Hair Care

GAHL : How I grew my Type 4 African hair

By Joanna Achieng

Natural Hair Blogger, GrowAfricanHairLong

Exactly 4 years and four months ago, I went natural. In other words, I stopped straightening my hair using chemical relaxers. This was the best hair decision I ever made. My hair has never been this healthy.

During these four years I have learnt a lot about my hair and I would like to share these lessons with you.

  • Accept your hair as it is

After ending my transition it dawned on me that my hair just didn’t look like any of the YouTube gurus I had been following all through my transition. The texture just wasn’t the same and my hair shrunk like crazy. If you have recently gone natural or are currently transitioning to natural, chances are that your hair will look different than what you expect and special in its own way.

  • Less is more

The less I do with my hair, the more it thrives. Most of the hairstyles I do usually last a week and need very little if any manipulation at all. If you are a length chaser please keep this in mind.

  • Health over length

In as much as I love long hair, I prefer healthy hair more. Healthy hair looks attractive regardless of its length. It helps to get regular trims to keep the hair looking healthy.

  • Braiding is not for everyone.

Braids are a beautiful protective style, but the reality is that if you have a sensitive hairline like me. Braids are not for you!

  • There is no one size fits all.

At the beginning of my natural journey I used to co-wash my hair because that is what most naturals were doing. The truth is my hair hated it after co-washing its was as if I had done absolutely nothing and even styling was a problem afterwards. I opted to shampoo my hair with every wash-day. Even though there are natural hair rules that you have to follow, take time to listen to your hair and give it exactly what it wants.

  • Scalp oiling is not for everyone

I came to the realization that my scalp produces enough sebum. Sebum is the oil produced by your skin, have you ever shampooed your hair and rinsed it off only to find that your scalp still had some whitish looking residue? That is sebum and it is actually healthy for your hair if it is not completely washed off. If your scalp produces enough sebum then you don’t need to oil your scalp but if your scalp is naturally dry then light oils for your scalp will come in handy.

Thank you for reading ,

Love Joanne.



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