So I thought I would share some photos with you all.
I have been completely natural since February 2010, stopped relaxing August 2009 (I think) and I have to say that my natural hair is a lot healthier to me this time around. It is soft, thick, and non-brittle. I think what makes the difference this time around is that I accept my hair texture, not wishing it was coily or loose and curly... my hair is all textures, mainly kinky (curl and zig-zag pattern). And I love my hair a lot more now.
I wonder also if the hair vitamins I took in the first 3 months had anything to do with the health of my hair. I can vouch that my hair did not grow faster (it grew about 1/2 inch per month), but it does seem healthier because of my vitamin usage. I took one bottle of prenatals, then after they were gone I switched to a hair skin and nails vitamin (someone at the vitamin shop said prenatals can give me too much of certain vitamins that are not necessary and that made me uneasy).
On my scalp I use Nature's Blessing hair pomade. It has no animal products, no harsh or harmful chemicals and no artificial ingredients. It melts in my scalp and keeps away the flakes, I can use it more than once a week if I want. My personal opinion natural sisters, don't fall for the "all grease is bad grease for your scalp", and that our hair doesn't need it. No my hair does not need "grease", if you want to call it that, but my scalp can get itchy and dry, which makes my hair dry and brittle. I know first hand that not moisturizing my scalp on a regular basis can lead to brittleness and breakage. Not all natural sisters need it, but I say trust your instincts, do your research until you find something that fits your needs. Anyway, this pomade has lots of good things like nettle, rosemary and sage to name a few :-). Oh, you can buy this at an African store or herbal store. I have also seen it online.
My hair wet...
My hair routine is simple. I try to deep condition every week, using ORS olive oil replenishing pack. Sometimes I will only wash with some conditioner I have. For shampoo I use Pantene Pro-V Shampoo for relaxed and natural, really great stuff, very moisturizing! I also may shampoo with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, peppermint (diluted).. I like this because it is made with organic oils and it is very natural. I don't have a problem using any of these shampoos once a week.
Another conditioner I have that has been EXCELLENT through my transition to natural is Shea Moisture shea butter leave in conditioner... amazing. Its thick and creamy, great smell, and perfect for softening the hair, paying close attention to were the straight and kinky textures meet. I always used this before I tried to comb the two textures. I don't use this as much now on my dry hair, I will use it on my edges but I love having it handy. You can only buy this online as far as I know. I purchase mine from treasuredlocks.com.
After I wash and condition my hair, I will lightly grease my scalp with Nature's Blessings, I part it in large sections and two strand twist it using raw natural shea butter (purchased from an African store) then roll the twist in a ball like a bantu knot, securing it with a rubber band. This is great for keeping moisture sealed in my hair. Before I go to bed I take care to spritz with water and retwist using shea butter. Then the next day I just style however it suits me.
If I am up to it, I will do small two strand twists on wet hair using the raw shea butter and aloe vera gel to hold (sorry, I don't have any pics of this yet). I also like to use this on my edges when setting my hair style.