With the rise in natural hair care products being marketed now days, naturals have an abundance of options to choose from. Shampoos, conditioners, leave- ins, pomades, hair milks, butters, and oils have become staples on the lists of many naturals. I often see and read reviews on YouTube, Facebook, blogs and natural hair forums I read about how great these products aid in moisture retention. Mostly these various products were created to acheive the same result, added moisture into the hair. At the end of the day however regardless of how many products are on the market there is no better way to get moisture back into your hair than good ole' H2O.
When I transitioned in 1996, there were no forums or natural hair care websites or YouTube and if there were I knew nothing about them. I simply followed a regimen that made sense for me. I often wore my hair in wavy buns. An example of my regimen would be washing it on Sunday with shampoo, not organic or sulfate free just regular shampoo like Panetene. While still in the shower I would put Suave conditioner on my hair since it was the only conditioner at the time I knew of that would easily detangle my hair then I would lightly rinse leaving some conditioner in my hair, then towel dry. Once out of the shower I would brush my hair back into a bun and apply the light brown Ecostyle gel to let the waves pop! I did that from March when I cut my relaxed ends off for about a year. By the end of the year my hair which was about 5-6 inches long was now past APL approaching BS. My product line consisted of shampoo, conditioner and gel. Three items which not one of them would be considered "natural". My hair was never dry nor did it break off at the root or ends. Looking back I know the reason my hair was able to flourish without all the expensive products that are readily available for me to purchase today....WATER.
Water is one of those elements we often over look as a moisturizer for our hair. However, when I sat back and thought about this the other day, how much my hair grew and how healthy it was back in 1997, how thick and deep my waves were and I didn't spend more than $10 a month on products. Water is the reason my hair stayed moisturized. No other product on the market then or now can make my hair look or feel the way it does when its freshly washed or co washed dripping with water. My curls are defined. Its easy to detangle and soft soft soft. I know based on my own experience that water is the main staple required to grow my hair long and healthy. Water can be a naturals best friend and staple regardless of the texture. Kinkier textured hair can really benefit from water because it will ease in the detangling process and correct dryness. The key to maximizing the benefit of water is by using water only or water based moisturizers. You want to be sure you see water as one of the first 3 ingredients. After you apply the water then follow up with an oil or butter. Shea Butter and extra virgin olive oil are two of the most commonly used moisturizer sealants and can be purchased online or in most grocery or beauty supply stores.
Not just any kind of water is good for your hair. I always take into account the type of water I use in my hair. If your home has hard water you may want to invest in a water softener or purchase a Brita water filtration pitcher. There are also products like Lush's Hard Water Shampoo Bar that aid in combating hard water issues.
Moving forward if my hair is not in a protective like cornrows Im going to wash/co-wash every other day or every two days. This last two weeks I haven't worn any twists I've just been styling every other day. I dont wear buns anymore so Iopt for styles that I can do using bobby pins like updo shown below which suprisingly lasted 4 days. When I look at my roots the first 5 inches are really thriving just like it did in 97' (it's been 5 months since I last straightened my hair). Like the saying goes, if it aint broke dont fix it! Sometimes I just need to keep it basic...Im going to keep this in mind everytime I start feeling the need for a new product fix.