How to “Go Natural”

So lately I have been approached from strangers, family, and friends saying, “I have decided to go natural, what do I do now”? I have found myself repeating my tips over and over again. Finally after having this conversation 1,000 times I have decided to blog about it.  As you all know this is based off of  “my” experience of transitioning back to my natural hair.  The methods that worked for me may not necessarily work for you. View returning to your natural hair as a journey of trial and error and self-discovery. There will be great feats of success and substantial moments of failure but they all will be educational.

1) Decide exactly how you will return to natural.  Are you going to transition or do the big chop? If you decide to big chop are you going to cut your hair, let a friend cut your hair, or go to a professional? Research these options and decide which one is best for you. If you choose to do it yourself or call a friend over to cut your hair, make sure you have researched how and where to cut. Take into consideration how much hair you are comfortable with rocking. I recommend wetting your hair and look for the place where the straight hair ends and the textured hair begins. This place is called the line of demarcation. This will give you a general idea of how much hair will be left on your head. If you are comfortable with that, then you or your friend can commence to cutting. If you aren’t willing to take any chances and would rather a professional cut your hair then begin calling around to salons asking them do they know how to cut textured hair. Most will tell you yes but ask them will they cut your hair wet or dry. If they say dry, run! No seriously, say thank you, hang up, and continue your search for a qualified stylists. Doing your big chop dry will only result in them cutting more hair than necessary or not enough.  Also, unless you want it cut into a style, tell them you are only interested in getting rid of your straight ends.  I chose to go to a professional and that’s exactly what I requested along with making it even all around. Keep in mind if you request it to be even they will cut off more hair.

Let’s say you wet your hair and you are not comfortable with the amount of hair that will be left. Then you can simply transition with various heatless styles until your hair grows long enough for you to be comfortable. When I decided to return to natural, I transitioned for 5 months and then big chopped. It took me that long to be ok with parting with my length and it was difficult for me because my hair was healthy and chemical free but it was heat trained or damaged however you choose to look at it. Personally, I don’t think of it as damaged since my intentions were to straighten it and keep it straight.  Anywho, after 5 five months I grew tired of dealing with 2 textures and decided it was time. Your next option is long term transitioning. This is where you trim your straight ends a little at a time while wearing various heatless styles until you trim the last of your straight hair. This option gives you the opportunity to learn your natural hair over time.  You will also have time to master all the of the natural styles and seeing what options work and do not work for you. This path is the for the extremely patient and determined to  keep their length natural. Please note that no matter what path you take they both involve scissors in your hair!

2) Research, Research, and more Research.  Now that you’ve decided how you will return to natural it is time for you to learn about natural hair in general. Read books, google, and join forums that teach about the properties of your natural hair. Find out what your hair type is and I say this loosely because you really shouldn’t get caught up on hair typing but you will hear about it so I will address it here. More importantly learn about the density, porosity and texture of your hair. These are all important when it comes to what methods you will implement as well as what products you choose. Speaking of products, you will try lots of them and that’s ok. It is not ok to go broke, but start off with a little at a time and as you figure out what works and what does not work, adjust accordingly. Also, make a mental note of the ingredients that are in the products that work. They will be an indicator of other possible products you may want to try in the future.

Accept the fact that trial and error is apart of the entire journey. Some products will cause your hair to scream yay and other products with cause your hair to scream what is this!! Don’t give up. This is what every new natural experiences. Use tools like youtube and the knowledge you’ve gained to narrow down products and styles that work for you. This is also the time to develop a regimen. A hair regimen is ideal for keeping focused on nurturing your tresses so that you can reach your natural hair goals. It will help you keep up with what is going on with your hair at all times. This is crucial for when you have a hair faux pas. You can back track and figure out exactly what you did differently or what you used that you do not normally use. It also works for your triumphs as well.

3) Own it Honey! Love and appreciate YOUR hair.  It is a must that you learn to love and appreciate the hair that grows out of your head.  I always encourage new naturals to watch as many youtube videos as possible to glean information and tips that could enhance their natural hair journey.  However when you start to compare your hair to another person’s hair problems occur. The purpose of your journey is to get to know and love your natural hair. Be inspired by what you see and learn how to make it work for you and your hair. Also accept your hair’s limitations and realize that where you are limited in one area is only an opportunity for you to be creative in another area. Remember… Comparison in any form is an act of violence against the self- Iyanla Vanzant.

