So today's blog post come from a good friend of mine. Her name is Elise and she has a travel blog where she talks about all her wonderful adventures. She is always doing some immensely cool stuff so check her out.
She wanted to talk about hair and how she manages hers. I found it quite interesting as I have very different hair to her so I hope you all enjoy reading it too.
I am not my hair
As true as this statement is, we cannot deny how important our hair is to us, I bet most of you have had a bad hair experience, and felt awful as a result. This blog entry will give you an inside look at my ‘hair journey’ that many of us fro’s face!
Me, with my naturally afro hair grew up feeling like I had one of these ‘bad hair experiences’ every day. Since I was a kid I absolutely hated my natural hair, on my Christmas wishlist every year was ‘straight hair’. An historical and sociological view of afro hair is that as slaves, black people aspired to have straight hair in an attempt to gain better treatment, acceptance and because straight hair was the epitome of European beauty. At 5 years old, I didn’t know slavery had even existed, I just couldn’t understand why I had such ‘awful’ hair and my friends didn’t.
Fast forward to me at 13 years of age-where I had spent every day with the same hair style as my Caucasian Mum knew little about my hair type- a random schoolboy made a snide comment to me; ‘are you a boy or a girl?’. Despite my awareness that he was just being horrid and his comment was completely unfounded I spent the next 7 years compensating for my hair. I tried braids, braids with extentions, microbraids, weaves, relaxers and curly perms- anything that hid my own hair! I wouldn’t leave the house with my natural hair and I certainly wouldn’t let any of my friends see me natural!
A new goal sprang up on my ‘life wish list’ though; ‘love my natural hair’.
10 years on and I can say I truly accept, embrace and love my hair; the natural hair journey can be a long process but it is so special to women because it is not just about hair, it is about confidence, difference, acceptance and identity. We know that without confidence our whole outlook on life can be skewed, and, if your confidence is affected depending on your hairstyle then I think that is a cause for concern, no? Having a fro and looking different to most people can be daunting mainly because, as humans we probably care too much about what people think. We should accept our hair and embrace the identity that it portrays to the world. You have to make sure YOU love your hair otherwise what anyone else thinks will have too much of an impact on your self perception.
My hair regime
- Every 2 weeks I use a protein treatment as a pre-poo (nothing to do with the nasty business, this means treatment before shampooing!).
- My fave is ‘Organic Root Stimulator: Hair Mayonnaise’.
- Why? It is important to put protein on afro hair as the outer layer of your hair becomes weakened easily from chemicals such as hair dye, relaxers and hair products. The protein keeps it strong and helps to prevent breakage.
- Every week I use a deep conditioner for 1 hour or 3...this is essential for my dry hair.
- My faves are ‘Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle’, ‘Kerastraight Maintain Conditioner’ and Lush Cosmetics ‘Retread’ and ‘Marylin’.
- Why? All of these contain various, luscious natural ingredients which my hair loves. Hot oil treatments such as ‘VO5 Hot Oil Treatment’ are great every couple of weeks, or you can go homemade and heat up coconut oil or olive oil on the stove and leave in for a few minutes. Heating your hair opens up the cuticles and lets all the goodness of these oils into your hair, great for low porosity hair.
- Every day I have to put product in my hair either for moisture or for style.
- My most useful are ‘Unrefined Shea Butter’ and ‘Palmers Coconut Oil Formula’ (mainly for twist outs and braid out hair styles), any product that has a decent amount of these ingredients should do wonders for your hair as they are renowned for being natural moisturisers and hair sealants, protecting your hair from styling and the environment.
- My bargain buy is ‘Boots Ingredients Coconut and Almond Leave in Conditioner’ this is great for everyday moisture, the bottle can easily fit in your bag and be spritzed on your hair to top up on that moisture, plus the smell is divine!
- My ultimate hair product is ‘Naked Style Miracle Worker Leave in Conditioner’ also found in Boots, it is sulphate and silicone free, 97% natural ingredients including argan oil, with a gorgeous smell! But most importantly it helps define my curls after a wash and go (essentially getting hair wet in the shower, applying product and going...).
- My natural go to is ‘coconut oil’ for the LCO method like this- Liquid: water, Cream: leave in conditioner, Oil: coconut oil.
- My big spender is definitely ‘Morccon Hair Oil’ it adds shine to my hair I guess, but really I just love the scent, I wish they made it into a perfume!
- Embarking on the natural hair journey is great but don’t get caught up in too many ‘do’s and don’ts’ if something works for your hair, stick with it despite what other fro’s are saying!
- Saying that, I personally avoid ingredients such as sulphates, silicones, petroleum (SP?!), alcohol and try to stick to all natural ingredients especially shea, coconut, olive oil, jojoba and argan oil.
- Always look at the ingredients of your hair products, the first five are the main ingredients but some packaging can say ‘all shea butter!’ and in fact it’s last on the list!
- It’s important that the first ingredient in any hair product is aqua, because when you have dry hair you need water based products for moisture! (sick of that word yet?)
- READREADREAD everything about owning that fro. Is your hair type 3a or 4c? Is your hair porosity low, medium or high? This should dictate your whole hair regime.
- Do take inspiration from everything and always experiment! youtube, blogs, celebrities, magazines, fro’s on the street; inspiration can be found everywhere and adapted to YOUR hair type.
- It’s completely OK to get hair envy as long as you do not compare your hair to others; you really gotta accept everything about your hair, we all have different growth rates, hair types, porosity, shine and curl patterns. Just do you.
- Do smile politely when that middle aged man asks ‘have you been electrocuted?’ If someone makes a negative comment about the fro, are you gonna care? No girl, you are not!
- Most importantly, if you admire someone’s fro, always make sure you compliment them ;)
Thank you so much for writing this post Elise. I hope you all liked it. :)
P.S - this is the first guest post on my blog so if it something you want to see a bit more off let me know! :)
Labels: Afro Hair, Elise St Hill