IT’S MY 1-YEAR BIG CHOP ANNIVERSARY!

OMG! This day came up so fast!

Do you know what today is?! It’s my 1-year big chop anniversary *in my Tony Toni Tone voice* One year ago, today, I said hell with my relaxed ends and never looked back. Today, I’m so happy with the current state of my hair! I’ve learned a TON during this short year, so I’m happy to spread any wisdom, tips, tricks that I can.

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So in honor of bomb results, here we go!

WILL MY HAIR GROW IF I CUT IT? (BE HONEST!)

I always get the “growth” hair question. Many girls want to cut off their relaxed ends, but are afraid that their hair won’t grow quickly. This is a MYTH, sis. If you feed your hair what it needs (i.e. keeping it moisturized AT ALL TIMES, washing/deep conditioning regularly, trimming off dead ends) TRUST ME, it’ll grow.

This is also coming from the girl whose cut her hair a thousand times, a thousand different ways. In 2014, I shaved the side of my head because my edges were suffering and then had the nerve to put in a box dye. Four years later, this is what my hair looks like. So believe me when I say, trust in the growth capabilities and most importantly, have patience.

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PROTECTIVE STYLES:

Everyone close to me knows that I’m the queen of protective styles (I even have senegalese twists in as I type). Protective styles are also crucial to hair growth, because it simply allows you to keep your hands out of your head. Tons of day-to-day manipulation can also cause breakage, so I always highly suggest protective styles (this includes wigs, sis!)

I’M NEW TO THIS. WHAT THE HELL IS A “NATURAL HAIR REGIMEN?”

A natural hair regimen is simply a routine of how you manage your hair. After you cut off your relaxed hair, you’ll need to get to know your hair all over again – yep, how it naturally grows from your scalp. I don’t really have a defined regimen, but there are a few things I do that I’ll share:

  • Washing (shampoo-ing/conditioning) your hair regularly is important. I just do it whenever I feel like my hair is dirty, I have a lot of product build-up, my scalp feels itchy, etc.
  • Deep conditioning 1-2 times a month is a MUST! I made this mistake of never deep conditioning, and when I finally went to the hair dresser, she said “You definitely need a trim, you have a lot of split ends.” I was shook! I didn’t realize the importance, but it will help preserve your ends, maintain moisture and a host of other things!
  • My stylist recommended that I do the L.O.C. method, which stands for Leave-In, Oil, Cream. This a good technique for keeping your hair moisturized. It consists of hydrating the hair with water, or a water-based product (your liquid), sealing in the moisture with oil, and then applying a cream product to close the hair cuticle to prevent hair loss.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS TO USE?

I’m not a product junkie by any means, and I’m very selective. I will read reviews on a product over and over again before I actually purchase anything. Listed below are a few of my favorites that work well on my hair (these all were also suggested by my wonderful hair stylist, Traci :))

SHAMPOO:
Kinky-Curly Come Clean: A great clarifying shampoo that removes dirt, product build-up etc.

DEEP CONDITIONER: 
TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Deep Conditioner: LOVE this stuff! It leaves my hair incredibly soft and the smell is amazing (also black-owned!)

LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER:
Kinky-Curly Knot Today: I apply this leave-in after I wash and condition. I use it so much that I’m almost out. 😦

OILS:
My favorite oils to use are tea tree oil and olive oil. I usually dump them all into a spray bottle and work it through my hair strands accordingly.

CREAM PRODUCTS:
Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter: HOLY GRAIL PRODUCT! I absolutely love using this for twist/braid-outs. The smell is amazing, doesn’t leave my hair flaky or crunchy and it leaves my hair ultra soft (also black-owned!)

GELS:
I’m not really a gel girl, but I do use the clear eco-styler gel to lay down my edges. Another holy grail product.

Well there you have it my fellow naturalistas! If you have any specific questions on my hair journey, products, how-to’s, etc don’t hesitate to ask. We’re all learning together. 🙂

Xoxo, Lisee

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FEED YOUR MANE IT NEEDS AND WATCH HOW IT’LL GROW

This is my personal visual representation of struggling hair versus healthy hair.

The pic on the left was taken in Dec. 2016. That was my silk press during my transitioning stage. The pic on the right was taken Nov. 2017, and was my first silk press since Dec. 2016. Even with color, you can tell how much fuller and healthy my hair looks.

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Okay, so now that you’re impressed and everything – what’s my secret to healthy colored hair? My #1 advice is you HAVE to feed your mane what it needs. Keeping your hair moisturized is always the first step. I mainly take use of water and oils in a spray bottle and I use it allllll the time. As soon as my hair feels dry, brittle, anything – I run to the spray bottle.

Also, protective styling. Wigs, braids of any sort, twists, anything low-manipulation where your hands aren’t constantly in your head is also a major key.

