I must (shamefully) admit that washing my hair while transitioning from relaxed to natural hair seemed quite daunting. I let my hair go unwashed for long periods of time before finally finding a new hairstylist. After talking with my stylist about the process, I realized just how important it is to cleanse the hair - and how to make it much less intimidating.
If you're transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, try these tips and products to help keep your hair healthy and manageable.
Before You Wash
Two words: coconut oil.
Even if you're in a hurry, it's absolutely vital to work coconut oil through your hair prior to shampooing. Coconut oil is used to nourish and protect the hair shaft. While shampooing cleans the hair, it can also strip it of its natural oils. With natural hair, moisture is the best environment - so before shampooing, you need to lock in the moisture your hair already has and give it the additional boost that it needs with the oil. Added bonus: Coconut oil will reduce your tangles by half, or maybe even more - which is reason enough to make time for it in your beauty routine.
Can't find coconut oil? Try AG Hair's Fast Food Leave On Conditioner.
Finding Your Shampoo
The shampoo you use directly relates to how well you'll be able to manage your hair during and after the shampoo cycle. As I mentioned before, shampoo strips the hair of its moisture, making curly hair (natural hair types) frizzy and knotted.
For best results, seek out a sulfate-free shampoo like AG Hair Fast Food Shampoo. If you've never used a sulfate-free shampoo, take note: Sulfates are what gives shampoo extra bubbles and lathering power, so it might take some getting used to a lather-free formula. While it might seem different the first few times you try it, remember the sulfate-free cleanser will help keep curls curlier and won't damage the shaft.
Cleansing Your Scalp
While shampooing, it's important to not scrub your hair. That's what creates tangles. Instead, run your hands down your hair while shampooing, which helps with detangling. Instead of scrubbing and roughing up your strands, concentrate on scrubbing your scalp to remove excess build-up. The build-up of sebum on the scalp and other hair products can stunt hair growth.
Taming curls and tangles of natural hair is actually quite simple if you have the right products. Remember, the key is to retain moisture, detangle the hair and focus on scalp health. With quality products and a little bit of time, you can easily obtain clean, manageable, natural hair.