I suffered 'kpenkpeshie' (stubborn/tough) hair from childhood till early JSS (JHS) period. Many African women have had similar experiences, of that i am sure. Until we discovered hair relaxers.
But now it seems that more Ghanaian women are going back to their roots of #naturalhair. Either its an 'in-thing' to get a Solange look or for health reasons; many women are growing back what they were born with. I had a chat with Kuokor Dsani, CEO of Twists&Locs Natural Hair Salon on the in's and outs of natural hair. She shared some seriously cool tips on the maintenance of natural hair for women, men & kids.
Every Ghanaian woman should consider going natural
because its the healthier option and this is how God created it i.e curly not straight (permed). It's embracing what she is naturally born with. If you think about it, its actually her first hairstyle and first haircare option.
Well, women who decide to go natural because its a trend/style option
will find it difficult going through the maintenance aspect of natural hair. soon they will fall by the roadside. Go natural for the right reasons and learn about it so you don't damage your hair.
Maintaining and understanding your hair takes learning and time.
You will find it painful to comb if you havent learnt how to keep/comb/style natural hair. To soften your hair, for eg.. you can dampen your hair with a mixture of coconut oil and water before combing. Also before going to bed at night, if you haven't styled your hair (Afro), section your hair into four and
braid four big twists
. This ensures soft textured hair which is easy to comb in the morning. It also helps to prevent detangling; a major issue for women's hair. You should also be patient when removing detangled hair.
The effect of stretching on natural hair is very damaging
because of heat application. Some women like long hair and would want to see their natural hair become as long as their previously permed hair, with this in mind many resort to blow drying and stretching their natural hair. If a woman's reason for going natural is to have healthy hair then stretching or blow drying would rather do the opposite. Applying heat to natural hair leads to bond breakage in the hair follicle.
Gone were the days when people who went natural got coined as having a 'Rastafarian' lifestyle.
That used to be a misconception amongst our Ghanaian mothers and aunties. Now its more common to see these same women going natural for health reasons: balding, skin diseases, cancer etc. We have to move away from the Westernized thinking on natural hair.
Do what works for you when it comes to natural hair
. Copying other hairstyles doesn't exactly mean it would look good on you. What will look good on Becca wouldn't exactly look good on you. Be your own diva.
Avoid hair products containing ingredients such as mineral oil eg Petroleum Jelly
which just sits on the hair preventing the hair from breathing and rather makes the hair brittle and dry. Also avoid parabens. It's better to invest good quality hair products for your natural hair instead of short-changing for cheaper products. Also you need to change the shampoo which you were using on your permed hair. Get specially made shampoos for natural hair, a good example is Black Silk shampoo.
Best products for natural hair should be natural based having
Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut and olive oil
as the base. You must also learn to listen to your hair as well to understand its needs. Eat healthy for your hair because whatever you eat is what shows on the outside. Eat your fruits and vegetables!
Hair Products for Natural Hair
Fashion wise you can wear whatever you want with your new natural hair
. Some choose to wear large earrings when in short hair but its not mandatory to do so. A woman can go natural and still maintain her sophistication as a stylish corporate woman. Hair shouldn't define any woman.
There are guys who appreciate and like women in natural hair
because it saves them from having to buy Brazillian weaves.... :) There are also those who don't like it on their women. Men are also experimenting with their hair by braiding etc but usually depending on where they may be working. Some workplaces have policies against men braiding their hair or wearing afros.
Maintaining kids natural hair is similar to that of adults.
Endure that the hair is properly detangled gently and explain the process to your child. Use big combs instead of small combs. We should teach our kids about natural hair at an early age to better equip them with good knowledge on good maintenance of hair by the time they are adults. Many of us didn't get that from our parents. Coconut oil is excellent for softening kids hair.
Locked Natural Hair
Natural hairstyles can be classed into two main groups
: Loose and Locked.
Examples of Locked hairstyles ranges from sista Locs, free-form Locs, cultivated Locs. Loose hair is essentially deciding to braid, twists, corn-row, etc anytime you want.
The future for Twists & Locs
is to go into brand extensions and like last year, is going go to be organizing a Natural Beauty Bazaar in December which will focus on everything involved with having a natural beauty lifestyle. We are looking at vendors in the skin care industry, consultants in Nutrition & Wellness, natural food business and all which goes into natural beauty. And customers should look out for a new branch opening soon at an exciting place near you!
The Blogger & Hair Stylist (Naa & Kuorkor)
Well that was informative! I have been contemplating going natural myself. Hmmm...but something is holding me back... hehehehee... dont ask me what. lol! Eventually I will!