One of the things I keep on saying to new naturals is that the basics of healthy hair care are the same regardless of your race/ethnicity or whether as a black person you have natural or relaxed hair. This was evident to me when reading Audrey Sivasothy-Davis’ latest book, Hair Care Rehab. The lady who wrote The Science of BLACK Hair wrote a book about everyone’s hair. The general message being that hair rehab can accommodate us all. I came across the video below in an email from YouTube. Based on your viewing habits and subscriptions, they recommend various videos to you. It is made by a popular hair vlogger of Asian (Korean) descent. Her YouTube handle is Rosebud143. What intrigued, fascinated and excited me is that the tips she gave are the same as those given as best practice in the natural hair community. Similarly, much of the accepted wisdom in the natural hair community comes from the Indian culture.
I have summarised the tips below:
- Avoid brushing hair wet. Wait til it is damp – Hair is weakest when it is dripping wet. Damp is better
- Minimal use of styling tools – Low manipulation is the key to growth
- Drugstore shampoos and conditioners are cheap for a reason. Sulphate and paraben free is the way to go – Harsh chemicals are not good for any hair type
- Conditioner is important – Never skip the conditioning step when washing your hair.
- Deep hair masque – Deep conditioning once in a while is a critical step to strengthening and moisturising your hair.
- Big chop to start fresh – Sometimes you just need to cut off damaged hair and start over
- Cheap flat and curling irons are cheap – Cheap styling tools may end up costing you more
- Heat protectant is necessary so that the heat sucks up product and not your hair – Protecting your hair if you use heat is very important
- Protect your hair from the sun – Many black people think protecting our hair (and skin) from the sun is not an issue. They are wrong. This is why protective styles are important
- Chlorine is your hair’s enemy – This is self explanatory
- Eat more vegetables and beans – A healthy and balanced diet is important for healthy skin and hair. Fruits and vegetables are especially critical
- Avoid alcohol, it is not good for hair – Again, what goes into your body reflects in your hair
- Don’t hang around smokers. Cigarette smoke dries hair – Apart from the smell, this is also be self explanatory
- Don’t wash daily – It isn’t necessary to wash your hair every day.
- Be patient when trying to restore health and length to your hair – Patience is a virtue
I really wanted to share this video because of the negative perception that people have that maybe naturals obsess about hair too much and the steps we take are going overboard. Hair is hair, regardless of your race and if you are black, whether your hair is natural, relaxed or locked, the basic principles of taking care of it are the same. Obviously, there are some products that work better for relaxed hair, such as certain protein treatments. Also, people with locks should not use as many heavy butters as loose haired naturals.