I just want to start by stating that I’m very confident with my hair…a lot of people will start with ‘disclaimers’ about how they aren’t trying to brag…
I’M TRYING MY HARDEST RIGHT NOW TO BRAG!!
If you know me from the beginning of my hair journey, you’ll know the struggle has been more than real. I’ve gone through ridiculous amounts of bleaching, hair dyes, chopping and changing…weaving my hair, in fact I’ve even used hair glue to secure the weave. It’s been a long journey, people!!
From the start, I’ve always envied other people’s hair which caused me to completely lose focus on my own damn scalp! My younger sister’s curls, from the day she came into this world, have literally been POPPING!! I use to look at other mixed race girls and really question why my hair didn’t look the same. Culturally it really challenged me as well because, even to this day, I feel as though my hair is a real part of my identity. My biggest complex has always been (even now!!) that if I straighten my hair, I don’t look ‘mixed’ so I’ve done my best at avoiding that.
I knew that my hair texture (before the growth) would allow me to explore and try out new things…in secondary school, after I left Kenya and I moved to Surrey, I cut my hair into a really, REALLY short bob. I experimented with bleach for a day and dyed it back to black the next…
Thereafter it was a downward spiral…
I realised my hair was finished when the ends were literally breaking off just by twizzling my hair in my fingers and after washing and drying my hair it was literally just static.
Now after that intro out of the way, I’ll explain how weave truly transformed not only the curl pattern, but the general strength and health of my hair overall…
A friend of mine started it all off. In my second year at University, I was really struggling with my outward appearance and I wanted a fresh outlook. My housemate’s side hustle was that she would often have people come round to our house to do their hair; all kind’s of styles from braids to weaves. It was literally a drastic decision; a friend of mine was an ambassador for a weave company at the time as well so following her lead I had bought my first ever Peruvian bundles! The hair itself was really great quality and I had gone for a natural brown colour to match my natural hair colour. Now as mentioned, my hair at this point was completely finished and was a straw-like texture as well as being an ashy blonde/caramel colour. I dyed my hair to match the colour of the bundles and I transformed my god-forsaken hair into 22-inch Peruvian waves!
Honestly, I’ll admit I can’t remember how long I kept my weave in at a time..but it would vary between a month to two and a half months at most, before taking out my bundles, washing and deep conditioning my natural hair as well as the bundles, before putting them back in again. It got to the point that I became obsessed with weaving my hair that I wouldn’t even have my natural hair out for a day before asking my friend to re-do it.
A lot of factors come into play; I had braided my hair underneath my weave, with only the front leave-out exposed, so a lot of my natural hair was protected and wasn’t being tampered with, which my hair was not use to! My friend was also great with knowing how to manage my hair underneath my weave, in terms of the way she would braid it up so this would really help to ensure that when I wanted to, I could really take care of my natural hair underneath my weave by conditioning it thoroughly once a week. At the same time, the quality of the weave that I had purchased was honestly amazing, so again I had no issues with having weave in for as long as possible.
I realised that my hair was really strengthening when I would take out my weave, deep-condition my hair and see that the length of my hair had really grown. I would aim to get my hair trimmed during the time I’d have my hair naturally prior to getting my hair weaved again…
I officially said ‘goodbye’ to weave in August 2016. I remember this because I’d slowly transitioned from having loose-wavy, long weave to slightly curlier weave to reflect my natural leave out. (Whilst I had straight weave I’d straighten my leave-out)
Around August time, I had taken out my weave and decided to have my hair down and realised that the curl pattern was honestly just on another level, so much so that my younger sister noticed and even felt a little salty that my curls were as nice as hers! I was literally so anxious to wash my hair again because I thought the curls were a fluke, that they were only like that because I’d only recently taken my weave out and un-braided my hair…
After a really deep co-wash I realised how thick my hair had gotten and literally ever since then my curls have been so healthy and I can dramatically feel the difference in terms of the weight of my hair, but also the shine and the texture has drastically transformed!
The importance of having great hair, no matter your texture, is how you treat it. I try and do a hair mask once a week, however failing this at least twice a month.
To condition and shampoo my hair I use as many natural products as possible-majority from the SheaMoisture range. (The Jamaican black castor oil range is my fave!)
With curls I’ve noticed that moisture is extremely important, so to ensure this I aim to co-wash (condition rather than shampoo) my hair. Using as many natural products as possible will truly help and on top of that, they are much cheaper!! Coconut oil is literally my best friend…I use it near enough every day. I’ve also really noticed that by drinking water, this really helps with the shine to my hair. I know that might sound a little cliche however it’s true that whatever you put into your body, will reflect on the outside!
Furthermore, I’m nowhere near where I would like to be with my hair…I’d like it to be much longer and thicker, however having been on this continuous journey I’m so happy with the way that my hair looks and feels!
My honest advice to you if you are trying to strengthen, grow or even transform the look of your hair-It’s not going to be a quick or easy journey! Stick to as many natural products (so avoid products with sulphates and parabens-the labels will tell you!)
My FAVE hair products include-the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil grow and restore conditioner and treatment masque, twisted sista’s 30 second curl spray (it has coconut, avocado and almond oils!) and most recently I’ve been loving HASK hair products, specifically their monoi/coconut oil or argan oil deep conditioners..All of which I buy either in Superdrugs online, because the Superdrug near me doesn’t seem to rate curly hair products! 😦 or any afro/carribean hair product shop…I get mine from a shop in Peckham!
No matter your hair texture or colour, always remember that life is too short to have boring hair!