Although not obvious to most, but in the picture above I am wearing a wig. Usually I only wear it on special occasions, or nights out. However recently I have been wearing it as a protective hairstyle (more on that later) whilst I try to improve the condition of my natural hair. Let’s start at the beginning…
I am mixed race, my mother is Jamaican and my father is English, so my hair is a mixture of both genetics. When I was younger my hair was fine, frizzy and curly and I hated it. Kids at school used to say that I had stuck my finger in an electric socket, because of this I begged my mum to do something with my hair. Over about 5 years my mum put a relaxer (a chemical concoction) on my hair about once a year which helped to tame my frizz and lessen my curls.
I then went off to university where my friends would straighten my hair and I started wearing my hair in braids. This allowed me to hide my frizz and I was a lot happier. For my 21st birthday my godmother got me some hair straighteners that I picked myself in Boots. I chose ones that you could adjust the temperature as I was kinda aware that because my hair was so fine it couldn’t handle the high temperature of normal straighteners, so thought these would be better for hair. Getting straighteners was the worst thing I could have done, I became addicted to having my hair straight and over a period of a year without me noticing my hair was breaking, getting thinner and shorter.
One day I decided to use faithful Google to find out how I could make my hair longer and thicker, which is when I found a website called Hairlista a “Social Network designed to unite and educate Women on Healthy Hair Care Practices, Skin, Beauty and much more”
One of the tips I read was to avoid heat, which made me realise, was the cause of my hair becoming damaged and not growing. The website also recommends products to use and avoid to help your hair grow and maintain the length.Over the next year I tried a range of products and became what they call a product junkie, I dread to think how much money I spent as products for my hair type are not cheap (for example shampoo can range from £6 up). Because I used such a range of different products my hair did not improve as much as it should.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I started talking to my friend who is African, she has curly frizzy hair which she embraces and is proud of. I realised that I want to be like her and be proud of the hair that I have got, rather than trying to change it. My friend advised using a few products and sticking to it. So I went to Boots which for the last few years has stocked products specifically for my hair type and chose a leave-in conditioner, a styling product and a deep conditioner.
My new routine involves doing the L.O.C (leave-in, oil, crème) method with the above two ORS products and a mixture of oils. After washing my hair I apply the leave in conditioner, then a mixture of castor oil, olive oil and coconut oil and then I finish with the crème.I use the Hair Mayonnaise once a month after washing my hair I then put this on and leave it in my hair for about an hour before washing it out, The protein (the product actually contains egg protein) is supposed to strengthen my hair.
Whilst doing this routine I am protecting my hair (from wind, rain, humidity and pollution) by wearing a wig. This will allow my hair to rest and hopefully grow. I have chosen a wig that is close to my own hair colour so that it does not appear as obvious. The one in the picture is synthetic which means that I can’t re-style it or use any heat on it. However you can get wigs made from human hair, which can be curled and straightened like normal hair.
If you would like me to do a full review of the products or have any questions about my hair journey, please leave a comment below. I will do an update in a few months to let you know what progress I have made with my hair. I am also attending a hair show in London at the end of this month, which of course I will blog. As a thank you for reaching the bottom of my blog here is a sneak peek of what my natural hair looks like…