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:
- 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.
- Wash your hair in the shower (not upside down under the sink).
- Detangle (carefully) with a wide tooth comb only when hair is fully saturated with water and conditioner.
- Deep condition at least once a month.
- 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).
- 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?