frequently-asked-questions

Good Day Beautiful Souls!

For many ladies retuning back to their natural hair can be a very emotional, yet exciting and rewarding experience. It can be rather confusing and difficult to transition from relaxed hair to Kinks and Curls, particularly if you’ve not much understanding or practice with natural hair care. That being said Unconditioned Roots will help you understand and easily apply the styles, products and steps that should help and ease you through your journey. If your goal is healthy lengthy hair, with the correct hair care practices, education, patience and consistency your hair will THRIVE! Over the years I’ve noticed a few men and women have similar questions and concerns regarding their natural hair and natural hair in general, so this is some information derived from personal experiences and readings/findings which will be beneficial to you.

Below is a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions. These are questions I’ve been frequently asked during my natural hair journey. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section so that I may add to this article and make it all the more comprehensive!

This is an evolving and progressing page that will be updated as regularly as possible on the basics of dealing with NATURALLY Curly, Coily & Kinky hair. You may have come across Natural Hair Blogs/sites and been bewildered by all the unusual terms, wondered why some people are anti sulphate, freaking out about protein, some about moisture retention and others about silicone. Hopefully this will give you a platform to begin your adventures of uncovering and loving your Unconditioned Roots (Natural Hair).

confused woman

FAQs…

How long have you been natural? 

I have personally been natural since November 15th 2012.

How did you get your hair to grow?

With a lot of hairducation (education on my hair/natural hair) devising the correct regimen that works best for my hair and PATIENCE my hair began to thrive. I’m very simplistic in my hair care regimens, I use 100% natural hair care oils and butters, moisturise and seal my hair daily, deep condition once a week, protein treatment once every 6-8 weeks as I’ve come to learn my hair is protein sensitive and I protective style religiously! Use minimal heat on my hair and trim only when necessary!

How do I retain length?

By using the correct hair care practices, using natural hair products such as carrier oils, essential oils & shea butter. Maintaining a good moisture and protein balance in your hair and trimming only when necessary as frequently trimming your hair unnecessarily will deplete length retention.

Is drinking water and having a healthy balanced diet important?

YES YES YES! I can not stress enough how vital it is to stay HEALTHY & hydrated! Ladies healthy lengthy hair growth starts from within! You need a healthy body in order to have and maintain healthy lengthy hair. Foods high in protein are best for you hair; foods such as dark green vegetables, salmon, eggs, beans, nuts, poultry, and dairy products. Don’t forget a healthy portion of fruits daily and plenty of WATER! Drinking water increases the amount of moisture in your hair and allows for greater moisture retention. Drinking enough water can also help you get rid of dandruff and hair thinning problem.

What is the difference between relaxed/permed hair and natural hair?

Relaced/permed hair is hair that has been chemically altered and straightened. Chemically altered hair causes hair loss, scalp irritation, balding, dead ends and irreversible damage. Relaxers/perms remove amino acids and keratin from the hair which strips the hair and these are things that hair NEEDS! Whereas Natural Hair is chemical-free, simply the hair growing out of your scalp as God intended (Home Grown & Natural) embracing your natural hair is healthier for overall as the air inhaled from relaxers/perms is equally as damaging to you internally!

What does it mean to have natural hair?

In my opinion, what it means to have Natural hair is a statement of self love! A health choice. Embracing who you are wholeheartedly, despite societal prejudices, peer pressures and the myopic ignorance of opinionated individuals. It is an openly expressed love of culture and afrocentricity, an acceptance of self and how God created each and every one of us uniquely, wonderfully & beautifully made in his image!

What are the different types of hair textures?

There are 4 known hair texture types, below I’ve broken them down:

Type 4: Kinky Coily hair, tightly curled coils with a distinct curl pattern and high volume of shrinkage. Celebrities such as Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Solange Knowles are Type 4 Naturals.

Type 3: Curly hair, well defined, springy curls with minimal shrinkage.

Type 2: Wavy Curly hair, big looser curls with a large ‘S’ shape.

Type 1: Naturally straight hair, such as European straight.

What is the Big Chop?

The big chop is cutting off all your processed hair and starting over, on a healthy hair journey, without chemically altered hair. Its alarmign at first however when you witness the health of your natural pattern and see your curls really flourish its not bad at all. However if you’re not ready to big chop you can opt to transition into you natural hair, but ensure to cut your ends frequently say an inch every 3-4 weeks. It may seem like a lot but i assure you you’re gaining more than you’re loosing by being natural.

What is transitioning?

Transitioning is when you grow your hair out into its natural state/pattern without having to big chop. You can transition from damaged hair to healthy natural hair or chemically altered hair to healthy natural hair.

How often should I wash my hair?

This is dependent on your daily work routine/schedule. However I advise you wash your hair at least once every week or two. It is important to keep you scalp and hair cleansed to avoid blocking your pours and product buildup. You can co-wash in between this period.

Why should I wash my hair in sections?

Washing your hair in sections makes your wash period a lot easier, quicker and is more efficient particularly with afro hair types as our hair is thick and once long this process can be very tedius and lengthy. It also allows for you to pay equal attention to each section of your hair.

