On Tuesday, I had a hankering for a splash of lime juice on my salmon croquettes. For some reason, the fruit was as about as hard as limestone (get it? limestone! haaa). It had a little bit of give. Against my better judgment, I decided to use it.
So I took my freshly-sharpened knife and tried to cut it. The knife slipped, catching my left-hand index finger, creating a deep cut across my cuticle and down the side of my nail bed. Ouch! But thank God I didn't have to get stitches...
|Proceed with caution.|
Now you might be thinking, "What does this little story have to do with natural hair?" Well, I learned a few things. First of all, I never really thought about how essential that one finger is to my whole hair maintenance process.
Because of that accident, I didn't wash or style my hair for a total of 10 days. The idea of working with my hair with what felt like a huge paper cut was just not something I could bring myself to do. For a while, after my unexpected haircut six weeks ago, I was able to do wash-n-go's (WNG) fairly easily, but over the past few weeks my hair has thickened. I attribute the growth to a few things: lots of exercise, an ample amount of fish in my diet, castor oil scalp massages, and avoiding heat like it's the plague. These days, a WNG is pretty much like me begging for a nightmare detangling session. Without some sort of stretching, e.g. banding, braiding or twisting, my hair will quickly mat.
But by this weekend I was aching to feel some water on my scalp.
What I learned -- albeit inadvertently -- was the joy of bed-head style and basically zero manipulation. Working with my old "pre-accident" twist-out, I slept on a satin pillowcase with no scarf. Every morning, I spritzed lightly with Oyin Greg Juice and then followed with an oil spray, specifically SheaMoisture Organic Shea Butter Reconstructive Elixir. I lightly fluffed with my other nine fingers to create shape and volume. The result was a fairly long-lasting fluffy, chunky fro. Not one to delude myself, I purposefully sought some honest hair feedback from my husband and a few trusted girlfriends. They confirmed it looked good. I should have taken pictures.
By Day 8, my hair was definitely looking dull, but it remained soft and fluffy. By Day 10 (yesterday), when my finger finally started to feel better, I decided to wash. I was kind of shocked my wash session was not all that bad in terms of tangles. I cleansed with SheaMoisture's Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. That stuff works splendidly on my hair. It's so creamy and luscious, and my curls just melt! I conditioned with SheaMoisture's matching conditioner and used my hands to detangle -- no comb whatsoever. After rinsing it out, I followed with a dollop of my two-dollar Suave Coconut conditioner for slip as a leave-in. Bam. Done.
This pic is a "before" to give you an idea of the growth I've seen in the past 6-7 weeks:
|My hair after unexpected cut, around Jan 8, 2012|
Here's my day-old bed-head twist out today (on hair which didn't fully dry, so it is slightly shrunken):
|Hair as of Monday, Feb 20, 2012 (slightly stretched)|
The moral of the story? The next time my lime spoils, I'm just going to throw it out. And I don't have to detangle or style daily. In fact, I now know I can stretch a twist-out for much longer than I initially thought possible, going from a defined curly look to a chunky fro without doing anything to it except spritzing and fluffing.
I would love to hear if any of you had similar experiences with lengthening the time between washes, or avoiding styling pretty much altogether. Until next time, grace and peace be unto you all, and praise ye the Lord!