I went natural in March/April 2011. I don't remember the exact date. My hair had broken off at the back so I had about 1 inch of hair on two-thirds of my head to begin with and a couple of inches at the front.
At the time, my hair was so badly damaged that I couldn't care less about hair growth - I just wanted it to get healthier. Looking back on it I think ignoring hair growth and focusing on health is the best strategy one can go for because my hair has been growing and any growth I get comes as a happy surprise. If you expect nothing, everything and anything you get will be a positive.
I also don't do length checks. I have done one before but I don't think it's that important. You will know if your hair is growing depending on where it reaches.
Anyhow, fast forward 2 years and and 3 months to July 2013 and this is where my hair is at. I'm happy with this length to be honest. If I get more, great; if I don't, it's about health first anyway so it doesn't matter.
Once my hair reached shoulder length my sister told me that I NEEDED to be washing it in twists to prevent hairs from breaking. I like the idea, it makes sense that you will incur less breakage if your hair is clumped together, however, I hated shampooing my hair in twists. I'll explain why in a moment.
These are your three options for when to twist your hair:
1. Twist hair after detangling but before shampooing
This, in my opinion, is not the best time because:
Who might this method be best for?
I would say people with bra length hair or longer. I am not there yet. In this case you could make the twist loose enough at the base to ensure that you can still reach in to wash the scalp properly. Importantly, if your hair is this length you can get by with just 2 to 4 twists so undoing to apply conditioner and then re-twisting isn't a big deal.
2. Twist hair immediately after applying conditioner
I think this works. All the above negatives don't apply.
3. Twist hair after conditioner has been in hair for 30 minutes
I think this also works.
Personally, as my hair is just below the shoulders I prefer 2 or 3. I usually use method 3. I think 3 is best if your hair was very dry to begin with. All the good stuff in the conditioner will have had a chance to penetrate your hair; I think my hair is (probably) least vulnerable to breakage if I do a proper detangle and twist using method 3.
What's your opinion?
In addition to these products, to maintain soft hair consider:
When you find the ultimate products for your natural hair you will continue to use them from the transitioning phase through to when you are fully natural.
Neno Natural Radio Interview on SAfm
Neno Natural had its first ever national radio interview on 15 July 2013 with SAfm one of the oldest and biggest radio stations in the Republic of South Africa. In fact, they are international as you can also listen to them online.
It was a fun interview and no worries if you missed it because we recorded it on video:
Lots of people insist of taking a small amount of hair and attaching a large braid to it because they think that it looks better. Well, here is a picture I stumbled upon of my sister in which she attached a small braid extension to a large patch of hair and it still looks great!
If all you needed was an example of how it looks to convince you then I hope this does the job.
More pictures at the bottom. These are my sisters; we are all natural.
Who is Aevin Dugas? She's The First Guinness Book of Records Holder for "The World's Biggest Afro"
Who is Aevin Dugas and how did she get into the Guinness Book of World Records?
She is a girl from a Napoleonville, New Orleans in the USA. Back in 2010 her sister posted a picture of her on Facebook. A friend saw the picture and suggested she join an afro contest hosted by napturality.com.
On the back of that contest her 'fro caught the attention of the folks at Guinness World Records and they recommended that she get herself measured for the record. She did and as they say, the rest is history.
How long has Aevin held the record for?
Since October 2010
What are the stats on the afro?
Her afro measures 18.5 cm (7.3 in) high, 19.6 cm (7.7 in) wide and 132.1 cm (4 ft 4 in) in circumference. These measurements were achieved by Aevin Dugas on 4 October 2010.
Has she used relaxer before?
Yes, she did use relaxer until she was in her mid-20s. She burnt her scalp the first two times when she was a kid but "desperate" to fit in she continued using it.
As a child she was one of only 9 black children at her school. This was the main reason she wanted to relax her hair - because everyone else's hair was straight.
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
More on Aevin Dugas:
UrbanBushBabes.com. Urban Bush Babe Aevin Dugas
NaturallyCurly.com. How Aevin Dugas Got the World’s Largest Afro
Special July Giveaway at NoScrunchie.com - Don't forget to comment as part of your entry!
Message from the Founder & CEO of NoScrunchie.com:
July is a special month for NoScrunchie as it is the month that we work with Natural Hair Week UK to find UK's best afro caribbean salon that specialises in natural hair. It does not have to be a naturals only salon but it has to cater for the natural hair team.
We are building a good list at the moment and the top 3 at the moment are Mahogany Naturals, Ziuzo Hair and Beauty and Natural Gloe. Do you believe that one of these salons should lift the trophy? If so, let us know by adding your review to the glowing ones already received.
If you know another salon that does your natural hair well, please let us know about it.
Back to the giveaway though, Review a natural salon on NoScunchie before the 19th of July and WIN one of the following prizes:
1. Two of the Super Natural Jumpers, one in grey and another in blue from Iyoka Boutique.
2. Three of these great books by Diane Hall, How I Grew It Long Naturally.
And a 100 pound gift voucher from any natural salon you want.
6 gifts and all you have to do is:
Wait to hear from us!
Hoping to hear about your great natural salon experiences. If there is a natural salon that we have not listed that you have heard great things about, do comment on this post and let us know.
*Open to UK only.
Any stubborn greases, waxes and gels that are hard to wash off your hair and scalp are referred to as "product buildup".
Weaker sulfate-free shampoos will tend not to get rid of such product build up; they are too gentle.
What's wrong with product build up on natural hair?
Hair growth is at its best when the scalp is clean. Lots of product build up means the scalp is clogged up and not breathing properly.
How do you know if you have build up?
You strands feel particularly, heavy, weighed down or too oil. When you scratch your scalp you have dirt under your nail. Sometimes, I'll wash my hair, especially when I'm in braids and I'll have lifted some "white stuff" so it's visible but it doesn't wash off. This occurs because I've been oiling the scalp daily so there is layer upon layer of dirt and I need something a little stronger than my sulfate-free shampoo to get rid of that build up.
So how can you get rid of buildup?
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