Natural Hair: The transitioner's journey



So some of you may know that I am in the process of transitioning my hair from relaxed to its natural state. I am now celebrating the 12th month of my transition so I thought I would share with you my story so far. I shared my journey at the 6 month mark on one of my fave blogs, Love Your Tresses as part the Diary of a transitioner.

Admittedly the first few months of my transition were a challenge, dealing with 2 textures during months 1-6 was not fun. Although  months 6-9 were undoubtedly the hardest. During this time my hair would tangle like crazy and twist-outs weren't really working, which meant I really struggled to style my hair. I turned to the YouTube and the natural hair v-loggers many a time to keep me going and stop me from reaching for the nearest tub of relaxing cream.

In month 9 I discovered 2-strand twists, and thank the Lord I did. It was a style I had tried early on in my transition but it wouldn't stay in because the majority of my hair was still straight. I was so pleased to find it now worked and it has since become my go-to style and a staple part of my regime.

My natural hair journey has been just that, when I first started it was incredibly overwhelming, I read every single blog and magazine article going and to top it all off I was complete product junkie. I read all about other people's regimes and made the mistake of trying to adopt what everybody else was doing. It wasn't until I realised that I just needed to keep it simple and consistent that I would gradually find out what works for me. So I thought I would start my natural hair diary by sharing my regime and my hair type.

The regime I work my hair in four-week cycles, and it looks a little something like this...

Week One - Protein treatment, Shampoo & Deep Condition I start with a pre-poo which I apply as I take down my twists from the previous week, I'll use pure coconut oil to unravel each of the twists, finger detangling as I go. I'll then divide my hair into 4 sections and use my wide tooth comb.

I'll then saturate my hair with water using a spray bottle and then apply Nexxus Emergencee Reconstructor followed by a shower cap and towel turban to create heat.

Following this I'll wash it out using Curls Unleashed Sulfate Free Shampoo, washing in the 4 sections and then applying Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm which I mix with coconut oil as a deep conditioner.

Once the conditioner has been washed out I'll then use Vatika Coconut Oil and the Beautiful Textures Leave-in, put my hair into 8 plaits and air dry, usually overnight. Then the next day I'll do the 2-strand twists, using Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) to moisturise my scalp and hair as I go.

The twists last all week, until I do it all again the following weekend. Mid-week I'll add a little more JBCO and that manages to keep my very porous hair moisturised all week.

Week Two - Co-wash As above but I leave out the protein treatment and the shampoo and swap the Matrix Biolage Conditioner for Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.

Week Three - Shampoo & Deep Condition As per week one but without the protein treatment.

Week Four - Co-wash As per week two.

Hair type Stage of journey: Transitioning Current hair length: Chin length Last relaxer: October 2011 Last trim/cut: May 2012 Hair type: I have different textures throughout my hair, I would say the whole spectrum of type 4, with the back tending to be tighter than the front.

I always planned to be a long-term transitioner so I am not going to be doing the big-chop for another 6-12 months. I do however need a trim so that is next on my list of things to sort out. I'll also be putting my hair into braided extensions in December, I find my hair responds well to it and I think it will be especially helpful during the cold winter months.

So all in all the natural hair journey is going okay. At the moment the 2-strand twist is the protective style that works for me both in terms of ease and time. I find my hair tends to shred lots when I am detangling, washing etc. but I guess that is because the relaxed ends are coming away, it might also feel that way because it is in a protective style all week. The good news is that I am feeling a lot more comfortable with my hair and excited that I am starting to see what my natural curl pattern is like.

There will be more pics of how I am getting on in the next post, I promise. For now, you can enjoy Solange's fabulous fro!

X x