Hi my name is Janice and I’m a mother of three (soon to be four) living in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been natural for most of my life, but most recently I’ve celebrated five years on my healthy hair journey (HHJ).
Growing up I had natural hair and was lucky enough to have a mother who did not want me to relax. She’d experienced her own relaxer horrors and didn’t want me to suffer the same. Unfortunately, the hair practices and products back then were very different than what we have access to now.
I loved the versatility of my hair. I loved that when it was washed it would shrink and that after it was braided it would stretch and that I could get it pressed if I wanted it straight.
When I got my first real job after graduating, I thought that my natural hair wouldn’t be accepted in the work place environment. The longest my hair ever was up until this point was collar bone length (CBL) and that wasn’t long enough for a bun and I didn’t think that cornrows were going to be accepted as “professional”.
In high school, my edges started suffering from traction alopecia from extensions that were too tight and so I swore them off. Weaves were also not an option for the same reason. I decided that my only option, if I was going to learn to care for my hair without my mother’s help would be to relax.
That started many years of having damaged relaxed hair and then starting over only to have damaged natural hair. I alternated between relaxed hair and natural hair, but returned to natural hair because I was getting frustrated with not being able to properly take care of relaxed hair on my own and the exorbitant costs associated with getting touch ups. I’ve always loved my 4c hair, but I didn’t love not knowing how to properly care for it. After seeing so many beautiful heads of natural, healthy (and long!) hair on social media I decided to make a real effort at caring for my own natural hair.
Learning about your natural hair can be frustrating. It seems that no matter the curl pattern, you can find someone who is struggling with learning how to care for their hair. There are so many resources out there now and so many people who are willing to share tips if you’re willing to follow their advice. As with everything else in life, if you have patience and are committed to seeing the process through, the payoff is worth it!
I’m not really a product junkie anymore. I try to keep it natural and also keep it simple. I love washing my hair with clay/mud and conditioning with Giovanni 50:50 conditioner. For daily moisturizing I use a spray that I make which is a combination of water and Giovanni Direct Leave-In and my leave in moisturizer is an emulsified formula that I make myself. Every few months I detangle using seamless combs, but otherwise I only detangle and style my hair with my fingers. At night I wrap my hair with a silk scarf because I find that it keeps my hair more moisturized than using satin.
I’m style challenged so my favourite go-to style is two-strand twists. Once twisted I usually wear my hair in a bun.
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