Natural hair is definitely the new brazilian hair as lots of women have embraced this look and are proudly rocking their natural hair; even celebrities have started to embrace this look! The likes of Omoni Oboli, TY Bello, Kemi Lala, Kate Henshaw, Jackie Appiah, Janelle Monae, are actually giving us hair goals!
Now, the truth is, this #naturalhair look is not meant for everyone. Most of these #naturalistas don’t actually know what they are getting into; some are actually embracing this look because everyone is doing it. Some don’t even understand how this look works; which explains why you see some ‘natural hair rockers’ with scanty, coarse, and unattractive hair! Natural hair needs patience, tender care, and constant attention. Some people will just chop off their hair, pay less attention to it, pay less attention to the hair products they use, and then turn around and start lamenting after few months that their hair is not growing!
Being a naturalista, i actually took the time out to browse and research deeper to know more more about this look before deciding to embrace the look. Here are few tips on how to maintain natural hair.
Understand this business of ‘big chop’. Most ladies don’t know how to go about chopping their hair. Understand your hair type, how your hair grows, before picking up your scissors to chop off your hair. You should talk to your hair stylist first before doing any chopping. I, personally, didn’t chop off all my hair. I went months without retouching, only chop off some inches, washed off any traces of relaxer in it with Soulmate Neutralizing Shampoo ,and left it to go back to its natural way. I have long, full hair, but i can’t just take the risk of chopping off all my hair (what if it takes forever to grow nko? Abi if it doesn’t grow out again nko?)
Pick more products with a lot of natural ingredients. Try to avoid those with mineral oils and petroleum oil.  Petroleum oil can dry your hair. It is better to invest in natural oils like almond oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. You can even make your coconut oil at home because natural, original coconut oil, also known as ‘adi agbon’ in yoruba, is really expensive (atleast, it is, here in Ibadan!) We will discuss how to make coconut oil from the comfort of your kitchen in our next post.
Try to follow a washing regimen. It is advisable to wash your hair on a weekly basis (but then, you can choose to wash it on a bi-weekly basis) I wash mine on a weekly basis, and it makes my hair to be soft, shiny, and nice!
Cute African American using shampoo
Agreeably, protective styles are nice and your best bet if you want to have nice hair growth and especially if you want to protect your hair. But biko, avoid overly protective styles!
Protective style
To achieve massive hair growth, do not comb and tug all the time. Just apply shea butter to the edge of your hair and use your finger to detangle.
For your shampoos, use sulphur-free shampoos.
If you use some styling products for your hair, it is better to reduce it up to 2-3 times a month. Use heat protection shampoo or mosturizer before curling or ironing.
When you are makng afro, comb from the ends to the roots, so as to avoid breakage.
afro hair-styling
Limit the use of hot appliances like flat irons, hair dryers, curling irons and pressing combs, as they can lead to hair damage because their high temperature can result to brittleness and dryness. I prefer to towel-dry my hair after washing or sitting close to a fan.

Sleep on a satin pillow case, or put on a hair bonnet, or tie satin scarf to bed, because damage can easily be done to your hair while asleep.
If you like swimming, make sure you shampoo your hair after swimming because the chlorine from the pool water doesn’t rinse out easily.
Try to eat a healthy, nutritious diet, to achieve healthy hair. There are healthy foods that you can eat without having to break the bank e.g egg.
Don’t forget to accessorize your hair with nice, colorful accessories!
We will be discussing about how to manage your budget because maintaining natural hair tend to cost a lot in our next post. All the best, naturalistas!
photos credit:
By Lydia Oladejo, courtesy

Esther Ijewere – Kalejaiye is an enterprising social activist, youth advocate, Wife, Mother of two, Author, Columnist and the executive director of Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children - A social enterprise outfit devoted to youth advocacy, public relations and social enterprise solutions amongst others. -- Esther Ijewere - Kalejaiye is the Executive Director/Founder - Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children, Fellow, Vital Voices Global Leadership USA and Author of the bestselling "Rape Handbook" - "Breaking The Silence". She is also a Columnist and Founding Editor - Women of Rubies. The Creative Director - Rubies Ink Media W - Tw- @estherijewere @womenofrubies @walk_rapeng @rubiesinkinkmedia
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