Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Ten Commandments of Natural Hair

The Ten Commandments of Natural Hair

1. Daily Moisturizing is key to healthy, shiny and strong curly hair. The hair follicles are home to the sebaceous glands which release sebum that lubricates the strands. In tightly coiled hair, the sebum has trouble getting to the ends, which results in dry hair. To compensate for this lack of moisture it is essential to use a daily moisturizer to prevent dry, brittle eventually damaged hair. 

2. Water is the #1 moisturizer. Water penetrates the hair shaft to truly prevent dryness. Water based moisturizers or pure filtered water should be applied to the hair before an oil based moisturizer. Water penetrates the hair and oil seals in the moisture. 

3. Cleansing your hair and scalp is key to maintaining a healthy head of curls. Gently cleansing your scalp once a week will remove product build up and debris while awakening the hair follicles. Stay away from shampoos that include detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate. To minimize breakage wash hair in sections. 

4. Protecting your ends is key to length retention. Trimming the hair on a schedule ( every 3 or 6 months) avoids damaged ends that results from pulling and styling. If hair is trim regularly it stops split ends from traveling to the root and damaging the entire hair shaft. Your ends are the oldest and most delicate part of your hair. Protect Them.

5. Be gentle when your hair is dry or wet. Bottom line: Always be gentle with your hair. Your hair is at its most vulnerable when it is wet. Before apply styling aids or detangling it is important to use a detangling conditioner and detangling brush when managing wet hair. In addition, never brush curly hair when it is dry. Brushing, combining or pulling dry hair will result in major breakage. 

6. Satin and Silk bonnets, scarfs and pillow cases are key to reducing friction. Cotton pillow cases and other harsh fabrics rub against the hair shaft and result in moisture lost and breakage.

7. Deep Treatments should be a part of your biweekly hair care regimen. Rotate between protein treatments and moisturizing/sealing treatments as needed. Deep conditioners that are heavy in butters like shea butter, almond oil or argan oil are good because they contain lots of fatty acids for penetrating the hair shaft. 

8. A heat protectant is a must under all heat circumstances. When it comes to naturally curly hair remember that heat is the enemy. Using too much heat can result in permanent loss of curl pattern and brittle strands. Always use a heat protectant when blow drying or flat ironing. If time permits, opt for air drying.  

9. Greasing a.k.a clogging the scalp is a NO NO. The scalp produces natural sebum which is secreted to moisturize the hair. Applying grease or petroleum substances to the scalp blocks the follicles and can stunt hair growth. Avoid applying products like conditioners or moisturizers to the scalp. Apply products from root to tip not scalp to tip. The only product that is recommended for the scalp is a sulfate free shampoo which is rinsed away. 

10. Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. Healthy scalp begins with a healthy YOU. Garbage IN. Garbage OUT....It is that simple. *Healthy Diet*

What would you add to the list?

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