According to The Science of Black Hair, "The scalp is the birth place of hair!"
If you want to create an optimal environment for hair growth you want your scalp to be:
1. Clean - wash it.
Every 7 to 10 days wash your hair and scalp. This is one of the reasons I don't enjoy washing my hair with twists in it: I can't get to the scalp as freely.
2. Unclogged by petrolatums - don't use them
Vaseline, Blue Magic, Sulfur 8 etc don't moisturise, they clog.
3. Hydrated - drink lots of water
Scalp hydration works its way inside out. Drinking water is vital for scalp health, spritzing water is important for hair's moisture.
4. Dandruff free - drink lots of water
The cells of the scalp are constantly dividing. You can't normally see this cellular division with the naked eye; however, when the moisture content of the scalp falls below 10% the process becomes accelerated resulting in dandruff! If you needed added incentive to drink more water, there you have it.
5. Not dry - oil it with Neno Natural's Hair Growth Stimulator or another high quality vegetable oil
Whilst the scalp does produce its own oil, sebum, sometimes it's not enough to keep the scalp and hair moisturised. Jojoba oil has a structure very similar to sebum so it's one of my oils of choice for stimulating the scalp. Jojoba forms 50% of Neno Natural's Hair Growth Stimulator.
6. Well stimulated - massage it often
Being a thin layer of flesh, the scalp gets less blood circulating to it than other parts of the body. You can help blood flow to the scalp with regular, gentle massages using a vegetable oil.
If there is one thing that has been consistent in my natural hair routine from the get go it's been massaging my scalp and recognising its health as important to my hair growth.
Clarifying shampoos are specially designed to lift product buildup. If you have one, do not, I repeat, do not, use it regularly.
If you use a lot of heavy products, such as gels, greases and anything that coats your hair then you would benefit from a monthly wash with a clarifying shampoo, even once every 6 weeks would be ample.
Signs that your hair has too much product buildup:
1. Your shampoo doesn't lather well (note that some natural shampoos don't lather so if you've never used that shampoo before this could be the issue).
2. You shampoo doesn't seem to clean your hair well. It still feels oily or greasy after you've supposedly washed it.
3. Your hair is lacking in bounce, body and pliability.
4. Your hair's breaking and you don't know why. This would happen because the hair is actually dry but because it's coated, moisture (i.e. water) is failing to penetrate.
Why can't a sulfate-free shampoo deal with this situation?
They are too gentle. They are designed not to strip hair so they cannot deal with build up.
What do you do if you don't want to use a clarifying shampoo?
If like me you don't want to use a clarifying shampoo because you think it's a) too strong for your hair or b) you don't usually use heavy products or even c) you don't want to buy a product that will only be used monthly, then for a more intensive wash just use a regular sulfate-containing shampoo.
My husband has one of those so I can just use his. In fact, right now he's using Mixed Chicks shampoo which I bought by accident and later learnt contains sulfate. That mistake cost me $18 - not good!
Just one thing: a clarifying shampoo will strip your hair so make sure you follow up with a deep condition, a good moisturiser and an oil to seal.
I discovered this routine quite by accident. My hair was already feeling very dry when I did it.
Product used: Avocado & Honey Twisting Cream by Darcy's Botanicals
What I did:
I had been finger combing my hair for a month and it was MASSIVELY tangled. Section by section I moisturised using the cream, finger detangled first then detangled further using a wide tooth comb.
I sealed the cream in using Neno Natural's Hair Growth Stimulator then I twisted and bantu knot each section. I left the twists in over night. The next day, my hair wasn't well twisted, probably because it was too dry to begin with, so I didn't wear it in a twist out.
I undid each plait and loosened the section with water. My hair was plump and soft and for the next four days straight that's what I did each morning to re-soften the hair and improve manageability. I didn't even re-twist before bed.
I got some shrinkage but nothing major.
Lesson: if you find the right cream and hydrate your hair with it properly you should be able retain the moisture.
I found that this technique works a lot better when I twist the hair as soon I moisturise, perhaps the good stuff soaks through overnight making it easier to keep hold of the moisture.
Relaxing before the Christmas festivities
Hydratherma Naturals, a very popular brand of natural hair products, has decided to offer Neno Natural fans a discount on their products for a week.
** COUPON CODE: NENO **
The coupon code will give you 15% off at checkout.
The sale will end on the 7th of February @ 11: 59 pm
Hydratherma have appeared in all the following:
I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx