Caring for natural hair: The basics! Building a regime

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In other for us to have a softer more manageable fro, it is essential that the hair is fully moisturised. Without moisture hair is unable to survive. Healthy hair  does not usually  feel  hard, dry or coarse and  neither does it hurt or break off easily when  combing. If your hair feels this way then it’s lacking moisture.  Moisture plays a key part in ensuring that natural hair is well maintained and healthy.

Caring for natural hair: The basics!
Building a regime

 

In other for us to have a softer more manageable fro, it is essential that the hair is fully moisturised. Without moisture hair is unable to survive. Healthy hair  does not usually  feel  hard, dry or coarse and  neither does it hurt or break off easily when  combing. If your hair feels this way then it’s lacking moisture.  Moisture plays a key part in ensuring that natural hair is well maintained and healthy. th

 

I cannot emphasize the importance of this fact anymore enough to anyone who is willing to embark on a healthy hair journey. 

Selecting a moisturizing shampoo

One of the first steps to maintaining a well moisturized hair is to select the appropriate moisturising shampoo. There are various shop bought and salon preferred brands that one may buy. My advice when purchasing a shampoo is too always check for their ingredients. The ingredients will help you determine whether the shampoo formula you are dealing with is a moisturizing shampoo formula or not. The idea generally is to select a shampoo that balances its cleaning ability with its ability to soften and moisturise the hair.

Although many brands may label their products as ‘moisturising’ this may not always be the case especially if in it ingredients list it states that it contains sulphates. 

 

 

 

“Sulfates, What’s that?”

Sulfates are surfactants or detergents that are used in shampoos to help clean the hair. Examples of sulfates include: ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate. The more sulfates a moisturizing shampoo contains, the more dirt and build up it is able to remove from your hair. However, multiple sulfates in a moisturizing shampoo formula usually reduces its ability to effectively moisturize the hair. My advice is to steer clear from shampoos that contain multiple sulphates, especially Ammonium lauryl or Ammonium laureth sulphate. This is because these detergents are the harshest of cleansers if them all. It is also very drying and stripping and will not assist with maintaining moisture balance. If possible avoid any moisturizing shampoo formula that contains these detergents.

 

These are a few fabulous sulfate free shampoos that i found at my local Afro-Caribbean hair shop. It is very rare that you find a shampoo that doesnt contain some form of sulfate.  Hence why these aren't the cheapest and they also come in very small bottles. However the benefit it has on the hair outweighs the cost!

These are a few fabulous sulfate free shampoos that i found at my local Afro-Caribbean hair shop. It is very rare that you find a shampoo that doesnt contain some form of sulfate. Hence why these aren’t the cheapest and they also come in very small bottles. However the benefit it has on the hair outweighs the cost!

 

 

 

If like me you are a natural on a budget, you might want to opt for Tresemme Naturals. Although it's not completely sulfate free, it contains lower sulfate than the usual store bought conditioning shampoo. It cost about £4 unlike the sulfate free options above and it also comes in a larger bottle, which means it would last a lot longer.

If like me you are a natural on a budget, you might want to opt for Tresemme Naturals. Although it’s not completely sulfate free, it contains lower sulfate than the usual store bought conditioning shampoo. It cost about £4 unlike the sulfate free options above and it also comes in a larger bottle, which means it would last a lot longer.

 

 

 

 

Counteracting the effects of harsh Sulfates

If you decide to opt for shampoos with lower sulfates, or one which has no more than one of the 3 types of sulfates, there are ways that you can counteract the stripping and harshness it may cause on the hair.  The most effective method that I personally use is to pre-condition my hair the night before wash day. Pre conditioning the hair is simply adding conditioner or oils such as extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil or a combination of both in the hair for a few minutes or  a good few hours  prior to washing the hair.


You could also dilute your shampoo by adding water, oil or conditioner prior to washing the hair. Or simply deep condition the hair with heat after for at least 30 minutes.

