Top 3 things All Newly Natural Women NEED to Know!

1. Your curls are not like hers. Get over it and focus on your hair. 

How many of us can say that we were inspired by someone else’s natural hair to start our own journey? I know I was! But don’t let inspiration lead to unrealistic expectations about your own curls. Yes, everybody knows *in my Phaedra Parks voice* that Elle Varner has fabulous curls! However, your curl pattern may or may not be like hers. Your curls may be more tightly coiled. Better yet, you may have multiple textures. Believe me, that happens.

Watch this!Lesson Learned “My Curls are not like hers!”

Now that you’re newly natural, learning your own hair texture can be exciting. Heck, why wouldn’t you want to learn it? It’s growing out of your head!

Focusing on your hair not only limits the “curl-coveting”, but it also helps you learn how to take care of your own natural hair. At the end of the day, growing healthy natural hair is what is important. If you’re constantly thinking about another woman’s curls, you can easily neglect your own.

2. Moisture is the key to success. Dry hair breaks and will feel as well as look a Hot A$ Mess.  

We’ve probably all been there. You went natural, and now you have to figure out how to keep your hair moisturized. When I first went natural, I was using olive oil as a moisturizer. Yes, straight olive oil. I would wonder why I’d wake up with oil stains on my pillowcase on some “Coming to America” ish.Don’t fret. You don’t have to make the same mistakes that I and other naturals made because there are some tried and true ways to keep your hair moisturized. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel. One of the best things you can do is moisturize your hair using a water-based product and then seal it with oil. Two great options are the SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie for moisture and Jamaican Black Castor Oil for a sealant. I can’t stress enough the importance of drinking plenty of water. Some say half your body weight in ounces. So, if you way 170 pounds, drink 85 ounces of water (approx.10 8 oz glasses) a day.

3. If you find something you like stick with it! No need to buy 5 conditioners, 6 moisturizers, and 11 oils. 

 My name is Tiffany, and I am a recovering product junky (PJ). Living in Atlanta, I’ve been to more natural hair events that I care to count. At these events, I leave with a bag full of goodies and new products to try. In the past, this fed my addiction. I’d be so excited to try a new product that my holy grail products would sometimes sit for weeks. Don’t let this happen to you. Finding what your hair likes is critical. If you’re constantly trying the latest new fad or product, you’ll end up with a lot of products that rarely get used. You may also end up with a failed hairstyle. You don’t know how your new products will interact with your old ones because not all products work well together. If you have not experienced a hair disaster yet, you are lucky! Instead, have a few products in your rotation that are part of your regimen.

How do you keep your natural hair moisturized?

About Tiffany D.

Tiffany is the creator of Natural Hair in the Media. She is always on the lookout for natural hair in commercials, advertisements, and on the runway.She currently lives in Atlanta, GA and is heavily involved in the natural hair community there. Her hobbies include traveling, writing, thrifting, working out and cooking. Check out her marketing blog dedicated to natural hair at http://www.naturalhairinthemedia.com.
  • Ty

    Help me I have been natural for 11 years and can’t figure out the dryness part I braid for a week or two and leave it…help

    • Teri

      are moisturizing daily and sealing in the moisture with an oil or butter, how often do you DC??? how much water do you drink daily…all this stuff can affect you hair.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      I have the the same questions as Teri. When your hair is braided for a week or two you still have to moisturize. Are you? I have a simple moisturizer that you can make and spray on your braids. In this video I have extensions but this can be used on your natural hair too. http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/daily-moisturizer-for-extensions/

    • queenbee9

      Dryness is often a result of hair strands not being able to obtain moisture. Before I go into a deep and involved spiel…are you questioning how to maintain your hair while braids OR is your real question how to moisturize and retain moisture so you do not have to just braid it for a week or two?

      My approach for braided hair that is in extensions or weave is to use 4 types of moisturizers all revolving around water keeping in mind 2 areas need moisture and maintenance: scalp and hair.

      A. drink plenty of water–and try to stay away from soda, coffee and tea as much as possible (they are diuretics and actually can increase dehydration) moisturize from the inside out.

