This is it! You’ve decided to go back to your natural hair. Excitedly you rush to the nearest supermarket & make your way down the beauty aisle, only to be bombarded by the vast selection of hair care products. Some promise big bouncy curls, while others stronger, healthier hair. There are also those that promise to make your hair grow ten times faster. With so many options it’s difficult to know which one to choose. But before you spend your rent money on two shelves worth of products, here is a list of five things to consider when learning how to care for your curls.
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Select your method
If you are considering making a transition to natural hair, you should know that there are two ways to go about this. The first option is known as “the big chop” which consists of cutting off all your chemically processed & damaged ends, allowing your hair to grow back in its natural state. However, for those of you who are not willing to make such a drastic change, the “long term transition” method may be better for you. Here you have the option of maintaining a length you are comfortable with, while gradually cutting off your damaged ends. This method is also ideal for learning to care for your new hair as it grows. Eliminating the use of heat tools such as blow-dryers and flat irons is essential in this process to ensure you keep your hair as healthy as possible.
Establish your routine
It is important to establish a daily routine that is easy to maintain and one that compliments your lifestyle. When creating this routine you should consider everything from hairstyles, down to the products you will use. Try sticking with low manipulation hairstyles that aren’t too tight and won’t pull excessively at your roots, which can cause breakage. Protect your hair at night by using a satin or silk bonnet or scarf (other fabrics can snag on your curls causing friction and loss of moisture). For those of you, like myself who prefer to leave their curls loose but still want the added protection at night, you can purchase a satin pillowcase from your local beauty supply store.
Picking the best products for your texture
When you’re on the lookout for that perfect product it is important to consider the ingredients it is made from. Choosing products with natural ingredients is always a good idea. For a good moisturizing conditioner make sure you try one that has water as the base ingredient (the first ingredient listed) and preferably complimented with natural oils. While water is essential in maintaining your hair moisturized and hydrated, the natural oils will serve as a barrier to seal in the moisture, making your hair look smooth and shiny. Coconut, olive, grapeseed, almond, and avocado oils are good examples of oils that are effective at this task.
Caring for your hair
Your hair is most fragile during the transition phase due to the different textures present at this time (the new growth and the damaged hair). It is very important to eliminate the use of blow-dryers, flat irons, and other styling tools that apply direct heat to your hair, manipulating your natural texture. The use of too much heat can result in the permanent alteration of your curl pattern while also causing unnecessary damage to your hair. Instead, it is a good idea to opt for hairstyles that will help blend the different textures such as braid outs or perm rod sets. Both styles can be achieved without the use of heat.
Don't be scared to experiment
There is no better way to learn to care for your curls than experimenting with them, it may be necessary to try out various products until you find the perfect one for you. Remember no two curls are alike, what may work for some people may not necessarily work for you and vice versa. Everyone’s hair reacts differently to certain products so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right combination of products for your curls.
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