Evie Dondi : Beginners Natural Hair Care Summary Guide
By Evie Dondi, TN Admin and CEO of UremboAsili skincare
Welcome! Starting on the natural hair care journey can be overwhelming to say the least, but trust me it gets way better as you learn your hair. This is a SIMPLE SUMMARY for beginners that can be used as you continue to read and expand your knowledge on products and experiment.
MOISTURE & SEALING
- One thing about natural hair is that it LOVES water so moisturising is KEY to keeping your hair not only healthy but also manageable.
- Then you have to seal that moisture using oils of your choice – the rule most of the time is, if you can use it to cook or rather if it’s edible then it’s great for hair. Most plant and seed based oils and excellent for hair. The best oils known for most naturals that keep the hair manageable and soft are Jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, sun flower oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, JBCO (Jamaican black castor oil), EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) & EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil) and Raw unrefined Shea butter – If you live in Nairobi or coast some of these are sold by TNers on Tricia Naturals Market Place here.
(b) Penetrating oils are also important to use. These include EVOO, EVCO & Avocado oil; these are known to penetrate the shaft and fortify it thus preventing breakage caused by manipulation.
BEGINNER HAIR CARE ROUTINE
- Keep your routine simple and avoid sulfates in shampoos, silicones in conditioners, parabens, mineral oil, paraffinum liquidium, DMDM (formaldahyde) & petrolatum in your products – these products clog pores and suffocate hair follicles.
- Pre-poo before you co-wash – infuse your hair with oils to prevent damage during the shampoo or co-wash process. This leaves the hair amazingly soft and oiled.
- Co-wash is an option most naturals opt for – using a conditioner to clean the hair and scalp- less harsh than shampoo. This isn’t to say that you can’t shampoo your hair, you can just preferably with sulfate-free shampoo or using a natural shampoo bar like black soap (super great for skin too). My ‘shampoo’ day is once a month. You can choose how often you ‘shampoo’ based on you mane’s needs, but generally once a month is good enough.
IF you choose to use a sulphate based shampoo you MUST restore and replenish your hair’s lost moisture and natural oils. However keep in mind that a sulphate shampoo will STRIP your hair.
- Deep condition at least 1-2 times a month. What to use is your choice but i have found that a mix of oils and edibles (banana, avocado, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, eggs, mayo etc.) in your own home, used to make a DC work better than anything I have ever bought in a store. For people who are not DIY fans you can use store bought DCs and stretch them out with oils of your choice, preferably penetrating oils. A good practice is to deep condition on your washdays. I have found a weekly wash and DC to be beneficial to hair growth and health.
BEGINNERS SIMPLE REGIMEN
Pre-poo using natural unrefined penetrating oils like Coconut oil. Heat the oil for a few seconds in a water bath then apply on wetted hair. Apply a generous amount from root to tip and saturate the hair completely. Cover with a shower cap for 30 min to a few hours or overnight if you have the patience. To speed up the process, you can sit under a heating cap for about 20 min.
Shampoo with sulfate free shampoo. Please note that you can skip shampoo altogether and just use Raw African Black Soap (alata Samina variety). If you find that the raw African black soap (RABS) is stripping you can make a ‘shampoo’ solution.
- In a bottle pour 8-12oz hot water (preferably distilled) and add a penetrating oil of choice – about 2 TBSP. You may also add some AVJ (Aloe Vera Juice)
- Grate/cut the RABS into pieces and add them to the water.
- Let it sit for 24hrs and voila!! You have shampoo!
- Shake gently before use and store in a cool dry place. [irp posts=”148″ name=”Why Steam your Natural Hair”]
Condition with a conditioner of your choice – just make sure it’s also sulphate, silicon and paraben free. Comb thru to remove any detangled hair. Use a wide tooth comb or your fingers ONLY. Let the conditioner sit for the amount of time stated in the instructions. Rinse. Remember to work in sections for ease and efficiency.
