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

Crochet Faux Locs | FreeTress 2x Soft Wavy Locs

Hi everyone! As promised this is going to be my review on my most recent crochet faux locs using FreeTress 2x Soft Wavy Loc 20″. I used 7 packs that I got from SamsBeauty.com & they cost $8 a pack. I used 2 packs of BLBK & 5 packs of #1.

As always they were installed by Tess.

FreeTress 2x Soft Wavy Faux Locs

 

freetress-faux-locs-9If you saw my review of the Bobbi Boss Bomba Dreadlocks Soul which I absolutely LOVED, then you know I thought they were super light. When I got my hands on these all I could think was, “well excuse me FreeTress with your feather weight hair!😯”

These locs are literally light as a feather, I almost couldn’t believe it. I don’t now how FreeTress did it because other brands I’ve seen around (that are as realistic as I find the Bobbi Boss) have not compared in weight. These definitely take the cake as far as weight is concerned.

 

 

freetress-faux-locs-7I fell in love with these locs instantly! I think the length is great & the fact that they are slightly wavy is pure perfection! They are very realistic looking but in a more unique way than the Bobbi Boss in my opinion. They are slightly more feminine to me because of the slightly wavy appearance.

The person who likes the Bobbi Boss may not like these & vice versa based on preferences & the look they are trying to achieve.  These locs are thin & wavy while the Bobbi Boss locs are straight & thick. In my opinion the Bobbi Boss locs give a more authentic dreadlocks look while the FreeTress is a lot more feminine & dainty in appearance.

Of course you may use perm rods & hot water to curl the Bobbi Boss locs & achieve some waves but I don’t think it gives the same effortless look that these locs have straight out the pack. Considering that these waves aren’t defined in anyway.

The lightness of these crochet faux locs made throwing them into a ponytail for my workouts very easy. Washing my hair was also not a problem because they dried very quickly.

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My only complaint about these locs is how much the blue ones tangled! I installed these locs on September 2nd & took them out on October 7th. I usually would keep them in a while longer but they were getting so tangled & undone that I honestly couldn’t. The black locs were fine & had I done only black locs I would probably have kept them in longer but the blue ones were a mess!

Not only did they get tangled but they were pretty much unravelling so just as I did with with the Bobbi Boss when it had a few tangles/knots I snipped them with a pair of scissors. Snipping in this case really did not help, it seemed to only make some of the hair strands fall out leading to more unraveling. This only happened with the blue locs though, not sure if this would be the case for the other bright colours but I definitely just recommend getting straight black or the more muted shades that don’t require as much processing as the bright colours for example the blues, purples etc.

 

blue (BLBK) Freetress 2x soft wavy crochet faux locs after 1 month;

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Can These Locs Be Curled?

Recently I was asked if these crochet faux locs curl when you dip them in hot water like most others do so I decided to give it a try. Even though I no longer have them in I wrapped a couple of the locs around a perm rod & dipped them in boiling water for 15 seconds (as I saw online).  Initially nothing really happened, I actually think it made them straight. Eventually after a few attempts they got a little more wavy than before but nothing very drastic. They definitely don’t hold a tight curl the way I see other locs do online.

Comparison With Bobbi Boss Bomba Dreadlocks Soul
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If I had to choose one style of crochet faux locs to do for the rest of my life I would probably choose the FreeTress 2x Soft Wavy Faux Locs just because I really do like the length & wavy appearance. The wavy look really takes it above the Bobbi Boss for me but again, its personal preference. Some of you may prefer the authentic appearance of the Bobbi Boss Bomba Dreadlocks. Which of the two do you like better? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time dolls,

xo Justine-Renee

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@justinerenee.jarrett

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Jumbo Box Braids

Hey guys, for today’s post I’m going to be giving you some quick information on having Jumbo Box Braids.  I have had normal sized box braids done before, but to me they were a little bit on the heavy side so I didn’t keep them in for very long.

Upon discovering jumbo box braids, I noticed of course it has far less braids involved than a regular head of box braids so I decided to give them a try. Although the braids were much bigger, there were less of them therefore it was a lot lighter on my head.

As always my hair was done by Tess & took approximately 3-4 hours . We did diamond parts for my braids & I absolutely loved them! So much so that I did these jumbo box braids twice this year. I kept them in the first time for about a month & the second time for just about 3 weeks. I only took them out early because I absolutely had to have faux locs done for my birthday 😊. (Review on those new faux locs is coming right up!)

These first pictures below are of my braids immediately after they were done;

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The looked amazing, right?! Totally loved them 😍.

The best part of having these braids to me was the fact that it was super easy to wash my hair if I needed to since getting to my scalp was no problem. These were not at all tight or uncomfortable. I threw them up into a top knot & a ponytail the very same day they were done.

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We used 6 packs of X-Pression Synthetic Braiding Hair to achieve this look and this particular hair type makes the braids look super smooth.

The most popular question I was asked with these braids is whether or not they tugged at my hair or cause damage to my edges. To be quite honest with you, they really had no negative effect. Having these braids helped protect the ends of my hair & my edges remained intact just as they would with any of my other hairstyles.

Hair damage when it comes to protective hairstyles really has to do with how tightly they are done. I am very fussy with my hair so my braids are never tight & my edges stay where they should. If however, my braids were ever tight I would never just sit, allow it, then complain afterwards. Your stylist should know before hand that your intention is to protect your hair & not to cause any further damage. I know that to get the “neat” look some stylists insist that your hair has to be tight. I humbly beg to differ. My hair is never tight, obviously looks good & lasts me just as long as anyone else’s would.

 

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Simply put, be weary of how tight your hair is being done & you should have no problems with breakage or disappearing edges.

That being said, my advice for getting Jumbo box braids/box braids is simple;
  1. Don’t allow them to be put in too tight. Yes it will feel a little bit uncomfortable at first but theres a difference between slight discomfort & feeling like your eyebrows are being snatched off your face. 😂
  2. Remember to oil your scalp! I used a small amount of coconut oil & massaged it into my scalp every other day to keep my hair/scalp taken care of.
  3. Dont pull too tightly for your up-do’s. Even if your braids aren’t tight, pulling them back into a tight up-do can cause the damage you’re trying to avoid.
  4. The bigger the braids, the easier & quicker the take down will be!
  5. Do not rush the take-down process! It is going to take a while to undo your braids. Don’t rush it & detangle each section when you remove the extensions. Don’t try to undo them all then detangle all at once, you will be bound to have a lot of breakage.

(Tip: For a quicker take down, since I know about how long my natural hair is, I cut the braid off to about 2-3 inches longer than my hair then undo them from that point rather than from the end of the waist length braids.)

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Hope you all enjoyed this post & have a little more insight on box braids if you’re thinking about getting them done. If you have ever had box braids done leave your tips in the comments below for everyone else!

Until next time,

xo Justine-Renee

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@justinerenee.jarrett

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