Our Curly Hair Family

For about the past 1.5 years everyone in my household has been rocking their natural curls. My journey started in the summer of 2009 when I started transitioning, I did the big chop in December. My son was born and he has not had the “coming of age” hair cut of African American boys at the age of 1 or 2. My husband is multi-racial and pretty much because nobody knew another way, he always got low haircuts, like black men he was surrounded by. Since September of 2015 he’s grown it out. He didn’t even know his hair curled before that. We’ve all had our own separate journeys in this process, but I have major pride for my curly haired family.

Me

My path as naturalista is pretty steadfast and permanent. I have no intentions of going back to the creamy crack. I have however, though of getting locks. Although, I would still be natural, I wouldn’t be able to show off my curly texture. I have seen people that have taken their locks out, I used to think the only way to not have locks anymore was to cut them off. At least now I know that if it did choose to lock my hair I wouldn’t have to cut all my growth and although it would be a laborious process, I would comb them out and have my curls back. Yay! I think I will make that transition, either when I am grey or if my husband and son cut their hair.

My Husband

My husband is happy with his curls. I think its a part of him realizing and accepting his heritage. His curls are soft, shiny, and thick. When he first started growing his hair we though it would be wavy, but as it grew longer to our surprise it started to curl into these thick rings. I LOVE his hair and hope he doesn’t cut it short again, but he gets frustrated when it is hot and hanging on his neck. I have also found that he is very particular about his hair, we just didn’t know before because it was always so low maintenance.  Now if it isn’t curling or falling the way he likes he thinks its a mess. I think it glorious however. I wish he would rock his man bun or pony, but he is convinced it isn’t long enough yet. I’ll get him when its time for Otakon though, he won’t be able to resist wearing a samurai top knot.

My Son

My son has been growing his hair since birth. Once he really started growing hair, he has shown a lot of growth. He always had curls, but I think at 1.5 years they really started to turn into the cute bouncy curls he has now. My students say he looks like Corbin Blue. I will keep growing his hair until he gets older. I’d say at least by 2nd or 3rd grade and if he wants it cut, I’ll get it cut. Although, even if its cut, I’d prefer if he kept an inch or 2 to still have curls. We did go through I brief moment of weakness, when we wanted to cut his hair on his 3rd birthday, coming up next month. He was getting so fussy each night when I had to wash and detangle it. I had to co-wash it every other night, otherwise it would look wild and unruly. I did figure out a system that would work. I started washing his hair on Sundays and doing box braids. He wears the braids for 2-3 days, then I take them out. He wears his defined curls a couple of days. Once they reached the end of their road I’ll put his hair in a bun or ponytail. One day I will learn to cornrow, but for now he gets that done when we’re visit my mom or if his aunt does it.

This spring we HAVE to take some family photos to show off these wonderful head of coils. I’m not sure what the future holds for us. I do know that at the very least my son and husband will grow their hair until its long enough to donate to Locks of Love. Until then I will enjoy us being a beauty bouncy curled family. Whatever everyone’s choices or preferences we’ll be a beautiful family not matter what.

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Twist and Shout

To all my naturalistas out there, What’s your regimen like? Mine fluctuates, depending on my level of commitment and dedication. In a perfect world, I would deep condition and detangle my hair every week, especially in the winter, when hair tends to need m11410539_935279409841593_718639953_n(1)ore moisture. But, of course this is not a perfect world. During the weekends, when I make these grand plans, I usually end up running after my son making sure he doesn’t wreck the apartment too much, looking at anime, and sleeping when I can. Before I know it, its Sunday evening and no real time to do anything fancy along with cleaning, meal prep, and getting clothes ready for the next day/week. So what do I turn to, my tried and true twist out rotation.

This regimen was formed by accident. I started twisting my hair about 8 months, to year after I did the “big chop”. Before I had enough hair I would do a twist out, but I wasn’t comfortable wearing twist as a style until I had enough length. Once I did, it was the perfect style, because you get a 2 for 1 special. I get 1-2 weeks with my hair twisted, then 1-2 weeks afterwards with a twist out. Once again, in a perfect word, this would only be a 2 week process. I week with twist in and another with twist out. But I tend to try to stretch that time out, usually I get 3 weeks out of it.  During the winter I tend to leave the twist in longer or not do the twist out option for protective styling. Only at my busiest or laziest times to a let it go for 2 weeks each. After a week the twist are fuzzy and don’t look that great. The fresh twist out look only really last a couple days, before my hair reverts.

My monthly regimen now is centered around this cycle. I will typically do a hot oil treatment with EVOO. Then I shampoo with a sulfate free product, I like Organix Coconut Milk ( listed on the “products I love” page under Natural Hair Care). I detangle with a silicone free conditioner (Aussie Moist), then I deep condition with my own concoction. My deep conditioner consists of whatever conditioner I’m currently using, mayonnaise, EVOO, and coconut milk. I let this set on my hair for at least 30 minutes up to sometimes the whole day! The longer, the better. Afterwards I rinse, and do my twist. Sometimes I do the twist a little thicker, if its a vacation or holiday when I’ll probably only be running a few errands, so they’re in strictly to dry and take out the next day. My hair NEVER dries over night because its so thick. I always need at least 24 hours. If I intend to keep the twist in for a week or two I do them as small as I can stand. When I do the twist I use either eco styler gel and coconut oil or eco styler gel and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. After I’m done with the twist I usually clip the scraggly ends off. This was how I slowly cut the color off my hair over a 1 years time. I’d twist my hair monthly and cut about 1/4 inch off each time. But that’s my 2 for 1 special.

When I do he twist I get mixed reviews. I have one friend, in particular, who absolutely loves them. She raves about them every time I do it. But this is not the thought process of all. I’ve been compared to Celie from “Color Purple”. My father in particular has some particular views about natural hair. He often taunts my mother and I, mostly out of fun, but also from some old school standards of beauty. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing twist in my hair. I would love to get to a point when I’d be comfortable doing the same cycle with bantu knots. But I am not at a place where I am comfortable wearing bantu knots as a style. Maybe that means I still have growing to do in my natural hair journey, or maybe its just my style preference. Some people are more conservative than others. Some keep their hair straight, in a bun, braids, or weave. I try not to judge anybody. This is my natural, this is a process I’ve formed that works for me, my lifestyle, and budget.  So for my natural sisters out there, tell me, “what YOUR natural look like?, What are your go to styles?