Pearls of Wisdom

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A couple of months ago, I was having dinner with one of my best friends from college. She was natural all the way through school and then ended up relaxing her hair when she entered the corporate world. Last year, she returned to natural with a BC for personal reasons and has been growing it out ever since.  However, she does go to a salon to straighten every couple of weeks. So, we hadn’t hung out in almost a year and what do we start discussing first? HAIR!! LOL! She’s actually the one who turned me onto CurlyNikki.com, so this is all her fault;-)! Anywho, she let me blab on and on about hair and asked me what she should do if she wants to wear her hair curly.

Well, there is soooo much information out there, far more than there was when I went natural 11 years ago. Some things were intuitive for me (only detangling with a head loaded with conditioner), others took a little more time to figure out with trial and error (gel alone = hold but dry, crunchy hair; gel mixed w/grease or a cream styler = supple hold PLUS moisture). However, for the newly natural or those contemplating making the leap, the information overload can be very overwhelming and natural hair can seem like more effort than it is worth.

Therefore, I always try to limit the advice I give to a few key items, which are as follows:

  1. Get rid of sulfate shampoos. Co-wash (i.e. use conditioner to wash) or use sulfate-free poos.  There are tons on the market now.
  2. Wash your hair in the shower (not upside down under the sink).
  3. Detangle (carefully) with a wide tooth comb only when hair is fully saturated with water and conditioner.
  4. Deep condition at least once a month.
  5. Moisturize (with a leave-in or regular conditioner, whichever you prefer) and comb through one more time with a wide tooth comb or fingers (these steps changed my wash day detangling life).
  6. Seal moisturizer into ends with an oil or butter.

I close with, if you don’t remember anything I say, remember this. “Condition, condition, condition … did I mention CONDITION? There is no such thing as over-conditioning!” (There is, but they don’t need to know that as it is not often a problem for curly, coily and/or kinky hair.)

I’ve offered 1-5 as advice in some form or the other over the last several year. However, I added sealing in 2010 as I only learned about it last year. So, at 11 years into this thing, I’m still learning too!!

Since we are starting this GOC, I thought this post would be timely for those still seeking a regimen or needing some basics.

What words of wisdom  do  you offer to the newly natural, those interested in going natural or those who just want to improve the health and/or length of their hair?

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11 responses »

  1. I have 3 newbies who I advice and I give them the basic regimen to build on and our list of no-no’s but the most important thing I tell them is to learn to love THEIR hair and not to compare it to anybody else’s.

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  2. YES! I just had a long conversation with my sister about natural hair last night. She went natural earlier this year. I taught her… STOP USING THE WORD NAPPY!! Its so derogatory and using “curl pattern” instead. I taught her about co-washing and finger coiling and beautiful flower accessories. She’s like how do you know so much… My answer: BLOGOSPHERE! 🙂

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    • That’s exactly what I say to people too!!!! I do urge them to embrace their hair first and then go looking for specific information when and as problems arise. I got so overwhelmed by all the things that people were doing, I got completely lost. Now life is much easier.

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  3. I’d like to add that conditioner is one thing but when the hair is dry (not a wash day), it’s helpful to add simply water…the true moisturizer and then seal it with the oil. Of course, this may not work as well for the style if you are wearing your hair out but since we’re on a Grow Out Challenge, we should be more protective styling right? This is a great time to get the hair used to moisture by way of simply wetting and oiling the hair.

    Oh, one more thing lol. oiling the hair when it’s dry with a light oil like Jojoba does wonders for keeping tangles at bay!

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  4. When I started my hair journey I needed help with my basic hair care regimen. I’m so grateful for curlyNiki and like Shelli (grateful to Shelli too) I’m still green and growing and have been natual for three years, (I love me some Shelli’s hair) my hair goal is to get to BSL and beyound in 6 months.

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  5. Patience is the key!
    Work with what your hair loves.
    Don’t jump on band wagons ( I learn that the hard way)
    Moisturize Moisturize Moisturize
    Don’t compare yourself to others

    Love your hair!

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  6. Be patient.
    Be gentle.
    Listen and pay attention to what it needs.
    No two heads of hair are the same.
    And ALL hair is GOOD HAIR. Love and embrace your own head of hair.

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