2

Happy Two Year Hairaversary!!!

I haven’t really said much about my hair since my first hairaversary.Well, my hair turned 2 on the 26th of October and I’m a very proud mother. I have come to fully understand the term ‘Hair Journey’ because a journey is exactly what it’s been. I’ve had my fair share of flat tires but not once have I ever considered turning back. I dedicate this post to my fellow naturalistas who are on journeys of their own. Learn from my mistakes 🙂

Flat Tires, Pot holes & Wrong Turns

  1.  Bleaching– a few months after my big chop, I bleached my ends. I don’t think I’l be doing that again anytime soon. It might have been because i had been inexperienced with caring for my natural hair or even better caring for my natural hair in the winter but I feel my bleached ends lead to …
  2. Mid shaft splits– I thought I was being very diligent at watching my ends for splits… it wasn’t until too late that I discovered mid shaft splits. I had a head of seemingly healthy hair that was in reality filled with mid shaft splits. I panicked and got…
  3. Trigger happy  I wanted to be absolutely positive that I got every last bit of the splits. Armed with my scissors I went to work. I went from chin length hair to… pretty much square one. Looking back, I was probably being excessive but I became more motivated than ever to regain the length I had lost to those dastardly splits. That was when I found…

Road SIgns 

These are the sites that have been particularly helpful to me on this journey

  1. http://www.naturalhairrules.com/
  2. http://blackgirllonghair.com/
  3. http://www.naturallycurly.com/
  4. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa0PgZLJfRuGrp7DL1urX9Q
  5. http://www.curlynikki.com/
  6. Random product reviews on YouTube

Journey Essentials

I experimented with shampoos and conditioners for a while. I tried the Design Essentials and the Cantu Shampoo and Conditioner Lines for a while but neither of them was all that and a bag of chips. One day I was watching product review on YouTube and stumbled upon the Hello Hydration Herbal Essence Line (Bigger bottles are much cheaper!) and I haven’t even thought of using anything else since! I highly recommend it.

Fuel

I use the LOC (Liquid-Oil-Cream) method of caring for my hair.Initially I was using the LCO method because I thought putting oil on before the cream made no sense. I ended up with mid shaft splits so I decided to try something new. I’ve been using LOC since January 2015 and my hair has been quite happy since then.

  1. For my Liquid I use good old water 🙂
  2. Oil– From January until the end of August I had been using Olive Oil and my hair loved the stuff! When I got back to school in September I realised I was out of Olive Oil but I had brought with me a two bottles of Jamaican Castor Oil and it’s been agreeing with my hair so far. I’m not too sure which oil I like better. Maybe Olive Oil since it’s not as thick or maybe it’s Castor Oil since i feel it seas in the moisture better. I’ve also heard raved reviews for coconut oil but I haven’t tested those waters just yet.
  3. Cream–  I used to live on Cantu for the majority of my time with natural hair. I tried SheaMoistures Curl Enhancing Smoothie this summer and switched loyalties. It makes my hair feel so soft and magical. The only downside I find with it is that it’s so expensive but you get a big bang for your buck and it’s totally worth it!

Friends

What is a road trip without great friends?

  1. Daily Moisturiser – I was introduced to the Lotta Body Coconut and Shea Style Milk this summer by a friend. Not only does this product smell like Coconut magic but it makes my hair feel so happy!
  2. Deep Conditioner- Every Strand is another product I started using this summer. My other got a sample at the hair store. I try to use it weekly because it contains olive oil which works wonders for my hair.

I’m happy to announce My hair is just a little bit longer than it was when I had to rid myself of those pesky mid shaft splits. I’ve also learnt the difference between cutting and dusting my hair. My next goal is to achieve Bra- strap Length 🙂

Advertisements
2

Well Hello There :)

I’m completely new to this whole blogging experience so I signed up for Blogging 101 and this is my first assignment.

I’m Alexia and I’m a 19 year old proud Jamaica. I’m an International Student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Pre-Audiology in New York. I started blogging because I wanted to be able to look back at the crazy moments I’ve experienced and still be able to remember what I did, why I did it and how it felt. I also wanted to be able to look back on these moments and see how much I’ve grown because of them.

For the life of me I have no clue why I’ve decided to make this blog a public thing. Probably it’s the comfort of knowing I’m not the only one in this world crazy enough to think about things and view life the way that I do.

In person I have a habit of blurting whatever comes to mind. This is a quality that I’d like to transfer to my blog. Words when spoken cannot be taken back so my goal for this blog is to take whatever I would say in one of my rants and put it in a more diplomatic way.

I’d like to share my thoughts, interests and personality with whoever might want to read my blog. As I have said in my About section I am in love with music. I would like to use my blog as a way to share great musical talent with others as well as to discover great music. I’d like to talk about concerts and other performances that I experience whether they are in Jamaica or in the US. I have also been a member of the Natural Hair Community for an entire year so I will also be sharing my discovers, strengths, weaknesses, achievements and set backs in my Natural Hair Journey (Ponytail length is the dream right now). I’d also love to share about my beautiful island of Jamaica (the good and the bad).

Thanks for reading,

-Kulture Shocked

3

Hair Story: A tale of two textures

10 months

10 months

 

Few weeks after my last relaxer

Few weeks after my last relaxer

My Big Chop

My Big Chop

10 months

10 months

This Sunday, October 26th, marks an entire year since I’ve been natural.I hope it’s not too long. My main goal however is to talk about my natural hair journey: why I did it how I did it. I might just make a series of commemorative posts to celebrate making it an entire year with my kaya.

