This blog is going to talk a lot about what has worked for me on my natural hair journey. However, in keeping with the whole “Do you boo boo” theme of my last post, I thought I would highlight the old adage “different strokes for different folks” (What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?) (Sorry. Too easy) so I’m going to talk about some products/techniques that natural hair proponents often advocate and some that transitioners unwisely practise. Some may be worth trying but they did not really stick with me.
- Shea butter. Maybe the quality I got just wasn’t good. Maybe my butter wasn’t authentic. But the stuff I bought from the Eastern Market vendors last summer was hard to manipulate and just made my hands greasy.
- Apple cider vinegar. Often recommended for cleansing, adding shine and reducing porosity. But it’s too acidic for my scalp and too pungent for my nose.
- Kinky-curly knot-today conditioner. It’s very popular, especially among Kimmaytube subscribers but…mehh…I don’t get the hype. Didn’t do much for me in terms of moisture, definition or detangling “slip.”
- Co-washing. (cleaning your hair with just conditioner. Possibly using sugar as an extra scalp-scrub) Didn’t want to use my good conditioner too frequently and the cheap silicone stuff just left too much build-up. My hair is fine being washed just once a week for now.
- Store-bought hair masques…why pay $10.00 for 8oz of hair masque when $20.00 worth of ingredients will make you almost a litre (thats 4 cups for the Americans) of a caramel Tx or whatever natural masque/conditioner your heart desires. Plus you always know what’s going in your hair. Even when I was a true Pantene fiend, their masques didn’t do a thing for me.
- Scalp massage pre-poos i.e. rubbing your scalp down with an oil (usually olive or tea-tree) before shampooing. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no scientific proof that this does anything to stimulate hair growth and it didn’t help with my dry scalp…though, oddly massaging coconut oil in during my shower seems to work…don’t ask me how it’s different.
- Pressing your hair until it grows out…I know it’s tempting. Noone wants the black-girl version of a mullet- nappy in the front, straight in the back- but try twist-outs, bantu knot-outs or a big chop if you’re brave to reconcile or eliminate the varying textures. Also if you are using heat, avoid…
- Oil as heat protector. NO NO NO!!!! I don’t care how much of an organic advocate you are. If you are going to straighten your hair with heat at all use silicone products to protect it. Oil traps heat. That’s why we use it to deep fry stuff: if it does that to a hunk of animal flesh…think what it does to your little hairs. If you take a first aid class they tell you NOT to put butter on burns (yes people actually do this. A lot.) because oil+heat=FAIL p.s. the only thing you should ever put on a burn is cool- not cold- water.