Friday, January 20, 2012

Healthy Hair Journey: Austro-Afrikana

1. Have you always been natural? No. My hair was relaxed when I was probably about 6. My mum had 3 girls' hair to look after plus her own and she said mine was the driest and the most difficult. I was always so jealous of my sisters' hair.

2. How many years have you been natural? I transitioned for 3 years and it has been 7 months since I trimmed off the last bits so I have 43 months of natural hair growth.

I transitioned for 3 years and was left with this:

3. Why did you decide to go natural? I initially wanted to stretch for 6 months however, after the stretch I had gained and retained 3 inches and my hair was the longest it had ever been (SL). I was scared that relaxing my hair would cause me to lose my progress plus my hair straightened pretty easily so I decided to just not bother relaxing.

4. When and how did you transition into natural hair? I started at the end of May 2008 and used the crown and glory braid regimen - keeping my hair in braids for 6 weeks at a time and then out for 6 weeks, in which time I was always in a bun.

5. What is your regimen? I pre-poo, wash and DC with steam every 1 to 2 weeks. I moisturize, seal and air dry in 8 twists and the next day I style in a bun. I wear braid outs and twist outs in summer only and straighten twice a year.

6. What products are currently your staples?

Sitrinillah deep conditioner
shikaki swirl shampoo bar
cocasta shikakai oil
almond glaze

Komaza care
Protein strengthener
califa leave in

Aubrey organics
honeysuckle rose conditioner
jojoba and aloe conditioner
GPB conditioner

Moisture spritz
3 parts Aloe vera juice
2 parts Vegetable Glycerine

IC Fantasia
Gel for colour-treated hair

7. What advice can you give to those think of going natural? Don't do it because everyone else is doing it and don't not do it because you are scared what people will say. If you are not prepared for months or even years of trial and error then you are not ready. If your reason for not going natural is that you don't want short hair then do a long term transition - no one is forcing you to BC!

8. What's the best thing about being natural compared to being relaxed? I can do more styles, my hair is softer, my hair looks better than relaxed when I straighten and most importantly it makes me stand out from the a good way!

9. Would you ever consider going back to relaxers? Never! I don't think you could pay me to relax my hair.

10. If you had 1 product to recommend, what would it be?
Hairveda sitrinillah DC. It's so moisturising it is unreal. If I could recommend an appliance/tool it would be a steamer.

11. What's one trick you found that works with your hair? My moisture spray is better than any leave in so any product I like tends to have aloe vera and glycerine as ingredients.

12. In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you? I actually love my hair. I used to do more styles when I was relaxed, normally using fake pieces, because I was trying so hard to make my hair look good - everyone complimented me on my hair but I always thought "you wouldn't be saying that if you saw what my hair looks like down". I feel more confident and beautiful with natural hair.

13. What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from? Not to blow dry every week as this means that I use silicones every week so need sulfates to get them out and they also block out moisture so it results in dry hair.

14. What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair? Can I have 3? Keeping it stretched while drying, steaming and giving it a break from manipulation with braids.

15. How did you figure out proper protein/moisture balance? Trial and error. I knew my hair was fine but was always focusing on trying to get my hair soft when I should have really focused more on strengthening. This is why I incorporate protein every week in some form.

16. Anything else you want to add? Not all mixed race girls have long hair effortlessly and not all mixed race girls have type 3 hair!

17. What is your nightly routine? If I am in a bun I do not undo this at night - I just tie my silk scarf on. If I am wearing a twist out or braid out I re-twist re-braid at night. I tend to moisturise and seal at night on braid/twist outs to prevent frizzy oily hair.

Just for Fun!
1. Do random people attempt to lay hands in your mane (aka have you been weave checked)? No. Maybe because I rarely wear my hair out, rarely straighten and never go out lol. I would hate if anyone touched my hair, mainly because I would be embarrassed that they would then have oily hands lol.

2. What is your hair pet peeve? On me, I hate fuzziness when I bun, that's why I use gel. On others, I hate full weaves; the ones that are jet black, plastic looking and where there is too much hair on the top.

4. What is the hair product, tool, or accessory that you absolutely can not live with out? My steamer. I don't think I've steamed without it since my SO got it for me. If it died...I would have to wait to DC until I got another one!