Every once in a while, having a Facebook account actually comes in handy. Not only do you get a reminder when it’s one of your online friends’ birthday. But you also get reminded of a sometimes life changing moment. The other day I saw an old picture in my feed of me with a very big up do. It was an elevator selfie that I took a year ago, just before I went to get my big chop. Wow! So it’s actually been a year already? And here I was totally thinking that it wasn’t until next month, thanks Facebook! I can officially say: I’ve been natural for one entire year! And what a journey it has been.. The journey actually started right after the BC. Getting to know my hair, and even now it’s still changing while it’s getting longer. I’m still getting used to having three different hair structures. And even though I kinda liked the super short hair, maintaining it was a fulltime job. So I’m glad that it’s getting longer and easier to handle. The past year has been all about finding new routines, habits, products and ways to take care of my hair. Want to know more about it? Read on!
My number one, abso-freaking- lutely, super duper, all time favorite, lifesaving product is… pure and unrefined Shea butter! The first challenge that I faced post BC was having super dry hair. I had been trying everything until I asked one of my besties, colleague and natural hair guru Nicole for advise. ‘Try Shea butter’ she said. Got the biggest jar out there right away but wasn’t immediately blown away by it. ‘Why don’t you make this Shea butter mix’, Nicole texted me and also attached a link to a Youtube video. Thanks to that video I now know how to make the perfect Shea butter mix with essential oils like jojoba, almond, coconut, avocado, vitamine E and Argan oil. Mix it all together until it becomes a fluffy substance. I keep one jar at home and one in my suitcase because this mix really has done miracles for my hair. Dry hair, no more. Thanks Niek!
That’s clay clay.
Even though I love my Shea butter it does have a side effect. It seals all the moisture in your hair (which is a good thing) but also leaves some residue so that shampoo’s and conditioners don’t really work. Even if you use a more aggressive shampoo, a layer will still be left on your hair. Enters bentonite clay! It’s actually used as a facial mask (this stuff is ah-ma-zing) to take away all impurities, tighten your pores and give you an instant facelift. But it can also be used as a hair mask. It strips your hair, makes your hair shine and defines your curls. Take a couple of spoons of bentonite clay with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar (that other miracle worker for hair, skin and inside). Mix it together in a glass bowl with a plastic spoon (absolutely no steel) and apply the mixture to your (skin and or) hair. Let it stay there for about 30 minutes, rinse thoroughly and style as usual. Good hair/skin day= guaranteed!
It’s so easy to drink tons of water in the summer. But the rest of the year and on board I have a hard time staying hydrated. And as we all know water is so good for your skin, nails and hair. Natural hair usually is very dry so it’s mega important to drink plenty of water. To trick myself into drinking more I make sure I have a bottle of water everywhere. On my nightstand, in the car and next to my laptop. There is no cheaper and better beauty product!
My natural hair journey so far:
(from left to right)
Pic no 1. This was just after the BC. I was so unhappy when I took this selfie and send it to my besties. To make matters worse, I had a very heavy allergic reaction to something (still don’t know what) and my face broke out in a rash. On the flight back to Amsterdam that evening I even took my frustration out on a colleague.
2. After having doing some haircare research I was beginning to feel my hair more and I even started to make eye contact with people again. This was two weeks after the BC.
3. I was totally feeling myself after discovering flexirods, haha!
4. Oh yeah, there have been a couple of bad hair days the past year. Like this one, in a very humid Hong Kong. Oh well, just own it and move on.
5. Luckily I had more good hair days than bad.
6. Goodbye flexirods..after about six months my hair got too long to use them. It took a decade before my hair dried, so it was time to try something new. And so the braid out started happening. On wash day I braid my hair and let it air dry overnight. Wash day and braiding takes about a day out of my life..but my hair is dry the next day.
7. Time goes by so fast! I had my last relaxer on Januari 8 2014 and the BC on October 30th 2014. Looking forward to growing my hair out, I’m so wondering how long it can get. Bring on the next natural year!