In world of a variety of styles and hair regimens, natural hair is definitely on the rise. Many women are transitioning from “chemically treated” tresses to embrace their natural beauty. Locks, straw sets, nappy afro and two-strand twists are each examples of versatile styles that can be achieved without changing the hair’s natural state. The most important factors in achieving beautiful, natural hair are patience and moisture. The process requires extra care to upkeep the strength and elasticity in the hair.
What are some good styles for transitioning into natural hair?
Styles that cater to your natural hair while taking into consideration that you still have relaxers such as roller sets, straw sets, rod sets, braids and cornrows will aid your transition. If your ultimate goal is to wear your hair natural with an even curl pattern, pressing it out is out of the question. By pressing the hair out, you are breaking the bonds and working against your hair, robbing yourself from experiencing the full natural state. Once these bonds are broken, no amount of shampoo can bring it back and you can look forward to months of re-training your hair. If your desired style is the imitation of a relaxed look, then a blow-out press will cure your needs.
What kind of shampoo should I use?
Everyone’s hair is different. What works for me may not work for you. Sulfate-free shampoos are best and a moisturizing shampoo is definitely a necessity.
With natural hair you will experience an itchy scalp more often. Your scalp produces it’s own natural oils, but in most cases it is not enough to nourish the hair. In some cases, adjusting to the new natural hair routine can cause dryness. Regardless of how your hair may appear, a dry scalp means unhealthy hair. Make sure your hair is getting an even balance of moisture and a consistent routine.
How often should I trim my hair? Trimming one inch every four to five weeks is necessary. Trimming your hair will get rid of the split end that can be caused by an action as basic as combing. The more faithful you are to trimming your hair every month, the more rapid growth you will experience.
How do I detangle natural hair? Whether your hair is in a natural or straightened state, it is best to begin detangling your hair dry while only using your fingers. Section your hair into four sections and separate them with clips to keep hair out of the way. Focus on one section of hair at a time. Gently grab your hair at the root (as if you’re putting it into a ponytail) and move your hand from roots to tips to try to get all the hair in that section smoothed and going in the same direction. This makes it easier to identify the tangles. Use your fingers or detangling comb to gently pull away as many hairs from around the core of the tangle. You know when you’ve reached the core of the tangle when you cannot remove anymore hair without risk of breaking the hair. Squeeze the core tangle and move it by rubbing between your fingers. This will loosen the tangle. If you can’t remove the tangle, leave it for the wet detangling process. To keep the already detangled section out of the way, braid, twist, or pin it up and away from tangled hair. When you are finished detangling all of your hair, divide each section into two smaller sections and loosely braid it (you should have eight loose braids). This makes it easier to wash without unbraiding and further tangling your hair. Always comb gently from ends to root.
Remember the key to natural healthy hair is moisture, discipline and patience. Natural hair is a lifestyle. In doing so, you will love your hair and it will give you a new form of confidence. Training is key. Determine your hair type and pick products that will do just that, WORK!