These days I feel like I’m playing a never-ending game of catch-up. With a full-time job, husband and two small boys, there is never enough time in the day. Every ten minutes I have to answer a question from my 4-year old or stop my 10-month old from climbing out of his walker…How in the world am I supposed to find the time to manage my natural hair and them turn around and write a post to tell you about it??? I want “steal” some time and share with you sound practices that I use in my natural hair care regimen.
1. Plan your styles for the week.
Just like we have to plan meals for our family, we most also plan styles for our hair. If you fail to plan, you might end up with what my husband calls to the “boogie wig” on top of your head (Bascially, hair that has gotten so unkempt that is just does what it wants to do.) I usually try to do a style on the weekend that will last me at least until the middle of the week if not longer. I schedule in time to do my hair through out the week.
2. Curl up on the couch with your kids and twist
Let’s be real. Natural styles take time. I gotten used to having to just get in where I can fit in. So, if that means on Friday movie might I’m sitting on the couch with my popcorn and hair pudding or gel, two-strand twisting my hair while watching a family movie, then so be it.
3. Make it last
If I plan right, I’ll twist the night before a day when I don’t have to leave the house. That way, I can go for 1-2 days without worrying about my hair. If I do have to leave the house, then I can just throw on a hat or scarf, or just say, “who cares, if the public sees my twists?” When I do my twistouts, I don’t pull the hair apart for a fuller look. As the days (or even hours) progress, it will get more volume. With my hair texture along with products that leave a stiffer hold (without hardness or flaking), my twistouts last for about 5 days. (Admittedly, day 5 is more a funky fro that a twistout.) That’s a total of 6-7 days of just minimal daily styling!
4. Master your detangling technique
The key to detangling kinky, tighty curled or coiled har is to section it. I have to section my hair into at least 8 or more sections and work with my fingers and wide-tooth comb to gently remove tangles. I find that coating the hair with oil prior to washing and detangling (pre-pooing) is a big help. Properly detangling hair upfront will save you time in the end when you don’t have to wrestle as much with your hair.
5. Snip Snip, baby!
Get yourelf some hair scissors and TRIM THOSE JACKED UP ENDS! The reason many of us get so many tangles, knots and breakage is because the frayed ends are getting tangled. Get rid of those ends and your hair will thank you. The best way to do this at home is to twist the hair into medium twists. Then section the hair off with hair ties. Next, remove each twist, one by one and cut about a 1/8″ or more off. Do this about every two months. Now, I must say that this is not a good solution if you plan to wear straight styles. In that case, let the professionals do it to make sure it’s even.
6. Find balance between making styles last and styling often
Styling your hair often helps to decrease tangling, knotting and matting (and boredom). However, styling the hair too much may lead to breakage. I utilize protective styling like dry twists or braids to give my hair a break. It is important to properly moisturize before wearing these styles. Your hair will start to tangle within the twist or braid. Taking down the hair can turn into a traumatic experience with lots of breakage. I apply a generous amount of oil before taking my hair down. Rule of thumb, don’t wear a protective style past 2-3 weeks.
7. Wash as needed
Yes, I said it. I do not have time (or I should say, I do not want to make time) to wash or even co-wash my hair 2-3 times a week. At the most, I try to squeeze in a wash every 1-2 weeks. Our hair drys out fast and needs lots of moisture. I’ve become well aquainted with my spray bottle mix of olive oil and water. At little spritz of my water mixture, some hair milk or lotion for added moisture, a little herbal oil for shine and we are good to go.
I hope these tips help relieve some of the stress and pressure of managing your natural hair.
How do you balance family and/or work life with natural hair?