 

CLARIFYING SHAMPOOS

These kinds of shampoos should be used once a month to help strip the hair of  everyday product build up. When you use a clarifying shampoo the hair should feel squeaky clean! This is a great way of start of the hair afresh each month. There are a number of affordable clarifying shampoos here in the UK and most can be bought in your local Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Boots, Superdrug or even the local Afro Caribbean hair shops. 

Examples of fabulous clarifying shampoos include – 

 

Pantene Pro-V is a well know brand here in the UK. This clarifying shampoo can be found in Tesco, Asda,  Boots, Superdrugs and even in Poundland. It is very reasonably priced as it can be purchased from anything from £1 - £3

Pantene Pro-V is a well know brand here in the UK. This clarifying shampoo can be found in Tesco, Asda, Boots, Superdrugs and even in Poundland. It is very reasonably priced as it can be purchased from anything from £1 – £3

herbal essence and vo5 are two other brands redily available in the UK at very reasonable prices. it Tresemme also do their own clarifying shampoo. I personally use this once a month to remove the product build up in my hair. It leaves my hair feeling rejuvinised, healthy looking and most of all feeling squeaky clean.

herbal essence and vo5 are two other brands redily available in the UK at very reasonable prices. it Tresemme also do their own clarifying shampoo. I personally use this once a month to remove the product build up in my hair. It leaves my hair feeling rejuvinised, healthy looking and most of all feeling squeaky clean.

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Deep Conditioning

I strongly believe that deep conditioning is a vital necessity to taking care of and securing strong natural  hair. From my experience and observing other people who have embarked on a natural hair journey, it is vital that deep conditioning should be done at least once every two weeks. A good moisturising deep conditioner is one that does not contain any form of petrolatum or mineral oil. conditioners with this ingredient will hinder hair growth because it clogs up the hair scalp and attracts dirt.

There are two types of conditioners  :

 

  • Water based conditioners
  •  Moisturizing deep conditioners

Water based leave in conditioners are usually applied to damp hair or can be used as a daily moisturiser. They do not need to be rinsed out and also be used as a styling product. There a various affordable leave in conditioners sold all over the UK, however my favourite is the S-Curl activator moisturiser  and the Cantu shear butter leave in conditioning repair cream.

My top leave in conditoner!!! I use this as a daily moisturiser. It leaves my hair feeling soft  and healthy looking.  It is also affordable as prices start from £2.49

My top leave in conditoner!!! I use this as a daily moisturiser. It leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy looking. It is also affordable as prices start from £2.49

This can be found in most Afro Caribbean hair shops or can be ordered online from pakscosmetics. It is really affordable and cost only £3.99

This can be found in most Afro Caribbean hair shops or can be ordered online from pakscosmetics. It is really affordable and cost only £3.99

Although leaving in conditioner can be used an effective method of conditioning hair after it has been shampooed, nothing beats deep conditioning with a moisturising conditioner!

Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

The best types of conditioners are ones that are silicone free. conditioners that contain silicone, leaves a coating on the hair that will build up and become difficult to remove from the hair. It is also known to lock moisture out of the hair which thereby defeats the purpose of trying to retain moisture in the hair as discussed above. It also leads to hair loss and extremely dry and itchy scalp.

Names of silicones

– Dimethicone = not water soluble, helps detangle frizzy hair and create shine

– Cyclomethicone = not water soluble, hardest to remove from hair, creates shine may be also called Cyclopentasiloxane

– Amodimethicone = not water soluble, help detangling the hair

– Dimethiconol = not water soluble

– Phenyl Trimethicone = not water soluble, silicone-oil, helps dry hair look healthy

– Simethicone = not water soluble

– Cyclopentasiloxane = not water soluble, silicone-oil that will help the hair feel soft

– Trimethylsiloxyilicates = not water soluble, hard to remove

– Dimethicone copolyol = water soluble

– Lauryl methicone copolyol = water soluble

– Polysiloxane = water soluble

one of my favorite contioners!! Trust me i have tried a variety of conditioners. Not only does it leave your hair feeling soft and manageable, it is also completley silicone free. Meaning, it doesn't contain any of those harsh chermicals listed above rhats damaging to the hair. it is also reasonable priced @ less than £5.

one of my favorite contioners!! Trust me i have tried a variety of conditioners. Not only does it leave your hair feeling soft and manageable, it is also completley silicone free. Meaning, it doesn’t contain any of those harsh chermicals listed above rhats damaging to the hair. it is also reasonable priced @ less than £5.

