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Monday, August 5, 2013

I am not a guru but I've learned a little something something...


In the natural hair community, you will come across so many women that are looking for answers to their hair woes.  I am and have been one of those women!  But, being a little bit further into my journey, I am often being asked the questions by other newly naturals.  And, to be honest, I am still so very hesitant to answer the questions.  What if I misword it? Or what if my words are taken too exact and out of context?  More often that not, I am finishing my answers with "this is what works for me but it may not work for you" because I want to air on the side of caution when giving out advice.  I hate to just leave people hanging or not answer at all. 

One of the main questions I get is "What products should I use to maintain the moisture in my hair so that it doesn't look dry?".  This is a tricky question for me to answer because it depends on your hair type as well as the processes used to put moisture into your hair to begin with.  For some, it means not using sulfates.  While for others, it means using a Deep Conditioner with a Hair Steamer.  There are so many different options out there to try.  For me, I Deep Condition weekly with just a plastic cap using any Deep Conditioner I can find.  I am actually currently on the hunt for a great Deep Conditioner (that's my life's story).  My hair performs well with both sulfate and sulfate free products so I don't have that worry but I must use products that contain oils.  Almost any oil (except grape seed oil) will work for my hair in helping to maintain its moisture.  At night, I sleep in a satin head wrap and I make sure to add water and oil on a daily basis.  Adding water to your hair on a daily basis may not work if you are rocking bantu knot outs or a twist out but you can always add a water based moisturizing product to your hair and seal with oil.  Drink tons of water, take your multivitamins and exercise regularly.  These are the only tips I can give right now on this topic because this is all I have learned from my own natural hair thus far.

Next question I get a lot is "How do I get my curls to pop like yours?".  Well, lets start off by me saying I just started to get my curls to pop just recently and I have been natural for about a year and a half!  Popping curls are just natural to some hair types but a lot of us have to work with products to achieve that "look".  For me... I start off with making sure I use a leave-in conditioner.  My hair responds much better when I use a regular conditioner as a leave-in so that is what I do 99% of the time.  Currently I am using Dark and Lovely's Au Naturale Knot Out Conditioner as a leave-in conditioner.  Next step is adding just a little bit of additional moisture to my hair.  This is not  a necessary step and I have skipped this step before.  BUT, to achieve my most popping curls, I do incorporate another moisturizing product.  I now use the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Curl Moisturizing Souffle for this step.  In the past, I have used Camille Rose Natural Moisture Milk and Moroccan Oil's Curl Defining Cream.  This last step is optional and really only applies depending on how long you plan to wear your style.  If you have the time to complete your style daily then a Styling Product may not be necessary.  Since, I am now trying to achieve 2nd, 3rd and even 4th day hair with my Wash and Go's, I use a Styling Product to help retain my curls.  The Styling Product will sort of "hold" your style in place for an extended period of time.  Many naturals use a gel for this portion of the routine.  A very popular option is the Eco Styler Gel.  For me, I use the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Crème Glaze.  Using a cream as opposed to a gel gives me a softer curl, and depending on the product, I can still achieve the same sheen and hold as a gel.  Lastly, I spritz with an oil.  Use whatever oil works for you but a popular choice is Coconut Oil.
As you can see, this routine is really a process of layering products into your hair.  Doing this daily can be cumbersome but luckily I no longer have to do this daily now that I am using the Dark and Lovely line.  Day over day my hair may lose a bit of moisture because I am not adding anymore product into my hair, just water and oil.  Adding the water and oil will ensure that I don't become a dry mess.  As for the products, you have to find what works for you and your hair type.  The products that I mentioned above may work horribly for you but do not get frustrated too quickly.  The process of adding moisture and sealing with oil is tried and true for almost any and every hair type so start there and incorporate what works for you.

Lastly, it takes a ton of patience to not only go natural but to be happy with your natural hair.  For some women, the happiness is immediate but may not be continuous.  We all have our bad hair days or moments when we want a change.  Some women take a while before they find what works for their hair and this too can be a frustrating period of time.  If you Big Chop and do not have curls like Mahogany Curls after week one... DON'T GIVE UP.  Keep in mind, you may never have curls like her! LOL.  Don't compare your curls to other Hair Guru's out there.  They have been working on perfecting their natural hair for YEARS!  They have mastered the science, know their hair inside and out and probably have been endorsed by some heavy hitter companies already.  Your knowledge of natural hair is likely no where near theirs but you have time to figure it all out.  Wearing your hair in its naturally curly state for a week or two won't do it probably.  I've worn my hair in its naturally curly state for over a year and have just recently found what works for my hair.  Crazy right?!  Just goes to show you that immediate amazing results are not guaranteed or likely.

I really do hope I have been able to address some of those questions I get regarding my hair.  Sometimes I am just not sure how to answer certain questions.  Such as "How do you get your hair to curl like that?" or "Can I use those products to get my hair to look like yours if I have a relaxer?"... I am not being rude if I don't answer, I just don't think I have the right answer so I leave no response at all.  Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions or just to let me know how your journey is going.  Thanks for reading!  Smooches XOXO

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