Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Going natural

I've been reading "Going Natural: how to fall in love with nappy hair," by Mireille Liong-A-Kong. From what I've read so far, I'm already following many of her recommendations: getting away from commercial products and replacing them with such naturals ingredients as shea butter, olive oil, and aloe; wrapping my hair in a silk scarf at night; and keeping my hair well-moisturized. She recommends the Curly Girl "no-poo" method of washing your hair with conditioner that I'm also doing. And she also differs, as I do, with the Curly Girl method of not combing your hair--she emphasizes that gentle de-tangling is essential.

She has a few recommendations that I need to start doing. First, she recommends regular deep conditioning, at least once every two weeks. I found a recipe online that I'll try: 1 c. mayo, 1/2 avocado, 2 T coconut oil blended together and applied to the head. Cover with a shower cap and warm towel, and let it absorb for 20-30 minutes and then rinse and wash well.

She also recommends keeping the scalp clean between washes, since most black women shouldn't wash their hair frequently. Her suggestion is to apply witch hazel with a cotton ball to the scalp to clean it, and jojoba oil to moisturize the scalp between washes. Jojoba oil closes matches the sebum that is naturally found in the hair. I think I need to do this once a week, about halfway between washes.

A few more things: she says that if you're not willing to chop off all your relaxed hair at once (which I'm not!), then at some point the two textured part natural/ part relaxed hair on your head will become very difficult to manage, usually between the third and sixth month. At that point, you should wear your hair in braids or twists until it grows out enough to cut off the remaining relaxed hair. I can braid and twist, but not that well, so I need to find someone in Tacoma who can help me with this.

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