Starting a natural hair journey is like owning a car. It needs continual maintenance and will cost you a lot if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Everyone’s hair is unique and what works for me, may not necessarily work for you but it’s definitely worth giving it a shot as it’s applied by countless naturals across the globe.
These are 10 of my best natural hair tips which I’ve tried and tested over the past two years as a natural:
1. Sleep with your hair covered
I don’t know about you but my type 4 natural hair is fragile. My hair loves breaking off. I’m just getting used to having longer hair now and it’s so gentle. Covering your head with a silk/satin bonnet/scarf at night is 0% sexy but 100% protective against friction and breakage.
2. DIY hair gel
I make my own hair gel. It takes about 10 minutes to make, I use Flax seeds which are rich in protein and super hydrating for your hair. I use a lot of gel and I really don’t want to dry my hair with alcohol based products so this is my go-to.
3. Babyliss Twist Secret
It’s lovely having a free flowing afro but my goodness it’s high maintenance if you don’t have the right tools. Sometimes, on a Sunday, when I’m washing my hair, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour and a half sectioning my hair into twists. And the wrist pains. No, thanks. Speeding up your twist method from an hour and a half to just over 20 minutes, is a miracle. You can get the Babyliss Twist Secret for R399 at any Clicks store or online via their website at clicks.co.za.
4. Know when to trim
Hairstylists will tell you that you’re supposed to trim your hair once a month. And a lot of natural hair bloggers live by regularly trimming their hair for growth and overall health. But if you consider that every person’s hair is unique, surely your hair has different trimming requirements? The best way to know when you really need a trim is when your hair starts forming knots at the ends, especially single strand knots. The easier your hair is to detangle when wet, the more manageable. Try to trim your hair about four times a year.
5. Abandon your fine-tooth comb
Don’t bother trying to detangle your hair when it’s dry. It will take hours, if not days, and can easily damage your hair. I mostly use my fingers to detangle my hair. I personally don’t use a comb, except for straight sectioning hair. You can also use a Denman brush with soft bristles – ensure that your hair is completely wet for an easier run through.
6. Low maintenance hairstyles
We all love wash-and-go’s. It’s the easiest to style, it offers the most natural volume on day#1 (for me), and it’s cute AF. The problem is that they only last for about 3 days if you’re not using extreme hold gel and excessive washing can also cause your hair to break off. This is why twist-outs are my favourite. My hair is protected in twists at gym and while sleeping with a satin bonnet. The Babyliss Twist Secret is such a convenient tool to have, especially if you like braiding your hair. Imagine how much money and time you’ll save twisting your own hair instead of going to a salon.
7. Get yourself a good turban
There will be days when you just can’t. A bun won’t look chic enough, your twist-out will be worn out, there may not be time for a wash-and-go or dealing with frizz. Just cover it. Rushana Isaacs has an amazing, easy-to-learn turban tutorial for taking your outfit from boring to on-point in a matter of minutes. Watch her video, here.
8. Monitor your diet
Everything that happens on the outside, is a result of what’s going on inside your body. I’d noticed that when I began eating healthier and taking supplements to improve my skin, that my hair began to grow much faster and is healthier looking.
Applied by My Natural Sistas
9. Use a mask as a conditioner
Naturally curly and wavy hair require lots of moisture. If you can’t find a conditioner that hydrates your hair completely, opt for a hydrating mask to swap out your usual conditioner. This requirement various from hair type to hair type so only apply this rule if you have super dry hair like mine.
10. Focus on your scalp health
A lot of naturals focus on the look and feel of their hair but neglect caring for the major source, their scalp. Your scalp and ends need the most nurturing so ensure that you’re clarifying your scalp frequently, hydrating it, and not suffocating it with too many products. It needs to breath. Have you ever noticed steam come from your scalp after washing on a cold day? That’s because your scalp works like your skin, look after it.