Length, Length, Length

As a curly girl, length isn’t so easy to tell. And that SUCKSSS!

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying Shrinkage is a Bitch! And in fact it is. A curly girl can never tell her true length unless it’s straightened and that’s exactly what we’re avoiding here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t ever straighten your hair, a length check is always needed, but not every so often. I length check probably twice or three times a year.

Maintaining Length

This may sound contradicting, but trust me it works and I’ll explain why.

Making sure those ends are healthy is a MAJOR KEY in ensuring swift hair growth.

Think about this:
Your hair grows from the top of your head (obviously), but if the hair that’s already hanging from your head keeps breaking from your damaged, split ends, it’ll feel like your hair isn’t growing at all.

SO, to make sure your ends don’t prolong your hair length journey, occasional trims are necessary. I honestly don’t have the time to go to hair salons, plus they don’t really know how to cut curly hair unless you go to a Deva Curl Hair Salon or a curly hair specialist, but let’s be real, they’re a bit pricey. Plus, I have trust issues sooo… I cut my own hair. Now to do that you have to be very careful. There are so many opinions out there on curly trimming methods, but I prefer dry cutting.

Dry Cutting

The reason I don’t recommend to cut hair while wet is because curly hair shrinks, so cutting wet curls will leave you with a shorter length than you expected.

Dry cutting/dusting is basically searching for those straight or split ends and chopping them off. It sounds a bit extreme, but I find that (if you wear your hair curly most of the time) it’s the most efficient way to get the most growth. A con about this method is that you hair (when straightened) won’t be perfectly even, but this won’t really be a problem if you’re wearing your hair curly. It’ll help your curls flourish.

Helpful Oils

Cutting isn’t the only thing that promotes hair growth.
Here are a few oils you can incorporate in your oil treatments:

Essential Oils

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Peppermint/Tea Tree
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage

*Each oil, whichever you choose, should be mixed with a carrier oil (I prefer coconut oil, you can also use virgin olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, sesame oil, or canola a.k.a. rapeseed oil). The mixture should be 4 tsp of carrier oil to every 10 drops of essential oil.

Others

  1. Jojoba

Jojoba oil is technically not an oil. Its a wax ester, which is similar to the oils naturally released by our skin. It’s rich in Vitamins E and B which have antibacterial and antioxidant properties which will remove the dead skin from your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. I love jojoba oil (especially for my face) because it’s not greasy and moisturizes without leaving too much of a shine.

  1. Jamaican Black Castor

Castor oil is very thick and sticky similar to honey. It consists of amino and fatty acids that repair and regenerate hair follicles. Aside from promoting hair growth, castor oil can moisturize, thicken, and even enhances hair color.

  1. Vitamin E

As I mentioned before, Vitamin E is an antioxidant which is helpful for repairing damaged hair follicles. It reduces inflammation, and promotes blood circulation to the scalp which is beneficial for hair growth.

**When applying these oils, for EXTRA growth promotion, use the Inversion Method which is flipping your head upside down and massaging the scalp for about 10 minutes. The inversion method promotes hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp and the massage will open up the hair follicle to absorb the oils. You can use the inversion method everyday if you’d like; 10 minutes a day for a month can probably get you two or three inches of growth depending on your hair and how fast it usually grows. (Don’t quote me on that, I’m speaking based on my experience.)

Consistency

I really can’t stress consistency enough. It’s like anything in life! Diets, exercise plans, relationships, skin care, and I can go on forever. The point is, that if you don’t keep consistency with your hair, you may not see the results you expect. Yes, hair care is extremely time consuming, but its all worth it!

With cuts, I recommend dusting every 3-4 months depending on the level of damage you have on the ends.

As for the growth promoting oil treatments, I recommend you do it bi-weekly, even monthly. You don’t want to overwhelm your hair with too many treatments because it can become brittle, weak and can become prone to breakage.

Hope this helped! Feel free to like and comment any further questions or suggestions for future posts.

Happiness – You Are In Control!

Before reading this post, take a few minutes to think about things that make you happy. It may be babies, pets, loved ones, nature, etc.

I’ve been reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and its been a major life changer for me! It’s taught me that life is what you make it. You have full control of your life with your thoughts and feelings.

You create your own reality.

