My Natural Hair Journey

Hi guys! Feels like I haven’t been here in soo long! I’ve had finals recently & if you’re in school you know how finals can be sometimes but I’m back! Today as you’re reading this I’m probably in the process of having my hair done but I felt like this post should be about my natural hair. After taking down my last protective style just over a week ago I’ve been rocking my natural curls. Of course, with rocking my natural hair comes a lot of questions & understandable curiosity from everyone especially those who had no idea my hair was completely natural.

Since this blog covers my protective styles I figured I might as well talk about my natural hair as well. So, that being said, I’m going to answer some of the most popular questions I get asked as well as talk to you guys about how I went from relaxed hair to natural hair pretty discretely.

Initially I was definitely not here for the natural hair movement because I felt like everyone was just chopping off their hair to be part of it only to end up constantly flat ironing their natural hair constantly, thus damaging it again, or going back to chemicals & calling it “texturizing” instead. 🙄

That being said, keep reading to find out why I made the decision some years later to go back to my natural hair!

(In the pictures below of me in the floral top my hair contains no product at all.)

 

Why did i go back natural?

Well, I’ve had my hair relaxed since I was about 13 or 14 but gradually over the years my hair slowly kept getting thinner & thinner. I have never really had a thick head of hair, it has always been on the thinner side so when it started breaking like crazy around age 18 I decided to cut it to about shoulder length.

(Quick note, I’ve realized now with my natural hair that my hair isn’t thin but I do have fine hair strands, yup, there’s a difference!)

Fast forward a few years to when I was around 21 & living in Trinidad my hair was flourishing! It was growing long & relatively thick, I’m not really sure why since I really wasn’t doing anything special. My Grandma’s guess is that it had to do with the fact that I may have been eating a lot more over there. She was right, all I did was eat when I was there! So maybe there’s some logic to her theory but I wasn’t eating particularly healthy at all, I was just eating. Shout out to roti & doubles! 

I eat a much healthier diet when I’m home in Jamaica but when I moved back my hair went right back to having the same old problems & sure enough became super thin again. I have no idea what the difference was, maybe it was the water? I’ll never know really.

Anyway, fast forwarding again to my 23rd birthday. I decided that day I had had enough of my relaxed hair & wearing clip ins to give my hair body so I made the decision to stop relaxing once and for all. So, that was September 4, 2014.

(I’ve attached some pics below of my hair relaxed.. I cringed at how thin & lifeless it was. My glow-up was also very real y’all!)

 

Transitioning

After deciding to go back to my natural hair I didn’t I continued to flat iron every now & then when I wanted to wear my hair down over about a 6 month period. In that 6 months I flat ironed about 4 or 5 times & otherwise wore my hair in buns. In April 2015 I did my first protective style, Crochet Curls.

I did variations of crochet curls until December 2015 around this very same time of year. I was studying or finals one night I legit lost my marbles & decided to just cut off all the relaxed ends out of pure frustration. I was due for a new style in a few days & I was just like why am I holding on to these thin ends? I’m not wearing my hair straight so why am I holding on to them? I had no good answer so I grabbed some scissors & just cut it off. I butchered it really, lol. So basically my transition to natural hair lasted a good 15 months.

This means that this month is my 1 year natural anniversary! Yippee! 🎉

 

Why not just wear your natural hair?

Honestly? You want the truth? I am LAZY when it comes to my hair. I get too frustrated with it especially because it’s in a really awkward stage, lengthwise. Protective styles have gotten me this far so I have faith they will get me to a length I find more manageable, lol. Not that I don’t wear my natural hair at all, because I do, but I cant handle going too long between protective styles. It takes soo much time to style it & find the right combination of  products to achieve various looks. I honestly cant be bothered, plus, I genuinely enjoy switching up my hairstyles every couple months.

