I was texting with my sister the other day, and talking to her about the dangers of relaxing your hair and the real reason why I stopped relaxing my hair.
I STOPPED RELAXING MY HAIR BECAUSE OF THE HARSH CHEMICALS INVOLVED!
I realized that not many people really knew why I stopped relaxing my hair. The main reason why I stopped perming my hair is because of the harmful chemicals found in relaxers. One specific harmful chemical that is found in relaxers is sodium hydroxide. This is evidenced in Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair”. Below is a video clip explaining what Sodium Hydroxide can do to the scalp:
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After reflecting on this conversation, I realized that I had a double standard when it came to my natural hair. Now, in all other aspects of my life I have been able to cut out the chemicals. I use an all natural deodorant, body butter, cleaning products, laundry detergent – you name it, it’s chemical-free. But somehow, I’ve made a pass for my hair products. The majority of my hair products are chemical-laden, but I’ve made no moves in the past, because I *thought* that these chemically composed products made the process of doing my hair easier.
I have to admit it….
I WAS SO WRONG!
I decided to start my *all natural* natural hair journey in a quest for all natural alternatives to my favorite, but chemically laden, hair staples. It actually wasn’t as hard to do as I thought it would be. I started off by revisiting my Henna treatment. I did this for a protein treatment and as an attempt to thicken my hair while loosening my curls. CurlyNikki raves about henna, and I’ve seen evidence in where it has loosened her curls. You can see it in this post here.
I tried Henna in the beginning stages of being natural, however, I don’t really remember why I didn’t continue with it. Back in those days, I was trying everything under the sun, and not sticking with anything for the long run. Since those days, and all of my product swapping, detangling my hair has been a nightmare! I’ve attributed it to my hair getting longer, but I’m beginning to realize that may not be the case. I now ask myself:
COULD CHEMICALLY INDUCED PRODUCTS MAKE MY HAIR MORE DIFFICULT TO MANAGE?
I did my first henna treatment in yearsssss (I did it overnight) on July 27, 2015. Since then, I’ve had my hair in a bun. I’ve finally figured out how to make my 4a/4b/4c bun sleek after watching FusionofCultures ‘Signature sleek bun” video
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My ‘aha!’ moment was when she used to Denman to distribute the gel to the lower layers of hair. GENIUS! Instant lay-age of the edges! My high bun was finally slayed! kept my hair in a coconut oiled bun until today – August 16, 2015. I remoisturized about 2x a week with plain water and either shea butter or coconut oil to seal. I finally did a wash today (I’ve been putting it off for over 5 days!).
To start my wash day, I rinsed my hair and lightly shampooed with Alaffia african black soap. I did this only because I had gelled my edges twice while wearing my high bun. I did not do any detangling whatsoever prior to this.
I then revisited an old favorite – bentonite clay! I used a mixture of bentonite clay, coconut oil, mustard seed oil, rose water, oil of oregano, castor oil, and eucalyptus oil, and of course, apple cider vinegar (ACV). I was really just experimenting to create something new that wasn’t drying. I mixed the oils and the clay first, and then mixed the ACV & rosewater in. I put this mixture on my hair, and I swear, I felt it detangling my hair instantly!
I put on a plastic cap, and let that marinate for about 45 minutes while I did some chores around the house. It may have been a bit longer – I really didnt keep track, I just know that it was at least 45 minutes. I then rinsed out the mixture from my hair.
I still have not detangled yet….
I then sectioned my hair into 5 sections and applied Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle conditioner to each section. I sealed each section with a mix of jojoba oil & castor oil and put it in a bantu know. While I was applying the conditioner, I could FEEL the tangles melting away. My hair felt like it belonged to a different person! My hair has never felt this healthy/moisturized and strong before. Already, I am noticing a difference! I put on a plastic cap again, and a knit hat to help get the body heat going, and kept it on for about 30 minutes while I did some more chores! (It’s Sunday so it’s time to go in with cleaning my house lol)
After about 30 minutes, I took off the plastic cap and began to detangle my hair section by section. My fingers were literally gliding through each section! I divided each of the sections into 3-4 sections and detangled each one individually. This made the process go by a lot smoother. I first finger detangled, then used a comb, and finally my Denman brush. I added some more oil, and twisted each section up. When I finished detangling my entire head, I rinsed the whole head while still in twists under warm water, and then cold water. I sealed the moisture in with my jojoba/castor oil mix, as well as coconut oil.
I then bantu knotted my twists and am now waiting on them to dry. Once fully dried, I’m planning on unravelling each twist, adding some whipped shea butter, and re-twisting.
It sounds like a lot of steps, but this is because I am learning/tweaking my routine. This was the easiest detangle session that I have ever had, and the healthiest that my hair has ever felt! I plan on washing my hair twice a month – for the first time ever, I am actually planning a hair routine.
Henna 1x/month, cowash w/ trader joes tea tree tingle conditioner, follow up with apple cider vinegar rinse, moisturize & seal
2 Weeks after henna bentonite clay treatment, detangle with Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, rinse, moisturize & seal
So overall, I plan on washing my hair 2x/month and making sure that my hair is well moisturized. My goal is to reach hip length by this time next year.
Wish me luck