For a couple of years now, I have been extolling the virtues of coconut oil for growing African American hair. I discovered it after running out of Ojon that I received in as a gift. It is a wonderfully miraculous product, but I did not want to spend the $40.00 for a new jar; not to mention hundreds for their hair-care line.
I did my research and discovered that coconut oil and palm oil have the same ability to soak into the hair as the product Ojon, and a large jar can be purchased for less than $10.00. I am still very happy with my decision to use coconut oil to grow my African American type 4C black hair, but I discovered a problem that could only be fixed with a proper hair care regimen.
While the coconut oil straightened my hair and helped make my bald spot (from chemical straighteners) grow back in, it also made my hair hard. This happened because I was using too much coconut oil, the result of which can make the hair difficult to manage and prone to breakage. To keep the best effects of coconut oil while getting rid of the bad effects, I began using coconut oil as a pre-wash hot oil treatment and in tiny amounts occasionally for extra shine. That worked out great.
Over the last two years, I have also discovered a few other products, and learned how a healthy hair growth regimen will help you best benefit from the coconut oil and these other products. Some of the products I use are still all natural. Others are as natural as I could find. My health care regimen for black hair is as follows:
Give yourself a hot oil treatment each week before washing your hair. Use oils that will soak into the hair. Coconut oil, and palm oil, are great options. Neither oil is perfect though. The problem with palm oil is that it can leave stains if you are not careful. The problem with coconut oil is that some people (my husband in particular) do not like the smell. Using it as a pre-wash conditioner, makes sure the smell does not linger in the hair, just the positive effects.
Wash your hair weekly using a gentle shampoo that is low in sulfates. Gentle baby shampoo, or Treseme Naturals are good options. Lather, rinse, and don’t repeat. You don’t want to strip all of the natural oils from your hair. (If you prefer to wash your hair less often, you can skip to the conditioner step after rinsing the oils out of your hair.
After washing your hair use a protein conditioner to strengthen your hair. Protein conditioners restructure weak thin hair strands and should be used after shampooing so that it can be absorbed into the hair strands. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle or Shea Nut Butter (or products made from it) will do the trick.
Follow your protein condition with a deep conditioning conditioner with softens hard hair and smooths raised hair cuticles, protecting it from the elements and making it easier to comb. Treseme Naturals will hydrate your hair and give it luster. Another option is good old, inexpensive VO5 conditioner. Try Moisture Milk Honeydew Smoothie Conditioner or the Extra Body Volumizing Conditioner.
In addition to your washing and conditioning regimen, you need to moisturize your hair daily. Just like when shampooing, two kinds of moisturizers are essential for proper hair maintenance. First, use a water based leave in conditioner that will soak into the hair for strengthening. This can be a problem for flat ironed or hot combed hair styles as water based products may un-straighten the hair a bit, but natural hair and chemically straightened hair will greatly benefit. A small amount of coconut oil or Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil will do the trick as well as promoting hair growth. Just don’t overdo the coconut oil to prevent your hair from getting hard. Follow the water based moisturizer with an oil conditioner to make your hair soft, sleek, and shiny such as jojoba oil or almond oil.