That being said, I’m not doing these styles to hide my hair, I just enjoy expressing myself through my hair. Now that I really think about it, these styles help me avoid heat. I haven’t straightened my hair in almost 2 years but if I had my hair down more I would be very, very tempted to have it straightened. Also, if you haven’t noticed, my favorite protective hairstyles are the super easy low maintenance ones that last a long time, i.e. faux locs & braids, so yea.. I just don’t like too much work as far as hair is concerned.

You can check out my posts on those below,

This is however just how I feel about MY natural hair journey. Everyone has their preferences & this happens to be mine. I know some people rock their hair all the time at the length i’m at right now & even shorter but I just prefer not to deal with it. I do try to keep some time between styles these days. That way I can play with my hair & learn it a little at a time, this is progress for me. Eventually I’ll be all good and rocking the curls all the time but its just not that time yet 😉. I’m actually also thinking about getting it professionally cut into a proper shape the next time I go to the US so maybe I’ll be more into it then.

 

Hair typing?

I honestly don’t read into all the hair typing things I’ve seen around. I do read all the information about what each type needs but for those with hair like mine its rather difficult to choose one type or to even know where each type is in your head. For example, I know for sure at the very back of my head I have my loosest curls however beyond that it’s a total mix. There aren’t any other specific areas where I can single out to be one particular type. At the back I would say I have 3b hair and everywhere else is a mix of 3b-4a (based on the chart below). Again, it’s not something I focus on but I do get asked about it a bit so for the sake of this post I went searching through my head.

 

Hair care

Line Of Demarcation. Image Found In Google Search.

While transitioning I used products that provided my hair with extra moisture to prevent breakage. The line of demarcation, when transitioning is the point where your relaxed hair & natural hair meet & it is very delicate. If you’re transitioning you need to pay special attention to that area by keeping it moisturised to avoid breakage. I found the Shea Moisture “Raw Shea Butter” Line to be very moisturizing as I transitioned. The products I used from the line are listed below.

While my hair is in protective styles the key is to keep the scalp nourished while also keeping your hair hydrated to prevent breakage & promote growth while in braids. For this I simply massage coconut oil into my scalp/braids weekly or as often as I feel is necessary depending on how dry my scalp feels at any given time. The cleaners I tend to use are linked below.

I’m not going to go into what I use while my hair is down because its a learning process for me right now & I’m still trying new things to see what works & what doesn’t work for me but I’ll definitely update you guys once I figure it out! Hair care/styling posts coming soon! 😉

(Side note, since there was no product in my hair, you can see below how it grew as I was taking these pictures.. hello fro!)

 

If you have any product recommendations especially to combat all this shrinkage I have going on, please let me know! Also if you have further questions please drop me a line in the comments below 🙂.

I’m still very new to this hair natural hair thing so i’m open to feedback & help!

Until next time my loves,

xo Justine-Renee

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@justinerenee.jarrett

11 thoughts on “My Natural Hair Journey

  1. Rhondine says:

    I totally understand the transitioning struggle. It’s the worst. I felt so much better when I chopped off my hair. Yours is gorgeous. Keep it up + there is nothing wrong with wearing your protective styles. Shea moisture was also a go too for me when I was transitioning. For deep conditioning I recommend As I am Coconut co wash….LOVE IT. Very moisturizing, also the Miss Jessie’s leave in condish.

  2. Ofure says:

    Your natural hair is BEAUTIFUL! There is nothing wrong with protective styles either. I go through moments of laziness when I just don’t feel like dealing with my hair as well. It gives me peace of mind knowing that my hair is safe while I take a break lol!

  3. geekybeaut says:

    I’ve been poking around your blog and I really like it! I love seeing more women of color gong natural and you look great. You’re stunning by the way and your personality comes out in your posts! I’ll definitely be following. I’m natural as well, and I’ll never go back to the dark side as I call it. Lol lol.

  4. Justine-Renee says:

    Thank you so much, I’m loving my natural hair too. Had a silk press done a week & a half ago & hated the flatness of my hair so much I literally washed it out less than a week later lol. Thanks so much for the love!

    xo Justine-Renee

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