So I finally took the time to compile some pictures to show what kind of products I use and have at home for me, my sister and my daughter. We make most of our own from natural products, but there are some products that I have been trying out that help with specific looks and such. Also from the date that I took these photos I have acquired a few more products as well. I also have a stash of hair extensions that I’ve been trying to experiment with but haven’t had the confidence to actually rock. What I’ll do is make wigs out of most of them and then see from there. Don’t think I’ll wear them to work anytime soon, but if they are good enough, I’ll rock on my days out.
This is my list so far, won’t add prices yet, will kind of edit along the way to give you an idea of home much each are and how long it may take to use in my routine. Also note, not everything in these pictures is the full list of products in our house, some are not yet pictured, other are pictured but currently not in use for reasons.
Just click the image to view the caption for the name of the products if you can’t view from the image
My dreads are six months old now, they’ll be seven months in about 9 days. They’ve finally locked which is amazing especially because of the struggle I’ve faced with them. I have very soft hair, I didn’t know this until everyone who tried to dread my hair told me it would take quite a while to get them to lock. Every time I removed a style they would practically be half dreads, either the end was lose or the roots were (and not even just from growth). Now i only have a problem with four out of seventy – eight (I think! lol)
So my soft hair is not being so stubborn anymore. If you are like me and half very soft hair just know that it will take longer than people with coarse hair but it will work out. I used to be jealous of my friend who started her dreads with me. Hers locked within a month and a half. Her pattern disappeared within three. It took me six months and lots of patience. Do not strain your hair, let it happen naturally. I stress for no reason. I loooooove my dreads right now. And please enjoy your length, they will grow soon but short dreads are so cute. Have fun with them.
I don’t know what made me make this choice. I guess deep down I need the chemical root wasn’t working for me. I cut my relaxed hair off and I let it grow. I didn’t have the best hair at first but I just accepted it.
People kept on telling me that I would not survive with my natural hair for long. They kept telling me to relax it because it was “ugly”
I think that pushed me, I had to show the people who thought their God given curls were ugly, that straight hair was the way to ultimate beauty
I don’t have to change a single thing to about myself to be beautiful, I feel my natural hair just enhances it.
So I’ve never braided my locks, people told me to wait for the five month mark before braiding them. So I did, my dreads are five and a half months old. Not all have locked yet (how sad!) But most have. I actually feel like I have dreads now.
So braiding the my hair was easy, it’s really the same process as braiding unmated hair but luckily we don’t have to part our hair (oh yeah!) but I had to make sure all loose hairs were twisted into my braid before installing. It took me six hours by myself which isn’t bad I think. I’m still trying to neaten the front out first because my braids are copper I need to make sure not took much dread is visible but with the back it doesn’t matter.
I took one piece of the hair piece and wound it around my dread to hide the top of my hair and to hide a bit more black but it’s hard to hide all of it.
Next time I think I’ll go for dark red then brown.
I used Premium expression made in South Africa and it was horrible. It got very tangled and it definitely wasn’t brush-able. I will never use it again. I prefer Nigerian expression. It’s really tangle free. Another thing with the hair piece I used, it was very shiny. I hate that about it. I shine way too much in the sun. Otherwise it’s alright but I’ll try to never use it again.
HINT: before braid your hair, soak it in apple cider vinegar to remove the chemicals that make your hair itch. Do that for ten minutes then place it in clean water to remove the apple cider for the same amount of time.
So I kept my yarn braids on for about four weeks, I took them out because they kept coming apart.
So it took about an hour to take them all out. I simply had to un-wrap the first thread and unplait the second part of the braid. It was not painful and it didn’t require anything else. Just remember if you do yarn braids, be careful when installing around the edges and the front. If it’s too tight in can ruin your hairline and it will make it difficult to remove the yarn later on.
Maintaining them was easy really. Yarn absorb oils faster than normal hair so it is important to moisture your hair every day with a spritz bottle. This is better than applying the oil to prevent build up. You don’t want to have a gunk of oil on your head now do you.
I washed them once a week because they become extremely heavy with water. You really have to squeeze the heck out of them. And since I have dreads I had to ensure they dried fast. I usually sat in the sun for a while or I would take a walk and the yarn would dry after four hours at least.
“Going natural” some of us use the term so loosely, but as long as you know that we will all end up being different all in the same even if we choice natural hair; to keep our hair virgin. Virgin hair is what I called it before, but with popularity we are natural.
I personally am on a mission to go fully natural with all my cosmetics to be a true natural.
With regards to my hair journey, I’m still far from my ultimate goal of long, healthy hair, which I’d maintain with all natural homemade products.
When I was still young I’d gotten a relaxer by my mom but I can still say that I haven’t relaxed my hair a lot. I probably haven’t even passed 20 relaxers in my life time. And considering that most people I know get a touch up every 6 to 8 weeks, I haven’t experienced many relaxers sessions in those 12 years of on and off relaxers. I hadn’t ever liked the look of my hair relaxed. It was all silky smooth in those first two weeks when I’d stretch my washes to maintain the just relaxed look, but it would just end up fuzzy and just not my hair. I’d stopped getting relaxers between age 10 and 12 because my mom got sick and passed away. I used to also cut my hair a lot when young and do some s curls. My dad’s had a girlfriend around this time and her cousin would blow out my hair which was about shoulder length and sometime put rollers in my hair which I hated cause we’d sleep with them or have to suffer under a drier for ages.
