So are you are newbie natural? You must be as confused as I was when I began my journey. There is so much information going round out there you don’t even know where to start your schooling. Let’s not even talk about the lusting after long tresses and the curl chasing. I am sure you are planning to walk in to a shop and fill the basket with natural hair goodies galore! But before you do that, I have a couple of tips for you.
If you live in Kenya, here is where I’d suggest you start your product journey:
- Your kitchen is a very valuable place. You might find it hard to believe but it lots of stuff resides in your pantry. From eggs & mayonnaise for you DIY protein treatments, to honey for its humectant properties as well as olive/coconut/sunflower oil for pre-poo & detangling.
- Some of our local supermarkets are well stocked with many DIY ingredients and some even have natural hair friendly products.
- Super Cosmetics might be singlehandedly the largest stocker of natural friendly products, both local and imported; and at a relatively fair price.
- Local Manufactures/Vendors are lifesavers. You can find established and reliable ones from online platforms such as Tricia’s Naturals Marketplace. Look out for the likes of Mosara Kenya, Bu.ke Products and a host of others who have gotten great reviews from their customers.
But… I digress. Let’s get back to those 5 things you must know as a newbie natural.
A Sulphate free shampoo should be priority at all times. If you have to use a shampoo with Sulphates, opt for kinder versions as opposed to Lauryl or Laureth Sulphates. Generally, if they must be used, sulphate shampoos can be used once in six to eight weeks. However, the hair should be pre-poo’d before and a deep conditioning treatment given afterwards.
- THESE THREE LETTERS >> L.O.C or L.C.O
The key to healthy natural hair is moisture. The L.O.C technique helps us infuse and lock moisture into our strands.
The first step is L, which stands for liquid. Water is the ONLY liquid that can introduce moisture into our strands and it’s FREE! An alternative to L is Leave In, if you can find one that works for you, hold on to it and never let go! The O in L.O.C is for oil. The best oils for our hair are food grade oils like Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. Food grade gets the required nutrients in their most pure forms and are also great for your skin. One or two oils will work just fine; please don’t break the bank. The C in L.O.C stands for Crème. A crème will help seal in the moisture. Shea butter or any butter (Mango/Cocoa) can do the job just fine.
Some people prefer to shake up the order to L.C.O but that is totally dependent on your personal experimentations and also full understanding of your hair. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to lock in moisture, just as so long as you do.
- SPRAY/SPRITZ BOTTLE
A good spray bottle will facilitate moisturizing your hair especially on those hectic mornings. They can be found in local supermarkets and also hair & beauty stores. Here is a simple recipe you can premix in your spray/spritz bottle:
- A teaspoon of conditioner
- 1 teaspoon of 100% Glycerin or Aloe Vera Juice
- Several drops of your favourite oil
Mix well then spray away. Let your strands soak in the moisture then seal it in as stated above.
- SATIN/SILK SCARF AND/OR PILLOW CASE
You can’t put in all that “sealing moisture” work only to lose it all via super absorbent fabrics such as cotton. Avoid your nighttime bandana and old stocking to cover your well-moisturised hair. Use satin/silk instead. Satin unlike cotton helps keep moisture in the hair longer so do yourself a favour and get one.
As for a satin pillowcase, if you cannot a ready made one… pop by the famous Toi Market or Gikomba; and buy 2nd hand satin nightgowns. With these you can wrap your pillow and create a DIY satin pillowcase. Alternatively, the stalls in Ngara Market (around the spice shops) sell the satin fabric relatively cheap.
Hair takes time to grow. Don’t get frustrated just hang in there. Also remember the right diet, which includes lots of water and the right lifestyle will work wonders on not only your hair but skin too.
New to being a Natural? Or thinking about taking the plunge? Read The Return of the Naturals and find out why other ladies started out on this journey.
This article first appeared on www.nyakeorigi.wixsite.com
Article images courtesy for author and featured Image via Creater Her Stock