So 7/9/13 made it one year since my last perm! In fact, I remember my last perm vividly. It was my sisters birthday + wedding week and we had the most hectic schedule ever! On that particular night of the nineth, we were going to a happy hour and I had just gotten into town not too long before we were headed out. I decided that I wanted to “texlax” my hair — which is to perm it for less time than required because I didn’t want my hair bone straight but wanted it to still have some texture. My hair was poofy but I liked it and it worked out well. I knew that that was going to be my last perm and was excited to get on my transitioning hair journey once all of the wedding shananigans had come to an end! My hair was shoulder length at that time and by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, it was armpit length. I babied my hair — tied it down every night, spritzed it with water and aloe vera juice every day, and co-washed it every three to four days. And I must admit that this is the fullest and healthiest my hair has ever been. (And I’ve created A Modern + Simple Girl’s Free Guide To Healthy Hair, just for you).
I don’t regret my decision to go chemical-free at all and I’m looking forward to where my hair will take me next! I did originally plan to transition for about 12-24 months because I was scared of short hair on me. I knew that the “big chop” would be a scary thing because although many women can rock a bald head well, I was too afraid to try it out. I have, however been trimming dead ends off here and there and because there aren’t really that many permed ends left, I’m realizing that I may be 100% natural a lot sooner than I thought.
I’ll continue to use this blogging-space as my journal as I ramble my many thoughts and share my many discoveries with you all! Here are a few random questions I’ve been asked in the past, as well as, a few things I have come to realize during my journey!
What’s the difference between transitioning and going straight to natural?➳ When you have no more permed or chemically processed strands on your hair — you’re deemed to be “natural”.
➳ In order to be perm/chemical free you’ll either have to cut off all of your permed/chemically-treated hairs or shave your head bald.
➳ Transitioners take this process slowly, by cutting off their permed ends when they feel as if their “new growth” has reached a length they’re happy with.
➳ I haven’t gotten a perm in a year. My new growth is about six inches and I have about 3 to 4 inches of permed hair left, as I’ve been trimming them every four months.
Why didn’t you just big chop?➳ I was on a healthy hair journey a year before planning to go “natural”. I wasn’t ready to cut off all of my healthy relaxed ends just yet, so decided to hold on to them until I was ready to rid myself of them completely. I’ve already reached my 12 month goal. So cutting off all of my permed hair could happen at any moment now!
What’s your hair regimen?➳ Spritz hair with water, aloe vera juice, and glycerin all mixed together every morning and every night.
➳ Tie my hair down nightly.
➳ Co-Wash my hair every 3-4 days. Shampoo my hair once a month. Protein or Hot Oil Treatment as needed.
What has contributed to the most hair growth during your journey?➳ Spraying my hair with water every day. Our hair is like a flower, it needs water in order to flourish. Water has allowed my hair to be more manageable. My hair has been the “kinkiest” only when it’s dry. And trying to maneuver around dry hair only causes breakage.
What has been some of your most notable experiences + life lessons as a result of going on this journey?➳ People won’t like it // I’ve had a few people side-eye me like, “girl you need to do your hair”. Just because my hair is in a high bun or in a fro after a long night of twisting. But to think/say that is ignorant, which is why I don’t even entertain it.
➳ People won’t accept it // Everyone who’s known me all of my life has known me to have my hair “laid” as a result of a fresh perm. So when they see my hair in this state they may say things like, I liked your hair better permed, but that’s the beautiful thing about my hair being mine — I can have it how I like it =}.
➳ It’ll never be completely “polished” // Again, my edges won’t be bone straight and there’s only so much my eco-styler gel can do and I’m okay with that. It was hard for me to accept, but something I’ve learned to manage and accept!
What will you be doing going forward?➳ Incorporating oils again — I’ve neglected my castor and coconut oil these past couple of months.
➳ Two-Strand Twisting my hair — I never have really liked individual braids/plats/twists, but I’ll be twisting up my hair this week because I want to be able to evenly distribute product, as well as, manipulate my hair less. This protective style just might be the best thing in order to see my hair flourish.
➳ Using heat less — I’ve only used heat once every one to two months, but now I’ll be doing so every four to six months while my hair is in this newly virgin stage. I want to increase its strength for a while longer so it’ll be stronger when I am ready to use heat more frequently.
No matter what you choose to do with your hair — do so in a way that makes you and your hair happy! In the meantime, I’m going to Work it out + frizz it out. Check out this video by my girl Shameless Maya (who just cut off all of her natural hair)!