LEARNING TO TAKE CARE OF MY HAIR
Hey Queens! When you grow up in poverty, taking care of yourself tends to take a back seat to surviving. A beauty regime isn't really important when you're worrying about where you will sleep tomorrow night. Now that I'm no longer homeless, I'm ashamed to say that I am realizing that there is so much that I have to learn about nurturing my health, body, and beauty. One of the most important pieces of that struggle I have had to deal with, is my hair.
For years, I've had a love hate relationship with my hair and a lot of that hate came from not knowing what to do to tend to my hair. However, going into the new year, I decided that I would take on a natural hair care routine so that I can grow healthy natural coils. I spent most of 2020 rocking marley twists and it has taken a toll on my scalp and edges.
In this #Beauty Blog post, I will like to take you through the steps that I took, to learn about my hair and find a routine that is manageable and helpful towards reaching my hair goals.
State the Problem
First things first, I needed to come to terms with what was going on with my hair. I have never been able to grow my hair past a certain point. It's like every time I chop my hair off and start over, it'll grow back. But once it gets to a certain length, right at the tip of my ears, it decides of it's own accord that it has done all it can do.
I have also noticed that my hair was dry...like crippled. The patches of white dust and the crispy sound that came from my hair whenever I combed my hands through it, clued me into the fact that my hair was dehydrated and needed moister. I have also noticed that some of the twists that I've installed in my hair were so tight that my scalp was scabbing over.
On top of all of that, my edges have slowly disappeared over time.
The problem with my hair was that it was dry, weak, and my scalp was in need of a total reset.
Do Some Research
Now, knowing the problem, I did some research on products and tips for how to cure dry and damaged 4C hair. I went and visited my best friend google and typed keywords such as: "Natural Hair Care Routine for 4c hair", how to keep "4C natural hair moisturized", how to "protect your scalp + 4C hair".
I also visited YouTube and watched some videos from my favorite natural hair gurus on how to actually tend to my tresses.
Through my research, I learned that I needed to create a routine where I was deep conditioning my hair weekly, not using any combs, and rocking my natural hair in it's natural state as much as possible. This meant no more braids. I need to learn to manipulate my hair as little as possible. Here's a list of everything I learned:
a. I need to wrap my hair up at night in a silk head wrap to protect my coils from getting tangled and to trap moister.
b. I needed to use a boar brush specifically. Plastic bristle brushes can pull out my hair.
c. I should comb my hair and detangle it with my fingers as much as possible, but if I do need to use a comb, I should use a wide toothed comb.
d. I needed to use a sulfate shampoo so that the oils my hair absolutely needed weren't being stripped away along with the dirty and grime.
e. Wearing braids and twists for too long without letting your hair breath can actually be damaging for your hair and scalp.
f. I learned there actually scalp massagers that can help you stimulate your scalp (just like dry brushing stimulates your skin). A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair.
Try it Out
Taking everything I had learned from my research I developed a hair care routine for myself. Every Friday night, I would sit down to pre-poo, wash, deep-condition, then oil my hair. I found a hair mask that Cardi B uses on her hair and altered it for my needs. I also found the recipe for a great pre poo and even came across something called Sulfer 8 which is a medicated hair oil that helps soothe the scalp. Here's my routine:
Ingredients: Organic Honey, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil 1/3 cup of each
Mix all of the ingredients together
Part your hair in 4 even sections
Using your fingers, rub the pre poo on your scalp all around each section, then part with your fingers and rub the mixture in from the scalp to the tips of the hair
Let the mixture sit for an hour then rinse
Shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo, I use As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo.
Ingredients: Your favorite conditioner 2 table spoons, two eggs, half of an aloe vera leaf, half a cup of apple cider vinegar, a third cup of honey, two table spoons of Jamaican castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and mayonnaise, 1 ripe avocado
Mix everything together for five minutes in a blender or until the texture is smooth and creamy
Part your hair in 4 even sections
Using your fingers, rub the conditioner on your scalp all around each section, then part with your fingers and rub the mixture in from the scalp to the tips of the hair
Place a plastic cap over your hair and let the mixture sit for an hour then rinse
Let your hair air dry. Detangle with your fingers and a wide tooth comb. Again, part your hair into four even sections and run your scalp massager through each section. Then part and oil your scalp with sulfur8 and coconut oil
On top of my weekly routine, I switched all of my pillow cases to silk pillowcases and wrap my hair at night in a silk bonnet. I rock my hair in afro or just combed down on it's sides as much as possible. When I want to switch it up, I put my hair in a goddess braid which is a low manipulation protective style I discussed in this beauty blog post.
Reflect, Adjust, and Repeat
It's important that after you build a routine you check in with yourself often to see how the routine is working and if there is anyway you can streamline it to make it a bit more easier on yourself the next time you complete it. I've been doing this routine for almost three months now and I've realized that most of the time, I'm too tired to do this when I get home on a Friday afternoon. So, to make things a bit easier for myself, I've taken to making enough pre-poo and deep conditioner to last me for two weeks. This has allowed me to cut down my routine time by an hour every other week. On the weeks that I have to make my concoctions, I allow my self the entire weekend to complete the routine. I may start with a pre poo on Friday night, or I may do everything Sunday night. As long as it gets done every weekend, that works for me.
Learning the basics can be tough. But I hope this post has showed you that if you're going through this, you're not alone and everything is more manageable when you break it down into steps.
Do you have your own hair care routine? Or will you be trying out this one? Let me know in the comments below!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MARCH 24, 2021