Natural Hair Chronicles: Twist Fails and Wash Time

Hey all! So this is so late, but I have redone my hair and I thought I would walk you all through it. This is currently my tenth month completely natural, and I spent the year before transitioning before clipping off my relaxed ends. Now, I am loving my hair more and more each day and am waiting patiently to get to my goal of mid-black length, and also focusing on keeping my hair moisturized and healthy. My hair used to be so long, and I know with time and care I can get it back to that length once again.
So first, before I could do anything to my hair, I had to take out my previous braids which were literally hanging onto my hair desperately. That took about two hours.
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Next, I carefully went through and did a quick dry detangle before getting to the washing. I was rather happy to see that I had a lot less hair breakage than I do with other braiding extensions. I know with microbraids it was a little wearing on my kitchen area, and with yarn, I haven’t lost any of my edges.
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Then, I started my washing routine. Like many naturalistas, I am a bit of a product junkie, but I am starting to come up with my key favorites. The products I used this time were a few favorites mixed with products I’m still on the fence about. Coconut oil and jojoba have so far been really helping my hair, and they definitely help soothe itching in those later stages of wearing extensions (you know that Itch).
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I was pleasantly surprised to see that my hair actually was noticeably longer, and I am starting to feel a bit better. I wanted to be at the length I was pre chop come my year mark, and I hadn’t been actively checking, so it was nice to make note of that. I feel like if I thought about it too much, I would obsess over how long my hair was every single day. Nowadays, I focus on defining my curls.
Once I finished and put in oils and leave-in conditioner, I sat down with my computer, some food, and the yarn that I pre-cut, and got right into work in front of my mirror. I split this part up into two days, over Saturday and Sunday morning. I think it took me less time this time around because I made bigger sections and I knew what I was doing, so my fingers had started to put the quick braiding to muscle memory. I had plenty of yarn to spare.
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I finished at about 11:30 am on Sunday morning, and spent the rest of that time sealing the ends of my hair. Unfortunately my lighter ran out before  finished, and I got too lazy to go get another one (the struggle), so I still have unsealed ends, but they blend in pretty well.
Braiding my hair, the entire process, took about 12 hours, including taking my hair out and washing. That was definitely shorter than the first time I did it. I think a big part of it was pre-cutting the yarn. It was really tedious cutting the skeins myself, but I do feel it was worth it, because I didn’t have to stop between braids and cut more.
I said I was going to do yarn twists, but that was a complete and total fail. I have no idea what I did, and out of sheer mental exhaustion, I went back to braiding. But maybe next time I can sit down and figure out the twists part of it. We’ll see.
I plan to do a length check around my year mark. I’ll blow out my hair and see wear it’s at. Until the, I will continue on using my yarn. Everyone always talks about finding the right protective style for you, and I think this is the one for me. It’s light, it’s easy to install, and I don’t think about it once I’ve put it in. I don’t have to worry about getting it wet, and I can still do things the same way.
What are your favorite protective styles? Do you have a desired hair length you’re working toward? What are your favorite natural hair products?
-JW
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