The Unavoidable

Ok, I've totally been avoiding hair posts because frankly, I don't know what I want to do with it. I took my braids down after one week because they were giving me a headache. I couldn't wear them down because it was too hot - and when I wore them up - my head hurt. I had enough things hurting on me to deal with hair being an additional cause. Prior to that, I used the previous weeks, to allow me to "get to know" my hair again. I had been doing the same routine for a while, and I felt like I reached a break point, and should switch some things up.

Switching things up included the following:
  • Adding a monthly protein treatment to my routine
  • Trying more out styles
  • Dry detangling vs. wet detangling 
  • Finger detangling vs. comb/brush detangling

My thoughts on protein treatment for my hair...
I purchased the book, The Science of Black Hair, and the author spoke a lot about the importance of protein and moisture balance. I typically don't do any protein treatments for my hair - so I think monthly protein treatments will be a nice addition. I've only done two thus far, so I can't tell now whether or not it's made a difference. More on that later...

My thoughts on out styles for my hair...
For some reason, I think that I forget how kinky and coarse my hair can be. I had the NERVE to try a wash-n-go, SMH. Needless to say - it came out to be a tightly coiled afro that was absolutely dry and so coiled that I gave myself an additional headache finger-combing to detangle it. Out styles like braid outs seem to be fine, however I would need to re-twist/re-braid/bun it nightly to ensure my hair stays stretched. I need to come to terms with the fact that if I wear my hair out - it needs to be re-twisted at night. Period. I'm still unsure as to whether or not nightly re-twisting will be "too much" manipulation. However, if I can maintain my current length, I think I could deal with the fact that my hair is not APL, because I personally prefer wearing my hair out, over twists, unless they're the mini twists.

Dry vs. wet detangling for my hair with non-traditional tools...
I've been able to do several people's hair recently. When I saw the minimal hair loss from their detangling sessions, I thought I should try switching things up. When I say "dry detangle" I should use quotes, because I do spritz my hair with a water/aloe vera/castor oil mix to help the detangling process. Additionally - I have put down my comb, and left all detangling to my fingers. We'll see how this works with regards to length retention.

In Summary...
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my hair. Some people with kinky hair still have soft hair, which makes it more manageable, IMO. However, my hair is a different beast. I want to rock an afro like Solange, Esperanza or Julia. Although, I'm not sure what my length retention will be with that as my signature style. Additionally, two-strand twists and braids generate SSKs, unless I do big ones - which are not cute on me to say the least. Also, I started looking at some of my hair idols, like Sera, and I think her hair grows a LOT faster than mine. Her hair at her year 2 mark is longer than my hair is now, and I've been growing it for a solid 3 years. With everybody going natural now, I think it can be discouraging to see folks at their one or two-year marks with hair that is longer than mine (hello CharyJay and Nikkimae). I know I shouldn't compare myself, but I'm human, and it makes me wonder: What am I missing? Is it just genetic? Is it just my hair? What's the deal?!?!?!

Right now, I'm re-grouping and re-focusing. I took A DAY to install some micro twists. I hope to keep them for at least one month. I can wash my hair with them, and style it as I like. See pictures below.

 **Excuse the bags under my eyes, war wounds of having a newborn...and no makeup

I just wanted to give you all an update - you can see why I haven't said much. This hair is getting on my last nerve, AGAIN! I will either cut it, go back to locs, or continue on this unpleasant free-strand journey that seems to turn up no positive results...past shoulder length. I think if I was seeing more success I wouldn't feel the need to cut it, because I would know I was getting results. However now, I feel like I'm getting nowhere, and the time commitment isn't worth the poor results.


  1. Whatever you need to do in order to ENJOY your hair do it, especially since before you know it you'll be doing 2 heads of hair. I have been natural for about 16 years, of all that time I kept a TWA for 5-6 years and have only been devoting energy and patience to caring for and growing my hair for the last 2-3. I sometimes think about what I will do if my hair ever reaches MBL or longer, and I am stumped because I can't imagine what it would take to maintain twice as much hair as I have now. I know you have hair goals, but at the end of the day there are so many other goals to focus on also. If you cut it off you can spend the next 13 years growing out Naja's :o)

  2. I hear ya! Sometimes I think I live in this zone. And about comparisons, sometimes I just don't look at the typical icons because my hair isn't doing what there's is. I'm not going to cut mine because I know in my heart that I can get past this point.

