Most, if not all of us are unlikely to see the inside of a hair salon for the next few months. The reality is that the salon business is deemed non-essential. This means we need to take matters into our own hands. Take the opportunity of being home to revive your tresses and give your hair a break from over-manipulation.
In this article, I will be sharing simple practical things you can do to take care of your natural hair at home.
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1. Re-assess your hair care routine
If you are spending most of your time at home, you need to re-assess your natural hair care routine and make adjustments as necessary. If for instance, you used to go to work daily, but are now working from home, you may not need to style your hair elaborately every morning. It is your opportunity to keep your styles simple and leave them on for a longer time.
When stuck at home, it is difficult to access products or at least we know there is already a disruption with supply chain hence the usual products you use will not be as readily available as before. This means you need to make adjustments to your hair care routine, work with what you have available.
If you happen to be a parent to older children, then you have the added responsibilities of homeschooling in addition to working from home, this calls for proper time management and this includes hair care.
2. Install a simple protective style
As mentioned earlier, we may not see the doors of a salon anytime soon, so all those sophisticated hairstyles that you are used to are not possible anymore.
During this period, you also want to minimize the manipulation of your hair, we are already dealing with too much: we are learning to bake so we can still have bread like we used to, learning new recipes because we cannot go out to explore, we are homeschooling, for those with kids, so ladies, we don’t have all the time to style hair every single day.
Besides, it is a good practice to wear protective styles even during normal times. Protective styles are not protective if you don’t prepare the hair well before installing a style, otherwise you will end up with more damage.
Always make sure that your hair is clean, moisturized and deep-conditioned before you install the hairstyle.
Some of the easiest styles you can install on your own include: Mini or Chunky twists, Braids, Buns, Flat Twists and Bantu Knots. Get creative in how you put in these styles. You can inspiration from Youtube videos, many Youtubers are getting creative with showcasing simple protectives styles you can install at home during this pandemic.
Try leaving a protective style on for at least a week or two if your hair can hold up. You will save time and products. If you have an online meeting to attend, of course ensure the style is looking fresh, throw on a wig or wear a head scarf!
3.Time to dust those wigs from the closet
With most people working online, it is likely that your job requires that you have video meetings, you obviously need to appear looking kempt and professional. If you have a long term protective style installed, you may want to throw on your favorite wigs during your meetings.
When the meeting is done you can choose to toss it off or leave it on if want to keep your hair protected. So, dust those wigs, freshen them up and use them when needed.
If you are not a wig person, then try out head wraps, don’t be scared to show up at a meeting with one. Unusual times calls for unusual actions. There are several creative ways to tie a head wrap and still look fresh and professional. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.
4. Limit the use of shampoo
It is easy to imagine that you can always order products once you have run out but we are being cautious here, we need to think of the worst case scenarios.
What if supply chain is hugely disrupted that your usual products are not being re-stocked as fast as they used to? What if the manufacturing is altogether disrupted? The truth is ladies, if this pandemic is not contained soon, then don’t expect to get your usual products readily available.
So what should you do? It is time to start practicing minimalism with your hair care routine. Either cut back on some routines that were nice to have or minimize the frequency.
I have always been an advocate for minimizing the use of shampoo on natural hair especially type 4 hair, so this is a perfect time to practice this.
To keep your scalp clean, because it is important, think of using natural remedies for cleaning the hair without necessarily using shampoo.
In this article, I have gone through various methods you can use to wash your hair without shampoo.
5. Protect your hair while sleeping
Now more than ever, you need to ensure your hair is protected all the times especially because we want to keep protective styles last longer.
When sleeping, we tend to toss and turn around the bed and therefore if you are sleeping on cotton pillows, there is a lot of friction between your hair strands and the pillow fabric, this often leads to breakage. Also, fabrics like cotton absorb moisture leaving your hair dry and brittle. This drying effect of cotton coupled with friction will destroy your hair in the long run.
Sleep in a Satin Bonnet, or a Satin Scarf to protect your hair while sleeping. If you don’t have either of the two, use a Satin Pillow Case. You can always order a Satin Bonnet online from Amazon if you don’t already have one.
6. Use water to moisturize your hair
It has always been said that water is the best moisturizer, well, if you have never believed so, now is the time to experiment.
If you have been using a store bought moisturizer or using other natural products like Aloe Vera to moisturize your hair, as I have said above, you may not always have these at hand or you would want to preserve what you have to last as long as possible.
Turn to plain water to moisturize your hair. Whenever you feel your hair is beginning to feel dry, sprinkle some water on your strands until they are slightly moist but not wet. Proceed to seal off this moisture with an oil like Olive, Castor, Shea Butter or any other oil you have available. Sealing with an oil will ensure that the moisture is retained for longer.
7. Get creative with DIY natural hair care remedies
You probably already know that you can use readily available kitchen ingredients to take care of your hair. Perhaps you haven’t tried because you go to an office and you would not want to risk showing up with a head full of white flakes from Flaxseed or whitish residue from Bentonite clay, or worse a very unbearable stench from applying onion juice in your hair.
Now that you are home, nothing stops you from perfecting the art of preparing and applying DIY hair care products. No one will judge you, your family will surely understand J
There are several alternatives to store bought hair care products. I will talk about a few and request that you get more information on this detailed article on: homemade remedies for natural hair growth.
- Rice water – The famous rice water is one of my best hair DIYs. Rice water can be used to pre-poo, detangle and condition hair. Rice water is probably one of the easiest natural hair remedies to prepare. It is as simple as soaking some rice in water and letting it stay overnight, then strain and use the following day. To learn more about rice water, read this detailed Rice Water article.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one of the most versatile products in the home. It can be used for almost anything, from cooking, cleaning, skin care to hair care. ACV is an excellent alternative for washing hair without shampoo. Read this article to learn more.
- Onion Juice – I had to throw this in because it is probably your best bet to risk and apply Onion Juice on your hair. At least there are no colleagues to judge you! Onion Juice has been studied as a potential remedy for hair loss, so worry not, I am not making this up. I have used Onion Juice severally; the results are always incredible.
- DIY hair masks from kitchen ingredients – You can make a perfect deep conditioning mask from items in your kitchen. There are several ingredients you can combine together to create a very nourishing mask for your natural hair. Such ingredients include: Eggs, Avocados, Bananas, Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon…the list is endless. You can pick up a recipe from Pinterest or Youtube.
8. Use your stash of Essential Oils to ‘power-up’ your hair products
What do you do when you realize your favorite conditioner is out of stock? You try searching for alternatives, right? And reading reviews here and there to pick your next best. What if your next best is too expensive!
I was out earlier today restocking essentials, I needed to stock up on a conditioner but could not find the one I use regularly. I was stuck on the hair products isle for a very long time, I was getting worried staying in the supermarket too long, until an idea came to me. Why not get a very basic conditioner, with basic ingredients and then give it some life by adding essential oils that I have at home?
I would highly recommend that you add essential oils that you already have at home to your conditioner and shampoo to give then some added power! Essential oils are packed with antioxidants and have anti-microbial properties that will protect your hair, and promote growth.
I hope you get inspired by this article to get creative and care for your natural hair at home without too much hustle. Am sure there are other tips you can try out, if you have any other ideas, feel free to share in the comments below.
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