29 Jan

The Science of Transitioning for Transitioners & New Naturals

The Science of Transitioning by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy is the successor of the popular hair care book, The Science of Black Hair. It’s written to make transitioning to natural hair an easier experience for those who choose to do so.

I received this book complimentary to review. The opinions I’m about to share are completely my own and I was not compensated for the review. I was really excited to read the book when I received it so that I could share my thoughts. Plus, I wanted to see if I’d learn anything :-)

This is no ordinary book. It is a guide – the most comprehensive guide on caring for natural hair that I have ever read. Ever.

transitioning-guide-package

scienceoftransitioning

 

Not only does Audrey take you through the process of transitioning to natural hair and how to care for natural hair beyond the transition. She tackles the mindset shift that needs to take place when one decides to go natural. This is actually even more important than making the actual decision to transition or big chop.

In The Science of Transitioning, Audrey shares information in such a way that makes the technical aspect of it easy to understand. Then she breaks everything down to bite size bits of information that’s easy to digest and refer back to again and again. Her writing style had me wanting to continue reading even when I was so tired my eyes began to droop!

Because I’ve been natural for over 10 years, much of the information didn’t apply to my current lifestyle but I still learned a thing of two ;-). I began reading the book chapter by chapter but then skipped ahead and focused on the chapter, “Supernatural Maintenance Tips and Strategies.” Then, I skipped back to, “Special Transitioning Topics.” where Audrey shares a sample transitioning regimen, moisturizing tips and information on how to detangle your hair.

What I like most about this book is at the end of each chapter, Key Takeaways are thoroughly summarized. There are also TONS of illustrations. As a matter of fact, there are very few pages that don’t contain illustrations. I like that because I’m a visual learner. There’s even results of various surveys scattered throughout the book. For example, one survey shared the responses of current naturals and transitioners to how long they transitioned or planned to transition to natural.

The Science of Transitioning is a wealth of information. it consists of 11 chapters which are broken down into 5 units. You can literally spend as much or little time as needed to absorb the content in a unit and still receive all the information you’re seeking. And while, some of this information can be found online, you’d have to probably search for it for weeks. Then, you’d need to put it all together. Audrey does it all for you and she tackles every topic imaginable from transitioning to natural hair and living the natural life. Here’s what you can expect to read about:

  • The read deal about chemical relaxers and how they affect the hair
  • Going through the natural hair journey in stages from pre-transitioning through maintenance in a manner that’s best for your hair
  • Addressing the topic of “good hair”
  • How manufacturers “greenwash” their products and what greenwashing even means! (I had never heard of it before so I learned something here!)
  • Healthy hair care 101 (detangling, moisturizing, stretching, length retention techniques and more)
  • Your hair’s porosity
  • Your hair’s elasticity
  • Your hair and pH balancing
  • Balancing moisture and protein
  • Methods for trimming hair that’s being transitioned and trimming hair that’s fully natural
  • Your mindset (this is a big one! Includes loving yourself, dealing with other naturals and the roller coaster of emotions one may experience)
  • Transitioning mistakes
  • Coloring natural hair
  • A sample hair care regimen
  • Scab hair
  • LCO vs. LOC method
  • The properties of hair (kinky, curly, oily AND straight)
  • Natural hair in the workplace
  • To big chop or transition and the benefits of each
  • Simple hairstyles for each stage of length after going natural
  • Styling hair while in its transitioning phase
  • DIY recipes for pre-pooing
  • An index of hair products and brands
  • Common product ingredients

Whew! I think I’ve about covered it but I’m sure I left some things out. Oh, Audrey also shares her own story of why she went natural and the mindset she had to deal with and is still dealing with. I can really appreciate her candidacy here because I think we all have certain thoughts and beliefs about ourselves that we’d rather not let the world in on.

