Here are a few tips to help out:
Find out what is in your shampoo, and maybe opt for an organic brand.
Many of the ingredients that are in regular shampoos, especially anti-dandruff shampoos are harsh, damaging, and drying.
No wonder hair is hard to comb through after washing! Click here for shampoo ingredients to avoid.
Never style your hair while dry.
This causes pain, and breakage. Invest in a good spray bottle, and fill it with water, and maybe a little Olive Oil.
Try a variety of hair tools.
I like to take a small section and start with a big-toothed comb, then work my way down to a smaller toothed comb.
Be careful of miracle promising hair creams and oils.
Honestly, the less product the better.
Again, many hair products are laced with really damaging chemicals and preservatives that counter the good promised by the products.
Use a satin pillow case, and head scarf.
The cotton ones suck the moisture out of your hair.
Finally, going natural means going natural.
If you are going natural, expect your hair to be curly or kinky.
Don’t get sucked into doing whatever you can to make it look straight, or long. Using a hot comb to straighten it, and then slicking it back with a holding gel to keep it in place is not going natural. You have to let it do what it is meant to do.
Over the last two weeks of Christmas holidays, I was taken aback by the number of conversations (not initiated by me) that sprung up between family and friends about their desire and struggle to go natural. It seems as though in most cases the battle is won by the relaxers proven promise to make black hair “more manageable”.
Well, in watching the Chris Rock documentary entitled “Good Hair”, which has been out for a really long time, but surprisingly I had never seen until 2 nights ago, I was astonished to find out exactly what relaxing does to hair to make it more manageable. But further research confirmed the fact that lye, or sodium hydroxide permeates the protein structure of the hair during the relaxation process and weakens its internal bonds.
Of course, by now I’m sure that most of us already know that “lye” is bad for our hair, and try to stay away from it. However, opting for a “no lye” relaxer doesn’t change too much. While, “no lye” relaxers do not interrupt the protein structure of the hair, they still strip the hair of its natural and necessary oils and destroy the cystine bond. The cystine bond is responsible for the hair’s toughness; it literally holds the hair fibers together. Mess with that and hello hair breakage, and alopecia!
For me, the decision to grow locs was due to the fact that I hated spending upwards of 6 hours to get my hair done. I have very thick hair, and was natural for about 7 years before I decided to loc. I learned to manage my own hair through years of trial and error as well as tips and advice from other natural black women who I looked up to. But, having been natural, and having 2 natural daughters, I understand the frustration of having to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.