Protective Styling – My first up-do.

Hello Everyone,

My main go to for protective styling is a wig.  I love the ease and convenience of it.  The downfall to wearing a wig all the time is that I do not know how to style my hair.  I am a beginner.

I would spend hours searching you tube for hair styles that I felt I could do on my hair but always felt my TWA was too short to pull them off.  I realized if I took a hair style and broke it down into sections, I could probably replicate it on my own hair with a few tweaks here and there.  I was going for a hair style that resembled my natural hair pulled up on the top of my hair.  I also wanted a style that did not cost a lot of money because I am experimenting styling my hair.  This style cost a total of $6  (1 Pack of Kinky Bulk Hair).  The hair was installed using the crochet method to the crown of my hair.

I have a TWA and my hair is between 2.5 and 3 inches long.  On Feb. 19th I twisted the back and sides of my hair going up towards my crown.  This is how my braid pattern looks.

My braid pattern

This is how the hair looks when it is not pinned or tucked into a hair style.  Just like a fro.

My hair unstyled

This is the way I styled it.    I have no idea how long this style will last.  I hope it will last at least 2 weeks.  I  will definitely do this again but I might try another type of hair.  I only had the hair in overnight and this morning I woke up to head full of single strand knots.  It really does resemble my 4C hair. LOL.

Oh and if you do try this hair style and have short hair like I do.  Let me warn you…. installing the crochet hair will make your braids feel tighter.  So braid your hair as loose as possible without having your cornrows unravel.

I hope this will give other ladies with a short TWA some inspiration.  With a few tweaks here and there, anything is possible.


My hair styledKINDLE_CAMERA_1391433612000




Internal dialog – What to do about those damaged ends.

My hair always felt coarse.  This I thought was normal for my hair type.   No matter how much I deep conditioned, avoided heat and manipulating my hair, my ends were rough and like brillo.

I knew my hair was damaged.  To my dismay, I realized it was 2 inches and was disappointed.   Just that same morning, I wrote in my journal how happy I was that my hair was finally getting longer.  I even attempted a very tiny pony tale with lots of hair pins to hold my sides up.  The key word is ATTEMPTED.  Really it was a disaster because my hair was still too short on the sides but I sure had the vision. LOL

So began my internal dialog…. what is more important, long hair or healthy hair?   Yes ladies, I turned into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  When your hair grows as slow as mine, watching it grow is like watching water boil, it can be quite frustrating.  The thought of cutting my hair was torture.  So I decided to dust my ends.  The length seemed more important until I felt my hair.  It still felt horrible  and the dusting just seemed like a total waste.

I ended up cutting most of the damaged ends and my hair is now between 2.5 and 3  inches long.  I felt sad for a little while, however, my hair now feels awesome and looks so much healthier.  It is soft all over.  Yes, ladies you can have soft coarse textured hair!  (I hope I am describing it correctly.)

Here is my question….  What would you do?  Would you cut off all the damaged ends?  and How much damaged determines if you should cut your hair, trim your hair or dust your hair?

Thanks for reading and it feels good to be back.


This is how much I cut off.

Damaged hair I cut off on 2/11/14

Damaged hair I cut off on 2/11/14

This is how my hair looks now.

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My First Year Natural

It’s been a year, and my, how slow time goes when one is measuring 3/8 inch every month!   I did the big chop on January 31, 2013.

Big Chop 1/31/13

Big Chop 1/31/13

Here are a few things that I learned.

My hair grows very SLOW.  It grew 4.5 inches in 12 months.  My hair texture is 4C – very kinky/coily with a zig zag curl pattern.  This took several months to figure out since my hair growth is slower than other hair types.

I keep my hair in protected styles approximately 80% of the time.

My favorite go-to is a wig. Pictures from blackberry 129

I am not a product junkie; in fact, I try to use products that are inexpensive while I learn about my hair.  I want a better understanding of why I am purchasing a product, especially one that I may consider an investment.


 I started my journey using all Olive Oil products since they were the products I used when my hair was relaxed.   I washed my hair every week using:

Creamy aloe shampoo

Replenishing conditioner

Oil moisturizing hair lotion

Hair Masque (I purchased after my big chop to combat the dryness)

Now, I wash my hair every two weeks with conditioner and stopped using a shampoo six months ago.  I now co wash with VO5 conditioner and go back and forth between a clarifying and moisturizing conditioner.


