Patience isn’t something we consider having or developing when starting a curly hair journey, normally, we’re more about the excitement. I know there is an element of being anxious, but for the most part, we’re curious and ready to pull up our sleeves and do the work. You know… the kind of enthusiasm you have when you don’t know what you’re getting into but believe you’ll succeed!?? Does this remind you of someone, or was this just me?… Well, though we want things to run smoothly and quickly I’m sure you probably know that this isn’t the case, it’s often quite the opposite. But, there are a few natural hair tips you must do to make your journey less bumpy.
One of the greatest qualities you can have in this hair journey is Patience (alongside with being consistent and committed). You gotta be patient to wait and see your hair grow even when shrinkage throws you a curve ball, you gotta be patient to find hair products that work for your hair, you gotta be patient to master a new hairstyle, you gotta be patient to accept the moodiness of your hair and so much more…. 😉
All this may sound demoralising but if you haven’t yet started your natural hair journey don’t be deterred by it. Once you get the hang of things it is totally worth it. If you’re ready to fully invest in a new approach to your curly hair care here are a few must-do tips you may not have thought about.
#1| Focus On Hair Needs
I said this countless times here on the blog, but it’s never enough because I still see people making the same mistakes. Your hair care should be focused on your hair needs, not on what someone else is using to make their curls look the way you want yours to look or your hair type/shape.
To me, finding your hair porosity is the closest you can get to finding your hair needs. Once you know this you can start building your hair regimen. Other measurements like elasticity, texture or density can also be used to inform your hair routine but are not as important, in my experience.
#2| Shampoo Your Hair
I know die-hard supporters of the co-wash will have me exorcised for saying this but shampooing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Every regimen should have a sulphate-free shampoo for regular use, a cleansing conditioner for mid-week moisture boost and a clarifying shampoo to remove all build up.
As I’ve said in the past, a co-wash won’t clean your hair properly (you can read more here and here), but it is a good mid-week solution to refresh a hairstyle or remoisturise your hair. A sulphate-free shampoo will clean your hair but won’t prevent build up on your hair over time, therefore a clarifying shampoo is also needed in your product stash, how often you use it will depend on things like how frequently you use hair butters and oils.
Oh, and by the way, I am not a big fan of soap, baking soda or AVC for cleaning your hair. With the exception of baking soda, which I definitely don’t recommend to anyone, used occasionally, the AVC and soaps are okay, but regularly they won’t clean your hair properly.
#3| Check Your Water Quality
This one may sound strange but it actually has a big impact on your hair health, how it looks and how it feels and even how products work on your hair. If your water is more on the hard side, meaning heavy in mineral content, your hair will start to feel dry and brittle as these minerals will build up on your hair and make moisture intake really hard.
This is when a good clarifying shampoo will save your hair (See!?! Make sure you have one). You need to book a hair session on your wash day calendar with this baddie once every 6 weeks or once a month (but you may need to up its use, depends on your circumstances). Have you tried this from Kinky Kurly with natural ingredients? You can also check these ones.
#4| Know Your Ingredients
With a little bit of effort, you too will be able to identify ingredients. You may want to skip this tips but his knowledge will prevent you from spending money on a bad product with good advertising or on products with ingredients that dry your curly hair out. It can also help you find products with moisturising ingredients and ingredients your hair needs to thrive or to recover from damage.
#5| Deep Condition Regularly
In the past, I’ve said you shouldn’t skip your conditioner (rinse out conditioner), however, these days my opinion has somewhat changed. A conditioner is important to close down your hair cuticles after your hair cleanser/shampoo, to give manageability and help with detangling and manipulation or to replenish moisture, oils or strengthening ingredients.
However, a good deep conditioner will do all of this and will save you an extra step and time in your hair routine. Plus, the benefits of a conditioner work mainly on the outer layer of the hair while a good deep conditioner will do everything a conditioner does while working both on outside and inner layers of the hair with longer lasting protective and regenerative effects.
All in all, if you have time for both put them to work, by all means. However, if you only have time for one, grab your deep conditioner, your hair will thank you for it! Here is a list of protein and protein free deep conditioners. What will hinder your hair journey and put you in the hair damage lane is never doing, or rarely doing, a deep conditioning session.
These are my top tips to keep you on a good track to reach your hair goals, these are the tips I find most people make mistakes or miss out. Mistakes are not bad themselves as long as you learn from them and don’t keep making them, but if I can help you avoid them you’ll have a much pleasant journey, right! 😉
Please be mindful that these tips alone are not enough to keep you out of trouble. There are other things that will make your journey easier as you get acquainted with your hair. Here are a few things:
- Stop relaxing and bleaching or colouring
- Avoid heat for styling
- Avoid Sulphates
- Do protective styles to improve moisture and length retention
- Trim regularly
- Finger detangle or use wide tooth comb