Tuesday, April 8, 2014


When I happened upon a post on Instagram last week soliciting volunteers for a "FREE" natural hair consultation offered by The Natural Hair Nstitute to allow currently enrolled students to perfect their skills, I was all in. This is my second time around having locs and I love dishing about maintenance, products, treatments and how I can tame my mane.

I previously met one of the founders of The Natural Hair Nstitute, Angela Walker, at last years, The Naturalista Hair Show which Angela also founded. I participated on a panel alongside fabulous Bloggers, Jonna of Naturally-Glam.com, Jess Gray of HairGetsKinky.com and Mae of NaturalChica.com. I love Angela's efforts to draw attention to the natural hair community and how she shapes her brands to encompass that sense of community is awesome. It was my pleasure to lend her my full support. It was my first time visiting her space and upon arriving, I was greeted and asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding how long I've been natural and how I feel about my hair and the perception of those of us who are natural. As I go about my daily life, I don't necessarily focus on the fact that I am natural but as I answered the questions, I realized how much more empowered I feel being natural. For me, being natural affords me more versatility and being natural in no way diminishes my confidence. I also realized that I've been natural for at least 20 years. Wow, that's a long time! But even though I have been natural for so long, I realize that there is still much to learn. I dare not be so presumptuous as to think I know all there is to know when it comes to taming my mane and making sure it's healthy. I was excited to receive feedback from participating students about how I tame my mane and how I can improve particularly regarding retaining moisture. I wanted to share my favorite take-a-ways and hopefully they might help you in your natural hair journey.

HYDRATE - The standard recommendation is that you drink 6-8 oz. of water 8 times a day but not only is this critical to your physical health but to your hair health. Staying hydrated helps to retain moisture and keeps your scalp from getting irritated.

HAVE A ROUTINE - Unlike my nightly skincare routine during which I remove all makeup and moisturize, I only typically apply product to my hair as needed. Be proactive. Don't wait until a problem arises. Every 2-3 days, apply oil to your scalp and massage it in.

LAYER PRODUCT - In an effort to seal in moisture, apply a leave in conditioning spray which can be applied all over to both your hair and scalp. But then follow-up with an oil and apply directly to your scalp to seal. I am a fan of Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Oil. But this was a never before considered tip for me because I love the leave in sprays because having locs, the sprays don't leave a residue. But I never considered layering. 

KEEP A HAIR JOURNAL - Document that which you eat and products that you use. If you notice an adverse hair reaction be it irritation or shedding or dryness, it makes the process of pinpointing the cause much easier. But keeping a journal also helps when trying different products and if you like a product in particular, it makes it easier to keep track of what you like and don't like.

BREATHE - Not only does this apply to just ourselves and everyday life but also our hair. You know the one-liner, "don't be afraid to let your hair down"? It applies literally to our hair too. You gotta let it out and let it breathe. Up do's are great. I love up do's. My locs have great length so I go through phases when sometimes I want them out and sometimes I want them up but I do switch it up. Don't keep your hair pinned up and pent up all the time.

DIY - I loved this suggestion regarding adding natural ingredients like rosemary, sage or peppermint to water and pouring into a spray bottle and utilizing that as a leave-in. Not only does it help to retain moisture but it also leaves your mane smelling great. And I can do this myself.

I hope these tips help. Do you have any tips of your own to offer? 

Stay abreast regarding details for this year's The Naturalista Hair Show, August 2 - 3 2014 in Silver Spring, MD.
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