It is my three year natural hair anniversary !!! My Nappiversary! I am super excited, not because of changes in length, but because I have enjoyed my natural hair journey so much. I have enjoyed the journey this year more than I did the last two years. 2016 is the year I consciously decided to take great care of my hair as well as to enjoy the journey. This is the year I started this platform not only to inspire someone, but also to keep me grounded and focused in my hair care routines. I am happy because I can see a tremendous change in my hair 🙂 (see the comparison below)
What did I do different?
There are a number of things that I did this year with regards to hair care, that I had completely ignored last year:
1. I stopped chasing length and simply enjoyed the journey
I have learnt that to grow your natural hair and to enjoy the journey is a conscious decision. It is not always about length, what is length without good volume? I left my hair open for the better part of this year so that I can work on my volume, and as seen in the image above, my hair volume has improved, right? I also left it open so that I could try out different styles and experience the versatility of natural hair. I tried out bantu knots which were my go-to every week style, simple twist outs, high puffs, curlformers and even flat twists. You can watch the videos and subscribe to my channel. With every new look, I fell deeper in love with my hair. If you love something, you automatically take care of it. You will actually stop whining about how hard it is to take care of your natural hair. It is all in the mind. So go easy and enjoy the journey 🙂
2. I pre-pood my hair before washing.
I have learnt the importance of prepooing my hair and I can honestly admit that this simple step has made a difference to my hair. I simply used coconut oil and you can see how exactly i prepoo here and read on the benefits of prepoo here.
3. Deep Conditioning my hair
Last year I totally ignored deep conditioning my hair and this was a major setback in terms of growing healthy hair. This year I religiously did it using my deep conditioner and when it completely ran out, I was so keen on blending a few kitchen products. (Videos coming up soon.) I deep conditioned my hair at least twice a month and am happy with the final results i.e. healthier hair.
4. I formulated my hair regimen and followed it religiously.
I had read and researched about the importance of a hair regimen and I had to try it out. Read here on the products I have been using throughout the year with a little adjustments here and there. Please note that your regimen does not have to be exactly like mine, you can always find out what works best for your hair.
5. Heena and ACV Treatment
Once in every two months, I would mix heena with my treatment and two table spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. This strengthened my hair and protected it from falling off when combing (as it was open throughout). This also really helped to restore my hair’s PH as I used to use lots of products (esp curling creams) to try out the different hairstyles.
6. Final Cold Water Rinse
Whooooop! This took guts. After washing my hair with water, a final cold water rinse always followed. This is important because it opens up your pores and revitalizes your strands.
7. Kitchen Products
I was advised by one of my readers to substitute some of my processed products with natural products. I tried it out!! I substituted my Tropical Coconut Hair Oil with the Kentase 100% virgin coconut oil and did the same with Olive Oil. I know I said I hated the smell of coconut oil but I love the scent of the virgin coconut oil better than the processed one.
Other kitchen products that I use on my hair include:
Aloe Vera Juice: has numerous benefits (deserves a whole post) 😉 But top on the list is that it promotes hair growth, reduces dandruff and leaves my hair smooth and shiny.
Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is very good for restoring your natural hair curl patterns. Although I didn’t like the smell that comes with it, I loved how my hair looked and felt after the twenty minute treatment.
Honey : which softened my hair. It also has antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. It also improves the health of your hair follicles.
8. Satin bonnet
I actually invested in a satin bonnet. I got one at Super Cosmetics early this year and unfortunately just the other day I went to check for them again and they are out of stock. I hope they restock soon. Taking care of your natural hair when you go to bed is very important because you want to reduce loss of hair through friction. So invest in a satin scarf, satin bonnet or if you are on to wake up and find yourself with none of these still on (like me ;-)) Just invest in a satin pillow case. This is a good hair practice that will take you a long way.
9. Hair Practices over hair products
I think this is the most important advice I would give anyone in the natural hair journey. Over the year, very many people have been asking me about products I use or what I think of certain products. Products are important; but not as important as good hair practices. By this I mean prepooing, deep conditioning , sleeping at night with satin bonnets etc. Give your hair the time it deserves. Be diligent with good hair practices. I learnt that I could use the cheapest product and still get awesome results (especially when I am broke).
What are my plans for the next phase?
I plan to do more protective styles for the next six months. Keeping your hair open has it’s downfalls and the major setback is that your ends are prone to more damage. You have to be extremely careful and zealous when protecting the ends. I have been quite merciless with split ends and I chop them off immediately!!
So for the next few months, watch out for more videos on protective styles and remember to subscribe here so that you do not miss out 🙂 I intend on doing deep conditioning before installing any protective styles. If possible, I will also try out a few hair strengthening vitamins. I will do follow up posts on these.
What have you done differently this year that has worked for your natural hair? Do share your thoughts with me below and subscribe for more posts.
Thank you so much for stopping by and journeying with me so far. Let’s embrace our natural hair so that we can enjoy.
Top made by Phoebe Eileen
Skirt made by Amanda Fashions
Photography : Micheke