Oh my poor coif!

The past several posts have been a bit more on the serious side so I say it’s time to lighten the mood and what better way to do that than by talking hair. Get a group of Black women together and after a few hours of conversation inevitably the talk will turn to hair. Let me say as my Granny used to say and I am slightly paraphrasing but my hair is giving me the flux! Older black folks always have the best damn expressions but seriously, yes my hair is working my last nerve.

Let’s recap for those who haven’t been long time readers, I have had natural hair now for about 10 years or so yet I am not a hair person. What does that mean? It means I have never been the type of gal to just play in my hair for the fun of it. Shit, I can’t even braid hair! (Y’all see now why I live in Maine, I lack some of those skills it’s assumed all Black girls have…I had to hideaway in Maine) Yet my lack of hair skills is coming back to haunt me in a big way.

When I made the leap from relaxed hair to going natural, I kept it simple by just cutting all my hair off. No, really I took it from almost shoulder length to about 1.5 inches total. That was heaven, talk about wash and go, which was the ultimate wash and go. Then I decided maybe I should grow my hair out so I did that for a while and when I got tired of wrapping shit around my hair combined with my mother’s passing I decided it was time for dreadlocks. I had dreads for 5 years and in 2009 decided it was time to let them go. They had become physically and spiritually heavy and the lessons I needed to learn during that process had been learned. So I cut em off but this time rather than an inch or so of hair on my head I kept a good 4-5 inches. Since cutting my dreads, I have let my hair grow out and last year started having my hair braided on a regular basis. I admit I enjoyed the braids for a while but recently after taking them out (my braider uses some extensions) realized that my hair is extremely dry and really not in great shape. I have not had a haircut or trim since 2009 and my hair is all kinds of confused.

Now I know all about the various hair styling tutorials on You Tube and sites like Nappturality, etc as far as places to get hair information. I gotta be honest those places overwhelm me, the other day I spent damn near 3 hours on Nappturality and walked away confused as hell. First off in many cases when folks recommend types of products to use, um….I live in Maine, so my access to shit is greatly limited. While I love products like Oyin Handmade, it’s a pain in the ass to order products which take a week to arrive and then you realize oh this shit doesn’t work in my hair. Hand crafted products like Oyin are just high enough with shipping and time that honestly dropping dollars to get something that may or may not work is really not a gamble I want to take.

The other day my hair was crying out for some TLC, it needed me to make sweet love to it. So off I went to find some products. I realize these may not be the best products but at least my hair looks a little happier. I washed with Pantene’s Relaxed & Natural Shampoo for women of color, and then did a deep conditioning with Palmer’s Deep Conditioning Protein Pack, and then I twisted my hair using Cantu’s Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner Repair Cream. I have also taken to adding a dab of Cantu’s Daily Oil Moisturizer. If nothing else my coif while messy most certainly smells good.

But good people what I need help with is styles, in the past I would rock a wash and go afro puff up high, but in light of the dryness I am trying to stay away from washing daily…my hair seems to be saying no more. The other day I did this adorable side roll thingy that while cute the man said made me look matronly. Oh dear. I would love to rock some two strand twists but mine are not for public consumption…they look horrible though they make for a decent twist out the next day though a tad wild.

I know I have some sistas who read here who are natural; tell me what you are doing with your coif? More importantly if you live in a non urban area what do you do for hair products? I should add I used to try to get stuff from the health food store like jojoba oil, etc but that turned my hair extra greasy but not moist if that makes any sense. I want a moist head of hair, I don’t want to be mistaken for salad dressing!

13 thoughts on “Oh my poor coif!

  1. so here I thought it was all magic – I am white though and don’t know any better… I was really hoping! btw, my hair does the white girls version – it is very thick and has what hair folks like to call “texture”, but really is just nappy underneath it all. Best wishes with your quest – I will stick with the Olive oil cheap stuff at the Dollar General for now – Wen is too expensive – post pics of the results

  2. Hi there!! Long time reader, first time commenter here. I don’t do much with my hair so usually I just put it in medium sized two strand twists and pin it up. This also works for me if I want to wear my hair in a twist out since it has been in twists all week. I mainly use Giovanni products (shampoo, conditioner) and oils (coconut, jojoba, and olive oil) because they are readily available; I don’t like waiting for hair products to be shipped to me.

    I have seen some tutorials on cute hairstyles on YouTube but it does require some searching. Good luck.

  3. Funny!! Yeah, your hair does look like it needs some TLC! I am the other blackwoman that wears wigs!! I use to be pissed off because my hair started to thin…went to so many dermatologist just to figure that hair thinning and loss was hereditary in my family…just my luck to pick the genes up my great aunt, whom I really didn’t know that well! then they factored in my uncle who was bald at 17 years old and go figure…my beautiful locks were gone. After a year of crying the blues, I woke up one day and said fuck the hair I am more that that! Since then, all my family knows that when it gets hot out here I am liable to pull that shit off driving down the street, actually did that one time and all the kids in the car looked faint! People ask me is that your hair? and I say yes…I bought the shit, its mine…I use to get different styles but now I stick to one style for each season or the same types of styles. So good luck with your coif!! My sister in law is a sylist and she gave my daughter some conditioner that really work quick for her dry hair…I will ask her was it is, they may have it in maine.

