Taming the Mane

Story and Photos by Mylachi Moore

MARCH 16, 2017: Hair is lovely. It can be big, bushy, coily, colored, curly, kinky, locked, long, matted, nappy, small, straight, tall, wavy and, how could I forget, hard to manage. Hair at its natural state with no perms and no heat takes a lot of tender love and care in order to stay healthy. There is a lot of washing, oiling, moisturizing, and styling involved. Despite all the stress it takes to manage your natural hair it can all be worth it when you see it grow and how well your curl pattern has developed.

First things first...when learning how to care for your natural hair, it is imperative that you learn how to wash your hair. Everyone has different wash routines and different methods that they use in order to insure that their hair is nice and clean. I personally find that washing your hair in sections allows you to clean your hair more. It's not only about how you wash your hair but the products that you use. It is important when washing your hair with shampoo that you choose a brand that provides sulfate-free shampoo such as Cantu. The bad thing about sulfate is that it strips your hair of essential oils. I find that deep conditioning at least once a month is a key point when dealing with my hair.

If you have a tight curl pattern, you might notice that your hair seems to be dry a lot. It is up to you to find a way that works for you when it comes to keeping your hair nice and moisturized. The leave-in-conditioner, oil, and cream (LOC) method works wonders. No matter what products you use, you are guaranteed to have moisturized hair. It would behoove you to use the LOC method after you've had a good wash to avoid product build up on your scalp. First, you would separate your hair in order to detangle it. After you've sectioned off the part you want to twist, add some leave-in-conditioner and rake it through. Once you've done this, apply your oil and then your cream to seal in the oil and then you twist. After you've done this to your entire head, let it dry and whenever you're ready you can take the twist down.

The LOC method leaves your hair fully moisturized for the rest of the week and I myself repeat this process about 2-3 times a month.

Another key point in taking care of your hair is to give it time off. You can put your hair in protective styles such as braids, twist, cornrows and more to allow it to grow without any type of manipulation.

You must cut your dead ends—let them go. There is no need to hold on to something that could potentially damage the rest of your hair. It does not hurt to get a trim every few months. It is imperative to avoid heat as much as possible. If you want to straighten your hair every once in awhile, there is no harm done. The harm comes from the consistency of direct heat on your hair. I find that even blow drying your hair isn't good. It would be better to use indirect heat by sitting under a dryer or just letting your hair air dry.

Now that you have learned a few do’s and don'ts for natural hair, I hope you take some of these things and use them in your hair care routine.

Mylachi Moore is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.