By Choya Randolph
Going natural can be intimidating. For many of us, that creamy crack, AKA a relaxer, is all we know. So once you’ve done the big chop, you may think “What now?” When you start doing research, it can be overwhelming. You start seeing things about different hair types, porosities, essential oils and an overload of products that some naturals will take to the grave and others would rather want destroyed. The beginning of the natural hair journey is experimenting to find what works for you. If you don’t know what kind of products you should be buying, don’t worry. I gotchu sis!
Shampoo and Conditioner
I know this seems obvious but when it comes to natural hair, you can’t just use any shampoo or conditioner. When looking for a shampoo, look for shampoos that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils. Kinky hair tends to be drier than straight hair because our natural hair oils struggle to coat all of our curls and coils. Using a basic shampoo may have your hair feeling PARCHED. To avoid that, use gentle shampoos.
When it comes to conditioners, us naturals don’t just condition, we deep condition. Deep conditioners go that extra mile to replenish the hair’s molecular layer leading to thicker and healthier hair. When deep conditioning, leave it in your hair for 20-30 minutes then wash it out. Do not leave deep conditioners in your hair for long periods of time. Wash it out then get ready to LOC.
If you haven’t heard of the LOC method, it’s an ideal way for naturals to moisturize our hair. It’s an acronym that stands for liquid, cream, and oil. The acronym also represents the order you use your products which means using a leave-in conditioner, cream, then an oil. Because the L in LOC stands for liquid, you can use water but for maximum moisture, a leave-in conditioner may be your best bet. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what conditioner, oil, or cream you use. As a new natural, this is your time to explore.
When going natural, you may see a lot of naturals with defined coils and curls. However, when looking at your afro, you may be wondering “Where my curls at?” Just because you don’t see your curls, doesn’t mean you don’t have them. This just means that it’s time for gel. Gels can define your curls by enhancing what’s already there. If you notice your curl definition disappears once your hair dries, gel can also preserve your natural curl pattern while even hydrating your hair. If you want to go the organic and cheap route, you can make your own gel.
Going natural is a journey that is yours and yours alone. It’s easy to compare your journey with those with longer hair and looser textures but that’s not the point of going natural. Wearing your natural hair is taking pride in your genetics and loving yourself. So rock that crown sis!