Transitioning to natural hair. It is probably one of the most discussed topics in the natural hair community. Everyone has a story. So do I. So I want to quickly discuss 5 tips for transitioning to natural hair.
But first, really quick, my natural hair story.
I was natural for most of my childhood and teenage years. My parents always made sure that my siblings and I were proud of who we were, including our skin and hair. I wore a lot of canerowed (cornrowed) styles in school and when I was about 17, I wanted to do something different. I started relaxing my hair and experimenting with colour. After being totally done with the smell of relaxers, I decided in 2008 to transition to natural hair. I had no idea what to expect, or what I was doing. I also did a lot of research and experimentation into what products made my hair happy.
So here are 5 tips that I always tell people when they ask me about transitioning. These tips help me through my journey and I hope they help you too!
I have been natural since 2008 and I immediately began to search for products that were gentle, suitable for naturally kinky hair and made of natural ingredients. Back then, there were not a whole lot of options but I discovered the Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner at Whole Foods.
But why do a protein treatment? Hair is made up of chains of proteins. And the chains are made of up layers. The top layer of hair reminds me of fish scales. When they all overlap properly the hair feels smooth and it efficiently retains its moisture. When we manipulate our hair by combing, braiding, dyeing etc., the outer layer can become damaged and the ends can split. The outer layer can lose its ‘scales’ and there will be breaks or gaps on the surface of the strand. Adding a protein treatment can repair and fill in some of the spaces or holes in the hair.
Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner – Video
If you want to head straight to the video review, here you go. Otherwise keep scrolling for photos and more details.
Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner – General Product Details
Aubrey Organics’ GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner is a pale yellow, thick creamy product with a slight pearlescent sheen. Very mildly scented. Naturally sourced ingredients and it is vegetarian (not vegan), gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free and cruelty-free. It also contains 70% organic ingredients.
The most noticeable ingredients are two proteins and a hydrator. Glycoproteins and milk proteins are the strengthening and repairing factors and aloe vera provides hydration.
Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner – Packaging
Comes in a classic plastic squeeze bottle that is recyclable. I have no problems with dispensing the product.
One thing that excites me about discovering new products, is finding out that they have a new take, or an innovative way to solving a problem. One of the most important parts of my haircare routine or any routine is cleansing. Getting rid of the dust, dead skin cells, pollution from living in a big city, excess oils and product buildup that accumulate and are trapped on my scalp by my kinky coils and protective styles. Your scalp is part of the largest organ in the body and it is vital to the health of your hair. It is a living entity that nourishes your hair, helps get rid of metabolic waste from the body and can be the gateway to calming the soul. My mum often gives newborns scalp massages to welcome them into to world!
Image via Sephora
I heard the buzz about one of the newest offerings from curly hair line DevaCurl. DevaCurl is one of the OG brands that I discovered years ago specifically dedicated to the needs of curly hair. I actually never tried a product from them, but when I saw that Sephora had the DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum as a 100-point perk, I picked it up.
If you are in chill mode, watch the video instead – *click here*.
DevaCurl claims that this is the first micellar water to be used in haircare. There are a plethora of makeup removers and cleansers that use ingredients that form micelles as a very gentle skincare cleansers.
Anatomy of a Micelle
Basically a micelle is a ‘vehicle’ that traps oils/dirt and that gets washed by water. In the simplest of terms, think of a micelle as a bubble made up of ‘tadpoles’. Each ‘tadpole’ has a hydrophilic (water-loving) end and hydrophobic (water-hating/fat-loving) properties. When you apply the cleanser to your hair, each tadpole is attracted and attaches itself to the oils on your scalp and when you rinse your hair, the hydrophilic ends are attracted to the water, forms the micelles and then is washed away.
This product is a colourless liquid, that is not sticky are makes a very minimal foam. It is also, vegan, sulphate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, silicone-free and is mostly made of naturally derived ingredients. This lightweight serum is supposed to be used no more than once a week so that it can gently remove excess products and debris that can weight down your curls. It also contains a bunch of botanical extracts, oils and other ingredients, including rosemary extract, hops extract, and glycerin which help hydrate, and condition the hair.
My deluxe sample comes in a plastic tube but the full size product comes in a large round plastic bottle with a pointed tip closure. I think this a great idea as it allow you to directly apply product to the scalp without having to pour it onto your hands. Since the scalp is the most important part of head to clean this makes it quite easy. This contain 8fl.oz./236ml of product, which is inline with many readily available liquid shampoos/cleansers. The lettering/labels are printed directly onto the gray/package and yellow-green and teal accent colours, which are in line with the rest of their branding.
So I am not the only one in my family that wears their hair in its natural state. As a matter of fact, I was the last one to the party. My mother always wore her hair in a short fro/buzz cut. So did my dad. So I never grew up in a house where there was any shame in wearing kinky hair. Not having “good” hair was NEVER a thing for us. All of it was good. We are proud. All three of my siblings have had or have locs. I have yet to try it out, but I have been thinking of it for a number of years, but I am satisfied with my loose natural…for now…
My brother, Konata, has had his locs for about 10 years now and decided to film himself getting his locs retwisted at his favourite natural hair salon in London, Morris Roots.
I know a lot or most of the focus in the natural hair movement is on women, but we can’t forget that there are a lot of guys out there too, making black hair more visible and acceptable to both ourselves and others.
Konata locs vlog
So check out this salon in Tooting Broadway, London, Morris Roots.
And check out my brother’s music, podcast and other projects at I Am Konata.
Let me know what you think?
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Happy New Year!!! I hope that you have been enjoying 2017 so far! I have been more mindful to enjoy life a little bit more in this new year. More self-care, appreciation of life, and to be more bold. With that, I want to take a look back at all the best beauty products that I loved in 2016. These were my must-haves and I constantly repurchased them and will continue to remain in heavy rotation.