3(a) OIL RINSE
This is a step between shampooing and conditioning. Use about a quarter cup of an oil you know works great for your hair and will penetrate the shaft. e.g EVCO, EVOO, hemp oil, etc…, saturate the hair and massage from root to tip. Use your fingers to begin the detangle process. Cover your head with a shower cup and sit for about 20-25minutes; this allows the oil to penetrate the shaft. Uncover and apply your conditioner and detangle and rinse. OR rinse oil first then apply conditioner and rinse again.[irp posts=”611″ name=”Napspiration : My hair 5 years after the big chop”]
- DC (Deep Condition)
You may use a homemade or store bought DC of choice. This can also be done with a protein based conditioner. Though, protein conditioning is only done once a month or every 6wks. It all depends on what your hair needs. Cover with a shower cap for 30-45min. (there’s no need to sit with a DC for more than 45 min, since in that time the hair has absorbed all that it needs within that time frame). Rinse.
- ACV RINSE:
An Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse clarifies the hair and restores the hair to the regular acidic pH; it’s up to you to decide how often in your regiment you want to incorporate. Upon research I have discovered that the recommended ACV: water ratio is 1/4tbsp:8oz of water. This dilution ratio has the solution at about 3.5-4 on the pH scale which is perfect for hair since that’s the pH your hair actually is at (yes hair is acidic).
This ratio SHOULD NOT dry your hair.
OPTION B: You can also choose to do AVJ (aloe vera juice) rinse. It also restores pH, is kinder on the nose and has the added advantage of really moisturizing the hair. The beauty of the AVJ rinse is that you don’t have to rinse it out. It can stay in the hair for continued moisture retention which promotes softness. Ensure that the AVJ is organic and in it’s purest form for best results. It’s BEST to DILUTE AVJ. The ratio is one part AVJ to two parts water. Be sure to use distilled water. If it’s not available, boil water and let it cool to remove some of the hardness.[irp posts=”937″ name=”Guest Post: How to Grow Healthy Natural Hair.”]
Dry your excess moisture from the hair – invest in a micro fiber towel for your hair to prevent breakage from rubbing and also it sucks water out really quick. Alternatively you can use an old clean t-shirt or a leso/khanga. Don’t let the hair dry completely.
- MOISTURIZE & SEAL
Spray some Aloe Vera juice (diluted mix) on the hair for added moisture (optional) – water is just fine.
Apply a leave in conditioner of choice.
Apply your choice of oils/butters to the scalp & hair shaft – this seals the moisture (if you would like recommendations ask!). It is best to use a penetrating oil as one of your choices e.g. EVCO, EVOO or Avocado oil with a sealant oil such as jojoba oil, sunflower oil, JBCO/regular castor oil, shea butter etc.
- DRY & STRETCH
Divide your hair into sections and braid matutas – these help the hair dry and also is a no heat method to stretch the hair. You can also use African threading to stretch the hair out or you can twist it as well. To keep hair stretched, manageable and soft, twist or braid hair into matutas (big single braids), nightly or every, other night. You may also opt for the pineapple method.
STYLE AND LOVE YOUR HAIR.
- You will need to spritz (moisturise) your hair daily OR every other day OR every two days (frequency is based on hair needs) with a mix of moisture and oils – so in a spray bottle mix your choices and spray. To avoid wet hair in the morning do this at night and stretch the hair (use your own choice of stretch method). Style in morning and I avoid shrinkage caused by water in the morning 🙂How you stretch your hair is your own personal choice. I simply put the easiest since this is a beginners guide. Hair can be stretched with twists, flat twists and by threading.[irp posts=”218″ name=”How to sleep with your Twist-out and Afro styles”]
- Keep products as close to natural as possible. In this manner you can avoid becoming a product junkie. There are thousands of products out there and not all of them work and many of them are not natural hair safe. Not sure about a product, post the front and back for ingredients and we will assess for effectiveness and health.
- If you have questions, need clarification – ask ask ask!
[irp posts=”1067″ name=”Should I oil my scalp?”]
CLEAN & HEALTHY SCALP = HEALTHY HAIR