In 2010 I decided to transition into natural hair. I grew my hair out for almost a year, and then cut it all off. I tried various styles and embraced my natural hair for a good six weeks, and then I permed it. At first I felt guilty, but now, I’m glad that I went through that process. Today, I have chemically treated hair, but I treat it as though it’s still in the delicate state it was during the transition and even after the big chop. I believe the secret to keeping my hair healthy after having the Caterpillar was two-fold. The most important factor has been that I continue to treat my hair as though it is natural. The second factor is that I did not get an epidural with Miss C and I haven’t introduced formula yet. I honestly believe the combination of those two things contributes to shedding like you won’t believe.
Some key rules I’ve followed after the perm have been sticking to the curly girl method. I have avoided use of shampoos with sulfates and products with heavy silicones. First, I get Phytospecific perms every ten to twelve weeks. Stretching out perms makes the difference between four perms a year and nine. I go to the salon for a shampoo and blow dry between two and four times a month. When I don’t go to the salon, I shampoo with either DevaCurl No Poo or Oscar Blandi (which I love because it lathers on the first go) at home. I use whatever deep conditioner I have on hand. My absolute favorite is Mixed Chicks, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere in Texas. Sometimes I do a hot oil treatment with Proclaim Olive Hot Oil, but typically co-washing is enough to maintain moisture. After rinsing and combing with an extra-wide tooth comb, I mix Argan oil and shea butter (and sometimes pure vitamin E oil) into my scalp. I liberally apply DevaCurl Set it Free and then blow dry.
I trim my own hair once a quarter. Since I’m growing out the length, I don’t believe in getting trims every six weeks, as I did in the past when I was perming frequently. So far, these methods have allowed me to grow out my hair from the big chop. I hope this routine also prevents the excessive shedding I encountered after having the Lion, but we’ll see!