Straight


I met a fellow product junkie today who made me realize I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties (again). She asked me about a product I was buying (more on that later) and since I haven’t used it yet, I directed her to my blog to check soon to see if I’ve posted about it. Of course, I have to be a regular poster in the first place for that to happen! Unfortunately, I gave her the wrong url…But she’ll figure it out…Right?

Anyways.

I took up an offer from a friend of mine to get my hair flat ironed. I haven’t had it done in quite a while, and I really wanted to see how long it was…So why not? I am primarily concerned about the health of my hair, rather than the length so I went in apprehensive and took defensive measures to protect against heat.

Meet two more friends of mine! Organic coconut oil and Garnier Fructis Blow Dry Perfector!

As you know, the new thing in the natural community is coconut oil, so I had to give it a try. I have used coconut oil based products before (Blue Magic Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner. You know the stuff!), but that was before going natural and before paying attention to my hair’s reaction to products. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties to prevent hair loss, moisturizes, and has a higher melting and boiling point than many oils, making it an ideal heat protectant. The Blow Dry Perfector contains argan oil, which is rich in omega-3s and is great for smoothing and straightening hair.

A few hours before it was to be straightened, I washed, treated with coconut oil, rinsed and then braided my hair after running the Fructis through it. My friend was a bit upset, because she wanted my hair wet so that it’d be easier to blow dry, and I hadn’t been able to rinse out some of the oil. So I had to wet my hair AGAIN and she blew it out….Mostly.

Then she went through most of my hair with my flat iron, and then decided it wasn’t hot enough. (Quote “I touched it and it didn’t even burn my hand!”) SO she went through again with her own, got tired and passed my head over to our other friend, who went through my head all over again! Needless to say, I was there for a while, but I had fun with them and got the result I wanted (They weren’t as pleased :D)

It was much longer than I thought. It moved when I walked. It bounced! I could toss it around or whip it out of my face. I was having so much fun! Best of all, my scalp didn’t itch at all (I think thanks to the coconut oil). I thought everything was going well until something odd happened…

People weren’t saying my hair looked ‘cool’ or ‘cute’ or ‘interesting’. They used words like ‘beautiful’ and ‘gorgeous’. I got hit on a lot more. I acted different, more confident. But that’s not what bothered me…What got me down is how much it took a toll on my naturalista psyche. I started questioning my natural beauty, wondering if I should just keep my hair straight. I just knew that people were like “Finally, that nappy-headed girl came to her senses!”

Then it rained, my hair puffed out like magic, and I finally did come to my senses! I was taking things way too seriously. It’s going to be a long time before the majority of people will cherish anything but long, straight hair. And that’s fine by me, it’s beautiful too. But so is natural hair! And so am I.

AND SO ARE YOU!

Did you miss me? My laptop died, so my posts had to die with it. But everything is back up and running again! The next few posts will be a little old, but hopefully still valuable!

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Don’t get excited! Queen Helene and Cantu haven’t teamed up. I just ran out of oil for my treatment. 😀 By the way, this post has a lot of stuff going on. It starts like this with sad dry hair:

My hair was feeling a little stripped from clarifying it because I didn’t properly moisturize afterwards. I know, I’m terrible. To fix this, I had my good friend Kristin give me her leftover oil from her own treatment. I hoped I’d have better results than she did.
The three things you need for a hot oil treatment are hot water, oil, and a container that won’t melt! I heated up a jar of water in the microwave and let the tube of oil sit in it to get hot. I was worried the tip would get into the water and would flood the tube, but it floated nicely.

The process wasn’t very hard, though it was time consuming. After parting my hair in half, I took sections of my hair and distributed the oil. To help keep it out of the way, I coiled it and clipped it down with a duckbill clip when I was done with a section. I don’t know if I over did it, but I ran out of oil after finishing half of my head, so make sure you have enough when you start this! Luckily, I had some Cantu Nourishing Body Oil left over. The container didn’t do so well in hot water. 😦

In the next picture, you’ll notice that half of my head is a bit more puffy than the other…The puffy side is the Cantu, the smaller side was the Queen Helene. I’m assuming my hair just shrunk a bit, or the clip placement was off or something like that. When I unclipped it, there was no discernible difference between the two halves, besides the Cantu side was a bit more oily (I had more oil, so I was a little more generous with it).

I wasn’t satisfied with the results of either oil, and I’m starting to question the value of doing hot oil treatments. Maybe I’m jsut not doing it right. To further condition my hair, I tried the imfamous, stinky, and very old 5-Minute Reconstructor, and I have to say that I’m finally sold.

Look at that! I could have let it dry like that and head out! (With normal conditioner, my hair is a bit more of a poof even before I dry it).So what’s the first thing I do with my cute curls?I straighten my hair.

Look at the damaged ends! Ugh!

Yeaaaaah. It was a waste of time because it came out horrible. I wasn’t very good at getting it straight when it was permed, and I’m not any better now that I’m natural!

Me, circa 2007

Final Verdict?: I don’t think I’m going to do a hot oil treatment again anytime soon. It didn’t seem to do very much, but…I do love this Reconstructor. I’m going to have to go back for more, and maybe find a replacement when I run out. And as for straightening my hair…I think I’ll pay for a Dominican Blow-out. Much better results! For now, I’m going to stick with heat-free styles as much as I can.