Let’s start from the very beginning. I had natural hair until I was 10 years old. I relaxed my hair on April 1st 2006, I had relatively long hair and it was… special. I remember every other Saturday I would go to the hair dresser to have my hair washed, de-tangled, blow-dried and twisted and leave completely drained emotionally and physically. I absolutely detested having my hair blow-dried. Regardless of how de-tengled my hairdresser got my hair, it somehow managed to get entangled within the five minutes it took me to get from the wash station to the styling chair. I’m sure my hairdresser tried her best to be as gentle as she could, but in my eyes I was just waiting for the day that she’d be blow drying my hair and my neck would just snap. It was so knotty that my hairdresser had to take a break between blow drying and styling.My aunt would joke about how my hair reminded her of wool x_x. I don’t know how to explain it but it hurt so much I could feel it in my feet.

I remember wanting to cry but I couldn’t because all these grown women were there under the driers watching me get tortured.

“Janet just fling likkle cream in her hair!” they would say to my hairdresser and my mother would say ” If it was up to me I would but daddy says no.”

So for ten years I sat through the hauling and pulling anxiously awaiting the day I could be “freed”. To my ten year old brain, I didn’t relax my hair because I was ashamed of my kinks, I just saw relaxed hair as the only way I could escape the Saturday hair struggle. I also wanted to see how long my hair would be if it were straightened(smh). That and the fact that everyone in my class (and family come to think of it) had relaxed hair and they would make these cute hairstyles and I was confined to two strand twists.

So I relaxed my hair the day after I completed my GSAT exams (Jamaican high school placement exams). For a couple years it was good and I really can’t pinpoint an exact time that I knew I wanted a change but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with joining my schools drumming ensemble in 2010. I started liking the feeling of my new growth  and started hating how bald I looked for the first few weeks after I relaxed my hair. I started Googling things like “how to go natural” and “how to transition”. I made three attempts to go natural between 2010 and 2013. My attempt in 2013 lasted a good 4 months and I was doing a damn good job until my mother walked into my room and sighed. The conversation that followed went a little like this:

Mom: You know honey, your graduation is coming up.

Me: Yea?

Mom: But darling your hair, you have to be fabulous. How are you going to style all those roots?

Me: I could get canerows (cornrows), I really don’t care

Mom: Nooooooo! Where did I fail as a mother?

Me: Fine, but three weeks before so I don’t look bald

Granted that’s the sugar coated version but the fact of the matter is I caved… again… for the third time and I was fit to be tied. I mean that was the longest I had ever gotten in my transition attempts… and I failed. After my very last relaxer I looked in the mirror and I felt the anger boiling. I LOOKED BALD! AGAIN! That’s when I made up my mind to be more serious about my next attempt.

Nothing happens before its time I guess. I was nowhere near ready to answer the questions and bull you get for going natural as a high school student. My last relaxer was May 25th or something like that, braided my hair on August 15th to show my mom I was serious. On August 19th I boarded a plane and left my beautiful island home to embark on my college journey. I had braids for a little over a month then I got annoyed by it all so I pulled them out. I had a curly two textured bird’s nest atop my head.

All my life I went to the hairdresser to get my hair done and now I was left to tackle the devil’s spawn on my own. I purchased a hot comb and tried to tame the beast but I had no clue what was too hot and what was not hot enough and looking in the sink I could see my hair was breaking and the panic set in. For about a week I lived in beanies, just de-tangling the straightened ends and steering wide of the roots. Luckily my family visited for family weekend (October 17-19) and my mom came armed with combs and hair products. She sat with me de-tangled from the roots to the ends and made twists. I went an entire week without having to deal with my hair and I could breath again.

Friday October 25th I washed my hair in the twists and then combed through them and re-did them. I started to realize that maybe just maybe I could do this transition thing. I woke up the next morning wondering how my hair would look if i cut it, and how long it would be. For the entire day I wondered about my hair then curiosity got the best of me and I cut one of the twists. I played in the soft curls and decided I looked odd with just a patch of natural hair so I texted my friend and told him I was going to cut my hair.

I snipped and snipped and snipped feeling giddier with each lock that fell. It was much more fun than I thought it would be (Sidenote: anyone out there deciding to do the big chop, do it yourself and then maybe go to the hairdresser to have it shaped or whatever- I’m yet to have mine shaped. Give yourself the full experience, maybe I’m just weird but I really enjoyed cutting my hair). When I was all done I looked at myself in the mirror and laughed like a maniac, my roommate was gone for the day or maybe she would’ve done some serious judging. I ran my hand through my short do and squealed. I LOVED IT!

I sent pictures to half of my friends and skyped the other half. I got mixed reactions I guess but anger and disbelief were the most common. I sent a picture to my parents in the night because I was afraid of how they would react. Mommy said ” It’s your hair I don’t care.” (Secretly I think she was sad but she got over it quickly when she saw how cute I looked when I got home :)) Daddy was convinced I was playing a joke on them for Halloween (poor pops). My grandmother started calling me her grandson because I would call her grandpa whenever she cut her hair. My aunt and cousin were not so easily soothed, and to this day I don’t think they’ve gotten over it.

The thing is everytime someone asks me why I cut my hair I come up with some brilliant reason like “it’s easier to manage like this at school” or “I wanted locs but mommy said no so this is the next best thing” or “I’ve had relaxed hair for 7 years now I’m ready for a change”. Honestly speaking though I really don’t think I had a specific reason. I discovered I didn’t have to be confined to just twists but rather that there were a plethora of styles that could be done with natural hair. Anything would beat the ponytail I rocked everyday with my relaxed hair. I didn’t like looking bald for weeks after having my hair relaxed. I guess its also a part of accomplishing African pride. Who knows really but the fact of the matter is the only thing I miss about my relaxed hair is the feel of my ponytail brushing against my neck while drumming but given time I’ll regain my length.