  4. Mix glycerin, castor oil & water in a spray bottle. Mist hair once during the day if possible & once at night before bed. The mixture should be 70% water, 5% castor oil, & 25% glycerin. Trim 1 inch of your ends monthly to gradually get rid of damaged ends. Wash hair 1x per week. If you use shampoo dilute it with water. Deep condition 1x per week.

    Best deep conditioners (@Target) Aussie Moist & Garnier Fruitrist Triple Moisture. Just add some olive oil to either to make it better. DEFINITE SUCCESS

  5. I wear two strand twists for a few weeks and then rock a twistout for about a week. I use any combination of Organix, Aussie, Giovani and Herbal Essences shampoos, conditionders, deep conditioners and leave-ins (all found at Target). To moisturize, I use coconut oil (from the good ‘ol supermarket) and more recently, Creme Brule (also found at Target).

  6. Kinky Curly Knot Today at Whole Foods is a great moisturizer. I apply it daily to my hair. I then apply sweet almond oil or castor oil (winter usually) to seal in the moisture. I braid it in 4 braids before bed and in the morning have nicely moisturized wavy pliable hair. The braids dont have to be nice, they just set and stretch the hair. I can’t “do hair” at all either.

  7. Shay, I love your hair. I especially love that gray streak in the front. There’s something so…”wild” and sexy about it.

    As you know, I have NO hairstyling skills. I can’t cornrow, braid, flat twist, anything. I’ve managed to make double-strand twists–but that doesn’t require much talent. So, my standard style is a freeform short fro or a twist-out. That’s it. If I ever have a girl child she will be doomed.

    In terms of products, I don’t think you need oil in your hair as much as you need moisturizers (that have oils in them). You can also mix castor oil into your shampoo (something i do in the winter).

    The products that are a regular rotation for me include:

    Shampoo:
    Mastey Traite Shampoo (you can order this online)
    Trichomania shampoo bar from lush.

    Conditioner:
    Aubrey Organics makes awesome conditioners. I recently discovered their conditioners. You can find their products at any natural foods store (there has to be at least ONE in Maine?) or Whole Goods.

    Styling products:
    I only use two products on my hair. And I think this is key for you. Beautiful Curls leave-in conditioner and Beautiful Curls creme curl activator. Both of these products have shea butter and essential oils.

    You don’t have to use these, though.

    Giovanni makes a great leave-in conditioner (Direct Leave-in), which can be found at Target. If you can find a good “curl creme” to go along with the Giovanni Direct Leave-in you’ll be set. I think Target sells Bumble and Bumble products, which I think are good for curly hair.

    Go to the natural beauty section in Target. I’m impressed by how Target’s beauty section has such a huge range of offerings that aren’t confined to the “ethnic hair care” section.

  8. gorgeous!

    i’ve never been big on relaxers, processing, wigs, or any of the things i consider “high tech.” i used to rock a fro, and that did me quite nicely until it started to grow. certainly when i had children it took on an incredible life of it’s own.

    when i decided that i couldn’t “handle” the hair, i chopped it off. like right down to the quick. i have a round face, and apparently, i “wear it well.” which is nice. but my look, so to speak was the last thing that was on my mind. i prefer the “low tech” maintenance of uber short hair. where am i going with this?

    hair can be as much joy or pain as you allow it. somedays i think about colouring it, and other days i love the random smatterings of grey. i never want long hair, or in between hair, at the same time i can love and appreciate hair in all definitions. my daughter has got that bouncy curly down to her bum hair and i like it for her as long as she likes it. i tell her, it’s hair, play with it, enjoy it, try not to freak out over it, it’s yours for life so be cool with it.

    ps. i do believe that hair care is definitely important. we use redken products with avocado and that seems to do the trick for the entire family. [i don’t use it on my 3 yo, but i do for my 6yo]. occasionally, i’ll use moroccan hair oil, and the odd pomade type stuff. my biggest pet peeve however is the way some of these products smell.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies….I at least have a place to start as far as products though after a week my coif is finally starting to look decent and feel okay.

    Tinya, I almost got a wig but we don’t have any real beaty supply shops here so tracking down an inexpensive wig would require a trip to Boston. Yeah girl my head did need some TLC big time!

    I love how talking hair always gets sistas talking!

  10. I’ve always had a tough time picturing what you look like, Shay. Your hair is beautiful…and you rock red lipstick like nobody’s business!

    The silver hair in front is VERY pretty. It’s unique and it compliments your brown skin perfectly.

  11. BTW…it is very difficult to find good hair products in Maine. When I visited some of my family there, CVS had a very limited selection. I wound up buying this stuff that didn’t work on my hair at all. 🙁

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