Saturday 7 January 2017

Thinking Of Going Natural For 2017?My Journey So Far With Tips & Tricks

I started on my own and picking up knowledge from websites on trying to "fix" my hair.I made the decision to go natural a 4years ago, after my curls were completely ruined.My hair was extremely damaged from straightening it nearly every single day to then relaxing my hair 3 times within a year.Back then, we didn't have access to stores that stocked products for our hair types and if we did, they would always be double (sometimes tripled) in price.When I decided to go natural, I decided to start up a blog, reviewing products that I found in my local Boots and Superdrug stores, to help others find products for there hair.I wanted to do one big main post to help those that are thinking of going natural, and to also answer any questions that you may have with myself or other readers too :) 

I remember the first piece of advice that I was given to go natural and that was "the big chop".I didn't do this of course because it absolutely scared me of the thought that my hair wouldn't grow back, considering it stopped just above shoulder length.Below is an image of damaged my hair really was at the beginning of all of this.
Look at how brittle and dry my hair looks?and thats with the majority caused by all the heat damage.I began to cut down on straightening but then began to realise that I should cut it all out together.I started doing the "no heat challenge" which at the time was set for 30days.The first week was extremely difficult but after that it began to get easier.During the third week, I came across a group called "Curl Crush" on facebook, that has a lot of tips and advice for curly hair.At that time, people had just started stocking curly hair brands on Amazon that were only available from stores in the U.S, so it was kind of big for us UK curlies to get our hands on it.The first product I ever picked up was the Cantu Curl Activator and my god, my hair absolutely loved it.The 30days no heat challenge turned into 3months, to then 6months and so on.

My hair still had a lot of damage going on though, and I knew that I would have to cut it eventually, so every 2weeks, I would cut the dead ends of my hair so the damage doesn't extend all the way to the hair shaft.Trimming my hair then grew to every 4weeks, to every 2months, 4months and so on because my hair was starting to become healthy.During that time I had spent a lot of money on products, with some working great and others not working on my hair at all.I started to understand more about different hair types and the porosity of your hair too around a year later, which made things so much more easier for me to find products designed specially for my hair type.
This isn't my chart as I got it off google, but its the closest one to me when it comes to accuracy.There are a lot of different curly hair charts out there, some looking very different and some that are pretty much the same.Whats really awesome, is that you can have more than one curl type, and at the start of this due to damage my hair was a mixture of 2b and 2c.After I began to trim the damaged parts off of my hair, I still needed that little extra help with hair growth.I found the product Jamaican Black Castor Oil to be a highly recommended product for this, and many other positives too, so ended up purchasing a bottle back in March 2015.
I'll be completely honest, I really was not expecting any hair growth at all with this product but as the image shows above, I was getting some hair growth.Other benefits included more manageable hair, improved shine, reduced frizz and more moisturised.My hair type also changed to a mixture of 3b/3c due to my curls being very thick.I was using this product for months, but it got to the point where I began to not like the sticky feeling on my hair and it cost quite a bit £7 (now around £10-£12) per bottle to last on my hair for just over a month.
Stopping it did slow down the hair growth a little, however I was still getting really good results when it came to the health and condition of my hair.My blog then started to get noticed by companies that specialise in creating products for our hair types, so I was sent products to review to see how they worked.I also began to extremely miss my straight hair and although you could see the hair growth when my hair was curly, it wasn't as much because of shrinkage.Shrinkage has to be the absolute worst when it comes to curly hair, with frizz being a close second.Remember that second photo in this blog post where my hair was so damaged from straightening it looked like it had been in a deep fryer?Below is a photo of my hair after using Jamaican Black Castor Oil for 3months.
The shine!My hair at that stage had improved so much and I was so happy with the results.I was also able to tell on how much my hair had grown and if there was any split ends.Since then, I've made a routine where I straighten my hair every 4-6months to see the length and to trim any split ends.At the beginning of this new routine, there was quite a few split ends as the damage had extended up the hair shaft, but now my hair hardly ever needs to be trimmed.I also trim my own hair, because I do not, I repeat do NOT trust anyone with my hair, especially if you're holding scissors too.

Another top tip is finding out what porosity your hair is and also how sensitive your hair is to protein.There are 3 levels of porosity:
My hair was originally high because of all the damage so every time I tried to add moisture into my hair, it would easily be let out again.Using oil based products for me or the LOC method helped me to seal the moisture in eventually, dropping it down to normal.I also ending up putting too much protein into my hair at one point, which can actually dry out or break the hair, so if you're finding these two things happening when using products designed for dry hair or that has protein in it, try cutting down on protein based products.

My hair type now is a mixture of 2c/3a/3b, because the more hair growth you get, the looser the curl gets.This can be solved by trimming it, but I'm actually happy with my curls getting longer.I also used to struggle getting past "Day 1" hair, because I would have to constantly wet my hair to the point where it was damp, to apply product for it to be happy.

I'll be completely honest with you when it came to going natural.Because I started without knowing anything, or not having any access to products for my hair type, it was really difficult.I spent some crazy money on products that weren't even for my hair type, and if knew this back then, I would have more money to spend (on FOOD!)I really hope that this blog post helps someone that is thinking of going natural and any questions that you many have can be answered by commenting in the comment section below :) 

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