I get a lot of compliments on my hair. It’s such a blessing and it never fails to take me by surprise. People often ask me what I use in my hair, how I get it to look the way it does, and what advice do I have for their own hair journey.
|Hair, hair, everywhere!
I know that I’m not the very first person to ever go natural, but in my social circle, I was a pioneer. I did a big chop and never looked back. At that time, haircare products for natural girls like me were limited to gel and leave-in conditioner. Nowadays, you can’t throw a hairbrush without hitting a transition kit, shea butter based twist wax, and the like. It’s fantasic! There’s Carol’s Daughter, Mixed Chix, Miss Jessie’s, Ouidad, Jane Carter, and more. And yes, I’ve tried them all.
So, while I can’t give you a definite answer on which product works the best (truthfully, humidity, barometric pressure and the planetary alignment have a lot to do with it), I can tell you some tips that have served me in good stead.
1. Never comb or brush your hair dry. This leads to breakage and damage. Natural hair is very gentle, despite it’s strong appearance. Treat it as such.
2. Drink lots of water. Hydrate from the inside as well as the outside.
3. Speaking of hydrating, keep your hair hydrated. I use a combo of water, coconut oil, and conditioner in a spray bottle and give myself a spritz when I’m looking parched about the dome.
4. Use protective styles when you want to switch things up. Protective styles are ones that protect the hair from damage, excessive styling and product application. At my house, our go-to protective style is two-strand twists. I’m branching out to flat twists, as well, but overall, protective styles are like that “Set it and forget it!” machine. Once it’s done, you’re good to go for several days. Be sure to keep it looking nice by using. . .
5. A satin headscarf or satin pillow case. The satin helps prevent breakage as well and keeps your hair lying the same way, whereas non-satin scarves and cases will give you fly-aways.
6. Treat yourself to a deep conditioner, either at home or at the salon.
7. Limit your shampooing to once a week unless you have lots of product build-up or your hair is really oily. When you wash your hair, do it in sections, preferably 4 separate sections so that you thoroughly cleanse the hair and take the time to detangle it.
8. Use an old-shirt or micro-fiber, Turbie Twist type of towel to blot your hair dry. Regular towels are harsh and can lead to breakage. Old tees are soft, and your goal is to blot dry your hair, not vigorously rub it dry like you’re in a Pantene commercial. You want some moisture in your hair because you want to apply some oil in addition to your product. The oil helps to seal in the moisture which keeps your curls and kinks looking healthy.
9. Use oil sparingly. You don’t want to leave oily stains on upholstery and walls, like the Soul Glo folks from “Coming to America”, but you do want use some oil to help maintain the moisture in your scalp and on your hair. I use products that have Moroccan Argan oil already included, but I also use coconut oil as well. I apply it to the pads of my fingers and gently massage it on my scalp. Then I pour a quarter size amount into my palm and smooth it over any areas that look like they need assistance!
10. Get a trim. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but cutting your hair helps stimulate growth and helps to keep it healthy. I used to pick my hair out into a big giant ‘fro and let my dad or my brother go over it with some clippers. Yeah, probably not the best idea, but it got the job done. Now that I’ve *grown up*, I go every six months to a salon — and not one that specializes in natural hair, my stylist just knows her stuff. I get a half-inch taken off, I get it washed and deep conditioned. Then she puts in a touch of product and sends me on my way.
There you have it. 10 things I do to help my curls look their best. Remember, I’m not a hairstylist. I’m just a curly girlie who loves her natural hair. Tell me what works (or doesn’t work) for you!