If you are new to my blog you may not know, I’ve been rocking my natural curls for 10 years. I made the decision to ‘go natural’ when hubby and I decided to start our family. When I was 37 years old, I would be is considered an older mum. ‘Going natural’ was one of the first things I did to improve my health and wellbeing, as hubby and I tried to get pregnant. In matter of months, I became pregnant. My natural hair and motherhood had begun. There is the belief that natural hair doesn’t grow but I can assure you as long as you are healthy and have a good idea hair grow, whatever the texture. In fact, I’ve had two big chops since I’ve been natural, when I wanted a look update. After being natural for a decade, this is what I know about 3C natural hair maintenance.
Natural Hair 3C
For context, I have 3B/C natural hair type. However, my natural hair no longer has the volume it did when I was a child. I would say, now that all my bleached hair as grown out, I have normal to dry 3B and 3C hair. I have named two curl types because the hair at my crown has seems to have a looser curl to that around head. My curls can achieve definition because it’s not as coily in comparison to a 4C natural hair. Therefore, achieving the look of volume can be challenging for me due to lack of thickness. Menopause has something do with the changes to my hair, as well.
Hair Goals & Natural Hair Hairstyles
For several years my hair goal was growth. Honestly, most naturalistas feel the same after the big chop. We want to see curls like those on insta, but the reality is we all have different hair types. I had to come to terms with the fact that my hair curly was thin. Therefore, I had to pick what I wanted most, volume or length. I chose volume.
Over the years I have achieved volume by learning how to style my hair type. I didn’t magically acquire more hair follicles. Allowing my hair to air dry or setting the curls via flat-twists allowed me to gain the best results for my washngoes.
My go to protective natural hair hairstyles are updos (also known back in the day as French Rolls) and cornrow. If my plaiting the cornrows myself, I tend to stick to 2 – 4 braids. It’s now called boxer braids in the glossy mags.
Self-Care & Natural Hair Health
Natural hair maintenance is more than what you put on the hair. All-round health plays a big part in hair growth. You know it already but I’ll say any way, healthy eating and exercise are important. When I went into perimenopause AND my hair lack lustre and thinner, I began taking supplements. The supplements I chose contained vitamins to support hair growth (i.e. vitamin E, C and B).
As a result my skin and nails looked amazing. I didn’t notice a spike in my hair length but it grew healthy and had a natural shine.
Additionally, part of my self-care Sunday routine has been to either deep condition my hair or pre-poo. The pre-poo would usually be an organic oil treatment before shampooing. Alternatively, the deep conditioning was done after shampooing. Depending on how my week had been and how my hair felt I would select a treatment accordingly.
Rookie Mistakes In Natural Hair Care
Having some basic knowledge of how to maintain natural hair before you set off on your natural hair journey is important. Here are some BIG No-nos:
- Never do a big chop on for yourself unless you know what you are doing. My first big chop did myself; let me tell you it was not cute. It had to be cut further and shaped the following day.
- Never take down a protective styling if you don’t have the time to do so carefully. Depending how long the style has been in, expect knots and tangles which must be handled with care. Note to self: if my hair is very tangled, I will detangle before washing.
- It’s funny how I do that for my daughter every wash day but I rarely do it myself. Honestly, poor detangling has been my biggest sin natural hair sin. If you want to retain length you must care for the hair on have.
- Avoid becoming a product junkie. Once you find the range that suits your curls stick with it and use your precious coins for another treat …and you’ll save on cupboard space.
The natural hair journey is specific to each ‘traveller’ and is rooted in self-understanding, self-esteem and self-love. I learnt so much about myself by caring for my hair in it’s natural state. Loving my natural authentic self paved the way into my motherhood journey.
How long have you been natural? What has been your challenge or triumph? I’d luv to hear from you. Feel free to add any tips that may be useful to other readers.
(updated 20th May 2020)