Developing a Haircare Regimen for Natural HairI began this technique and altered it as I went along when I decided to cut off my relaxed hair and grow it naturally. I wanted the healthy thick hair I was born with and I was tired of the stringy, weak, limp, hair I had when my hair was treated with chemicals. Naturally I could gain length without any breakage due to chemicals. Going natural was the best thing that ever happened to my hair. After a few months I began to love the hair God blessed me with. I loved the coils of my hair and the strength that it had. I embraced the natural texture of my hair and I found myself intrigued by women that chose to wear their hair natural.
Items you will need:
The above items are items you will need that are essential in caring for your hair. I recommend using your fingers to detangle and comb the hair, but if you want to comb your hair, a wide tooth comb is best for natural hair. Only comb natural hair while it is wet to prevent breakage. To comb natural hair properly start by applying detangler to wet hair, such as the Curls Milkshake or Kinky-Curly Knot Today. You can also detangle the hair while it is still saturated with conditioner after co-washing or cleansing. When you begin to comb start at the ends of the hair and work your way up. You can also use a denman brush to remove tangles from the hair. Naturals rave about the use of denman brushes. There are several types of denman brushes on the market with differences in how may rows of teeth and the spacing of the teeth. It's best to experiment to see which brush type is best for your hair.
Butterfly clips are essential during styling and detangling. They hold the hair out the way and help you section the hair off making your detangling and styling easier and efficient.
Purchasing a spray bottle will help you during your natural journey when styling and moisturizing your hair. A lot of natural styles work best if the hair is styled while it is damp. It will also help when you need to dampen your hair while detangling. Keeping a spray bottle around will make styling easier for you, but if you plan on putting aloe vera, glycerin, and water in it, remember to keep it in the fridge to prevent bacterial and mold from growing in the bottle. Remember anything containing water that does not include any parabens or preservatives has a high chance of bacterial and mold growth. Water is the key to any and all lifeforms.
You will also need to sleep with a satin or silk bonnet or scarf on your head at night to prevent your cotton sheets and pillowcase from absorbing moisture from the hair. It will also prevent your hair from being tangled in the morning.
Natural hair may be more stronger and healthier than chemically treated hair, but you will still need to clip your ends. Hair shears are another recommendation to your natural haircare kit. Use them to clip your ends every 3-4 months to get rid of split ends.
Last but not least, a hooded dryer which should be used to deep condition the hair weekly. I do not recommend using it to dry the hair. Natural hair looks and feels it's best when it dries naturally.
The Grow Natural Black Hair TechniqueI have broken my technique down into 3 simple parts. Cleansing, Conditioning, and Moisturizing. The Grow Natural Black Hair technique will virtually eliminate breakage and damage to natural hair, it will help you maintain a proper moisture balance, and it will allow you to add length, growing your hair to the longest possible length.
CleansingA healthy head of hair starts with a clean scalp and clean hair. Black hair should be cleansed ever 3 days with a sulfate free shampoo such as Kinky-Curly Come Clean or Curls Curlicious Cleansing Cream. Other sulfate free shampoos can be found online at Naturally-Curly.com.
- Section the hair off into 4-6 sections and secure with butterfly clips. Rinse your hair with warm water that is set on a gentle stream (like the strength of a rain shower). Separate your hair and rinse as much product as possible from your hair and scalp. This process should take about 3-5 minutes depending on the amount of product buildup. If you are using natural products it will take less time because it won't be a lot of buildup in your hair.
- Choose a conditioner that is silicone free and inexpensive to use as a detangling conditioner prior to cleansing. I like to use the Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner. Saturate each section of your hair with this conditioner and detangle the hair with a wide tooth comb or denman brush to remove tangles and shed hairs.
- Pour about a quarter amount of sulfate free shampoo into your palm and rub hands together while holding your hands over your hair so the excess shampoo may drip into the hair. Apply the shampoo to the hair, paying close attention to the scalp. Your goal is to make sure your scalp is cleansed, the shampoo will eventually run throughout the hair and remove the dirt.
- Gently massage the scalp with finger tips in a zig-zag motion from front to back, massaging the entire scalp. Next gently rub the shampoo through the length of your hair with your palms and remove the excess shampoo. Apply some more conditioner, detangle again and rinse with warm water. (Note: Always detangle from the ends to the roots!) The water should not be a strong force because this can also be damaging. When rinsing the water's force should be similar to the strength of a rain shower. After the hair is free of shampoo and conditioner remove excess water by gently squeezing and running your palms down your hair to remove it.
- Rinse the hair again with warm water and apply a leave in conditioner followed by a moisturizer and style as usual.
ConditioningAfter properly cleansing your hair, hair must be properly conditioned to keep it strong, healthy, and soft. With natural hair a deep conditioner and a leave-in conditioner should be used. Deep condition your hair weekly, and apply a leave-in conditioner every time you cleanse your hair, even when you deep condition it.
To deep condition the hair apply conditioner of choice to the hair gently working it from root to tip through out your hair(There are several conditioners recommended in the Grow Black Hair Shop.). Next cover the hair with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes. After you have conditioned rinse the hair gently with warm water removing all traces of the conditioner. Finally, add a leave-in conditioner such as the Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner or the Karen's Beautiful Body Hair Milk or Nectar to the hair working it from root to tip as well.
MoisturizingNatural black hair needs all the moisture it can get on a daily basis. Using the right type of moisturizer is critical because most moisturizers available for our hair type is filled with heavy greases and laden with cheap oils and waxes like petroleum, lanolin, beeswax, and mineral oil. Some even contain all these ingredients! These ingredients along with protein should be avoided in hair products for our hair. The key ingredients in a good moisturizer for natural black hair is water, oil, and a humecant such as glycerin or sorbitol which will draw moisture from the air into our hair.
Another natural alternative is using the glycerin, water, and aloe vera spray followed by unrefined shea butter to moisturized the hair. It's natural and much cheaper than purchasing a moisturizer from the beauty supply.
Moisturizers should be applied on a daily basis. One great way to hold moisture in your hair is to apply Kinky-Curly Curly Custard to the hair. This natural curl defining hair gel not only imparts a healthy glossy sheen and defines your natural curl pattern, but it holds moisture in your hair as well. This product was a Godsend when I started growing my hair naturally. I wore a TWA(teeny-weenie afro) and my afro looked so gorgeous. It was curly and shiny. My hair smelled delicious and my hair was always soft and moisturized. Curly Custard helped me love my natural hair because my hair never looked frizzy and dry when I used it. Another moisturizer that is great to use is Curls Milk Shake and the Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Milk, Cream, or Butter.
I have recently discovered a new way to moisturize natural hair. My hair feels like heaven when I use this concoction in my hair:
- Karens Body Beautiful Moisturizing Hair Spray
- 1/3 bottle of KBB Hair Nectar (or Sweet Ambrosia)
- 1/2 water
- 1/2 vegetable glycerin
SealerNatural hair must have a sealer applied to the hair after moisturizing to lock in the moisture. Always remember to seal your ends at night before going to bed to prevent breakage. The following are good oils to use to seal natural hair:
- Organic Virgin Coconut oil
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
- Grapeseed oil