So, a lot of people have been asking me about my hair lately. Asking Me, about MY hair. FLIP OUT!
I know, on the surface this doesn’t seem like much of an achievement, but it is to me because it validates all the work I’ve had to put in to keep it soft, hydrated and healthy all while resisting the urge to chemically process it and let me tell you, I am not a patient person and this business of natural hair demands a lot of it. So kudos to me and you guys for recognizing this werk.
The first question I get a lot: How do I get my hair to look like yours?
-Honey, I didn’t even know I was somebody’s hair goals. I didn’t even think my hair was hair goals worthy texture wise -I know I’m health goals- but since you guys asked, I’ll tell you what Tracee Ellis Ross once told me -indirectly on the innernets, the first step to beautiful hair is accepting that your hair will never look like anybody else’s. It’s unique and beautiful and there isn’t anything else like it so it’s worth stan’ing for. Wear that crown gurl.
I also get a lot of questions about my hair regimen and the products I use.
-I’ve only had my afro for 2 years you guys, I’m still a rookie, still learning. In my limited experience (nothing to start a hair blog about), I’ve learnt that nobody can make a regimen for you and following somebody else’s hair care routine will not make your hair look like theirs. Like I said earlier, everybody’s hair is different. I’ve had my afro for 2 years and only on the second I developed a routine. The natural hair blogs will not help you either. 90% of them are American, and they don’t accurately represent our unhyphenated hair textures. But, a good place to start would be a Natural Hair Type Chart: http://blackgirllonghair.com/2012/03/natural-hair-type-guide-which-type-are-you/
It’s not an exact science but usually one of the 2, 3, and 4 some-alphabet hair types on the chart will have a texture description similar to yours. These charts are super useful because they tell you what your hair is likely to struggle with and what kind of hair products you need to use regularly to prevent it. Like how I’m a 4a, me and oils are like…
The point is, these things take time. So be patient with it. It will come to you. My regime consists of a wash day every Sunday (I’ve been trying to make it twice a week for a year now alas…), because my hair would get itchy if I didn’t wash it. Of course I needed conditioner, went to the hair isle and I found one for dry and damaged hair because my hair type is predisposed to that and it had Shea Butter Oil in it-Oil, yes DING! DING! DING! So I got that. After washing I would blow dry my hair but I soon realized that that made it difficult to comb, dried it out and damaged the texture so I stopped. Now I just detangle and comb it out while it still has shampoo on and rinse. Dry with a towel, section it into four parts and put it in braids. This helps stretch the hair out while it air dries, I also keep it in these same braids at bed time and cover with umshuqulo (a satin scarf). The morning after wash day, I further section the sections –inception, so I can oil my scalp then I moisturize the actual hair with hairfood and style how I like. On the first and last Sundays of the month before I wash it, I like to leave it in a hair mask (http://m.wikihow.com/Use-Mayonnaise-as-a-Hair-Conditioner ) for 10 minutes, then I wash as usual and after drying with a towel, apply leave-in conditioner. So… that’s basically ‘how I get my hair like that’ in a nutshell.
The secret ingredient to your best hair is basically just being responsive and paying attention to what YOUR hair needs and how it responds to certain treatments and products.
-Now you know protective styles are a huge thing when you have natural hair, also just finding something to do with your hair in general can be pretty tricky so I’ve decided to post some of my usual styles with special emphasis on the crotchet braids since I’ve been getting a lot of questions about those.
- Cornrows –No elaboration needed here, just Get in Formation… (https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=Nn6M7lHTln4 )
- Havana Twists – These work incredibly well with Rasta Bulk Hair from Kinky @R70 per packet. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v+IHNYCmMZ6Eg )
3. Faux Locks – We been having it. I was going to put up this throwback picture of me with them on but I seem to have trouble finding my photo albums. Alas. Hair can be purchased at Kinky -in ombre.
- Nicki Minaj, ‘Feelin’ Myself’ pony – Lately, I’m obsessed with this, but you need wet look styling gel to hold your hair up and to tie it with your silk scarf for like 10 minutes just to make sure it’s held together nicely. I used one Yaki braid (I recommend two for that really thick look) from Kinky @R6, 50 per packet. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi-kDAz_WTs )
- Box Braids – Duh! Budget Braid hair is still under R10 each at Kinky, Shweta budget braids have a nice texture I recently discovered.
- Crotchet Braids – I did these myself and nailed them first attempt, from the cornrows to the braids themselves. These are super easy. It’s basically like tying a knot on your cornrow. The tricky part is the invisible knot at the front, but don’t fret this video is a great guide. We don’t have hair crotchet needles in South Africa -yet, so I used a regular sewing crotchet needle. In this video this girl cut her hair once, I cut it twice because I wanted a shorter length and I used one and a half packets of Rasta Bulk Hair again from Kinky and this is how they came out. Just before I took them out, I straightened it, so it’s safe to just go ahead and straighten them from the beginning if you want a straight look –I wanted them puffy. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKIZnCr84E )
- If all else fails, just wrap it up! – Still looking for a place to get nice printed material from in Durban. Somebody suggested the market on Victoria Embankment, the last time I went it was a bit too late in the day. I’ll leave it for a weekend. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDN9kpWE-wE as well as, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uZVxHRC7pY )
I don’t recommend heating, but if you prefer it, make sure you use something for heat protection I used to use Lee Stafford: DeHumidifier spray in a cute little hot pink bottle from clicks, that also served as an anti-frizz spray so I wouldn’t need to heat that much to get it straight. I always hear a lot of people say natural hair is a lot of work -maintaining any kind of hair is hard work, only with natural hair a lot of us are just ill-equipped with information on how to deal with our hair like this, and not many of us are willing to put in the time and patience required to learn which is why posts like this exist. I hope I’ve answered pretty much everything you guys want to know about my hair, I’ll be sure to keep you posted if I happen to find any other cool new styles.
Organics Shampoo: For Dry and Damaged Hair (with Shea Butter oil) Conditioner
Wet Look Styling Gel
Easy Waves Easy Comb Spray
Easy Waves Coconut Oil Hairfood
Coconut Oil (Food Lover’s Market)
Dark and Lovely: Amla Oil
Lee Stafford: Dehumidifier Spray