The Importance of Protective Styling
African natural hair knots and tangles like it’s going out of fashion. This can cause a lot of distress on top of the breakage and tangling. Matted hair can be difficult to detangle but one of the safest ways to deal with the problem is to use a detangler – and there’s a lot of diy detangler recipes on the hair-net (get it? internet).
Here’s a good DiY recipe for you to try when dealing with matted and tangled hair (before washing):
The Easiest Detangler Mix
4 tbs conditioner (any conditioner without sulphates)
100 ml water (filtered or previously boiled and cooled)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs coconut oil (liquid)
Mix ingredients in a spray (not mist) bottle and use the mix to work through the tangles (in sections). If you have kinky type 4c hair like I do (like most of us do in ZA) then you’ll want to twist your hair and wash it in twists or in sections … otherwise it’ll get tangled AGAIN.
The aim is to leave your hair alone as much as possible, so after wash day, it’s important to choose a protective style that can last at least a full week until your next wash day. I like to do mini-twists and keep them for about 2 weeks (with a wash and treatment when it’s due without taking the twists down).
Also it’s important to know what kind of protective styles work with your hair and scalp. I personally like thick, chunky braids (4 to 6 large braids) but my hair and scalp thrive on twists. I cannot effectively moisturize my hair or scalp when I have the braids on no matter how soft I make them but my hair feels and looks moisturized in twists. It seems that my scalp and hair do not thrive in any sort of tight environment … and so, no matter how lazy I get, I’ve promised myself and my hair that I’ll do chunky twists if I have to.
Washing type 4 hair
It took time for me to realize that my 4c hair was slightly over the TWA (teeny weeny afro) stage and I spent a lot of time frustrated and sad about the state of my hair because it was breaking so much. My hair was coarse and dry as though I didn’t put any moisture on it. I discovered that part of the cause was that I was treating my hair like it was still tiny and so as short as it was, it tangled and broke often – my scalp (especially in the crown area) was always tender and itchy and that where I experienced most of the breakage. Overtime I learned to wash my hair differently, I started washing my hair in twists and even though I was worried that I wasn’t going to get all the gunk out, I actually managed because the most important part of cleansing or washing is to cleanse the scalp as the shampoo will pass through the strands and clean them anyway. So I started noticing a difference in the way my hair behaved when washed in twists, and I started seeing a difference in length – which could only mean that my hair was growing… Of course, I didn’t know then that hair is always growing during its “growing phase” but I was so happy with the change that I started building a hair care regimen that is specifically made to deal with the problems I had…. and so TBC Naturals didn’t just come out of crack in the earth (pun intended), it came through a lot of research, trial and error and when I moved from “damaged natural” to “healing natural” my heart actually sang. I heard it.
A hair care regimen / routine that works and is consistent will do wonders for your hair health because there’s no product on earth that can reverse permanent damage to your scalp and hair. And for me, please keep in mind that hair extensions are styles that can be used to protect your natural hair, they shouldn’t be treated as though they’re more important – my point is, do not sacrifice your hairline just because you want to keep tiny braids for 8 months. That is not good for your hair especially when you’re not washing or treating your own hair with the extensions on.
Do yourself a favor and learn more about your natural hair and of course, stay tuned to these little info bits from us – we save real hair-lives, every single day…
Join our natural hair growth support groups (Facebook + Whatsapp), the details are on the FB group.
TBC Naturals | For your natural Crown