Nurture & Healing natural hair challenge update

Hi There!

Time for a status update on my nurture & heal challenge. In order to correct the bad ways and habits that I had of caring for and styling my natural hair I officially started this challenge in March 2011. In the fall of 2010, when I was still flat ironing my locks weekly, I experienced quite a bit of damage and breakage as a result of having my hair lightened and excessive heat damage. It has since been a little over three months since I have committed myself to a low manipulation and moisturization regimen. Sooooo here’s my status:

First off, I must confess. Since starting this challenge, I have straightened my hair 3 times:

  • To do the first length and damage check and to have ends clipped
  • When attending a job fair
  • And, today actually to get my ends clipped again

For me, to only have straightened my hair 3 times in a 3 month period is really good. A huge improvement! Aside from those 3 times I have been really good at sticking to wearing my natural hair texture with minimal to no heat. Additionally;

  • I experimented with, discovered and perfected the wash & go
  • My staple styles have been; wash & go, twist & curl or a bun
  • 2 times a month I’d d0 deep conditioning masque
  • I’ve limited my shampooing to 2 times a month
  • In the course of a week I am averaging two co-washes
  • Any style that I wear I allow my hair to air dry

When I went for my first hair trim the stylist recommended that I have the ends trimmed every three to four weeks. I didn’t follow that recommendation. Though I know I need to keep up with having the damaged hair trimmed, I didn’t want to risk straightening my hair that often in order to have it cut.

I plan to tweak my regime a bit from this point forward, especially for the summer. In addition to the things that I’ve been doing for this challenge, next up I’m striving for:

  • NO HEAT
  • Doing a status update and trim every 3 months
  • To do a protein treatment once a month
  • Try to wean myself from products that have the silicones, sulfates etc.
  • Do weekly hot oil treatments
  • Only straighten when it is time for a cut
  • Try a few more natural hair style to wear
  • Drink 64oz water a day
  • Consistently take my multivitamins

With putting myself on this challenge, so  far I have noticed quite a bit of growth and a lot less shedding. I have really gotten to know my hair texture, what is working for it and what does not. I have become alot more self assured with confidently wearing my natural big hair icon smile Nurture & Healing natural hair challenge update I will post some current pictures soon.

Have you ever tried a natural hair challenge? If so, what are some of the things you’ve done as a part of your challenge?

Straightened my natural hair for a trim

Hello!

Since I was in need of getting my hair trimmed, I straightened it and thought I’d do a post. I am still pursuing an all natural, with minimal to no heat, way of caring for and styling my hair, though I am long overdue for a professional trim (last trim was in August 2010) and wanted to do a length check. It’s been well over a month since I have had my hair straightened, which is really good for me. After this I am right back on my no heat challenge.

I washed, conditioned and towel dried my hair with a microfiber towel, pulled it back into a ponytail and let it air dry. The next day I sectioned my hair off and began flat ironing it, using the least amount of heat as possible. I used the comb passing method so that I would only have to do one flat iron pass for each section.

After finishing my whole head, I went to Great Cuts for the trim. With having my hair straight and talking with the stylist that did my trim, I realized the amount of damage that I have; heat damage, some breakage throughout from lightening it and quite raggedy ends. He advised that I come back for a trim every 3-4 weeks and continue with protein treatments every six weeks to ensure the healing and growth of my locks. Below are pics of my hair straight at the various stages.

Pictures of length check:

Pony tail length check Straightened my natural hair for a trim

Hair down length check Straightened my natural hair for a trim

 Before and after trim:

Before ends trimmed Straightened my natural hair for a trim

After ends trimmed Straightened my natural hair for a trim

Style after trim and rolling on 3 flexi rods:

DSC00015 Straightened my natural hair for a trim

DSC00016 Straightened my natural hair for a trim

Hair do’s since my last relaxer

Since transitioning from a relaxer to my natural hair texture I have worn my hair in quite a few different styles. I’ve worn everything from double strand synthetic twists, flat ironing, had it lightened for a while, cut in a bob after some damage when it was lightened, pony-tails, buns just to name a few styles. Over these last 5 1/2 years I’d been notorious for wearing it straight. And, my idea of protecting it and letting it “rest” is to get it put up into 2 stranded twists with synthetic hair. Reminiscing about these past hair styles, gives me the encouragement to embrace my natural texture, experiment with healthier hair style alternatives and continue to learn to be a bit kinder and gentler to my locks. Here are some pics I thought I’d share of some of the hair styles I’ve worn between Oct 2005 – Dec 2010.

P1310106 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer

2005 Transitioning

7 17 06 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer

Summer 2006 still transitioning

26613 1389257298745 1451462577 1021811 7557474 n 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer

A synthetic twist time

me2 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer

My blond days 2007-2008

may 2008 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer

Cut into bob after damage from coloring May 2008

20539 1306124262358 1508076708 30805710 6202963 n 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer

Flat iron Jan. 2010

 2010 12 24 18.14.33 e1302049632265 150x150 Hair do’s since my last relaxer
 Dec. 2010 Twist & Curl