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View Full Version : 3b Curly & Chemically Straightened Mess!! Sad & In need of Advice and Support.



BerrySara
January 30th, 2018, 10:08 AM
Hi All,
I am new to this forum so please excuse me if I posted this in the wrong place.
I am dealing with a mess and I am not sure how to manage any longer.

Growing up, I naturally had 3b curly hair but since I was the only one in my family with curly hair, my mom nor I knew how to wear, style or treat curly hair. I was taught to just brush it, drown it in crunchy mouse &keep it short (frustrating!) to neck length or so. To manage I would always have it up in a short pony tail hiding away my curls.

Until the day I turned 17 years old and learned about Japanese permanent hair straightening. I was sold! To be able to wear my hair down and feel the breeze in my hair sounded too good to be true. Without much thought I jumped on it despite the cost that was burdensome at that age. Since then, I have straightened my hair for the past 15 years! Just imagine the damage, the thinning out, the forever frail ends. I didnít even remember what my curls used to look like, what type, what texture etc. I tried once to grow out my curls about 6 years ago but didnít really know how, so I would straightened my curly roots daily with a flat iron to manage and ended up with far more damage and breakage than if I continued the treatment. So I gave up.

That is until last year. February 2017 was my last treatment. It has almost been one full year. But the problem is I have about 5 inches (estimate) of 3b curls at my roots and the rest is pin straight! Itís a horrible look out of the shower when I let it air dry.
However, this time I havenít used any heat to my curly roots (or straight parts for that matter). I also learned a few things from this forum and have been implementing them since such as sleeping on a silk pillow case, no shampoo, no heat, not using a regular towel to dry hair. Now I just wash my hair with a conditioner, rinse, then deep condition, rinse and finally more of that lighter conditioner to mostly end without rinsing it out. Once out of the shower, I use a t-shirt, add some argon oil, let air dry for about 30min and then braid my hair into two Dutch braids. Which is all fine. But I have no way of wearing my hair other than undo the braids next day and put it up in a bun. Almost like I used to do as a kid.

Itís frustrating but I feel like I really donít have a choice. The Dutch braids do give me some wavy ends that makes it less obvious of a change from super curly to straight but itís not close enough in curl size to wear down. Btw, my length is armpit length with thin (not too many split ends anymore as I have cut off about 4-5 inches last 12 months) and straw like ends. My curls reach down to ears (from top of head) and down to shoulders from back of my neck when wet. Once dry it shrinks up some, making the progress of growing out seem even longer.

Has anyone else gone through this awful process of growing out relaxed/chemically treated hair? Any advice you could give me? I know some may suggest the big chop but I am just not really ready for it. I am leaving to go to Southeast Asia for 6 months leaving in 2 months and the thought of the heat and humidity there makes me cringe at what the curls would look like if it was short (5/6 inches!). At least with the longer hair I can either braid or put it up in a bun/pony tail.

Even though the length of my hair is down to my armpits, I feel like my hair journey really is me starting at a longer pixie cut since all my straight ends will eventually have to be cut off entirely. Itís very discouraging as I feel like I will be dealing with this awful situation for at least the next 2 years (due to shrinkage of curls) before I can truly wear my hair naturally curly and styled. Also, I really donít know much about curly hair and would have to learn all about it at my age of 33. Makes me feel a little lost and overwhelmed.

Any stories of others having gone through something similar or words of advice or encouragement would be great appreciated. So many of you have such long, healthy and beautiful hair that you have become my hair idols and source of inspiration for me. I cannot wait to get there myself.

Sorry for the long post..

*Wednesday*
January 30th, 2018, 10:36 AM
I have not personally went through this but have known people going natural. The line of demarcation where the natural hair meets with the chemically straightened hair will be very, very fragile. I understand what you are saying, your new grown which is curly meets pin straight hair. The women Iíve known going natural would braid their hair or bun.

Iím sure more people will interject more methods for you.

