Important Natural Hair Care Tips for Beginners
Natural Hair Care Tips you must know when starting out - Life savers when beginning your journey!
Right before isolation began, I made the huge decision to begin on my natural hair journey. This was a big emotional step for me that I took.
I have to say, I am very lucky to have been given this opportunity to take this time and really educate myself on the type of hair I have, test out different products, and create different styles that I like and that work for my hair.
As the weeks go by, my goal is to learn as much as I can and educate myself. In return I want to practise and perfect a routine that keeps my hair healthy and growing.
I’m going to take you through the findings and realizations I’ve had throughout this past month so maybe you can also take that step.
Find your 'Porosity'
First thing is first, I kept seeing the word “Porosity” being thrown around everywhere. High porosity – low porosity. What did it all mean and what did it have to do with my natural hair?
Definiton of Hair Porosity:
Your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.
There are two levels of hair porosity – High and low porosity.
If you have high porosity – it means that all your hair cuticles are open. This means you can take in a lot of moisture which is good! But it also means that this moisture is quick to leave resulting in dryness. Not so good.
Low porosity means that all your hair cuticles are closed.
This means that they repel moisture which makes it super shiny and healthy looking, good! But in return if it doesn’t get the nutrition it needs it can become brittle and straw like – not so good.
So, what does this mean?
High and low porosity takes different measures to maintain the moisture in your hair, so it’s important to know which one yours falls into so you can give it the appropriate treatment.
MOISTURE IS POWER.
We want to learn what our hair falls under in order to give it exactly what it needs and make it THRIVE!
How do you find out your natural hair porosity?
There are two methods you could try when trying to find out what Porosity your hair falls under.
Basically, you take a cup of water and take a strand of clean hair (make sure it’s not processed in any way. Just a little strand of natural hair) and place it in the water. Push it under for only a second so that the hair is completely submerged and then wait.
If the hair floats – you have low porosity.
If it sinks – you have high porosity.
For the ‘Friction test’ you take another one strand of your hair and rub that strand between two fingers.
If you feel bumps running up and down the shaft – you have High Porosity.
If it’s smooth and no bumps – you have Low Porosity.
You’re going to make mistakes along the journey. It comes down to trial and error because we all have different genes and factors that change the outcome of your hair. It’s important to take tips and use them to learn about your hair specifically.
Find your Hair Type
Finding out which hair type yours falls under is important because it can allow you to truly understand what hair you are dealing with.
There are different hair types that categorize your curl pattern.
For instance, there are plenty of people with curly hair yet all their curls are different which make their hair look and feel differently.
There are 4 different types of curl patterns and they are differentiated even more between A-C.
It goes from 1A – which is straight – NO curl pattern
To 4C – which are the tightest curls.
Here is a chart below to quickly resemble the differences.
I struggled for a while between whether or not I had 4C hair. Throughout my journey, I came into contact with lots of others who also had this same problem. I think it’s very easy when you’re first starting out on your natural hair journey to mix up what you are due to not seeing your hair when it’s happy and fed.
Also, it’s important to note that it is possible to be a mixture or have more than one hair curl pattern. I was getting frustrated because one side of my hair was showing these perfect, silky curls while the other side wasn’t getting the same definition at all. At the very back of my head, I have very loose curls too. So it’s clear that I have a few.
I kept comparing my hair when it was blow dried, straightened and dry. It was when I stopped using heat all together and began moisturizing often that my coils started forming and my natural hair pattern really started coming through.
When I first let my natural hair out – I would pin my hair back in a tight bun to make sure my ends were not exposed. I would do this Every. Single. Time. Soon, a tight bun was all I would know and realistically, my hair was not rewarding me at all.
Since being in isolation – I have tested around with various styles that instead benefit my hair growth. The goal is to find something that looks good, that I feel comfortable with but still promotes healthy hair growth.
I landed on twists. Everywhere that I looked in the natural hair community – I saw twists. They were easy to maintain, you could wear them in any style (half up – half down, low bun, high bun, two buns on the top, etc). I also saw that the more I did it, the happier my tips were getting.
A while back, I had gotten a trim of all my ends so it’s important to me to keep them maintained and happy. Twists allow me to tuck away my ends and I place a cute bandana on the top to secure my hair all together. I know there are so many potential styles I could do so I am up for all the suggestions and recommendations!
Cotton pillows rub and rip at our hair, and rub against our cuticles which cause friction. In return this makes our natural hair dry and brittle. A great way to stop this would be to use a satin/silk bonnet.
If you don’t like bonnets, you can always try a satin/silk pillow.
Make Water your Best Friend
It is no secret that water is the most beneficial thing to use when trying to improve yourself. It not only helps your hair but your nails, skin, mental health and just so much more.
I have been attached to my water bottle since isolation has started and even though my bladder has not been a massive fan – my body, skin, and mentality has really changed.
Learn YOUR hair specific products
I cannot even BEGIN to tell you (even though I totally am going to tell you) how important it is to do your research and find products that can specifically help YOUR hair and the way that it works. Everyone’s hair is different and reacts differently to different products.
Mixing together the knowledge that you get from learning about your specific hair type – and the characteristics of different products – you can find out what works well with what.
For instance, if you have high porosity hair – you need a sealant for your hair strands. Meaning a good oil to help seal the moisture in so that it doesn’t slip out.
And on the other hand, if you have low porosity hair – you need a heavy conditioner that can penetrate the cuticles and lift them enough to let the moisture in.
There are so many products out there to learn about. I will be taking you through the products that I use here in a post, ‘Products for low porosity hair’ These products have helped me greatly so far and I would love to pass on that information.
- Learn your Porosity. To know which Porosity you are is to know how to treat your hair.
- Make sure you know which Hair Type you fall under. Knowing this will open so much information for you on what your hair can do.
- Protective Hairstyling is the key to maintaining moisture in your hair ALL the time. Your ends are so important so find a style that protects them and still makes you feel CONFIDENT. Play around!
- Water, Water, MORE WATER!
- Lots of information will be thrown at you about how to take care of your hair. It’s important to listen to YOUR hair and test and try out products following the information that you receive. Your hair will speak – It’s important to listen. Continue what it likes and discontinue what doesn’t make it happy.