Natural Black hair care can seem like a never-ending journey. But during the lockdown, it seems like everyone is finding out more about their natural curl pattern and how to maintain it. Now more than ever, the recent acknowledgments of Black-owned beauty brands makes it easier to celebrate curly hair.
In past years, there were endless how-to’s and guides to help hair transitioning. Now, we’re here to help by utilizing the advice of real people on their own hair journeys.
Let’s start from the beginning. My first recommendation is to figure out what your hair porosity is before purchasing any product. This will save you a LOT of headaches along the way.
And now, repeat two words after me: paraben- and sulfate-free. These are the keywords to look for when shopping for natural hair products.
Parabens are chemical preservatives that help fight bacteria and fungus. You can identify them by looking out for prefixes such as methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben. Sulfates are also preservatives that hair products use to strip product buildup and deliver strong cleansing results, but can irritate and dry your scalp. They may also make it harder for your hair to retain moisture.
When asked, Chereese Cross says Mielle's Pomegranate & Honey line + The Mane Choice's Ancient Egyptian line have been doing wonders for her hair. The natural ingredients are a good foundation for hair, because the oils do the job of lifting dirt from hair while preserving the moisture. And, when it comes to cleansing natural curly and kinky hair, moisture and hydration are key.
Regina Pearl, the owner of Hair Girl Regina Pearl Salon in NYC, shares a pro tip. She says the keys to moisturizing natural hair are water-based products; she particularly loves Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Spray Leave-In Conditioner. This leave-in works for all textures and provides a protective shield against heat damage, while also priming coils for a frizz-free finish.
If you’re looking to extend your wash day, Mylon’s Hair Care Avocado & Green Tea Deep Conditioner rivals most. It deeply hydrates dry hair, leaving it soft and easier to detangle. Green tea, coconut oil, and honey are amongst the stand-out ingredients.
And, if you’re thinking that it’s time to experience major curl rejuvenation, Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque is an all-natural masque that works through strands to repair thirsty curls.
For truly natural hair products, let’s take a look in our fridge:
- Mayonnaise: While mayonnaise can be used for many things, in this case, let’s use it as our masque to leave hair instantly soft and smooth. Add raw eggs, and you’ve got a healing masque that promotes hair growth.
- Apple cider vinegar: Add apple cider vinegar to your hair routine everyone once in a while. It’s a simple household item that stretches a long way. Pour some into a spray bottle, combine it with 3 parts water to 1 part ACV, and apply the mixture to your hair. Then, rinse thoroughly after 5-10 minutes. It will clarify your scalp and remove impurities while maintaining your hair’s natural oils.
The real goal is to find the products that are right for your hair type, density, porosity and texture. Be sure to focus on hydrating and moisturizing, and avoid stripping your hair or causing too much product build-up.