If you think about it, your mood dictates your entire day. If your day starts with a negative mood, your thoughts will revolve around that negative feeling and you will have a bad day. BUT, you have the power to change those negative feelings with a positive, happy thought.

Rhonda Byrne brings up the notion that your thoughts are a frequency being released into the universe. The universe takes that frequency and, like a boomerang, flips it back on you. Its like the concept of Karma. What goes around, comes around. Same with your thoughts. They become your reality because its what the universe receives from you. If you have constant negative thoughts, negative things will come your way. But if your predominant thought is a positive one, it is constantly being released as a frequency, and that is what you will receive! Its like a television. There is a specific frequency to every channel, and what you see on the TV is based on that frequency. If you change the frequency (the channel), the image changes. Like your life. If you change your frequency (your thoughts), you will see different things come your way.

Instead of thinking what you dont want, think of what you do want. The universe doesn’t acknowledge the “dont” part of your thoughts. For example, if you think you dont want to be late for this meeting, the universe reads your thought of being late. Instead, change your thought to I will be on time for this meeting, and you will be on time.

Positive thoughts are powerful thoughts. Negative thoughts are weak. Keep this in mind everyday! Especially if you’re having a bad day.

Think of your thoughts as a magnet. You will attract all like things (that are on the same frequency). Its the law of attraction.

The predominant thought or the mental attitude is the magnet, and the law [of attraction] is that like attracts like, consequently, the mental attitude will invariably attract such conditions as correspond to its nature – Charles Haanel (1866-1949)

So, the next time you are having a bad day, I hope you take this into consideration and know that you are in control of your own life!

Moisturizing Hair Routine

Keeping a consistent routine can help smoothen out the transitioning process and will keep those curls flourishing after your transition. Consistency is key!

For starters, as I mentioned in Straight To Curly, you should be aware of your hair type and porosity level to make sure you are taking the right steps to keeping that hair moisturized.

Understanding Porosity

Porosity is the level at which you hair retains water and moisture. Each hair strand has layers. The cuticle layer, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle layer is what determines hair porosity. It’s purpose is to protect the hair shaft, and allow moisture to pass in and out of it.

Low Porosity is when the hair cuticle is smooth and has no cracks, making it harder for moisture retention and water absorption. Light products that are water based are best for low porosity hair. Avoid using heavy products, this will weigh the hair down and make it greasy.

Medium (Normal) Porosity is the most healthy of the levels. It is fairly easy to keep hair moisturized and manageable. The best products for ‘normal’ porosity hair is just silicone free, moisturizing conditioners that can be used as leave in conditioners. Also using light oils like jojoba and pomegranate seed oil can help retain moisture without making the hair too greasy.

High Porosity can occur from chemical or heat damage and constant manipulation (perms, flat ironing, hair dye, etc.). This type of hair is highly porous and because of that, it loses moisture as quick as it’s absorbed. This is not something you want because your hair will always look dry, frizzy, and can easily break, preventing hair growth. I recommend using leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers to help keep the hair moisturized throughout the day. Deep conditioning weekly can help keep the moisture locked in for longer periods of time.

Knowing your hair porosity is important for looking into products that will most effectively help keep moisture.

Testing Porosity

The most commonly used method to test porosity level is the cup of water test. Take a clean strand of hair and place it in a glass of water. After a few minutes, the strand will either stay afloat or gradually sink to the bottom. High porosity hair sinks fairly quickly.

The Routine

Assuming your hair is in need of a wash, here is a routine that is helpful to keep your hair moisturized.

Start off with an oil treatment. Depending on the porosity level of your hair, you should either dampen your hair, or not at all.

**The oil treatment should be pre-made about 2 days before application to make sure the oils have blended together.**

My favorite oils to mix for an oil treatment are:

  • Coconut oil (moisture)
  • Tea tree oil (cleansing)
  • Castor oil (growth)
  • Rosemary oil (treat dry scalp, growth)

Massage the oil into your scalp for about 10 minutes (with your head inverted) and cover your hair in a bag or shower cap for 25-30 minutes.

After the oil treatment, wash your hair and condition as usual.

