Wednesday, April 2, 2014

If you love it, It will grow ...

I remember it like it was yesterday ... It was 2 years ago that I moved from Hampton, Virginia to San Antonio.  One of my best friends was making the drive with me (24 hours) and at that point I had been transitioning to natural hair for a little over 11 months.  Since Atlanta was on the way, I made an appointment at this exclusive hair salon to have the rest of my relaxed ends chopped off so I would have a fresh start in San Antonio.  Well, long story short, I missed my appointment and instead of having a professional do my chop, my friend cut my hair in a hotel bathroom .  That's right ... a hotel bathroom.  There was hair EVERYWHERE!  I remember thinking at the time "I hope the housekeeping staff doesn't think I've committed a crime and am trying to hide my identity by chopping off my hair."  So I washed my hair, threw some conditioner on it and thought I was cute ... until my hair dried.  I washed it again.  Same result.  My hair was in a state of SHOCK.  It was drier than the Sahara Desert and I had no idea what to do with it.  

Since then, I've come a long way.  2 years to be exact.  After countless hours of watching YouTube videos and reading blog posts, I've learned a few things along the way.  So, you want tips?  I got 'em ...

                                                April 2012                  March 2014





1. BE BASIC 'BOUT IT 
You hair care regimen doesn't have to be complicated or take ALL DAY.  The basic steps: wash and/or condition, deep condition, leave-in, oil to seal, and a styler (and the last two for some people aren't even necessary).  In my opinion, the most important item in any good hair care regimen is having a good conditioner.  It doesn't have to be expensive or all natural, but it must be moisturizing and allow enough slip for adequate detangling.  I like Aussie Moist, TRESemme Naturals nourishing moisture conditioner, and Trader Joe's Nourishing Spa conditioner.  After that I apply my leave-in of choice (which also has the aforementioned qualities), oil, then a cream and/or gel for styling.  I do this once per week, along with a good deep conditioning.  All of the extras, i.e. henna, oral supplements, hair coloring, I would recommend only after you have your basic regimen established.
I am also a true believer in low manipulation styles (i.e. twists, twist outs, and braid outs).  I don't do a lot of protective styling (personal preference), but in order to keep to my ends healthy, I have to keep them moisturized and tangle free.  Low manipulation styles help me to do this without bothering my hair too much during the week and I can still wear my hair "out." 

2. BE CONSISTENT 
The number of products, methods, and regimens in the natural hair care world are endless.  This makes it very easy for our "exploratory" nature to get out of control.  So with that being said, do what works for you and whatever you decide to do, do it consistently.  There is no progress without consistency.  And when something works, write it down so you'll know for next time.  There's nothing worse than having a BOMB hair day and then you can't remember what products you used or in what order.  

3. BE CONFIDENT 
I have a difficult time finding pictures during my transition and after my chop.  That mostly has to do with me being insecure about my weight during and after pregnancy, but also because I didn't like my hair.  (SN: I stopped relaxing my hair during pregnancy)  Yes, I too, went through a phase where I thought "natural hair just isn't for me."  In hindsight, I realize that I was used to hiding behind my straight hair.  I am also my biggest critic.  So if my hair didn't lay, clump, or curl the way I thought it should then it wasn't good enough.  I hope to get another chance at chopping my hair off, and when I do, I'm gonna rock the heck out of my short hair.  I've learned to be confident no matter what my hair looks like (even when my wash and go's fail).  Don't compare yourself to others.  Love the hair you have.  If you love it, it will grow. 

4. BE PATIENT 
I know, I know, you've heard it a million times.  But you wouldn't hear it if it wasn't true.  While it may seem vain at first, taking pictures or documenting your journey along the way really helps to see your growth over time.  You'd be surprised what a difference a few months make.

*Disclaimer: I am not a professional or licensed cosmetologist, these tips are based on my own personal experiences. *


xo Lianne
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3 comments

  1. Hi Lianne! My name is LaToya and I have really been following your natural hair journey on instagram and now, your website! I really appreciate your willingness to share your journey, tips and how to's. I am new to natural and was transitioning since June 23, 2013. As of Wednesday, April 2, 2014, I took out my Senegalese Twists and decided to big chop after 9 months of transitioning because I didn't want to deal with my relaxed hair matting up when I washed it. Needless to say, I have not figured out what products work best for my hair yet. I'm looking for a leave-in conditioner that I can pair with my olive oil eco styler gel that will not make leave my hair with white residue. I am also looking for a good curl defining creme for a wash and go style. Can you recommend any leave-in conditioners of choice to try out? I am currently using Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioner and I am not a fan, but maybe it's because I'm not pairing it right. From your instagram, it looks as though you prefer the Eden Body Works curl defining cream.

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  2. Congratulations on your big chop! For leave-in's, my favorite is Paul Mitchell "The Conditioner" (at Paul Mitchell salon or Walmart Salon, and I heard some Targets), Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Leave -in (at Whole Foods), and Tre'Luxe Untie The Knot (discovertreluxe.com). And Yes! to the Eden BodyWorks! Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie I like too. With any of these, I think it's important to rub the product really well in your hands first which helps to "melt" it down a little and make it easier to apply and not get too clumpy in certain spots. Hope this helps!

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