On Growth and Growing

When was the last time you set a goal for yourself and accomplished it? It’s an awesome feeling! One that I can’t say I get a lot. Consistency is not my strongest suit, so I felt like a true champion the day I realised I’d made it all the way to the end of the Kinky Curly Coily Me Summer Castor Oil Challenge!

For 12 weeks, I oiled my scalp with Castor Oil 3 times a week. I used Jamaican Black Castor Oil mostly, but when I ran out, I turned to cold pressed castor oil from a pharmacy.

The challenge is over and another 3 month challenge has started, which I did not sign up for. I’m a big fan of Castor Oil now, and it will definitely continue as one of my staple products. Thank you, Jenell! Today is the last day to sign up for the Fall Castor Oil Challenge. September-December, by the way. I encourage you to try! 🙂

Castor Oil totally deserves a separate post of its own (soon) but today, I’m just going to share my pictures.

In the beginning, I was skeptical.

May 2013
End of May 2013

Five weeks in, I took out my weave and I was amazed

July 2013
July 2013

No, can you people see the difference? From eyebrow to nose! Jaw to along the neck! Hayy! I became a believer at this point, I was so excited! All the time spent lifting weave to oil tracks was not spent in vain! In fact, that day in the bathroom, I found myself dancing like Flava, at 2:06 to be precise lol

7 weeks later… September 1. End of Challenge.

September 1, 2013
September 1, 2013

Hmm, how many centimetres do you think I gained? I did gain something, right? I did expect a little more length than I observed at the end though, considering the growth/retention in the first 5 weeks. 🙁 Oh well, we thank God! I’d run out of Castor, so at some point, I had to mix it with olive oil and eventually when that was spent, I got regular Castor that I couldn’t exactly vouch for, from a pharmacy. Maybe that’s why?

Aaaanyway. Length isn’t all I gained/retained in three months. My hair is darker, softer and somewhat thicker now 🙂

My hair was hidden away for most of the challenge, 11 weeks out of 12 actually, so I think it’s safe to say that Castor is the reason for the changes. I don’t wash my hair when it’s in a weave or braids, and I don’t deep condition. People do so, with success, but it’s one idea that just sounds so LONG to me. Maybe one day I’ll try it. I do moisturise though, with water in a spray bottle. I used to mix it with a leave-in but then, I figured that meant build up for me, and my hair has shown that she’s pretty fine with just water and oil when she is not being exposed to the elements.

Haha. Just look at me. Not too long ago, length was not on my mind at all. But since my first hairversary, I’ve become a little more length-conscious. I feel the occasional twinge of hair envy. I wonder- why is my own hair not growing? Am I doing all the right things? Etc etc

I do realise that my pace may vary from “my mates” lol, but the hair, she is growing. I have one unique head of hair balanced on this neck, and it is unfair and useless really, to compare her to any other.

My hair is very dense but my individual strands are for the most part, very very fine. I can see that the Castor has thickened em up some, but I’m not sure if the thickness is here to stay, and even if it were, they are nowhere thick enough to be called coarse. My fine strands are still very fragile and susceptible to breakage so I must always keep this in mind.

Last Wednesday, before my midweek co-wash, I undid my chunky twists so my hair was stretched. I looked at it and tried to hold it up this way or that. To be honest, I did not know what to do with it. Then I put conditioner in and watched my hair come down, watched the coils spring. After the wash, I had the shrunken twa again and to see it made me feel happy. Like, long time, no see! So I’m happy with my hair. I want it to grow (because length to me is indicative of healthy hair practices) but I also love my shrinkage. <3

I’m just going to have to be patient and enjoy my journey on its own terms.

On a completely unrelated note, the scalp at the back of my head is a little tender, and when weighed down, the hair at the back tends to “fall”, unlike the other sections.

Alright.

I do feel a little vain sometimes, journaling about my hair. Like now. This isn’t ALL I’m about, I assure you. Gotta go.

Later loves,

AB

x

0 Replies to “On Growth and Growing”

  1. Hey there I really envy your hair I love it! Well I’ve also started with growing my natural hair without relaxing my hair though…I’ve got 8 inch long hair and I’ve seen the difference however my hair hurts when ever I unplait my braids do you think it’s a good idea to apply castor oil on my braids while I have my braids on maybe it won’t hurt whenever I’m combing my hair when I’m done unplaiting my braids.

    1. hey Alucia! Thank you 🙂

      Castor Oil is really thick, and I’ve found that when I oil my hair with lighter oils like Olive oil when it’s in braids, the hair and the extensions are a bit or a lot oily after take down.

      I wouldn’t advise you to put your Castor on the braids. Rather, apply it to your scalp.

      When you undo your braids, it’s a good idea to spray some water on it, or put in a nice conditioner with good slip.This would help you detangle and comb with so much more ease. Natural hair doesn’t like to be pulled and tugged when dry. Just be gentle about it. Hope this helps 🙂

    1. hey 🙂

      For extensions, I prep myself with a good washday- clarify, condition, deep condition-

      Then I “stretch” the hair after this, by doing chunky twists. About 12-15 twists on average. When the hair is dry, I find that it is stretched.

      That’s just how I do it. In the alternative, I let the stylist blow dry it before I braid.

      Some people stretch their hair by threading or banding methods, but I think that’s too much work for this length, and for hair I’m about to cover anyway.

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