An alternative to oil treatments, if your hair tends to get very oily, or you just don’t like putting oils in your hair, is a deep condition. To deep condition I use:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Egg yolk
  • Olive oil (or coconut)
  • Tea tree oil (just a few drops)
  • Honey
  • Your favorite conditioner (not too much, only to keep a conditioner-like consistency)

This combination smells a bit funny, but after application, wrap your hair in a cap and keep in for 30-45 minutes. Then wash and condition as usual.

For a better smell, you can add an essential oil like lavender oil.

This process (either-or) should be done weekly or bi-weekly as needed. My hair tends to get very dry so I try to do this weekly.

I know this was a very lengthy post and bless you if you’ve made it this far and I hope you found it helpful.

Enjoy The Little Things

The other day, I was driving to Brooklyn to my cousin’s house.

Passing this bridge, I was just amazed by the view! The way the clouds sat perfectly over the city was just breathtaking.

Nature is something that a lot of people take for granted. When I say “take for granted” I mean that nature is something that is always around us and sometimes we don’t take the time to see and appreciate it.

The next time you are sitting in a car, or walking home, take the time to look and be aware of your surroundings. By being aware, you are opening your mind to the environment and will realize that we are just a small piece to a big puzzle.

There is more to life than meets the eye, we just have to open our eyes and see what the Universe has in store.

“You create your own universe as you go along.”

Winston Churchill

Straight to Curly

About Me

I am a curly girl. I love my natural, curly hair, but I wasn’t always so fascinated with my curls.

Growing up in a Dominican household, the image of beauty was long, slick, perfectly straight hair. Which I didn’t have, so we took bi-weekly trips to the hair salon.

I don’t understand why, but my mom felt the need to start taking me to the hair salon at the age of 6. I didn’t begin my transition until  I was 19, so that’s 13 years of constant wash-and-sets. WOW! I never even thought of it in that way, that’s a lot of damage and it explains why my hair took so long to transition to its natural state.

After loads of research and hours of watching youtube videos, I decided to start my journey May of 2015.

The Process

Holy molyyyy!! This process is not for everyone! For starters, you need patience and I can’t stress this enough. It’s like anything in life, it’s a process, and you must stay consistent and dedicated to see results. The process is so tedious and it’s easy to want to give up, I almost did a few times, but when you do begin to see results, it’s the best feeling in the world.

It took me about 4 months to see any results.

If you are new to the natural community, I recommend you visit naturallycurly.com.

Take the hair quiz first to know your hair type. (I’m 3C)

They have a bunch of articles on everything you need to know about transitioning (protective hairstyles, sleeping tips, natural deep conditions, hair routines, etc.). I suggest you also do a porosity test to find which kind of products (or brands) work best with your hair. Knowing this about your hair will make your transitioning process smoother and hopefully quicker.

Youtube is a great resource to learn how to deal with your hair. Especially if your hair is in an awkward stage, as mine was for about a year. It was so bad that I LITERALLY wore the same hairstyle for like 3 months. I luckily found a few “youtubers” with my same hair type that were pretty dedicated to sharing their tips and tricks with the world and I am extremely grateful! I’m not much of a creative person, so finding inspiration on youtube was helpful for my transition.

Pinterest was also extremely helpful for my transition. I found a whole bunch of natural deep conditions (DIY’s) that saved me a lot of money! On pinterest I learned a lot about the benefits of natural products like coconut oil, honey, rice water, avocado’s, mayonnaise, even onions! Yes, I said onions. It sounds gross, and smells gross, but the benefits are priceless!!!

The Transition

Going from straight to curly is not easy! As I said before, it takes a lot of dedication and consistency.

Keeping a consistent routine will get your hair ‘used to’ the change you are about to put it through.

When transitioning, I kept a simple routine. Alternating (weekly) between DIY deep conditions and oil treatments (one week deep condition, next week oil treatment). Its very important to keep your scalp clean to promote hair growth. Making sure your new growth is healthy is a key component to successful transitioning. The old (damaged) hair is important too, but not as important since it is damaged. Most people just start off with a ‘big chop’ to have a fresh start.

(I will be posting a more in-depth routine soon.)

I chose not to do a ‘big chop’ because I wanted to maintain my length, but ended up chopping about half of it because my damaged hair was just weighing my hair down. After I chopped my hair, my curls flourished! (This was where my awkward stage began.)

If this post was helpful or you have any suggestions, questions or tips, leave a comment.