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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Follow me on Instagram for more pictures & updates!

@justinerenee.jarrett

Jumbo Senegalese Twists

Hey everyone! As you can see, today we’re  chatting about the jumbo senegalese twists I recently had done. These were not crochet, they were hand done by Tess & came out beautifully!

We used (if i am not mistaken) 10 packs of hair.. yes, that many. A combination of 6 Nappy Annie & 4 Kanekalon all in colour #1.

If you’re really into protective styles or hair in general the way I am you, probably follow a lot of various hair pages like I do. This particular hairstyle I saw on Sira Kante (@inkmyafrica) & I was like “yaaaas girl!”. I definitely stole her look for my recent trip out of town for a party weekend, particularly because of how she wore it. I have inserted her picture below so you guys can see what inspired my entire look. She wore an African print inspired swimsuit & I honestly couldn’t stop stalking the pictures.

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So naturally, I went & found myself an African print inspired swimsuit for one of the beach events I was attending. Mine was from Andrea Iyamah, (IG @andreaiyamahswimwear) which happens to also be black owned company, jackpot!

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back to the twists

If I’m being completely honest I knew these wouldn’t last very long & I didn’t really want them to. I  only wanted them for this particular weekend just to achieve the look I was going for. The twists were started as box braids as you can see below to ensure that they wouldn’t unravel because of how loose & thick they were going to be. Many of you are probably thinking “those look heavy” & no they really weren’t. They only got heavy when they were wet (of course) but otherwise I was good.

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The twists started to get super fuzzy after about a week & I took them out shortly thereafter. I’m pretty sure I could have kept them in longer but for me it wasn’t a very practical hairstyle considering the fact that I workout quite often & it was pretty difficult to put these twists into any kind of ponytail due to their thickness. Lets not even get into how the length gets in the way of my whole entire life, lol 🙃.

When I want to repeat this look chances are I will go with a crochet version of it and a little bit shorter. The crochet braids listed below are probably going to be the ones I make my choice from when I do this again since I looked at these for some more inspiration when deciding on the twists.

  1. Janet Collection – Havana 8X Mambo Twist Braid 
  2. Authentic Synthetic Hair Crochet Braids 2X Jumbo Senegalese Twist
  3. Outre Synthetic Hair Crochet Braids X-Pression Braids Senegalese Twists X-Large 

 

More Pictures Of The Jumbo Senegalese Twists

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I loved this look & I think I nailed it, if i do say so myself! 😉😂

Have you ever done these Jumbo Senegalese Twists whether hand twisted or using the crochet method? Let me know in the comments below what you think of them!

Until next time my loves,

xo Justine-Renee

Don’t forget to like the post, comment, share & subscribe below! 

Follow me on Instagram for more pictures & updates!

@justinerenee.jarrett

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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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Crochet Curls

Hello my darlings!

So today’s post is going to be all about the hairstyle that started it all & got me into protective styles in the first place, Crochet Curls!

This has definitely been one of my cutest hairstyles to date! I loved being a curly sue which is why I had this style done at least 4 times last year!

As with all my protective styles to date, this was done by Tess. We used 10 packs of Janet Noir Afro Twist Braid & used perm rods to curl the hair.

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Story time!

So I’ve never really done the whole “weave” thing, except in high school for my graduation ball (which I hated) & some clip-ins for body every now & then but thats pretty much it. I had my hair relaxed & just wore it straight, in a ponytail or in a bun. Simple. So it took me MONTHS to finally convince myself to make an appointment with Tess to get this hairstyle done. I had been following her on social media for a while admiring her clients, one in particular, wondering if this would look even half as cute on me.

When I decided to just go for it I told myself, “hey, if I absolutely hate it I can just take it out, it’s just hair & if you never try you’ll always wonder”. 

So, I went to my appointment & a couple hours later the hairstyle was done.

Initially I was like “what the heck did i just do to myself!?” Not that my hair looked bad at all nor was it tight in any way, Tess is very mindful of actually protecting my hair.

 

Crochet Curls 2My initial reaction stemmed from the fact that I was just not used to it on me. After a few days I gradually got used to the hairstyle & as the curls got older and fuzzier, the better they looked!

At this point I decided I hate freshly done hair, lol. Honestly, every time I do my hair up until this day I can’t wait to sleep on it for about a week so that it gets a little messy, fuzzy & more natural looking. I really can’t be the only one! Does anyone else feel this way? or am I just weird?

Anyway! I am so glad I gave this style a fair chance & didn’t rush to take it out when it didn’t look exactly how I wanted it to on the first day.

When I finally got the hang of styling this hair its safe to say my favourite & go-to style was a high bun or to have a top knot. As for when I had to work out the high bun was my style of choice.

Caring for this style was very easy, it only required me using my Creme of Nature Argan Oil Hairspray to keep the sheen of the curls.

I did this style in April 2015 when it wasn’t as popular as it is now & everywhere I went between JA & NYC people were constantly stopping me to ask if it was a twist out, how I did it or who did it for me. This of course made me love this style even more since it clearly looked ridiculously natural on me.

 

Crochet Braids Crochet Curls Top KnotCrochet Braids Crochet Curls Top Bun

 

The first time I did this hairstyle I went to Tess to have my hair washed and re-curled after about a month. I kept it in for another month after that & the only reason I took it out at that 2 month mark was because the braids grew out a lot so it looked super messy at the roots (and of course I needed to be able to properly wash my hair) but the curls in my opinion were still popping since as I said before, they only got better with age 😍.

The hair growth I saw after my first time doing this style is honestly what turned me into the ultimate believer in protective styling. The growth was amazing! I could literally lift my braids an inch away my scalp by the time I was ready to undo the style. Of course because I was transitioning to natural at the time anything that I thought was helping me grow out my hair faster was a blessing, even if it was just my imagination lol 😂.

(I swear it was not my imagination though!)

 

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The first 2 times I did these curls I had them at shoulder length so they eventually fell just under my shoulder while the 3rd and 4th time (pics below) I did a looser curl pattern & a little bit longer so when the curls fell they ended up at about armpit length.

Below is a before & after comparison of the longer length I did.

Freshly done vs 3 Weeks Old

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Needless to say I adore this cute hairstyle so if you’re looking for a cute, very natural looking & low maintenance protective style I definitely recommend this one.

Let me know in the comments what you guys think! Would you try this for your next protective style or have you already done it? I’m really thinking about bringing this cuteness back to life!

Until next time my loves,

xo Justine-Renee

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Crochet Faux Locs Bobbi Boss Bomba Dreadlocks

Crochet Faux Locs | Bobbi Boss Bomba Dreadlocks Soul 

Hey everyone!

So, welcome to my very first blog post (yay!😁)

I figured it would only be right for my first post to be all about one of my most loved and most asked about protective styles to date, crochet faux locs! To start, I used Bobbi Boss Bomba Dread Locs Soul. I got mine in two colours, #1 & T1B/DGreen from Sam’s Beauty (for approximately $6 USD per pack) & they were installed by Tess.

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These locs have been used twice (so far). The first time, on what I call my “trial run”, I wasn’t 100% sure I would like them on me so I only used the black dreadlocks and it took 6.5 packs (15 dreadlocks in each pack). I chose to use the “Bobbi Boss Bomba Dreadlocks Soul” after lots and lots of research because to me, they were simply the most realistic faux locs available.

So from the beginning of my experience, when I got the package from Sam’s Beauty I opened the individual packs of hair and the locs were very soft to the touch and they were super light weight which I definitely did not expect! Looking at pictures online and watching several videos on youtube I definitely did not believe anyone when they were saying how lightweight these are but trust me they are not heavy at all.

When I first had the hair installed it had a slight sheen but that quickly wore off within a few days. I am about 5’7″ and the locs were about waist length on me (from back view).

I workout at least 3 days a week so initially I was worried about how I was going to handle the dreadlocks when working out but all I ended up doing was using the locs at the back of my head to wrap around and tie the rest into a kind of make-shift ponytail since no hair tie I owned was big enough to hold all those locs.

The following picture was immediately after I had the locs installed and you can see some of the sheen I was referring to earlier.

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The most challenging part of having this style was the fact that my hair had to be washed about every 2 weeks because of how much I workout as well as the fact that I have eczema. Washing involved me separating the locs into 4 sections and focusing the product on my scalp. I put the shampoo into a spray bottle with water, shook it up, sprayed directly to my scalp, massaged the section and then rinsed. This allowed me to avoid getting all the dreadlocks wet and reduce my drying time. While we’re on the subject of them getting wet, yes you can swim with them! I went swimming a few times with mine. 😉

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I had these faux locs in for about 2 months. When I took them out I washed them and had them reinstalled 2 days later (yes honey, I loved them that much!). This time however I decided to do something a little different and outside my comfort zone by including some of the teal locs I bought for a little pop of colour. I had them in the second time for another  2 months.

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These faux locs were honestly so realistic that pretty much everyone who I encountered for the first time thought they were real. I have even had a friend who hadn’t seen me in about a year and a half ask me how on earth I could possibly have grown such long locs so quickly (hilarious😂).

I can’t begin to tell you guys how much I loved having locs or how much I loved these particular faux locs. I will definitely be doing it again soon because I do miss them. Let me know about your experience with these locs in the comment section if you’ve ever tried them!

Hopefully I’ve helped out those of you thinking about getting crochet faux locs but if you have any questions that weren’t answered leave me a comment and I will definitely get back to you!

Also, if you’ve ever tried any other another brand/style of locs please let me know about your experiences in the comment section, I am always looking to try out different looks!

Until next time,

xo Justine-Renee

 

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