OUR African American Hair… LET’S TALK!


So — whenever I get on a particular social networking site, I’m always seeing US [women] talk & compliment on our hair and proceed by asking for tips on how to make our hair longer, healthier, & amazingly gorgeous!

Currently, I’m 100% natural — no dyes, no texturizers, no chemicals!  However, I wore my hair relaxed for a number of years before deciding to go natural; and most likely will not fall back into the creamy crack phase, BUT, I still commend you guys that are relaxed! Don’t get it twisted, relaxed & natural hair are both EQUALLY beautiful…

— My SHORT Story —

Before going natural, I was blessed to have been able to wear my hair in many different looks. Prior to attending JSU, my hair was my natural color & relaxed.

2005 - Relaxed

After a couple of months during my freshman year of college I got it dyed (honey blonde, lol) and it was at my shoulders.

Fall 2006 - Relaxed

After my “color” experience ended, I got a black rinse and about 1.5 inches cut! I could definitely tell that my hair was more healthier after the rinse (softer and had tons & tons of body; even in a cute PONY TAIL!)

Spring 2007 - Relaxed

Shortly after, it grew back to it’s normal length. Again I got bored, but this time, wanted a REAL CUT!

Fall 2007 - Relaxed

Loved it! And it grew back again….

So by Fall 2008, I was like… “hmm.. what next?” And decided to go natural. I grew out my perm for an entire year and cut the relaxed ends off.

Was left with……..

Dec. 2009 - Natural

Currently, after a year and a few months of being natural………

April 2011 - Natural

Looks short huh? Well, my hair ends about an inch past my collar bone!

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Sooooo…. Relaxed & Natural Chicas, Let’s talk about OUR hair and our own tips that we can share with each other for healthy, amazing hair! Even with the weaves!

  • What have you found useful for hair growth?
  • How do you keep a particular style up?
  • Hair Color vs. Henna?
  • Sew-In/Braiding tips?
  • Products!
  • In-Store Creamy Crack suggestions?
  • Pretty much ANY thing dealing with HAIR!

I’ll start first! ——- [for relaxed & naturals]

  • GOT DRY HAIR? You’re probably using ALCOHOL — Try to avoid it as much as possible!
  • Throw out the COTTON bonnets, scarfs, and pillow cases! — Switch to SILK to avoid breakage!
  • I’ll admit, I’ve slacked on the hot oil treatments, but get them! — Helps keep hair/scalp moisturized throughout the month!
  • After washing your hair, you go straight for that what??? Towel, eh? Ha! Me too, but — Blotting your hair dry with a paper towel results in less breakage & stronger hair.
  • Massaging scalp gets the flowing of nutrients and oils, promoting hair growth!
  • Something I learned that helped my hair maintain it’s softness and moisture, even when I was relaxed… After shampooing, I’d put in my choice of conditioner and throw a shower cap on for 30 min! Most women only leave the conditioner in for the recommended 5 minutes it says on the bottle and wash it out. (This is probably why I’m not consistent with the hot oil treatments because this is good enough for me)
  • Clipping ends? I really can’t speak on that, because the last time I got my ends clipped was last March (2010) and my hair still grows like crazy. But I heard that getting ends clipped is a plus! Any experiences?

- Charli -

Copyright © 2011. charlidholbrook. All rights reserved.
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Comments

  1. Cheryl Ann says:

    I’ve been natural since I was 6 or 7 and I’m
    22 right now and I love being natural from what I remember when I was young. My hair is super duper thick so when I first started getting perms the beauticians gave me an adult perm because of the thickness of my hair. And that completely broke my hair off all the way up to my shoulders. My mama didn’t like that at all. So we found someone to press my hair and since then I’ve been natural. My hair has been so much heathlier. I get my pressed once a month. And keep it straight but during the summer I let it b in the natural state. Going natural was one of the best things I’ve done for my hair. My hair is so long and well kept up. I style it in soo many ways its too many to name. I had to comment on this blog because I had to tell my own story and I love me some Charli Holbrook!! :)

    • SO glad to hear your story BFF! I’ve always thought that you’ve had beautiful hair and actually, don’t know why I just didn’t go natural when I first found out you were! lol

      Thanks so much for chiming in and stay tuned suga :]

  2. Charli I’m loving this post! I recently became 100% natural, so I will share my experience…

    My hair has been relaxed for most of my life and I never used any coloring for fear of breakage, but after having every cut in the book, I started to become bored with everything. So in December/January I started transitioning. I wore pin-ups, sew ins, flexi rod sets and buns. I was so anxious to see my hair in it’s natural state that I did my big chop on April 6, 2011!

