November 9th, 2015 by Mintosee|| Last updated August 11th, 2016
At Mintosee, we are all ladies at different stages in our natural, long hair journey. The topic of long, natural hair is one that is near and dear to us, because as fashionistas, we like to dress in unique, beautiful clothes, shoes and bags and complete our outfit with unique and beautiful hairstyles!
We like the idea that a woman can choose to have long, short or mid length hair. So, this article is made with our fellow black women and girls in mind to inform of the fundamental techniques and products that we use in our journey to healthy, long, natural hair.
Our research and product use goes back to 2010, plus we have a lifetime of knowledge of knowing all of the hair products and techniques that do not work for natural hair, or black hair in general.
There is so much information out there about hair oils, PH balancing your natural hair, the LOC method ... and we tried so many of these things just to realize that caring for natural hair doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. It is also much easier now that so much research has been done. Bear in mind that we all need to do what works for us individually, but we have found that growing natural hair to long lengths can be a simpler process and that is what this natural hair care article is about.
Growing long, natural hair is attainable with the correct techniques and products which work for natural hair, which we summarize below in this natural hair care infographic we made:
This is a picture of our small arsenal of natural hair products that are a tremendous help in caring for our natural hair and a picture of Pet's natural hair this year.
On the next two pages we will describe how each natural hair product and technique listed in the infographic works.
Just like we bathe everyday and lotion to lock moisture in our skin, natural hair needs water to moisturize it. Water is moisture and natural hair needs it to prevent breakage because breakage is the main culprit that prevents black hair from growing long.
We have two spray bottles. One contains water to spritz our hair once a day.
The other spray bottle is used when we have our hair in delicate natural hairstyles for days or a few weeks and it would ruin the hairstyle to rub leave in conditioner into it. So we put a moisturizing mix of water and leave-in conditioner into the spray bottle and spritz our hair daily or every few days with it, depending on how dry our hair feels.
This is the hair bottle that we use. We turn the nozzle a bit so that it comes out as a mist.
(Click image to shop this spray bottle)
For all of our lives, we dreaded one thing from wash day: shampoo leaving our hair feeling like straw! Thus began our two decade hunt for a moisturizing shampoo. Here is what we learned.
Most shampoos contain sulfates, which are harsh mixtures that separate the dirt and oil from the hair so that it easily rinses. However, sulfate shampoos strip away the natural oils from our hair, so we stopped using them. Here is a list of sulfates to avoid and more information about sulfates.
But, our hair was still dry! So we found out a few more ingredients in shampoos that dry out our hair. Proteins in shampoo can dry out certain hair types, so we decided to eliminate that as well.
The last and most important ingredient we have to avoid in all hair products is humectants. Humectants work by attracting moisture from the environment, but is a big no-no for hot climates like the one we live in. Read about humectants and humectant ingredients in detail.
This is the shampoo we use and it does not leave our hair feeling dry. We shampoo our hair by rubbing our scalps every couple of months, or if it is really dirty from product buildup or swimming at the sea or pool.
(Click image to shop this shampoo)
Dry, natural hair needs lots of moisture, so I found that washing every week with shampoo, followed by conditioning keeps my hair moisturized (update: I no longer co-wash). This is the moisturizing conditioner that I use. This is the only one that works to keep my hair moisturized after washing. To use, I apply and leave in for a couple of hours with a plastic cap or bag over it, or apply heat over the plastic cap or bag for 15 minutes, with a blow dryer on the warm setting. I usually buy lots of large bottles to stock up since it is not available where I am.
(Click image to shop this conditioner)
This is the best leave in conditioner that we have ever used because when we moisturize with it, the moisture lasts about 2 days. The "green ting", as we call it, is the most moisturizing leave in that we tried. With it, we have seen a great reduction in those pesky splits and dry hair. This has a very strong, but good smell. After we wash the conditioner above out of our hair, we let it dry almost completely, then rub this leave in conditioner all through it, especially on the ends, and none on the scalp. We do not put any leave-in products on our scalps.
(Click image to shop this leave in)
The best thing for natural hair is to be gentle with it. That is why we use gentle detangling techniques, starting from the ends of our hair.
This video shows some finger detangling techniques. We detangle a bit slower and gentler than in this video but that's because it works better for us. Listen to your hair and do what works best for you.
All of the natural hair products we use in our journey to long, natural hair are here:
Mintosee is not affiliated with any of the persons in these videos or in linked content. We are just writing about our natural hair journey and people who gave us knowledge along the way. Copyright 2015-2017 Pet from Mintosee