So, You Want Natural Hair?
Whether you’re transitioning or you’ve been natural for years, there’s always something more to learn about the right products/techniques to make your kinks/coils thrive! It really is a journey!
- Fall in love with YOUR hair. Nothing wrong with appreciating someone else’s hair. But if you never learn to see the beauty in your own hair, you’ll never really enjoy the journey to the best hair you can have. Work with what you have.
- Don’t place much importance in hair typing. Andre Walker’s classification system is a guide and meant to help you identify the look of your hair – not to determine how your hair will respond to products. Porosity, elasticity and strand diameter (fine, medium, coarse) and density (thin, medium, thick) are much more important.
- Learn how to properly shampoo, condition and detangle your hair. The battle is often won and lost, on this field. Shampooing too often, or not often enough can affect the condition of your hair. When conditioning, it’s important to maintain the proper moisture/protein balance. Too much protein is drying and makes the hair stiff and brittle. Too much moisture results in mushy, limp, “stretchy” hair. Both extremes lead to breakage.
- Clarifying shampoos remove product buildup. Product buildup is a major cause of misbehavin’ hair, and when you remove it, your conditioners and stylers work better.
- Be patient and gentle with your hair. Kinky/coily hair is often very fragile, and due to shrinkage it doesn’t show length as quickly as straight hair. If you want it to grow long, take care of it, and don’t obsess about it.
- Never comb naturally kinky/coily hair when it’s dry. Never attempt to detangle when you’re tired, frustrated or angry.
- Petroleum based products aren’t necessarily bad for natural hair (not the scalp). “Grease” can be an excellent sealer and it can protect your hair from frigid temperatures. Don’t go too long between shampoos, to avoid buildup.
- Heat is not a friend of kinky/coily hair. It’s very easy to heat damage your hair, and sometimes the only remedy is to cut off the damage. Protein treatments don’t always bring back the kink, once it’s been fried out. Use heat sparingly, if you must. Make sure your hair is clean, conditioned and prepped with a heat protectant. Monitor the temperature of your blow dryer/flat iron, and be prepared for what could happen.
- Learn to embrace the natural properties of kinky/coily hair. Frizz and shrinkage (and knots) come with the territory. Change your expectations. Adjust your thinking.
- Discover your signature style – that hair look you can rock, with confidence. All women can wear their hair in its natural state, but all styles aren’t flattering on everybody – just like with straight hair.