Here are some simple steps for people new to the world of taking care of their natural hair:
1. Get rid of any regular shampoo that you might be using. They contain many harsh ingredients such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ASL) & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). These ingredients are found in majority of commercial shampoos and are very drying, and have been reported to damage the hair follicle. Sulfates have been commonly used in detergents that clean car engines…ewwwww! So get a sulfate free shampoo. Instead, to clarify your hair and get rid of product build up, here are some things you can use: baking soda , apple cider vinegar, or any natural shampoos that say they clarify. Some people don’t look for clarifying shampoos and go with shampoos that simply are just sulfate free, this works fine along with cleansing shampoo bars and the co-washing method.
2. Get a proper comb or brush for your hair. Combs to get are, a shower comb or a Jilbere comb. These wide toothed combs prevent you from unnecessarily ripping your hair out! The brush to get is called a Denman brush. I personally don’t use a Denman brush on myself, but I do use it on my sons hair after I detangle with a shower/jilbere comb. His curls are much tighter than mine and this brush helps me get out the extra tangles and knots that the comb didn’t catch.
3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Do deep treatments with a deep conditioner or a hot oil treatment using natural oil/s. This will add moisture back into the hair which makes for stronger elasticity and less breakage. It also keeps your scalp healthy and adds shine. Learn your hair and choose whether you want to do deep treatments weekly, bi-weekly, or every month.
Do leave- in conditioners, creams, butters, aloe gel, and natural oils for moisture after you wash your hair. There is a science in which steps to do first. Always use a leave-in conditioner and/or cream as your first step, and make sure water is in the ingredients. The second step is to seal in your leave- in and/or cream with a oil or butter. Sealing is very important because the oils/butters coat the top of the hair, locking in the moisture from the leave-in and/ or cream. When sealing with an oil or butter never use a lot because a little goes along way, unless you like that greasy feel and look. Also, most naturals prefer to just put the oils or butters on the ends of the hair instead of all over. Avoid creams and oils that contain mineral oils and petroleum’s as ingredients.
4. Find a conditioner that has great slip and gets the tangles out like no bodies business! I like to alternate between, “Say Yes to Carrots, Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose, & Herbal Essence Hello Hydration”.
5. Invest in a satin or silk pillow case or scarf. Satin is cheaper This will help your hair retain its moisture because cotton pillow cases suck up the moisture from your strands.
6. Protect your hair by staying away from heat and manipulation as much as possible. Protect your ends of your hair by doing styles that don’t expose them. Do not, I repeat do not do styles that pull your hair tightly because this will result in hair loss. For example, do loose buns and twists.
***Now the products you use will vary, and I personally recommend that products should be as natural as possible if not 100%. Experiment, so you can learn what your hair likes and doesn’t like. You can also go to our natural dictionary tab and find out more info on the things touched upon in this post.
Happy naturals, xoxo