Happy Friday to you 🙂 It’s finally Summer time in Canada, (well, Summer may or may not have skipped out on Nova Scotia this year, but oh well, there is sunshine) and my hair is ready to embrace the new season! You can imagine the relief I felt when I could let my fro out to play after the long winter months of hibernation. I have, however, reverted to a new protective style for the month because, as much as we might miss wearing our natural crowns whenever we have braids or wigs on, you know it can really wear a sister out having to wake up half an hour earlier to make sure the crown looks good and sits right for the rest of the day. To read some tips on how I maintain my hair when it isn’t in a protective style, click here.
An important part of promoting hair growth in black hair is to moisturise. The tendency when rocking protective styles is to neglect the hair: you assume that because it is underneath the braids or weave, that it is fine and needs no further care. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Moisturising is even more important when your hair is tucked away, and this is the best time to maximise on stimulating growth! While some women like to wash their hair and then moisturise while it is in braids, I find this to be time-consuming and also frizz-enducing. Without wasting time, I will get right into how I keep my hair well-replenished and happy no matter what hairstyle I wear.
1. Daily Spritz
If you are team natural, you’ve probably heard of a daily spritzer before. This is Holy Grail for every single one of us! For those not so familiar with it, this is simply a mixture/ moisturiser which you use daily to – you guessed it, moisturise your hair! To make mine, I use a spray bottle half-filled with water and add my favourite essential oils to it: peppermint, lemon, and tea tree oil. Jamaican Black Castor oil is also a favourite addition (Lavender and Hemp seed are my go-tos ATM!)
When I had access to a guava tree last summer, I would boil a few guava leaves and add the juice into my mixture – this is great for reduced shedding and for healthy hair growth. Giving your braids or cornrows a little spritz every morning as part of your daily routine will help keep the roots from becoming dry and thirsty.
Rosewater is light, fresh, and soothing, with so many nourishing qualities. If you are too lazy to make DIY Rosewater at home (like myself), you can get a readily made bottle from a grocery store or natural-products store. This all natural spray tames fly-aways and makes hair smoother, silkier and shinier. It also aids in detangling and will leave your hair looking and smelling beautiful. I spray a bit of this onto my scalp at least 3 times a week, as it also helps to fight off dandruff. Dandruff is counterproductive to hair growth, so you definitely want to tackle that fast!
3. Hair Food
Hair food is something which I definitely use sparingly, just because of how heavy it can feel when applied to the scalp. My current fave is New York 2000 Herbal Gro, which has been positively associated with boosting hair growth. The key to applying hair food is to massage it into the scalp as you apply it. I cringe deeply as I think about all of those hair salon visits which used to end with the hairdresser applying fierce amounts of hair food onto my scalp that were never massaged in, and just sat on top of the hair until they sort of melted once I stood in the sun Damn. Massaging the scalp helps to get blood circulation going and stimulates your roots, so try not to miss this step! I only use hairfood about twice a month.
4. Hair Lotion + Sealant
My go-to hair lotion is the Olive Oil hair lotion, and this always works perfectly when I have braids in my hair! I simply apply it down the length of the braid up to the point where my real hair ends, and then use a sealant oil to lock in that moisture. This sealant can be anything from coconut oil, to olive oil… my hair loves this! With braids, I only need to do this once or twice a week. Easy Peasy.
5. Plain Water
Yes! Good old H2o. If you’ve run out of oils or don’t want to blow your budget on them, tap water will do great to rehydrate your hair. Water works wonders for hair and is able to rejuvenate it without weighing the strands down. Parting your hair and spritzing a little water onto each braid a few times a week works just as well as the methods listed above – you can also do more by drinking lots of water daily to aid your hair growth.
And there you have it! If you have any more tips on moisturising hair, with or without a protective style, let us all know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more posts like these every Friday. Cheers!