Okay, right into the topic of this blog: hair, black hair and washing. Important and absolutely necessary for maintaining not only a healthy head of ‘fro, but also a growing one. One of the most banal things I heard while growing up (we all have stories about hair myths don’t we? Like the Sunlight Dishwashing liquid one…or was I the only one?)was when somebody said that having dandruff is a sign of your hair growing, and the more dandruff, the more growth you are experiencing. NO!!!!!!!! Okay, to be honest, at the time she said it, I absolutely did not know how to tell right from wrong with my greasy, relaxed hair, so I didn’t really respond; I just took in what she was saying, and thought, “Hmmm, i I wish I could stand dandruff long enough to see some extra growth…” But! With that passing thought, I quickly went back to trying to maintain length and create volume for my flat relaxed hair, and no, Sunlight was not on the agenda.
The biggest problem with people with black hair (relaxed or natural) is that we don’t wash nearly enough. If the first time your hair comes into contact with water is your next relaxer (provided it doesn’t rain in between) then we’ve got a Big, no Huge, HUMONGOUS problem. Not only is that unhygienic ( ugh) it’s also extremely unhealthy (enter skin infections). Our hair NEEDS, and I repeat, in caps again, NEEDS a clean scalp and more importantly–water, to thrive.
A dirty, unwashed scalp can lead to clogged pores, dandruff and flakes; none of which are ever pretty. All of these can also inhibit hair growth and lead to hair loss. Hair needs to be washed to get rid of dead skin cells (like any other part of the body), and to get rid of all the products we use to style and moisturize our strands.
“What about my relaxer though? And this hairstyle won’t be the same after I wash my hair…”
Truly, we do sympathize. And we have also had this very same struggle. Looking good with your new do is always on the top of the agenda, but at what cost? That grease that has been sitting on top of your scalp must go, and also, that new do won’t smell so new boo. So why not get the wash? With the power of technology and the wonderful new ideas we receive from blogs and vlogs, you can have your hair looking fresher than the hairstyle you got from the hairstylist that went at you with the fine-tooth comb and tub of hair food sitting on your scalp (the traumas we have endured)! Yey!
On the frequency of washing your hair: our personal experience says once a week, or one co-wash and one-shampoo wash per week. But, of course, like the wonderful experts in this field keep reiterating, it is really up to your discretion because no one knows your hair, or your scalp like you do. Coming up in this blog, we will be trying out the question of ‘how often one should wash their hair’ and all the other questions we have had and still have. So please look out for those postings as we embark on this Frocumentation (get it? coz it’s about fro’s and we’re documenting it? okay, lame joke ends).
This ‘fro struggle is a real one; and a clean and healthy scalp is the first sign of victory. Don’t forget, celebrate your wins, no matter how small; they all add to up to greater victories.
Products we use to wash and condition:
Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo
Dr Miracles Curl Care Hydrating Shampoo
Aunt Jackie’s In Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner
(Disclaimer: This is what we like of this part of the wash-day routine. There’s obviously a few products that are not exactly wash specific, but go along with washing your hair. More on them, when we frocument them 😀 ).
-Andile Luthuli and Sami Maseko.