Natural Hair Care

A lot of people think that properly caring for natural afro hair is a lot of work and too expensive. As a student whose main achievements at university have been to waste money like water on food and procrastinate on all pieces of coursework. I’m living proof that caring for afro hair can be cheap, fun and within everyone’s expertise. Cheap here means costing you less than your next weave or braids. And I’m going to give a few pointers and tips in this article

A good starting point is knowing what works and what doesn’t for your hair. As I’m the proud owner of tightly coiled locks, this piece will be talking mainly about that kind of hair, however those of you fortunate/unfortunate enough to have looser coils can still follow this but maybe reduce the amounts of products used. I don’t follow the hair typing rule in caring for my hair, this was a major source of pain when I first started, was I a 4A or 5C or 3DD?

The dreaded hair type chart where “good hair” is distinguished from “bad hair”

I used to spend hours reading up on all these techniques of specific hair types. To me now, they’re a waste of time seeing as I’m a 3B at the back, 4A in the middle and 3C in the front…Or I think so anyway. The point is that hair typing is not as important as knowing what works for your hair. It could be the expensive Shea moisture products, or simple olive oil/coconut oil. What does not work as a moisturiser or styling product however is Pink Oil and other petrochemical products, you’ll get better moisturising by rinsing your hair in crude oil (which they are refined from)

Raw Shea Butter

Almonds, the superfood, also the source of sweet Almond oil

Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a product junkie. I speak from experience, I have a cupboard full of half used and unused products at great expense to my student loan. This was as a result of watching YouTube videos and believing that to get the same results I’d have to splurge on the expensive products the blogger’s used. Seriously, don’t fall into that trap, these people are paid to promote these products to you. Find what works best for you.

For me, it’s as simple as whipped shea butter as styling cream for my twist outs, braid outs etc. A homemade mixture of water, almond oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil and lavender oil (my four miracle oils) as a daily moisturising spray. A large toothed comb for everyday duties and a rat tail comb for styling. I limit combing to once or twice a week. To avoid breakages and split ends, dampen the hair first, comb in little sections and comb from the top gently

Good picture, terrible combing technique.

Partition hair, dampen if needed, gentle use of wide toothed comb from top to bottom.

Washing the hair is a once every three week occurrence in winter, however I co wash it with a mixture of conditioner (shea moisture coconut and hibiscus conditioner) and the four oils mentioned above weekly, if needed (after the occasional exercise), up to twice in one week. This last point is very important, it took me almost a decade to realise the reason I looked like an extra on Roots was because I washed it daily (whilst texturized). It was so dry and brittle, it never progressed past a dusty looking twa with sharp edges.

Circa 2006-2007. Thank jesus for puberty, good hair care and MAC.

2015, blowdried healthy hair. Don’t be afraid of the heat

2015, bendy rollers and shea butter.

Twist out and Shea butter

My haircare regime is pleasantly simple, it has to be for someone a lazy as me:

Sunday: cowash, twist out/braid out

Monday: enjoy twist/braid out

Tuesday: spritz with water and oil, enjoy twist/braid out

Wednesday: enjoy twist/braid out.

Thursday: enjoy twist/braid out. Re-twist/Re-braid at night especially if going out on Friday

Friday: enjoy twist/braid out

Saturday: spritz with water and oil, enjoy twist/braid out

The twists/braids take about an hour to do, 5 if I’m watching TV.

I don’t have special days where I do deep protein conditioning, banana and egg wash etc. I don’t need them personally but if your hair is in need of more TLC then there is space to schedule that into the regime above. In total my oils and conditioner cost me £25 on Amazon and the oils mixed together are also an effective after shower moisturiser. With daily use of the oils after shower as well as weekly use on hair, they’ve lasted me almost 3 months. It is this regime that has allowed my hair to grow from a twa when I cut it finally in July to shoulder length 12 months later. It truly works, and my skin is baby soft too as an added bonus

Big chop August 2014

April 2015. 8 months growth.

If you need any styling or moisturising advice, feel free to drop me an email or a message below. Also please, check out my #GlowUpChallenge

Ire

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