Hair Care Diary: 18 Months Down, 18 More To Go Until Natural Hair!

April 5, 2010

Natural to Straight HairBeen gone for a minute but I’m still going strong with this long transition to natural hair. I’ve straightened my hair three times since the Straight Hair, Fresh Cut post in January. But now I’m ready to get back to less heat until September. I’m probably going to cornrow it up for a few weeks and wear wigs and twists until I find something else to do with it. One thing that I can say is that straightening my hair more often has significantly reduced detangling and single strand knots. I’m back on the hunt for an anti-humidity serum and might actually give the new version of Sabino Moisture Block (Sabino Lok and Blok) another chance in a few months.

One experiment that went wrong was airdrying my hair in braids and then straightening with a flat iron. I airdryed overnight in about 15 braids and my hair seemed to be very moisturized before flat ironing (I did a lot of research beforehand on the method). Then, I went through my normal routine of applying Chi Silk Infusion and proceeding to flat iron with my trusty Sedu Flat Iron, but when I finished my hair was beyond DRY and snapping everywhere. I went ahead and washed it out just three days later and treated my hair to a serious deep condition. I don’t think I’ll be trying the “airdry to straighten” method again anytime soon!

I don’t know how to curl my hair with my Sedu so I usually place flexirods on dry hair for a few hours. And the first picture is a before and after of my hair from the start (freshly shampooed and deep conditioned wet hair, no extra products added yet) to the finished product (straight hair curled with flexi rods). Don’t let the Before picture fool you… I still have 6 (crown) to 10-12 inches (sides, back, and front) of relaxed hair throughout. Its just hiding very well between my shrinkage on top, lol. I’m even thinking about cutting before the 3 year mark *gasp*. And my texture is so random. The crown area is very coarse and the thickest part of my hair. The sides, back, and front have a looser curl and has natural shine. I have to pay special attention when handling my crown because it breaks easily and just soaks up moisture. I’ll post some larger texture shots soon.

BSL Hair Growth

Last, I finally reached BSL!!! After many cuts, trims, and setbacks… I’m almost back to my pre-relaxer length. It’s one of the main reasons I plan on cutting back on the heat. How is your transition going?

Note: I’ll be catching up on comments and emails over the next few days, and I’ll post my other flexi rod pictures tomorrow or Wednesday. Happy Hair Growing!



{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Flour April 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Yay! Updates! LOL
Welcome back:)
Your hair looks great! How did you straighten your hair in the pics before curling with the flexi-rods? Products used? Thank you in advance!
I want to straighten, but my roots are quick to revert. Any tips on this would also be appreciated. Thanks again!

Dani April 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

*waves* Thanks!!!
After shampooing and deep conditioning, I sprayed Nexxus Heat Protexx on my wet hair and then applied Organix Vanilla Silk Blow Dry Cream to each section before blow drying. Next, I flat ironed my hair on 360 with the Sedu and applied a very small amount of Chi Silk Infusion on each section. Last, I put about a nickel size amount of jojoba oil and rolled my hair in the flexi rods for a few hours.

My hair has not been reverting too bad until last week… because it’s been humid outside. That’s another reason why I won’t be straightening as much, lol. I’m actually going to post my flexi rod pictures soon and you will be able to see how my roots looked after an 8 hour day last week. Talk about POOF! So I’m still searching for a good anti-humidity product too. I friend recommended an Aveda balm… so I may check that out.

ETA: The last picture shows my hair about a week and a half after my front roots were fully reverted (They are usually the first to go). I just put some Elasta QP Glaze on the front and wore a headband until wash day and it looked fine.

Stacey April 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Hi Dani! Your hair looks wonderful.

Welp. I’m transitioning again. I’m almost six months post which is exactly where I caved the last time. I’m proud to say though that I have a much better handle on my hair this time around. I started transitioning the second I started my hair journey, I barely knew anything back then, and in hindsight that was such a bad idea. I overwhelmed myself. This time around I know so much more about my hair and it’s just been a breeze.

For the first time in my life I started venturing into hair ponytails. It’s been hard to find wigs/halfwigs/ponytails that look real. You’d think it’d be easier for me living in NYC with a BSS on every corner but I’ve had tons of trouble finding one I like. I love this kinky curly piece though. I hope to find more.

I’ve been plagued with fairy knots and tangles too. I’ve also found less problems with that when I straighten. I don’t want to up the heat so I’ve been blow drying my hair on cool. Have you tried that? Even if I want to do a braidout or a twist out I blow dry first and then braid or twist my hair. It’s the curse of having fine hair. It tangles and knots up way too easily.

I can’t believe your hair looks so short in the before picture. That is some major shrinkage! It’s grown so much though and it looks great!

