Wearing natural hair does not have to be difficult. Here are seven tips for growing and maintaining natural hair with ease.The final tip is the most important, so make sure that you read it! If not you risk chemically processing your hair without even knowing it…
The average hair growth each year is six inches, and this applies to ALL races. Hair growth- natural, relaxed, texturised or under hair extensions- takes time to grow. The more you watch it, the slower it seems to take. Measure every few months and then focus on other things. By the time you measure again, you’ll be shocked by the results!
Never believe the front label! Read the entire list of ingredients on the back, and if there is anything you don’t understand, write the name down and google that ingredient. If any negative effects have been posted online, don’t buy that product.
Try natural products
Not all naturals use natural products, but some want to know exactly what they’re putting on their heads. By natural products I mean ones that have not been processed. Natural products include African Black Soap, Shea Butter, and various oils that I discuss in the Maintenance section. Using natural products means you know exactly what you are putting on your head, so no more reading long lists of ingredients.
In the natural myths section I speak about this in more detail. Always be gentle with your hair. Baby it. Caress it. Nurture it. Treat your hair the way you want to be treated- respectfully. If you continue to be rough with your hair, the negative effects will show themselves e.g. breakage, dryness, etc.
Natural hair has a negative stigma in the black community, so don’t be surprised if some loved ones are not understanding. I am not saying that you should walk around with a chip on your shoulder, but develop a thick skin. Remember that it is a good thing standing out from the crowd, and no matter how many people despise your hair, many, many others will love it.
It is YOUR hair on YOUR head. Everyone else can mind their own business.
Don’t let your ego get the better of you! No need to get on your high horse because you don’t conceal your hair under hair extensions or change it via chemical applications. Many of us, including myself, used to live that lifestyle, so we can’t judge others without being hypocritical. Even those who have always worn their hair natural need to keep themselves in check. Just because you were lucky enough to be raised seeing afro-textured hair as beautiful, it does not give you the right to look down on others and be smug.
IMPORTANT: Naturals who feel strongly about not using straighteners or hair extensions tend to get labelled as ‘militants’. Unfairly, there doesn’t seem to be a name for relaxed, texturised or weaved up women who dislike natural hair. If you feel that you earned the label, ease back a bit. No one likes being lectured. If the person is just trying to hurt your feelings, ignore them! Naturals seem to attract people who are on the defensive.
There are some ‘natural’laxers on the market. AVOID! These are not natural or organic products, but relaxers and texturisers under a different name. These companies can see the increase in women wearing their natural hair, so they want to tap into that market. A clue that the product is not what it seems is the ingredients. If you see lots of chemicals then it is not what a natural is looking for. Compare the ingredients to those in a relaxer/texturiser’s box, and you will see how similar they are.
Those are the seven ways to maintain your natural hair. Always keep them in mind when you are pampering and buying products for your hair. Using these tips should help you grow fantastic natural hair.