The Key to Natural African Hair Care – Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
The key to healthy Black hair and growth is moisture. I just recently changed my moisturizing regiment, because while I religiously moisturized my hair, it was still very dry. I found that although I was frequenting African hair care vlogs and blogs like Curly Nikki, I wasn’t truly paying attention to what contributors were writing about. I think because my hair had grown 5 inches in 6 months (when previously I hadn’t achieved any growth due to breakage) and I completely repaired the damaged sections of my hair, I thought my moisture regiment was on point. Boy was I wrong!
First, I would mixed around three tablespoons of coconut oil and one table spoon of olive oil together and heated it up in the microwave (not too hot). I would then wet my hair, soaked it with the hot oil and put on a heat cap for about 30 minutes. Next, I would co-wash (wash with conditioner) the oil out of my hair, spray in Hawaiian Silky leave-in conditioner and let my hair air dry. Once it was dry, I would moisturized my scalp with my Jojoba mix, which consists of 5 drops of Rosemary, 2 drops of Lavender to one tablespoon of Jojoba oil. I then separate my hair into 11 big sections, twist each section, put on a satin bonnet and I’m done.
With this regiment, I didn’t comb my hair much, once a month at best. I found that detangling with my fingers while co-washing worked just fine. Its common knowledge in the natural African hair care community that our hair isn’t supposed to be combed or brushed too much and not combing worked for me when I grew my hair out over the winter.
My hair would only remain supple for ONE day on this regiment. It would literally be dried out on the second day even after re-spritzing with the leave-in. I do co-wash two to three times a week, one because I can’t stand that frowsy hair smell and two, washing allows me to get some moisture. Although some may consider 3 co-washes a week a bit much for dry hair, its the only way I can get that suppleness back.
My hair had always been super, duper dry and I just thought I had to live with that fact and do whatever I could to keep it moist for as long as possible. After sticking with this treatment for eight months I realized there should be something I could do to stay moisturized, so I started researching again. I spent a couple of hours on Curly Nikki as opposed to just browsing for a few minutes and low and behold, I came across a post from a sista with baddest Afro I have ever seen in my life! One of the first things she wrote about was how dry her hair is and she went on to outline her moisture regiment.
When she co-washes, she uses around five different types of conditioner together and she doesn’t rinse it out! Further, if she feels her hair is getting a little dry between co-washes, she’ll spritz in more conditioner! I first thought that all of that conditioner would cause a lot of build-up and eventually be damaging, but the truth is everything the mainstream teaches us about natural African hair care is backward. We can basically do the opposite of what other people do with their hair, especially in the case of conditioning. After all, her hair is incredible! She’s maintained this regiment for the better part of six years and her hair is gorgeous, so all of that conditioning must be working!
As I researched on, I came across a post about sealing with oil. The post described how sealing locks in what ever type of moisturizer you are using and aids in keeping your hair moisturized. I’ve never sealed my hair. I figured since I hot oil treated my hair, oiled my scalp and used a very rich leave-in, I didn’t need to put in any more oil. However, it was still very dry between co-washes, even when I added more leave-in, so whatever I was doing wasn’t working and my hair was telling me it was time for something new.
So, when co-wash day rolled around, I dove right into this sista’s moisture regiment. I co-washed with Garnier Fruictis Triple Nutrition and Suave Almond and Shea conditioner. I repeated the co-wash three times and on the third time, I didn’t rinse it out. To seal it, I mixed Shea butter and coconut oil together until the consistency was a little thinner than normal Shea butter, but not too oily. After my hair dried, I coated it liberally with the mix, but I didn’t saturate it. I didn’t use the Jojoba oil mix …