We all have our reasons for going natural. Whether we just want to be free or we want to embrace and love our natural beauty, we have all begin this journey. Kudos to us! Each naturals’ journey is unique to her, however, in the natural hair world, we all share a common objective: to create a healthy environment and routine where our hair can grow out to its’ maximum potential. Moreover, we want to accomplish this objective without the use of harmful chemicals. Below are 5 tips to growing
Water is our friend. I’ll say it again, WATER IS OUR FRIEND! As a child I remember my mom telling me “Girl, you better not get your hair wet” or “No, you can’t go swimming cuz you’ll get your hair wet”. These commands stuck with me throughout my life and dictated my hair care routine for much of my young adult life. I avoided going to the gym, I avoided going out in the humidity, I took cool showers, and I darn sure didn’t go swimming. However, when I began my natural hair journey, my eyes became open and my perceptions were quickly destroyed after learning about how to properly care for my natural hair. This is when the journey truly became real to me! I owned the fact that I had been ignorant, however, I promised myself that I would learn and share everything there is to know about caring for natural hair, the RIGHT way. So, queens one thing I want to reiterate is that water is our friend. It is not our enemy nor is it a plague. It’s ok to put water onto our hair. As a matter of fact, our hairs’ survival depends on it. When our hair gets the proper amount of moisture (via water), it is able to maintain its’ elasticity and strength. If our hair lacks this much needed moisture, it will become susceptible to breakage and damage which hinders our goal of achieving healthy hair that grows and grows.
My go-to moisturizer is distilled water and aloe vera gel. I mix these two ingredients together and voila! I gots me a moisturizer. I have been using this particular moisturizer for the majority of my natural hair journey and I am very fond of the results. To read more about my moisturizing method click here. If you would rather buy a moisturizer, make sure it’s a water-based moisturizer and the 1st (or 2nd) ingredient is water. Furthermore, avoid moisturizers (and any hair care products) that contain mineral oil, silicones, and petroleum. These ingredients can be damaging to our hair and in direct opposition to our hair growth goals.
Do you have an enormous amount of split-ends and/or breakage? Is your hair dull and dry? Well, you just might have heat damage. Curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers can be the blame for this. These heating tools have the ability to remove moisture from the hair which causes it to crack and become dry and brittle. These tool’s adverse affects can cause extreme damage to the hair when used excessively and for a prolonged period of time. This irreversible damage inhibits our hairs’ ability to flourish and grow and the only remedy is to cut off the part of the hair that is damaged and limit using heat. So, it would be wise to avoid blow dryers, curlers, and flat irons all together. However, if you must blow dry or flat iron your hair, use a heat protectant. For more information on the effects of heat on hair click here.
Don’t get me wrong queens. Using heat on our hair is not completely wrong. For example, when using a deep conditioner it’s okay to use low levels of heat. Why? Heat activates the cuticle layer of the hair shaft and causes it to open. Once the cuticle layer opens , deep conditioners can easily penetrate the inner layers of the hair shaft and allow moisture to enter easily. In essence, low levels of heat coupled with a deep conditioner can enhance a deep conditioner’s nourishing affects on the hair.
SEAL IN MOISTURE
As you can see naturals, every technique and treatment that we incorporate into our hair care regimens revolves around moisture. If you don’t remember anything else queens, please remember that getting moisture into the hair shaft is just as important as keeping it there. Again. Once we get moisture into the hair shaft we have to be able to keep it there. This can be achieved by using a sealant. A sealant can be an oil or a butter and its’ function is to lock moisture into the hair shaft. Sealants do not penetrate the hair shaft but they do provide a barrier that hinders moisture from leaving the hair shaft too quickly. They also have the added benefit of nourishing the cuticle layer of the hair.
Deep conditioning our hair on a consistent basis is perhaps the most critical treatment that any natural can incorporate into their hair care regimen. Due to the harsh and uncertain environment we live in, our hair can take a beating. There are dust and pollutants in the atmosphere that can be damaging to our hair. We bleach, perm, over-manipulate, and color our hair which causes more stress and damage to the hair. We go through trials and tribulations which can have a direct effect on our hair. Also, our eating habits can impact the health of our hair. I think you get the point queens. Because deep conditioners have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and impart moisture into the hair, it is fully capable of strengthening the hair, diminishing split-ends, adding nourishment, and restoring luster and shine to the hair. In other words, deep conditioning our hair on a regular basis can ease the stress from our day-to-day lives and bring about restoration to our crowns. I would recommend deep conditioning every other week for at least 15 to 30 minutes, but again this is what works for my hair and it may not work for yours. You may need to deep condition less often or you may need to do it more frequently. Learn to listen to your hair and it will tell you when it’s time to deep condition. Also queens in order to reap the maximum benefits, read and follow the directions on your go-to products. For more information on deep conditioning click here.
CONSISTENT HAIR REGIMEN
Why did you go natural? and what expectations and/or goals do you have? Whether it is to grow longer hair or just to have a healthier head of hair, you have to have a plan in order to attain your goals. This plan is called a hair care regimen. It is important to begin a hair care regimen and stick to it! Having such a regimen in place enables us naturals to be disciplined, persistent, and an active participant in the health and care of our hair. With a hair care regimen in place, we are able to shampoo, deep condition, and style our hair on a scheduled and consistent basis. This consistency ensures that our hair remains clean, healthy, moisturized, and nourished at all times. It also eliminates the stress that comes with being unorganized which in turn will empower you to be tender and patient with your hair. Just remember queens everyones hair is different and may require different needs. So, listen to your hair and incorporate natural products into your hair care regimen that works for your hair and stop using products that don’t work. Revamp your hair care regimen if need be but don’t stop. In due season you will see the fruit of your labor.