Tag Archives: hair care

Things I wish I knew when going natural

These are some of the things I wish I knew before going natural because it would have saved me from lots of disappointment, frustration  with my hair and just plain confusion.

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Sulphates make your hair crunchy.

Not all hair salons will be as patient and gentle with your hair.

Your hair cannot live on coconut oil alone it will become brittle.

Don’t wash and twist damp hair the night before if you have an early morning meeting. The same goes for trying out a new style or technique the night before and important day.

Satin head scarves/bonnets/pillowcases keep your hair looking good in general.

Getting a protective hairstyle like braids or a weave is no reason to ignore your real hair.

aloe vera juice. castor oil. peppermint oil

Spritz and drink water, your hair will thank you.

Your damp twist out might look bomb but in about an hour it will shrink into a hot mess

Paddle brushes trump wide tooth combs! This I really wish I knew from the beginning.

When shopping for shampoo and conditioner, get 2 bottles of conditioner for every 1 bottle of shampoo 🙂

Curlformers, bendy rollers and perm rods are over rated you can do without them

Bendy rollers do not make for a good night’s sleep. Ouch 😦

You will become an informed and conscious shopper even if just a little bit. It’s unavoidable

The best way to preserve curls? Pineapple

Heat protectant is a non negotiable must have.

When traveling to a country with a tropical climate: forget your straightener because your hair will frizz the minute you’re done straightening, don’t get a weave with a parting, and especially don’t forget to enjoy how plump and moisturised your curls will be most of the time.

But if you really do insist on wearing your hair straight in humid tropical areas then silicone is your best friend. Just remember to wash it out often.

Don’t buy a 1l tub of ecostyler gel that you won’t even get halfway through before forgetting it somewhere while on holiday lol.

Getting a trim regularly really will save you from damage caused by split ends and single strand knots. Also you will avoid stunted hair growth or feeling like your hair has stopped growing.

Heat is totally ok when used in moderation plus it saves time.

Sadly the honeymoon phase eventually comes to an end.

Keeping it simple is what will keep your hair awesome.

 

 

​How to get strong, healthy and manageable natural hair

This is what I’ve learnt over the 5 years of being natural. This is isn’t an exhaustive list and there are many things I used to do that I am not so strict on anymore. This is what I really want to explain everytime someone asks me what I do to get my hair looking as healthy as it is. I usually just give them the basics or awkwardly go with ‘it’s castor oil and washing with conditioner’ because I might leave them confused if I started gushing about natural hair, sulphates, all the do’s and don’ts and must haves.
Be gentle and patient. Contrary to what most people believe, ethnic hair is the most fragile of all hair types and although appears to be strong and unruly requires the gentlest of means to be tamed.

Cut out the products with sulphates. Sulphates are the ingredients in your shampoo (and sometimes conditioner) that hair care companies add in to make your shampoo foam and get all the dirt out. Their names on products range from sodium lauryl sulphate to ammonium lauryl sulfate. The problem is that these ingredients harshly strip coily hair of natural oils and this is immediately  noticeable with that squeaky clean feeling you get after a wash which is followed by crunchy hair when you attempt to dry and comb your hair.

Always use conditioner. Conditioner is your best friend. Before going natural I didn’t  think it made a difference whether I used conditioner after washing my hair or not. But now I wouldn’t even dream of getting my hair wet if there won’t be some kind of conditioner around for me to use.

Do not attempt to tackle and detangle/comb dry hair. Have a spray bottle handy to lightly spritz your hair. When combing your hair, finger detangle or use a wide tooth comb or paddle brush. I personally prefer a paddle brush as it untangles my strands effectively.

The best time to safely detangle your hair is when you have conditioner in it. Just don’t over-manipulate your hair for long periods of time while wet or you might experience hydral fatigue.

Do not compromise on quality. Read what goes into the product you are about to purchase/use. Most products will say something like olive or Shea butter on the front only to have that ingredient far beyond the 8th ingredient or worse not even have it included in the product.

Don’t become a product junkie it doesn’t help. You’ll only end up with drawers full of products and disappointment at your delayed hair growth. I’ve been there.

Do get your hair trimmed professionally regularly. I tried to put this off for as long as possible or trim it by myself and it just made my split ends worse that at some point I felt like my hair wasn’t growing anymore.

Try to be consistent with moisturising your hair this will help reduce the amount of hair that breaks when you comb your hair.

Keep it simple. Do not use so many different products that you can’t tell whether something is working or not. By simplifying your hair routine you can tell how everything is working for you. Always changing your hairstyle while neglecting it is a recipe for disaster. Give your hair some time to breathe after taking out a hairstyle.

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Here are the must haves in my opinion. The other things out there are just things that will make your hair journey interesting and for those moments when you want to be a lil’ extra fancy:

A good shampoo and conditioner

A rattail comb, wide tooth comb or paddle brush

A good boar bristle brush or one with a blend

Heat protector protectant

A spray bottle for spritzing with water throughout the day

Metal-less hair ties

Hair oil: Coconut, olive or castor. I currently use the Caivil fusion oil which has a blend of all these oils and more. It’s amazing!

Bobby pins!!

Satin head scarf or pillowcase

Hair dryer for days when air drying just won’t do or if you’re like me can never wait for hours till my hair dries.

So this is what I could think of of the top of my head and hope that it could help someone out who doesn’t know yet that this is the information they are looking for.

The natural hair movement and why I went natural

Why I went natural and have never looked back!

In 2011 while randomly searching the web I discovered the natural hair community and decided to go natural. I got my last relaxer on June 30th a date I cannot forget because it coincides with independence day of the DRC hence my independence from the creamy crack lol

I was amazed at the pictures of beautiful afros I saw and for a minute I thought the women with such beautiful hair were wearing wigs because how could a black woman someone possibly have so much hair. I mean I believed it used to exist but maybe before colonial times? In any case I had never physically seen anyone with that much hair. I eventually started reading up on natural hair and the benefits and realised that relaxers were not for me. From my first relaxer at the age of 7 that I had begged my mom to get to my last relaxer at the age of 18 I had gotten burnt every. single. time.

 Later big chopped but but it wasn’t just a big chop for me. It was a big bald chop. In the beginning I struggled internally but this forced me to redefine my standards of beauty and made me realise how much I measured and associated my beauty with my hair. It also made me realise how much the world was fixated on a European standard of beauty because after the chop remembered how I thought I was so beautiful after my first relaxer because “now my hair can sway :)”

Although natural hair is beautiful and just amazing I’d be lying if I said bad hair days will cease to exist or that it will always be a breeze to take care of. Frustration? That happens and sometimes you might feel as if your hair just won’t cooperate with you but when that happens you always learn a lesson  what not to do next time. It requires gentleness, patience and care.

On the other hand here are the amazing I’ve gained form keeping natural hair:

  • Natural hair is beautiful and very flexible.
  • You can wear it up, down, straight, curly without long-term commitment or changing its natural state.
  • My hair is healthier
  • I am more informed about my hair and health and have become a conscious shopper and this doesn’t ony apply to my hair product shopping but has extended to shopping in general. 
  • I have learned to take pride in my hair, skin and origin. My black was always beautiful. This has just made me see this clearer