An ‘august’ visitor paid me a visit a few days ago, though this was a repining visit, thank heavens it had a happy ending. I was going through office mails on this faithful day when ‘ African natural hair’ walked into my office looking dejected, forlorn, pitiful and all other adverbs you could use to describe a ‘dejected’, ‘forlorn’ and ‘pitiful’ being. For some reason, I felt this twitch of guilt I couldn’t explain so I closed my computer and asked ‘natural hair’ to sit and pour her heart out to me.
It was a very lengthy episode about all the ways ladies mistreat and neglect her even though she’s been with them before they were born; she longed to be cared for like her sisters in Brazil, Peru and India and she had some choice words for ‘synthetic hair’.
After she was done talking, I asked for her forgiveness, first of all, and asked how the council of ladies could appease her. With a hopeful smile on her face, she responded that all she needed was tender, loving, care. No better person to take care of her than the one on whose head she lies. She might never turn out to be like her Peruvian sisters but she can be a perfect complement to them and when you need your head to breathe, she won’t let your looks down.
One of her requests was that the council of ladies take care of her by agreeing to:
- Eat healthy and maintain good hygiene so she gets sufficient supply of protein and vitamins in order to look luscious. Give her some time to show off her new brilliance.
- Wash at least once a week (she wanted thrice a week but I talked her into once a week). When natural hair stinks, every other person perceives it but you.
- Use quality shampoo. Try shampoos made from natural ingredients that do not contain parabens and sulphates. Also dry hair needs shampoo with glycerin to restore moisture. Test shampoo to see if it suits your natural hair before going for it in full swing or you can ask a hair specialist to recommend one based on hair texture.
- Use conditioners that come with balanced ingredients and apply it all over your head and let it stay for a few minutes before you wash it off.
- Dab your hair with a clean towel, comb with a big-toothed comb and let me dry naturally. If you can, try not to use a blow-dryer but if you do, set it to the lowest temperature to keep hair strong and bouncy.
- If you are going to wash in a salon, please take your own clean towels, combs and the shampoo that works for your hair. I suggest you get a salon kit to avoid picking up hair infections from other customers.
- Get a trim regularly to get rid of split ends. You can ask your stylist to trim for you.
- Give hair and scalp soft massage with Shea butter or coconut oil.
- Treat and dye natural hair occasionally if you must. She does not like to be over-processed.
- You can perm or use a straightener but not too often as this makes her weak.
- Use relaxer to soften hair not more than four times a year.
- Steam hair under low heat two weeks after using relaxer.
- Give her some me-time. Take her to the beach and let her loose to breathe.
PS: ‘Natural hair’ would like to appreciate all the hair stylists who give her gentle care before she gets covered up the wigs and extensions.