Natural Hair Realities
In order to take care of your hair to the fullest there are some things that you need to know. But before I tell you any of these things I need you to have an open mind. We tend to believe things that were passed down to us and quite frankly alot of the old hair tips are myths and not true. Until you can accept the fact that what we have been learning about hair is flawed, then you will not grown and progress. Period! Now with an open mind that is ready to learn for change here it is:
1. WASH YOUR HAIR FREQUENTLY- As children of color we were taught that washing our hair was bad. We do not want to be caught in pools, rain, the beach, NOTHING! The reality is that your hair needs to be washed more frequently. Why? Your hair grows out of pores. When your face is dirty what happens? The pore is blocked and you get a gross pimple. That is the same concept with hair. You have to keep the scalp clean and your hair washed. A clean scalp will not have blocked pores so the hair can grown and not have resistance. Also keeping your hair clean will remove the protecting moisturizers from our hair so water and needed nutrients can be absorbed.
2. OIL, RAW SHEA BUTTER, COCO BUTTER ARE NOT MOISTURIZERS- Don't scream. You have probably been watching youtube videos and reading blogs similar to this and some people act like oils and butters are very moisturizing when they actually are not. Oil and RAW Shea Butter are PROTECTING hair products. Oil can not penetrate the hair. The only oil that can penetrate the hair strand is coconut oil because the molecules are like that of sebum the natural oil our scalp produces. If you do not believe me try this out.
Dip one piece of paper in oil and one piece of paper in water. Now rip the pieces of paper in half. You will notice that the paper dipped in oil rips very crisply as if it was not wet. The paper in water however is mushy because the molecules of water are small enough to penetrate the paper. The oil molecules are not and this is why the paper rips so nicely, because it was protected.With this concept in mind think about your hair. If you have been using oil and raw shea butter and wondering why your hair is not "moisturized" it is because your are protecting your hair while it is in its non-moisturized state. Moisturize with pure water or water based products first and then put on the shea butter and oils. This excludes whipped shea butters because those tend to have extra ingredients in them that can penetrate the hair however even a whipped shea butter should still be used to seal in moisture.
3. TREAT YOUR ENDS DIFFERENTLY- Your ends are the oldest thing on your head. Think about your ends like an old person. You are gentle with old people, nice and caring. So do the same for your ends. When you are braiding or twisting your hair use a different thicker pomade for your ends or use a little extra on the ends.
How I Treat My Ends:
- After applying a deep conditioner a put castor oil on the ends and then I put on a conditioning cap and I sit under the dryer to deep condition.
- When twisting my hair I use Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade because it is thicker and it is also a protecting hair dress.
- I never let my ends rest on my shoulders or scarves. I don't want to dry them out or cause them to knot.
These are just a few things that I do but you have to treat your ends better if you want to maintain them correctly.
4. YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR HAIR- I am not saying braids one week, twists the next and corn rolls the next. There are a vast amount of ways to protect your ends. You can wear turbans, wraps, twists, braids, braid outs, twist outs, and even protecting hair products. If you don't want weathering of your ends and hair your have to protect it. If you are someone that wears your hair out everyday then that is not the way to maintain your ends. Wind, sun, acid rain, there are so many things that damage your hair. I am not saying lock your hair away but try different styles where you tuck your ends in. Also try styles that will keep your hair stretched that way it is not curling up into itself. Doing your hair everyday is great but protect the ends.
5. LET YOUR HAIR DO WHAT IT DOES- This is true to a certain extent. Unless you are free loc-ing your hair, you should not just let it do what it does. Hair is very unruly. It has to be tamed to a certain extent. It has to be washed and de-tangled. Tangled hair knots around other hairs and causes damage. You never want your hairs to fight one another.
These are just a few things that you should consider when trying to grow your hair to maximum lengths. Do research and get used to the new way of thinking about your hair.