My big sister is a natural. But I remember the day my sister went blonde. Her hair broke off.
Go back five years and she’d been dying her relaxed hair about 5 different shades of red from purple-tinged to a deep burgundy. Then she decided to go for blonde highlights. That’s when her hair broke off.
It was a turning point, a lot of naturals have that moment, and whilst it’s somewhat of a cliche, when your hair literally snaps from the damage you’ve done, well, it’s a wake-up call.
The top photo shows the results of a china bumps twist-out my twin sister and I did on her hair using Crete olive oil and my rich leave-in hair conditioner, rich in rosemary and Shea.
To clarify, my big sister’s hair was damp from giving it a thorough rinse in the shower. We separated the hair and started with oil at the roots, giving it a brief massage to stimulate growth, then again starting at the roots worked the leave-in conditioner through her hair. We finally finished it off with a bit more oil in the hair from root to tip, to seal it in. We wound the hair pretty tightly, and the secured it with hair grips.
Now my big sister insisted that she should sleep with her hair like this otherwise it wouldn’t dry. Afro hair is different to mine, my sisters curls are tighter than mine, and she has high porosity, so retaining moisture and maintaining her hair is more trying than my own. It’s a different approach, so I couldn’t help but wonder how her hair would look and feel after a china bump 48-hour twist-out.
The results were gorgeous. Her hair was big, soft, and held its shape. But once we came home we thought we’d give some curling jelly a try to see if it made any difference:
My big sister has never used curling jelly before and this time, whilst she practised the same method of oil and leave-in conditioner, a variation on the LOC method, she used a well-known curling jelly to see if it was up to all the hype.
In my big sister’s opinion her hair was more springy, the jelly seemed to lock in the moisture and her curls were more tight than a twist-out without the gel.
I love these gorgeous curls and the tightness of a twist-out.
My sister’s hair has grown so much since that big chop where it was no more than 2 inches long (!) Her hair is now a big and beautiful softness that I am in love with. She has embraced her natural self, shrinkage and all, and I couldn’t be more in love with her journey (even the struggles, the constant effort, the beauty)
Stunning, striking, strong. Grown.