So I Did a Thing…

Sooooooo as you guys know, this is my second stint at being natural. I started my transition in January 2013 and big chopped for the second time in May 2013. If you go back through my posts between then and now, you’ll notice Luquisha has grown quite a bit. In fact, she’s growing far faster than I ever than I thought she would. Of course, I think a lot of her rapid growth is due to me actually taking care of her and being mindful of what she likes and doesn’t like.

I’ve also stopped being so dern lustful over other people’s luxurious kinky/curly/coily ringlets. Yaaaas I said lustful. During my first attempt at being natural, my biggest downfall was wanting hair like my then co worker. I want big hair that covered my ears in the winter and that I could put up in a bun during the summer. I wanted the soft bouncy curls my baby sister has currently and so many others I saw out and about and on the blogs.

I didn’t realize or shall I say I didn’t want to realize that every natural haired person has a different texture. Seriously, if no two strands of my own hair was the same how could I expect to have hair like the next Napturl? So I promised Luquisha that I wouldn’t get to outta control with the hair envy and that I’d be more patient. And I have uhhh for the most part.

Buuuuuuut then I did a thing. It’s important to mention that I don’t do this ummm thing often nor would I contemplate doing this thing more than maybe twice a year; primarily because of cost. Look at the picture below. See the top right picture labeled “after”? Yeah. That happened two maybe three weeks ago.

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My baby sister got married on January 3rd and I wanted to do something different. I also wanted to see exactly how much Luquisha had grown in the last year and months. She’s pretty dern long. At least long by my standards.
The back is right below my collarbone. The sides are almost to the middle of my neck. And my bangs reach my top lip. Yooooo shrinkage is REAL! It amazes me how shrinkage that sounds so durty makes natural hair appear so much shorter than it is in actuality.

For two solid weeks, Luquisha had bounce, flip and moved effortlessly in the wind. Miss May trimmed her into layers which looked nice and defined prior to leaving the salon. But once I left, the wind sorta destroyed the definition. Stupid Texas weather really put a damper on my little hair straightening experiment. It was nasty and/or windy all the way up to the day of the wedding. I wore beanies and hats throughout the two weeks but they didn’t really prevent the moisture from frizzing out my hair.

Anyway for the wedding, lower left picture, I did an up do with a right bang scoop. The scoop was on point… before I left the house. But outside the house, it didn’t stand a chance. I put the remainder of my hair into a faux bun by putting it into a high ponytail then tucked and pinned into the shape of a bun. It was quite cute. I wish I had remembered to take pictures of it tho. It was really really cute. I was so proud of myself for thinking of it because Luquisha wasn’t going to behave if I wore her in a bob. It was just too windy that day. Plus I wasn’t trying to use too much heat on my hair as I didn’t want to have heat damage later.

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So let’s discuss the pros and cons having my hair flat ironed.

Pro: allows for a pretty accurate length check

I get my hair trimmed maybe once a quarter (every three months). In doing these quarterly trims, I am able to see how long she is but she’s not completely laid and she shrinks back up after a day or two. So by having my hair flat ironed, Luquisha lays flatter so I can really see the actual length without any assumptions.

Pro: flip and bounce

If there’s one thing I absolutely loved about having straight hair was the fact that Luquisha had flip and bounce. My hair is soft, light and very airy when it’s straight so I love flipping the ends and having bounce when I walk. Don’t judge me. Luquisha can be very bougie sometimes.

Con: frizzy pointy ends

Ugh! Luquisha was LAID everywhere else but the ends. As soon as I stepped into the moist air, my ends went wild and crazy. It was annoying as fuck. Plus when I’d have on a beanie or hat, my ends would make my neck itchy. You know what I mean. Don’t you? They weren’t as soft or laid as the rest of my hair. This prolly could have been rectified with product that would coat the hair enough to make it heavier but I didn’t want too much buildup.

Con: product placement

So it’s been a good five minutes since I had straight hair. I forgot how to maintain straight hair. The majority of my products are water based and I was afraid the water would cause Luquisha to revert back to curly. So I used mostly oils the week of the wedding. I found some KeriCare oil moisturizer in my product basket as well as apricot oil and the Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oils I bought a few months ago. These worked for a little bit but caused slight buildup.

Con: cost is a muthafucka

I’m sure what I paid is nothing compared to how much some women of any ethnicity and hair type pay to get their hair done. My beautician is employed by JcPenney Salon and is a Master Stylist. So the cost is going to be pretty comparable to getting a relaxer because she shampoo/deep conditioning, blow drying, trim/cut and flat ironing are all separate costs. A regular appointment for me costs around $40 with tip. This appointment was $100 with tip but I knew it was going to cost a lot so is by far not a complaint. But if I wanted to get Luquisha straightened more often it would end up totaling the amount I would spend a year on relaxers which is not an option for my wallet anymore.

