastic cap, warm with blow dryer for a few mins and leave on for 1 hour. Rinse thoroughly.

prepoo

 

2nd Shampoo

 With Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shining Shampoo 1x-2x

masque

3rd Deep Condition

Coconut Shea All Natural Hair Masque. Leave-in for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

shampoo

4th Seal

(same as co-wash day)

 As I am Leave-in Conditioner, Oil and Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Crème

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My Natural Hair Philosophy

I believe Natural hair care is similar to seasonal care of plants. Granted there are obvious differences, but I believe if hair could be compared to any other being of growth, plants would be it. Each type of plant requires different care. Hence, different hair type requires different maintenance techniques. Each season requires different needs of care due to weather climate. Hence, each season impacts the level of protective treatment for hair. Each season may produce different rates of growth, appearance and development. Same as hair, we all have a peak season and sometimes the appearance of our hair changes.

When I started My Natural Hair Journey it was at the end of spring. Each season I will compare growth, product use and my hair care regimen. There’s really no need to complete a spring entry because it wasn’t complete season for me; but I’ve learned just enough to carry onto summer so that a complete analysis can be completed.

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Summer 2015 Regimen

Starting Statistics

Curled: 20 mm

Pulled: 73.5 mm

Shrinkage: 114%

Regimen

 -Pre- Poo, Shampoo and Leave-in Condition every Wednesday; seal with curl definer.

 -Co-Wash and Leave-In Conditioner every Saturday; seal with definer.

(give or take I will wash at least every 4-7 days)

 -No brush or comb routine.

 -Nightly hair massage with black castor oil.

 -No hair dyes or bleaches.

-Water spritz as needed. Not limited to no shower cap during bathe.

 -Sleep with a satin hair cap.

 (or attempt, it usually makes it way off every night)

 -Daily moisturize lightly with hair butter and hair oil. Curl definer as needed. L.O.C Method.

loc: liquid, oil and cream

Products

Hair Butter by Dark & Lovely Au Natural $8.99

Curl Defining Crème Dark & Lovely Au Natuale $10.99

As I am Cococont Cleansing Co Wash $9.99

As I am Coconut Leave-in Conditioner $9.99

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Shampoo $10.99

Kemi Oyl $3.99 (smallest container)

Jamaican Lime & Mango – Jamaican Coconut Black Castro Oil

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Spring 2015 Hypothesis

Spring 2015 was a short but fulfilled season for my hair. I cut off my locs and all the dead hair in reach of a new beginning. Some people prune trees/ plants [compared to cutting or trimming hair] in the winter season to prepare for spring’s new blossom, but of course my journey started in spring.

Personally I do not feel trimming alone produces hair growth. I do believe it will help hair grow and appear healthier, if you are removing unhealthy hair. Therefore I believe hair should only be cut for style preference or to remove damaged hair. To me there isn’t a specific routine needed for trimming hair. You should trim or cut as needed.

As I compare hair with trees, we trim our trees in our front yard yearly before or during the beginning of spring. These particular trees will grow regardless, but for sake of them not growing too high, we trim them. I also noticed [as we did not trim them last year] that the leaves have grown-in thicker and the overall appearance is healthier this year around.

When I cut my dreads I actually had several inches of loose hair remaining, but it was thinned out and processed due to the bleach damage. I decided to cut off anything that was unhealthy.

At the beginning of my journey, late Spring, I thought I should co-wash and leave-in condition my hair every 7-10 days and then on the 3 round use a shampoo and conditioner. However, because it is so hot, I feel like more water is needed. So that regimen will not continue throughout the summer. I will wash my hair more.

I also found out that some products made my hair too oily or contained ingredients I wanted to avoid or not satisfied with.

Overall, I measured by hair on May 27th, 2015 and my hair has grown 1 cm in curled form, in 28 days.

Curled: 1 cm = 10mm

Pulled Out: 2 inches & 1 cm = 61.4mm

144% Shrinkage (difference)

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The Big Chop

natural

My natural hair journey started almost 10 years ago. However, for the past 7 1/2 years I have had dreadlocs. Before locs, I always used relaxers, like most ethnic females, especially during that time period, especially in my area of region. I probably started getting “perms” at about 5 years old, I imagine.

relaxer aka perm: a chemical process which straightens the hair and makes it more manageble.

I cut my hair in December 2006. I wanted to try something different, but more so my hair was badly damaged because of bleach damage.

i bleached my hair and dyed it that ole’ that Keisha Cole “orange” and relaxed it too soon afterwards – really Angel?

This time around my going natural is a real journey for me. It’s about personal acceptance of my natural state; embracing my natural hair. It’s about change, and growth.

Cutting my hair in 2006 was detrimental; and more so a tragedy! I watched my hair break off for several months before I made the decision to “let it go”. I remember crying in front of the mirror at my breaking point, like “I’m losing my hair”!!

