G, Natural Hair Care is Cheap!
Kinky Hair Care Can Be Fun Too When You Learn What Works
The Latest in Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair
My Natural Hair Journey
Press and curl days.
Trying to build an edible landscape business in the winter is a lot tougher than I thought. But while I'm busy trying to green up the earth with Urban Veggucation, I couldn't help but notice how much traffic my small natural hair page is getting.
My hair has been 'Oprah thick' for as long as I can remember and back when this picture was taken either my mom or a hair dresser would tame it with a hot comb. I can still remember being teased in middle school when I tried to style my newly relaxed hair because it was usually all over the place. As a young adult earning my own money, I paid for poor customer service to achieve great looking hair. Thankfully, a friend I met at Upward Bound showed me how to manage my hair in high school and I could achieve similar results as the beauty salons. At $60 a pop, relaxing my mane wasn't cheap, so I would style it on my own for 2 months and go back to the hairdresser when I had at least 3 inches of new growth. They were probably drawing straws not to do my hair.
Fast forward 10-15 years and I'm a single mom with two little ones of my own. I couldn't endure the poor customer service any longer so I gave up traditional salons altogether. I started going to places like Hair Cuttery for the no appointment and lower prices and when they started charging more, I switched to the salons in Wal-mart. In the beginning it was great, being one of the few women of color brave enough to give it a try I was in and out in two to three hours. By this time, I was pretty busy working at the Food Bank as their Nutrition Coordinator and starting to get a feel for urban gardening. Spending so much time either cooking, on the road teaching or gardening in the summer meant my hair was either trapped under a cap or unruly from me sweating in the summer sun. I so wanted to get rid of my relaxed locks and go natural. But I'd also met and married a Southern gentleman when my hair was long and wanted to get his okay before taking the big leap (not mandatory but a nice gesture).
My desire to get rid of relaxed hair is a matter of dollars and cents and opportunity costs. My priorities are not what you find in your typical 40 year old female. I'm steadily trying to work my family out of the rat race so we can focus on each other and our community instead of material stuff - hence this money saving website.
My daughter and I both wear our hair natural but while I was enjoying the freedom of running through the rain with my TWA, my daughter took the time to keep her hair in protective styles and made sure to tie it down every night. So while I was twirling around in the natural hair la-la land, her hair started growing and was super soft and manageable. We watched natural hair youtube videos together and started buying some of the products recommended by different people online. When we didn't get the same results, I stopped buying expensive products and stuck with what I could buy with coupons at the grocery store or at local health food stores or hair supplies.
The other issue I have with all the natural hair get-length-quick videos online is that I have yet to see anyone with thick, coarse, super coiled 4b, 4c, or 4z natural hair like mine with hair flowing down their back. I don't personally care about length as much as I care about maintaining volume, both of which give you more opportunities to play with your hair. My advice for any person blessed with kinky natural hair is rely on inexpensive products as much as possible or borrow some from a friend before you buy costly hair care products for yourself. Take a look at the different products and techniques I have listed on this page and play around until you find what works for you.
We almost only use Herbal Essence products because I can match manufacturer's coupons sales and get them for cheap at Harris Teeter. I try to wait for Super Double weeks when the monthly Proctor and Gamble coupons are worth $2 for two bottles and snap up bottles of shampoo and/or conditioner for about $1.50 each, even cheaper when I can pair it with an E-Vic online coupon. I may try the Garnier Nutrisse products too because there are printable coupons available and its usually on sale at CVS. Also, I haven't applied heat to my hair since I cut it off in 2010 and don't plan on doing so ever again. I used to pay extra at the salon for roller set spiral curls and would sit under the dryer for a month until my ears were nice and crispy to get the same ringlets with no heat for about $5 bucks worth of product.
G's Personal Regimen for Stretching Kinky Hair
Turns out that natural hair care is a lot like plant care, when in doubt mulch (cover it up at night) and water. Goodnight and best tresses to you all!
Same Twist Out - Two Different Results
Can a natural 4b or 4 something woman keep some volume around here? Please don't burst my bubble if you already know this, I've been so busy with gardens all over the place that I just got into the habit of doing two strand twists on a fairly regular basis. Anywho, whenever I'd take them down before, I'd get the super spirals spiky look without a lot of volume. G, likes volume. When I try to achieve the type of volume you see below without the twist out, my medium length fro dwindles to pitiful city in minutes.
Last Sunday, I tried something a little different. While in the shower, I let my two-strand twists get pretty wet (not dripping) and covered them with a tshirt for 30 minutes or so. Then I applied a little leave in conditioner while they were still twisted and untwisted them with coconut oiled fingers. Can you say diva time? Volume stayed put all day long.
By doing it that way, I had afro-licious volume near the roots and all these cute defined spirals on the ends. The fullness was instantaneous as I took the twists down and I didn't have to do anything once I finished but pull myself away from the mirror so we wouldn't be late for church. The second pic is pretty similar to the results I got last Sunday but it isn't as defined because I just ran my wet fingers through the twist out instead of wetting them while they were still twisted but I still like the definition and long-lasting volume. This is the official wet and go look for this 4b (or 4c or both) sista.
Homemade Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has many healthy benefits. Unfortunately the bottles you end up buying may be a little pricey. Desaundrea posted a two part Youtube video on making your own aloe vera gel.
Desaundrea's Aloe Vera How-to Videos
A Newbie's Natural Hair Care DIY
How to Retain Moisture in Natural Hair