Hair styles that speak that African entrepreneur you are: I keep my hair stretched to reduce detangling time.
Taking care of natural hair can seem like a daunting task especially when you watch YouTube videos, but it is not. It is important to remember that most of these bloggers are sometimes paid by the products that they use, so they must ‘use’ them. The goal should be to find a regimen that works for you and define your long term goals for your hair. Is it length, health or style or all three?
If retaining length is a priority for you, then protective styling is going to be important. For healthy hair, you are going to need to keep up with trims and eating healthy and avoiding heat and color. If the style is important then you can allow a lot more, which may come with a sacrifice to the length and health of your hair.
Every natural hair needs to have these things:
• Wide tooth comb(for some your fingers are sufficient)
• Satin scarf or bonnet or satin pillowcase
• Satin scrunches
• Hair bands
• Hair pins
• T-shirt for drying hair
Products will vary but these are common:
• Shampoo (sulphate free if available)
• Deep Conditioner
• Leave in Conditioner
• Oil for sealing
• Moisturizing butter and or Styler
Depending on your location, some of these things will be difficult to find and or expensive. The good news is that there are a lot of DIY alternatives on the internet. I personally refuse to buy anything more than USD$10, if all fails I will use petroleum jelly, my mother used to use it on my hair when I was a child so I know it works perhaps not as good as the USD$50 jar of butter.
I have mastered my routine which now takes me an hour every week. I keep my hair stretched to reduce detangling time. This is my routine:
1. Wash and condition my hair in four sections.
2. Deep condition my hair with a DIY conditioner for fifteen minutes. My favourite is avocado, honey and egg.
3. Wash out deep conditioner and apply oil followed by a leave-in-conditioner and twist in four sections to dry.
4. Use a styler to put my hair in a goddess braid or twist. My son likes to pull on my hair, so I put it away. On day five or six I sometimes wear my hair out.
5. On day seven I repeat step one, this is usually on a Friday or Sunday morning.
If you want to wear your hair straight then after step 3 allow your hair to completely dry and apply a heat protectant like grape seed oil before applying the heat. Try out the heat setting on a sectioning otherwise you risk damaging your hair. Heat damage is irreversible! Protective styles are hairstyles that hide your ends and help with length retention. Some styles are short term like up dos while others are long term like braids and weaves. I like protective styling but it can damage your hair and hairline. Before installing a protective style deep condition your hair and allow it to completely dry. To stretch your hair you can use non-heat methods like banding or African threading (mabuns). Avoid extremely thin braids, they look great but are damaging to the hairline. Keep a protective style for about six to eight weeks and avoid continuous protective styling, allow your hair to breathe. Great alternative are low manipulation styles like twist outs and braid outs.
To avoid your hairline from suffering avoid pulling your hair back like you do in puffs. If your hairline is already damaged stop putting your hair in things like braids and weaves, they will only make the situation worse. Use low manipulation styles and apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil or the regular kind to your edges to revive your edges. Have happy reading to you all until next time, when we get into the styles that speak that African entrepreneur you are.
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