So by force and not choice, with limited information on natural hair care, I cut what I had left. My intentions were to just grow out my hair, not “loc up”. Nevertheless, growing locs was a journey in itself and it was a new time period in my life.

I moved to Georgia in 2007 and thru the influence of my sister’s and social circle, I was introduced to the beauty and style of locs and constantly encouraged to “do something to my hair”!

Most black women have received “perms” for a long time and it is of the majority; although “natural” has made it’s surface and is more normal and acceptable within the culture, world and workforce.

When I cut my hair, it was a new trend in my world. It was a big culture shock from my peers. Many stares and questions!

Even to this very day, not many people from my hometown wear their hair “natural”. The social norm is relaxers and/or weave (extensions) of some sort. And a lot of those with natural hair do not show it.

Fast forward, I dreaded my hair and I loved it. It was easy to maintain, I always got a lot of compliments. More people in Georgia have locs and natural hair, so it wasn’t abnormal. A lot of people in my family in Georgia have locs as well. So basically it was “all good”.

Well back at the end of 2013, I started to get frustrated with my hair, wanting to try something different. I was getting bored and I sometimes I didn’t feel feminine, and I thought adding some color would help.

So, I decided to dye my hair red. This took about 4 months to complete. My hair was black so that was one factor. Then I had dreads, so the hair is layers of thick and matted hair.

meaning, it takes more dye and time to penetrate the hair. Also, I wanted to decrease damage so I dyed it gradually.

Eventually I got the color I wanted and loved it! But I figured out red color with locs was hard to maintain! You constantly have to touch up it to keep it vibrant and it was a lot of residue, everywhere! Red continued to drain out even after I dyed my hair back black.

The color was also a little “loud” in appearance, and when I lost my job I feared my new job search may be affected due to my hair color.

But most evident, my hair started “breaking off”. Bleach damages! At least for me it does!

I was tired of it; I wanted my natural (loose) hair back. I wanted to freely wash my hair; I wanted the option of wearing more than one style. I also felt my locs were not as healthy as they once were.

they were definitely savable, but I just wanted a change.

Needless to say, having loose natural hair in 2015 is much easier than it was in 2006. There were not as many products or information back then.

i remember using vaseline and Wave Nuevo, which is for Jerri curls, lol and really wet.

I cut my hair on Sunday, May 24, 2015 and I loved it. After years of semi-thinking about cutting, it took me like 1 week to finalize my decision. I actually had a thought, discussed it with my husband, and did it. I believe my pregnancy hormones help me make a quick desicion as well.

I will admit there was some disposition about it, but not fear. I mostly considered my husband – whenever I would casually mention it, he would be like “no I like your hair the way it is”. Having locs is the only hairstyle he ever knew of me.

overall, he is 110% supporting me, but I don’t feel like he totally gets it, or realizes the potential and beauty of loose natural hair – like many people.

But this is not about anyone else, but me. I know some days will be hard and I will not grow long hair overnight. I also know beauty comes from the inside out. God made me beautifully without any preservatives. And I have learned that anything worth having takes time to flourish.

To my fellow natural sister’s (loose or loc’d) !!

The 7 Reasons Why I Cut Off My Locs

7 Reasons

I had locs for a little over 7 years, so here are my 7 reasons for cutting them off:

  1. I had build-up. Truth is, everyone with locs has some type of build-up. It’s unavoidable. Locs are matted hair, and you can never truly clean each hair particle. I personally never felt my hair was completely clean. So with that being said, I would advise clear products, no bees wax, clarifying – cleansing shampoos or shampoos made specifically for locs, minimum use of conditioners and hair dye or extra product, as I believe it increases build-up. Oh and make sure your locs are the right size for your hair texture and variation. Too thin can equal breakage, as too thick can as well. Know what “your” hair can handle.
  1. I wanted my own hair identity. I know this may sound silly, but my husband has locs. I no longer wanted to share the same hair style.
  1. I desired more than the twisted/ or braided  loc look. Granted there’s a lot you can do with locs, but I desired even more variety. I also wanted to run my fingers through my loose hair.
  1. I wanted to exit out of the category of having locs. I don’t want to go into detail, but let’s be real there are stigmatisms and even discrimination that comes along with having locs. It wasn’t a big deal for me, but it is something to consider. Not that natural “loose” hair doesn’t have its own either!
  1. My hair was breaking off due to “bleach” weakening it’s strength. I would say every bit of 35 locs broke off, maybe 3-4 inches (never from the root though). I had about 270 locs total.
  1. I simply wanted a change.
  1. I no longer was “in love” with my hair. Yes, I said it, and know it’s just hair, but I no longer had the same feeling’s anymore. Nevertheless, I will always have love for my former hair, it was truly beautiful!