I love getting mails, tweets, comments from you guys! By all means, keep them coming. I’ve noticed that the past couple of months, I’ve received mails and messages with similar issues and questions so I thought it best to tackle them collectively. If you’re having issues with your hair and would like my advice, please read this thoroughly. I’m not a hair professional so the advice I’m giving you stems from what I’ve read and personally experienced.
1. I just cut my hair/about to cut my hair but I don’t know what to do.
- Styles: Depending on when you cut your hair, it might still be too short to style. My My Styles page has photos of my different styles, from my baby afro days too. I’m also doing a timeline blog post series where I summarise my monthly experiences as well as styles. Then of course there’s my YouTube channel where I show you how I do my styles.
- Products: Please use my Products I Use blog post as a guideline. My suggestion is to experiment
as we all have different heads of hair. What works for me might work for
you – perfect! But if it doesn’t, please feel disheartened and try
something else. Don’t stick to something if it’s causing your hair to dry/break/smell funny etc.
- Routine: Same as above, don’t limit yourself. Try something, if it doesn’t work, move on to the next thing. I found my routine by trial and error and adjusting things to suit my schedule, lifestyle, hair needs and goals. If washing your hair once a week leads to dry hair, try every other week. Many naturals find shampoo too drying so they opt to co-wash instead (using conditioner) and it works for them. I use gel regularly and if I only co-wash, my hair gets gunky so I wash with shampoo. My routine changes during winter because it’s colder and drier. Trial and error. Find your routine and adjust it accordingly.
2. My hair’s so tough I can’t even comb it.
If you have hair that hurts when you comb it dry, stop combing it dry. This was the single best tip I found online and it changed my relationship with my hair forever. Fro is a different beast when I comb it dry as opposed to when I conditioner comb it. Trust me. Some ladies are blessed with hair that doesn’t break combs when it’s dry. Mine does – hence the introduction to relaxer at age 8. Throw out any fine tooth combs. They’re not our fros’ friends. Our hair is very curly and every point the hair bends is a breaking point so it’s very fragile. Fine tooth combs don’t have much space to let your coily hair shaft pass though smoothly so are likely to break it instead.
Use a wide tooth comb, smack on conditioner and comb your hair in sections tackling the ends first and working your way upwards to reduce breakage. If your hair is damp, it gives it more elasticity and easier to comb through provided it doesn’t have any knots. It’s a myth that we need to comb our hair everyday or at all. Some naturals just use their fingers to detangle and that’s enough. I comb my hair once a week, no lie. And I never do it unless I have conditioner on. So I wash my hair, put my deep conditioner mix on, finger detangle then comb it in sections with a shower comb. You’ll see in my videos that the only time a comb touches my hair during the week is to blend in the scalp gaps my evening mabutu (chunky braids/matuta) create. By then, I’ve spritzed and stretched my hair so it doesn’t hurt. I can’t stress enough how this has helped me and my hair. We don’t fight over this anymore.
3. My hairline is thinning, what can I do to restore it?
I haven’t had much experience with a thinning or receding hairline. The only time my hairline was in real trouble was the last time I relaxed my hair. But many women who write to me do. Kavuli of Good Hair Diaries wrote a great blog post about this issue. Please read it here for the causes and tips to combat it. You could also benefit by booking a consultation with her. She’ll be in Joburg from Feb. 1 – 3. Mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. What’s your routine and what do you use on your hair?
Every week: Shampoo + deep condition for at least 1 hour with Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner & Vatika oil over
the weekend. Detangle with shower comb and deep conditioner on. After rinsing, spritz my daily spritz and massage lemon butter onto hair and scalp. Braid mabutu/matuta while
Everyday: Spritz with daily spritz twice; once in the morning
before undoing braids, once in the evening before re-doing
braids/twists. Make sure to spritz some onto scalp to keep it
moisturised. Massage zesty lemon butter onto scalp and hair after undoing braids in the mornings.
The products I use, where to buy them and their prices can be found in this blog post.
5. Please share more photos of when your hair was shorter.
I cut my hair in May 2011 and documented it on my blog before it went public. Those posts are still there and you can see them by choosing the relevant months in the blog archive (right column of blog). Months of May 2011 – May 2012 show my first year of being natural so those posts are best to see when it was shorter. I’m also currently doing retrospective posts summarising my time being natural. They can be found on my Natural Timeline page.
I hope that all helps!