Finally, you finished getting ready to pack up all your stuff to head off to the next exciting chapter of your life. You have your bed set, your dorm decorations, the 24 pack of ramen noodles that you’ll probably eat at three in the morning, and even the giant water bottle you decided to bring to keep your water intake up throughout the semester. You think everything is set as you look at the mountain of things piled up in the corner of your room.
Then you remember, you have another person to take care of– your hair.
I don’t know about you, but I personally named my afro Poof. Sometimes she shrinks and goes away, while other times she wants to imitate Diana Ross. If you struggle with crazy shrinkage like I do, you know exactly what I mean when I say: it’s the worst.
However, despite this, I absolutely love my natural hair, and I’m even more in love with the fact that my mom never put the “creamy crack” in my hair. For those who don’t know, the “creamy crack” is also known as a relaxer. A relaxer breaks down the hair shaft to loosen up a person’s natural curl pattern in order to achieve a sleek, straight look. Unfortunately, a lot of people have experienced hair loss due to constant relaxing, and manipulating the already fragile hair with heat tools such as blow dryers, and flat irons.
Of course, some women have had amazing results with their straight hair, but the “big chop” started to become popular when people became sick of looking at their dead hair, or may just wanted to embrace their natural hair. You may fall into this category, and I’ll definitely say that you need a lot of confidence to do such a big move. I’m cheering you on, fellow natural!
Some of you may not know where to start in your journey, so for those who are either going off to college, you’re in college, or just confused, here’s five tips to help you out!
Do NOT become a product junkie. You aren’t sponsored, you have to actually pay for it.
Now is not the time to go through your product junkie phase and buy every item that says “for natural hair” plastered on the label. You will go overboard, and your bank account will hate you. I know, you’re watching many youtubers raving about how great a product is, and how it makes their hair shiny and soft. But be realistic– you’re a college student. You most likely don’t have a lot of space to have a mini hair salon in your room, and you probably don’t have the money for it either. Natural hair care products can be extremely pricey, and can really add up over time.
Remember those little stores your mom used to take you to get hair grease?
No, you don’t need to shop at Target, Sally’s, and other well known stores in order to find natural hair products. You know that shop that sells wigs, braiding hair, barrettes, and all the stuff your mom/dad/ guardian used to get for you when you were little? It’s time to take a trip back there. Stores like Target and CVS tend to hike up the prices a lot more, because many people tend to get their hair care and beauty stuff from there. What might be $6.00 at your local CVS, might be $3.00 at that wig shop down the road from you. Of course, if Target, CVS, or any other store is closer to you, then I would say shop there. But don’t overlook those small hair care stores either. If that small store doesn’t have what you need, try Amazon.
IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.
I cannot emphasize this enough: If you have a solid hair care routine that works for you already, don’t go out of your way to try new hair products. Your hair won’t lie, and if you don’t see the effects now, you will soon. You don’t need 12 different products to take care of your hair. Simplicity is key.
Don’t. Forget. Your. Ends.
Think of split ends as toxic friends. The longer you keep them, the worse you’ll feel. The same rule goes or your hair: the longer you keep them in order to keep your length, the more they’ll travel up your hair shaft.The more they travel up your hair shaft, will result in some major breakage and shedding. It’ll break your heart more seeing those dead ends hanging onto dear life when you’re finally starting to see new growth. What’s worse, is when your hair starts splitting at the same rate that your hair grows at. Invest in some hair shears (put those craft scissors down NOW), and trim when needed. You don’t hair to trim your ends on a schedule, but if the ends look like they need to go…let them go.
Be patient, everyone gets different results at different times.
I personally learned this the hard way. Hair vitamins can only do so much for you, and it isn’t a quick fix. People have slower growth rates than others, and some simply may just have faster hair growth rates. Remember this: the straighter your hair is, the easier it is for sebum to travel down the hair shaft. The wavier/curlier your hair is, the drier it tends to be due to the sebum not being able to travel down the hair shaft as quickly. Also, take into consideration your hair’s porosity. A person who has low porosity hair may not have to moisturize as often, because their hair tends to repel moisture, versus someone who has high porosity hair. High porosity hair tends to absorb moisture a lot quicker, which is why many of the people who fit into that category need to use heavier oils and sealants to lock in the moisture they put in. (ex: grease, shea butter, mango butter, castor oil.). Density also has a major role in this as well, and how coarse, or fine your hair is.
***Fun fact: The reason why your hair is the way it is, is because of how your hair follicle is shaped. Think of it as an icing bag nozzle. The more circular the nozzle is, the smoother the icing will come out. The sebum has an easier path to travel down, hence, why straight hair tends to become greasier a lot quicker. The more oval/elliptical shaped the nozzle is, the less uniform the icing will come out. The sebum now has a path to travel down in order to reach the hair shaft, which can take a very long time. Hence, why we have moisture to aid in this process.
To explain further, here’s a video and link explaining everything I typed:
Products I actually use: (Majority of the products I use are under $10, so it is budget friendly.)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $4.12: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015ONU4JE/ref=twister_B08C55DL46?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Jamaican Black Castor Oil, $7.59 (MAKE SURE THAT IT WASN’T TREATED WITH SALT.):
Rosemary Essential Oil, $9.95:
Peppermint Essential Oil, $5.99 (Highly Recommended):
Tea Tree Essential Oil, $6.99: https://www.amazon.com/Tree-100-Therapeutic-Grade-Essential/dp/B00QJCFWSI/ref=sr_1_7?crid=V14KLANE8PA6&dchild=1&keywords=tea+tree+oil&qid=1598997960&sprefix=tea+tree%2Caps%2C178&sr=8-7
(I mix the Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Olive Oil, and essential oils in a bottle together, Essential Oils are entirely optional. I use about 20 drops of each oil, and use an 8 oz applicator bottle. I eyeball the measurements of the olive oil, and castor oil.)
Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave in Conditioner, $11.59:
DOO GRO Mega Long Hair Vitalizer, $5.77:
DOO GRO Mega Thick Hair Vitalizer, $6.29:
Sulfur 8 Medicated Hair & Scalp Conditioner, $5.69:
(I mix Sulfur 8, Mega Thick & Mega Long together in a bowl.)
Wash Day Products:
Doo Gro Mega Thick Shampoo, $6.29 (Highly Recommended):
Aussie 3 Minute Moisture Miracle (Highly Recommended, comes in bulk):
Rice Water, $0.00:
The cabinet. Preferably brown rice.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to recommend this article to other struggling college students, soon to be college students, or someone that may just be struggling with finding what’s right for them! Also, you might wanna check my bio soon, there’s a slight chance that a video might be happening on this article soon ;)
In case I don’t see you again, good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight.