Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Hair Battle

My Hair cut in 2007
Okay so it's taken me quite a minute to get the energy to write this post. Just thinking of my so called "Hair Journey" drains the life out of me. So let me start from the beginning. I guess you could say the real start of my Hair Journey Battle started in the summer of 2007. That's when I started over by having my beautician cut off all my damaged hair. At that time my hair was not relaxed but, it was severely damaged from not taking care of it while I wore extensions. The pictures above are of my hair cut. After my hair cut, I started wearing my hair in individual braids so I could protect and moisturize my dry hair.The braids really did help and about year later I had a decent length of hair.

My hair one year later in 2008

While my hair didn't achieve super long lengths in one year, it was more or less healthy. After wearing my hair out for a few months I started noticing some problems with it that I hadn't notice in the past . Part of the reason I hadn't notice these issues with my hair in the past was due to the fact I always wore weave extensions. Having my hair in extensions all of the time without breaks never allowed me to see how my hair reacted to being worn out. Problem #1 my hair was so dry. No matter how much I moisturized and deep conditioned my hair was still dry. It was so bad to the point that I thought something was wrong with me and had my thyroid tested. I was reading up on causes of dry hair and thyroid conditions can be a leading cause. So I had my doctor run some test and everything came back normal. So I continued to deal with my dry hair. Problem#2 Breakage. So I guess it was only normal that problem number two came. With my hair being beyond dry the breakage was bound to happen. I mean the breakage was unbearable. Anything I did to my hair caused breakage no matter how gentle I was to it. Problem #3 Stagnant growth   . I noticed that due to problem number one and two my growth had stopped. So I went back to weave extensions  for a while with breaks in-between styles but, I was still fighting all of my above listed hair problems. In the beginning of 2009 I found the natural hair community on YouTube and I thought the hair gods had answered my prayers lol. I saw all these women with Afro-textured hair that had achieved wonderful lengths. So I ran to my nearest beauty supply and bought all the natural hair care products I could. I followed certain You Tubers hair regimens and tailored it to my hair needs. I mean I tried everything. I moisturized, I sealed, I conditioned, I used protein treatments, I trimmed, I detangled properly, I stopped using heat, I took vitamins, I used a satin scarf, I tried the baggy method, I air dried., I protective styled, I had a healthy diet, I drank water, I did everything! But to no avail all my problems still occurred and I couldn't figure it out.    

My Hair on my 24th Birthday in November 2009(not much growth & my ends kept splitting) 

One thing I did notice while following YouTube is that all the women that I followed had a slightly looser curl pattern than I did. Pretty much all of the women that had achieved less breakage and longer lengths had a looser curl pattern. That's when I realized that I had 4c type hair. The women that I watched over the course of that year had 4a & 4b hair types. I started to understand that I had one of most difficult if not the most difficult curl pattern of hair in the hair typing system. After finding this news out I figured let me start trying to find videos of women with my curl pattern but, I was greatly disappointed in my search. It seamed that we didn't really exist in the hair care community and the 4c's I did find with length were actually more 4b hair type. When I did eventually  find some women with my hair type they had the same issues I did with minimal length. So out of pure frustration in May 2010 I decided to cut it again. My biggest mistake with my hair cut was I decided to relax it as well. Now with problem 1-3 still going strong I should have known better. Plus the trauma of my failed relaxers as a child that always broke all my hair off should have quickly been my voice of reason not to relax but, I did it anyway. So guess what happened 7 months later? My hair fell out no surprise. It was so bad that I had to cut all the the back an middle of my hair off in December of 2010. I literally had no hair. The rest of  my hair kind of did it's own big chop.

My Hair cut & relaxer in May 2010

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the damage. I think at that point it was to hard to look in the mirror and see how bad my hair was and the how much I had to cut off to start over. At this point I didn't have any hair in the back or middle so braids weren't an option yet. My hair had broke off in the front as well but, it was enough to braid so I went back to weave extensions again. I wore extensions from December 2010 through July 2011. In July of 2011 that's when I had enough hair to be able to wear individuals again. So I switched it up and went back to braids.

July 2011(my go to style)

My 4c hair started to slowly(and I mean slowly) grow back. Oct 2011

Over the course of the next year I wore braids and extensions. But with back to back usage of these protective styles it caused my hair line to start thinning. 

My Hair November 2012

I decided to get my hair straightened again to give it a break with the styles. Also I needed to give my hairline a much needed break.I had to cut about 3 inches of growth off to help with the ends but, the ends were still not to my satisfaction. Even though my hair had been protected with the extensions my ends still split bad due to my fragile hair type.

December 2012 Straightened & bumped 

Between the months of December and February I started getting Breakage/flyaways and dryness again. No matter how many times I trim I am going to get breakage. I've come to terms that breakage comes along with 4c hair. No way around it for me. The only thing I can do is try to minimize it. At the current moment i'm back to a protective style. Something new though.. I'm wearing a wig and so far so good. I needed a protective style that didn't cause any tension around my hair line seeing that i'm fighting that battle along with breakage/flyaways and dryness. This allows me to protect all of my hair in a low maintenance style. Before I put my hair in the wig I decided to trim again due to splits and breakage. I had my beautician against her will lol take off about 2 more inches. The trim still didn't get my ends to my satisfaction but, like I said 4c hair tends to split for no good reason at all. It's just part of the struggle of my hair type and I have to deal with it.   Below are pics of my hair right before I put it away. 

February  2013 Trimmed & Flat Ironed

My Hair Journey battle has not been easy. I refer to it as a battle because that's what it feels like. Every time I think I fix one issue I start battling another. I've learned a lot about my hair over the past years. In the beginning of my Journey I was really disappointed and drained with the lack of results after all my efforts. I would see other women's hair flourish with the proper care while my hair was still struggling as if I wasn't even taking care of it.  It was actually very depressing but, the older I get the more I've come to terms with it. I wish I could have just found a blue print for the do's and don't for 4c hair when I started. I also wish that I had of known what my hair type was when I started as well. That would have saved me a lot of time and heartache of trying things that don't work for my hair. I unfortunately have not yet reached my desired hair length but, i'm okay with it. The health of my hair is way more important than the length. If you have type 4 hair then you probably feel my pain. I plan to do do future updates and length checks on my blog. I will also post tips and styles that I find for hair. No matter what your hair type is, we all go through it with our hair. No pain no gain.

Yours Truly,
Gurl Chat xoxo