Thursday, August 12, 2010

YouTube is a Natural Girls Best Friend

I'm a YouTube fanatic!  I love it so much I even started making my own videos.  Before I decided to go natural, I discovered tons of videos where ladies would explain what they did for longer, healthier hair.  When I noticed how damaged my own hair was, I turned to the internet for an answer.  All of these videos kept popping up.  Some were about the best flat iron to use, while others showcased hair styles that required little to no heat.

Not knowing where to begin, I used the YouTube search bar to locate videos on growing african american hair longer.  I found a video by Saleemah Cartwright, founder of  Hydratherma Naturals.  It was a picture slideshow of her hair from completely shaved to length down her back! I later found MacherieHair's video (no longer posted)on how she does a silk wrap after doing a rollerset for straight and bouncy hair.  This one was a shocker!  In the beginning her hair is completely wrapped in saran wrap.  Then she starts to comb it out...whooaa!  Her hair was long, healthy and full of body.  So that was all it took...I was completely hooked. The videos about growing healthy hair led me to where I am today.

My Favorite Transitioning Style

Once I decided to go Natural, I considered how long I should go before doing the Big Chop.  At only 3 months post relaxer, I was certain that I wanted to grow my natural texture out a lot more before this step.  Normally I wore my hair straight but I was beginning to see how damaging all of the heat was.  The next best thing was Rollersetting. 

My Hood Dryer
I personally had never Rollerset my hair before.  I had seen it done in the salon but that was about it.  From what I could see on YouTube, there were a lot of ladies who did it each week instead of using flatirons and blowdryers.  I also kept hearing about how handy it was to have a hooded dryer at home for this style and to do deep treatments.  I figured I would give it a go.

I went to my local Sally's beauty supply and purchased the Ion hooded dryer with multiple heat settings for about $40.  When I got home, my husband thought I had gone mad.  I explained that it was an investment and that I would get a lot of use out of it. 

My Curly Fro
As for the rollersetting, I really didn't know how it would turn out but it was worth a try.  I watched plenty of videos before going for it.  I used the small grey perm rods so that the two textures of my hair would blend together better.  The end result was a cute and curly little afro.  The style often lasted  a whole week which meant less stress on my hair.

It's almost 2 years later and I still rollerset my hair.  I didn't realize it then but it's a technique that can also be used on Natural hair.  I'm glad that I learned how to do it during my transitioning phase because now it's one of my staple styles.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Transitioning into Natural Hair

Once I finally decided that I was "going natural" and needed to grow out my relaxer, I looked for information on styles that would help with my transition.  The last time I applied relaxer to my hair was in July 2008.  It was now October and my new growth was coming in thick and wavy.  At the time, all I did was wear my hair straight.  This was harder and harder to accomplish the more my natural hair grew.  I looked to the internet and found tons of videos on how to do different styles while transitioning.  I figured why not just start doing my hair as if I were already natural.  That way, I would have some idea of what to do when I cut off the relaxed ends.

Braids with Perm Rods on the ends
Previously, in August '08, I went back to a darker hair color.  With that out of the way, I began focusing on teaching myself how to style my hair without using any heat.  This was all very new for me.  Some styles turned out great and others were complete disasters.  In the months before my "Big Chop", I taught myself how to Flat Twist, Roller set with perm rods and even do my own braid extensions.  Some days I just wore it up in a bun to give my hair a break.  

Now when I look back on my transition, which ended up being for 9 months, I realize that my plan worked.  I use these styles all of the time.  I don't do extenstions anymore, but I enjoy wearing my hair in small individual braids from time to time.  
The "Braid-out" with Satin Scarf Headband

My advice to Transitioners; "Do your hair as if you are already natural,".  Once you decide to go natural, you might as well start your journey and begin using products and techniques that will help you later on.  Not only will you know what to do once you do the Big Chop, but you'll have some idea of how you'll look wearing your
natural hair.


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