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How to maintain your natural hair

Our hair is such a huge part of our identities. You might remember the India Arie track featuring Akon, “I am not my hair”. The song talks about the different hairstyles India Arie tried out while growing up and how she was somehow always trying to fit in to some type of mould with each hairstyle. The song doesn’t necessarily ‘diss’ any specific hairstyle, it just ultimately inspires you to decide which style naturally suits you.

Speaking of natural, if you have decided to, or are still thinking about taking the natural hair route this year, you might already be overwhelmed by the idea of it being a bit ‘high maintenance’. But don’t worry choma, there’s a whole lot of information available to help make your natural journey a little bit smoother – starting with this article. Here’s a starter pack to caring for your hair.

What is porosity?
You might have heard the word, but what does it really mean? “Porosity” simply means how your hair holds moisture, which will affect how you should treat it. Knowing what kind of hair you have is the first step to loving it better.

High porosity: Are you struggling with dry, frizzy and tangled hair? Choma, this means your hair cuticles are damaged and absorb too much moisture without holding it in. If these are your problems, try treat it with conditioners and moisturisers and swap the blow dryer for a warm towel dry to help strengthen damaged hair cuticles.

Low porosity: If your hair takes way too long to dry and you have a lot of build up from moisturisers and oils, this is because your hair cuticles are closed and can’t absorb moisture. Using warm water while washing and rinsing helps to open up the cuticles and allow that moisture in.

Pro tips
Deep condition once in a while to add shine and volume to your curls.
Use the overnight twist out method for a longer ‘fro without using a blow dryer or straightener.
Always remember to wear your satin headscarf at night to keep all that hard earned moisture locked in.
Coconut oil is a great and cheap alternative to things like argan and grapeseed oil if you’re looking for all-natural products. It’s easy to find at any grocery store too.
Apple cider vinegar mixed with water makes for a good, natural hair and skin cleanser without taking much from your pocket.
Just like plants need water to grow, so does your hair. Don’t be afraid to expose it to steam or a light spray of water mixed with either conditioner or oil every day.
Spending time online looking for hair blogs to see what’s trendy in the natural hair department will help you feel more confident with your kinky curls.
There isn’t a quick-fix to maintaining your hair choma, but the time and effort is always worth it. In the end, you are more than just your hair. Wear your hair as your crown, after all, you are royalty.

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