Sep 1, 2011

Natural Hair = Natural Pain in my Ass

I couldn't think of a creative name for this post, so I decided to skip the fluffy bs and get straight to the point - - since moving back to Chicago I have been plagued with bad hair days! I'm surprised my new co-workers don't think I'm playing "beauty shop" at my desk the way I transform styles throughout the day lol.

For instance, I start with a twist-out which INSTANTLY shrinks!! Next I do my best to salvage it by busting out my good ol' bobby pins and attempting an updo. Once that fails I resort to a high bun, which by this time my hair has been pulled, fluffed, and stretched so much it usually looks a mess! The funny thing is that I usually end up telling myself "man, I should've just left it alone..." because it almost always looked better in the shrunken twist-out.

In addition to the non-existent good hair days my favorite staple products have been failing me. I lived in Chicago for the first 6 months of my transition, but soon after moved to Arizona where I did my big chop. Now, the catch with that is that yes, I was fully natural - - but I was working from home so it wasn't necessary to have time efficient styles that lasted and could easily get me through the work week. Now I totally get why folks are always asking "how long can this style last?" It's because nobody, no working person at least, has the time to commute, work, have a family/personal life, and spend a million hours doing their hair.

Doing my hair for work each day has quickly turned into a fulltime job and the biggest let down is that the results don't reflect the energy I'm putting into them. My growing frustration has led me to contemplate everything from cutting my hair to throwing in a weave. Yet, I'm still left with multiple question marks floating around my head.

Just to add a bit of clarity to this rant, my biggest issue has been the shrinkage... Shrinkage SUCKS! It sucks big, sweaty monkey balls! I've slowly started realizing that there's really NOTHING I can do but let my hair fully dry before taking down my twists and learning to live with the shrinkage. *insert playing violin* I know, I know... there are people in the world dying and kids that don't have food... but in my life right now I feel like these bad hair days and shrinkage are public enemy #1. I don't think I've ever been so anxious for Fall to come.

How do you fight shrinkage?

** UPDATE: Since writing this post last week (out of sheer frustration lol), I've experienced 3 good hair days which I'll attribute to the temps cooling off. Unfortunately for my hair it's looking like it'll be a HOT Labor Day weekend, so I'm already brainstorming ways to not turn into a frizzed out, puffed up mess! Maybe I'll do this style.... **


5k Divas said...

Hey chica- I live in Chicago too and I wills ay that I hate the summer for my hair. I get frizzy/shrunken hair for days. Most of the summer i put it in a slick bun or an updo. I have recently rediscovered shea butter ( a TINY bit) after using my kimmay tube leave in on my hair prior to braid/ twisting helps with hold and shrinkage. Also, I have to wait till my hair fully dries (sometimes under a hard dryer) before I remove my twists/braids. HTH

South Loop Social Light said...

@ 5k Divas - KimmayTube's leave-in is pretty amazeballs. I haven't made it in a while, but I was always a fan (though I prefer a smaller amount of Castor oil)... but yes!! The summer is definitely not doing good things for my hair. It was just starting to cool off earlier this week then BAM - - we got hit with 90 degree weather. I have no clue what to do tmrw when it's 95!

~Decidedly Imperfect~ said...

I live deep in the South where the humidity is on a rampage all year long. I can combat shrinkage by using a bit of setting lotion in my spritz when I twist or braid my hair at night. Even a bit of gel can help. I've just gotten used to watching the amount of humectants that I use when it's really humid. I try to limit my humectants to when I'm DC'ing & not so much in styling aids. Good luck!

South Loop Social Light said...

@ Decidedly Imperfect - I just moved from South Carolina back to Chicago so I can definitely relate to that EXTREME humidity that feels like you're choking on heat lol... I followed your advice to use some gel when doing my twist-out and it was great. I used the Eco Styler I've had around for a few months and it helps to keep the curl pattern in place. I think I was just a tad bit too overzealous because by the end of the day the feel of the gel on my hair was bugging me out so I hopped in the shower for a quick wash. Thanks for the advice!!

Naturally Me! Media said...

Shrinkage is a beast! My natural hair is about waist length straightened but with Georgia humidity and shear genetics my hair is about shoulder length in its natural dry state.
I have more of a wiry wavy texture so using gels and curl definers rarely work in my case.
i'll resort to a good old twist out or flat twists during summer months and spray with a glycerin spritz to keep moisturized.

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