One thing I’ve noticed is that people who tend to not like their hair in its natural state don’t understand that black hair needs moisture. This goes against everything we’re typically taught about our hair. We are taught to run from the rain, to avoid swimming pools and to slather our hair and scalps in “grease.” But, I’ve found that giving your natural hair makes it flourish and brings out all of its natural beauty.
So in your quest for moisture, you might find yourself considering sources you never thought to consider before. The first thing I had to change was switching out hair grease for products I always thought were for white people. This opened up the door to all types of shampoos and conditioners I never thought of before. I was trying to stay affordable and easy to get, so my products or choice were (and still are)
All of these were good, basic, extremely affordable conditioners that helped me keep my hair from getting dry and crunchy.
Now that I’m no longer dealing with the demands of raising a newborn, I’m starting to branch out a little bit. I love Shea Moisture products and have recommended them to anyone who asks. They are mostly in the $10 range, which I think is pretty cheap when you’re looking to experiment with products and find out what works for you. And, since they have good ingredients, I feel good using them on Cameron and Grace. For styling, I use the Curl and Style milk, Deep Treatment Masque and Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I’ve used both the Curl and Shine Shampoo and Raw Moisture Retention Shampoo with good results.
Oh – two other things I use to keep my hair moisturized aren’t even really “products.” Raw coconut oil and raw shea butter. I’ll usually mix the coconut oil with the shea butter (it makes the shea butter smoother and easier to work with) and use that to twist my hair. I’ll also use the coconut oil on my hair or the kids’ hair by itself.
Once I had my son back in 2008, I knew I had no inclination to be sitting in anybody’s hair shop any more. I’d actually been toying with the idea of going natural – i.e. giving up the relaxer – since high school, but didn’t know how to go about it. Relaxing your hair is kind of a vicious cycle. Once you start, it’s hard to stop – especially if you don’t know any better.
After an unfortunate incident involving leaky boobs and a five hour hair salon visit, I went online started doing some research.
I had no idea there was such a wealth of information in the computer! First I discovered Afrobella, then Curly Nikki, then, I think, various YouTube people. If you have kinky/curly hair and are not on the internet, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
I read and read and scoured message boards and watched videos. My husband thought I was crazy. I learned all about high-end products and fancy hair equipment, but I knew that none of that stuff was an option for me. I wanted my transition from straight to curly to be simple and as inexpensive as possible.
First, I figured out that I was not using heat. I am no hair expert and didn’t want to end up burning all my hair off. Also, I knew that was only delaying what I needed to do, which was learning all about this foreign matter growing out of my head.
I came up with a plan. I’d attempt my own variation of Curly Nikki’s twist n curl and that would be my go-to style. At night, I would wash (or co-wash*) then flat twist my damp hair and put rollers on the ends. I’d wake up with dry, curly/wavy hair. In the event that my hair looked a hot mess, I’d pull my hair back into a bun or pony tail. I knew that I’d do this for about a year and then I’d cut off all the straight parts and have a head full of natural hair.
And I did. It’s been interesting. It’s been mostly successful. It’s been…a process.
Later this week, I’ll have another post outlining products that I love and that are pretty inexpensive. Then I’ll talk about ways to save time while caring for your hair. Because that’s what is the most important thing — natural hair is fragile and needs LOTS of TLC.
For now, I’m leaving you with a list of links with good information about natural hair 🙂
*Co-wash = Conditioner Wash – washing with no shampoo, just conditioner