Choose a shampoo
Maintaining a clean scalp and hair is the root of healthy hair, after all, that is where the healthy hair we want comes from. You need to choose a shampoo that is great for your natural hair. Most of the shampoos that you used when you had relaxed hair probably had Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or other sulfates as the first ingredients.
This ingredient will certainly clean your natural hair but will strip it leaving it dry and brittle. We don’t want that. So please select a sulfate-free shampoo; most SLS free shampoos will state it on the label. Brands like Shea Moisture and Cantu make great sulfate-free shampoos; they are inexpensive and sold at Target. Of course you should experiment with different brands until you find the one you love.
Familiarize yourself with Cowashing. Cowashing is simply washing your natural hair with a cleansing conditioner instead of a shampoo. This can be a great refresher for you hair in between shampoo sessions. Cowashing adds an extra boost of moisture to your hair.
Condition every time you wash
We all know that our hair needs conditioning however I have to stress it. Conditioning is very important in our healthy hair journey. Using rinse out conditioners, deep conditioners and treatment masks will give us the soft and manageable natural hair that we are striving for.
Having very-well conditioned hair will make your hair stronger and we know that stronger natural hair tends to retain length better and we can see real growth. Also, try to deep condition instead of quick conditioning every time you wash to further strengthen your hair.
Know what is in your conditioner. Water needs to be the very first ingredient and other ingredients to look for are Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Protein, Coconut oil* and Olive oil* just to name a few.
Detangle your hair while its wet and coated in conditioner as this is when your are least likely to suffer breakage. Finding a conditioner that is light and smooth when you apply it on your hair is important. This is what we natural girls call ‘slip’ – when a conditioner makes our hair supple and easy to glide through with a comb or our fingers. Detangle from the ends of your hair working your way up to the root so that you do not cause damage to your hair.
Keep Your Hair Moisturized
Learn how to effectively moisturize and seal your natural hair. Choose water based moisturizers and experiment with the LOC Method. The LOC method is the order in which you moisturize and seal your hair. This means that you first use a liquid moisturizer, followed by an oil and finish with a cream based product. Always sleep with a satin bonnet* or scarf so that your cotton pillows don’t suck the moisture from your hair.
Styling Your Natural hair
Gone are the days when natural hair was only supposed to be braided. You have an array of styles to choose from these days and you can wear your hair any way you choose to. My favorite styles are braid-outs and 3-strand twist-outs. However, we need to be careful when styling our hair so as to not cause damage.
Periodically, I suggest that you wear low manipulation or protective styles where the ends of your hair are protected. The ends of your hair are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair. Protecting your ends will result in longer hair, as you will be retaining length.
Bottom line: Enjoy Your Journey! You did the Big Chop, now you should focus on growing healthy hair.
How was the post big chop phase of your journey? Were you frustrated?