Embracing your natural hair texture has never been easier, thanks to an influx of info and products. In the past we have curated a list of several African bloggers who have dedicated their sites to documenting their natural hair journey as well as helping those that are trying to ditch chemical hair relaxers or ‘creamy crack’ as it is informally known as.
There are a few essential products that anyone going natural MUST have in their possession. These are:-
1. A silk/satin bonnet or scarf
For many years I never bothered to cover my head when I was getting ready for bed and I was unaware of just how much damage my negligence was causing. One of the most beneficial things you can do to maintain the health of your hair is to cover it at night. You probably don’t realize how much your head rubs against your pillow at night. All that friction between your hair and the fibers tears at your hair and can cause breakage, while your cotton bed sheets leach the moisture right out of your hair as you sleep. The oils in your hair are transferred to your pillow, which also comes into constant contact with your face. If your skin is sensitive you may end up with pimple and acne breakouts.
It’s important to protect your hair with a scarf before you go to bed. Satin and silk are less abrasive to your hair and are highly recommended materials for your nighttime head scarf.
If you’re constantly frustrated by the scarf slipping off in your sleep, you may use a silk/satin pillowcase instead.
2. Spray Bottle
Despite what you may have heard, getting water on your hair is not the worst thing in the world. Natural hair thrives in a moisture-intense environment therefore it is necessary for your hair. Water quenches your hair’s thirst, and various natural oils work as a sealant when applied to strands afterwards. There are several oils you can add to the water to increase the moisture content, such as olive oil and castor oil, as well as a number of essential oils. A spray bottle is effective because you don’t have to put your whole head in the sink. It can also be used to dilute a product you may feel is too thick.
When using a spray bottle, make sure you pay extra attention to the ends of your hair as they are the oldest parts of our hair.
3. Bobby Pins
Bobby pins are the “U” shaped pins that are clamped together in order to hold the hair more firmly. Typically one side has ridges and one side is flat. A bobby pin is the simplest, most efficient accessory. They can be worn either hidden to hold together the structure of a hairstyle or in plain sight to add dimensions to your style.
4. Butterfly Clips
When its time to de-tangle, separate, or style hair, butterfly clips are the most handy tool to have. They apply just enough pressure to hold your sections without pulling your hair or damaging your curls.
5. Wide Tooth Comb
While most naturalistas would vouch for finger detangling, it is extremely time consuming and might not be for your hair type. As an alternative you can use a wide tooth comb. A wide tooth comb is generally regarded as such if it has up to a maximum of four teeth per inch of length. Wide tooth combs can also be used to style your hair, and are much better than the conventional thin tooth combs that were designed for straight hair.
6. Rat Tail Comb
A rat tail comb has the conventional thin teeth that aren’t good for natural hair, therefore you shouldn’t use it unless your hair is straightened. The rat tail is the important part of the comb, as it can be used to gently lift, separate and arrange your hair. You can also use it to part your hair for more complicated styles, or even just to gently scratch your scalp.
A metal rat tail comb is recommended over a plastic one because plastic can splinter or crack, exposing sharp edges.
7. Jars/Empty containers
Because hair care products are extremely expensive, most people with natural hair tend to make their own products from natural ingredients. Having empty containers around makes it easier to store your concoctions plus its economical too.
If using old containers, be sure to sterilize and dry completely before reusing.
8. Hair Towel/T-Shirt
It would be wise to have a separate towel for your hair. When you get out of the shower, reconsider using a regular terrycloth towel on your hair. Towels absorb all the moisture from our hair, when what we want to do is absorb the excess water without taking most of the moisture. If you wear your hair natural, regular towels can make your hair frizzy. Some bloggers recommend using microfiber towels however a worn cotton t-shirt is a good alternative.
Use a plain white shirt instead of one with prints and colours, which may run into your hair.
9. Shower Cap
They are great for keeping your hair dry in the shower and are also great for hair steams and treatments. One way to increase the efficiency of your conditioning treatment is to cover your hair with a regular plastic shower cap. It will cover up the mess and your body temperature will help the conditioner penetrate your hair.
10. Hair Journal
A natural hair journal is a log of the condition of your hair and scalp. Start a natural hair journal and begin documenting everything that you do to your hair. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t work for your hair as well as keep track of all the successful products and attempts. This process will help you select the right hair products and finalize your natural hair regimen. You can either download an app from Google Play or the Apple Store such as Hair Journal or use a simple notebook. If you’re up for the challenge you can also start your own natural hair blog!
What other tools do you use for your natural hair regimen? Share in the comment section below!
(featured image courtesy of http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/)