Nappy-couture, Paris (May 2012)
"Better to live one year as a tiger
than a hundred as a sheep."
*For those of you not in the know, my A Nappy Hair Affair series chronicles my personal journey of freeing myself from the shackles and frustration(s) of processed, chemical laden Black hair and allowing my hair to revert to it's natural Nappity-Nap state. I was suprised that my Nappy series is quite popular with my readers. Early on, in addition to the avalanche of support and good wishes (thank you), several of you asked me to provide details of my journey (especially tips on Nappy hair friendly products and Nappy hair styling). That being said, let's get down to business!
It's been 16 months since I did the full Nappy-monty. I was going to write a one year anniversary post, but it fell right when I was deep in the midst of preparing for my May Paris trip so...umm, I know you understand ;-} Well it turns out that the 3+ month long wait was a good thing. For it was during that time that I finally come into my Nappy-own...
May - officially Nappy for one year (Paris, May 2012)
It took one full calendar year for my hair to revert to it's natural Nappy-state, root to tip. And that year was filled with some truly terrible bad hair days :( but that was the price I was willing to pay in order to avoid the 'Big Chop' and still allow my Nap to freely assert itself. On the upside, I got my full coil-curls just in time for my Paris photoshoot with Mr. Gorgeous. It's fitting that I reached that milestone in my beloved Paris, with my beloved, oui?
Nappy on the beach (July 2012)
"Necessity is the mother of all invention."
- Roger Ascham, 1545
Still, it was not until my birthday week at the beach (July) that I finally discovered the perfect nappy-regimen for me. And this discovery was quite by happenstance.
In my last Beaute/Nappy post, I wrote about how - on my very first day - I found myself, with not one dollop of my usual multi-pronged hair product-arsenal, in the middle of nowhere (Nappy hair product-wise). Now when I find myself in that position, I usually revert to my tried and true Sade-do. But I didn't want to this time. I was in a beach community and was loving all that entails - very casual: a bathing suit, sarong or shorts; flip flops and little to no makeup was the daily uniform. So I decided to work with what I could find in the local mom-&-pop drugstore(s) and let my Nap just do it's thang.
Nappy au naturel (12 August 2012)
Okay ya'll, I'm feeling very brave posting this pic. I don't have one stitch of makeup on and this photo was taken (on my iPhone) at the end of a very long day - most of it spent tooling around in my convertible. But it does show how much my hair has changed in the last year - and that's what this series is about, after all.
Anyhoo, as you can see, my hair is considerably longer. I had not 'strawed' my hair for 4 days - thus, by the time of this photo, my curls had naturally relaxed into some magnificant loose waves. You'll also notice that there's some serious 'frizzy' Nap going on.
Yeah my Nappity-Nap-do is pretty big - and I LOVE it! For more than half of this first year of my Nappy journey, I was obsessed with having tame manageable Naps - hence my multi-progned hair product arsenal. Yeah, I know that tame-Naps is an oxymoron ;-} Well as Oprah says: "when you know better, you do better." So, I've considerably paired down my Nappy-regimen:
Now I only use three 'products' in my daily Nappy hair routine:
1. Olive Oil
3. Aussie "Sun-Touched" Shine Enhancing Gel
- for my edges.
Of course I still straw, but only once a week or before a night on the town ;-} And when I do, I use very slightly damp fingertips each of Olive Oil, Water, and Gel (each hunk should essentially remain dry) and no more than 10 straws (big hunks of Nap). It takes me 15 minutes and I leave the straws in for @ 15 minutes (the perfect amount of time to 'put my face on') - of course, as you experiment, you'll discover which amounts work best for you. I'm also experimenting with putting small amounts of all three products in a small spritzer bottle - I'll let you know how that works.
So, as I enter my 2nd year of being happily Nappy, the most important lesson I've learned is that less is so much more. Embrace the frizz. Trust your Nap. Keep the questions coming my people ;-}
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!