As long as I can remember as kid my hair was always relaxed and then straightened. I remember one of my best days at school being when my hair had just been relaxed during the weekend. To me that was the definition of beautiful hair, relaxed and straightened or relaxed and curled with rollers.
We have been conditioned from childhood to dislike our afro hair. So we get it relaxed and straightened at every chance that we get. Luckily, so many women these days have embraced the natural look that it is even stylish.
For me the ahaa! Moment came when I saw how beautiful natural African hair really looked like when taken care of. I saw pictures of black beautiful women with their afro beautiful, natural hair and I was smitten. I fell in love with natural hair.
So in June 2019 I cut my hair and thus began my natural hair journey. It has been a year and 7 months and am ever so glad that I made that choice. To be real with you it wasn’t easy at the beginning. I was new to this and I had to learn by doing at which stage the internet was really helpful. To add on that I had to watch my friends with their beautiful gigantic Fro’s whilst I was still in my awkward short hair stage. Growing natural hair needs patience, it just isn’t going to grow overnight.
Having said that I’d like to say that how good your hair looks depends on how well you are taking care of it. This is why am gonna share my top 7 tips on taking care of your natural hair.
# 1 wash your hair regularly
I wash my hair after every two weeks because that’s when the oils start to build up and it gets dirty. Now I understand why most people are reluctant to wash their hair regularlyno. Fact: your hair Shrinks miserably when you wash it. Just because we call it shrinkage doesn’t mean it actually loses length. It just curls up making it look shorter such that if you straightened it , it would go back to it original length. Another way to get rid of shrinkage is to braid your hair after washing it and wiping it with your towel, in other words while it’s still wet. Let it dry while it is braided Another fact: your hair grows an inch in a month. So not washing it will not make it grow faster.
# 2 Detangling
Nappy, afro hair gets tangled like a lot, it all comes with the curls. So before getting it combed try to Detangling it with your fingers to get rid of any knots that may have formed. This prevents breakage and therefore helping you maintain length. Also detangle using a large comb. Use a a water bottle to spray some water on your hair to make it softer and easy to comb through.
# 3 Conditioning
There are a lot of hair conditioners that you can get in your local cosmetic shops. To add on that you can also make your own homemade conditioners. I mix castor oil with aloe vera gel and it leaves my hair as soft as a baby’s. It is a leave in conditioner so you don’t have to wash your hair after use. Check online for many other ideas on homemade hair conditioners and which other conditioners would be good for your hair type.
# 4 Protective styles
Get some braids, wear wigs or braid your own hair to protect it from breakage due to excessive combing. You can do some flat twists, twists and cornrows by just using your hair. If you have natural hair you need to learn to braid your own hair. I usually braid mine when going to bed and then style it as I wish the next day.
# 5 Cover your hair as you sleep
As I said earlier the trick is to maintain length . Cover your hair with a bonnet or a head wrap/scarf so it doesn’t get in friction with your pillow and break.
# 6 Get a great shampoo preferably organic/herbal and essential oils for your hair
Some chemicals found in other shampoo’s are not good for your hair. That’s why it is important to buy the organic/ herbal ones just to be on the safe side. If you are stuck on which shampoo’s are good or not good for your hair check online and you’ll find so many helpful articles on the subject.
Also as far as essential oils go you could use castor oil, olive oil and coconut oil. This list is not exhaustive and there are many others that are great for your hair.
# 7 Take care of your scalp
This can be done by
a) washing your hair and scalp
b) Making sure your scalp is moisturized
– By spraying water and hair oil on your
c) Give yourself a scalp massage, use your fingers and rub them onto your scalp. Trust me it is relaxing and helps to encourage blood flow on the scalp area.
All in all make conscious efforts to take better care of your natural hair. Your hair will then reward you by looking beautiful.
There are also many other articles online that will help you take better care of your natural hair, you need only look.
So, dear black girl
Your hair is beautiful! Take better care of it!