For the past month, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to wear my hair since I decided not to get relaxers anymore and wear my hair natural. I got my last relaxer in December 2009 and so far have about an inch and a half of new growth. So many people said braids or kinky twists would help with the transition process, I decided to go with braids. I’d never had braids before, and only wore a weave twice in my entire life for about a month at a time. Before I got braids, I cut off about half my hair (four or five inches) because I couldn’t bring myself to do the “big chop.” The braids were beautiful, but they were so itchy, I couldn’t take it after just a few weeks. Then I began reading up on co-washing and other ways to care for your hair when transitioning, and bought a gazillion new products to try on my hair. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried doing a braid out, setting my hair on flexi rods, and getting a roller set. I’ll share my experiences with each, but ultimately the roller set turned out to be the best method for me right now.
The Braid Out (done myself)
I can’t braid worth a damn, so I knew this process was going to be iffy. I co-washed my hair with Carol’s Daughter black vanilla hair smoothie, then towel dried and oiled my scalp with Lisa’s Hair Elixir and put some on my ends. Then I braided all my hair up and let it dry. When it took it down, it was fuzzy and my ends we still straight. Go figure. After watching more braid out styling tutorials like this one, I realize I was supposed to put a roller on the ends. I don’t know what to do about the fuzziness. But this is how it came out. I had to wear this hair to an event that morning. With a headband.
Flexi Rods (done myself)
I guess I couldn’t even bring myself to take a picture of this. I shampooed my hair with Carol’s Daughter black vanilla herbal shampoo, then conditioned with Carol’s Daughter black vanilla hair smoothie, then used a setting lotion on each of the four sections of my hair as I rolled it up onto the flexi rods. The curls came out OK, I guess. It was just that they stuck so close to my head, I looked like the black Annie. My hairdresser said this was because my hair is already short, and the flexirods shrink your hair length because they make such tight curls.
Roller Set (done by a hairdresser)
I finally got fed up with my own efforts and went to the hairdresser and asked her to do the flexi rods. I said I must’ve done mine wrong. She said no, I’d done them correctly, that was just how the style comes out. She said that if I wanted a looser curl, I might want to try getting a roller set with small rollers. I was ready to try anything at this point, so I let her put them in. She washed and conditioned my hair, put my hair on rollers, then under the dryer for about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. When she took them down, she asked me if I wanted some kind of straightening gel on my edges. “No way,’ I said. I wanted to become one with my naps. Here are a few photos of how my hair looks now. I’m one happy transitioner!
As you can imagine, I’m reading as much as I can about natural hair and how to care for it as mine grows out. Here are just some of the great natural hair blogs and YouTube channels I’ve come across, please share some of the ones you like!