Thursday, February 20, 2014

KinksNCurls - Munch's Journey

Hey, Islanders!  I don't claim to be a natural hair blogger but I've been natural for just-about 10 years.  I transitioned from my relaxer after 10 years of permanent hair straightening every four months.  After successfully transitioning, I shaved my head... like low-low.  Don't believe me? Here's a pic after two months of growth (I cut in late October and this was at my company's Christmas party mid-December):
 I learned to care for my hair as it grew out. I was able to identify the various curl patterns before it was too much to handle. I was of the opinion that I didn't want to salvage hair I would eventually cut off ONLY to have a head full of hair I would know nothing about.
I was natural for 15 months before I decided to straighten it for the first time.  It was my 23rd birthday.

I went from bald to a cut with a shape! I was so excited to see how much hair I grew in a year :)

I was also pregnant in the above photo.  I vowed my baby girl would learn to love her hair from the beginning so she would NEVER see a need to chemically process her hair.
I wasn't surprised when I had my beautiful baby and she was born borderline bald with straight fine hair; I knew it would be fine and/or non-existent just like mine was as a baby.  Here's a pictorial journey of my child's hair:
Five months - yes, she was crawling :)
Six months - a few straight stands on the top
Nine months - still pretty straight with her 'newborn' hair hanging near her shoulders in the back ONLY
Ten months - waves and curly flips started on the top
One year - the curly/wavy Mohawk started to grow
Two years - we had a Mohawk with curlie flips on the sides and longer hair in the back
Three years - photo taken early Fall
Three years - photo taken early Summer
We experienced the most hair growth at four years old.
Four years - photo taken in August.  We wore pony tails in the top because it was the longest part
Four years - photo taken at her birthday party (August)
Four years - photo taken in early Fall.  The sides began to grow and we started to wear pony tails everyday
Four years - photo taken on Halloween 
Four years - photo taken in December
Four years - photo taken early Spring. The Mohawk started to really sprout
Four years - photo taken in Spring. PONYTAILS!
Four years - photo taken Summer
Five years - photo taken on Halloween
 Five years - photo taken in February
Six years - photo taken in Fall
Munch had HAIR... and LOTS of it. 
You can tell from the pictures that pony tails were a milestone for us so, as it started to hang down her back, we celebrated the progress along the way:)
Unlike a lot of moms, I never cared about her hair length.  I cared about hair health.  My kid knew we washed hair every Monday. I didn't try to force pony tails on her and I tried my best to avoid any confidence issues.  She was bald-headed and cuter than any baby I'd ever seen before.  Yes, I'm biased.  Nope, I don't think your kid is cuter.  SorryNOTsorry :/
Anyhoo, with hair down her back, I taught Munch how to recognize the signs of when her hair needs trims.  In her very fine hair, the clear sign is when it becomes difficult to comb (knotty).  I trimmed her hair every 8 weeks (on average).
July... we went to Georgia for the 4th of July.  She had big bows and long pony tails, remember?

Well, we returned home and, after the chlorine and sun exposure of the summer, her hair was dry and damaged and in need of a trim.  Normally, my process is as follows:

I stretch her hair all the way out.  I do this by parting a thin row of hair along the neck.  I then "sandwich" her hair between my pointer and middle fingers and slide my finger to the end of her hair.  When I reach the end of her hair, I use my shears to trim just above my fingers.  In this case, however, I didn't think the damaged portion was taken off with the 1/2" trim so I eye-balled it (without stretching) and cut her hair straight across.  Did you hear me? I cut her curly hair without stretching it.  What looked like an inch of curls was actually more like 2" unstretched and about 3-4" stretched.
Munch began to cry.  I wanted to cry.  In that moment, I made a promise to take better care of her hair and to leave it alone until Easter.  No trims.  Deep conditioning.  Protective styles.
 I thought her hair was butchered and it hurt my heart.  The following day, my prayers were answered when she had a beautiful HEALTHY wash-n-go:

Two days after a trim, we were rocking our pony tails:

We had work to do.
Here's our regimen and product list for folks who have asked for it:
1.  Weekly co-washes with Cantu conditioner.  A great conditioner that is sold at Walmart for less than $5, this conditioner provides great curl management and moisture for Munch's hair; I love it more than other expensive conditioners I've purchased (DevaCurl, Carol's Daughter, etc.).
2.  After washes, I part her hair into 4 sections and comb through Carol's Daughter Hair Milk.  A splurge at just-under $20, a dime-sized amount of this leave-in conditioner goes a long way.
3. Style the hair using Taliah Waajid Style and Shine.  This product is awesome. It provides frizz control and manageability while it also locks in moisture and gives a natural non-greasy shine.  I've recommended it to a few moms and they've all reported the same thing; they LOVE it too!  It's sold at Walmart and is a splurge compared to other kids' styling creams on their shelves at just under $7.
4.  Spray twists and pony tails with Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla moisturizing spray.  This stuff smells amazing and really keeps the moisture in.  It's $14 at most high-end cosmetic stores and it's worth every penny.
I'm happy to report that since the hair cut in July, Munch has grown all of her hair back and then some.  Most importantly, her ends still look great and she doesn't NEED a trim!
Taken in November
I hope this LONG post was helpful. I've decided to share more of my other passions on the blog to include our hair - care, styling, product reviews, etc. - some islanders are interested to know :)
Happy hair growing,

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