What was not discussed was hair typing and the hair typing system. While, the hair typing system by Andre Walker may be helpful to some in identifying the curl pattern of naturals like them, it’s not very helpful in instructing one on how to care for the hair. The Science of Transitioning tells you how to do it mentally and systematically regardless to the tightness of your curl. The myth of one curl texture being better than another is vehemently dispelled.

If you are thinking of putting down the creamy crack and going natural or have started the journey, this is definitely the book for you. I spent quite a while reviewing and re-reviewing every written word in this book and it’s completely thorough. Get it here.  It will answer every question you have or may arise while on your natural journey.

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26 Jan

Wash Day Chronicles: Week 4

This is week 4 of 52 wash days chronicling what I’ll be doing to gain length on my fine natural hair (I was working toward achieving  waist length this year but some things have changed. Keep reading :-). Subscribe to this blog to be notified when future posts are published.

two strand twists
Pre-Poo: Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil + Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner

Cleanser: Taproot Organics Charcoal and Tea Tree Shampoo Bar (liquified)

Deep Conditioner: Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10 in 1 Renewal Conditioner + 1 lemon

Rinse Out Conditioner: None

Leave In Conditioner: Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10 in 1 Renewal Conditioner

Sealant: Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter with added Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Styler: Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter (not pictured)

Tools: Fingers, Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap, Plastic Cap, Hair clips for sectioning, Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer,

Wash Day Procedure

hair care products for natural hair

  1. Worked in sections starting with Steaming. Steamed hair to help open the cuticles to receive the products better.
  2. Pre-pood steamed section of  hair by smoothing the coconut oil down the length of hair. No detangling.
  3. On same section, smoothed the GPB down the length, really working it into the hair.
  4. Repeated for each section and loosely bantu knotted the section when down. Then, put on a plastic cap for 3 hours.
  5. Shampoo’d hair one section at a time with liquified shampoo bar
  6. Applied juice from a lemon mixed into the conditioner (this helps with removing build up caused by hard water – per the #CurlyGirlMethod handbook.
  7. Sat with conditioner/lemon mix with plastic cap & Hot Head for 10 minutes.
  8. Hopped back in shower and rinsed hair section by section.
  9. Combined sections into 2 and applied leave in followed by hair butter.
  10. Clipped the two sections to allow them to air dry by 50%
  11. Twisted hair in small sections using the almond jai butter

Focus & Thoughts

This week’s wash day micro focus was to clarify hair and return to protective styling.

steaming natural hair fine natural curls

drying fine hair
As you can see, my hair is drastically shorter than it was since I started chronicling my wash days. I mentioned in my last wash day chronicle that I cut off 6-7 inches of hair while removing deep layers I no longer liked and didn’t fair well with my twist styles.

My cut isn’t bad as I thought. I just have to get used to feeling the wind on my neck! I guess I’m sort of getting used to it but I do miss my hair. My ends feel fabulous though. However, I’m still on my journey to waist length. It will just take a little longer :-) My hair is in a bob shape now with the front being longer than the back. Some pieces may look longer but that’s just the lack of uniformity of my curl pattern. the front of my hair is a much looser curl .

I give today’s wash day a 4.5/5. I decided to twist using the Camille Rose Almond Jai Butter at the last minute because the Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter was not sufficient alone.

One thing about having shorter hair, wash day was cut down by at least an hour! LOL!  and the method of smoothing the oil deeply into the hair followed by smoothing the conditioner deeply in (vs. combining them) was very effective. Detangling was easy breezy.

Last off, I can now enjoy my small twists as a protective style that didn’t turn out quite right last week :-) I think they look great now though.

twists on short to medium hair twists protective style

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20 Jan

Wash Day Chronicles: WEEK 3

wash day hair products

This is week 3 of 52 wash days chronicling what I’ll be doing to take my bra-strap/arm pit length fine natural hair to waist length. Subscribe to this blog to be notified when future posts are published. (I normally post on Mondays but someone I forgot to publish this one!)

