Today’s hot sunny weather has made me reminisce about the last time I was 5 months pregnant, but then I was holidaying in Trinidad. This was near the start of my natural hair journey. I asked my dear and trusted friend, Chelsea, to help me cut my hair to its natural curl. Funnily enough, this was after I’d hacked off the majority into a jagged TWA in a moment of madness. Then I began the work of trying to become a ‘good mother’ and a better me. I went home to Trinidad for 9 days of good Trini food and pampering from my own mum. I even had her comb my hair in ‘small plaits’ and sometimes cane-rows. It was a totally nurturing experience. Sometimes a mum needs her mum. Going home and having my natural hair cared for during my pregnancy really grounded me.

 

Three Hair Types

 

As the weather was VERY HOT, I co-washed my hair almost every day while I was there. My hair never lacked moisture and my curls really popped. Even my mum was surprised by the soft light curly texture of my hair. She had asked me what I’d done to it. Clearly it had been a LOOONG time since she’d seen me without chemically straightened hair. This then led to the playful banter about which of her girls has the ‘the best hair’. My two sisters and I all have different hair types but it seemed the consensus was that I had the ‘good hair’, even though middle sis has the longest hair. Middle sis has hair past the middle of her back!

Unlike me, neither sister has been as adventurous as me with hair. They have always kept their length.   Mum is great at braiding but she’s not up on the styles. Having my hair styled to go out while in Trinidad was a group effort. Mum braided my hair under the direction of my two younger sisters. Most styles were good but we had a few mishaps along the way.

 

Natural Hair Styling

 

My sisters cheekily said they’d not go outdoors with their hair like that. My retort was that I was on holiday and no one would see me. Little did I know I’d be writing this post to share, which now means exposing my dodgy does for all the world to see. During my first pregnancy my hair was much shorter and I had time to experiment. My regime was:

  1. I co- washed twice per week,  then shampooed and conditioned on weekends (sometimes using ginseng tea for the last rinse)
  2. Sealed with sweet almond oil
  3. Flat twisted with the aid of pure shea butter (or wash and go with leisure curl gel)
  4. I was took pregnancy  multivitamins
  5. Covered my hair at night in a spandex cap

Occasionally I’d have my hair braided with extensions for variety, or add a pony tail extension. (See my FB album Natural Hair then and Now) When Angelo was 3 months old, I had my first professional hair treatment and trim.   Now on my second pregnancy, I’m doing much less with my hair.  Angelo is a VERY active toddler and I have very little respite. Gone are the days of long leisurely shower and shampoo sessions. In the last 2 years and 5 months my hair has grown past my shoulder and I’d finally had the chance to trim in again.

See my post on the Deva Cut Method. I don’t have the opportunity try varied styles due to lack of time, so, somehow I’m s back to the ponytail or all out style pattern I had when I had relaxed hair!  

 

Natural Hair Regime

 

My current regime is as follows:

  1. Once per week pre-poo (with pure coconut oil) for at least 1 hour
  2. Wash, condition and de-tangle rinse
  3. Towel dry to remove most of the water
  4. Seal with sweet almond oil
  5. Apply curling cream, then set curl with two strand twist of about 12 twists and leave hair to air dry

I usually only untwist my hair and style when I’m ready to go out. I’m also back on pregnancy multivitamins. I take these to maintain my around wellness, perhaps its mind over matter however, I’ve didn’t had major hair loss during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Fingers crossed I have the same results this time around.

Did you have a special hair regime during pregnancy? I’d love to hear from you whether you have natural afro or straight hair.

 

 

From The Tiger Tales archives originally posted September 2012

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