I'm Jamaican, born and bred. I'm a graduate student. I've had ma natural hair for almost ten years now and honestly, I didn't take care of it before so it hasn't really grown or anything. I'm up to change that, however I'm confused by all the information flying about in light of the new wave of women going natural. I would like to have longer hair, I'm just clueless about how to help my hair get there.
So, a little help please and specifically in the context of Jamaica because too many of the recommendations by women outside of this country (which seem really good and stuff) involve too much information or products I cannot get or afford.
For starters, any recommendations for moisturiser for my hair?
I heard that we should avoid products with petrolium in them, thus all of my old oils should be dead to me. If so, what do I start with and can I get a cost of the products or product as well?
Thanks to you all in advance, I really need the help so I can be less confused and know how to apply all the great knowledge this website (and others) offers.
TRUST me, being from Trinidad i feel your pain. I try to only use the natural product info that I find. I stick to my olive and coconut oils for DCs and light moisturizing.
In terms of the petroleum thing, they say that it seals water out so it would only be logical that it would seal it in as well right, sooooo i use those about oncea week after my deep conditioning and washing to seal in all the good stuff i just put in. After that my hair feels pretty good moisture wise for about three or four days after witch I just spray it lightly with a mix of water (more than two thirds water) coconut, olive, carrot and tea tree oils in the morning and at night before i tie mt satin scarf.
Totally agree!.. I love my DAX.. thats exactly how I use it.
I am from Jam, but I dont live there any more :( but have you heard of Nettle and Moss, they sell alot of the natural stuff that alot of ladies use here --->http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110321/flair/flair5.html I think they are in New Kingston
I use mineral oil/petrolium, I love DAX!... but how i use it .. is on my hair not scalp after I use my leave in conditioner. the point is just as Dimlz said, it seals in the moisture. Also Jamaica has the best castor oil, I get mine from there and use it little by little till I get back home to restock. I would also recommend deep conditioning every week if you can, just use castor oil, an egg, a little honey and a little conditioner, any that you have.. cover with a scandal bag and heat for 30 mins. you just need a simple regimen that involves moisture and protein. check out my blog if you have a chance.. and ask any questions you may have .. www.emilycottontop.com
The key is to stay consistent.
One thing I can tell you is you must do what works for you. JC from Natural Haven.com has great tips and scientific knowledge in regards to product ingredients, moisturizing, deep conditioning, and proper sealing. BGLH also has tons of information in regard to products, regimens, etc. After obtaining recommendations about certain products, ingredients, regimens from blogs/youtube vloggers etc do your own personal research on what you're interested in to get as much information as you need. That's the only way I was able to figure out my own regimen because there is SO MUCH information out there about natural curly hair, and so much conflicting information because every ones hair differs in one way or another; I learned the hard way that it's definitely not "one size fits all".
I'm from Montego Bay, born and bred Jamaican too me girl! I went natural in 2009 and only learned how to really care for my hair prob six months after giving up relaxers. Girl I struggled like hell to keep my hair moisturized in the beginning so I can totally relate. I got on the YouTube train too but discovered that most of the products they talk about are not available here.
Extra Virgin Olive oil is GREAT for sealing in moisture and is my staple...I swear by it. I only recently started using DAX to do twist outs. Love it! You can pick that up anywhere (chiney man shop dem especially...lol) and it's affordable....small jar costs around $300. Now it does contain petrolatum but I don't use it on my scalp, prob from midshaft to ends and I only reapply every other day or so. I also use Tresemme Naturals shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo is low sulphate and the conditioner does not have silicones. Those you should be able to get at any pharmacy. They work really well for my hair and I get bang for buck as the bottles are huge so they last a while! For protein and moisture treatments...lemme tell yuh sum'n, I used stuff from my kitchen before I discovered Nettle&Moss (44 Musgrave Rd, Kingston). You can use mayonaise, eggs, honey, pears(avocados).....just look up recipes on internet, throw some stuff together, slap it on, cover with yuh scandal bag and you're good to go!
Since you're on a budget, Nettle&Moss might seem a little pricey but check them out anyway. They have some GOOD stuff! I got my favorite leave-in conditioner from them (Kinky Curly Knot Today). Kumea Gooden of Kumea's Hair Perspective does a shea butter mix THAT IS AWESOME!!! I use her fragrance hair butters to do twist-outs and to keep my hair soft and shiny. You can check her out here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kumeas-Hair-Perspective/1664363933918....
One thing I can tell you is to DO RESEARCH. Find out as much as you can about your hair, your curl pattern if you have one, your texture, porosity, what products will work best for it, you cant always go by what everyone else says. At the end of the day your hair is unique to you. The second thing is to establish a routine that again, works for you and your hair (cyan follow everybody else....you'll get confused). The third tip (and this one is major), protective styling works girl...it worked for me! I've managed to retain a little over a foot in length in two years by mostly wearing twists/twist updos. If my hair wasn't in twists I would do some kina tuck up or tuck under business...lol. I'm only just starting to wear my hair out for more than two days at a time (and really just because I want to look bashy for the Holidays). Lastly, appreciate your hair for what it is. Our hair is dry!! Period. It will need tons of moisture and BREAKS EASILY if not handled with care/gently. I learned the hard way early on. Use the right tools (throw out those fine toothed combs!!!) and use as little heat as possible. Thank God for YouTube and all these blogs....gurl I was ignorant when it came to caring for afro-kinky hair. Little did I know how much I didn't know...lol. Caring for my hair is now a breeze. All the hard work and protective styling has begun to pay off (yuh wan' see me twist out dem!!)
Just be patient girl....love your hair and it will love you right back! I'm always excited to see another natural girl who is serious about healthy hair (especially here in JA). Lets face it, the overdone relaxed look or the 'chiney man' hair is the norm here, I would love to see this natural movement catch on in Jamaica, I think natural hair should be the norm! I'm sick of hearing other women say their natural hair is ugly. Would love to see more Jamaican women sporting, big, in-your-face natural hair!
Feel free to hit me up on FB https://www.facebook.com/joywillie. You can also view my Natural Hair Journey album on there. I hope this helps and good luck!
Wowie :) thank you all :) this kind of community is really helpful and encouraging, makes me feel like it's doable and definately not impossible. In fact, my New Years' Resolution is to actually take care of my hair so I will definately keep in mind all of the advice given. So, I'm off to saving my petrolium hair oils for my tips and working on getting some coconut oil to seal the roots.
I will definately update you all on my progress...most likely through my page here. Special big up to Joy, Emily and Dimplz :)
But once again, thanks much all. I appreciate it :) :) :)
Great reply Joy, I am transitioning. Tired of the relaxed hair 20 years of relaxer is quite enough!! I have been doing my research and youtube is a wonderful resource.
Jodi - check out http://beautifulearthja.blogspot.com/ they sell natural hair products and they are not to bad costwise. They specialise in locs but they do natural hair as well. Beautiful Earth had a Natural Hair meet-up early December and I think they may have one in January. They have a Facebook page as well http://www.facebook.com/beautifulearthja
I am looking forward to my BC in mid January I too look forward for the natural hair movement to take off. Tired of seeing the chiney hair too!! LOL
Thanks for the advice, I already follow Beautiful Earth via blog and Facebook and they seem good, I'm just particular about who I let in my hair so I do it myself but I do plan to stop by there one day.
All the best on the natural hair journey and welcome to the community :)