Screwy Haired Girl

I've got really screwy hair. LOVE IT.

The Big Chop!

I did it! I BC’d my hair on Monday, April 25, 2011, and it still feels great.

A Brand New Me!

I didn’t post before now because I’ve been sick over the last few weeks and always had to play catch-up with work each time I got better, but I did post a comment on K is for Kinky and there was a response by another screwy-haired girl who seems so frustrated with her hair. Her frustration encouraged me to sit up long enough to start blogging again.
 Oh, was I scared of the BC.
I actually felt a bit queasy. But that night, I decided enough was enough. My hair had gotten too damaged and nothing was going to bring it back, so I needed to let go. I measured a 3.5-inch piece of cardboard, wrapped it in scotch tape, and used it as my measuring stick as I cut.
 
I still felt lily-livered, so I started cutting from the back.

Gnarly

When I was done, I put it in didi/inverted cornrows and didn’t look at it for 2 hours. Then I thought, what the hell, and took them out. I was surprised at how well it suited me. I emailed DK and she loved it too, as did a couple friends I emailed!
 

Best hair decision ever. Now, when I wet my hair, it actually shrinks! It looks straighter and longer in the photo cos I’d done my usual nightly twisting for a week and hadn’t washed it yet.

I’ve decided not to grow it out in braids, so that I can really learn to care for my hair. (Plus braids just ruin my hairline.) Other new habits I’m developing:

  • Wash with “pure water” only: We’ve got hard water, so I now buy 2 bags of “pure water” (cheap drinking water that I don’t actually recommend drinking) every week for N160 (about $1) and wash with that instead. Soft water has REALLY made a difference in how my hair absorbs conditioner.
  • Continue co-washing and stay away from shampoos: My hair’s dry enough. I start off with a pre-co-wash, then rinse with apple cider vinegar, then co-wash again before putting in my deep conditioner mix. ACV is once or twice a month to take care of build-up, diluting a third of a cup in a big bottle of water (1.5 liters). Wash days when I’m not using ACV, I put a few drops of lemon juice in my conditioner, also for build-up, but not when I use ACV.
  • Deep condition every week with honey and oils: My deep conditioner mix so far comprises Forever Living Products Aloe-Jojoba Conditioning Rinse, Profectiv Mega Growth Detangling Conditioner, honey, olive oil, and homemade coconut oil. Both conditioners are ice and thick, which screwy hair loves. (I’ll talk about making the coconut oil later.) I don’t measure anything, but kind of eyeball it, so that I’ve got equal parts conditioner and honey, and maybe 2 oz of each oil. I work it into my hair in sections, really massaging it in, put on a shower cap and leave in the mix for a while. I’d like to do it overnight, but the honey makes me nervous about bugs, so I end up having it in there maybe 3 hours. I then rinse it out and continue my regimen.**UPDATE – Jun 2** I have since changed my deep conditioner mix because the conditioners seem to have made my hair a little crunchy afterwards. The new mix, which works very well, is here.
  • Use all-natural hair products: Well, mostly. Conditioners can’t be all-natural, so I focus on the butters and oils I use. Because they’re all natural, I find they leave very little build-up. I don’t add aloe vera gel to my mixes anymore, though, because it leaves this sticky residue I’m not a fan of.
  • No more towels: I don’t lose any more hair to terry cloth towels because I don’t use them anymore! Instead, I use what most naturals use: an old t-shirt.
  • No more brushing my hairline: I was reading up online and read somewhere that boar-hair bristle brushes tear up your hair. I only use my trusty brush (which I’ve had for 15 years, since I was 19) on my  hairline. “Hmm,” I wondered, “Does that have anything to do with my thinning hairline?” I looked at my brush and noticed it had hair trapped in it. It has been damaging my hairline! So now I massage in aloe vera gel (Forever Living Products Aloe Vera Gelly) to smoothen my hairline and it works about as well as my hair brush. The hair forms little “choirboys” after some time, but I’ve learned not to stress it. I do miss my trust brush, though.
  • Trim periodically: I’m going to start trimming every 3 months or so to prevent split ends and reduce tangling.
  • Vegetable glycerin: Ms B introduced me to glycerin and sent me this wonderful shea butter mix she mixed up and it’s got glycerin. Glycerin pulls in moisture from the air, so it’s wonderful for the tropics. If you’re in an air-conditioned room most of the day, however, try spraying a mist of water on your hair a few times during the day. If your hair’s in twists, you won’t notice any shrinkage. I’ve asked my sis to send me some glycerin, since I haven’t found it in Lagos.

Forever Living Products Aloe-Jojoba Conditioning Rinse

Profectiv Mega Growth Detangling Conditioner

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3 comments on “The Big Chop!

  1. thisdwarfhair
    December 13, 2011

    i bet you transitioned for a while! because your hair seem long after your BC. Also, i always wonder why people cut their own hair themselves when hair cutting is so cheap! I just stumbled on your blog today via natural nigerian, via black girl long hair and you can consider me as your “follower” from now on. Happy to see many African/Nigerian hair bloggers! Most of the Blogs i follow are by Americans or blacks in the diaspora, so im really glad to find this blog today!
    Happy Blogging!

    • screwyhair
      December 13, 2011

      I’d already been natural 12 years before I did my 2nd (or is it 3rd?) BC. My hair grows a little fast, but I left about 2-3 inches of hair when I cut it, so yes, I had a little bit of a head-start.

      Re cutting hair ourselves, the idea popped into my head, so I picked up my hair scissors and chopped it off at about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. I think most salons were closed then :-) I didn’t do a perfect job, but I still trust myself more than I do most stylists in general, especially in Lagos. I got my hair looking how I wanted it to look. I also care for my hair myself; I did the salon thing here for a long time and it just did not work out. So my philosophy holds true: if you want something done right, do it yourself :-)

      Thanks for following my blog! Once I get some work off my desk, I’ll do a new post. Yes, there are quite a few of us African bloggers now. Check out my blogroll for other Nigeria-based natural bloggers.

  2. Pingback: great deep conditioner recipe « Screwy Haired Girl

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2011 by in Big Chop, Conditioning and tagged , , , .

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