2 Years Natural Lessons & Moving Forward

Tuesday 10/15/13 was my 2 year natural anniversary! That's right Zoe is now 2 years old!!! If you've been with me for awhile, you know I haven't had my hair straightened in a year and I wanted to get it pressed out and see how my ends were looking. As I suspected, they were looking kind of rough! This leads me to some lessons I've learned over this past year and how I will do better and move forward! I hope my lazy natural days are behind me and this can help someone on their journey.

Lessons learned

~ Zoe is not about that lazy natural life! Confession: I was only washing my hair once a month for the past 5 months or so. I was leaving my hair braided up and not thinking about it. I was however, moisturizing it and oiling my scalp through out the weeks but wasn't paying much attention to my ends. I then had kinky twists installed and I definitely wasn't doing any deep conditioning while my hair was in that style. Thus, my ends suffered and I had to have a pretty significant trim but I love the results. My hair is thick, full, and healthy from root to tip. No transparent stringy ends.
Before & After trim

~ Now that my ends are in excellent condition, I have new motivation to go into my 3rd year natural being as diligent as I was my first year. I will go back to my weekly wash day regimen and will baby my ends to help with retaining my current length and to grow from here.

~ Another issue I will address this year will be dryness and breakage. I didn't have a problem with this until the last few months of summer where I became a lazy. While chatting with my curl friend Shirley about her recent salon experience, we realized we have to do better with our moisture levels. We both do henna treatments which mimic a protein treatment so we are good on that end. Her stylist suggested she do weekly hot oil treatments as well as deep treatments to help improve the condition and moisture retention of her hair. (More moisture = better conditioned hair and less breakage) This gave me an idea to start a hair challenge and to end our lazy days with our hair!
Blow out then press! Yes my hair is growing out in layers ^_^

Hair Challenge Starting Nov. 1st (or now)
1. 1x a week we will do a hot oil treatment on our hair focusing mainly on our ends. (Heat the oil up, apply it to your hair then use a heat cap or hooded hairdryer for added penetration for 30 min to an hour) 
2. Do a deep treatment on your hair; this can be a deep condition or a hair mask, etc.
3. Finger detangling only to help with breakage prevention. A tool such as a comb may be used only once during the week if needed.
4. Keep your ends protected as often as possible.
5. This challenge will last as long as you want it too but I am challenging myself to keep it up for 6 months so on May 1, 2014 I will give my final update on my hair. 

**Bonus Challenge**
My curl friend Sammy (Fireopal94 on youtube) is currently participating in the green house effect challenge. Here is her video link (Video #51) explaining what you have to do. This is another great way to help improve your moisture levels at night.

Going into my 3rd year you can see my focus will be on the health and condition of my hair. Yes I want the length and the volume but if I do these steps to address my current issues, next blow out and press I wont have so much length to cut off. I hope you all will join me on this hair challenge I will keep you all updated in 2 month increments how I'm doing. Consistency is something I struggle with from my hair, to my fitness journey, to just simple routines. I get bored easily but I'm a work in progress. 
3 stages of Zoe in one day: shrunken fro, blow out, flat ironed

How is your hair? What are you doing to keep it healthy and to protect your ends? Have you gotten into a slump like I did? What are you doing to get out of it?

Besos, Feron