When I posted an article somewhat up against hair weaves some weeks ago, one of my close friends was in a salon getting a weave. In fact she was reading the post as the hair was getting sewn. Later on that night when we met up, I was expecting to see a woman feeling fly off the hairdresser’s chair but instead I met one who was disgruntled with her new do. You see what I mean, I said in my best know-it-all way, hair weaves are just too much hassle! She looked great though, I thought, but the next day she was back at the salon getting it all reworked on. Of course this was the perfect opportunity for me to impose my hair views on her!
I think the growing number of women opting for natural hair instead of relaxers and weaves is good in a political sense. But I never judge a woman by what’s on her head.
Anyway, here are some natural hair tricks that I’ve come to rely on since I stopped maltreating my hair. Do you have any you would add?
1. Moisturize more than seems sane.
What are the three words every woman with natural hair needs to hear? They aren’t ‘I love you’ (although that’s nice too), they are ‘leave-in conditioner’. It doesn’t necessarily matter which type you use, but how much you use. I suggest a very generous amount morning and night.
2. Make the investment
When it comes to the tools you use on your hair, invest in the best you can afford. Buy high quality straighteners, combs, rubber bands etc. or you might end up paying the price in restorative treatments.
3. Less is more.
In the unlikely case that your name is Rihanna, you really don’t need to surprise your co-workers with a new do every day. Find a hassle-free hairstyle that suits you and stick to it, at least for the most part. Your hair will thank you for it.
4. Wrap up.
Head wraps are not only a flattering accessory, they are also a great way to keep your hair protected from the big bad environment. Buy some gorgeous print scarves and wrap up your curls.
5. Treat your hair like silk.
You know that favourite dress of yours? The one you delicately wash by hand, iron at minimal heat and fold like it was a baby? Treat your hair like you treat that dress, it’s worth even more. Do not over pull or over heat your hair.
6. Salons are evil.
Don’t ever visit a salon that you don’t know, or that hasn’t been recommended to you by a trustworthy friend. A year’s worth of damage can happen in a few hours in the hands of an incompetent hairdresser.
7. Love your hair.
This is the most important tip. You must love your hair to keep it in good condition. If you think that your hair is unmanageable and/or unprofessional then you’re better off fixing a weave. If you’re ready to love that which is uniquely yours, it will love you back in return.
Any you’d add?—
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Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.