Going natural is a very emotional, yet exciting and rewarding experience. It can be confusing and difficult to transition from relaxed hair to kinks and curls if you don't know what you are doing. At Curltopia our transitioning and natural hair experts will help you understand the styles, products and steps you should be taking to help you through your journey. Already natural? There are crucial things you should or should not do to maintain healthy, natural locks. Over the years we've noticed a lot of men and women have the same questions and concerns, or making the same mistakes. This is some information on natural and transitioning hair that will be beneficial to you.
Top 5 Questions about Natural Hair
1. I haven't had a relaxer in "x" years but I have straight pieces. Why?
Applying heat to your hair can cause thermal damage, creating straight pieces. You may not be relaxing your hair but if you flatiron your hair, thermal damage can have similar effects creating permanently straight pieces.
2. What is the best way for me to transition from relaxed to naturally curly hair?
Our philosophy at Curltopia is this: If you are not ready to do the "big chop" try not to thermal style (straighten) your hair- if you do, keep it minimal and have it done by a transitioning expert. Trim your ends as often as once a month (depending on how quickly you want those straight ends off!). Use a sulfate free shampoo (Deva No-poo), followed by a quality conditioner(Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner). Make sure you deep condition your hair every two weeks (Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery). These simple steps will ensure your new growth is curly, healthy, shiny, strong, and soft.
3. If I shouldn't flatiron my hair, how do I possibly style my hair while I transition?
Rod-sets, Straw-sets and flat-twists are the most common styles we use to avoid thermal damage during your transitioning phase.
4. My hair is all natural with no straight pieces. What products should I be using?
Shampoo once a week (Deva No-poo), followed with a quality conditioner (Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner) and rinse. Apply the styling product that best meets the needs of your curl pattern and texture (Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding, Stretch Silkening Crème, Meringue, or Quick Curls) only on the day you shampoo. For second day hair, and to reactivate your styling product, use a leave-in conditioner (Jane Carter Leave-In Conditioner) and moisturizer (Miss Jessie's Curly or Baby Buttercreme) everyday.
5. What type of curl do I have?
At Curltopia, we don't focus on numbers or letters when it comes to your hair, this can be very discouraging. Curl is curl and there is no curl Curltopia can't tame! How do we know what product to use? On your first visit, we will shampoo and deep condition your hair (all services come with a complimentary deep conditioning treatment under the dryer, or you can hydrate your hair under the steamer- cost is $25). Once your hair is clean, free of product, conditioned, wet, and in its natural state, your hair will be evaluated. Our team of natural hair experts will be able to determine your curl pattern, texture, straight pieces, breakage, and shrinkage. They will then suggest the best style for your "curl type"; and hand select the best styling products for your texture specifically.
Top 5 Mistakes in Caring for your Natural Hair
1. You want to grow your hair as much as possible, but you don't get your hair trimmed regularly.
Natural hair should be trimmed at least every 8-12 weeks and transitioning hair should be trimmed every 4 weeks by a professional to promote healthy hair growth. Think of it as trimming the ends of a plant when you want it to bloom or grow faster.
2. You wash your hair too often.
Natural hair, transitioning hair, and curly hair should not be washed too often. Your hair can become dry and frizzy if shampooed too often as this rubs the natural oils off the hair and scalp.
3. You use oils (coconut, olive) to "moisturize"; your hair.
Oils sit on the hair as a coat. Although the hair does look shiny, it is not getting the benefits of a moisturizer because the oil does not reach the inner cortex of the hair shaft. Our best moisturizer is Miss Jessie's Buttercreme (Baby or Curly) which penetrates the shaft, moisturizes dry scalp and hair, creating healthy, soft, shiny curls. This is a product that should be used daily for optimal results.
4. You use a daily moisturizer for your hair, but you are not using a sulfate-free shampoo.
If you use a daily moisturizer but use a shampoo with sulfate in it, you end up stripping all natural oils from your hair. Shampoo with sulfate in it has suds, similar to suds in dish detergent. Dish detergent strips oil and a shampoo with sulfate will strip your hair. You can use Miss Jessie's Buttercreme everyday, but when you use a regular shampoo with sulfate in it, the benefits of the moisturizer are null and void.
5. You do not clarify your hair.
Many times we hear women say "I was using X product on my hair and I loved it. It doesn't work on my hair anymore."; If you don't clarify your hair every 6-8 weeks (Curls Clarifying Shampoo), you can get product build up making your hair dull and lifeless. Clarifying your hair means using a shampoo that will strip all build up off of it (a shampoo with sulfate in it) and although it will also strip natural oils from your hair, it is not only acceptable, but necessary as long as it is done sparingly and it is followed by a deep conditioning treatment (Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery).
Natural Hair 101