By 14 I’d quit the relaxers, tonging and even braiding my hair at the salon. It was so painful to sleep and the burns hurt so much. I kept my hair in an afro mostly picking my hair with and afro comb every morning. This is really the first time I had actually looked after my own hair. I didn’t do much to it. I had only once attempted to plait my own hair at 11 and not again after.
In matric (grade 12) I’d gotten my last serious cut, I just wanted to trim a bit, like my sister had (relaxers through and through for her) but my dad went along and told the guy to cut my hair and while I protested the guy ended up snipping me to a few cm from my scalp, what is known as a TWA.
I wasn’t sure when this was exactly but winter period when we were on break before third term because I know by september I got my second half weave style for my matric dance (like a prom) which again lasted only 2 weeks and that’s the same as the first time for my dad’s wedding.
The next year in Oct on the 3rd was my last relaxer for an aunt’s wedding. Did it on my own with Organic Root Stimulator’s (ORS) relaxer which was the only brand that didn’t burn at all verses Ladine, Dark and Lovely and Revlon. (I hate Dark and Lovely in every way. It is and was never good to my hair). Even though I’d done my first relaxer on my own and managed to find a brand my hair agreed with, I still wasn’t feeling relaxers so much.
The next year I tried braids, and asked my sister to do them since she did her own all the time – take it from me, even if someone does their own hair doesn’t mean they are patient to do another’s.
I’d also experimented with hair dye. Once plum in high school on my fro (only visible in light) and again 2010. My sister used Inecto and suggested I go brown (my hair is very dark naturally) while she’d been using black. I did try this but hated it. She dissed me and said I looked hungry. If I was a picture taking person I’d have more to show. I let it fade away. I personally hate my hair being a visible hint of brown. I like my deep dark brown. I’m also dark skinned so it is better to stick to dark.
So skipping two years to April 2012, I found out I was pregnant. I’d been so strict to remove all kinds of products that I was using that may harm my growing baby. And I really stopped straightening my hair (with my then best friend Toni and Guy afro straightener) and stayed as I was. I’ve used a straightener three times since then for job interviews. I also realised I didn’t know how to plait. I then practised on my own head doing twists and braids.
January 2013 my baby was born (I’d gone with 4 braid plaits to the hospital) and had my c section. I took it out when I could sit up. I didn’t realise I’d have no energy to even maintain my hair then. I was so tired and busy (single parent) and my beautiful daughter took most of my time and attention.
I had extremely bad habits with my hair, not even the cream crack type. I had neglected my hair! In plaits! Just plaiting over and over. Not detangling. When June came I tried to comb out my hair. My mane was nice and fluffy but I lost a lot of hair combing my hair out and trying to manage without my usual batch of products (which my cousins finished, and while being unemployed).
I’d eventually discovered youtube videos for naturals and all it’s wonder and learned of flat twist outs. Loved them a lot. And still do.
I’d braided waist long braids on my own trying to do the invisible method with kanekalon braid hair (Brandi hair, purchased at Pep) and they didn’t last long. Had to redo the perimeter by braiding then twisting. Then took them off. First fail. Wore them mostly in high bun (learned how to do them from the frequent braid wearer in the family, Nedina). [Comments while wearing this: “are you growing out dreads? Reason: twisted roots ]
Then again (while working at Milky Lane as short order cook) I attempted yarn braids. I went to Chamdor in Edenvale and purchased a meter of satin in gray and three bundles or acrylic yarn in black. I committed another sin and plaited straight after my twists extensions (hiding face). It was already sectioned and I only kept them in for 3 weeks (looking out). I then went into braiding my hair with the yarn, using Jamaican Mango and Lime twist and loc gel purchased from Clicks in Carlton, which was the first place I think it was available, to my knowledge, but the following week was at Dischem Greenstone where I worked (mxm). While in the look many people did look close and obviously found that my soft haired roots were very different and concluded extensions (what can I say, I come by the strangest of people who touch my hair. Strangers touching my hair!)
But my results 5 weeks later were the worst. I had twisted my hair into sections then braided the yarn over that and it matted up bad and locd (burying self deep in ground)
I’m no expert obviously but I’ve learned from my failed attempts to twist out, braid my own hair and others but I’m doing my best to research all the important information before going knee deep in the flood of information pouring out of the internet lately. I will learn more techniques from tutorials and would rather be patient and practice before committing.
I have learned the invisible twist method and did some kinky twists on myself and have braided Juliet’s yarn braids (or rather assisted and taught her how to). I’m also doing better at getting my daughter’s hair done as a toddler.
Now here in 2015 I will be a more natural, virgin haired mommy growing both mine and my daughter’s hair long and healthy.
For anyone who reads remember to always learn from your mistakes. Healthy hair is something desired and achieved with good hair practices.
Thanks for reading