HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY
I am kicking off this year firstly by wishing you all the best for the year ahead. I have a cool natural hair feature as well and she goes by the name, Chisomo Grace Nthulane a natural hair blogger who has an, ‘Afro state of mind’. She will be taking us through three of her natural hair tips to assist us with maintaining beautiful hair in the new year. I felt this post was necessary because we all deserve healthy hair and we’re all capable of having strong healthy hair but it starts with knowing and understanding your hair first.
Natural hair basics your hair will thank you for
Now that the new year has begun, it goes without saying that we all love starting on a clean slate. If you are new to the natural hair world or have been at it got a couple of years, let’s admit it, we all have hair goals we’d like to reach by the end of new year. And sometimes, natural hair maintenance can be confusing when you don’t know where to start… So let’s make it easier by getting back to natural hair basics.
Hair porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Knowing your hair porosity assists you with knowing which products to use or steer clear of ways to address hair’s moisture needs. The different porosity levels and how to do a porosity test are explained in the picture below.
Low porosity benefits from washing with warm water to open the cuticles, using heat when deep conditioning, using light oils like grapeseed oil, avocado oil, argan or jojoba oil, and using a light butter like avocado butter and using humectants like honey, aloe vera juice and glycerin to draw moisture from the air. Make use of clarifying shampoo at least once a week – low porosity is prone to product build up so it’s important to keep your hair and scalp clean to allow added moisture. If protein is listed as one of the first five ingredients in a product rather place it back on the shelf because low porosity hair is protein sensitive.
High porosity hair benefits from cold water rinses to close the cuticles, using protein conditioning treatment at least once a month to strengthen the hair, using heavy oils like castor oil, coconut oil, or olive oil and using heavy butters like shea or mango butter.
What to look for in a product
While there’s a a general consensus on ingredients to keep away from when purchasing products such as sulphates, silicons and parabens to name a few, this is slowly changing and is not the case for every natural Chisomo writes. However, there are three things you’ll want to focus on to know if a product is really for you. 1 Moisture /softness: Natural hair thrives on hydration and as a result any product you use on your hair will need water listed as the first ingredient (or first five ingredients). There’s an overall agreement that you can only really decide if a product works for your hair once it’s been tried and tested for 2-4 weeks, but i’d venture to go further than that and say that you can feel the difference when a product really works from the onset. If it makes your hair feel dry instantly, then it most probably isn’t for you. 2 Bounce: There’s nothing quite like bouncy hair, no really, your hair’s elasticity is the cause of this; the lower your hair’s elasticity the more prone it is to breakage and in the same way, the higher your hair’s elasticity the healthier it is and more likely to bounce. Good old shrinkage is good news, if your hair doesn’t shrink to some degree, be worried. Always look for products that improve your hair’s elasticity. 3 Shine: It’s true that kinky/coily/curly hair is not naturally shiny as a result of the bends in our hair which tend to refract light rather rather than reflect it. However, it’s possible to find good products that will enhance and give your hair a good lustful shine to it. I’ve found that most products that moisturize the hair well will often add that sought after shine as well.
How to keep your hair moisturized
The simplest way to keep your hair moisturized is to follow the LOC\LCO method. Following this method after using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will ensure that all the moisture you’ve put into your hair stays sealing in. Another way is to do styles that help keep your hands out of your hair on a daily basis as manipulating the hair consistently can also lead to loss of moisture. Spritz your hair every morning and evening and drink lots of water… Remember your body does a funny thing of making sure the nutrients of whatever you consume are distributed to all the necessary parts of the body first before enriching our tresses. There really is no limit so drink up! Never forget to use a sating pillowcase or wear a satin bonnet/headscarf before heading to bed, your hair will love you for it in the long run.
For more tips and tricks follow Chisomo on her social media
Instagram: @oh_fron | Blog: Ohfroblog.wixsite.com | Facebook: OhfroOfficial
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