What made you go natural?
As for me, it was an unconscious decision in April 2014, borne of the frustration of retouching, buying expensive hair (trying to maintain appearances) and just a desire to try something new. I didn’t even know it was becoming fashionable and a lifestyle for a lot of women. Back when I was a child, people who didn’t perm their hair were referred to as Deeper Life Church members. Lol. I simply started doing things like straw curls, got seduced with the challenge of learning to make my own hair so I started with Bantu knots and I loved the curls. Then I started braiding and putting in faux locs. I liked the look. I liked the Afro.
And then, I finally got the naturalista Label from those who thought I fit the description so, I naturally started to prowl through YouTube and the internet for products to use. I spent tons of money trying different products and never getting any of the desired promised results.
Oh yes, I transitioned. In case you were wondering.
Before you say it, I did try the olive oil, coconut oil, etcetera mixed with water, the whole slam bang. It dulled my hair and made it heavy.
Then in 2015, I got pregnant and heard about Cantu, I decided to go get these magic products. Big mistake. First off, the smell made me very nauseous. But, I persevered and kept hoping that this would be my miracle to luscious, long, kinky hair. I didn’t even realise there were things hair type, deep conditioning, etcétéra. I just used to go to the salon, shampoo and condition, then get someone to do a two strand twist which I’ll leave on for a month before another wash. I should confess that my hair is quite choosy with who touches it. So I used to have specific different hair stylists for different hair styles, just to keep my hair from breaking and my edges from falling out. (Eye roll). Then I discovered the joys of crochet. Infact that was what my hair was in when I gave birth to my son.
Finally, I had my precious son and I only wanted to use Pears Baby Products for him. You see, if you were in Nigeria in the 90s, then you would recall that Pears advert with the baby who took the mom to court for not using Pears Baby for her new sibling. I always swore to use Pears products for mine when the time came. I loved the way it made his hair and body smell and feel. So, I got to thinking, my son’s hair is natural, so is mine (✔️) if Pears Baby oil works for him, why can’t it work for me? Coconut oil (I hate the smell). Olive oil dried my hair out and dulled it.
Then I accidentally discovered Tresseme shampoo and boy did my natural hair journey really take off for the better. I finally found what works and stuck to Pears Baby Oil and Tresseme for hair washing.
I stopped co-washing (washing the hair with only conditioner) going to the salon and took control of my own hair installing my crochets, doing my two strand twists, EVERYTHING! I started combing my hair after shampooing, was shampooing twice a week at least if I had twists and twice a week if not. I learnt to get my hair weakened ends trimmed. And at long last, my hair started to look lustrous.
- Learn your hair type and discover what works.
- Shampoo once a week. Forget about Co-Washing. The reason is simple, when you co-wash, the build-up of oils and dirt stay locked in your scalp blocking your hair follicles. If your hair follicles are blocked, your hair cannot flourish. You don’t wash you clothes with fabric conditioner alone neither do you wash dirty dishes with only water. Not everything on YouTube is the truth.
- What’s in your spray bottle? One of the first things you learn about on your natural hair journey is how important your spray bottle is in moisturising your hair. A lot of people work with the illusion that ordinary water is insufficient to moisturise the hair. If you are one of those, Please discard this idea. Your spray bottle should only contain water for the same reason stated above. You don’t want to clog those follicles and that’s what all those oils mixed in water in your spray bottle do. Water and Oil don’t mix. So stick with water to keep those follicles breathing and growing.
- Detangling. The longer your hair is, the best it is to do your hair in sections. Time consuming, I know. But really it is best. I prefer to detangle with my Tresseme shampoo. It is really good at detangling. I get my hair soaking wet then I apply the shampoo in sections. Detangling with my fingers as I wash. After washing every section, I rinse out thoroughly and squeeze dry. Then put in my conditioner and cover with a cap. After 15 minutes, I comb through with a wide toothed comb from tip to root and then root to tip, working out those tangles. Then I rinse thoroughly and air dry.
- Trimming. Don’t hang on to split ends. Trim and let healthy grow out.
- Avoid hair styles that could damage your roots and edges. Keep the hair lose while weaving or braiding.
- Be careful with salons and products. Just because it is a salon doesn’t mean you should trust your hair with them. Be involved in your own hair care. Learn what works for your hair and ensure the stylists respect that.
- Avoid heat.
- Deep Conditioning. It is important to deep condition the hair at least once a month. Preferably without heat. Here’s a homemade recipe I use:
- Half an avocado
- 1 egg
- 10ml olive oil
- 20ml natural aloe vera gel
Put them all in a blender and blend. Apply to hair in sections. Leave for an hour and then wash with shampoo and conditioner.
Finally, you must be patient and trust the process. It would all come together. Enjoy all the stages of your hair journey like I am doing. Next time I write about hair, I will be addressing pregnancy, childbirth and hair loss. Do subscribe for alerts. Until then, love those curls.
Thank you for stopping by.