You have finally decided to chop off that permed hair and rock your TWA. Now what?! What products do you use? How often do you wash or co-wash your hair? To comb or not to comb? The questions go on and on. I went through the same thing when I big chopped. So, I have compiled all the things that I have learned so far to help all my newly natural divas navigate their TWA days. For more information on how to survive your first year natural, check out my book The Guide to Your First Year Natural. It’s everything I know about surviving your first year natural!
1. Get to know your curl pattern: You should definitely identify your hair type. By knowing your hair type, you’re able to find the product that best works for you. Finding out your hair type is easy. Click here to find out more https://youngfabulousandnatural.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/know-your-type/
2. Experiment with co-washing and shampooing: When I initially big chopped, I only co-washed my hair and I did it everyday. My hair has grown and I try to cut my co-washing down to 3 times a week and I use a sulfate free shampoo about once a week. You have to figure out what combination works for you. If you are using 2 or more products daily, it might be ideal to find a sulfate free shampoo to cleanse the scalp with. But, if your scalp doesn’t have too much build up, co-washing might do the job.
3. To comb or not to comb: I sincerely believe that combing your TWA is unnecessary if it is under 2 inches in length. Excessive combing can cause frizziness. However, that does not mean you should never detangle your TWA. Depending on your hair type, your hair may need to be detangled more or less often. I also suggest that you ALWAYS detangle your hair while it is wet and soaked with conditioner. It will help to prevent unnecessary breakage and it will also allow the comb to slide through the hair with less pulling.
4. Natural products vs. Store bought: This never seemed like a relevant debate until I stepped into the world of natural DIY products. My hair responds to the products I make a lot better than it does to the products I buy. With that being said, there are some amazing store bought products out there like SheaMoisture Curl Smoothie. Other natural divas out there are the polar opposite. Their hair seems to respond the best to commercially produced products. That is something every newly natural diva has to find out. But don’t become a product junkie and try to stick to a routine. If you become a product junkie and start using everything that people claim is working for them, your hair will not respond well. Find out what works for you and stick to it.
All in all, it comes down to trial and error. Try out different shampoos and conditioners. Try making some products and go out and buy a few products. Every natural hair diva is different. However, there are some rules that every natural diva follows; new and old.
1. Wear a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillow case to prevent hair from getting to dry during your beauty rest.
2. Shea butter is a must! Natural hair thrives on it.
3. Stay away from excessive heat such as blow dryers and flat irons. Straightening your hair excessively can permanently alter your curl pattern.
4. Dry your hair with a t-shirt or a microfiber towel. It cuts down on frizziness.
5. Invest in a wide tooth comb and a spray bottle. At some point or another, you will need both.