Hello My Beauties!
(Hello to my Cakers and Bakers if your curiosity brought you here too)
So after two weeks of being in the sunny and beautiful Dom Rep, I decided to take my twists down!
I know I’m really terrible at this protective styling malarkey.
I decided to remove my twists for a few reasons:
- I was getting a lot of slippage, swimming every day, rinsing and moisturising daily combined with their soft water plus the texture of my hair and the extension hair led to many twists sliding off and needing to be re-installed.
- I was really hot with all that extra hair. (duh!)
- I have heard that hairdressers in the Dominican Republic are amazing and I wanted to experience this first hand.
- I missed my own hair!
It took me a couple of hours to remove my twists, I untwisted while my hair was damp and used my fingers only. Since the twists were slipping out anyway it was very easy to remove them.
If you are removing any type of extensions make sure you take your time and do not rush, it will be easier to remove your extensions if your hair is damp or wet (naturally kinky curly hair) you can use water, conditioner, natural oils or a combination.
I recommend removing a small cluster of braids maybe ten or so, depending on the size of your sections then de-tangling that section using a seam free large toothed comb or your fingers and coating it in more conditioner or oil before braiding or twisting that section, this process will be easier than removing all of your braids/twists and then trying to de-tangle all of your hair at once.
Don’t be concerned that I was swimming every day without fully washing my hair, my Uncle’s pool is filled with mountain rainwater and has a natural filtration/cleaning system, it was fantastic swimming in a pool that did not stink of Chlorine, burn my eyes and irritate my skin.
Once all of my twists were removed, I washed and deep conditioned my hair, I brought my Kinky Girls Essentials Kit on holiday with me and it was a life saver as it was very hard to find natural hair products in shops in the area of Dom Rep we were staying in.
Image Belongs to http://www.SheaDecandence.co.uk
The next day my Mum and I hit the streets of Sosua (North Coast Beach Town) looking for a hair dresser. I went to 3 different salons and made enquiries before I found one where I was comfortable, unfortunately many of these women were not happy to handle my natural hair and I was repeatedly offered a relaxer, for them it was shocking that I as an adult woman would walk around with my “bad hair”.
The majority of women in the Dominican Republic do have beautiful, long and healthy looking hair but 99% of the Dominican women (I saw) wear their hair straightened either by heat or chemical processing. I won’t go into it too much in this post but generally the Dominicans feel that they are not Black and do not acknowledge that they are indeed people of African descent instead choosing to focus on their Spanish Heritage. I found the colourist attitude of the Dominican people to be very obvious and slightly upsetting, it went so deep that I did not see any darker skinned Dominicans working inside, by that I mean phone shops, banks, supermarkets and so on. It is acceptable to wear your natural texture if you have very loose curls or waves but to display your kinks is frowned upon and very rare.
Moving on, I found a salon owned by a Jamaican man who has been living in DR for most of his adult life, I spotted a hairdresser in the window twisting the hair of a young girl the best part of it is that the young girl had hair like me! The hair dresser was called Ana and we actually had a really interesting conversation about “race” culture hair and history.
I had my hair washed, deep conditioned, blown out , flat ironed (sorry Natural Nazis) and cut for the equivalent of £5.00 GBP! Of course I tipped Ana well for her time, Ana was very gentle with my hair plus she was heavily pregant and there was no air conditioning in the salon. I don’t use heat on my hair at home and even when I go to salons in UK I don’t let them use direct heat on my hair (except once per year when I have it professionally flat ironed) indirect heat is also used sparingly maybe once per or twice year. I don’t use heat because my hair strands are already very fine and I have a lot of chemical damage from self inflicted repeated colour abuse on the ends of my hair, I’m fully aware of this and I’m in the process of transitioning out of this damage.
Here are a few photos of the process.
I had a good 4 inches cut off which really helped to even out my hair but did not get rid of all the colour damage, I’m not big chopping again because I don’t want to and it’s not necessary although my ends are very thin I am not experiencing a lot of breakage. I’ll be doing a series of mini chops until my hair is all virgin again. I do not have a photo of the finished look but I’ll tell you that it was so humid in the Salon and in DR generally that my hair started to revert IMMEDIATELY, I put it in a bun before I even left the Salon.
The next day we visited Mount Isobel De Torres and I thought it would be a nice change to wear my hair out, that was a crazy idea as you will see below:
My hair has recovered from this traumatic experience…lol and is currently recuperating in (considerably shorter) two strand twists.
Thanks for Reading.