Everywhere you turn there is a proud woman getting back to her roots. Her natural hair roots that is, explain Natural Hair is when there are no chemicals altering the original natural state of the hair such as straighteners, relaxers or texturizes. To have natural hair is a journey in and of itself, you have to put in work, and take care of your hair as you would any other lifestyle change. A few things to point out is that to maintain natural hair for growth and health is the following:
- Deep Condition
- L.O.C or L.C.O Method (Leave-in/Oil/Cream) or (Leave-in/Cream/Oil)
- Trimmed Ends
- Learn simple Protective Styles
• BE GENTLE and BE PATIENT!
To begin a journey to being natural one could either do a “Big Chop” or Transition:
- Big Chop-Removing any and all chemical/damaged treated hair, in some cases people have been known to shave all their hair off completely.
- Transitioning-Means simply growing out your natural textured hair then cutting off the chemically processed damaged ends.
Many people choose to go with the transition route but it all depends on your preference.
After that choice is made one must begin to learn about new products that are necessary to maintaining their hair, some ingredients found in hair care products can prove harmful to your hair, include:
- Certain Alcohols (i.e Isopropyl Alcohol and Ethanol Alcohol)
- Mineral oils
These are just a few ingredients to look out for that can cause your hair to dry out, weigh down, or even hair loss. Defiantly make sure your shampoo and conditioners contain nourishing ingredients; if one of the products first ingredients is water then you're heading in the right direction.
It’s imperative to keep your hair moisturized, you can achieve this by using the L.O.C. method or L.C.O method depending on your hair type. L.O.C. means Leave-In Conditioner, Oil, and Cream. The way the letters are spelled tells how to add each layer. for Type 4 Hair (known as Kinky hair, this tightly coiled hair is quite fine and fragile. It is wiry, and delicate by nature. Each strand usually has a zig zag pattern) may have better results using the L.O.C. method rather than the other some lighter Type 3 Hair (Known as curly hair. If you pull a strand of a type 3 curly, you will notice it has a definite S shape) may prefer L.C.O. method.
Style your hair damp with a water mister or sprayer, it helps retain the moisture from your products and make it easy to detangle which is important. Detangling your hair means to separate strands of hair stuck together, making it easier for a comb or brush to flow through it without tearing your hair out. Brush and Combing hair that isn't detangled can cause bad breakage, so always start from the ends then work your way up.
Wash Days are the days naturalists may dread the most, for the most part it could literally take all day between the detangling, pre-pooing (Pre- Shampooing), clean hair parts and deep conditioning can be a little exhausting, but worth it. Depending on your schedule, wash days can be done every two weeks or every week. But one thing I find extremely important is to deep condition your hair and for more effective conditions, use heat. There are heating caps, satin caps or hot towels to help the conditioner penetrate your hair. When your hair is properly conditioned it is soft, manageable, and retains great moisture. When your finished washing your hair, unless you have a specific style in mind, it is best to develop a protective style. In addition to shampooing and conditioning your hair, weekly or monthly trimming of your ends are also necessary to achieve natural heathy hair, your hair cannot grow beautifully if you have dead ends at the tips, it hinders the process.
A protective style is a style such as a braided updo, two strand twist, top bun or even a simple up or low puff, that can last up to 1 or two weeks. Despite the various styles out there, it is best from time to time to limit hair manipulation to allow your hair to grow. Some people get braids, sew-ins, and wigs but every once in a while let your hair breathe.
Although I’ve listed some tips on how to maintain your natural hair it doesn't mean this is the only sure fire way, it’s just the basics, hair textures vary from person to person. Your hair is YOUR hair, always do what is best for it. REMEMBER, Your Hair is Beautiful!! Good luck on your Natural Hair Journey.