Afro hair; a journey
Over two years ago now I did the big chop (cutting away the dead/chemical ridden/mistreated parts of our hair and starting afresh).
Prior to that, I was a massive weave lover, I had them in all shapes and sizes!
But it’s been two years of me slowly trying to grow my hair, sans chemicals, and I have learnt a few super handy tips.
Step away from sulphates, parabens, or naughty-chemicals.
When you are buying any product to put on your hair (shampoo, creams, masks), stay away from sulphates and parabens. These are really bad for your hair and is basically the biggest no-no for encouraging natural growth.
I won’t lie, I don’t know the science behind it. Or what they even are! What I do know is, since not using products with these in my hair has grown!
Water is life; wash, co-wash, pre-poo; just get it wet!
I was raised on some cryptic mysterious belief that black women’s hair would crumble and destroy at the touch of a little H20, so my washing regime was strict and short.
Since having natural hair, I have washed or co-washed (washing with only conditioners) nearly every other day. I put water on my hair even if I’m not washing it, daily, when combing or detangling. Water is life!
Do not read up about curl patterns!
This is something I learnt the hard way. I got so frustrated that my new locs weren’t growing at the amazing rate of some bloggers, or that when I put them in twists and they didn’t come out as Medusa curls.
Then I realised, I’m an individual. Which means my hair is individual. It doesn’t play by the same rule book as everyone else (and don’t I know it).
In all seriousness, there are lots of different curl types, and curl patterns. Don’t over analyse yours, just find a routine that suits your hair and continues it.
Seal those locs with a sealant
Before my hair journey, I thought that was something you bought from a DIY shop. Nu-uh!
Sealant is basically any oil based…erm..oil that you want to use to seal in the moisture of your wash and lotion.
My routine goes:
- Water-based product – usually water because…it’s water.
- A cream based product to add moisture and encourage curls (I sound like a sale rep!)
- A sealant – either coconut oil, argan oil or …well you get the point, an oil.Find a routine that works for you, of course. But make sure that you’re using a sealant to lock in that tasty moisture that your hair needs
Listen to yourself!
Only you know the true answer to all your hair needs. Well, you and a hairdresser. Just because I’m over here rambling about curl patterns and sealants, doesn’t mean you ignore your own natural instincts. If washing more than 3 times a week causes your scalp to flake, itch and become a hotbed for your unhappiness, please don’t do it!
It’s easy to feel nervous when making the move to natural, but you can use protective styling (braids, wigs, twist) and you can talk to people. Most importantly, trust yourself!