Take care of your hair, feed it what it needs, and sit back and watch how full and healthy it becomes. FACTS!

Big chop vs. transitioning

I was actually terrified to do a big chop. I just kept thinking I would end up looking like this:

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No shade. There’s nothing wrong with having a mini-fro, but that just wasn’t the move for me. I personally, didn’t see the need to big chop right away. When I first realized that I was forreal, forreal going to start my natural hair journey, I was already a wig-a-holic at that point, so I just kept wigging it out and leaving my hair alone. Of course, I would wash and moisturize it regularly, but for the most part my hair would remain in Bow Wow cornrows, since that’s how I liked to wear my hair underneath my wigs.

I transitioned from December 2015 – March 2017. It was actually very easy for me because I utilized a variety of protective styles which included: wigs, box braids, senegalese twists, large twists, braid outs, fake buns/puffs, you name it. I also never used heat on my hair. I honestly couldn’t even tell you where my collection of flat irons are since I haven’t touched them in so long. During my transitioning period, I got my hair straightened and ends clipped once, and that was in January of 2017. That stylist actually slayed my hair, I still love how it looked.

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After I was protective styled out, I finally got to the point where I felt that a big chop was appropriate. I cut off the rest of my relaxed ends in March of 2017. I was super excited, however it took time to get used to my texture and find products that my hair liked (which I am still figuring out now).

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Dead ass how I looked after I big chopped. I still would find straight pieces daily that I would cut off. I would recommend seeing a stylist for a big chop versus doing it yourself LOL.

My advice would be, do what you think will work best for you. If you want to big chop right away and have a tiny fro like MJ, do you boo! There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to give yourself time and utilize protective styling, I would say transitioning is a good route.

What option did you all take: big chopping or transitioning? Comment below!

Xoxo ~ NaturallyLisee

So, why go natural?

You know what. I ask myself this all the time. You’d think I’d have a definite answer if I created an entire blog dedicated to this stuff – right?!

You know what. I ask myself this all the time. You’d think I’d have a definite answer if I created an entire blog dedicated to this stuff – right?!

I can’t lie. I started off hating naturals. “Natural vs. Relaxed” was the modern day “East vs. West” coast beef during the Tupac era to me. I hated the attacks on grouping women as “better” or “worse” because of how they chose to wear their hair. And let me tell you, I used to be a RELAXED ADVOCATE! No one was going to get me to stray away from my creamy crack – no matter how many times you told me my hair was unhealthy.

But enough of the rambling. I believe my natural hair journey first began with my discovery of wigs. Wigs, huh? Girl, yaasssss wigs! I LOVE EM. I was in my first senior year of college (5th year right here, where y’all at, heyyyy), and one of my best friends introduced them to me after I got tired of flat ironing my relaxed hair every day. I mean, when you’re in college you don’t have time for all that. I’m trying to get up and goooo. And I’m also poor, so I can’t afford protective styling such as braids, sew-ins, etc. After hours of my friend reassuring me I wasn’t going to look like a granny, and my wig wouldn’t fall off during pivotal moments (LOL), I bought my first $20 wig and I was on my way hunty!

After purchasing my first wig, I got addicted and quick and kept buying more and more.

SN: If ya’ll want more info specifically pertaining to my wig interests, let me know, but I’m trying to stay on track, sooo….

It got to a point where I would forget to relax my damn hair because I always would have a wig on. Mind you, I had a pixie cut when I first began my natural hair journey so perms were almost inevitable. So my hair finally grew out to I want to say shoulder length and I was happy as f*ck. I’d had a pixie cut for 2-3 years at that point and I wanted my damn hair back.

A few months after that (May 2015), my best friend graduated college and moved away (tear) and she was the person that would slay my relaxers, so I was left looking dumbfounded as hell, because I’m like I don’t trust anyone to put a perm in my head. NOPE! I like having my edges. So, I kept wearing wigs. It was easy and convenient. I got my last perm in late 2015 and transitioned – meaning grew out my perm, until March 2017. In March 2017, I couldn’t take looking ratchet anymore and I was eager to be 100% natural so I chopped off the rest of my relaxed ends. As of June 2017, I colored my hair to a honey blonde.

So, to summarize all of that, I decided to go natural because I was a lazy broke ass college student who didn’t have the time, energy or money to continue to perm my hair so I didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, being natural is like 1000x MORE work, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I LOVE how my natural hair looks now, and I actually may fight my “friends” because they couldn’t possibly be my real friends for not telling me how ratchet I looked with relaxed hair. Looking that dusty, I could have started this journey forever ago.

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See ya’ll!!! They hated me!!!!

But anyways – this blog will take you through the good, the bad and the ugly (see you’re already getting a glimpse). I’m not a head ass “naturalista” by any means, but people ask me hair questions all the time so I said, “why don’t I just make a blog?” So here it is! Enjoy! Xoxo ~ NaturallyLisee