Loose Natural hair: UPDATE!
OK guys! It has been 7 months since I combed out my locs! OMG! I honestly cannot even believe it has been that long! So I decided now is the appropriate time to give an update on my growth, maintenance, challenges, etc.
So first things first, after I combed out my locs I did a deep condition and Bentonite clay mask to help bring some moisture back to my hair. It helped quite a bit but my hair needed much more help!
I decided to go to the salon to get a “trim” and a deep condition. However, when I got to the salon, the stylist said that my hair was super dry and damaged due to combing out my locs. She recommended that I cut most of it off leaving only about 3 inches behind!
I couldn’t have said WAIT fast enough! I said, “Lady, do you know how long it took me to comb these suckas out for you to just cut my hair off! I think not! You can take 2-3 inches off the bottom and that’s it!” That was still quite a bit of hair tho…
That was the start of the “trimming” process. After that salon visit, I began to notice how bad my ends were. I lasted all of 3 weeks before I began “trimming” my own ends and well, let’s just say I “trimmed” way more than I wanted to. Learn from my mistakes and just put the scissors down!
Anyways, my last real cut (1inch +) was in September. Since then I have only taken off about 1cm in my last trim at the beginning of January. I did not measure my length when I cut it or now, but I will include pics so you can see for yourself.
Although I cut off a lot of length, my hair is so much healthier. My twist outs last much longer and look better. This brings me to my go to styles!
I LOVE my natural curl pattern but my hair is soooo curly and the shrinkage is real! My wash n’ go is pretty but it is sooooo short! So I tend towards elongated styles such as twist outs and bantu knot outs.
As far as my weekly washing/conditioning routine, I like to shampoo, deep condition, and apply a moisturizing bentonite clay mask to my hair weekly. This is what currently works for me, but that may change as I continue to learn my hair.
I work out most days and after a week a shampooing is NECESSARY! I, of course, like to use sulfate-free shampoos because they don’t dry out my hair. However, I have learned that not all shampoos that say sulfate-free are actually gentle on my hair. Because of this, I actively seek out shampoos that are for dry, curly hair and that say “moisturizing”. I have also found that my hair does not like coconut oil or products that contain coconut oil.
My two favorite products (shampoo and deep conditioner) contain Marula Oil and Mafura Oil (Shampoo: Theorie Marula Oil Transforming Shampoo; Deep Conditioner: Shea Moisture Manuka honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque). Both of these oils are great moisturizers; Mafura oil also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, while Marula oil offers antioxidants. My hair loves these oil and my curls bounce back after wash day! I also love moisturizing mousses for styling my hair. They not only moisturize my hair but they hold the style very well. Also, I love putting castor oil and olive oil on my ends and on my edges as well.
My favorite part of my weekly routine is my Moisturizing Bentonite Clay mask! I use this on my hair and my face
(and my husband uses it too)!
Here is the recipe:
½ cup bentonite clay
½ cup Aloe Water (or regular water)
1 Tbs Honey
1Tbs Olive oil (or your favorite oil)
Mix everything together until smooth and let sit for ~5-10 min to fully come together and slightly thicken. Finger comb this mask through your hair, let sit for 25 minutes or so, and use the rest as a moisturizing face mask! See pictures for my before and after hair pics! This stuff works wonders.
Differences between Locs vs. Loose Natural Hair
1. The first thing is that I have to actually do my hair every morning. They warned me of this, but I drastically underestimated the amount of time necessary to get my hair looking right in the morning.
2. Wash day is much longer! Damn you tangles! My curly hair tangles like crazy. I have to put my hair into sections when I wash to minimize the amount of tangling. Even still, my wash day, as mentioned above takes me about 3 hours total. I usually do it at night and then style (which can take about an 1hr) and then let me style dry overnight or for a day or two under a wig.
3. The amount of products! With locs, I had a shampoo and gel and that was it! With loose natural hair, I need shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, curl custard, curling mousse, shea butter, edge control, etc. This can be costly and frustrating when trying to find the right products for your hair. I have mixed reactions about this because I looove playing in hair products even though it hurts my wallet.
4. My hair is lighter! My neck feels so much better because my hair is not weighing it down.
5. Wigs fit so much better because my hair is less bulky! I have been rocking my wigs lately. So much fun to change up your style weekly while also protecting your hair! Most of my wigs I made myself since most wigs on the market didn’t fit over my locs.
Although there are differences, the major thing that has stayed the same is how I feel. I still feel like myself and others around me still treat me the same. Taking out my locs, I thought, would change me and everything around me, but honestly, it hasn’t made a whole lot of difference, which I think is a good thing. I was so worried what others would think, when in actuality, they were all fine with it, if they even noticed the change at all.
Let me know if you have any questions!