Most hair naturalists have a big challenge their natural hair especially at this time of the season because it is quite demanding and tasking.
Farida Mahmood, a teacher, said she started growing her natural hair in March last year, but by October she realized she couldn’t handle the toughness anymore, so she went back to relaxing her hair.
“I started retouching my hair when I was a teenager, and sometime last year I didn’t like the way my hair was anymore, it had thinned out from constant retouching. I missed my natural hair, so I decided to grow my natural hair back.
“From March through to August it grew fine until sometime in October when I realized the relaxed part of the hair was falling off leaving a much tougher and stubborn part behind.” She said.
A natural hair enthusiast, blogger and entrepreneur, Amal Auma, while speaking with our reporter said for African women, especially Nigerians, to grow their natural hair (to its healthiest state) demands a lot of patience, nurturing and learning.
“Not everybody is that dedicated or has the time to properly tend their hair which then creates the false notion that growing out (kinky) African hair is tedious and unattainable,” she said.
Amal who also sells JNSQnaturals natural hair products, said there is no universal ‘best time’ to wash or care for the hair, noting that it is mostly dependent on individual preferences and what works for them.
“For me, I wash and deep condition my hair biweekly while I do a co-wash (conditioner wash) weekly. Some naturalists with equally beautiful and healthy hair, wash and condition weekly, while others wash as often as monthly.
At the end of the day, understanding what works best for your hair is key,” she said.
Amal, who also transitioned from relaxed to natural hair, advised that before taking the decision to stop relaxing the hair, women should do their research by watching hair videos, reading natural hair blogs or asking fellow naturalists for hair care tips.
“When they eventually become fully natural, they must embrace and enjoy their natural hair journey without comparing their hair to others, as this can be discouraging. Remember, everybody’s hair grows at different paces and sometimes genes play a great role in hair growth rate,” she said.
Amal stressed that they must not take deep conditioning, hydrating their hair and moisturization for granted because those are the major keys for a healthy, beautiful hair growth.
She notes that hair products to use would usually depend on the individual’s budget, debunking the notion where some people assume that the pricier the product, the more effective it is.
“A typical example of this is the inexpensive Shea butter. Shea butter has been my staple hair product and is one of the most versatile and effective natural hair care products I know. It is rich in fatty oils that have benefits in softening the hair and promoting growth, and is easily accessible in Nigeria,” she said.
“When it comes to what to eat for better hair growth, what matters is to ensure you endeavor to incorporate foods rich in vitamin E, proteins, fruits and veggies into your diet. Drink enough water, stay healthy and everything else would fall into place,” she added.
Madam Favour who also owns a natural hair salon in Abuja, also says all hair types need moisture and encourages the use of Dudu Osun soap for shampooing while egg white mixed with olive oil can be used for conditioning.
“Shea butter and castor oil will be fine especially when used overnight and covering the hair through with a satin scarf or a mild cloth material to just protect the hair,” she said.