I'm a group newbie curious to know the following:
- how we African naturals love to care for our hair
- what we've kicked to the curb
We African honeys have some of the most delicate hair on the planet and we love it :-) It would be interesting to learn from you all what works and didn't work for you.
Here's what I love to do:
EVERY 2-4 WEEKS (low manipulation works for me):
- Co-wash: Detangle gently with lots of olive oi, co-wash with any mositurizing VO5 conditioner (cheap and readily available), and rinse with very diluted ACV to remove build-up
- Deep condition: Overnight or for several daylight hours with pure (village!) honey, glycerin, and coconut oil (We make coconut oil at home and it works great)
- Twist up: With leave-in, coconut/olive/jojoba oil mix, and hair butter mix (I softly massage in the butter and oils and, if I'm watching TV, re-twist to work the stuff in and get it soft) and tuck in ends while hair air-dries
EVERY 2-4 DAYS (or when I'm up to it):
- Nighttime: Lightly spray each twist with water/glycerin mix, gently massage in oil mix then shea butter mix to seal, and re-twist and tuck in ends (I pay special attention to my ends during this process)
- Daytime: Keep hair in tucked-in twists or wear a twist-out with added oil mix or tie a head wrap (with a shower cap underneath)
- Nighttime: Keep hair in tucked-in twists and wear a shower cap under a satin bonnet. (Keeping my ends tucked in has so far kept them healthy)
What I've kicked to the curb:
- Getting my hair done at the hair salon: No matter how much I've tried to school these girls, they still rip out my hair, so I've gone back to doing everything myself (which is unheard of in Lagos)
- Putting my hair in braids or cornrows (Ghana weaving, as we call it here): Because I no longer go to the salon. Also, my front edges are naturally weak and just cannot abide the torture. I miss my braids, though :-(
- Wearing a twist-out every single day: I only do twist-outs one or two times a week. Once it grows out some more, I'll leave it in twists all week and use one of those YouTube videos to "make it cute"
- Using a Denman brush or any kind of brush: My front edges are still thanking me :-)
Sorry for the long, long post! Hope to hear from y'all!
Hmm, miracle growth oils. I have permed friends who believe in every single brand the snake oil merchant has for sale, but their hair still doesn't do well. Why do we buy into things that obviously don't work?
Too true! People need to know that nothing's going to make your hair grow faster. (At least, that miracle plant hasn't been discovered yet.) Some stuff will strengthen your hair and might help you retain length, but most of it is sheer nonsense. I have to admit, though, that I used to believe the hype. I did fall for one or two late-night infomercials for Oxyclean or the amazing fruit/vegetable chopper. Yep, now we know better :-)
But if you hear that they discovered that miracle plant, let me know :-D
Lol, any product that has Quik, Fast, Mega or Miracle in it, gets a lot of skepticism from me...
Although I'm a fan of the choppers, and my friends LOVE the Magic Bullet (great for whipping up breakfast smoothies)
+1 on ditching gels & miracle oils. Gels are for curlies not coilies. Don't be fooled by youtube vloggers lol
And after staying away from heat for two years I had this terrible idea to get my hair straightened and trimmed in the middle of July in Chicago this year and I thought it would make a difference that it was a "natural hair salon". The worst, worst idea ever. Please ladies, if you have kinky coily hair, other than the occasional tension blow drying method that you do yourself, please don't go to the salon, no matter what they advertise, to get your hair blown out/ straightened/whatever. Note to self: Love the coils/kinks!
Anyway on a lighter note lol, I actually like the denman brush (modified of course). I never did try the tangle teezer but the denman is great followup after finger detangling and it really does get more of the shed hairs out. I'm gonna get into protective styling (yarn wrapping like African hair threading) and this means I will only have to handle my 'free' hair and detangle once every 4 to 6 weeks up from once ever 2 weeks. We'll see how that goes.
I don't co-wash anymore. I would rather just shampoo to remove product and reapply conditioner/ leave-in.
Yes, hair salons can be evil. And a lot of them think they need to apply serious heat to get our hair straightened because it's kinky.
Threading is a great way to stretch hair--my sister does it once in a while--but is it something that's accepted in the African workplace? Don't know where you live; here in Nigeria, it's still viewed as something you maybe do when you're in primary school (if your mom is Igbo, maybe) or in the village. What I liked about threading when I was young was that they could add thread to make your hair look longer :-)
Hello Screwy Haired Girl,
I grew up in Ghana so I totally know what you mean about the hair style being viewed as a juvenile look or hairstyle for the 'uneducated'. But thats a convo for another day lol.
The yarn wrapping I'm talking about is the same technique but with smaller box braids sized sections and you simply wrap the hair with the yarn. The end result looks like locs from far away. It's an alternative to yarn braids and take down is much easier easy. Another advantage is that your hair stays tangle free and stretched out the whole time. All you have to do is keep the hair super moisturized.
Here's a tutorial I found on youtube that gives you a general idea of the technique but you can alter where necessary eg. i know some people just wrap from base to end, instead of braiding the base first like she demonstrated.
It might be too warm to try in Nigeria but here in Canada it's gonna be my best friend for the next several months this winter season :P
I've found like MJ Labonte that I need shampoo: my scalp itches after a while, I just make sure do well with my conditioner and my leave in products.
- A brush hasn't touched my hair since I went natural. I haven't bothered to invest in a Denman, but I sometimes use wide tooth combs.
- I have found researching ingredients why/how they work but then focusing on my personal experience has been helpful.
- I noticed a difference in my hair after I started using coconut oil. It is probably my favourite hair product/practice
- I thought it would be a healthier mindset not to get caught up in wanted to define my hair. It doesn't make too much sense for me because I have tight coils and it would probably be a lot of work. I might some time in the future when my hair is longer. Who knows...
I have a questions about this silk scarf business:
What exactly are people using and how are they finding it?
Have the rayon/poly blend thing that are ostensibly called satin on the packages been working well? Or is it way better to use actual silk or satin from a fabric store, or an actual silk/satin scarf?