Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For my relaxed hair sisters considering going natural - Natural hair starter kit


Now that we have the dealt with the other issues we can get down to the hair. I swear to you it is not rocket science. You do not need to have a complicated regimen, use a million products, rub vayjayjay cream on your head or spend hours on end on your hair. Let me say now: if at anytime you feel like having natural hair is impairing your ability to be happy and is encroaching on your peace of mind you might want to go ahead and choose a less stress inducing option for the time being. after all, it's just hair.

Here are a few links for posts I have posted previously that will help you with the basics in terms of the keys to building a regimen and understanding the structure of hair

To summarize, if I had to give a transitioner a starter kit these are the things I would put in it:

1) A moisturizing shampoo - you want to cleanse your hair without drying it.
2) A cheapie conditioner with lots of slip - moisturize and helps to detangle
3) A deep conditioning treatment - really moisturize your hair and strengthen it to prevent breakage, especially at the demarcation line between ur relaxed hair and your new growth
4) A Plastic cap - serves as a cheapie steam cap when deep conditioning. Also good for baggying.
5) A protein treatment - correct porosity issues and reinforce your hair
6) Apple Cider Vinegar - pH balance, close your cuticles and smooth your hair strands to prevent tangling and breakage. Also removes buildup on your hair and scalp
7) A Wide Tooth Comb - for detangling. Use your fingers first and any detangling implement you have afterward, taking care not to overly manipulate the hair.
8) Water - drink lots of it, use it on your hair.
9)A good leave in conditioner - different hair types like different leave ins. You want something that leaves your hair moisturized, soft and doesn't leave a residue. Experiment until you find one you like.
10) Sealing Oil - Use any oil you prefer e.g coconut or olive to seal in your moisture.

Figuring out a regimen that works for you will take some experimentation both with methods and products and will depend on your lifestyle. You can search around my blog for what I do but take it as a guide as no two heads of hair are the same. Only you can determine how often you need to wash your hair, if you prefer to shampoo or cowash, whether or not your hair needs a protein treatment, etc. Below is a summary of my current regimen

1) Coconut prepoo once every 2-3 months. 
2) Shampoo once a month with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo
3) Protein treatment once every 1-2 months with Nexxus Emergencee
4) Condition once a month with Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner
5) Deep Condition once a month with ORS Hair Mayonnaise (also experimenting with Shea Moisture and Hollywood Beauty Carrot)
6) Steam with my Huetiful Steamer whenever I deep condition
7) ACV rinse whenever I wash
8) Detangle using diluted infusium 23 every time I wash my hair or style my hair. Also use it to moisturize between washes.
9) Use my fingers, wide tooth comb and tangle teezer to remove shed hair and detangle once a month/ whenever I style.
10) moisturize with an adapted version of the kimmaytube leave in 
11) Seal with coconut Oil

I rock protective styles most of the time, mostly 2 strand twists and box braids. This keeps my hair stretched preventing single strand knots and excessive tangling. It also reduces manipulation. I refrain from using heat, getting my hair straightened maybe once or twice a year. When I do use heat, I make sure to prep my hair by doing a protein treatment and making sure my hair is well moisturized. I also make sure to use heat protectants so that I don't get heat damage. If you decide to do your transition using a protective style such as weaves or braid extensions, you have to remember to care for your hair as well. Make sure and keep your scalp and hair clean and moisturized!

Again to my natural sisters on here who were transitioners, feel free to pitch in and for the relaxed sistas if you have specific questions, please post them in the comments or send me an email! In the meantime here is a great inspiration album for people thinking about transitioning, especially longterm transitioners

Hope this helps somebody!

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