My hair responds well to the VO5 conditioners.  I am able to detangle and condition with no problem.  I also use Elasta QP Olive oil and Mango Butter anti-breakage, Leave-in Conditioner.  I did purchase Kinky Curly conditioner and my daughter swiped it so I only used it twice.


My favorite is water and is really the only one I use.


My hair responds to heavier products.  I use natural Shea butter and add the following oils to it.

olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil and vitamin E.  (I mix them with a mixer and put the shea butter back into the tub I purchased it in.)


Plain Greek yogurt with honey, olive oil and apple cider vinegar (every other month)


I keep my hair in double strand twists.  It is easy for me to moisturize and seal my hair in this style.

Wash/Condition/Detangle with conditioner.

Use oils such as coconut, olive, castor etc on damp hair to hold in the moisture from the water.

Use shea butter to seal in the oil and style my hair.

At night, I mist my hair with water and rub a little shea butter on it and wrap my head with a silk scarf.

10 months of hair growth

10 months of hair growth


Really my hair looked the same between my 10 and 12 month pictures that I did not need to post it twice.



I’m Back and picking up the pieces.

Hello Everyone,

So I’ve been gone for six months. My life’s journey took me down a challenging road. I resisted, kicked, screamed, blamed others, wallowed in self pity and found myself face down in depression and despair. Now, I’m picking up the pieces of my life and decided to do something I enjoyed and that was reading your posts and beginning my dialog with you all.

I look forward to catching up and sharing my journey.


2 Weeks Complete with my Marly Twists

Hi Everyone,

Here is a quick update on my protective styling challenge.  I have completed 2 weeks and I am hopeful that my twists will last another week.  They are not attractive because my hair sticks out (see pictures below) and when I go out I usually wear them in a top bun with a scarf wrapped around my head to hide my scalp.   Honestly, a few times I did not wear a scarf and guess what the world did not end and, the hair police did not arrest me for falsifying a twisted hair style.Single strand of marly braid

These two weeks have been interesting.  I started my journey wasting countless hours wishing my twists came out better.  I wished my hair was longer, the texture was different, I wished my baby hair would lay down, yada, yada, yada.  It would have been so easy to take the twists out but I refused to take them out simply because of my negative attitude. After all this process is about self acceptance.  I promised myself that if the twists began to fall out, then and only then would I remove them.

I took the advice of NaturallyCurly and moisture my hair every other day.  The days I wear my hair wrapped in a bandana, I moisture at night as well.  I sleep in a satin bonnet and try my best not to pull or tug on the twists so they don’t fall out.  My morning ritual of moisturizing my hair began to change.  I started to look at my hair and embrace the qualities my hair has.

I am thankful that my hair is kinky.  Due to its kinky nature, it is very forgiving and adaptive as I learn how to install twists and style my hair.  If it was silky straight, my twists would have been out long ago.  I tried everything you can think of to lay down my baby hair and frame my face.  It just will not lay down for long (3 minutes at most).  I have oily skin and my face was a shiny mess as gel from my edges would slowly make its way down my face.  I have come to the conclusion that my hair knows what is best for me and that I need to stop forcing it to behave in a way that is unnatural for my texture.

I am looking forward to trying this style again.

Back profile of marly braids Side profile of marly braids


My first attempt at Afro Marley Twists

Time to try something new while I enjoy this awkward stage.   I decided to try a two strand twist style using Afro Marley synthetic hair.   I have not braided my own hair in about 7 years, so I did not want to invest in something expensive since this would be a trial run.   I was not sure if my hair would be long enough to grab but I thought why not give it a try.  It was more difficult than I expected.


The first half hour was spent trying to get a smooth transition from my hair to the extension and figuring out how to get the twists to stay.  My hair is short (almost 2 inches) and the ends are blunt so the braid seem to unravel at the transition point where my hair ends and the extension continues.  I have not learned the technique to make the twists look neat.  Some twists unravel and others don’t.  Some twists are defined and well others are not.  I am not sure how long these twists will stay in.  Let’s see if it can last at least 4 weeks.

Lessons Learned:

Use a hair color that matches my own to help blend the transition between my hair and the extension.

Make smaller sections when braiding to help the braid last longer.

Use more hair.  I purchased and used 3 packs of hair.  I think I would have been more comfortable and not panic as much while I was doing my hair if I had more packs.

I am glad I used a kinky texture hair that matched the texture of my own.  The course texture of the synthetic hair helped to grab my short hair when beginning the braid.  I sure hope it does not pull my hair out in the end.

