26 August 2014

The Natural Hair Newbie's Guide to Maintenance

Let’s face it. Being a natural hair newbie isn’t easy. The first two years of my natural hair journey were spent either in braids, or looking like a legit mess. I honestly didn’t know what my hair was even about, how to take care of it or how to listen to it. But after 4(ish) years, and literally a year of FINALLY understanding what my hair wants and love, I’m happy to say that looking like a straight up mess is no longer what my life is about. Can I get a what what?

This post is a guide for all you natural hair newbies that are equally as confused as I was when I first started this journey. And even though there is so much content on the Internet about taking care of natural hair, most of them feature products that can only be found in the Western hemisphere. So all of us living in Africa just roll our eyes and then begin to cry because now what do we use??!/11?

Let us start with the essentials shall we?

These would include but are not limited to:

·        Conditioner
·         Leave – In Conditioner [this works magic let me tell you!]
·         Afro-comb / wide-tooth comb
·         Spritz bottle
·         Glycerin [ only if you have low porosity hair, check this post out]
·         Essential Oils [olive, coconut, eucalyptus, almond]
·         A silk scarf or bonnet
·        Any kind of “holding” gel [for curl definition]

 All of these essentials can either be found at the supermarket [Nakumatt],  or at any beauty supply store in town.

I’ve read some articles on the internet that say “oh no, don’t use shampoo it’s too drying whatnot blahblahblah”, but living in Kenya, hair gets dirty because of all the dust. So shampoo is a must. You want to have your favorite conditioner [mine is Himalaya Herbals Protein Conditioner] just to restore some softness, shine and bounce. Leave- In conditioner can be used in a spritz bottle mixed with water, glycerin [check out why here] and any essential oil. Leave- In conditioner mixed with glycerin keeps your hair oh-so soft, while the water keeps your hair moisturized and the essential oil locks all that goodness in! It’s basically magic.

This is how it all goes down. You’ve just washed your hair with your favorite shampoo and conditioned with that awesome conditioner that promises softness and shine [yazzzz!]. You can then dry your hair with a t-shirt, not a towel, because regular towels are abrasive on wet, curly hair and can create frizz and aint nobody gaht time for frizz! [check out this awesome post] Once you’ve dried your hair, you can then spritz all that goodness that is contained in your spritz bottle onto your beautiful coils and then begin to detangle. This is where your afro-comb and/or wide-tooth comb comes to the rescue.

Remember to detangle in sections, either braiding/ twisting each section as you go. When detangling, ALWAYS start from the tip of your hair to the root so that you’re not wrestling with your hair. Curly hair is delicate so you want to treat it as such.

Once every single strand on your head is a happy camper, and your bicep muscles are hurting slightly from having to raise your arms to detangle , you can either roll out with an afro [perhaps accessorized] and eventually embrace the power of shrinkage, or if it’s the evening, prep it for the next day’s style.

I usually flat twist my hair to the side [I have the sides and the back shaved] and let it dry over night. Using a blow-dryer on low setting can accelerate the drying time! For curl definition, I use Jabu Stone Natural Hair Care Beeswax. It’s actually for locks but it works. Most of the time, the oils in my spritz bottle and how tight I braid the flat twist are enough for some bangin’ curl definition. The key for some serious curl definition is to let your hair completely dry!

this is how I roll out!
If you're prepping for the next day's hairstyle, be sure to sleep with a silk scarf [wrapped tight enough so that it doesn't fall off during the night] or a silk bonnet! It reduces friction between your hair strand and your pillow.

Also, check out this awesome video/tutorial thing on achieving a successful flat-twist!

So that’s it. Watch out for a future post on easy-peasy yet fabulous hairstyles! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bloglovin' - Pinterest - Instagram

Photo Credit: Korban Photography

No comments

Post a Comment

I love hearing from my readers! Please leave a lovely comment :)

© Voyageuse Africaine
Maira Gall