By Oluwatoyin Adeleye
Where my Naturalistas at?! We all know the struggle is real with taking care of our hair. The pain of pulling a comb through the hair (if it does not break), the shock of hair breakage, the stress of knowing how to style the hair every morning. The struggle is real! But there are easy ways to make your natural hair maintenance much easier:
Stock up on oils:
Look, your hair can never be too oily. Rub those oils. Make it shine. Your hair can quickly develop dandruff if it is left dry for too long. So stock up on coconut oils, shea butter, baby oils, hair cream, and any other oils you can get your hands on.
Okay, treating your hair is not rocket science like all these salons make it look. Simply applying a mixture of shea butter and coconut oil on your natural hair every morning before you leave home, or at night before you sleep (but you will have to sleep with your silk cap though), can make all the difference. It keeps your hair strong, healthy and soft enough to style.
Develop a Nightly styling schedule:
It is very tempting to get home at night and just crawl under the covers and sleep after a stressful day, but sister, your beautiful hair will not stay beautiful if you do not make some sacrifices for it. Here’s a system I developed. Once I get home every night, I remove all the hairpins and rubbers I styled my hair with, apply my oils in the hair, comb it out in an afro and twist the entire hair out in small chunks. Whatever style you want to make in the morning, it becomes easier when your hair has been left in twists overnight. From wash and go’s to twist outs, to afros, anything can be styled with an already twisted hair. Takes only about 30 minutes, depending on how fast you can twist.
The biggest fear of any naturalista after dandruff, is hair breakage. Unfortunately, we are also very prone to the occurrence so we have to be very intentional about caring for our hair. This means we cannot afford to miss our weekly treatments. Make sure you never run out of mayonnaise and hair wraps. A simple mayonnaise treatment every weekend, covered in a heat cap for about one hour will give your hair great strength and volume to last the following week. In fact you would start to feel the change in texture by the fourth day after your treatment. Our hairs are spoiled though.
Develop a hair styling strategy:
Okay, the fact is that styling your natural hair every day is very stressful. So to avoid having to go through all these routines every day, or every week, I developed a strategy. I fix my favourite weaves for a month, then leave my natural hair out to breathe for a week or two. During this time, I steam, treat and style to heart’s content. Then by the end of the two weeks, I go to the salon for one last steaming session, then braid corn rows and start wearing my wigs for the next 3 weeks to one month. This way, every night, I only have to oil my cornrows, and wear my silk cap every night, so that the oils sink into the hair and in the morning, I don’t have to spend time styling the hair. Plus my roots get to breathe from the consistent twisting and picking of every day styling. Or just fix your hair for a month. Same effect.