Natural hair has become very popular among African Americans. For the mothers who are considering moving their children over into the natural hair arena, they should consider the following hair styling tips listed in the sections below. Following these will ensure that your child has a smooth and hopefully painless transition to natural hair.
Brushing/massaging natural hair, daily, is vital to hair growth because it stimulates the scalp which stimulates blood circulation. The best way to brush the hair is to always section off the hair as many times as necessary and start at the end of hair shaft, detangling as you get closer to the scalp. If you are only massaging your scalp, there is no need to part or section of your hair.
Combing the hair daily helps to remove shedding hair and detangles the hair shafts. Detangling is always best done with a pick or a wide tooth comb. Detangling can also be done without a comb. To do so, gently separate the hair and detangle from the ends all the way up to the roots, preferably while the hair is wet and/or saturated with conditioner. Daily detangling helps to keep knots from forming at the ends of the hair which can result in hair breakage.
Keep It Moisturized
Hair that is very kinky is usually the driest of all Black hair types which is why you must choose a high quality hair moisturizer. Investing in a hair steamer is also a way to assist in keeping hair moisturized.
A humidifier is a tool that I have used. My sister and I slept with a humidifier in our rooms for years. It not only worked wonders for keeping our hair moisturized but also assisted in keeping our breathing regulated and lessening mucus build-up. We both had severe asthma and the humidifier kept fresh moisture in the air. The humidifier also assisted in keeping our skin fresh and hydrated.
Wash Natural Hair Weekly
This may be a daunting task for some but it is necessary. Natural hair should be washed at least once per week. Also, a shampoo that provides high levels of hydration is key. Allow your child’s hair to hang down while focusing on their scalp. Use your fingertips (not nails) to massage their scalp.
Some conditioners can be used as a styling cream for curls. The thicker the consistency, the better. By adding a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil or Castor Oil to a palm-full of your regular conditioner you will have increased moisturizing benefits. Some naturals prefer not to wash weekly, but instead to wash every other week, or monthly because they say that shampooing too often will dry out their hair and co-washing doesn’t effectively clean it.
Use A Hair Oil Daily
The child’s hair must be oiled every day or every other day depending on the product and how much oil your child’s hair absorbs. Products with natural oils, olive oil, coconut oil, and tea tree oil are best suited to provide the necessary moisture for natural hair.
To Cut Or Not
If you do not want to cut your child’s hair in order to transition them into going natural then don’t. In the meantime you have the choice of styling their hair in twists or braids while the relaxer grows out.
When styling, consider using a dime size worth of hair milk on damp hair. Also, aloe vera gel is a great product to use to slick back natural hair into a pony-tail.
Here is a list of tools used in styling and caring for natural hair:
• Snag-Free/Ouchless ponytail holders
• Wide tooth comb or pick
• Rat tail comb for straight parts (optional)
• Natural bristle brush
• Moisturizing Conditioner
• Clarifying Conditioner (for heavy duty washes)
• Hydrating shampoo (If you decide to use shampoo)
• Daily Moisturizer for comb outs
• Light natural oils
• Cream hair moisturizer
Just remember, it is a transitioning process for the both of you.