At the 2012 Academy Awards, Viola Davis made a statement when she walked the red carpet in a green Vera Wang gown along with her natural hair. In an interview with InStyle Magazine, she mentioned that her husband had encouraged the decision to take off the wig and go natural.
“He said, ‘If you want to wear it for your career, that’s fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!’ It’s a powerful statement.” – Viola Davis
If you are currently on the journey of transitioning into natural hair or possibly thinking about doing so, here are a few tips and ideas on how to keep your hair healthy during the process.
Identify Your Hair Type
Hair textures vary from person to person. Much like skin types, hair types fall into categories based on characteristics like dryness. Figuring out what kind of hair you have will be helpful when trying and testing out different products and techniques.
Decide When It's the Right Time for You
Hair is a very personal choice. Some stylists say it's best to wait until winter to begin the transition to natural hair. However, the decision is purely up to you. If you're already in the process of transitioning, check out the following tips.
Dry hair can be very vulnerable and break easily. It's so important to hydrate hair with different types of moisturizers in order to prolong the health of your hair. An easy way to remember the order of ingredients to apply involves the L-O-C method.
L – stands for liquid. The liquid commonly used is water. Wet and clean your hair like usual.
O – stands for oil. Oil will seal the moisture from the water into the hair shaft. Either olive, coconut, monoi or avocado oils can be used in this step.
C – stands for cream. Creams are naturally heavier than oils and will lock in the other layers of moisture. Shea butter is a good ingredient to use for this step.
There is another optional step in this process. Some people go another step further and use a sealant like jojoba oil. Oils like jojoba work effectively as a sealant because they do not penetrate the hair shaft like the previous oils do. They purely act as a barrier so the layers of moisture are retained.
Whenever possible, always try to use a leave-in conditioner. One key tip is to refrigerate your leave-in conditioner. This will help give hair shine and help seal the hair cuticle to ensure moisture retention.
Moisture is key in the natural hair process, but do not over wash your hair. Washing hair too frequently can cause it to become dry. Also, try to keep your hands out of your hair. Touching your hair too much can cause frizziness and dryness.
Avoid Heat and Maintain Damaged Hair
Try to air dry your hair as much as possible to prevent breakage. If you ever start to see split ends, use the Search and Destroy Method and be sure to use a wide-toothed comb with smooth teeth. If you want to try a heat-free method for natural curls, check out this video showing the Bantu Knot technique.
Keep Hair Healthy While You Are Sleeping
After you have used the L-O-C Method, wrap your hair in a silk, satin cap or scarf. This will help retain the moisture you have just put in your hair. Do not use cotton material for this step. Cotton sucks up moisture, so you'd be undoing the steps you have just taken. If you're not into wearing caps or scarves, a satin or silk pillowcase will do the trick too.
Have a Spray Bottle On Hand
Keep a spray bottle filled with water. Give your hair a few sprays when it's feeling a little dry. If you are into DIY beauty, here are a few recipes for some homemade sprays. Brands like Carol's Daughter and Shea Moisture also have products targeted for conditioning and hydrating the hair.
According to LiveScience.com, hair grows six inches per year. If you take care of your hair by continuously moisturizing and decreasing breakage, you'll prevent future damage that could cause the process to take even longer.
The Daily Tar Heel welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic.
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