Prep Time:

The night before I did the install, I deep conditioned my hair and kept it in overnight. The next morning I washed my hair with conditioner and finished with a leave in conditioner.

So here are some pictures of my first attempt.  It looks much better when pulled into a ponytail versus loose.

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

I hope you can see how the back is not blended well.

Back view of hair pulled up

Back view of hair pulled up

I was inspired by the high buns I see on bloggers pages and basically everywhere I go.

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Peri-menopause and changes in hair texture

This year I noticed that I have not been myself.  I am more irritable; have sudden mood changes; I have gained weight; I have experienced brain fog; insomnia; loss of libido and yes even a bout of depression.  I was talking with my sister and she pointed out to me that I am going through peri-menopause.  UGH!  Please not that I cried!  So I started to do my research and found that fluctuating hormones levels can wreck havoc on our hair texture and thickness.

Before I did the big chop, my hair lost its body and shine.  It thinned out and dried out as well.  That was my push to cut it off and grow it back healthy.  I thought this change was due to over processing and stress.   When I first cut my hair off it started to grow back wiry and coarse.  My family did not take well to my big chop and called me Brillo top.  I use hair masks and deep conditioners to help soften my hair texture.  I am beginning to notice a difference.   Now I am positive that my hormones also contributed to the change in my hair.

The transition –

The transition into menopause can be fearful, exciting and daunting just like doing a big chop or transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair.  Menopause is a time when our body is designed to take a pause.  It also coincides with my decision to take a pause when it comes to my hair.  Is this a coincidence?  There are times when I feel overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown.  What will my hair texture be?  UNKNOWN.  How long will it take before I could put my hair in an bun?  UNKNOWN  When will the mood swings be over?  UNKNOWN  Are you getting my point?  This situation is taxing for a person that must know the ending of a story before she decides to read a book!

Self-discovery –

This is a time for self discovery and to learn something new about myself.  I chose to embrace this journey and not to fight against it.  I am learning what works for another person may not work for me.  It is time to let go of the expectations and stop comparing myself to others.  My hair is just that…my hair. I am learning to ask questions and find places where I can feel accepted while I figure this hair thing out. (That is why I am here)  Reading your blogs and articles comforts me in knowing I am not alone in my journey and others have paved the way from confusion to clarity.

Yet still, going through the awkward stage is quite challenging.  There are days when I feel confident and others when I want to crawl under and rock and die.  I recently experienced a breakdown and ran to the beauty supply store, purchased a texturizer and did a horrible job at attempting to put it in my hair.  What triggered that insane moment, my hair or my hormones?

Surrender and Embrace–

Yes, I do mean surrender.  They say patience is a virtue.  It may take a while before I learn my real hair texture and I chose to accept that.  Reasons why (a) I put a chemical in my hair (b) my hormone levels are changing and this can change the texture and thickness of my hair as well.

If you are in your 40’s, like  I am, and experiencing similar symptoms, please learn from my mistake and don’t make permanent and drastic changes to your hair when you are in panic mode because your hair does not seem to be behaving the way you think it should.  It could just be your hormones wrecking havoc on your hair and your emotions.  Treat your hair with the tenderness and care it deserves during this stage in your life.  Treat yourself with the tenderness and care you deserve ALWAYS!

At this stage of our life, having a hair goal is really important to stay focused on our goals.  Don’t be afraid to share the crazy moments like I just did.  You never know, we may save a few hair strands along the way.

This advice is coming from an all around newbie.  A first time blogger, a newly natural (I am not sure if I am considered a natural after my texturizer stunt) and now a newbie entering the dreaded menopause stage.  Embrace the change!

So world, I am curious, what are your thoughts on this?  How has your hair changed during this stage of your life and can you offer any suggestions to help me through this stage as well.

Thanks for reading.




Hello Everyone

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Wanda and I am on my journey to becoming Naturallyme.  On January 31, 2013 I decided to do the big chop and cut my hair off.  (Sorry I can’t find the picture.) It was dry, damaged and thinning badly.   I did this for me. I was turning 45 in June, and, I was committed to begin the next stage of my life working on me.  Self love is a beautiful thing but not always easy.  There is a saying “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”  Author unknown.


My goal in January was simple.

a)     Restore my hair to a healthy state.

b)    Learn how to take care of my hair.

c)     Embrace self love!

I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster ride that followed.  I have so many questions and so much to say on Self Acceptance and finding the courage to identify what “Natural” means to me.  I look forward to sharing my journey with all of you.

These pictures were taken May 28, 2013.