Braid Removal Experience: The Anger, Anxiety & Resolution

Close-up of my scalp & hairHappy New Year!

It’s officially 2014 and time for things to change.

For me that means embracing all that I am and where I’m at.

Taking an honest assessment of what has worked and what hasn’t, and then deciding upon a plan of action and moving forward.

My journey into conscious natural hair health and growth began with me removing my tree braids yesterday.  I started early in the afternoon, around 3:30p.m. and wasn’t completely finished and ready for bed until around 12:30a.m. this morning.

I know what you’re thinking, 9 hours is alot of time!

And you are totally correct.  However, in that 9 hours I took my time and finger detangled most of my hair and used the rat tail comb only minimally.  I took the time to apply the Braid Removal Strengthening Conditioner on as I removed each section.

To make the time go faster, admittedly I watched about 70 YouTube videos from other African-American women who have grown extraordinarily long hair over the years and were sharing their knowledge.

It was encouraging to say the least!

Alas I must admit once I finished removing all the braids, and conditioning I rinsed my hair in cool water and the amount of shedding was RIDICULOUS!

I had to keep reminding myself that my scalp hadn’t had a chance to shed in 4 months so the clumps of hair that were coming out was to be expected.

Close-up of scalp & hair 2After I finished rinsing my hair and gently pulling out clumps as I went, I applied the second conditioner —my Post-Braid Hair Repair Pre Poo Smoothie— and made sure my scalp, roots, strands, and ends were very well covered with the mixture.

To be honest I realized that the apple cider vinegar starts to bother my hands after about 10 minutes of applying the hair smoothie.  I had to stop and rinse my hands at least twice while I applied the mixture to my hair.  Please let me make this clear, the apple cider vinegar doesn’t bother my scalp, but it does bother the back of my hands and knuckles after about 10 minutes.  Be aware of that if you decide to use this recipe.

After applying the Pre Poo Smoothie, I covered my hair in a plastic cap, then my satin bonnet, then a pair of stocking tied at the ends to ensure everything stayed in place.

Then I went to bed.

Honestly, my head didn’t get overly hot or anything, however around 5 a.m. I got up to rinse the smoothies out because the stockings were giving me a headache from being on my head for so long.

While I was rinsing my hair, I still noticed a RIDICULOUS amount of hair coming out, but the texture was fabulous and I didn’t shampoo my hair afterwards.  At this point, your hair and scalp are clean due to the ingredients in the Pre Poo Smoothie.

I would personally advise against shampooing because it will strip your already dry hair of the moisture it has just obtained.

Next I gently squeezed out my hair and towel dried it.  I proceeded to liberally apply leave-in conditioner spray.  I wasn’t thrilled with the brand I had because it had a lot of synthetic ingredients, so I will definitely  be getting an all-natural detangling leave-in moisturizer next time.

Close-up of scalp & hair 3When I looked in the mirror I was angry, awed, surprised, and completely overwhelmed all at the same time!  Now  my hair was barely shoulder length at this point but I had NO IDEA how to deal with the texture.

That’s why I was angry.

At 29 years old, I’m completely ignorant and unaware of how to deal with something that has been a part of me since I was born!  I proceeded to section off my hair and try to do twists so it could air dry.  That was an anxious and awe-inspiring experience.  I have never touched my hair that much in my life!  In order to get through that process with a modicum of success, I found myself praying more than once for God to let me love what I have, learn, understand, and appreciate my hair texture, then asked for Him to help me figure out how to make it grow!

One product I had which I used on the damp hair was Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) in order to seal the ends and just make the whole process a bit more manageable.  My hair absolutely LOVED the product!  It seemed to lay and behave and make the prettiest coils as I was doing finger twists.  Therefore that will definitely be a product that will be part of my hair care arsenal at this point.

The last thing I decided was to resolve to stick to this conscious healthy hair growth journey and not feel overwhelmed.

Check out my pics and comment on your post-braid experiences.

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