I have spent a year looking for a hairdresser in London and I have found reliable options but not great options. Morris Roots in Tooting Broadway offers reliable Sunday hours and talented stylists. However, the salon is over an hour from my house so I visit only when absolutely necessary. My at-home locologist friend is still good however she only offers styling. Routine maintenance treatments are my sole responsibility. So for now, I am my best option.
You are the your best self-care expert.
I am so committed to my hair, I’ve invested in professional grade equipment and products. I broke the first professional dryer I got because I had no idea what I was doing but have since upgraded to an upright steamer and dryer. It was crazy expensive so I might have to start offering steam treatments from my house to recoup the cost for the equipment – £10 a pop maybe. In addition, I have developed my own serums from various oils (lemongrass, argan oil, coconut oil, cod liver oil, lavender etc). I am still testing them out on my hair, so I will update with results in the upcoming months.
Thanks to natural hair blogs, a consultation with my mom (yes my mom), and a visit to the nutritionist, I’ve put together my 2018 self-care New Years resolution to healthier hair.
Sleep 7 to 8 hours sleep is essential to maintaining your health. We all know that. But I routinely get 5 hours sleep which leaves me sluggish and reliant on coffee and sugar to survive my workdays. So the plan is to remove my phone from my bedroom by 11 pm. It’s still a work in progress but at least I have a plan.
De-Stress with exercise and meditation. Stress increases cortisol levels and cortisol decreases hair growth and can even lead to hair loss. I will start with a weekly routine of Pilates/ Yoga, a bit of cardio and meditation to decrease my stress levels. While meditation is not easy for me, I will incorporate a two minute gratitude mantra in my morning routine.
Diet – While dieting helps achieving weight loss goals and improving your health, it’s important to watch what you eat during your weight loss journey. Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can cause hair loss. During my own weight loss journey, I noticed my hair thinning. After taking a blood, metabolism and body composition tests, my nutritionist gave a few diagnoses. Deficiency in vitamin D and iron and wait for it “protein”. So away goes the carbs and bring on the beef! Nuts such as cashews, walnuts, and pistachios are good sources for vitamin D. Adding a B-Complex for women and an omega 3 supplement also doesn’t hurt.
Shampoos and Cleansers. Hydrating shampoos made with shea-butter and jojoba oil is all the craze but you won’t see the disclaimer “not appropriate for locks as they may cause buildup” or “alcohol is an active ingredient in this shampoo and may cause breakage in locks”. The dirty secret is, you don’t need to buy shampoo. I have a cleansing routine that now uses items from my pantry – apple cider vinegar, baking soda, lemons. I add peppermint and lavender oil for fragrance.
Moisturisers. Shea-butter, pomades, leave in conditioners and oils used to be my go to moisturisers for years but most of these products cause build up in my locks. The issue didn’t become apparent until six months after having a regular hair. My new regimen thanks to mom’s advice, castor oil. Mom reminded me that she used pure castor in my hair when I was a child. The result – my hair is maintaining it’s moisture.
Protective Styling and Silk scarfs. Wearing a silk scarf has helped maintain the moisture in my hair. That brittle sharp feeling of my hair has returned to soft. To decrease the pressure style puts on my edges, I use rod sets to curl my locks and wear them curly for a a week at a time. The trick with the rod set it to wet or dampen the tips of your locks. I use rose water and argan oil in water.
Stop fussing with my hair – I’m a serial lock twirler. Yes, when I’m thinking, I twirl one lock which has left the poor thing stringy. I use stress balls at my desk now instead of my poor hair.
You are your best self care expert. Check in with your self and you’ll realise you have the answers and if you don’t you’ll find someone who does.
What are your hair care resolutions? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. It’s a journey ya’ll.
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A few helpful websites and salons that have helped me along my journey-
Khamit Kinks – The ladies at Khamit have cared for my natural hair for over 15 years and have tutored me in on self care and hair care. Grateful and thankful for them everyday.
LocNChops – The Heiress Ms. Folami started my locks in 2011 and I’m extremely grateful for her countless lectures on self care during my hair appointments.
Grow Natural Black Hair – helps uncover some myths about natural hair and gives helpful tips on how to care for your own hair.
Curly Hair Growth – Gives information natural hair products and styling options.
Yannie Locologist – Great insights on lock care from her years as a stylist.
Facebook Groups – The Natural Lounge. It’s a closed group of a couple thousand black women from across the diaspora, with different hair textures helping each other out with anything from stylist referrals to launching hair care products.