“BEAUTIFUL HAIR IS A MEASURE OF ITS CARE.” —FREDERIC FEKKAI
I love natural hair! I think I have very beautiful natural hair although I don’t wear it often, but I love my wavy hair just as much as my straight hair. Over the years I started to not take care of my hair, and quite frankly got mad that my short hair took so much more work to manage. Both frustrating and annoying, however my hair never grew back. It still isn’t back to the original length. So you mean to tell me that every other race can grow their hair back in a snap, but black girls can’t. So not true! Black hair just requires different care, and it grows just as healthy and long as every other girl’s hair. Sadly, most black girls don’t know this. Nor are they educated on the science and proper care of healthy black hair. It’s not like they teach it in hair salons wish was always one of my biggest pet peeves with salons. Maybe it isn’t their job, but shouldn’t they know best? Or so I thought.
In this wake of the natural hair revolution many girls are contemplating whether they will join. However, all of the blogs, articles, terms, products, etc can be overwhelming. This is part of the reason I didn’t care to delve deeper into it. Until now, I enrolled in a free online “Healthy Hair Bootcamp” from www.shalenadiva.com which has been so helpful! Now I feel free and liberated. I’m not an expert at this, but I did learn a great deal.
Here are 5 things I learned about growing healthy black hair this week. Words in italics are (natural hair terminology). You can find definitions and more info by googling the info:
1. You need to be committed
Starting a healthy hair journey takes time, dedication, and commitment to consistently take care of your hair. This is not an overnight process. This is a lifestyle change similar to changing how you eat to lose weight. It’s a change in how you see your hair and care for it. You need to know your hair type as, well. This will be useful when selecting products or following others who share their journeys via YouTube (you will get addicted!) or blogs.
2. You need a healthy hair regimen and products that work for your hair!
This is a must! It must include at minimum: Moisturizing shampoo (w/ no sulfate), moisturizing conditioner, deep conditioner, moisturizer, and sealing product (ie. castor oil)…basic regimens are easier for beginners. You need products that work for your hair. What works for one person may not work for you. Part of this journey is trial and error with products which may be frustrating. Many also make their own products at home! Shampoo should occur weekly, deep condition weekly, and moisturize/seal daily. Black hair is very dry compared to other races so you need to keep it moisturized daily! The number one reason why it breaks, and never grows is lack of moisture for retention. You need to drink more water and give your hair water, too!
There is also pre-pooing (pre-shampoo only if your shampoo has sulfate in it) and co-washing (washing hair with a conditioner only), as well which I didn’t learn about in depth because I will not be using these in my own regimen.
3. Heat must be kept to once per week at minimum
Heat damages the hair excessively. If you need to blow dry, instead put on cool setting or air dry. A hood dryer is better. Instead of heat everyday, hair should be wrapped at night for a relaxed style or put into protective styling (braids outs, twists, bantu knots, wigs) daily
4.You can do a big chop or grow out a relaxer
If you want to transition you can do the “big chop” and chop off all of your relaxed ends or you can grow out your relaxer. Women usually choose the “big chop” because it is freeing and a fresh start. Women who grow hair out may find it challenging to maintain two hair textures once the relaxer starts to come out, but as long as you find protective styles that work for you—you will be fine! Two important notes: It is also important to get ends clipped to maintain a chic look. Clipping ends don’t necessarily lead to hair growth though. Second, you can still grow healthy, long hair with relaxers if you want to continue with it.
5. Join a hair community
It is important that you join a hair community particularly online that can help inspire, educate, and empower you to follow through on your journey. Great blogs such as: CurlyNikki.com, Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement website, Black Girl Long Hair Blog, or DE Naturalistas are great places to find a community. Communities are great because as you go through your process friends, family, and significant others may not be supportive especially, with the changes and even with some of the protective styles you use. On the other hand, they may be very supportive which is a plus! Online communities and Facebook groups are inspiring!
I didn’t cover everything here, but this is the basic essence of it all!! Keep learning and reading more if you want to get the healthy hair you want! Products to consider trying:
Rapunzel The Future of Hair- http://rapunzelthefutureofhair.com/index_home.html
Bee Mine Hair Products – http://beemineproducts.com/
Carol’s Daughter- http://www.transitioningmovement.com
Ultra Black Hair Growth- http://www.ultrablackhair.com/ubh2/