4) Have fun! Last but not least have fun learning about how your natural hair is versatile, fragile, strong, and one of a kind.  It’s relearning who you were all along. Allow this entire process to inspire and educate you so that you can inspire and educate someone else. Once you have gotten into your natural hair groove, you will receive the question, “Girl, how do I return to natural too?”

What advice do you have for new naturals and those who want to go natural? I want to hear from you.

Naturally yours,

Jiquay

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Donna Marie’s Dream Curling Creme

Okay, I’ll have to admit that when I first used this product I did not know what I was doing. So I just decided I didn’t like it and placed it in the back of my cabinet. When I realized I hadn’t reviewed all of my black Friday products I decided to give it a second chance. Here are the ingredients:

Water, Aloe vera juice infused with Rosemary, hibiscus, and horsetail, vegetable glycerin, silk amino acids, sorbitol, Sweet Almond oil, Shea Butter, Macadamia Butter, Cupuacu Butter, polysorbate 60, sodium carbomer, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, caprlyl glycol, fragrance.

The scent is very similar to the super buttercreme but with a hint of coconut. It’s very light and not overwhelming. The consistency of it is thick and creamy. It isn’t sticky or tacky feeling. I used this as my styler for a WnG. I used it first with a leave-in conditioner and then without a leave-in. The results were pretty much the same. I used Oyin Hair Dew as my leave-in and there was no reaction between the 2. I applied it to freshly washed, detangled, and sectioned hair. The product went on nicely and I decided to smooth/slide the product down my hair because it didn’t have a lot of slip for me to rake it through with my fingers. I let it air dry and my hair came out soft and fluffy. It has a really nice hold and my hair wasn’t crunchy at all. Also, my curls were defined which I was concerned it wouldn’t be to my liking since I was used to using gel. I actually like this creme because my hair doesn’t shrink as much and gives my twa a full curly fro. SN: I still get a significant amount of shrinkage.

The same results occurred when I used it without a leave-in. The only difference is my 3rd day hair was slightly more defined without a leave-in than it was when i used a leave-in. All in all I likey this product and will purchase again. I have yet to use it for a twist out but I’ll update this when I do. Until then here are some pics (see I’m doing better 😉 ):

Hair with leave-in and Dream Curling Creme (still very wet)

Hair with leave-in and Dream Curling Creme (still very wet)

Hair completely dry with Dream Curling Creme and Hair Dew

Hair completely dry with Dream Curling Creme and Hair Dew

Day 3 with DCC and Hair Dew

Hair with only Dream Curling Creme freshly applied.

Hair with only Dream Curling Creme freshly applied.

Dry hair with Dream Curling Creme

I really like this and I’m going to make sure I keep this in my arsenal. Have any of you tried this product? If so, how did you like it?

XOXO,

Jiquay

Donna Marie’s Super Buttercreme

This product was the first moisturizer that I ever purchased and I had no idea what to do with it because I was only 2 months natural. Now there is only about 1/4 of it left so it is safe to say that I figured it out. Here are the ingredients…

Water, botanical infusion of aloe vera, nettle and horsetail extracts, vegetable glycerin, *fractionated coconut oil, Shea butter, sweet almond oil, *vegetable emulsifier, cupuacu butter, meadowfoam seed oil, tucuma butter, xanthan gum, vitamin E, silver citrate, citric acid, potassium sorbate, fragrance.

The smell of buttercream frosting fills my nose whenever I use this product. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE buttercream frosting over any other frosting in the world. Each time I use this I want to buy me a white cake with white buttercream frosting. The consistency of it is thick and creamy. It is very moisturizing and a little goes a very long way. I used it on my daughter’s hair (during her brief stint of being natural), to not only moisturize her twists, but I have also twisted her hair as well as mines with it. My twist outs were very defined and stayed moisturized for a few days at a time. The only complaints I have with this product is that glycerin is high on the list and in the wrong dew points my hair blew the hell up; also it doesn’t play well with all of my products. I tried using this as a leave-in with my WnG but it was too heavy in my opinion. Also, when I used it as a leave-in I attempted to detangle my hair with it, yeah big mistake (don’t go through what I been through, in my Sophia voice). It doesn’t have any slip at all in my opinion. I can definitely see myself purchasing this again.

Next up is Donna Marie’s Dream Curling Creme.