Hello world!

Hiya!!! So this is my very first blog. Excited much!! It took me a while to get my head round the whole blogging world as I am not used to the whole format and not familiar with how it works. But I have gotten the hang off it now (I think lol) so here we go!

Why Natural Hair?

So why did I decide to start blogging about natural hair and its maintenance ? hmm ? My interest in natural hair stems from two reasons.  In 2011, after my Daughters 2nd birthday, I decided to shave her whole hair off. It was a very painful experience for me, but was one that was necessary. Eurianna-Marie was born in September 2009, with a full head of thick, curly hair. She suffered from condition called hemangioma of the lips.  Hemangioma is a condition were an abnormal formation of blood in the blood vessels, that caused swelling in her lip. It started as a small pimple on her lip when she was 3 weeks old and continued to grow. By the time she was 5 months old, the hemangioma had grown so much that it made her look like she only had one lip.  She was referred to a specialist at the world-renowned children’s hospital, Great Osmond Street hospital in February 2010.   She was put on a trial drug called  propananol to shrink the growth on her lip. However during the course her treatment on this drug, she was also prescribed antibiotics by the doctor to treat a separate  infection that she had caught. unfortunately for us, the mixture of both medication lead to her losing her hair within 2 weeks of her starting the course of anti-biotics! 😦 I basically took a pair of scissors and shaved her whole hair off. in other to start all over again.

A few days old born with thick black shiny hair.

A few days old born with thick black shiny hair.

A few weeks old

A few weeks old

5 months old and the lump had gotten so big ;-( its at this stage they start her on the trial drug propananol.

5 months old and the lump had gotten so big ;-( its at this stage they start her on the trial drug propananol.

beautiful thick hair @ 8months

beautiful thick hair @ 8months

learning to walk

learning to walk. At this point she is on antibiotics

Hair is starting to seriously shed!!!

Hair is starting to seriously shed!!!

The result after two weeks of constant shedding. This is what was left :-(

The result after two weeks of constant shedding. This is what was left 😦

Woke up one morning and i litterally picked up a scissors and cut it all off

Woke up one morning and i litterally picked up a scissors and cut it all off

Took her to the barbers to had it shaved properly

Took her to the barbers to had it shaved properly

As I started to research ways to look after natural hair, hints and tips, this got me thinking about my own hair too. It made no sense to me why I would put my self through the pains of relaxing my hair and dealing with burnt scabs, all in the name of straight hair. The sad thing is i would then put it either in a weave or braids a few days after. I then just thought what is the point? surely I should be able to do the same with my natural hair. The thought of going fully natural was very scary and daunting because i remember how coarse my hair was growing up. I remember the pain and the tears when anyone tried to comb or plait my hair.

 

I embarked on a quest to research looking after natural hair.  I found that i wasn’t the only one who shared this thought process. there were many young black women like me who felt the same way and many had embarked on the journey of a healthy and natural hair. Encouraged by many natural sisters out there, i was keen to go on my own  personal journey for both mine and my daughter’s sake. There is a wealth of information on-line looking after hair. the purpose of this blog is to condense it all to one and to try as much as possible to share with you the knowledge that acquired through my own personal experiences, with products and styles and to point you guys in the right direction.

2010 one of the few times i left my relaxed hair out on a night out.

2010 one of the few times i left my relaxed hair out on a night out.

2008 cinema with  my baby boy

2008 cinema with my baby boy

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