My Big Chop

So I can finally say that I am fully #TeamNatural! After transitioning for 1 year and 10 months I finally decided to cut off the last of my relaxed ends. My plan was to big chop once I reached the 2 year mark so that I would have enough length to still wear buns and style my hair the way I wanted to. But the last few months my hair was breaking severely and detangling my hair on wash days became so stressful. I had tried deep conditioning and moisturising more often, but I was still losing a lot of hair every time I washed it. A natural hair page I follow on Instagram were doing an advice session in their stories so I told her about the amount of breakage I was experiencing and she suggested cutting my hair as soon as possible… and she was right! My hair looks and feels so much healthier post big chop.

 

I chose to cut my hair myself as I wanted to be alone and feel comfortable, I wasn’t sure how I would feel after cutting it, if I would like the way my hair looked, if I feel any different about myself or my hair. But as I was cutting my hair I didn’t really feel anything to be honest, I just wanted to get it done.  I did my first wash and go, and after so many years of relaxing my hair it was so satisfying to see the different textures and curl patterns in my hair. I would say that I have 4a hair at the top and the nape, then the rest is a combination of 4b and 4c curl patterns .

 

It’s been almost 2 months since I big chopped and I have no regrets, in terms of daily styling and night time routines it’s been easier than I thought. I tend to wear one hairstyle for the whole week, so whether it’s a bun, a puff or whatever that determines how I will sleep with my hair at night to make it quicker the next day. My hair is currently collar bone length when stretched and my next goal is to reach armpit length.

 

The first photo shows my texture after I shampooed my hair

The second photo is an old wash and go, I used the Coil Defining Jelly by As I am

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Oman… Adventures in The Middle East

So last month I went to Oman in the middle east, it was somewhere very different for me! Oman was somewhat of a culture shock for me at first, having to adjust to the dress code and the social differences for women and men. We flew to the capital Muscat and drove over 2 hours to a place called Sohar, once we arrived we checked into the Radisson Blu hotel, which was literally right on the beach. The hotel was amazing, it was nice and quiet, great service, friendly staff and great facilities.

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We spent one day in Muscat, but due to the long drive we didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked. We visited a large traditional Souk (Market), where you could buy souvenirs, traditional  Omani outfits, jewellery etc. We went to the national museum and Oman Avenues Mall, which is the largest mall in the country.

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My 2 highlights from the trip were firstly visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, it was such a beautiful and peaceful place. The amount of care and detail in the design and the perfectly manicured grounds surrounded the building were breathe taking. However due to their prayer times, it’s only open to Non-Muslims from 8am – 11am so if you’re not Muslim and want to visit you will need to go early.

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The second highlight for me was visiting a wadi, we drove there and had a BBQ as the sun set. It was like being in the middle of nowhere with no one else was around, it was so surreal. Overall I enjoyed my time in Oman I felt welcomed and there was a lot to see and do.

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Natural Hair Favourites

Since starting on this transitioning journey I would definitely say I’ve become a product junkie! Previously my favourite brand was Keracare, but I’ve found that my natural hair doesn’t seem to like it. The moisturiser and conditioners I used to love just left my hair feeling hard and very dry.

I started testing out lots of different products to find what works for my new texture and have been making an effort to buy more black owned brands as well. So far I have found a few products that work really well for my type 4 hair

 

1) Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque

This product was recommended to me by my sisters who both use this on their relaxed hair. After the first use I knew this would be one of my holy grail products, I loved it! I had never felt my hair so soft before and the scent is delicious. You can smell the honey, coconut and sweet almond oil very strongly, the smell stays in my hair for a few days even after applying other products on top. The conditioner is really thick and I tend to use a lot in each section to coat my hair. The mafura oil is good for strengthening dry, damaged and brittle hair.

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2) Uniqurl, Supreme Moisture Leave-in Detangler

Uniqurl is a black owned brand that I came across this year. As I’ve previously reviewed this product on my blog I won’t go into much detail. (You can read my review here… https://wordpress.com/post/coilyadventures.wordpress.com/32 ) I still love this detangler it’s a leave in conditioner and detangler combined, with aloe vera and coconut oil. The slip makes it so easy to detangle my hair even if just using fingers instead of a comb.

 

3) TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask Deep Conditioner

This product had amazing reviews online so I finally tried it out, and found it was worth the hype. It contains raw honey, olive, oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera juice. I personally don’t like the smell of this product, it’s not too bad, but it does have a weird scent which is quite strong. Honey has great benefits for your hair it helps treat dry scalp, reduce frizz and moisturise the hair strands. Aloe vera juice promotes hair growth, adds shine and strengthens the hair strands.

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4) TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer

I love this moisturiser it’s thick and creamy enough to really moisturise and soften my hair, but it’s not too heavy and doesn’t weigh down my hair. It contains shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil as well as aloe vera leaf juice. I tend to use this every other day, but you could easily use this daily without getting too much product build up. It has a really nice, sweet fruity scent, compared to the other moisturisers I have tested this is definitely my favourite.

These are just a few of my favourite products so far, thanks for reading!

Hair Journey… Transitioning struggles

The last time I relaxed my hair was February 2017, so it’s now been 1 year and 9 months of trying to grow out my hair. I chose to transition over doing a big chop as I’ve had shoulder length to armpit length hair for most of my life, I didn’t want to jump to a TWA as I don’t think it would suit me. It seemed like too drastic a change for me.

