What is natural hair?
In the haircare field, natural hair is defined as hair that has not been treated with relaxers or any other chemicals to straighten or alter its texture in any way. Natural hair doesn’t refer to any particular style – it comes in many different shapes, styles and curls.
Many women are moving back to their roots, so to speak, and stepping away from processes that damage their natural hair and hairline.
Women often believe natural products are used to treat natural hair, but this isn’t exactly the case, says Brian Warfield. Although oils can help your hair to retain moisture (i.e. hang on to what is already there), they aren’t able to add any moisture to your hair.
Therefore a natural-products-only haircare routine for natural hair is not easy and doesn’t always work. The ideal haircare routine should not only retain moisture, but provide and attract it as well.
Where nature meets science
Although many naturally derived ingredients can be beneficial for natural hair, they need to be scientifically extracted so that we can make use of their many benefits. Therefore, the best haircare products are often the ones that make use of the benefits of both nature and science.
Moisture and natural hair
Moisture is vital to achieve and maintain healthy natural hair. A good moisturising hair product does three things – it delivers, attracts and retains moisture. In case we haven’t made it clear enough, we’ll spell it out – the goal for healthy and strong natural hair is and should always be maximum moisture.
What products to use when
Ideally you need three to four basic products for maximum moisture.
- Your first dose of moisture should be delivered with your wash in the form of a gentle, moisturising shampoo that won’t irritate your scalp. How often you wash is more dependent on your lifestyle than your hair type. If you run 10km four times a week, you’re going to need much more regular washing than your inactive counterpart who never breaks a sweat.
- After shampooing, the next step should be a rinse-out conditioner or treatment. These infuse moisture, help to seal the hair cuticle and add shine. The formulation of these tend to differ from leave-in products, so it’s best to give your hair a good rinse after a few minutes. Because natural hair is less porous than chemically treated hair, you may want to opt for a treatment instead of a conditioner. Treatments are designed to penetrate deeper into the cortex of the hair, meaning you’ll get a better effect.
- The final step should be aftercare in the form of a daily moisturiser or leave-in conditioner. This last step does a great deal to prevent moisture loss, and you should repeat it daily or every alternate day on non-wash days as well.
It’s crucial to keep using the right products at the right times to see good and lasting results. Consistent usage of moisturising products makes hair softer and more manageable; and reduces split ends, breakage and single strand knots.
If you’re Jo’burg-based you can pay Brian a visit at Tanaz in Illovo.