Recently I was in the tea aisle chatting with another shopper, Janae (not her real name), an attractive 30-something ebony sister. While talking about our favorite flavors and brands she kept looking at my natural hair which I was wearing in long twists. As I was thinking what’s this all about, she said, “I just have to tell you your hair looks so beautiful.” (Well that was a relief, lol).
That’s when I really noticed that Janae had a lot going on with her hair...one side was a close-cut fade and the rest was very thin, weak-looking with uneven shoulder length strands. It was obviously severely damaged (heat and/or chemicals) and showed signs of breakage. I also noticed that her hair looked dripping wet with oily products (think curl activator spray for those of you who remember the jeri-curl days). Please do not misunderstand what I did and said next…
I smiled and said “thank you” - and proceeded to select my teas.
Yes, just a simple “thank you”, coming from a healthy hair expert. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the opportunity to talk about healthy natural hair care and can go on and on about it. However, I’ve come to realize that not everyone is as passionate about mane-taining their crown as I am – and thankfully you too dear readers. But after a busy day, I truly just wanted to curl up with a cup of tea, ju-no?
But then, I thought, if she does go there, then I will too…and of course she went!
And of course she went and asked me what do I use on my hair?
Naturally, I shared my hair story and the products I used and asked Janae about hers. Long story short, Janae put a texturizer in her natural hair which she immediately regretted. Now she was trying to grow it out while still holding on to her hair but needed to cut it and start fresh. The wet oily products she used to keep her dry brittle damaged hair moisturized and from breaking. She said that even though put these products in, conditioned and deep conditioned it regularly, it still was very dry, weak and breaking. I shared my story about my hair growth journey and the natural hair maintenance and scalp care products I use.
Here are some of the tips and information I gave her on hair conditioning. I thought you would find them helpful too for at home diy care for your curls:
Leave In Conditioners -
Just use what your hair needs. Walking around with wet hair all day long is a no-no. Too much moisture and oil on the hair and scalp every day makes for a breeding ground for clogged pores, hair loss, bacteria and fungal infections. Use a high-quality leave in conditioner with the right balance of moisture and oil that’s perfect for a pre-poo detangling treat or a styling aid in your LCO/LOC hair regimen. Wearing braids or locs? The right lic will keep them fresh, strong and frizz free!
Wash Day Hair Conditioner –
When washday comes around (every 2 weeks and no more than once a week) include a low pH conditioner that’s best for natural black curly hair. Try this conditioner to keep frizz to a minimum and offers plenty of good hair days with the right moisturizers oils and vitamins to keep dry hair looking silky and fly.
Deep Conditioners –
If you are having hair issues determine what’s causing it before reaching for a deep conditioner. Is it chemicals, heat, styling techniques? Is it the store-bought products with all the extra chemicals and additives that extend shelf life and not hair life? Whatever it is, STOP IT! If the damage results in breakage, trim and/or cut your hair for a fresh start.
A "hot" hair oil treatment delivers deep moisture to the hair and scalp, will nourish, repair and strengthen damaged hair naturally.
Natural Hair Maintenance Common Sense -
What works for you will be different than what works for someone else. You may need to just condition your hair and skip the washing. If its dry hard or straw like Janae’s, it will break from too much protein and you need a conditioner that will help nourish your hair and scalp (this one is safe to use this natural deep conditioner weekly). Use common sense and pay attention to what your hair is telling you. Your hair needs the right amount of moisture and strength for supple hair without over doing either.
Don’t Over Condition Your Natural Hair
When re-learning how to condition your hair you don’t want to over do it. A daily leave in is fine as long as you are getting the results. If you find it’s too much try a light spritzing with your favorite water mixture to reactivate the product. Use a hair conditioner every time you wash your hair and leave in for the recommended time period. Deep condition when you’re not getting the desired results from your normal natural hair maintenance routine. But don’t use deep conditioners AND hair conditioners at the same time.
Conditioning Your Hair With Heat
This is the one time where heat is your hairs friend. Use your body’s natural heat (or a dryer) with a shower cap for a penetrating hair conditioning treatment. If you have longer hair use and elastic hair tie so you can fit all your hair under the cap. Be sure to and give a little extra attention with more condition on dryer ends.
I hope you find this helpful and be sure to check out these wonderful natural hair maintenance products made for your beautiful natural curls. Even if you’re rocking a protective style like cornrows and braids, give your hair the love and conditioning it needs. You’ll discover that conditioning the right way will give your locks, twists and braids the tlc it needs.