Monday, February 25, 2008

A New Day

You see that look on my face? That's me after just washing my hair. It looked and felt like I washed every single twist off of my head. In the picture, I look like I'm wearing a little afro with some twists shooting out here and there. Needless to say, I had a lot of work to do that night.

As for the process, here goes. I have been going to my usual websites. and just recently Grrreeat website!!! It gives you recipes for homemade concoctions that are great for natural hair. The only problem with this website is that you cannot copy and paste the information, nor can you print the page. I painstakingly typed each hair recipe onto Word and printed it from there so that I could have access to the information at home. The ingredients in these hair recipes are a little strange to me, though. For example the use of honey. Who would think to put honey in their hair...on purpose? Anyways, I'll give you an example of what I did when I washed my hair just recently.

I shampood my hair with a conditioner. Before I did this, I used a recipe off of the Motowngirl website for conditioning. It's called the honey/olive oil conditioner. Basically, you mix 3 teaspoons of honey and one fourth cup of olive oil together and massage it all over your hair. You then cover your head with something (I used a plastic bag) and leave it in for a half hour. Next, you wash it out and voila! Now, I'm not going to lie to you. The concoction was sticky. I did not like putting it into my hair, either. The oil did it's know, smoothed out the honey a little bit. But there's so much it could do. I felt VERY uncomfortable, gooping that stuff onto my head. And spent a good period of time wondering if everything was going to stick to my hair from that point on. (It didn't)

After the "not quite a shampoo-shampoo," I used something called an apple cider vinegar rinse. This is like a clarifier. It's a mixture of one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two cups distilled water. You pour it over your head after you shampoo and it completes the hair cleansing process. Now I wasn't all that much impressed with the final result. That's not to say that the recipes that I tried didn't do their jobs, just that I didn't get the earth shattering results that I anticipated. My hair felt a little funny. Like clean, but not very soft. In fact, it wasn't even oily from the olive oil. Nothing, nada!

I got to work retwisting, using the ORS hair locking gel (with some olive oil in it). Clipped on the hair clippy things and blew dry my hair. Unfortunately, I was too tired to take pictures right after (and I had to go to work at 4 in the morning). But here's one I took a day later. Kind of hard to make out my hair, but here goes...

So that was my hair washing adventure. I will be washing my hair more often now that the grace period is up and I'm hoping to be able to see the benefits of these homemade conditioners and clarifiers.

Okay, now for one of the more interesting concoctions that I made this morning. I used the recipe for MotownGirl's Homemade Spritz with my own little additions. I had to buy some essential oils (which are not easy to come by and not very cheap either.) I purchased them from a Whole Foods Store.

The things that you see in this picture are castor oil, vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil. And boy those essential oils are strong! For the Homemade Spritz, I used water, my pantene conditioner, olive oil and some tea tree oil (which I added for kicks-and the 4 little droplets that I used gave the whole concoction a different scent). I put everything into an 8 oz. spray bottle, shook it up and sprayed my hair.

It was then and there, in my bathroom, that I heard my hair let out a deep sigh! My hair literally said, "aaaah."

It felt softer and my twists were springier. My hair smells terrific. The funny thing is that it's not oily at all, just soft. I absolutely love this stuff. I will be using it everyday. Two thumbs up.

I also mixed water and 4 drops peppermint oil to make MotownGirl's Scalp Energizer. I poured this into an 8 oz. spray bottle. A few sprays of that to the head and it stimulates the scalp (which stimulates hair growth). I didn't really feel the tingly sensation that I expected, but I love the smell of peppermint. My boyfriend was calling me Peppermint Patty today. I think he liked the way it smelled too. So two thumbs up for that recipe.

That's me looking like I'm going to blow my brains out with the homemade hair spray.

Well that's the journey this week. I can't wait to mix up more recipes with the rest of my ingredients. If you want to try this stuff too, here's the place to go...

...happy experimenting!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week 4 - First lesson of self acceptance

I've gotten used to my lil twists thus far. Can't really call them dreads, because they still have the ability to unravel if/when I wash my hair. Yes, I said "when."

I'm sorry reader, I washed my hair two weeks ago and did not inform you, nor did I take pictures. I've been a little busy.

I plan on washing my hair again this upcoming week, however, and I will show you the whole process. I promise. As for my twists, I have been wearing them in a little updo. I think it's sooo cute. I get a lot of compliments on it too. What do you think?

The pictures are a little dark, but I hope you can get the gist.

I'm very thankful that I stayed strong and kept my hair natural for two years before I started these locs. Sometimes I think to myself that I will miss my hair being this length once it starts to grow out.

The funny thing is that my hair has a mind of its own. Such a cliche, I know...but it does. Some days I wake up and it is going in the right direction and other days, it's going every which way.

When I first got my hair palm rolled, I must admit that I was so self conscious. I wore a scarf every day. One day I was about to go out on a little date or something...I don't know. Whatever the occasion, I was dressed nicely and feeling confident. I looked in the mirror, without my usual scarf and/or hat and said to myself "I look good!" and with this confidence (and I mean real confidence, not just saying "I look good") came the compliments and acknowledgement from my friends and family. The funny thing is that, I didn't need those compliments. It just took for me to accept my look first. As soon as I became comfortable and assured, I became more beautiful to myself...and in result to being beautiful to myself, I became beautiful to those around me. It just took me longer than I expected to see my own beauty. I thought that I already had it in me. "Oh, I've worn my hair natural for years," I would say to people. "I've accepted my hair."

How arrogant of me. Let me be the first to admit what a hypocrite I was. I still have some issues, as do most (hell, all) Black people do with our hair in its natural state. I'm just blessed to be able to experience the process that it takes to expose my issues and eliminate them. It's kind of like acknowledging your illegitimate child. Article on that topic to follow ;- )

Anyway, I look at my nieces...who look just like me, mind you, and see how beautiful they are wearing their hair naturally. (And don't they know it too)

I would make excuses for them like, "oh, they're babies...they always look cute." As if that will fade once they reach my age, and they'll have to make up for it through perms, weaves, etc. But when I really think about it, I couldn't imagine telling them (at any age) to be something other than themselves. I couldn't imagine putting chemicals in their hair and watching it fall out like mine did so many years ago. I can still remember the look on my mother's face.
The things we do to our beautiful, Black children (sorry mom). It makes my stomach turn now to think about how insecure I felt about my own hair at such a young age. Or seeing classmates with hair breaking off, looking like chemotherapy patients at ages as young as five and six years old. We have a lot of growing to do as a people.

Back to the point...I want my nieces to be proud of everything they do and everything they are. And if I want that to be the case, I have to set a good example. And yes, that's pee pee in that potty! (Look at her, she's so proud!)

On that note, I'm going to wrap this one up by saying be proud of yourself in your undiluted glory...because if you're not, then you're rejecting the God who made you such a great person to begin with. Glad I could share my journey with you all. The next time you see me, I will have washed my hair again.