I still can’t believe it’s been two years since I did my big mini chop and became completely natural.
What a journey!
I’ve learned a lot in these two years, especially about taking care of my hair. In the first year, I gained quite a bit of length, but in the 2nd year I only gained a couple of inches.
So what happened?
I Ignored My Ends
Two strand twists can be a great low-manipulation style, but you you can still do great damage to your hair if you’re not careful.
As wonderful as mini twists are with regards to low maintenance, when you leave them in too long your ends can get knotted up. And you really have to be careful when removing them (especially the really small ones.)
Some days I would rush the take-down process and create knots, split ends, etc. Then I would try to nurture them with creams and butters or trim them a bit, when I knew I needed to trim much more than I did.
So of course that damage traveled up the ends and I ended up having to trim even more in the end. I knew my ends were not going to fix themselves, so I’m baffled by my stubbornness sometimes. 🙂 Well, I ignored them and paid the price.
A Wash and Go No-No!
Wash and go’s are so freeing because I don’t always feel like spending hours twisting or setting my hair.
One of my proudest moments as a natural was when I felt comfortable enough to wear my hair in a puff with no concern about definition.
This also became one of my go-to hairstyles when I was in a hurry or if I didn’t feel like doing much with my hair.
But just like mini twists, the longer you wear a puff, the gentler you have to be when taking it down because your hair may be tangled.
When I first started wearing puffs, I would get impatient and quickly detangle my hair on wash day to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Of course that caused more tangles, knots, split ends, you name it.
So now when I wear puffs, I either rock them for a few days (instead of a week or more), or I twist my hair up at night to prevent tangles and protect my ends better.
It’s All Good!
I know I spent the duration of this post highlighting my missteps, but overall this journey has been wonderful and I have no regrets about taking it.
I’m proud of how far my hair has come even with the small setbacks.
My biggest enemy in this last year has been sheer laziness and impatience. I vow to do better going forward.
To all you transitioners out there, hang in there. Sometimes it may seem like you’ll never get there, but I promise when you look back it will seem as if your transition took days instead of months.
Enjoy the process of discovering your hair and always remember health is far more important than length.
You may think trimming your hair is setting you back, but you’ll be set back even further if you let your ends get worse.
And finally, learn to embrace YOUR texture. It may be enjoyable to watch other ladies on YouTube that have textures you admire, but make sure that admiration doesn’t turn into envy.
Embrace what’s on YOUR head. It makes the journey a lot more rewarding.
Here’s a short video where you can see the comparison in length between 2011 and 2013…
If you can’t view the video, watch it here.
I love your page and all of the helpful tips that you give. I have been all natural going on five years now. The problem that I have is huge shrinkage. I flat ironed my hair just to see how long it really is, and I loved what I saw in the length. However, once wash day came around my hair shrunk into a tight little ball. Do you think I will see faster growth and length by cutting/trimming my hair? Help!
Im confused about certain things. Is white residue a good thing or a bad thing? I just had my wash day ( my hair is at least 1/2 an inch and I just big chopped on the 1st) and I pre-poo, shampoo, co-wash, put a leave in and tried the loc method since my hair has been extremely dry lately. Now I have white residue and I’m unsure. When some girls do twist outs I see white residue and they don’t seem to care about it but other girls hate white residue and says its the products clashing. Should I change my products or keep it moving?
Sometimes products don’t play/mix well together so when they dry that causes the residue. Also, it could be because you have build-up from products. Try buying a clarifying shampoo and using it once a month to remove build up. See if that helps.
Thanks! I remember when I started transitioning Feb 2011 this bag was my go to page. I am now all natural and still stalk this page. LOL. I am currently loving this journey as well and Im more proud of far I have come along with doing my own hair. Before being natural, I never washed my own hair, let alone try and style it. LOL
Thanks for all your insight and honesty.
And thank you for visiting and commenting, Shea!