When and why did you decide to go natural? About three years ago after my hair suffered from extreme breakage. It was very unhealthy, thin and weak, plus the continuous scalp burns were becoming unbearable. I opted to completely change my lifestyle, chop off my relaxed ends and start taking care of my natural hair. It’s one of my best decisions I’ve ever made to date.
How did your natural hair and beauty blog, African Tresses and Treats, come about?
I wanted to inspire fellow women to embrace their true self, be courageous, confident and unique.
Most women find it hard to maintain natural hair. How can one transition? This is the process of going from relaxed hair to natural hair by eliminating chemical treatments and allowing the hair to grow out while slowly cutting off the relaxed ends. Protective styles are your best friend while transitioning. These include roller sets, straw sets, twist sets, twists, braids, up-dos, sew-ins, wigs, buns, crotchet weaves etc.
The less you touch your hair, the less chance you have of breaking it off and the more growth you will experience. Protect your ends by tucking them into a style away from exposure. These are the oldest parts of your hair, so if you’re looking for length (and even health) during this time of transition, keep them healthy and tucked away. You also need to take care of the line of demarcation. This is the area between where your natural hair ends and your relaxed hair begins.
Which hair products are a must-have for naturals?
A moisturising shampoo to cleanse the scalp and hair and conditioner to add moisture into the hair strands. Coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil is also recommended. These oils penetrate through the hair shaft to nourish, condition and soften the hair. You should also use shea butter or a cream that will seal in the moisture and prevent the hair from drying out.
How can one style their natural hair to adhere to corporate standards? My tip is to keep the hair neat and well presented. You can style it in flat twists, halo braids, low puffs, or tuck-roll and pin, which are all elegant. You can also throw on a wig if you are having a bad hair day.
How can you ensure that your hair remains in good health?
Moisturising every other day depending on the condition of your hair, deep conditioning weekly to infuse more moisture on the hair, as well as trimming the ends regularly to get rid of weak ends and prevent breakage. Do a protein treatment once a month to strengthen the hair strands.
Always wear a satin bonnet, tie a satin scarf or sleep on a satin pillowcase at night to prevent your hair from drying out (cotton pillowcases absorb all the moisture from your hair).
What advice would you give to those who wish to go natural?
Once you understand your hair, then you will be able to take care of it. Listen to what it likes, dislikes and needs. This will help add things that are beneficial to your hair.