Hey everyone! I just wanted to share how the things I have learned over this past year or so of being natural. This is really all you need to know and it's free lol. I'm hoping this page will make a good reference for someone out there!
Step 1 - Materials:
Being natural comes with this insatiable need to buy thousands of products lol, following this is a list of the basics.
- A Wide Tooth Comb - This is used for de-tangling try to only detangle with product in your hair. A good time to do it is when you are deep conditioning, the conditioner will act as a barrier and keep the comb from damaging your hair. Comb from the ends and work your up.
- A deep conditioner- this will help replenish your hair with moisture and it will make your hair super soft.
- A regular conditioner - This will aid with de-tangling and you can use for cowashing (washing with conditioner) Also sometimes you might not feel like deep conditioning but want to give your hair a quick moisture boost!
- A Shampoo - To get the dirt and build up out of your hair and scalp! A healthy scalp is a necessity for growing out your hair.
- A leave in/ moisturizer - After you rinse out out your hair you apply your leave in for further softness and moisture. You can also use it as a daily (doesn't have to be daily) moisturizer for when your hair is feeling dry. The FIRST ingredient of these products should be water or aloe vera juice followed by water. Water is the only true moisturizer so remember that. Oil moisturizers will not moisturize your hair.
- An Oil - Oils are used to seal in the moisture after using a leave in or moisturizer. Alternatively you could use a butter, like shea. You could also use it to do a hot oil treatment, I love to do this. Some oils can also promote growth! Very useful these guys.
- Protein Treatment - If you're hair is damaged/ breaking or maybe you want to use heat that day or maybe you're hair is feeling too soft, like mushy paper, this is for you. Even if you have healthy hair, every once and a while this is good to fortify your strands. It is really good if you use color or have fine strands. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, follow up with a deep conditioner that does not contain any protein in it. This is so you do not get protein overload. It is possible for your hair to get too strong, and break, that has not happened to me but listen to your hair if it doesn't like it then only use it when you need it.
- * TRY TO AVOID SULFATES/SULPHATES, PARABENS, AND MINERAL OIL* At least for right now lol, you may find that a product you like contains these ingredients if so keep using what works for you. If it ain't broke don't mess with it right. People avoid these ingredients because parabens have been shown to be linked to carcinogens. Also mineral can clog pores and block hair form receiving moisture, but also it can keep moisture in well so keep that in mind. Sulfates can dry your hair out.
Check out these posts for my fav products:
Step 2 - Find out about your hair!
- Are your strands fine, medium or coarse/thick? This is not how much hair you have on your head but the individual strands, are the quite thick like if you laid them on a piece of paper you can definitely see it or are they hard to see? Thin hair doesn't really like heavy products because it can weigh the hair down also protein treatments may be helpful to give your strands an added boost. It is also easily damaged so keep that in mind. when combing or styling. Coarse/thick strands can also get damaged but those strands can take a lot more. It is possible to have different strands sizes all over your head.
- Density: low, medium, high? This refers to how much hair you have on your head, if you can't see your scalp like ever, you probably have high density. If you feel like your hair looks, scalpy, then you probably have low density. If you have low density you could look into volumizing products to give your hair some oopmh. Also when doing 2 strand twists/mini braids, things like that, try not to make your parts straight, have some variation so your hair will fill in any 'gaps' you may have.
- Porosity: This is how easy your hair accepts moisture. You can find this out by placing a strand of hair in a glass of water. if it sinks you have high porosity if it floats you have low. If it kind does both you're probably normal porosity. Low porosity means the cuticles are smoothed shut, this isn't bad though as it will hold onto moisture for longer. Baggying and deep conditioning with heat is essential for this hair type. Here is how I wash my hair. High porosity hair is usually the result of damage but you could also just be born with it. High porosity hair means the cuticles are raised. To close them, apple cider vinegar rinses (3 parts water, 1 part acv) will help to close them. Also sealing with oils and butters are definitely super important.
- Curl Pattern - I don't really think this is that important in the grand scheme of things. But naturallycurly has a quiz you can take to find out what yours is.
Step 3 - Build a Regimen: Here is mine as a template -
- You need to figure out what day/time you want to dedicate to your hair. On this day you shampoo, condition, and style for the week. This day is really important as it sets up your moisture level for the week
- Alternatively you may choose that you want to cowash and may choose to do that every other day
- There are so many variations and things you can do. So I suggest figuring out what your hair needs and then going form there. If you hair is super dry cowashing a few times a week may be beneficial to you. If your hair is breaking you should up your protein and deep conditioning treatments.
- Everyone should focus on a protein and moisture balance. Soft and strong hair is the way forward lol.
- Without knowing the specifics of your hair I cannot really recommend anything but if you leave a comment or email me I can help you come up with yours if you need it.
Step 4 - Styling
- Low manipulation- These are styles like ponytails, puffs, etc. Things that do not require your hands be in your hair all the time.
- Protective styles - twists, braids, buns, weaves, updos - These are styles that hide your ends and keep them from being exposed to the elements. Here is more on that. And if you click on the protective style, it will take you to a section full of protective style stuff.
- Wash n gos
- Twist outs/Braid outs/ Bantu Knot Outs
Here is how to take care of your hair after taking out a protective style: http://froandbro.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/taking-care-of-hair-after-removing.html
Before embarking on this journey I suggest taking a pic of you're starting point so you can see how far you've come in a few months :) Patience is key!! Also try to eat healthy, exercise and drink lots of water!
Labels: how to grow natural hair, Regimen, Tips