It all Started With a Speech….My Journey the First Year

16 Aug

Last year after watching my first video on how to grow long and thick African-American hair along with a few of Naptural85’s (My FAV) videos on YouTube to do some research for an oral speech, I wanted to start my own HHJ (Healthy Hair Journey). All the tips that I learned reminded me of all of  the things my Mommy used to do to my hair as a little girl, when I had a lot of hair. No, to minimum heat use, keeping my hair moisturized, trimming my ends, sleeping with a bonnet or scarf , no chemicals were all the things my Mom would nag me about all the time, even in my relaxed days. Everything was starting to make sense to me now, why my hair wasn’t growing like it used to.

My hair 1 year before I started my HHJ, notice how thin &lifeless it is.

Immediately I stopped using heat and started a simple regimen.  I didn’t do much but I tried to stay consistent with washing or co-washing, and moisturizing. I didn’t know how to do any styles  other than a wet flat twist out, which I didn’t know I was doing at the time and my handy-dandy Puff.

I spent as much time as I could on YouTube watching videos from length retention tips, hairstyles, product reviews and whatever else I stumbled across about natural hair that caught my attention. I learned early not to get caught up in all the different bandwagons that were out there and to also appreciate and accept MY hair.

The TOTAL focus of my journey is to have healthy thick hair and has been since day one. I wanted my hair to be thick and full looking again.  I was retaining length but due to heat abuse and lack of moisture my hair was really unhealthy, thin and lifeless. So I set my mind to start a simple regimen of  monthly mayo & egg protein treatments, washing, conditioning, and applying some Olive oil weekly. I planned to moisture nightly when redid my flat twist. I told myself that I would stick to it no matter how frustrated I got, how hard it would be and I definitely wasn’t going to relax again so I felt I had no choice but to learn how to care for and style my own hair. I just wanted healthy hair again.

Before I knew it two months rolled around and I was still keeping up with my regimen. I even co-wahed from time to time which I recently discovered that I was doing very wrong. Lol Needless to say things were going smooth for the most part I even attempted a few styles I saw YouTube, a couple actually come out cute too! As I look back I was doing a lot of things wrong then too but the most important thing was I was sticking to a regimen and keeping my hair moisturized.

I actually never felt weird or anything going out with my hair totally shrunken, I would actually forget that my hair was in its natural state until someone would be looking at me like I was crazy but it didn’t bother me. To my surprise many people took to seeing me with my natural hair texture well and the first two compliments I received from someone outside of my family, boyfriend, and friends were from guys. I was in the gas station one day and this guy ask me was my hair real, now I’m looking around because I knew he wasn’t talking to me I wasn’t wearing any weave. So he asks me again this time I realize he is talking to me, I tell him “Yes” but I have this confused look on my face (mind you I would always forget that my hair would be in its natural state) he proceeds to say that my hair was pretty I thanked him and left.  I really felt comfortable with my hair.

2mths into my HHJ
Style I was wearing in the gas station (wet flat twist out)

As far as products I started out just using everything I already had. As time progressed I slowly bought products here and there. I wasn’t really into checking ingredients then, I did stop using sulfate though. So far I haven’t repurchased many of the products I’ve used I just move on to my next interest.

Time was really flying before I knew it had been 6mths since I lasted used any heat and I was still sticking to my regimen but I had gotten lazy with twisting my hair and started wearing a puff most of the time, I started to experience SSKs (single strand knots). They were so bad I didn’t want to detangle my hair and at time I wasn’t washing my hair in sections, which I later realized was partly the cause of the SSKs. This is also when I started finger detangling.

One day I was on a website reading about ACV rinses and the benefits it has on natural hair. One of the benefits is that it helps smooth the cuticles which will prevent knots. I went out and bought some apple cider vinegar and planned to try an ACV rinse my next wash. Wash day came around and of course my hair was super knotted but to my surprise that ACV rinse really worked! From that moment on ACV rinses were included in my washing regimen. I had conquered SSKs, Yay Me!

Good bye heat damage!

Five months later (11mths) I ran into my next problem, my ends were getting on my nerves because of the heat damage they wouldn’t still curled and were always dry. So one day after installing my “really mini twist” I decided to cut off all the hair that would not curl. I had ago started my own personal JBCO challenge in hopes of helping my hair get thicker. Cutting those damaged ends off was the best thing I could have done to my hair since the cut my curls have been popping and my ends feel so much better.

A couple of days after my 1st year journey anniversary  I did a lite blow-out to stretch my hair for my box braids and my hair was so big I couldn’t believe it. I wish I could’ve taken a picture but my camera didn’t have any batteries  at the time. Seeing how long and thick my hair had gotten from simply not using heat and keeping my hair moisturized and clean of course was really exciting and encouraging for me to continue my journey.  I’m so glad I stuck to my regimen even if I wasn’t doing everything right and got a little lazy at time I stuck with it.  With any hair journey there are trials and errors but with patience and knowledge you can get through it. Before this journey I had no interest in natural hair or the thought of doing my own hair but after watching YouTube and seeing how versatile our hair is I became hooked!

I’m planning an even better regimen and can’t wait to see the growth next year!

7mths (flat twist out)

8mths (no heat blow-out)

6 days before my 1 yr anniversary (braid out)

back of braid out

2 Responses to “It all Started With a Speech….My Journey the First Year”

  1. Moival88 August 21, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Hello ma’am how are ya! Didn’t know you had a blog 🙂 idk what happened with the natural hair community but maybe we can talk more and share pics on the Cn forum.

    • ambeescurls August 21, 2012 at 3:46 am #

      Hey!I’m ok how are you? I started blogging a few months ago. I emailed Jael when the site first went doen or whatever you wanna close it. She said that if they come the site running the way it was they would have to charge us or something. I can’t remember the email exactly. I’m going to create another CN profile can’t log into my old one. I’m going to read your blog to find out what’s going on with your hair. lol

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