 

Overall transitioning hasn’t been as difficult as I expected, the hardest part was when I got to about 10 – 11months in. I was really struggled with styling my hair because of the 2 different textures. I had too much regrowth for a weave (I don’t use hair straightness anymore) but wearing braids was beginning to affect my hair line so I had been wearing my hair up in a bun most days. Some days my hair just did not want to cooperate and I would end up in the bathroom for ages extremely frustrated and fed up. One wash day my hair had tangled so much I spent an hour detangling, after that I booked an appointment to go get my hair relaxed! Fortunately (or unfortunately at the time!) the hair salon had an issue with the water pipes and they had no running water that day so my appointment was cancelled… I took that as a sign to keep going!

After some time I found products that worked for my hair and made wash day so much easier. I think my hair has type  4a, 4b and probably some 4c textures, but I have no idea about my porosity! The back of my hair is pretty much all natural now, some I cut myself out of curiosity and some of it broke off. It’s mainly the front section of my hair which still has a lot of straight ends left,  I’m planning to cut it all off when I reach the 2 year mark. I could cut it sooner, but I would prefer to wait for the front of my hair to catch up with the back in terms of length.

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Would love to hear your hair journey stories, did you transition or big chop straight away?

Spain… Adventures in Tenerife

For my birthday this month my husband planned a trip for us to go to Tenerife in Spain. I had only been to Spain once before this, for a family wedding so this was the first time going just for a holiday. I was actually surprised at how nice it was, Spain is a cheaper holiday destination for us in the UK so I always imagined it to be full of British people and low budget hotels! We stayed in the north of the island in an area called Los Realejos, near Puerto de la Cruz.

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We visited Playa Maria Jiminez beach, it was my first time going to a black sand beach. The contrast of the black sand and the blue water was so different to the beaches that I’m used to

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Lago Martianez is a open air swimming complex in Puerto de la Cruz. It only cost us € 5.50 each to go in and you can spend the whole day there. They have an ample amount of sun loungers, but you do have to pay €2.50 for the umbrellas

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Lago Martianez

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Overall I really enjoyed my time in Tenerife, the next Spanish island on my list is Fuerteventura!

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Product review: Uniqurl

I came across a brand called Uniqurl on Instagram, the products are specially designed for type 4 hair and it’s a black owned company so I decided to give them a try. My hair has been breaking a lot recently so I decided to purchase the ‘Supreme Moisture kit’ to see if this would help. The supreme moisture kit contains a leave in detangler and a moisture sealing oil. Unfortunately Uniqurl products aren’t currently available to purchase in the UK, so I had to order from their US site and pay the international postage.

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The  aloe and coconut leave in dentangler is really thick, creamy and it smells amazing. The smell reminds me of sweets or some kind of dessert. I used the leave in detangler on freshly washed hair and finger detangled. I would normally use a comb but I found that my fingers just glided through my hair with this product, I did use a very generous amount per section. Afterwards I used the moisture sealing oil which contains sweet almond oil, aloe vera oil, palm oil, vitamin E and coconut oil. The next day when I styled my hair is was so soft, moisturised and smelt great.

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I will keep using the two together  to see if they help reduce the breakage that I’m experiencing. But I would definitely re purchase the leave in detangler, although the oil worked well with it I imagine I can use any other oil as a sealer.

If you’ve tried any Uniqurl products let me know what you thought!

Thailand Adventures

I love going to new countries, experiencing different cultures and foods. I had never been to Asia before and picked Thailand as my first visit to the continent since I had heard so much about it. Plus I love Thai food and my husband has family there that we could go and visit.

Our first stop was Bangkok, where we stayed at the Ramada Plaza Riverside. We spent 2 days exploring the city in 32 degree heat. It was a really hectic start, lots of traffic and so many people. We visited China Town, The Grand Palace, the National museum and a few temples and markets.

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From Bangkok we flew to Phuket and spent 4 nights at the Mandarava Resort and Spa, a 5 star resort  near Karon beach which was absolutely amazing. Phuket was the highlight for me, it was so peaceful, amazing sites and the food was even better than I expected. We went on a site seeing tour and  visited Wat Chalong (a temple) and then the Big Buddha.

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Another highlight was the day trip to Phi Phi Islands, unfortunately it did rain most of that day but it was still beautiful to see.

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The final stop on our Thailand adventure was a 2 hour drive from Phuket to a small town call Khao Lak. We checked into another resort called Moracea Khao Lak Resort. Each place we visited was so different, in Khao Lak it felt like we were in the middle of a jungle with a private beach it was the ideal place to relax after all the site seeing and exploring we had done.

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My Natural Hair Journey

So my story isn’t one of self discovery or acceptance really, because I actually didn’t plan to go natural. It just sort of happened! My last relaxer was in February 2017, so it’s been 1 year and 8 months of transitioning. I had yet another bad chemical burn so I decided to give my scalp a break. I planned to not relax my hair for at least 6 months just to see if my scalp would improve. But after the first 6 months I didn’t feel like relaxing my hair again. I researched some alternatives like texlaxing then after lots of YouTube videos and reading blogs I decided to quit relaxers altogether!

Like most of us my hair was relaxed when I was a child, I would say I was around 10 years old. I remember my twin sister and I being so excited to get our hair relaxed, we day dreamed about having long flowing hair like the girls at school. When the big day finally came, instead of going to a proper salon my mum took us to a lady who lived locally and did hair from her small council flat. To say I was disappointed with the results was an understatement! Although my hair was straight it was stiff, greasy and frizzy at the ends.

From figuring out what to do with my hair, to discovering cheap hair gel, hair straighteners and weaves my hair has been through a lot. I’m excited to see what my natural hair will be like once I’ve cut off the relaxed ends, this is just the start of my healthy hair journey.