Let’s face it. Natural hair care is super hard, and especially difficult depending on your hair type. All those products, styling tools, and the looming fear of stylist inflicted (or self inflicted) heat damage can become very overwhelming. To make your life easier and your hair healthier, here are some quick, need-to-know dos and don’t for natural hair care.
DO Experiment with different products
Many naturals believe that once they find a product that works great, it’ll work great for the rest of their lives. On the contrary, your hair and your hair care regime will change over time due to various life changes. Some changes include a recent move to a warmer or cooler climate, or diet and lifestyle change. Being able to be flexible with products will help you find your next holy grail, and also keep your hair from becoming tired of products.
DON’T Pile on a ton of any one product
From my own experience, I know the true repercussions of piling on a product. For me, it was doing a shea butter overnight mask. My hair was clogged up for weeks. This goes for many other products, especially to the heavy butters and oils. Sammy LaCombe says, “When you lather a layer of grease on your scalp, that isn’t allowing your hair to breathe and grow through the follicles”. There is no one product that is meant to be the only one you use, so don’t glob large amounts onto your hair. Even edge control. If it takes a huge scoop of Eco Style Gel to lay your baby hairs, then it’s probably not the product for you. Piling on products could also make your hair stiff and nasty, so be careful with the amount of product you use.
DO Clarify your hair at least once or twice a month
Depending on your length, thickness, and amount of product you use, clarifying your hair should come at least once a month. If cowashing is your main form of cleansing your hair, clarification should come more often than once a month. Clarification comes in many forms, explained perfectly here.
DON’T be afraid of alcohols in products.
The known product agents to stay away from for naturals are sulfates, parabens, petroleum oils, and alcohols. I’ve realized two things from this: petroleum shouldn’t even be included in hair care products, and alcohols aren’t that bad. In my all time favorite (as of right now) leave-in conditioner, Cetearyl Alcohol is the second ingredient. And then Cetyl Alcohol is the fifth ingredient*. And this is in my favorite, most moisturizing, packed with goodness leave-in conditioner. I did my research into other great leave-in conditioners, and saw many of them have alcohols in the first couple ingredients. I’m not saying not be wary of alcohols, but don’t knock a product off the shelf of Walgreens before you try it.
DO Love your hair, no matter what
With all the negativity toward natural beauty, continue to love your hair. Whether it’s loose curls or tightly packed coils, your hair is beautiful. HealthyBlackQueens says “Remember that [your hair] is a good thing standing out from the crowd, and no matter how many people despise your hair, many, many others will love it”.
For more great DOs and DON’Ts, click here, and here, and here.
*The first five ingredients of a product is pretty much what it’s made of. NaturallyCurly says “…if you turn the bottle around and the boasted ingredient is not within the first five ingredients then there is a high possibility that there is not enough in there to make a difference or a benefit to your tresses”.