Ghana Natural Hair Chick: No more dry,tangled hair..forever!

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Monday, April 1, 2013

No more dry,tangled hair..forever!

Happy Easter everyone!I trust we all enjoyed a lovely time.I was supposed to have posted something on Saturday but was a little busy with some school work.Never fear though because here it is.
We have been sharing information you need to have for your hair and my last post dwelt a little bit on how to begin the journey to natural hair with my own experience as an example.If you missed that post just click here to read it.
So at this point, I'm going to assume you've made your choice and you know which path you're going to use.As I said in my very first post, no two heads are the same and so please do not feel obligated to follow the method someone chooses to use to go natural.The same method may not work for you because of your own different hair or schedule or just individual differences.We usually share our experiences with you so you can decide to use them as examples for your own journey and to be encouraged to know that you can get where you want to get.

The biggest complaint I get from natural sisters, especially of African origin and those that are considering going natural, is "My hair is so hard!It gets tangled easily and I can't comb it.It is too painful!It is so dry"..and so on and so forth.Today I'm going to share with you very simple things you can do to solve this problem.

Photo from Long Black Natural Hair website
Now, this may seem like a huge letdown for some of you, but dry, hard and tangled hair is not a unique experience to only you.Probably everyone who went natural without knowing all the things I'm going to share with you has had this problem at some point.I had this problem when I took my braids out after my big chop.My hair was such a mess that it took me 2 days to detangle(no kidding).I nearly gave up and went to buy a relaxer there and then, but +Annette Akye encouraged me and I decided to stick it out.Why was my hair so tangled?That is a question for another post I
will write so you can avoid making the same mistakes.So anyway, how did I get rid of the tangles and how do I keep them out of my hair right now?The answer is simple really: A regimen.
Now that you're completely natural,you need to work out a methodical schedule for your hair so that you can keep it soft and moisturized.Moisturized hair doesn't tangle as easily as dry hair,and its easy to manage.So how do you start a regimen?You need 3 basic components and after that, you can decide what to do and when to do it.

1.Cleansing your hair and scalp
Photo from Long Black Natural Hair website
Remember one of the things I said in the first post about dirty scalps?If you want your hair to grow well and stay moisturized, you need to clean both your scalp and hair regularly.How often you do it depends on you, but you can do it as often as you have time.In order to clean your hair and scalp, you need either a good sulfate free shampoo, mild action shampoo or a natural cleanser/detoxifier such as a mud wash or African black soap shampoo.Why not just regular shampoo?Sulfates in the shampoo remove all the natural oils and moisture that keeps your hair strong and soft, so if you use them you will end up with dry hair and a really dry scalp resulting in hair breakage.That's why it is recommended that you use a sulfate free shampoo. Two of my favorite sulfate free shampoos are from Cantu (available here for my Ghana-based audience or here internationally) and the creme of nature moisture and shine shampoo (available here for my Ghana-based audience or here internationally).
An extra step before you wash your hair which will help your hair to lose as little moisture and natural oils as possible is the 'pre-poo' step.Here, you basically put an oil such as olive oil or coconut oil into your hair with water and cover with a plastic cap for about 30 minutes to an hour before you shampoo or wash your hair.It helps make your hair extra soft.You can choose to mix a conditioner into the oil and water before you put it on your hair for extra moisture.Depending on your preference, you can detangle your hair at this step, while you're washing your hair or later.Detangling refers to removing whatever knots or tangles are in your hair, and you can use either a wide tooth comb or your fingers for this purpose.You should not detangle dry hair because its harder.Always try to detangle your hair while there's conditioner or oil in it.

2.Moisturising your hair
Water is our hair's best friend!Don't ever forget it.After you wash your hair, you want to keep some of the water in your hair by applying a moisturizing product to your hair.Right after washing, you can pat your hair dry with a microfiber towel or tee shirt and while your hair is still damp, there are several things you need to do at this point to ensure your hair is as moisturized as possible.First is  deep conditioning.There are a number of deep conditioners that are really great for our hair, so you'd need one of those.The Eden Bodyworks deep conditioner is a great choice (you can get it here in Ghana or anywhere else worldwide).
Sometimes, I mix up my own batch at home.Whichever one you want to use, just make sure to follow the
Photo credit Naptural85
instructions on the container and you're good to go.After you wash out the deep conditioner, you can go ahead and apply a leave-in conditioner, oil to seal in the moisture and whatever styling cream or butter you're using for your hair.I use Cantu leave in (available here if you're in Ghana or internationally here), a mixture of oils and shea butter for my sealant, and sometimes a styling cream or a gel.Depends on what I want to do.

I know you think I'm going to say eat good food etc.You already know to do that so I'm not going to talk about that.Your hair needs its own nutrients sometimes.This is necessary especially if you want thick hair or your hair is weak.First here is a protein treatment.Protein treatments basically make your hair stronger and prevent breakage.Done right, a protein treatment will leave your hair nice and shiny.There are some really good protein treatments out there, but I like the Aphogee simple system.You can get it here in Ghana or if you're anywhere else, click here.The important thing to remember is that you shouldn't do protein treatments too often, since too much protein results in brittle breaking hair.I shoot for once a month, unless when my hair is damaged,in which case I will do it twice in a month.Look at your hair and decide if you really need it.
Photo Credit Superstock
The other thing in this category is hot oil treatments.Not a lot of people do hot oil treatments, but they are great for your hair.Basically, you would take whatever oil you want and heat it up slightly and apply it throughout your hair.You can sit under a hooded dryer with a shower cap on or you can wrap you head with a warm towel to keep the heat in your hair.Usually 30 minutes to an hour later you can rinse out the oil and your hair will be soft, shiny and less prone to breakage.I do hot oil treatments twice a month, usually right after I deep condition or use a protein treatment.
Some people include protective styling in their regimens,but that's up to you.Protective styles keep your hair protected so it doesn't break.Such styles include braids, weaves, and wigs.

Finally, this isn't on the list, but trimming your hair will help to keep it from breaking and knotting up.You don't have to trim like once a month, but you should just watch your hair and trim off whatever damaged ends you observe.I trim my hair by putting my hair in medium size twists all over my head and cutting off the pointy broken ends that I see.I don't do this more than once every 3 months though.
Photo from Long Black Natural Hair website

This is a basic regimen.You can add things on as time goes on,but at the very least, you should be washing your hair, conditioning it, moisturizing and doing protein treatments.And this includes even when your hair is in a protective style such as braids or weaves.If you can do this,y our hair will be so easy to manage and will grow really well.That's it then.The solution to dry tangled hair is in your hands.I hoep it helps you!Till later,stay blessed and fabulous!
Photo credit Black Girl Long hair website

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Photo credit Ghana Hair Chick

Photo credit Ghana Hair Chick