by Avi Miller
My Journey with my all natural, never processed ethnic hair
I have never processed my hair and throughout high school and parts of university I constantly received questions regarding when I was going to process it. My hairdresser on every visit made sure to tell me it would be so long and make me pretty- frankly, the instant gratification of never having to detangle my hair again was much more tempting but I had reservations about the frequency of processed hair rituals, the “it burns!!’’ I heard grown women screaming, and the night time assignments of rollers or wraps needed.
Lazy was I and my hair didn’t mind
I was into lazy hair care and in my case almost no hair care. I was however not averse to change and had bleached, dyed, braided, twisted, and had even an afro; but,all on the same regimen of generic shampoo, conditioner and most Jamaicans will know a dab of hair food. Save for the few times, and I mean few, I bought a hair mayonnaise, a leave-in conditioner,moved in on my mom’s castor oil, or felt inclined to go and butcher an aloe plant that was it.
Many of my friends have since had their big chops and have started their natural hair care journey; in truth, I feel as if I have just started too. There is more information now on natural hair care and a beautiful celebration of black hair by both males and females propagated by social media that has allowed us to begin embracing parts of our being that we had for generations systematically felt was not good enough. As the natural hair movement grew I had people asking me what I used, they just assumed I knew- I probably should’ve, I got a few stares when I said, “uhh- shampoo, conditioner, oil” always followed by questions on type of oil, “uhh, oil?”
OUR RELATIONSHIP HAVE GROWN
My hair care regimen has since evolved and will likely keep evolving as new products hit the market, the science of hair care evolves, and as I figure out what works for my hair.It follows, the best place to look for hair care inspiration is right to nature as it provides the essential elements and nourishment required in an unadulterated form. Hair care science currently recognizes the essentials of cleansing, daily moisturizing, deep conditioning, and low manipulation. There is particular attention to be paid to the daily moisturizing system used in your hair care; moisturizing is of utmost importance as prevents hair breakage and combats dryness. Water is the ultimate moisturizer and while oils have been demonized the natural ones are a powerful tool in sealing in moisture and nourishing the hair.
Natural products to for best results
There are many oils in your wellness arsenal but perhaps three of the most versatile are castor oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. Coconut oil possesses a high affinity for hair proteins-hair is rich in protein,and it reduces protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair; this is facilitated by coconut oil’s structure and size which allows direct penetration of the hair shaft.As such, coconut oil makes for a good pre and post wash product. Prolonged use of coconut oil has been known to lead to healthy looking long hair, suggesting heavily that it prevents damage to the cuticle. Almond oil is a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids; it is very nourishing, strengthens and softens hair without too much product build-up.
Castor oil is nature’s hair revitalizer; the oil boosts blood circulation to the follicles, leading to faster hair growth by ensuring the source of hair growth is properly nourished. It has been shown to be an excellent moisturizer and may assist with chronic itching. The oil also has omega-6 essential fatty acids and serves as an excellent tool in correction of bald patches. Castor oil mixed with coconut or almond oil acts as one of nature’s most powerful tools to initiate hair growth, thicken eyebrows and eyelashes.
Our grooming procedures can cause damage to our hair, even tears, but Jamaica has given us two of the most enviable products for effective hair care- real Jamaican coconut oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil. So moisturize, incorporate your natural oils in your regimen and rock your hair however you want!
Let KIHARA Cosmetics help you on your journey. Our Hair Growth Formula is unique blend of cold pressed coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil, rosemary, and peppermint that revitalizes your hair and scalp. Try it today!
About the author
Avi Miller is a freelance writer, scientist (Experimental Biologist) and Naturalist. She is currently studying medicine at the University of the West Indies.
Check out her poetry on her IG page : https://www.instagram.com/avimiller_ja/