Pre-Poo: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner & Vatika  Coconut Oil
Cleanser: Taproot Organics Charcoal and Tea Tree Shampoo Bar
Deep Conditioner: DIY Goat’s Milk (Protein) + 21st Century Natural Deep Conditioner
Rinse Out Conditioner: Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner (diluted)
Leave In Conditioner: Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave In / Henna-Amla-Shikakai Spray
Sealant: SDotBeauty GlossBoss High Shine Pomade
Styler: None
Tools: Fingers, Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap, Plastic Cap, Hair clips for sectioning, bobby pins (to hold pre-poo’d hair), Blow dryer, Soft bonnet blow dryer attachment

Wash Day Procedure

deep conditioned hair

deep conditioning under soft bonnet dryer

 

henna tea

  1. Pre-pood hair by smoothing conditioner/oil mix down length of hair. No detangling. Just smoothed throughout hair and put in 6 twists pinned up and tied down with a satin scarf. Slept on a satin pillowcase
  2. Got up and went to the gym (Pilates & Cardio)
  3. Returned home and washed hair in the shower using melted down shampoo bar, section by section  bantu knotting each section loosely after cleansing.
  4. Applied protein conditioner to each section and sat with plastic cap under soft bonnet attached to handheld hair dryer for 15 minutes on warm.
  5. Hopped back in the shower and rinsed all of protein out of hair and applied deep conditioner section by section re-bantu knotting.
  6. Put plastic cap back on and used Hot Head Thermal Conditioning Cap for 15 minutes
  7. Allowed hair to cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Hopped back in shower and rinsed hair section by section with the diluted AO (I only had a small amount left and needed to stretch it).
  9. Twisted rinsed sections loosely.
  10. Spritzed hair by section with henna/shikakai/amla spray
  11. Applied leave in conditioner by section
  12. Sealed hair with gloss by section
  13. Began twisting in sections (breaking each section into smaller sections for my protective style…..small twists.

small twists on fine hair

Focus & Thoughts

This week’s wash day micro focus was to continue to protein treat and moisture balance my hair.

With respect to washing, I tried something different that I saw another Youtube do with her shampoo bar. (I’m blanking on her name right now). I melted down the shampoo bar in water to make it a creamy mixture. it’s easier to apply this way. Using the shampoo bar directly on my hair left pieces of hair on the bar that were difficult to remove. These could be shed hairs but then again rubbing the shampoo bar on my hair and scalp may have caused breakage so the option of diluting it down to a cream is genius.

Concerning my strengthening I have a DIY strengthening spray recipe using ayurvedic herbs (henna, shikakai and alma) that I got from Curly Proverbz on Youtube. I mention it in this post. Using this spray several times per weeks helps keep my fine hair strong. it can be a little drying which is why I used it beneath my leave in conditioner and sealant.

Since I have fine hair, I use a lot of protein in my regimen. I’m just careful to balance it with moisture.

Also, I’ve been protective styling for months but took a few days off from traditional protective styling to focus on wash and go’s while I was getting my hair acclimated to the Curly Girl Method. It’s time to do a little more protective styling now that the cold is really kicking up.

As you can see, my protective style this time around is small twists. It took me about 4 hours to do these. I didn’t make these too small because again, my hair is fine and detangling will be damaging if I make them too small. Remember, the goal is to get to waist length :-)

I give today’s Wash Day a 2.5/5. The products weren’t the issue. The condition of my hair was. The twists you see looked awful. Notice the frizzy ends. On top of that, the twists were all different lengths. It’s the deep layers.

twists on fine natural hair

UPDATE: The next morning after twisting my hair (a 6 hour process), I took it all out. I removed the twists and I hacked 6-7 inches of my hair off. I didn’t intend to cut but 3 inches but the short story is I should have let a professional do this.

Stay tuned for next wash day where I will reveal my new length. Let’s just say I have cutters remorse and my goal of waist length natural hair has taken a serious curve ball. I can’t see it happening by year end now. I just set myself back by at least a year and a half :-( Back to square one…

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