      B. Go to whole foods and buy a dark empty glass bottle with a stopper (they are 3.99) you will be putting an oil blend for your scalp in there. OR buy 2 color applicator bottles from a beauty supply (around 2.00 each)

      Blend up 2 parts JBCO or CO to 1/2 olive oil and 2 T of sunflower or hemp oil–this is a mix that can readily be absorbed by your scalp apply to scalp 2X weekly or as needed. You can use other oils but be sure they are feeder or absorbable oils. (coconut, grapeseed, avocado, sunflower, murumuru, etc

      C. in the other applicator bottle, put in about 4 oz your favorite leave in and mix with wheat germ oil (about 4 T and castor oil–4T) using the nozzled end, spray your head with water then apply this mix to the new growth and run along the length of the braid.

      D. make a moisture mist for your braids–keep in mind that hair in extensions is very protected so most of the mist will not reach your actual hair but enough will to moisturize.
      The point is to keep the exposed hair moisturized, and keep your scalp pliable and healthy

      Normally, super dry hair needs more than topical treatment in braids–you need to uber moisturize BEFORE you ever put your hair in braids so in the next post I will tell you how to treat your hair strands in order to hold, receive, and retain moisture using similar products as above but being more specific–it is all in the technique!

      • queenbee9

        BEFORE you worry about butters, moisturizers, water, hair styles or anything else–let’s talk hair 101:
        Overly Porous hair cannot retain moisture. FACT. you can spray water, add condish, and oils until the cows come home–it will just seep out and evaporate out of the lifted cuticle (skin) and open areas in each strand
        Low Porosity hair cannot receive or absorb moisture. FACT It is like trying to get a rock to soak up water–ain’t gonna happen. Oils and creams will bounce off hair that is not porous enough
        Which one describes your hair? Take a shed hair and drop it into a glass of warm water–if it floats–it is not porous. If it sinks to the bottom or near the bottom it is too porous.
        Usually most have hair that is too porous. But let’s pretend you have hair that cannot get anything to stick or soak in (low porosity) After washing your hair — then you need to condition and moisturize with a heat cap or after your head has steamed to open your cuticles.
        Once the cuticles are open with something very warm like a cap, do this:
        apply water to your hair, then a feeder oil like coconut or olive oil, then apply your moisturizer (no silicones) and then apply diluted cold ACV or cold Aloe Vera juice (to close cuticles and return pH to 4.5-5.5) then finally seal with sunflower or wheatgerm oil mixed with JBCO. Do this for about 2 weeks and you will probably feel like you have a new head of bouncy,springy, happy, uber moist hair.
        If you have low porosity hair, lay off the protein. don’t use it in shampoos or condish or products and don’t give yourself protein treatments for about 8 weeks or so–if you finally do give yourself protein, be sure to use a heat cap when dc. Too much protein is like putting a rubber suit on your hair and nothing can get in or out
        Let’s talk about high porosity hair. This is damaged hair. It means your cuticle or the outside of your hair is damaged in some way and so cannot close up and keep moisture in.
        Want to know things that can damage natural hair? Too much washing. Yep.
        Water is your best friend when you use it right but can be a silent destroyer when used incorrectly. Water expands and contracts hair causing the cuticle to lift up and sometimes this lifting is up, up and away –add to that vigorous massages, and techniques that ignore certain rules of chemistry and you’ve got damaged hair that then turns into dry hair and maybe even brittle hair.
        We are going to nip this in the bud right now. Did you ever do wash and go’s?
        For high porosity girls, the FIRST thing to do is seal those cuticles up. No cracked up vessel can hold water, right?
        Only two methods can TEMPORARILY SEAL your hair –Protein treatment. Henna treatment.
        Protein treatments are dangerous. If you don’t need one, it makes a bad problem worse–so make sure that hair floated towards the bottom of the water. Protein coats the hair–it goes down into the cortex where there may be damage inside the hair shaft then it fills up gaps, and cracks and places that have missing cuticle scales. Think of it as a kind of super glue or resin for your hair strands. This filling is only temporary it washes away after about 6-8 weeks.
        You can use a straight protein treatment (be sure to follow directions) OR.. use a protein reconstructor which is easier but does not last as long because it is a conditioner mixed with the PT. Affirm 5-1 reconstructor is luscious and can temporarily do what a stronger PT does but is not as harsh. you WILL need to dc after a protein treatment.
        if protein is too harsh–try a henna gloss. Mix up the henna, put it on, leave it–it will also fill in the gaps in the hair strands the good news is unlike protein, henna does not build up so is NEVER like a rubber suit, suffocating your hair.
        You have to dc after a henna also
        Now let’s talk technique:
        ACV rinse
        LOCO routine with leave in, acidifyand seal: (LOCO): on wet hair, apply feeder oil, then conditioner (leave in) or moisturizer then seal
        When you are a person with moisture problems or a wash n Go kind of girl–PREPOO*.
        Use a feeder oil like coconut oil mix it with some condish and leave it on for at least 45 minutes or overnight whatever you like–put a plastic bag on and a little thermal cap would not be bad. Other feeder oils (easily absorbed by your hair) are castor oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, camellia oil. Keep it simple–pick one and your conditioner–leave it on then …
