Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hair Feature: Tracy

    Hey Loves,

           I have decided to start a new series where I ask other people to share with us their hair experiences, be them natural or relaxed. The main aim of this blog is to share ways to help achieve healthy hair and show that we are not alone in our hair drama, so here is what my friend Tracy had to say about her little hair journey.

     1.     A Little About You?
I’m currently completing a Masters in Economics. I’m half Scottish, and half Sotho and have lived in several African and European countries – I’m a bit of a global nomad.
     2.     Facts about your hair? (Relaxed, Natural, Curl pattern, Length, etc.)
My mother has an Afro, my father has really thick hair…and instead of getting gorgeous curls like other mixed race kids, I got an extra thick natural Afro. I’ve got various hair textures on this head of mine, but definitely in the 4’s.
     3.     When did you start your hair journey? Why?
Given how thick my hair is, my mother started relaxing my hair at a very young age (probably 5 or 6 years old). My hair was not damaged or thinned by the relaxer because I always had it professionally done, but what I did notice was that I’m getting more and more grey hair (!!!!!!!!). I’m not ready to embrace these bright silver strands in my hair so I started dying it and realized that, with the relaxer, I would be putting some type of chemical on my hair every 6 weeks (alternating between dyes and relaxing). I was terrified of the effect this would have on my hair so opted to ditch the relaxer - I had my last retouch in December 2012. I transitioned until July 2013 then chopped off the relaxed hair.
      4.     What your current Regimen?
Right now I attempt to do a simple protective style (e.g. two French braids or twists) after washing my hair and I’ll keep my hair like that until my next wash-day. I try not to handle my hair too often.

If I don’t do a protective style then I part my hair into four sections, spritz each section with a water and oil mixture then apply a leave-in conditioner. I then detangle and style (I don’t finger detangle – I just don’t have the patience). 

Wash:  I wash my hair once a week. I don’t do anything special. Wash, rinse, condition, rinse, leave-in conditioner, castor oil to seal and style!  
     5.     Dos and Don’ts about your hair? (My hair loves when I, My hair hates when I.. etc.)
My hair loves leave-in conditioner. I don’t use other moisturizing products because they make my hair too oily and too much oil makes my hair break.

My hair hates season changes. Hair breakage when we go from winter to summer and vice versa. During this period I tend to break the bank by opting for braids/cornrow.
     6.     What are your hair goals? How are you working towards achieving them?
As with most people it would be GREAT to achieve bra strap length hair (ok, ideally somewhere between bra strap and my waist!! AMBITIOUS!!!). I do have a simple style goals I would like to achieve and are slightly more realistic: 1) all my hair in a puff at the back of my head rather than on top of it (right now my front hair is too short to reach the back of my head); 2) a bun. A proper bun! That’s all. I’m not doing anything to achieve them…just going with the flow.
     7.     What are your hair staples? Styles, products, accessories
Cantu leave-in conditioner; puffs (hair ties) of various sizes; bobby-pins; satin hair scarf (pyjamas for my hair!).
     8.     Share with us an experience that (good or bad) you’ve encountered with someone about your hair.
I will never ever go out at night with my hair loose. For some reason, people think it’s appropriate and funny to touch AND PULL my afro as if it’s not attached to my scalp!! I went out with friends, wearing just a head band with most of my hair loose…bar tenders, random drunks with questionable hygiene thought my hair was public property. Actual pulling was involved and people thought it was hilarious to put drinking straws in my hair. I was livid!
     9.     For those seeking advice about healthy hair?
 I am unfortunately not a hair expert and I'm also still experimenting with products and regimes. My advice is that you should avoid becoming a product and/or regime junkie. There are many things you can do with your hair and thousands of products out there. Let me put it like this: if you live in America/Europe you have access to a lot of sulphate-free, great brands …but what if you live somewhere in Africa or Asia where all of a sudden these specialized products are not readily available and/or you have to pay incredible prices for them. Find products and regimes that your hair likes and that are easily available to you. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t using sulphate free goods and don’t feel bad if you can’t do a deep condition under a steamer. Love your hair and find what works for you. For example, I don’t like spending the whole day doing my hair. I applaud Dumsy on her ability to dedicate so much time to hair treatments, I straight up lack the patience. Maybe my hair would have grown longer/faster if I started finger detangling but the thought of doing so already makes me cry hahahaha. Treat your scalp well and be positive about your hair. Don’t be ashamed of it and don’t believe that just because you don’t have a certain product or tool that your hair journey is destined to fail. 
     10.  Where can we connect with you? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?
I’m on Facebook, but I don’t accept friend requests from people I don’t know. Feel free to contact me through this blog though. Heehee

Left - July 2013 after 7 months of transition. Right - November 2014

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