Khali April 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Hello!!! I am SO happy i just stumbled upon your blog because i’m getting myself ready to start a long-term transition either next year or after my next texlaxing in June….i’m gonna go on a 6 month stretch jus to see how long i can go without another touchup…if i can get past December in my stretch then i will continue transitioning…if not then i’ll have a fresh start the beginning of next year. Either wa i want to have a long term transition…and i’m SO excited!!

Dani April 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

@ Stacey – Hey Girl… Yes!!! My transitioning buddy is back :) I’m so glad to hear everything is working out for you this time around. Thanks for the compliments too.

You just reminded me that I need to order some new wigs for the summer. The shorter styles tend to look more natural to me. And when I buy a synthetic wig, I toss some cornstarch on it to take away some of the fake shine. I also tried the comb attachment and the Pink Skates tension method on cool and both were a no go. But it may have been my technique that was the actual problem.

And my shrinkage is ridiculous. I’m going to post some texture shots soon so you can see it up close.

@Khali – I’m happy you found it too! Keep me updated on your progress :)

Novella April 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I’m so happy I found your site! I am planning on going natural during a LONG transition period too. Most of the sites I have found make it seem like you have to chop off your hair after about a year. I’ve cut my hair before (with relaxers) and hated how I look with short hair so I want to avoid a BC. What products have you used that help your relaxed ends match the natural roots?

AND your hair looks beautiful and full! I just started this transition and am feeling so much more at ease about my decision after seeing this site.

Jamilla April 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Your hair looks so lush and thick especially in the before picture. I wish these blogs and message boards were around when I went natural years ago. Keep up the good work Dani!

Connie April 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I just found your blog and I’m lov’n’ it thus far! I too am transitioning…don’t know how long before I cut off the perm. Well, I wanted share a fellow youtuber by the name of Saloncabelo. Rachel is a stylist who has long beautiful natural hair and is sharing all the secrets on how to maintain a natural mane. She recommended a shampoo and condtioner by Alterna called Hemp organics straight hair. Its pricey, but she swears it blocks he humidity. Check her out!

LHDC April 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

hey, lady! glad to see you posting!!! so you have a planned transition of 3 years, huh….but it seems like you are trimming as you go? so you will probably have cut your relaxed ends off long before your final 18 months is up!

you’re doing great! thanks for the update!

~LHDC

Anna May 2, 2010 at 8:29 am

I have been transitioning since….feb/march of this year and recently (friday) taken out my braids….and the dryer didnt work… so i had to towel/air dry my hair and as always… my hair is standing up >._< the front grows faster than the back and im already gettin comment frm people around me to perm my hair. I come to your blog for inspiration xD but im tempted to do the bc cause its unmanageable/idk wat to do with it

Tiffany May 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

I have been transiting since last June and plan on the long term transition. I want to at least make it to October (16 months in) but I may try for the full two year mark. Anyway, love your hair and I have a theory about the random textures….what if the areas with the looser curl are the ones that you slick down or “pull back” or get more product attention more often then the course area? I found that I have deep waves around the crown when I was bunning but the crown itself was still tight curls. Just a theory….maybe banding the crown and giving it more products over time will loosen the curl? IDK. Also, I have found that Tree Braids have been a blessing to me in the summer. When I wear them down they look like a sew-in weave and when I pull them up they look like zillions/mircos braids. I’m wearing them now for the third time and I get so many compliments. The best part is they are basically cornrows so it really good for your hair (if done properly). Anyway, that’s an option for you through the summer months. Sorry for the long entry, Love your blog and can’t wait for updates:)

tasha May 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Hello, I’ve been really considering to go natuaral because I’m fed up with wasting my money on products to keep my hair looking shiny and straight. And going to the salon every week with no grow is an upset as well. I see girls with these gorgeous curly afros and I just hope my hair can look half as good naturally. Its been 3 months since my last relaxer and the only time that I want to get another is when I’m washing and drying my hair cause it’s exhausting. The problem areas are the middle and the crown. My hair is thick and coarse but it does get unbelievably straight and fine with the flatirons. Just this past friday, I ordered ‘The Ultra Black Hair Book ll’ and a set of the hair care products. So I def would like to keep post on here of my progress as well. This site will hopefully keep my inspiration for letting my roots shine!!

Cristine May 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

it’s nice to see other long term transitioners!! I feel like so many people go right ahead and do the BC & that is kind of annoying lol. i’ve been told by a couple of people that I *CAN’T* transition long term & i’ll eventually *GIVE UP* … hmph, I don’t know about you, but that’s just more fuel for me to do it any how! LOL plus, I don’t want short hair. I need my hair to be at a comfortable length for me. but thats just me.
I’m planning on transitioning for only 18 months, & I have about 12 more months to go!

Mary June 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

I made up my mind to transition today. You are my inspiration!

I plan to transition for a long time too.

Ethnic Cosmetics June 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Hi-

I’m curious. How is the Sedu flat iron? I was using the Maxi Glyde and it worked well for me but then it died after just a year! *sigh now i’m in the market for another.

I use WEN by Chaz Dean. I was really skeptical that this product would be good for black hair but low and behold I’m happy with the cleansing conditioner.

My hair is all natural – Has been for 4 years. What a chore! I miss relaxed hair. The only thing that keeps me natural is the threat of all my hair laying on the pillow one morning……should I get another relaxer.

Michelle

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Crysta August 16, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Dani,

I’ve spent the past hour looking over your site and am in awe of the knowledge you have cultivated about hair care. I am also a little embarrassed by how little I actually know about it. I am a white/african american female, raised by my white counterparts and know little to nothing about black hair care. It was by some miracle that I stumbled upon your site today. I have been doing self perm kits to my roots every 6-8 months for approx. 15 years! It was only today when I was researching flat irons that I found out what co-washing was. Needless to say, I need some SERIOUS help. Is there any way to restore my hair? Can I be saved?

Leslie November 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

This blog is a great idea! My sister went natural,but in the process she burnt her hair with a flat iron.The flat iron was used everyday.I told her that was a bad idea.

Hessie December 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I have very thick hair that doesn’t last when it is put in braids and very bad breakage at the ends of my hair. about 1 year ago i went and had my ends *trimmed* The woman basically cut ALOT of the middle of my hair and i also have alot of breakage from wearing ponytails but now i have stopped wearing ponytails and wear my hair down everyday. any tips on how to get the middle growing back?

Simply Natural January 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I love your site its so organized and very inviting. I’m not natural but my daughter is and the more I do her hair and learn differnt ways to become natural it surely makes me what to take the steps to becoming natural. I do have a question. What made you go natural and what steps did you take on journey? You can reach me at http://shirlenslove.blogspot.com look to hear from you soon. You make natural look effortless

mixed child* April 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

You have some very long, locks. I’ve always liked thicker hair. But, I have a question. … I’ve been trying to grow my hair out for the past 6 weeks, and it has grown some. Although, instead of perming it every month (which i dont do), I waited four months and it grew out really thick and I finally permed it but the perm didn’t straighten my hair so, its processed hair toward my ends but a lot of natural that didnt straighten.. SHould I re-perm it again because it is really breaking of bad or should it cut it?? Or just leave it?? I’m soo confused…

Christina May 30, 2011 at 2:37 am

Hello, I am so happy to see that there is a site for Black women in regards to hair. I have been wearing my hair natural for at least 2 1/2 to 3 yrs. It was short in the beginning and its getting longer
. The dilemma I’m having is finding products that will keep the frizz down. I have thick hair and its got a pretty good wave /curl pattern. But it tends to dry out quickly. Its also reverts when I have it straightened. In the fall and winter months its cool. But now in the spring its not cooperating. HELP !!! What products can I use to help with dryness and frizziness?

Latoya January 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I’ve been getting a perm for about 15 yrs now and I have long hair. I’m so ready to go natural but I don’t want to cut my length. What syeps do I need to take to make this transition?

Rebecca November 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Initially I wanted to buy a hair care product costing not more than 10 – 15 bucks per package because I’ve been suffering from sporadic hair loss all my life. Just to put it bluntly most of the stuff that I used before was not getting me any results. I really got tired of using Rogaine. I noticed that hair started to grow in unusual places all over my body. I knew that I had to find some other solution to deal with my current hair situation. I stumbled upon a link to a website that was selling Hairgain formula (90 capsules) by Military Grade Nutritionals rated #2 by amazon among products in the same class. I was kinda hesitant to buy it at first. It was a bit on the expensive side and only had two reviews. Considering my past bad experience with hair care products I decided to give it a try just in case it helps. I used it together with a topical solution called Elidel. One sidenote. The capsules are kinda large and should be downed with a lot of water. In about three months, I stopped using Elidel. Moreover, I did not feel any withdrawal syndrome whatsoever. I’ve been using Hairgain ever since, 4 caps daily to be precise. My hair looks much healthier and even thicker than it did before. At least that’s what my relatives tell me.

Nativenuyorker February 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

I’m about to make my first organic whipped hair cream. I’m using ivory Shea butter, coconut oil, mango butter, avocado and jojoba oils. Do any of you with experience have any suggestions or hints. My 4c/d hair is growing rapidly but very dry and does not look the same in the afternoon as it does in the mornings, the twistouts don’t last. Thanks.

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