        2. co wash–unless you use petroleum based or mineral oil or cones, you should be able to co wash–if your hair does not feel clean, mix up 2 cups of water with 2 T ACV and rinse your hair first then co wash.
        2A.Co wash –not shampoo because even no sulfate shampoos are drying and harsh on afro textured hair. We don’t want to strip, we are going to BUILD moisture, here. Good Co washes, Tresemme Naturals, As I am coconut co wash , most conditioners can co wash–be sure they do not have silicone in them.
        The ORDER you do a technique determines its effectiveness. You don’t use a sealing oil BEFORE you moisturize. if you do, you BLOCK moisture from getting into your hair–so NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER use a sealing oil on your hair strands when your hair is dry. if you do– you have BLOCKED your hair from absorbing moisture from the outside and you gave it NO moisture on the inside when you locked in with the oil.
        don’t do it. Just …… Don’t.
        Sealing oils are : Shea butter, Wheat germ oil, Vitamin E oil, Camellia oil–these are heavy molecule oils that can block absorption therefore they are ONLY used after hair is already wet, and treated with moisturizers. Castor oil is the only oil that is both a sealing oil and a feeder oil–you can use it both times–it feeds and seals and I will have to tell you how it does it another time.
        3. After cowashing, you will dc–use your favorite dc and get under some heat to make sure it penetrates–use as directed though you can sleep overnight in a dc. My favs are Qhemet Amla and olive oil butter (yes I use it as an overnight, dc), a mix of wheatgerm oil (about 2 T and cantu shea butter),* Sleep on it (we are talking INTENSE treatments here)
        3A–next morning–rinse out the Qhemet butter and if necessary rinse with a little room temp ACV and water –you re not going for squeaky hair here–we want lush hair that is moisturized.
        4.Apply leave in (I like Jessicurls too shea moisture)
        5. With applicator bottle, apply ice cold Aloe Vera juice–this closes the cuticles and restores the acid mantle on your hair BUT we are not done.
        Take a break. I forgot to tell you this is a hair spa day.
        NOW seal in the following manner (LOCO)
        A. on your wet Aloe Veraed head: apply Qhemet Burdock root or small amt of Qhemet Amla and olive oil , on top of that apply Bee Mine Curly butter, then SEAL with a mixture of Castor oil and Wheatgerm oil let hair air dry. Wet hair as needed so that the Qhemet goes on wet hair
        LOCO APPLICATION: part hair into 4 sections, clip or tie them back. taking one section, apply the LOCO to 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch sections at a time, don’t grab large chunks–we want to coat every strand. as you apply and seal, twist or braid the hair
        Put on your satin bonnet and you are done–the next day your hair should feel soft and moist but do not be fooled–you will have to do the LOCO every day or every other day for about 2 weeks (don’t do the washing, prepoo stuff) The products I recommend will not build and leave residue.
        After 2 weeks you should have healthy, strong shiny hair–and now–I will explain the WHYS of this method:
        1. Prepoo–to fill your hair cortex with a feeder oil and conditioner so that when you wash , you will not get hygral fatigue
        2. co wash–gentler and less stripping so no moisture lost (apply in downward motion from root to ends no pile on the top of your head)
        3. DC–to help lay cuticles flat so that they can more easily close–if they are not flat then combing, brushing and even handling will rip some out–we want those cuticles to be the outside skin of your hair and to keep moisture IN not have holes due to cuticle damage
        4. Sunflower , hemp oil and Wheatgerm are powerful ceramides–they ensure strong cuticles so that they will close and help to lock in moisture
        5. feeder oils–can’t seal anything–but they can condition and soften hair–use coconut oil and olive oil and almond, grapeseed and other light oils to feed the hair FIRST but most cannot seal, they are too light–you can use them to mix with your sealer–but I don’t do this–these are also great scalp oils
        6. sealer oils–these oils block moisture in or out BUT some are humectants which is good when it is humid out BUT humectants will draw moisture out of the hair if it is very dry out–so be CAREFUL when you use them. Castor oil is a humectant–in a dry winter or dry summer I would use shea butter or wheatgerm oil or vit E oil mixed with the castor to help it stay on track
        7. LOCO–double duty moisture system–it is like a daily spa and after a while, once your kit is assembled, a head can be done in about 15 minutes. WATER ALWAYS FIRST then feeder oil, then moisturizer/conditioner then sealer oil
        THIS has been done (by me) on everything from 2b hair to 4c and it has NEVER, EVER failed to yield positive results. don’t skimp and if the Qhemet products are too expensive, try Cantu shea butter leave in and mix with your oils.
        Note–CERMIDES ARE A MUST For strong healthy cuticles–castor oil, olive oil, coconut, shea, etc are NOT ceramides. you can blend ceramide oils with other oils–on its own coconut oil can dry your hair by NOT sealing it–it is too light–since moisture is nothing except WATER and conditioners and moisturizers are just oils and other ingredients with WATER in suspension–understand that the benefits of moisture will EVAPORATE over time–sealing oils just buy time
        MOisturize daily, though after training your hair to this regimen, you may be able to go 1 or two days without moisturizing–at the very least, if you do not want to do the entire LOCO every day, spritz with DISTILLED water, then seal with a sealer oil Be sure to run the sealer oil from root to ends and don’t over use the oil–hair should feel silky not greasy.

