I believe our hair says a lot about our personality. It is one of the first things people notice about us upon the first encounter. Natural hair is beautiful in so many ways but a little neglect can create a less maintained look; a dilemma most people with natural hair dread. I am not an aesthetician or hairdresser but I believe in sharing what works for you which natural hair care is all about. Come along as I share these few favourites I can attest to in my natural hair journey.
1. Shea Butter and Castor Oil Combo
When it comes to natural hair, it is all about moisturising and moisturising to keep the hair from getting brittle and breaking off, to getting hydrated and glowing hair. This powerful mixture is a good stimulant as well which promotes hair growth. Castor oil is an ancient remedy for hair loss and thinning edges. When I big chopped my hair this was my go-to hair moisturiser and leave-in conditioner substitute. To encourage healthy hair from its inception, I resorted to this combination because I knew of the benefits of both oils. It always left my hair moisturised throughout the day and even the next. If I had to blow dry my hair I used this knowing the smoke point of castor oil was 233oC. If you’re nervous about using shea butter alone before applying heat to your hair, this combination is a great heat protectant substitute.
Mode: Do mix one part of shea butter to one part castor oil into a cup and mix. Transfer into a bottle/applicator if you so wish. After every hair wash, apply mixture from roots to tip before styling or add after any other product to seal in the moisture. Massage roots with this oil combo every night before bed for better blood circulation and you will see tremendous healthy hair growth.
2. Bentonite Clay
In using different products to style our natural hair, there tends to be a lot of product build-up and even hair damage. It is imperative that once a while we balance the pH of our hair to its natural state again. Whilst there might be shampoos to help this, I came by this one powerful product; the bentonite clay. Locally known as shile in the Akan language or ayilor in Ga language. This product is known to stabilise the pH of chemicals and upon contact with a fluid, its electrical components change, giving it ability to absorb toxins, impurities and chemicals.
Mode: Crumble one medium size of shile into a small bowl and mix with half a cup. Leave mixture and allow the sandy part to settle. After the separation, pour mixture leaving the sandy part out. Apply mixture to hair after shampooing for about 20mins. Wash out before using a rinse-out-conditioner. You would want to apply a good amount of oil and cream to your hair after this wash because your hair will come out very clean. There is no need to frequently do this but maybe once in a while. I truly love this primarily because it is natural.
3. The African black soap
Alata samina, or anago samina as popularly known in Ghana is made from locally harvested African plants like plantain, cocoa pods, shea tree bark etc. Not only has this been used many years ago for skin conditions such as eczema, but used as a shampoo to alleviate scalp irritations and dandruff. Anyone who knows me well knows I struggle with Dandruff. There may be shampoos on the market that control dandruff but after a recommendation from a fellow ‘natural sista’ who saw an article on this, I decided to try it. This controlled my dandruff situation to the extent that it was not visible to me anymore. This stuff is just amazing!
Mode: For a wash, a spoonful of crumbled African black soap, in 4oz or half a cup into an applicator bottle. Add warm water, shake and wait for 5mins to dissolve and your dandruff shampoo is ready. I find that it makes my hair softer and curlier after every wash too so if you have a voluminous hair like mine, it’s a way to go but you would want to check the frequency especially if you have light hair.
4. Black Tea Rinse
So I experienced more shedding some time ago after I started my natural hair journey. After researching on anti-breakage DIYs I decided to try out the black tea rinse.it worked great for me after repeating it two consecutive times on each wash day.
Mode: Dissolve two or three black tea bags in a cup of hot water. Let it sit and cool to room temperature. Now pour all over your hair after shampooing, cover with shower cup and let it sit on for roughly 30mins or as long as u wish. No dryer needed. Rinse out with lukewarm water. Not only will this stop breakage but will strengthen and promote hair growth. This can be done once a month or every now and then or when one experiences hair shedding. This can be applied to both processed and natural hair too.
Yes as cliché as this might sound, it really works. Water is a stimulant so when you don’t drink enough of water, you prevent your body’s ability to promote the growth of healthy hair! Studies have shown you need 8ounces of water in a day for your body’s full capacity. I found out that when I set the task of drinking a lot of water to see its efficiency, I saw it in the condition of my hair too. So let’s get that hair glowing, shall we?
Mode: As difficult as it might be for most people to consume much water, unless of course, they are thirsty, one way of making this less hard is by adding slices of fruit like orange, strawberries or lemon in a water bottle near you. It adds flavour to the water and makes it very refreshing and easy to consume. Before you know it, 8 ounces will be on its way for a more hydrated hair and body, so let’s drink away!
With these few products, you are assured beautiful well-maintained hair that is easy on your pocket as well. Have a happy natural hair growth.
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