9 times out of 10 when you first went natural you had a plan. You knew why you went natural and how you wanted your hair to look. You read the popular natural hair blog posts, watched YouTube videos and hung on to their every word. Then you went and purchased every product @Ihavethebiggestandbestnaturalhairever said to buy and commented "yassss and #hairgoals" on every single picture. Oh...that was just me lol?
Personally, somewhere between the big chop and trying to get my hair to look like every hair crush imaginable, I have purchased countless products and tried countless techniques. Sometimes these techniques worked terribly and other times they worked great. Some blogger's "holy grail" leave-ins worked amazing for me and others not so much. My point is, when you start to try so many different products, techniques and regimens you are bound to start to forget what is actually working for you and what isn't. This lead me to start keeping a hair journal. In my hair journal, I keep track of everything related to MY HAIR. I list the products, techniques and styling methods I used. I even keep track of when I moisturized my hair. This my way of taking charge of my hair goals. Here are 5 reasons you should keep one too.
1. To Be Able to Know Which Product Did What
Have you ever had a wash day that went perfectly? Your hair detangled with ease and it was super soft. Styling was a breeze and the next day you felt very Tracy Ellis Ross-ish lol. Your twist out was super defined and you mixed about 3 different products. Fast forward to next week's wash day and you look a hot mess. What changed? Which product actually gave the definition? Was the combination necessary? Being a product junkie sometimes leaves me unable to figure out exactly which product caused a change in my hair. Your hair journal will lend you a clue.
2. To Pinpoint When Your Hair Made Positive/Negative Changes
The 2nd reason goes hand in hand with the first one. Sometimes I get so caught up in the routine of doing my natural hair and what has worked for me in the past, that I am unable to recognize when a certain method or technique has simply stopped working for me. Other times, I look back at my good hair days and I have no idea what I was using at the time to make my hair look so great. Keeping a hair journal will allow you to see exactly when you made a change.
3. To Discontinue the Use of Unnecessary Products and Techniques
Jane Doe swears by using product X for her twists out, three strand twist outs, and double braid-flat-twist-curl-and-go (I made that one up lol). You have tried product X on 3 different occasions and your hair resembles a bird nest. Document this in your journal and stop using it!
Maybe you're like me and you swore by the LOC method but now you've noticed your hair isn't as well moisturized as it used to be. You know how they say don't force love, relationships or ponytails? Yea...that applies to natural hair products too lol. Your hair journal will force you to stop forcing it and explore other options.
4. Set Real #hairgoals and Stick to Them
Keeping a hair journal will help you figure out what works for you instead of what works out for your favorite hair crush. Think of it as a personalized hair blog that has been customized just for you! There's absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing ideas and product suggestions from other naturals but at the end of the day what works for your hair crush, may not necessarily work for you. Once you have set your hair goal, your hair journal will help you stay consistent until you achieve your goal.
5. To Stop Being a Product Junkie
Ok...maybe keeping a hair journal won't stop you from being a product junkie, but at least you will be a productive product junkie. Once you have been keeping your hair journal for a while, I am willing to bet that you will begin to see commonalities in the products that work for your hair and the ones that don't. Once you know what ingredients the products that don't work for you have in common, you can eliminate these when you go on product purchasing binges. If coconut oil doesn't work for you (God forbid!), it shouldn't matter how many people recommend a particular product to you. If it contains coconut oil, don't buy it.
Do you keep a hair journal? What are some other things you would add to your hair journal? Sound off in the comments section.
Le Sigh. The last time we talked about this dry hair problem I thought we had settled it ***inserts angry face**. I started here with determining the porosity of my hair (low), then I went on to determine that the LOC method was the best moisturizing technique for my type of hair. Case closed right? Wrong. A lot has changed about my hair since then. I got my hair colored in April of 2013 and I must admit I began my moisturizing and conditioning attempts zealously, but I am a little ashamed to admit that I became lazy. I had box braids installed in June 2013 for 2.5 months and became comfortable with not doing much to my hair. It literally just dawned on me (right before creating this post lol) that I have not been considering the fact that my hair is colored and that it needs more attention. I have been floating around haphazardly moisturizing only on co-wash day and expecting some type of moisture miracle. Crazy right?
