Natural hair is versatile and it is unique, but natural hair can be frustrating to maintain without the proper know how. So, before GOING BACK to being natural, decide on the real reason for doing so. Should you choose to go on this journey because it is on trend then I would suggest re- evaluating that decision.
How dare I say such about a choice that should be left to you and only you? I repeat, this journey can be frustrating when not done for the right reasons. With that said, here are some tips to help you started off on your journey to discovering your mane’s glory.
Let’s go back to the basics of taking care of any type of hair: keeping your hair clean. Keeping natural hair clean requires for it to be washed BUT there is a bit of a process to our natural hair washing. Washing our hair could take the whole day or it could take just a few minutes.
1. Detangle, Shampoo, Deep Condition and Moisturise
Before putting your hair away for the week (highly recommended), it needs to be detangled before being shampooed.
After the shampoo, deep conditioning with a deep conditioner for at least more than 10 minutes under insulation (a plastic bag works just fine) is required.
After rinsing out the deep conditioner, it is important to make sure the hair is moisturised with a moisturising product . On wash days when the wash day is not really a wash day but just a little-bit-of -time-spent-on- hair day, you can do something we call co-washing. This is basically making your hair wet and applying a rinse out conditioner and rinsing it out and then applying a moisturising product.
2. Trim Ends Regularly
Trim the split ends and your hair will grow faster…” Not exactly, here’s why. As hair strands grow, it happens that the ends of the strands start splitting. Once the splitting happens, it is easy for the hair strands to start tangling up together and that causes what is called- in jest- fairy knots.
Do not be fooled by the name because these kinds of knots can be a beast to detangle when they have formed a balled-up knot. Knots break hair. Broken hair is hair that does not show length growth. But if ends are trimmed regularly, the knotting happens less and therefore hair shows visible growth and volume.
3. Finger Detangle
While still on the knots tip, let’s get into the importance of detangling our natural hair-preferably finger detangle the hair. In my hair journey, finger detangling has proven to be effective in keeping my hair on my scalp.
If finger detangling is too much of a process for you, ALWAYS make sure to use a WIDE TOOTH COMB. Detangling our hair means detangling it while it is a little damp. Detangling dry hair is hair suicide. There are different mixtures that one can use to dampen hair before detangling, with the fingers or with a wide tooth comb.
4. The Less the Hair is Manipulated, the Better
Lastly, the best way to grow our natural hair is to keep out hands out of it more often than not. This can be done through low manipulation styles (buns, wigs, etc) or long term protective styles i.e. braids, twists or cornrows, etc.
Just a quick disclaimer; protective styles themselves do not physically grow hair. What grows the hair is the fact that it is not manipulated (from styling etc.) on a daily basis. It is worth mentioning that not all styles are protective of your hair.
If the hairstyle makes your scalp feel too tight, eyes turned into slits, cannot turn head or the head aches, that is NOT a protective hairstyle. 10 out of 10 times when that hairstyle is taken down your hair is going to be broken off and your hairline non- existent.
Hairstyle of the Week
Growing and maintaining natural hair does not have to be a daunting task. Arming yourself with enough information that is applicable to your hair needs will make the journey all so worthwhile.
Nqabakazi Quwe, also known as Nondi, is a mom naturalista who gained her wealth of natural hair care knowledge from her own hair journey as well as her daughter’s. She’s since become a well known natural hair care enthusiast.