Beeboo123
January 30th, 2018, 10:37 AM
Hi! I live somewhere with high humidity, and I HATE it, my hair gets so floofy. Iím only 2b/c, but I have also gone through many years of Japanese straightening. I would get root touch ups every 3-4 months to hide the wavy roots. Growing out was SO hard! The line of demarcation between straightened and natural hair bothered me so much, I felt that it was terribly unsightly and looked so artificial (which it was!). Also, different products worked for them- anything that tamed my frizz on top would make the straightened parts flat and limp. I tried heat straightening the roots for a while, while growing it out, but it wasnít a solution because of the humidity- 1 minute outdoor and the poof and frizz would be back. I ended up cutting all my hair off into a pixie, it was the best decision I made. I didnít have to stress out about damage anymore, and just let it do its thing.
I know most people are sentimental about length, but Iím not. My hair, while shiny and healthy-looking from the straightening, was actually damaged. I didnít have tangles or split ends, but my hair could stretch like rubber. Thatís when I knew it had to go.

chomsky
January 30th, 2018, 11:03 AM
Hi! I live somewhere with high humidity, and I HATE it, my hair gets so floofy. I’m only 2b/c, but I have also gone through many years of Japanese straightening. I would get root touch ups every 3-4 months to hide the wavy roots. Growing out was SO hard! The line of demarcation between straightened and natural hair bothered me so much, I felt that it was terribly unsightly and looked so artificial (which it was!). Also, different products worked for them- anything that tamed my frizz on top would make the straightened parts flat and limp. I tried heat straightening the roots for a while, while growing it out, but it wasn’t a solution because of the humidity- 1 minute outdoor and the poof and frizz would be back. I ended up cutting all my hair off into a pixie, it was the best decision I made. I didn’t have to stress out about damage anymore, and just let it do its thing.
I know most people are sentimental about length, but I’m not. My hair, while shiny and healthy-looking from the straightening, was actually damaged. I didn’t have tangles or split ends, but my hair could stretch like rubber. That’s when I knew it had to go.

While the damage I grew out was heat damage, my thought process was the same. If you don't mind cutting/not retaining length, you can maintain where you are or, wait until your virgin hair grows to a length you can manage then chop. One morning I just got so fed up at how limp the ends were, I had a little cry then cut it all. I had an adrenaline rush all day after that, my hair was so short!

I've grown out a relaxer 5 times, but I was a lot younger, and they too ending in me chopping it all off.

If you're not too keen on cutting, braids work really well, they hide the two textures and offer protection to chemically altered ends. There's plenty of cool style out there, my favourite was the crown braid. I wore that for two years, switching up the parting and made slight position changes every wash. Just make sure not to do them too tight!

Lady Stardust
January 30th, 2018, 12:24 PM
I have a completely different hair type to you so I can't offer advice, but I just wanted to say hi and welcome to the forum!

You've taken amazing steps already and have gone through the the worst part. You've worked out how you can wear your hair, in a protective style too, so you're in a great position to carry on. I know it's frustrating because it's a slow process but it all sounds very positive to me.

BerrySara
January 30th, 2018, 01:09 PM
I have not personally went through this but have known people going natural. The line of demarcation where the natural hair meets with the chemically straightened hair will be very, very fragile. I understand what you are saying, your new grown which is curly meets pin straight hair. The women I’ve known going natural would braid their hair or bun.

I’m sure more people will interject more methods for you.

Thank you for your reply!
Line of demarcation - thank you for putting what I was struggling to describe into a clear term!

Understood, I think Ill just have to keep braiding it or putting it in a bun until I am ready to cut off the rest.
Btw, your hair is gorgeous!

BerrySara
January 30th, 2018, 01:13 PM
Hi! I live somewhere with high humidity, and I HATE it, my hair gets so floofy. I’m only 2b/c, but I have also gone through many years of Japanese straightening. I would get root touch ups every 3-4 months to hide the wavy roots. Growing out was SO hard! The line of demarcation between straightened and natural hair bothered me so much, I felt that it was terribly unsightly and looked so artificial (which it was!). Also, different products worked for them- anything that tamed my frizz on top would make the straightened parts flat and limp. I tried heat straightening the roots for a while, while growing it out, but it wasn’t a solution because of the humidity- 1 minute outdoor and the poof and frizz would be back. I ended up cutting all my hair off into a pixie, it was the best decision I made. I didn’t have to stress out about damage anymore, and just let it do its thing.
I know most people are sentimental about length, but I’m not. My hair, while shiny and healthy-looking from the straightening, was actually damaged. I didn’t have tangles or split ends, but my hair could stretch like rubber. That’s when I knew it had to go.

That was me exactly, getting a new treatment every 3-4 months. It was hard on my hair and my wallet.
The line of demarcation bothers me too - it drives me nuts. There are days I feel the same as you did and just want to cut it all off. But as you said, growing it out was hard and that's what I am scared of.
Maybe Ill be brave once I come back from my trip and just cut it off. There is definitely something relieving about getting rid of all the damaged & processed hair.

BerrySara
January 30th, 2018, 01:21 PM
While the damage I grew out was heat damage, my thought process was the same. If you don't mind cutting/not retaining length, you can maintain where you are or, wait until your virgin hair grows to a length you can manage then chop. One morning I just got so fed up at how limp the ends were, I had a little cry then cut it all. I had an adrenaline rush all day after that, my hair was so short!

I've grown out a relaxer 5 times, but I was a lot younger, and they too ending in me chopping it all off.

If you're not too keen on cutting, braids work really well, they hide the two textures and offer protection to chemically altered ends. There's plenty of cool style out there, my favourite was the crown braid. I wore that for two years, switching up the parting and made slight position changes every wash. Just make sure not to do them too tight!

I think that's good idea - maintaining where I am at until the curls get to a more manageable length.

That's brave of you! I think I may end up having to just bite the bullet and cut it off as well. But I think while I am overseas, it will just be easier for me to keep braiding it (though my braids at the ends are so thin and pathetic) just to manage with the humidity.

I will look into the crown braid! At least this part of the journey I get to learn more about braid styles and how to do them.

Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it. It makes me feel less alone knowing others have gone through it (both you and Beeboo123) and are now past that point of dealing with it.

I cant believe you have grown out a relaxer 5 times! After this experience, I never want to chemically treat my hair again. Its too much pain to deal with afterwards.

BerrySara
January 30th, 2018, 01:24 PM
I have a completely different hair type to you so I can't offer advice, but I just wanted to say hi and welcome to the forum!

You've taken amazing steps already and have gone through the the worst part. You've worked out how you can wear your hair, in a protective style too, so you're in a great position to carry on. I know it's frustrating because it's a slow process but it all sounds very positive to me.

Thank you for the welcome Lady Stardust :) I guess Ill keep braiding until I'm in a better place with my hair. Now I just gotta learn different types and styles of braids.

Milady_DeWinter
January 30th, 2018, 01:49 PM
If you want support, it's a similar enough situation to jump into the giving up dyes thread, here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=51155&highlight=growing+natural+color), to share pics, evolution, how your feel about it on good/bad days, etc. I'm there growing out henna and dyes and it really helps with the frustration. I'm so sorry for you, but just think that it's just going to be some bad years and, then, you'll have your entire life to rock your gorgeus locks! 3b hair is beautiful :) Henna also straightened my curls and my new hair (7,5 months without henna) is curlier that my natural hair. Not as much, but my natural hair is 2c or so, and henna did made mi hair 2a -now after some months it's more like a 2b, but it still isn't the same.

I'll second the opinion to wear it up in braids that hides the difference BTW :) Good luck and welcome to the LHC forum!

lapushka
January 30th, 2018, 03:41 PM
But the problem is I have about 5 inches (estimate) of 3b curls at my roots and the rest is pin straight! It’s a horrible look out of the shower when I let it air dry.
However, this time I haven’t used any heat to my curly roots (or straight parts for that matter). I also learned a few things from this forum and have been implementing them since such as sleeping on a silk pillow case, no shampoo, no heat, not using a regular towel to dry hair. Now I just wash my hair with a conditioner, rinse, then deep condition, rinse and finally more of that lighter conditioner to mostly end without rinsing it out. Once out of the shower, I use a t-shirt, add some argon oil, let air dry for about 30min and then braid my hair into two Dutch braids. Which is all fine. But I have no way of wearing my hair other than undo the braids next day and put it up in a bun. Almost like I used to do as a kid.

It looks like you're on the right track. You're always going to have to fight the two-textured beast if you don't big chop, but you have to be ready for that and do it when it suits you. Until then I think the best way is to keep doing what you're doing. You could try roller sets to mix the two textures together (curlformers, rods).

Anyway, the best of luck to you.

Transitioning is not the easiest. :flower:

lithostoic
January 30th, 2018, 04:32 PM
Putting your hair in twists instead will help mimic the natural texture.