Ghanaian ladies lately seem to have gone back to the earlier days of their mothers and grandmothers when growing and keeping natural hair was the order of the day. Back then, it was the usual thing to keep virgin natural hair till permed hair became the new thing. Most ladies followed the perm trend, but the story is different now.
For sometime now, I have seen lots of young ladies in Ghana go through the big chop to start growing natural hair. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t keep outmoded styles from the past, but rather modern and very stylish ones. Trust me, I am always awed when I come across well kept and stylish natural hair.
After interacting with a few ladies to find out why they decided to go natural, I found some responses which summed up recurring sentiments:
- “Perm chemicals are harmful in nature”
- “Perm is so painful, I don’t know if it is worth it”
- “Did you know perm leads to baldness?!”
- “Natural hair is versatile. You can do numerous thing with natural hair that perm can’t do. I could have it wild and crazy one minute, then tame the next with a scarf or in a bun.”
- “No pretensions. I think African ladies should know ourselves as we came into the world.”
- “I think natural hair just has a genuine texture and look. Really interesting and authentic.”
Talking about well kept hair, let me quickly drop some maintenance tips in case you decide to switch too. Switching from perm to natural hair isn’t really difficult, it’s simple.
Natural Hair Maintenance.
- Keep your hair in braids for at least 2 months before the big chop. The big chop is cutting off the remains of the perm of your hair to stay natural.
- Try to ignore comments from “unnatural” advisors, just do your thing.
After the big chop, you can observe the following tips to make your hair look great.
- Co-wash your hair every week if you can. Co-washing is using conditioner to wash your hair.
- Use conditioner instead of shampoo because shampoo strips your hair of moisture.
- Use products with organic contents and avoid products with petro oil and mineral oils. Opt for products such as jojoba, coconut oil and almonds.
- Minimize heat. Lots of heat applied to your hair may cause breakage. I can bet you wouldn’t want that.
- Detangle your hair regularly. Be patient when detangling, washing, twisting, do it with care.
- Use the right products! There are various brands so every natural needs to find the ones that works best for their hair.
- Do protective styles like twists, cornrows or braids.
If you want great and very healthy hair, you ought to know how your hair works, grows and what to eat or not eat. Let’s get to know more about the science of hair now.
Hair is a very common component of the human body. It is a protein filament that grows from a skin organ called follicles and goes through three main stages when growing, namely: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.
It is the primary phase of hair growth also known as the active stage and right now about 85% of your hair is at this stage. Hair can be in the Anagen stage for 3-6 years and in this stage hair grows approximately 4 inches per year. The longer your hair stays in this stage, the longer it will grow.
Hair gets to the Catagen stage once the Anagen stage ends. This is also known as the maturation stage. Here, the lower part of the hair is destroyed, the follicles shrink and the hair gets pushed out of the skin in preparation for the last stage. This phase last about 2 weeks.
This is the resting stage of hair growth and at any given time, about 10% of all hairs on your head are resting. At this stage, hair is capable of shedding.
Food Nutrients That Boosts Hair Growth
What you eat has a say in how your hair turns out or looks. Nutrients play an important role for hair growth and not all kind of foods support good and healthy hair growth. To boost hair growth and make hair luscious, look out for some of these nutrients in your diet:
Proteins are life’s basic building blocks allowing repair and replacement of hair. Inadequate protein in diet can slow the rate of new hair growth and cause your hair to be weak/ brittle. Some sources of protein are eggs, legumes and dairy products.
Zinc is an important nutrient in relation to hair growth as it maintains function of the oil glands around the hair follicles. When zinc levels fall, hair loss, slow growth and dandruff follows.
Zinc can be found in oysters, lobster, crabs, sunflower seeds, skinless chicken and cashew.
B Vitamins (foliate, B6,B12)
These vitamins are vital in the creation of red blood cells which carry oxygen and nutrients to all body cells including those of the scalp, follicles and growing hair. Lack of these vitamins can cause shedding or slow growth as well as promote hair breakage.
Essential B vitamins can be found in bananas, tomatos, groundnut paste, watermelons, shrimps and strawberries.
Iron is one big thing in hair growth, helping a great deal in the overall growth and wellness of hair. Low levels or lack of iron can cause hair to fall out and lead to even baldness.
Iron can be derived from egg yolks, whole grains, chicken, dried fruits and beans.
If you ever wondered whether what you eat has an effect on the quality of your hair, well it does! Including these nutrients in your diet will go a long way of keeping your natural hair healthy, luscious and strong!