My Myriad Curl Patterns

Taking care of varying curl patterns is a challenge and a gift.  A challenge because finding just the right product combination took a long time (around 9 months post BC for me), but in the end it is so worth it. All the trial and error finally paid off and though shrinkage is a major part of my hair journey, Katie Kaboom’s health and growth are awesome.  A gift because it is so versatile and the arrangement of the different curl patterns and associated shrinkage on my head makes for a shaped wash and go, no stylist or scissors involved. 🙂  Though the shrinkage does require me to remind myself: (1) a lot of youtube naturals transitioned before the BC; and (2) hair grows at different rates for different people.

Grid 1 is a second day wash n go using the LCOG method (yup, I made up another acronym as if we need anymore!).  Leave-in: TJ’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner.  Creme: my revised Naptural85’s shea butter creme mix.  Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil.

2014.1.14 GRID Curl Pattern Montage

Grid 2 is a montage of my hair over the past two months (except for the bottom).  Top left: wet and freshly out of the shower with TJ’s TTT conditioner only.  Top right: LCOG method.  Bottom left: 5th day wash and go.  Bottom right: 10.5 month shrinkage/length check.

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Until next time, happy hair care! 🙂

Length Check – 1 Year, 1 Week, and 2 Days of Growth

2013.12 Length Check_Year 1My hair is healthy, strong, and growing.  Since I’ve received so many requests, here’s a pictorial length check.  More to come soon on my journey so far, but hopefully this will satisfy everyone for now! 🙂

1 Year Hairniversary: from Day 1 to Year 1

One year of natural hair. Loving the hang time and the journey continues! 🙂

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Protective Style: Crochet Braid – 1 Week In

I love the hairstyle and look of the braids, but the feel is tooooo much for my poor sensitive scalp/tender head. My braider did the cornrows extremely loose because I, of course, told her about my scalp/sensitivity.

Despite her finest attempts, however, my head is in revolt. In a blog post I drafted a while ago, I told myself to remember that adding extensions to my hair has never gone well.  Wigs yes, but connecting hair/extensions, no!

I tried massaging and oiling my scalp to no avail throughout the week.  I tried rinsing/moisturizing my hair.  It is one week in and my scalp is screaming at me.

Ah, c’est la vie.  Now I’m on the look out for a good wig for my large head. Lol. Wish me luck and all input/advice are encouraged and definitely wanted!!!

Protective Style: Crochet Braids

If you follow this blog, you know one of the main things missing from my regimen is “traditional” protective styling.  That is, styles that protect the ends because they are some combination of: (1) low manipulation; (2) ends are tucked away/hidden; and (3) last more than a week–from what I can tell, the longer the style lasts the better.  I avoided protective styles for two main reasons, my hair/scalp is not a fan of extensions or weaves–too much stress for my fine strands, and I did not think the appearance of some styles would satisfy my hair style aesthetic.

However, while fueling my natural hair obsession through research, I saw the emergence (re-emergence, for some, but it is the FIRST TIME I ever heard of them) of crochet braids and was immediately intrigued.  A protective style that did not take as long or cost as much as a weave; did not place too much stress on your strands during/post installation; embraced adding textured fake hair–I didn’t want to be without kinky-curly locks; and is touted by many across the natural hair online stratosphere.  I was sold, so on a sunny Friday afternoon (November 1st), I got crochet braids.

The process in a nutshell: cornrow hair, then crochet the hair of your choosing to the braids using the hair only; no thread is involved.  The cost of installation & cornrows $80.  The hair I purchased (see pic below) retails for $5.99/bag for 14 inches (I used three full bags).

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What I told the stylist: “my hair is fine; I have an extremely tender, finicky scalp, so no tight cornrows.”  After installation, my stylist said my hair was Diana Ross status, but I was going for more of an angled bob, so she set about shaping my newly crocheted mane.  The results:

Mosaic Crochet Braids

Until next time, Katie-kaboom says, ta ta for now!  Literally, because she is braided and hidden under my crochet braids.  🙂

Shrinkage Update: 10.5 Months

Pictorial of my shrinkage just 10 days shy of my 11 month hairniversary.  The styling method pictured is LCO (leave-in, cream, then oil) plus Eco Styler Blue while raking (in the back/nape area because my strands are extremely fine with a more loose curl pattern) and separating in small sections (everywhere else because my curls are tighter almost everywhere else on my head).  I do not really like this method because the shrinkage is IMMENSE!  As in multiple people complimenting me on my new hair cut…um, not so much.  Lol.  On the other hand, my hubby, randoms at the market, and a multitude of coworkers complimented my hair with this style…  I guess, I should try to keep it in rotation, but I make no promises…

I have a surplus of drafts, so sorry for the multiple posts in one day!

2013.10.29 Shrinkage Grid

The “In-Between” Stage Has Arrived! Now What?

(Pictures at end of the post)

The in-between stage has arrived for Katie-kaboom.  Gone are the days of virtually effortless wash ‘n goes in under 10 minutes of shower time.  It is the stage where I must re-learn my hair at this length in its natural state.  I–somewhat begrudgingly–accept the challenge…

What the in-between stage really means for me is learning from and reminding myself of the past!  I have tried many protective styles touted by the natural hair community during my lifetime.  Some worked and others did not, so as Katie and I tackle the “in-between” stage she finds it important to remind me of the following:

  1. I have never had a positive long-term weave or braid-extension experience.  My hair strands are fine/medium (with a tendency toward fine) and not densely arranged on my scalp (i.e. my hair is thin)…The stress that weaves put on my hair is simply too much for my strands to withstand.
  2. Twist outs don’t work on fine, thin hair.  Okay, they do work, I just do not like how they look on my hair at this length (I used to love them when my hair was longer!).  As a result, I must try other styles.  In the near future, I plan to try a flat twist (or braid) out and will post result pictures once I do.
  3. I must rethink my shampoo strategy.  I cannot do what I see in the commercials anymore, unless I want to tack on a lot of detangling time AND put unnecessary stress on my strands.  So circular motion shampooing is out, and shampooing my scalp and down the upper length of my hair is in!
  4. I must begin experimenting with protective styles that “stretch” my hair.  Darn it, this means trial and error, which equals more time, which means my KISS mentality will be tested until I find a style(s) I like.

Until I find more go-to styles, I’m still rocking my wash ‘n goes, but am challenging myself to make them last 5 days or more.  Last week’s wash ‘n go lasted 6 days (see pictures below)!  So, it can be done.

How do you style your fine, thin natural hair?  Any go-to styles?  Let me know because I need style experiment ideas.  See you next time!  Xoxo

Photo on 10-11-13 at 11.16 AM #3 Photo on 10-11-13 at 11.16 AM