    I think my hair is very much, if not identical to yours, so in terms of protein treatments, have you given henna a try? For me, I think that's been one of the best additions to my regimen. What I've learned is that henna doesn't have to be all that messy and my hair loves henna that has been fortified with the ayurvedic herbs. Now I've just got to get on a schedule to do it regularly (like every 6 weeks). I've also got to change up something because my hair hasn't been loving any of my shampoos lately. Maybe it's the season.

    I was also wondering if you think your changes in hormone might have some kind of affect on your hair?

    Hang in there, sister girl! (but if you post again with a shaven head, we'll understand. lol)

  3. Sorry about your hair frustrations! Your micro twists are very cute though!

  4. Since the micro twists are fabulous on you, and so versatile, is it an option to let them loc up?

  5. Girl I can understand the frustration. I think that you're on the right track with the mini twists and maybe you should let them loc like @jmh suggested. Esp since you have a newborn (Hi Naja!)you want to keep your routine as manageable as possible.

    Good luck!

  6. It actually looks really nice as is. Do you remember how long your hair was as a kid? Most people have a set hair length that their tresses grow to healthily, before they begin to split. As for protein treatments, I usually use a protein shampoo amd conditioner daily or when I wash my hair. They have good sets at GNC. Or you can find something elsewhere, as long as Biotin is an active or the main ingredient. I've been " naturalish" my whole life, meaning no perms or relaxers EVER have touched my hair, but a hot comb is a must on occasion. My hair has never gotten any longer than midback, with a yearly trim to keep away the split ends and breakage. But now since I've been swimming regularly, it's of no use to eve

  7. Aww, I do understand your frustration. I do think that in year one plenty of us get to 6 inches with no problem but afterwards not all of us do get to 12 or 18 inches.

    I do not think that slower hair growth is true because many of us manage to grow at the same rate in year one.

    I think my hair much like yours is breakage prone. In truth products have never made a difference to my hair (except coconut oil). It is addressing the mechanical issues of breakage that worked for me. Finger combing and regular trims made the world of difference for me. It was really hard to cut off the first 3 inches but remarkably my hair was 4 inches longer that year (which actually meant it was over the 6 inch per year rate). I then stuck to one inch trims every 3-4 months and it was a formula that worked until I got bored of the length.

    Anyway, I think your hair should not be a source of frustration for you. I think your length right now is pretty decent and you can do awesome styles with it. I really would say that you should try and enjoy it for what it is and not for what it is not doing.

  8. God bless you for sharing this, I thought there was something wrong with my hair. It seems there is a different type of hair out there and it needs special classification among other afro hair types. My hair is extremely hard, when I had a twa it was very easy and even fun to work with, but after a year the growth and thickness is so tough to deal with. My styling skills are poor, I can't style my hair without blow drying first, any attempt to style wet is a disaster, an attempt to wear a wash and go is inviting a week long headache. I've been thinking about locking, but I really want to wear my hair free and beautiful, for now I'm going to braid and keep it braided four weeks at a time for a couple of months.

  9. your hair is so beautiful by the way, you're doing so well, hang in there, I can't wait to reach your length. love to Naja.

  10. I get frustrated with my hair all the time! I swear once a month I almost get a pair of scissors and chop it all off! Your micros twists are so cute! I've always wanted to do that with my hair, but it would probably take me a couple of days haha. Too much hair and not enough patience!

    They look great on you, and keep us posted on the hair decisions!

    Congrats on having the baby! I know at some point I will meet her :)


  11. Thanks for the comments everyone. I am loving my mini twists right now, and I'm going to see what ideas I get while I relish in this low-maintenance style!

    @jhenny53- you really hit the nail on the head, so true...

    @Libby- I've never tried henna, I know you seem to like the results...I will give it some thought.

    @jmh- these twists are way too small to use as starter locs. However locs generally speaking are smoothly for me.

    @Jc - I think regular trimming/dusting may help. I think I've strayed away from this because scares of the trims setting me back...but I think trims will do more help than harm at this point.