After giving myself a firm slap on the hand for neglecting my tresses, I began to research again about moisturizing techniques for natural hair. I stumbled upon a video from Naptural85 about hot oil treatments and decided to give it a try. I deviated slightly from Naptural85's recipe.
Hot Oil Treatment:
Sweet Almond Oil
Vitamin E Oil
Honestly, I just freestyled the amounts of oils based on my hair type. I made the majority of my hot oil treatment with the lighter oils because I have low porosity hair (2 ounces jojoba oil, 2 ounces olive oil). I used about 0.5 ounces of the vitamin E oil and 1 ounce each of the remaining oils. I mixed it all in a bowl with my fingers. I started with dry hair. Then I massaged the oil from root to tip through my hair, section by section. After I had oiled each section, I smoothed the oil throughout all the sections collectively. I also massaged my scalp with the oil. This stimulates the scalp and feels great ; ). I then put a plastic processing cap on my head. If you have big hair like mine, you can either use two caps or twist your hair in large sections to make it fit under the cap. I then sat under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes. The oil that I had left, I put in a spray bottle and filled it with water. This will be my daily moisture mist.
After the dryer, wash and condition your hair as normal. I used Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo and Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner. Curlfriends...let me tell you. My hair was so soft and virtually detangled before I ever put a comb to it or did the LOC method. I am VERY PLEASED with this treatment. I followed this with the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method using Giovanni Direct Leave-in/Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in mixed, the hot oil treatment moisture mist, and Camille Rose Curlade Moisture Butter. I am going to be sure to do this once a month, along with deep conditioning once every week to week and a half. I am anxious to see if this improves the dryness of my hair.
If you decide to try this treatment, please let me know. Either email me the pics at Brandy@bmycurlfriend.com or tag them on instagram or twitter with #bmycurlfriend. Good luck!!
They are literally everywhere you turn. Seemingly perfect curls and twists. That oh-so-desirable length. Moisture for days. Not a hair out of place. You think to yourself, "Man, I want her hair! I want my hair to do exactly what her hair does." You hastily approach this woman and almost scream out, "What did you use in your hair? How did you get it to do that?". You hang on to her every word, you make notes on the products she used, as well as her technique. You hurry to the nearest beauty supply store, go home and turn your bathroom into a personal hair salon. When you finish doing exactly what you thought she said, you look like a chia pet! LOL!!! Wanna know why? Those perfect curls and twists were HER natural.
Having natural hair is a delicate balance between you wondering why you didn't go natural a decade ago to you toying with the idea of going back to a relaxer (GASPS!!!!! lol). Be strong. We all go through it. Everybody's natural hair is not the same. There are so many different textures, curl patterns ( or lack thereof) and lengths and they all are beautiful in a unique way. Being natural is much like some of the age old lessons we were taught as children: You just have to BE YOURSELF. Below are a few tips that may help you discover your natural.
1. Research, research, research. Find out what your curl pattern is.
2. Determine your hair's porosity (check out my blog post on hair porosity. here). This will help you to figure out which moisturizing technique will work best for your hair. Nobody likes a dry fro.
3. Know that what hair product works for one natural, may not work for you, which leads me into tip number 4....
4. Products do NOT create curls that you don't already have. Example: Erica uses product x and her head is covered in curly awesomeness. If I use product x, then I too will have a head covered in curly awesomeness lol. Catch my drift? Since you have done your research and you know your curl pattern, then you know that whatever product you choose to use will only define and enhance your natural curl pattern. This is the whole point of being natural right? =)
5. Don't be afraid to try new styles and products, but never forget the basic products that first made you love your hair. I can't tell you how many times, I've become so consumed with trying new things that I forget that Kinky Curly leave-in is a great fit for my hair or that my homemade shea butter whip gave me one of the best twist outs I've ever experienced.
6. Love YOUR natural. You went natural for a variety of reasons. Try not to become discouraged if your hair doesn't look like your favorite naturalista's. Being natural is a unique experience for each woman. Own it!
Check out my pictures of some of my natural hair victories and fails over the past year. lol