Intro Note: I’ve been tracking my personal progress with my hair care ever since I decided to take care of it, so this is the first portion of a series of posts describing how things are. It’s more so a reader than an informer post, if you’d like to know; I typed in a story-ish format and, on a whim, felt it’d be nice to share…
Perhaps I’m a little behind in deciding to do this. Perhaps, I should’ve started doing this from the last time I messed with my hair outside of picking it out into a short Afro… Oh well. I guess I’m left to recollecting as much as I recall for documentation. So with that said, this is what I have done thus far:
If my memory serves me well, the last I styled my hair was the second week of October? Yes, this was the Sunday before senior portraits. I had a wonderful track/weave job (well, it was good. I found things to criticize): a beautiful blue ombré that came just past my shoulders [photo included at end]. As a matter of fact, I marked that as my favorite weave installation out of all the ones I’ve had (I may have taken more selfies than what is healthy, but back to the original topic). After I had grown irritated with the style (due to boredom or maintenance) and taken it out, my hair was just an unkempt poof of hair. That is, my dry, incoming growth as well as the uneven parts of my hair, damaged by chemicals and/or heat.
I had taken the tracks out sometime during the week of Halloween so my outfit would look accordingly. I had no idea what to do with my hair other than to wash and condition it, and throw an oil on so I could brush through it, so it’d be “smooth” or “soft”. But underneath the product was my mangled, frail and dying hair. When costume day came around, I ended up hand-combing the longer parts of my hair to the side while my ‘fro prevailed everywhere else on my head. My outfit looked great and the quick-fix idea of a hairstyle I had managed cooperated fair with the idea of the costume. Unfortunately, I was left to deal with it afterwards too. So I went on, consulting with my hair role model and friend, I call him Chibi. He’s been natural since just about January 2015 and I must tell you of how much I adore his hair and all of its springs and coils. My question to him was about cutting off the front length of my hair. The rest of my hair was short but the front was what I left for styling whenever I went to the chair to be pressed and prettied up. He agreed with my view: “give it a week and if it still bothers you, make the cut”.
A week past and I made the cut. I washed my hair first so I could see which parts were relaxed and then, in the mirror, I carefully snipped off the pieces that needed to go. I was more content with the more even mini-fro I had after the process, but even then, I had to learn proper etiquette for caring for and repairing my hair. At the time, my mother just wanted to throw me back into box-braids because it was convenient and lasted me a while. I didn’t want braids just yet because I was enjoying not having to do much more to my hair than brush it out into a nice Afro mini in the mornings (and crash at night without wrapping) so she let me wear my mini ‘fro — or as I called it, my “floof floof”.
Now, after a while, I’ve grown comfortable and a bit more confident in my floof. But a day came when I was casually on the bus ride home with Chibi, and he says, “dude. You should deep condition.” And at the time, I had barely known that this was actually a thing. But when that following Friday rolled in, I decided to do a little searching on exactly what this is, how it works, and, if anything, what I’d need. I wanted to try it from home without having to buy any new product so I looked up do-it-yourself methods of deep conditioning. I came across honey and oils multiple times until I decided to give it a try.
For my first go round, I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Coconut Oil, and (water-based) Conditioner; since I didn’t have honey, nothing said I had to use just the oils. I didn’t measure out the conditioner but I used a fourth of each oil; I decided to add conditioner until it was thicker than its initial liquid consistency so I could apply after I was done mixing (I had regretted using it immediately after mixing the next day; all of the oils caked around my neck and that could’ve been avoided had I let the mix harden in the cold overnight). After application, I let the mix sit for about thirty minutes or so while wearing a shower cap to circulate heat before gathering my clothes and towel to go rinse everything off in the shower. According to the tutorial I had read and was following, I would shampoo the mix out. I made sure not to use as much shampoo as I usually used so that the most important ingredients would set in my hair. As I rinsed the shampoo, I was excited at being able to feel my hair curling after treatment. I remember saying “And all my hair wanted was some moisture” afterwards.
So I repeated this process on my washday, Friday, until the product was gone. That was only one wash away. So I decided to refill with the recipe I originally wanted to use: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Honey, and conditioner. This brings me to where I stand with my hair.