I remember the heavy smells of relaxers stinging my eyes as my mom carefully applied the product on my scalp. I remember my dad combing through my thick curls every morning and breaking an elastic here and there in an attempt to manage my hair. The kids at school thought I was a fluffy ball, sometimes using my hair as a pillow. My favorite times were when my aunt would French braid my hair and I was able to run around free of having my hair being in my face or my mom telling me to do something with it.
That was my life. It revolved around maintaining an idea of the perfect hair. Always having it in a cute style that took forever in the morning. Or the hours of straightening it and then avoiding any water or humidity that would come into contact with it. Over time, I have been developing routines to manage my hair and I think I’ve finally got the secret to beautiful hair no matter if it’s straight or curly.
- Deep conditioning once a week will make all the difference. I’ve been using Shea Moisture Rehydration treatment Masque for over 4 months now, I allow the product to sit in my hair after shampooing for more that 20 minutes (even though the packet says to leave it in for 5 minutes).
- Coconut oil is your new best friend. Coconut oil can fix some of the damage done to your hair. After frying it with a flat iron or dying my hair, soaking my hair in coconut oil all the difference. Monthly I cover my hair from roots to tip in the oil, leaving it in a shower cap (to keep from getting coconut oil everywhere) for at least an hour. It makes my often brittle and frizzy hair softer and sleek. (P.S. it also helps you grow longer hair, eyebrows and lashes.)
- Minimize the amount of heat you use in your hair. I thought straightening my hair was the fastest and most effective way to maintain my hair. It wasn’t until I started to notice the damage it was causing to my hair that I decided it was time to change that. Instead of opting for a flat iron go for a blow dryer, though it would take a lot longer the damage to your hair will be greatly reduced.
- Find products that best suit your hair type and are organic. I’m a big fan of Shea Moisture, who’s products are said to be 100% natural as well as sulfate and paraben free. Harsh chemicals often do more damage than good, so opting for organic or natural products will help keep your hair healthy.
- Don’t wash your hair often. Okay so this one might sound gross and you’re probably thinking I’m absolutely insane but hear me out. Washing your hair will only cause your hair to produce more oils to make up for the ones you lost. Instead opt for a cold rinse (with no shampooing) to rinse off any sweat or build up of products. I only shampoo my hair once a week to keep the natural oils in my hair, I probably rinse my hair 3 times a week and use a light amount of conditioner to detangle my hair. Once you manage to get your hair used to this routine your body will slow down on producing oils.
- Regular trims are a must. Removing the dead hair will make it look and feel healthier. It’ll help your curls retain more bounce and will remove split ends . Over all there is no scientific fact that cutting your hair will make it longer but it will certainly keep it looking better than it was before.
Remember that these are some of my tips, not everyone’s hair is the same or will react the same way. It’s taken me a long time to find out what really works for my hair so don’t be afraid to try new products and see what works best for you.