Are you a natural hair newbie? Are you a bit lost? Starting the natural hair journey can be quite overwhelming. You probably don’t even know where to start, which products to use. 4C/4B, L.O.C., TWA is that even English? We’ve made a list of products and tools to start to build up your natural haired gal arsenal.
It’s your very own newbie natural hair beginner’s kit, put together just for you!
We have organized the kit into three parts. The first is a thorough understanding of the products. Part 2 is a list of the most important tools to have to make life easier. Part 3, a set of useful tools that won’t hurt, in fact, they will make you survive. Finally Part 4, a small dictionary [read five words 🙂 ] for those words and acronyms that don’t even sound like English and finally
Let’s get you started.
Part 1: Products
This the stuff that gets rid of all the dirt and product built up in your hair. Cleansing will be a big part of your journey. No jokes. This what naturalistas always talk about as wash day.
Just be careful when choosing your shampoo as you don’t want it to strip away all your natural hair oils. This is why we recommend that you choose a well-balanced sulphate free shampoo.
Deep Conditioners & Deep Treatments
Deep conditioner and deep treatments are one and the same thing. It might seem confusing but it’s not. There are two types of these products, those that restore moisture and those that strengthen your hair strands with protein.
After every wash, deep treat/condition your hair to replenish your strands moisture or strengthen them with protein. The deep conditioning sessions will be your best friend as a beginner, every time you’re under the impression that your strands are losing their shape or becoming dry, try a deep treatment.
A leave-in conditioner -as self-explanatory as it is- doesn’t need to be rinsed out. This will help with styling your hair because it makes natural hair more manageable and prevents it from getting knotted. Do not, however, lather leave-in and go about your day! The leave-in conditioner is just a first step for you not to tangle. A protective hairstyle such as three-strand braids or twists is recommended to keep your hair from tangling. Check out our Mosara hydrating butter that acts as a leave-in conditioner, it will leave your soft as it’s enriched with coconut oil, avocado oil and castor oil. A recipe for softness and moisture, and it smells just as good as it sounds!
Gels/ Curling butter/Curling Pudding/Curl Souflee/Edge Control
These are your go-to styling and hold products. They give your curls and kinks the hold for your twist outs, braid outs and wash and go’s. They also help to achieve those snatched hairstyles like a high puff, sleek bun. It will lay those edges and sleek down the fly-aways.
Experiment widely, but don’t turn yourself into a product junkie. Try one product and use it till it’s done before buying the next one. What to look for? Choose one that doesn’t dry out your hair and one that doesn’t leave you with white dandruff-like flakes.
PAUSE! THIS IS NOT THE END! Our natural hair beginner’s kit continues with…tools. We’re including tools because they can literally make or break your hair. So, come along.
Part 2: Tools: The Must-Haves in your Beginner’s kit
This is your holy grail tool. It’s essential for hydrating your hair, keeping your hair wet when working with gels or detangling in between washes. Get yourself a good quality spray bottle, one that sprays in a continuous mist, fill it up with water and voila.
Whenever you want to detangle your hair but you aren’t ready to wash it, just spray your hair with water, enough to make it damp, apply some leave-in conditioner and detangle.
I know you have heard this one. Always work in sections. Butterfly clips help you keep your sections separate making it easier to detangle or even shampoo. Clips are easy to use, just section and hold it down with the clip.
As opposed to hair ties, they don’t tangle natural hair, and will painlessly keep your sections separate. Taking them off won’t cause pain either.
Silk or Satin Bonnets and Pillow Cases
Use Silk bonnets or pillowcases to protect your hair at night. Matter of fact, these items should be number one in the natural hair beginner’s kit. Silk or satin help your hair retain moisture because they do not absorb moisture it like cotton would for example.
They are also gentler on your edges and using them won’t cause any rubbing that can lead to hair breakage. Check out our good friend Carol Tichie’s Brand Apparels and Accessories on Instagram to purchase one.
The wide gap between teeth will allow the comb to run through your hair easily without causing breakage. Again, we recommend you get a good quality one. Check to make sure it has no cracks or rough edges.
With wide-toothed combs, you reduce the possibility of breaking your hair tugging at finely knotted tangles. They will definitely be better for you than their fine-toothed relatives.
While combs are perfect for detangling, they aren’t much help for styling other than when you need a good fluff for your roots. A good hairbrush will do a better job of sleeking down your hair into a low bun or a high puff. They can be a lifesaver for those hairstyles, especially when paired with a good gel.
Let’s not forget the good old toothbrush. If you can’t find a brush for your edges, a toothbrush will do the job just as well. Just whoop it out when you need to swoop and lay those baby hairs.
Part 3: Natural Hair Beginner’s Survival Tool kit
You’re probably thinking why aren’t these included in the list of tools. Well, they are a different type of accessories, the ones that will come in handy on those bad hair days or lazy days.
The hair turban: everyone has a bad hair day, maybe you woke up late or you forgot to twist your hair the night before. Have a hair turban as part of your natural hair beginner’s kit. Some of them come pre-wrapped and you can just put it on your head and adjust to your liking. If you’re feeling adventurous or you’re a total pro, just take any piece of Ankara fabric or scarf of your choice and tie it to your liking.
Hair barrettes: hooray! Hair barrettes are back in style. Just keep a handful of them for those days your hair refuses to collaborate. You can just leave it in an afro and sleek two sides and stick two cute barrettes in there. Effortless chic hairstyle!
Before you leave, here are a few slang words so you don’t get lost in a conversation or maybe you want to sound like a total pro.
Part 4: The Newbie Naturalista’s Dictionary
L.O.C/L.C.O. : Acronym for liquid, oil, and cream. It’s a method that helps to keep your hair moisturized. For the L use water/leave-in conditioners/ infusions/aloe vera gel. The O and C help to keep that L in and tresses moisturized for days.
4B/4C/4Z etc: These refer to hair types. It’s based on a chart of hair types developed by a cool scientist. He grouped hair into 4 categories ranging from type 1 being the straight hair to type 4C being the one with the tightest coils. 4Z doesn’t exist.
T.W.A: Acronym for teeny weeny afro.
Transitioning: This is growing out your natural hair while retaining your relaxed ends rather than getting a big-chop.
Big Chop: Cutting off all of your relaxed hair when you only have very little growth. These days though naturalistas also second big chop, meaning they cut off all their hair to start over. Usually, this is if one has a lot of damaged hair.
Enjoy our natural hair beginner’s kit and remember, the journey always starts from somewhere! Take it one step at a time!