  • kim

    I am two weeks after my BC. I am currently using Cantu leave in conditioner along with Eco gel w/ olive oil. As my daily regiment when I wash n go… but these two combinations leave my hair with a white residue on it, until it dries. Are there any other leave in conditioners that you can recommend to use with Eco gel?

    • Jerri Smith-Williams

      I bought a big Jar of Cantu leave in and it sits in my cabinet collecting dust because I noticed that it leaves a residue with almost anything I use along with it. The thick creamy leave in like Cantu and Say yes to carrots work best alone in my opinion. But I you like to use styling gels and cream go with a leave in that isnt so creamy and thick. Knot Today, The Great Detangler(Takiah Wajiid), AS I AM leave-in, are all good to use in conjuction with syling products and you wont get the residue. Another leave in that I love but its really expensive is Its a Ten (its on the non-ethnic haircair isle). It works wonders as a leave as you only spray a little bit and my hair detangles easily.

    • Toni

      Paul Mitchel The Conditioner works well with Eco gel.

    • Ann

      Honestly, the cantu leave in has been amazing for my hair, but when I used the Eco gel, that’s what gave me flacks and made my hair hard,,returned it..also, can also try Design Essentials leave in con dish..really holds moisture well, but it may do something different with your hair..good luck

      • Jewo Fahnbulleh

        Eco gel works well with Shea moisture!

  • Stephanie Miller

    I saw this girl on tv, P-Star, and that’s when I decided to go natural

  • Feyisola

    I think a picture of a woman with shorter hair would be more encouraging for an article like this. A lot of hair blogs feature women with hair all the way down their backs, and that’s why a lot of people go natural for a while, get frustrated then quit, when their hair doesn’t look the same. It takes a while to get there, and there’s lots of fun stuff to do to your hair in between. it really shouldn’t be all about length.

  • Nkem

    This is true and it also applies to those of us who do not have dense hair.I have learnt to love and care for my FTNH (fine thin natural)

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