    I will never ever put another relaxer in my hair! My curl pattern is absolutely gorgeous. I wash my hair with conditioner only (also known as co-washing) daily and style it with flowers, pins, headbands, etc. I also wash it about every three to four days because I’m just obsessive about clean hair. I don’t experience dryness or breakage…I think it’s because of the co-washing.

    Charli you know you sparked my interest in natural hair and inspired me to go ahead and try it…thanks soooo much!!!!! Your hair is beautiful. Love you lots, talk to you soon!

    • Ha! I knew you would!

      I know we have had plenty of conversations on natural hair and I’m so excited to have been an inspiration for your journey and look forward to seeing gorgeous curls!

      I also co-wash majority which leaves my hair amazingly moisturized. And of course I do the Apple Cider Vinegar instead of shampoo!

      Continue to keep me posted on your journey Jess!

      Thanks.

  3. alisha antoinette says:

    hmmm…..well i’ve been natural my entire life. only in the sense that i’ve never had a relaxer. my hair is also naturally curly. like spiral curls. i dyed my hair about 5 years ago && again about a year later. but each time the dye grew out in about a year. i also flatiron my hair. But here’s my take:

    -What have i found useful for hair growth: ya know…i’m not really sure. my hair does grow quickly, but doesn’t ever seem to get any further than it’s current length, which is to about my bra strap on my back [when it's straight]. there isn’t one product that i’ve just stayed with for a while to be able to contribute my growth to it. but i’ve heard pet shampoo helps….which is my current shampoo && conditioner. i change em according to my mood. lol

    -how do i keep a particular style up: when it’s natural i pretty much wear it as is. i may wear it in a loose ponytail or put a flat twist up front….but that’s pretty much all.

    -hair color vs. henna: well when i got my hair dyed i had to use honey blonde just to lift it to brown because my hair is so black. from there i used a rinse. never used henna….on my hair at least.

    -sew-in/braiding: only had a sew in twice. my family did them….used to get braids a lot. they’re cool too. don’t think i can pull them off now that i’m older tho. some people can still rock them as they age. i don’t believe im one of them. lol

    -products: yeaaaaah….i just go with the flow. i’ve used pet shampoo/conditioner, garnier, sulfur 8, pantene pro v….etc. i remember there for a while i was using garnier because people said i had “white people hair” so i figured i may as well use “white people product”. lol

    -creamy crack: never had it!

    etc: i too have heard that clipping ends will help grow your hair. i do it maybe once every few months….when i remember. lol. im trying to get better.
    hair accessories WILL help pull off the natural look better tho. i’m trying to find ways to wear it in the corporate world too. because my hair is kind of wild. i wear it still…..but not the style i would rock if i were in a ball gown or something. how do you go about that??

    • Alisha!

      Now you know you were one of my first inspirations. I always used to think, “how she get her hair to do all that?”

      Lol, I started my research and BAM!

      But I love your hair and I thank you for the tips! I will look into this pet shampoo thing-a-ma-jig and see!

      Thanks so much for popping in! And continue to stay tuned :]

  4. Jade Ashby says:

    I have been natural for 5 months and I love it. I have died my hair a blonde color twice. I have heard that colors cause breakage, but so far I haven’t had any.

    Products- When I wash and condition my hair I use Pantene Pro-V women of color. I’m not really sure what other products to use. When I condition my hair I leave it on for a while, sometimes for hours. lol I have heard about kinky curly products and carol’s daughter, but have yet to try them. Any products you all suggest?

    • I’ve been researching “henna” lately and may actually try that really soon, however I am looking to lightening my hair color (i don’t think henna gets that job done!)

      Jade, I too use Pantene Pro-V Women of Color, as well as Pantene Curly. They both have worked for me in keeping my hair moisturized after washing & detangling.

      I just purchased my first “kinky curly” products and I love them! Especially the Knot Today & Custard. BUT you must use some type of moisturizer or your choice of oil for sealing in the product or you will be left with super DRY HAIR after 24 hours. So I seal my hair with coconut oil after applying the kinky curly. It defines my curls really well! Target now sells the kinky curly products ($11.99-$18.99; different products).

      I also recommend Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner & Aloe Vera. I have been using those products consistently since I’ve been natural and my hair loves it! I just apply the cantu through my hair after showering, and may curls stay defined throughout the week. The Aloe Vera is mainly for ponytails; I use it because it’s natural and keeps my hair soft.

      Thanks Jade! :)

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