XOXOXO,

Lotus Blossom

Curl Junkie’s Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner

This review is a long time coming because I have been using this condish for a very long time. I love, love this condish with all my heart! It is my holy grail, must have, will not eat for 3 days in order to buy because I can not run out product. Here are the ingredients…

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG -7 Olivate, Guar Hydroxypropytrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Yucca Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 60, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance.

This cleansing conditioner is a staple to my WnG regimen. When I was shampooing my hair everyday my hair was always iffy. Sometimes it was tamed and other times it was dry and itchy. My curls popped one day and they frizzed the next. It was so frustrating trying to keep my hair moisturized and the shampoo I used wasn’t very drying. I heard about the curl junkie line on youtube and saw this when I went to their website. I was always skeptical about using conditioner to clean my hair because I just couldn’t see how it would cleanse it. When I saw that it was a “cleansing” conditioner I felt more comfortable with trying it than using something like Tresseme Naturals.

The consistency is creamy and thick. It coats my hair really well and has lots of slip. I can finger detangle while in the shower with this product. It has a sort of minty smell and feels like it “lathers” a bit on my hair. I like the feel of lathering, although it doesn’t actually lather on your hair. When I rinse out the product my hair feels very soft and cleansed. It does not strip my hair nor does it feel as if there is buildup on my strands. The product comes in a 12oz bottle and a 32oz bottle with a pump. I love the pump it is so convenient in the shower.  Daily Fix Conditioner has definitely stepped my natural hair game up and I can not live with out it.

Peace,

Jiquay

Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Mask

I have been waiting to get my hands on this deep conditioner! I have read numerous reviews and watched countless YouTube reviews on how moisturizing this mask was unto each individuals’ hair. Needless to say the product junkie in me began twitching to get her next fix. The day it arrived in the mail I immediately used it. Here are the ingredients…

Purified Water, Aloe Butter, Jojoba Oil, Agave, Vegetable Wax, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera Juice, Panthenol, Arnica, Calendula, Echinacea, Nettle & Horsetail Extracts, Carrot Seed Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, Arnica, Shikakai & Amla Extracts, Vitamin E & Natural Enzymes.

The consistency is kind of thin.  I expected it to be thicker and creamier but it was light and somewhat watery.  It didn’t really have much of a scent in my opinion. I first used it and sat under my steamer for 20 mins. It didn’t feel soft before I rinsed and it didn’t feel soft after I rinsed… hmm. The next time I used it under a hooded dryer with a plastic cap for 15 mins. This time it felt softer and more moisturized but as soon as I rinsed, the softness left. Again… hmm. Lastly, was my tried and true method of the hooded dryer for ten minutes then overnight DC. Again, it felt soft until I rinsed. I added oils to it, the same results. My hair does not like this mask. Strangely, my hair was moisturized but not soft. Weird, I know.  Anywho, I didn’t like it as a rinse out.  It had absolutely no slip and I did not try it as a leave since it wasn’t recommended on the website. All my life I wanted to like this product! Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. I won’t be purchasing this again.

Ta-Ta for now,

Lotus Blossom

Ok, here is my attempt at my first product review… please bear with me.

Every since I began my natural journey I have been looking for a deep conditioner that would moisturize my hair and cause me to yell, “my hair is so soft.”  Nothing I’ve tried thus far has invoked this reaction until I tried Curl Junkie’s Hibiscus and Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner. Here are the ingredients…

Distilled Water (infused with Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis Linn (Hibiscus) Petals), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Honey, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Panthenol, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Plantago Species (Plantain) Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Wax, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, PEG -7 Olivate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, (Vegetable) Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA , Fragrance.
*Vegetable Derived

First of all, I LOVE the smell! It smells like bananas and deliciousness, Yummy!  It has a thick creamy consistency but slightly textured. My hair feels instantly soft when I apply it and it moisturizes my hair very well. I’ve used it under my steamer, my hooded dryer with a baggie, and as an overnight DC. Each time I get excellent results. My favorite way to DC is to sit under my hooded dryer with a plastic bag for ten minutes and then leaving it on overnight. When I rinse my hair the next day it is very soft and moisturized. It also works well as a leave in conditioner. It doesn’t weigh my hair down too much and I haven’t had any issues with it reacting with any of my gels. Lastly, I’ve used it as a rinse out. Although my hair felt very soft, it didn’t have much slip to me so I couldn’t detangle with it using it in this manner.

I’ve been slowly working on my holy grail list and I am pretty confident this will be in attendance!

Until next time my lovelies,

Lotus Blossom

Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner