So I'm definitely on a journey right now. A journey from straight to curly, relaxer to natural, flat to voluminous. And so far... I love it! Most of my guests are natural or transitioning, and a lot of them go back and forth between straight and curly looks, however I have never crossed over to wearing my natural hair ever before. Its been about a week, and its definitely been a huge change so I thought I'd tell you guys about it! I'm hoping I can offer new insight to my guests on products and styling, and also just be able to understand some of their daily routines and struggles while I'm at it. I'm a hairstylist so its a little easier for me to find products and do styles, but it still takes some experimenting since I've never actually done any styles on my own head, so I want to bring my guests along on the ride with me. 

Let's start with a little backstory on my hair. I am still growing out my relaxer, but in a weird way. When I got relaxers regularly I only got them about once every 6 months, so each time I went, the new growth got relaxed, but there was always about an inch worth of hair un-relaxed because my hair had grown out so much in the 6 moths. So now my hair is straight for about an inch, in the middle of my hair strand. I'm that person that wants to hang on to her inches, since I've grown it out so much wearing weaves for the past year. That's my hair, half curly and half straight in a really strange place, so I'm working with it. Just an FYI for transitioners, no one says you have to cut off your relaxer or even your heat damage. Yes your hair will be thicker and fuller from root to tip if you do, but if you want to hang on to it you absolutely can, it wont affect the rest of your hair as long as you keep  it healthy. 

Now let's talk products. Being the natural product guru that I am, I began searching the shelves for everyday products that were free of harsh chemicals and additives. I got overwhelmed in the beauty supply store, the endless shelves of products were too much for me. I had no real luck at the professionals only beauty supply, those shelves lacked products for curly Black hair. So I ended up at target, in their tiny multi-ethnic section where I had some luck. I tried 'Goddess Curls Botanical Gel' by CURLS and I'm loving that so far, as well as their 'Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste'. I feel like I need to use a ton of it since I have very thick hair so I cocktailed it with some Nuema 'Argan Oil'. My hair was pretty well moisturized for the day but the next day it was super dry so I'm still experimenting and playing around with products, I'll keep you updated. 

As far as styling goes, I feel like I have endless options, which I LOVE. I tried a braid out, which gave me an afro, but the texture definition kind of fell out right away. I then just washed it and did a few pulled up styles. The huge bun I loved but it was very difficult to get my hair pulled back with out wetting it first. I tried a style with bangs that I loved, I two strand twisted the bangs which defined the curls so that one was super cute. And lastly, I tried a twist out. The twist out never really dried all the way even though I slept in the twists, and then blow dried them for an hour before taking them out, so that was annoying. But, I loved the definition the twist out gave so I'm definitely going to try to perfect that one and get it to dry a little faster. 

I'm still playing around with different styles, and I'm searching for my go-to products, but all in all I hope I can help some of my guests with their natural journey. Comment and email in to let me know what products and style you guys love! 

P.S. I will definitely continue to straighten my hair and wear sew ins, however I am loving the options I have being natural. Also check my instagram @ciarap_thestylist for updates. Here's some pics: 



ciara pannell