Top Row: Big Chop; 1 Year Natural; 2 Years Natural
Bottom Row: 2 Years natural post second chop, Three years natural growing out the chopped hair.
Well how about that?
In three years, I’ve hacked off my hair, grew it naturally into a nice, curly fro, only to hack a good portion of it off last year and now we’re growing it back again. Technically, my anniversary was in February, so I’m late posting this, but you get it. I wouldn’t say it’s been a “journey,” because I wasn’t on a mission of self-discovery, but I will say this whole natural-hair thing has been fun so far. Of course, I’ve learned a lot, and there are some things I kind of expected to happen. And so, for those of you who are new to natural hair, here are a few things I’ve learned in the 3 years I’ve been at it (you can also read my tips at the one-year mark here and the two-year mark here).
1.) The longer it gets, the lazier you’ll feel. I used to balk at natural-hair ladies who would go for two weeks or more without a shampoo. Granted, I still can’t go that long, but I totally get it. As your hair grows, it takes longer to care for it, and when you’re a busy gal, sometimes you just don’t feel like it. I’ve had many a day where I’d ask myself if I could go just one more day before shampooing it because I’m lazy. Not so much now because I’ve since cut my hair, but I remember.
2.) Email, Facebook, natural hair blog. It becomes a part of your natural-hair routine - checking out your favorite blog is right up there with brushing your teeth as far as morning routines go. At least when you’re new to it. Now I just check out the blogs for the latest reviews, especially when I’m looking to try a new product or technique (like hair coloring) and want to get tips/opinions on it.
3.) Welcome to Salon de YouTube. I knew I’d be on that site more often than not once my hair got longer and I wanted to try new styles. Just about everyone has a YouTube channel, and you can find a video for almost everything you want to try, and for just about every texture. And while we’re at it…
4.) Keep your YouTube tutorial results expectations low. Not often does your hair turn out exactly like the vlogger’s. Sometimes it’s even better! However, sometimes it’s a bust (50/50 for me). It’s a matter of utilizing and substituting.Just because they used gel doesn’t mean you have to. Take an inventory of what products you already own and what they do for your hair, and you can pretty much discern what to use and what to exclude.
5.) Protective styles aren’t so bad. I used to be against them because I was obsessed with watching my hair grow and playing with different products. Now, I’m okay with giving my hair a rest, especially after the unusual, extreme cold of this past winter. I’ve since gone to see my stylist Zarah Charm a total of four times, the most recent being last week. This time I got spring twists for the spring season!
6.) Your Holy Grail will happen. With the exception of one brand, I’ve tried all the products I’ve wanted to try, and I’m pretty much content with my Holy Grail list (which has changed since the last time I did a round-up - read about it here). Update coming soon.
1 character, 19 drawing styles challenge! This took a long time, but I’m pretty happy with it - I recommend looking at all these artists’ original work if you like any of them.
Love this! And I’m really flattered to see my style represented so nicely!
i absolutely LOOOVE THIS
Hope your Easter was awesome! Or your 4/20. LOL!
This past Sunday was also my neo’s birthday! We had brunch at The Pig in Logan Circle (check them out here), where I had their Hickory BBQ sandwich with a side of mac-n-cheese, and a specialty Ginger liquor to drink - with fresh ginger floating about. For dessert, we split a sticky toffee pudding dessert, which was amazing. We made it a note to check them out for dinner - those dishes sounded tasty.
Went to brunch at The Heights with my friends yesterday before checking out the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was just after 2pm and I was already exhausted because I’d gone to spin class earlier that morning. But luckily my hair, a 2-day twist-out, survived. All I’m wearing is my Oyin Handmade Hair Dew, and my Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm as a sealant. I kept it in twists while spinning, which I think saved my hair from frizz.
So I am SUPER LATE with this review, but I was holding out because the site is currently down while the company owner recovers from an illness, and I was hoping the site would be up soon. However, almost four months later Qhem is still recovering and business has slowly resumed (you can purchase these items at a brick-and-mortar locations that are listed on the site as a temporary resource, more information here). No point in delaying this any further. The good news is that I’ve had enough time to really use these items to give an accurate review.
This was one of two brands that have been on my two-try list for about a year, and finally got my hands on it during their Cyber Monday sale, but hadn’t gotten around to doing a review until now. I first learned about this brand from CharyJay, who swears by it, and after watching a few of her tutorials and reading other reviews, I was intrigued. But even still, it wasn’t until this updated review that I was really interested (mostly because I was able to see the consistency of the products). The sale itself was pretty crazy - products were sold out in a matter of minutes (read about it here).
- Available for purchase on their website here (at the time of this review, the site is currently down for replenishing), or you can order/visit one of the stores listed. As of today, the DC location does not have any in stock. I checked. :-(
- Products consist of unique herbal blends and the incorporation of MSM. The products are also free of mineral oil, lanolin, silicones, phthalates, formaldehyde donor preservatives and SLS surfactants. All of the ingredients are carefully selected based on their historic and therapeutic value (source: Clutch Magazine - read here)
Here’s what I got:
Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee
- What it claims: Restores manageability, softness and elasticity to normal to very dry hair. Smooths cuticles, improves combing ability and reduces breakage.
- $16 for 8oz; $32 for 16oz (I got the 16oz because it was the only one available during the sale)
- Thick, whipped consistency; looks like whipped butter fresh out of your KitchenAid, doesn’t it?
- Dark chocolate scent
Burdock Root Butter Cream (left)
- What it claims: It is a light, water based leave-in for fine haired naturals, straight styles and those looking for a light penetrating moisturizer. It conditions and softens while nourishing the scalp. Leaves hair healthy, soft and supple!
- $16 for 8oz; purchased the sample for $5
- Pretty much unscented.
Amla & Olive Heavy Cream (right)
- What it claims: This thick, rich formula leaves extra dry, coarse hair soft and supple for days!
- $16 for 8oz; purchased the sample for $5
- Faint citrus scent
Aethiopika Hydrate and Twist Butter
- From the website:
- $14, 5oz; purchased the sample for $5
- Mango scent
- Pomade-like with a smooth consistency
I only got the other three products in sample sizes because I wasn’t as sure about them as I was about the Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee. So, round one. On freshly washed, damp hair I applied the CTDG and…WOW. I’d seen how easily it detangled CharyJay’s hair, but to actually feel it for yourself…I was immensely impressed. After the CTDG I did a twist-out with the Burdock Root Butter Cream on the left side of my hair, the Amla & Olive Heavy Cream on the right, and the Aethiopika butter in the center back.
The Amla & Olive Heavy Cream didn’t do much for me. I like for my twist-outs to have great hold and definition, but also softness. This cream was missing the hold for me. Same thing for the Burdock Root Butter Cream - it was too light for me. The Aethiopika butter, however, was much better. Softness, definition and hold. Would likely prefer in the warmer months because of the scent, and it was light enough where it wouldn’t weigh my hair down.
Since my Cyber Monday purchase I’ve used the CTDG several times and am IN. LOVE. I love that it works wonders as both a leave-in after a wash as well as a refresher - it detangles my dry hair instantly. However, with Qhem still under the weather and me not yet near a location where I can pick up more, I’ve been using it sparingly. Once the site is back up, I’ll likely purchase another jar as backup and continue using it again.
Repurchase? Definitely the CTDG and maybe the Aethiopika butter - if I can get to a store before the site reopens.