Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Basics of hair care

Growing up, I was frequently surrounded by comments that always shot down natural hair. A common phrase that was tossed at any young girl with natural hair was "dikgong tseo" or "dikgobe tsa moriri", loosely translated - "those pieces of  hard wood" or "those raw beans". Most of these comments were influenced by the common difficulties of managing natural hair, but since I began my healthy hair journey, I have realized that natural African hair CAN become soft and manageable. A different post on softening the hair will be posted later.

Now, for basics about natural hair, it is advisable to develop a regime. For example every night before you go to bed you brush your teeth and wash out your make up, that is a regime i.e. The routine to-do's before bed. In my view he following makes up a good hair regime:

1. Wash with shampoo (ideally sulfate free)
2. Condition the hair
3. Treat the hair
4. Style and look good in natural hair :-)

Description of the hair regime points above

1. Wash: avoid shampoos with sulfates (check the ingredients) because sulfates dry out hair. Dry hair is susceptible to breakage. You don't want your hair to break as this won't help in retaining the length you've grown.

My personal stance is wash hair once a week for an average lifestyle but for an active lifestyle (e.g. gym/sport) twice per week should be good.

  •     Do not use circular movements when washing hair, this creates tangles/knots resulting in breakage.

  •     Once you have rinsed out, detangle using your fingers. Your hair is stronger when wet, so this is the best time to detangle. 

  •    Dry the hair using an old t-shirt (towels are too harsh on natural hair, they cause it to tangle).

2. Condition: condition your hair once you have detangled. This will help soften you hair. Preferably use a leave-in conditioner instead of a wash out one.

3. Treatments: there are 2 types of treatments, ones that hydrate the hair and ones that nourish the hair through protein. It is advisable to perform a hydrating treatment every week (once) and the nourishing protein treatment once bi-weekly.

Hydrating treatments may have words such as 'hydrate', 'mask' or  'condition' on them while protein treatments tend to have the word 'strengthen' on their labels.  You can also use natural coconut oil to hydrate hair, a post on this will follow later.

4. Any lady can look good in well nourished and cared for natural hair/ natural Afro, no matter the length! Enjoy your look and love yourself IN your hair.

Happy healthy hair! Happy moriri! Happy African Afro! TeamNaturalHair

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