The sales clerk and manager of the store greeted me with bright smiles. They said good morning and then one asked,
“That’s your hair?”
“Mm hmm, yep,”
“Ohhh, I thought it was natural twist weave.”
We all laughed, and I started looking at the shirts 👚 on the rack…asked a question about an available size for one, and the sales clerk’s voice trailed off in the background.
“I wish I had hair like that.”
She, and her hair were beautiful. But she didn’t see it then, because comparison is something we all fight with sometime or another in some way or another. I turned around and reminded her.
“Your hair is beautiful.”
Her expression suggested she didn’t believe me. “It’s so dry.”
“Mine was like coconut husk, not so long ago.”
We laughed again.
And I shared what you’re about to read here: a few products that help me along this natural hair moisturizing journey.
Since I freed my hair and wear it curly, the questions have been rolling in: What technique did I use, how long did it take, and did someone help? What products to use for moisture and new growth boosting? How has the transition from locs to curly affect my hair regime, and how do I have so much hair left after the unlocking process? This conversation comes up quite a lot, so I figured sharing some tips might help someone out.
After opening my locs, my hair was pretty husky and needed a moisture boost. There were split ends to deal with, and I’d lost about a cat’s weight of fur – in hair during the process – a foot of hair, to be precise.
Having rocked locs for over 12 years, I’d almost forgotten the techniques involved in tending to natural kinky curls, and was instantly encouraged to research hair treatment tips. No complaints at all; enjoying the journey and having fun learning about the best products for my hair, while continuing using oils that are crucial for managing kinky hair in general. Before starting locs, my hair was in 2-strand twists or cane-row “corn-row” for years; it’s much darker now for some reason – but hey!
Here are some of the key products I’m using and get good results from:
• Jamaican mango & lime “Jamaican black castor oil – mango & papaya” (a sweetly fragrant oil that gives hair a richly moisturized texture, without feeling super-greasy. Castor oil in and of itself can be heavy, but this brand’s oil is beautifully balanced, and doesn’t leave your hair feeling weighted down. I’ve tried the rosemary-flavoured one before, but this one takes the cake and features my two favourite fruits…heyyy!)
• Organics olive oil twist & loc gel (this one’s great for sheen and tenderness. Works best when you let it ‘set’ in your plaited or twisted hair overnight. The scent is pretty neutral.)
• Talia Waaijid Curly Girl Cream (a real curl booster, this one! It helps enhance, shape and pronounce your hair’s natural curl. Long-lasting and pleasantly moisturizing. Leaves here light.)
• Talia Waaijid Curl Sealer (slightly greasy at first, but adapts fairly well to hair depending on texture. Mine’s a bit kinky and reasonably thick to use this as a stand-alone product, so it’s more for on-the-top treatment.)
Oils along the moisturizing journey: I grew up in a home where olive and coconut oil were regularly applied to my scalp and hair, and castor oil, cod liver oil, and ‘shark oil’ (followed by an orange) were served by a spoon as a school-prep step to “clean out” from any junk food eaten on vacation and strengthen my system for a new season of learning. Ahhhh…life in The Caribbean.
Oils are synonymous with care, because they’re used to treat, enhance, uplift, and tend to anything they’re added or applied to. From biblical times, they were applied to anoint and bless.
Along with the products mentioned earlier up, I include essential oils as part of special mixes for different purposes: oils like peppermint, orange, lemon, and rosemary.
Remember to stimulate the scalp by massaging your oil/s of choice in soft-pressure circles, then add some to your hair overall. Too much oil makes for a tough shampoo, so add a dollar-sized amount per treatment. I’ve been oiling my scalp lightly every 2-3 days, and now that my hair’s open, can see a difference in moisture since following this rhythm methodically.