Leilu on the Couch
I have a friend that started to transition to natural hair, now said friend is all about the latest fashion, and she is always the first to have the latest style.
A few months ago she out of the blue decided that she was going natural.
"Weaves are so passe and being natural is the in thing!"
Just last week I spotted her on the high street sporting a weave. I said "what happened" , she confessed that she got to eight weeks post relaxer, and her hair wasn't doing what she wanted and she just didn't feel glamorous anymore. So she got one of those glue to each strand weaves in blonde!
The point of this rant is that if you are going to really start a healthy hair journey, natural/relaxed there is no point entering into it half heartedly, it's all the way or not at all. Starting is the easy bit keeping it up is the hard bit. With my friend I can see that she has a mindset that will be difficult to change, she believed her hair was ugly and not good enough.
I havent got a problem with the way people choose to wear their hair. I believe in choice whole heartedly. My only concern was my friends lack of love for herself for her own hair. She didn't like the hair that grew out of her own head as it was ugly. Bearing in mind most of it was relaxed, and she even hated her relaxed hair. That made me sad.
How to succeed on your healthy hair journey:
- Take a picture of yourself with your hair as it now and keep it with you as a constant reminder to yourself to keep on the right path.
- Put it on the fridge or by your computer and ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you truly prepared for the challenge of transitioning or growing natural or relaxed hair?
- Will your family and friends support you?
- Are you doing this for the right reasons?
- Are you only doing this as the latest fad in a series of latest fads?
- Keep a Hair Journal - A hair journal is a log of your hair and scalp condition throughout your hair journey. Include, products you used, styles you tried and note those that worked and those that did not. Pictures of your hair growth will help you to see where you were, where you are and help visualise where you want to be. Hair ‘length’ checks are important but hair ‘health’ checks (checking for split ends and protein/moisture deficiency) can be more so. Your hair journal can be digital (a blog) or written in a diary. A journal will also help in establishing a routine.
- Establish a Routine - A daily or weekly routine keeps you from neglecting your hair. Choose particular days to wash your hair. Moisturise at particular points during the day (for example before bed). Don’t just leave your hair care to random points during the week. Have set days and times to do your hair ‘health’ checks.
- Monitor Split Ends - Split Ends (Trichoptilosis), are the splitting or fraying of the hair-shaft due to excessive heat and mechanical stress. Although many hair care products claim to repair split ends, they only seal the cuticle giving the appearance of smoother hair. Split ends can only really be stopped by cutting the hair above the split. During your hair ‘health’ checks look for splits end, knots, and dry scalp.
- Check the ingredients on shampoos and hair care products. Ingredients in mainstream shampoos like Sodium Laureth Sulphate can strip your hair of natural oil. Try Hair Cleansers and Sulphate Free shampoos or add Pre-shampoo treatments to your routine.
- Pre-Shampoo Treatments - This is an extra conditioning step before you shampoo the hair. Pre-shampoo treatments coat the strands and form a protective barrier over the cuticles to keep the hair smooth. They also keeps the harsh detergents in the shampoo from stripping the hair of moisture.
- Protein & Moisture Balance. Protein gives the strands strength and moisture gives the strands elasticity. Not enough moisture and too much protein and hair is likely to break when stretched. Not enough protein and too much moisture, hair stretches and does not snap back when pulled. Your hair is balanced if your hair stretches slightly and returns to its original length without breaking.
- There is no need to "grease" your scalp or your hair. Black hair needs moisture, but products with petroleum makes hair stiff, dry and greasy. However natural oils (coconut, jojoba, olive, or castor oil) are a great for your hair.
- Moisturise your hair with water based products. Seal the moisture into your strands with a natural oils like coconut or castor oil.
- Drink water - Moisture is important for healthy hair growth. Inside and Out.
- Daily heat styling can dry out and damage your hair. If you use heat on your hair daily use a heat protective lotion or spray before applying heat to your hair.
- Sleep on a silk/satin pillowcase or tie your hair in a satin/silk scarf at night. Cotton is an absorbent fibre that draws moisture. it also causes friction disrupting hair follicles as we move in our sleep. Silk is a smoother fibre and is much less damaging to hair.
Are you staying relaxed, going natural or doing an inbetween and transitioning. I just wanted to wish you all luck and hope that we (me too) succeed in growing our hair healthy.
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity