Artelia's Hair JourneyJourney
I got my first “kiddie perm” when I was around 6 years old. To this day, I don’t know what the word kidde in front of perm means. I really don’t recall my hair’s life before a perm. My mother told me that wash day was a dreaded time for the both of us, and that the perm made our lives easier. My mother didn’t really keep up with the perm, and as a result my hair broke off pretty bad. In middle school she decided that she wasn’t going to be doing my hair anymore and left me to do it on my own. With little to no guidance, I usually just wore my hair in a ponytail and it really wasn’t very healthy. It wasn’t until high school that I was able to keep up with my perms and get my hair done regularly, and then I saw the health of my hair improve.
For college I was sent to a HBCU, (Historically Black College or University), for 3 years, (shout out to XULA), where I saw a handful of women who wore their hair natural, which I thought was super dope. I didn’t even know unpermed hair was a thing. I grew increasingly tired of trying to maintain my hair while away from school. Micro braids, french braids, crimps, flat irons…all of it just irritated me. And don’t get me started on how much I HATED going to salons. After a year of back and forth and sifting through a number of mixed (and often unwanted) opinions, I finally decided to grow my perm out. On April 16, 2006, after 8 months of growing it out, I cut the rest of my perm out and got my hair dyed honey blonde.
I got a lot of positive feedback after I went natural. In 2006, natural hair really wasn’t popular, so I definitely stood out. There wasn’t a lot of information out on natural hair care, so I really didn’t know what to do with my hair (Thank you CurlyNikki for being a longstanding resource). I started out just wetting it every day and putting gel in it, and wearing a curly fro. CurlMart was my joint. It was the only way that I could access products geared toward natural hair…but boy was it expensive.
Between Google and CurlMart, I tried a number of different products, but didn’t really commit to anything. I settled on washing my hair 1 to 2 times per month (without deep conditioning), throwing moisturizer in it when I felt like it, and wearing a fro. I’d also get my color touched up and my ends clipped about every 3 months. Needless to say that It did not take very long for my hair to become unhealthy…AGAIN!
THE BIRTH OF SHEBA
Circa 2010, natural hair was becoming more popular. Products were becoming available in brick and mortar stores, and more information was available online (Shout out to CurlyNikki for being a longstanding resource). I would watch these YouTube videos with all of these ladies with long curly beautiful hair. I decided that I wanted to be about that life, and Sheba (my new hair) was born.
After MUCH, MUCH, MUCH experimentation, and trial and error, I finally figured out a routine that worked for Sheba. I wash and deep condition her every 1 to 2 weeks with Camille Rose Coconut Water Leave-in Treatment, 8.0 fl. oz. by Camille Rose and Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse 12 Oz. I then apply Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioning Mask 8oz by Camille Rose,
Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Daily Quenching Hair Lotion, 8.4 Ounce (my first holy grail), and Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter, 8 Ounce. I then wear it in 3 strand twists most of the time (due to my hectic schedule) until about 3 days before wash day, when I wear a twist out. With a steady routine and regular maintenance, I saw a boost in Sheba’s health.
In 2016, after 10 years of being honey blonde, I decided to grow my color out. It took nearly two years, but afterword, I noticed even more improvement in Sheba’s health. I finally had a curl pattern, my twist outs last longer, and my hair maintained moisture much better. I do miss my color from time to time, but it was definitely preventing Sheba from being great. I really don’t subscribe to hair typing. So I really don’t know what to classify it as. I have a number of different textures throughout my head, so I really don’t think it can be typed. All I know is that I love my natural hair, and I will never go back to a perm.
This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees, if you make a purchase through my link. This is without any extra cost to you. It helps to keep the lights on. Thank you for your support!