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There were some other pros and cons but those mentioned above are what really stood out to me. Despite the cons, I would probably get my hair straighten again because it’s a way for me to see my hair’s true length. Well at least until she gets longer and heavier. Like I said, the shrinkage is so very real and Luquisha looks so much shorter than in reality. The good news is when I deep conditioned my hair the other day my 4c coils came back almost instantly. I couldn’t believe how quickly Luquisha soaked up the water. Cheeky heffa was prolly waiting for me to wash her. Grrr… Anyway stay tuned for an updated regimen post as I had to change how I moisturize Luquisha because of the frigid spastic Texas winter.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Luquisha Renáe: 18 Months Post Big Chop

So last week officially marked eighteen months since Luquisha Renáe and I embarked on our second tour of being natural. Well technically I started transitioning to natural in January of last year. Hmmm well now that I really think about it, I suppose I started transitioning before January 2013 because it had been at least since October 2012 since my last relaxer. So we’ll just say it’s been a journey for Luquisha and I. A very long journey.

Products
At this point of my journey, my bathroom counter looks like a beauty supply store. I have so many different brands and types of product. Do I use all of it? Not really. Sometimes it just depends on what I am trying to do with Luquisha. Most times I wear her out and proud with a decorative clip, a headband, a satin scarf, side pinup or in a frohawk.

I use a SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Milk, distilled water and coconut oil mixture for everyday re-hydrating. Since Luquisha is so dern thick she dries out pretty fast. So when I wake up in the morning, I spray the mixture on my hair and work it through. Sometimes I concentrate on the kitchen as this area tends to be the most dry.

I have a jar of Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream for not only moisturizing Luquisha but I usually layer it with Miss Jessie’s Leave in Condish when I’m doing a twist out; which is becoming more infrequent. I can’t even express to you how much I love this stuff. Partially because it smells like a piña colada but also because it makes Luquisha feel so soft when I undo my twists.

Speaking of the Miss Jessie’s Leave in Condish, this leave in conditioner is a ma zing! I really love the slip it provides when I finger detangle my hair. Which let me just pause for a second to say I can finally finger detangle through all of my hair. It’s something I really haven’t been able to do at any point of my natural journey. For added slip, I add maybe a quarter to fifty cent piece size of Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil Frizz Defy to my hair while my hair is dripping wet so I can distribute the oil evenly. If needed, I’ll add more.

Wash Day
Wash day is becoming more and more of a ginormous production. By hair typing standards I would say Luquisha is a combination of 4b/4c hair. In some parts, she can be really springy in the front and in the kitchen area. She’s probably the thickest around the sides by my ears and in the crown area. With all of this said, it takes at least four maybe six hours do completely wash, condition and protective style Luquisha on wash day.

Are you tired yet because I am!

At the moment, I am using SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo to cleanse and Herbal Essence Hello Hydration for conditioning. I bought the Coconut & Hibiscus conditioner but um it’s extremely too light to use while in the shower. So I’ve been using it as a pre-poo detangler along with the Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil Frizz Defy for slip.

The Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo was great at first but I can already tell Luquisha is growing tired of it. She can be rather temperamental when it comes to shampoo. This will make four maybe five shampoos I’ve used on Luquisha since 2006. I used to wash her with L’Oréal EverCurl before switching to SheaMoisture. Miss May (my beautician) suggested I use more products geared towards natural hair so I said goodbye to L’Oréal.

Hello Hydration has been a staple in my wash day regimen for many many many moons. I have to say this is the best middle of the row conditioner I’ve ever used on Luquisha. It’s thick and heavy (at least to me), coats my hair nicely and smells great. What I also like about Hello Hydration is that it provides a lot of slip. Luquisha is a pain to detangle especially if I haven’t bothered to detangle in a long while. So I’ll definitely keep this in my wash day repertoire.

Time to Try New Products
So there are a couple of products I would like to try on Luquisha. I bought a gel by Curls about two weeks ago. I’ll probably try it this weekend.

My little sister uses As I Am on my beautiful little naturalista nieces. I saw that this brand has a conditioning co wash cleanser which is something that is not a part of my regular routine.

I have a number of trial size products by Miss Jessie’s that I need to try before making the decision to purchase the full size bottle.

I have the Mimosa Pomade by Carol’s Daughter in my bathroom at the moment but I’ve never tried anything else. I eye the Black Vanilla product line every time I’m in Target.

Stay tuned for my length check which will more than likely be in December when I get my hair flat ironed for the first time in a year or two.

Thanks for reading…

 

The Southern Yankee