I big chopped in 2012 (stopped using the creamy crack) I kept my hair short for that entire year, I was still contemplating what the heck to do with it. In 2013 I decided to grow it out, I had no idea what I was doing but one thing was clear, I had no intention of using chemicals in my hair. I let it grow, product hopped, used the blow dryer on it any chance I got. I was unaware that this was a natural hair crime. It was not till late 2013 when I started reading and researching on African hair, how to actually care for it. I found that reading does not entirety mean practicing nor applying what you know. With all this knowledge about hair I still relapse or just simply become lazy and fall into hair neglect, I’m only human and good habits are not easy to maintain, if everything was as easy as getting fat, another one of my life challenges. That’s a topic for some other day. (if my hair could talk it would sue me for all this abuse) relapsing is punishable by loss of length. And I have lost a lot of length along the way. I have also found that I have serious hand in hair syndrome. I like playing with my hair and manipulating it to suite my mood and outfits, well because good hair does complete an outfit, with that said. Length is no longer a hair goal for me.
The basic things I wish I knew before I started.
1. Moisture is key
- Keeping hair hydrated with water ensures minimal damage and breakage.
- Carefully read the ingredients of your moisturizing products, if the first ingredient is not water (Aqua) then ditch that moisturizer, it’s not good enough for you.
- Own a water spray bottle. Our hair like plants needs water to grow. Get yourself Black Hair rosewater. How my hair survived without this is a mystery. Spray as your hair needs it.
- Retain moisture by sealing your strands and ends with a cream and an oil (Liquid oil, cream) LOC or LCO method. I use Black Hair Rosewater hydrosol as my liquid to hydrate my strands, seal the moisture with Black Hair Coco Soufflé, follow it up with Black Hair moisture lock, I concentrate the moisture lock on the ends of my strands, and this practice aids to fully hydrate my dry ends
2. Healthy habits
- Set hair goals, know what you want from your hair and plan on how you are going to achieve it.
- Wear a satin scarf or use a satin pillow case at night or while lazing around on your couch. This helps retain moisture in your hair, reduces friction and split ends.
- Massage your scalp gently daily to improve blood circulation in your scalp to stimulate growth. Wash your hair with sulphate free shampoo once weekly (it’s tempting to wash a TWA (tiny winy afro) daily, DON’T this will remove your natural scalp oils (sebum) that maintain a healthy scalp.
- Deep conditioning as often as your hair needs it. In our cold harsh dry winter this is a rule of thumb do it like prayer.
- Creating a hair regiment that works for you and actually sticking to it. But do switch it up a little once you start realising a plateau with your hair goals.
- Don’t use too many products at once. Observe how your hair reacts to a product for a period of about three months.