@Tindikamwetu is sharing her natural hair story with us today. She is teacher by day and DIYer by evening and weekend. Her regimen and DIYs are delightful, hope you enjoy reading.
1. Why did you go natural (assuming you haven’t always been natural)? How long have you been natural?
I have been natural all my life. I used to cut my hair a lot when I was younger, often rocking a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) all through my teens. Once I grew it out in Campus, I messed it all up with constant blow drying and got bad heat damage. In 2012/2013, my sister who is a fierce Naturalista was acing her natural hair journey and I too was inspired to go on one—that meant avoiding heat, getting a proper hair regimen and nurturing my hair back to it’s healthy state.
Instead of big chopping, I decided to trim my hair every so often until all the heat damaged hair was gone. I had my last major trim this January and I am now hoping to grow it out more. It’s through the process of recuperating the hair that my curiosity for home-made hair treatments was sparked.
My regimen is simple.
Every week, I co-wash using Suave conditioner and deep condition my hair using homemade DIY treatments. Every three weeks, I will shampoo using a Sulphate free shampoo or with black soap. I also do an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinse every weeks to clarify my hair. After deep conditioning, I follow up with a moisturising conditioner and rinse off with cold water.
After that, I use a leave in conditioner and my DIY Shea/Coco mix to seal in moisture. I make sure that I am applying it from ends to roots, after which I section the hair and finally put it in twists or any other desired style.
3. We love your mixtress ways, the Carrot deep conditioner was to say the least intriguing. What are your staple products?
I love experimenting. The carrot treatment was a great hair-experiment. I have 5 staple products:
1. Sulphate free shampoo from Crème of Nature.
3. Coconut oil or any natural oil available.
4. A leave in conditioner: I have a few favourites including Shea moisture’sJamaican castor oil leave in, Cantu Shea butter and Aunt Jackies intense moisture leave in conditioner.
5. A heavy cream or butter to seal in moisture: I use a home made Shea/Coco butter mix.
***In case you meant staple products for a DIY hair treatment, I use the following:
-A natural oil.
- A humectants- Honey or Gycerine
-A thick in consistency natural grown product like avocado, flax seeds, banana, okra etc.
-In case I need a protein treatment I use some yoghurt, coconut milk or liquid aminos.
4. What is your favourite DIY product or DIY recipe?
I have many favourites, but gun to my head, I’d say my favourite DIY product has got to be the homemade butter mixes, they have really worked wonders for my hair and skin. My favourite DIY hair treatment that is super moisturising would be Okra +Shea+ Avocado+ Coconut milk and a natural oil. Although I have to put a disclaimer as my favourites change with very experiment, nonetheless, I find myself drawn to the above two more often.
5. What are your favourite hair styles?
I love stretched hair styles, as they leave less knots and tangles, so twist outs are most preferred by me. I usually wear them defined and parted on the side or I fluff them out into an Afro and when they grow old ( 3 days), I use a band to put them into a high updo. Those are the 3 styles I tend to wear often as they are easy to do.
6. For most naturals managing their natural hair can be difficult, what advice can you share?
I think the word should be challenging as taking care of natural hair is not difficult at all. It gets challenging when you compare your hair to other naturalistas or youtubers or bloggers and you get disappointed when you don’t achieve the same results. It also becomes challenging when you want your hair to do what it naturally may not be able to do. I have come to be comfortable with the fact that I won’t have bouncy loose curls like a 3a sister but my 4a/4b tight curls satisfy me all the same and I am content.
The key to taking care of your hair is learning to LOOOOVVVEEE it. Learning to love what God gave you and not what you covet out there. Love it with all your heart and the rest will fall in place. When you love your hair, you will want to find out what works best for it and not following the masses when every new product hits the market. You will want to take care of it and moisturise albeit lethargic lazy lifeless moments that we all have when wash day draws nigh, or at the end of a long day. You will want to let it out and not hide it in braids, so that you get to learn how to take care of it and properly forge out a good regime. You will listen to when it needs a trim instead of holding on to length that is marred with split ends and knots. You will learn to love the challenge and bad hair days and days when the hair just won’t behave, but you will love it because the joy will be in discovering how to tie it up, pin roll and tuck it, or turban it, or put a beanie on it or braid it until you get the grace for it later; though you will still spritz it and seal moisture, as you hold back melancholic inward tears of frustration—all for love.
Consequently and above all, when you love your hair, just like any other thing or person you love, you will learn to be PATIENT with it and enjoy the journey. Eventually, you will see your hair bloom into beautiful!
~Let this apply to all things in life that you want to achieve, love the goal more than the desire to quit and then work at itJ
Do you guys have any go-to DIY recipes, share in the comments!