What is the best way to retain length, and what routine worked best for you?

Use of natural products that my hair responds well to. A consistent regimen including cleansing the hair, weekly deep conditioning/hot oil treatments, a protein treatment once every 6-8 weeks, low manipulation and protective styling. These are all the things that really helped and continually help to keep my hair healthy and also help me to retain more length.

How do I keep my hair moisturised throughout the week without getting product build up?

Try using lighter products and aim to use products that are 100% natural are close enough as they rarely cause a lot of product build up. Be weary towards products with silicone in them as they can easily cause a lot of build on the hair, although silicone can be great for adding shine and maintaining styles be weary of its ability to easily cause product build up if you are applying it daily. Also ensure you wash your hair weekly or bi-weekly so your hair is thoroughly cleaned.

How do you deal with single strand knots?

I try to keep my hair stretched, however with afro textured hair single strand knots are inevitable so when I do get them I snip them off and don’t let them bother me too much, so my advise is to snip them off. IT WILL GROW BACK! Singly strand knots are a normal part of having kinky curly coily hair. To minimise them try and keep the hair stretched, do a light finger detangle to ensure there are not any strands tied around each other and detangle on damp hair as the water makes it easier to detangle the hair and prevent knots and tangles.

Whilst transitioning what hair styles should I try? 

There are many hair styles that can be rocked during your transitioning faze through to when you’ve got a head full of natural tresses! Hair styles include; Rod Set, Flexi Rod Set, Curlformer Set, Braid Out, Twist Out, Bantu Knot-Out, Flat Twist Updo, Hair Updo, Buns, Braids, Senegalese Twists and No Heat Roller Set.

How do I wash my hair, without using shampoo?

You can wash your hair via Co-washing, whereby you use conditioner to wash your hair just as you would shampoo. This allows for your hair to be cleaned and does not strip your hair of its natural oils as shampooing can do.

What is Co-Washing?

Condition washing, washing you hair with conditioner.

What products should I be using in my natural hair?

Natural Hair Products of course 😉 products such as carrier oils (olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, argon oil) and essential oils (peppermint oil, tea tree oil, rosemary oil), natural hair butters such as shea butter, natural leave in conditioners etc. as the ingredients in these products are the best for healthy hair growth for all hair types.

Are all alcohols drying?

NO all alcohols are not drying, as not all are created equally. Below is a list of ‘okay’ or ‘fatty’ alcohols:

Behenyl alcohol
Cetearyl alcohol
Cetyl alcohol
Isocetyl alcohol
Isostearyl alcohol
Lauryl alcohol
Myristyl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
C30-50 Alcohols
Lanolin alcohol

Fatty alcohols provide an emollient effect, and bind water and oil to give our favourite conditioners their slip and creaminess.

* Cetyl Alcohol- This is a fatty alcohol that is derived from coconut and palm oils. Far from drying, this alcohol is actually an emollient (makes hair and skin softer).

* Stearyl Alcohol- another fatty alcohol. It is nothing like ethanol, it is is actually a white solid and is insoluble in water. Stearyl alcohol is often used in conditioners and shampoos and acts as an emollient (softener).

Try to avoid these alcohols: Short chain alcohols– SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol.

What are Protein treatments used for?

Protein treatments are often used to add strength back to the hair and for porous or damaged hair. Make sure to use a moisturising deep treatment afterward!

What is an ACV rinse?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses are one of most cost-effective and beneficial ways in existence to improve hair health. A good ACV rinse can remove product buildup, restore the pH balance of the scalp and hair, promote blood circulation in the scalp–which can stimulate new hair growth–and give the hair a soft, healthy sheen.

How do you trim?

To retain length I advise you trim your hair when it is REQUIRED! However if your goal is solely healthy hair then trimming your hair every 3-6 months is perfect, but be weary you may not be retaining as much length at this point as you’re frequently trimming away your ends whether they require a trim or not. When trimming your  hair ensure to use the correct tools that being correct hair shears and not you average pair of scissors.

Is shrinkage a bad thing?

NO shrinkage is a GOOD this, it signifies the health and wealth of your kinky curly coil tresses. I would advise you learn to love and embrace it.

What is the best way to return to your natural hair from relaxed hair?

The best way can be several ways it depends on the condition of your hair and your lifestyle. Here are some options:

Transitioning using protective styling such as Braids, Senegalese twists using extentions, buns, flat twist updos, hair updos etc. a protective style that is not tight on your hair and tucks away your ends. Frequently trim your relaxed ends, make sure you take care with those ends also as they’re now the most fragile part of your hair and more susceptible to breakage. Most importantly make sure you are moisturising and sealing your hair daily to retain moisture and use a daily leave in conditioner on your hair, one that provides maximum protection against breakage, retains moisture and is a good conditioner.

Alternatively you can also choose to BIG CHOP by cutting all the relaxed hair off and WERKIN a short sassy & stylish fro!

 

 

 

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