Over 6 years ago, I decided to big chop my relaxed hair and become natural. It was the most exciting and liberating feeling. It is an understatement to say that the journey itself has not been without its tears and stress- the anxiety of finding the right products and worrying about flaking alone is a lot! During this journey, I have learnt so much, so it is only right that I share this with my curly girls:
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Deep conditioning is a must for Type 4 low porosity hair!
Deep conditioning for me has been key for retaining healthy hair. It allows all those amazing ingredients to penetrate my hair shaft. It also helps to maintain the elasticity, definition and strength of my hair.
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Protein Deep Conditioning vs Moisture
I often used to hear this all the time watching Youtube videos. I thought I was doing it right. I would pick the same deep conditioner and leave it in my hair for 30 minutes and I did this for years. However, it made no difference to my hair- it was still dry, brittle and breaking off. I even purchased a hooded dryer thinking that would save the day. Well, it didn’t.
It is safe to say that my biggest hair care mistake was that I was using the same protein deep conditioner week on week and expecting excellent results. I did not rotate my deep conditioner with moisture infused ones nor realise that I was constantly giving my hair protein overload.
I now rotate my deep conditioners based on protein and moisture only deep conditioners to ensure my hair is healthy and balanced. I am currently loving the tgin Deep hydrating Conditioner- I use this for moisture.Rotate with the Mielle Mint Deep Conditioner for protein. I now vigilantly check the ingredients to identify what is protein and moisture.
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Hooded dryers and body heat have become my favourites because I have low porosity hair. My hair shaft struggles to absorb the moisture, but with a little heat- it opens up. I now only deep condition with a hooded dryer and even place a deep conditioning cap when applying my leave-in conditioners. This has made such a massive difference, my hair feels really soft and moisturised.
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Trim those ends!
Trimming is essential for healthy hair and growth because holding onto straggly ends only causes more damage and you end up losing more hair in the long run. I regularly do a light dusting and a more substantial trim every 3 months using sharp hair cutting scissors. I have learnt that trimming my hair is essential if I want those perfect twist outs and wash and go’s!
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Ingredients have played a massive role for me. Whenever I find a product my hair doesn’t like something or one that causes dryness. I turn and learn the ingredients. I recently found out that Glycerin can cause extreme dryness when it is in listed in the first 6 ingredients.
In contrast, my hair loves Aloe Vera and Lavender Extract. I use this information when finding new hair products. If Glycerin is further down in the ingredients, then I know that it won’t affect my hair. But if it is listed in the first 6 ingredients, I always proceed with caution.
But they’re some exceptions such as the African Pride Pre-Poo- due to the amazing slip for detangling this has become my go to pre-poo. However, I dislike that Glycerin is the second ingredient and I ensure I do not use a clarifying shampoo afterwards to prevent my hair from feeling completely stripped and dry. I make the sacrifice because I know I will be rinsing it out the African Pride Pre-Poo and adding a deep conditioner afterwards.
Long story short, many naturals are sensitive to protein, coconut oil and so much more. Make a list of all the products you disliked and see if they have something in common ingredients-wise.