Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One Month of Going Natural (on the cheap)

I am just at about one month in on my natural hair journey. Actually, I've been in transition since taking the Methotrexate to treat my sarcoidosis. For some reason, I didn't lose all my hair, but the texture changed and it did thin a bit. Going natural - getting away from the relaxing and dyeing chemicals - has really helped.

As for being overwhelmed by all the information withing the natural hair culture, I am finding a balance by keeping things very simple. I don't have a lot of money to spend on products and there are too many to try without going broke. You don't have to spend a fortune on products to take care of your natural hairstyle.

So. What to do? The same thing as with my other cosmetic issues: go natural to be natural.

First, I thought about what my hair type needs:

Moisture, moisture, moisture
Yep. Good old water. Free and on-hand. I've upped my daily intake from at least 70 to about 100 ounces per day. This is something my doctors will love me for even though staff at any place with a restroom are starting to recognize me by by my run-gait. I go into Starbucks and someone is handing me a pink or blue key before even thinking about taking my order.

In addition to hydrating my body from the inside, I am also watering my hair on a nightly basis. While steaming is way too much trouble without the right equipment, anyone can manage a spray bottle and plastic cap (like these). I think I paid just over a buck for the little sprayer and not much more for a bundle of plastic hair caps. (Heck, I might just mess around and get fancy and spring for a sturdy conditioner cap next month.) I take a 30-minute break in the evening, treat my naps to a good leave-in conditioner, adding a few drops of some SoftSheen glycerin, and do my routine spray-bag-and-sit in a warm bathroom. Just to kill more than one bird with that stone, I downloaded a really cool brick-blasting game on my phone. Reading a book or studying something useful might be a better way to go but, hey, at least I'm not still playing Angry Birds. As much.

$1 Spray bottle from Walmart
I remove the bag and, while my hair is still damp (or I guess you could say "porous"), rub in a little bit of oil and let my hair air dry - and it's amazing that there is no greasy feel. I'm using whatever oil I have on hand, by the way. Right now, it's either olive or sunflower oil (because those are what I cook with most), but I did get pick up some Jamaican black castor oil with my membership at Sally's Beauty Supply when they had a sale. (That JBCO is the bizness!) I tie on a satin scarf to cover the nape and sides of my head so that I can look cute while I protect my hair from my pillows. And, ladies, the look really can be cute in a 50's style kind of way. You don't have to be all "country" about it so that you scare the hell out of your man.

JBCO (About $6) This is great on my skin too.

 mix of black castor oil, sunflower & olive oil.
(Beauty tip: Use w/a baby wipe to remove
 make-up or cleanse & moisturize the skin.)

My niece gifted me the scarf a couple years ago. Thanks Gabs!

Left from an old relaxer kit I had. It's good stuff.
I added a touch of oil to it though.

I like this for the softness and shine

For the wake-up, I will cover my hair for the shower (or another light water-spritz) so that I can add some more leave-in or oil if needed. By the time I brush my teeth and hit my eyes with some liner, my hair is ready to be finger-styled. If I do need to use a tool to "lift" my curls, I use either this comb or a "pick."

Great for styling the natural
 Any plastic. undamaged afro "pick" will also do. I just try not to pull at the root of my hair. I like the comb you see because it's multi-use: it detangles, parts and lifts. I think I paid $1.50 at a local beauty supply.

Since I was too lazy to go get my glycerin spray from the bathroom pantry, this is what I'm talking about.

For now, I have not even gone out and gotten any special shampoos or wash-out conditioner. I've always used ones that are for boosting moisture and softness. Until I use up the different brands I have in the bathroom closet, I am just adding a few drops of oil to them. Next time I buy, I will worry about things whether or not they are sulfate-free or have good "slippage. For now, I'm glad I don't have to buy anything for a couple months. Maybe if I save on products, I'll be able to get this t-shirt

I like it kinky

There you have it. That's my cheap and easy way to keep these natural curls in shape and looking nice. If you have a good routine, you don't have to spend a ton of money. And by the way: