"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How To Care For A Low Cut

Getting my hair shaved off nearly 5 months ago was bliss. I looked at my bald scalp in the mirror of the salon and felt absolutely no regrets when I walked out feeling free and burden-less. Free from what people expected me to do, free from their opinions and free from any personal fears I might have nurtured. 
Of course, my action had consequences : I shocked many, questions came right and left and others concocted their own version of the story. 
However, the most important consequence for me was that now, I had to change how I cared for my hair. I wasn't able to use the same products anymore and a new regimen had to be born. This is normal because our hair needs different things at different stages. Stages are defined by hair length, general health and even short term situations that can create physical changes in the body - for example pregnancy and the increase of oestrogen. Changing a hair regimen is a normal part of any hair journey - whether natural or not. That's why we have to be sensitive to what is going on with our hair and what our hair needs. Just because your loves a product today, does not mean it will continue to respond positively to that same product.

Rocking a low cut has taught me a few things about it but the most important one is this : low-cut hair really doesn't need much. This is because:

1. moisture :  
- the sebum produced by the scalp, which is a natural moisturizer, is more effective when the hair is really short because it can still fairly glide down the hair strands but our curls make this very hard compared to straight hair.
- moisturizing the hair is easier because the product/s used is/are more easily dispersed
ConclusionMoisturize daily with any product of your choice (whatever is working for your hair)! However, always apply a water-based product first, before sealing with an oil-based product. Some will be able to get away with just a water product at this stage.

2. cleansing :
- cleansing is easier because the product can easily be dispersed 

- the lack of tangles and the risk posed by knots makes cleansing a breeze

Conclusion : Cleanse - whether with a shampoo, a cleansing mask, a hair rinse or a conditioner - at least once a week. At this stage, the hair is easily weighed down by dirt, sweat and products so cleansing is essential.

3. styling
- styling is much easier because of the lack of tangles and the risk posed by knots

- the hair is so short that you just...rock it like that! And if combing/brushing is necessary, it is much easier than with long hair

- it is easier to apply styling products

Conclusion : Style your hair with simple products. Aim to apply as little as possible. For example, after washing, check if you need some more moisture before adding any other products. If you do, opt for a light cream-based product and seal with a very light oil. If you are oiling your scalp, do it very lightly to not weigh down your hair. 
Apply gels with caution. Most gels dry out the hair and generally, when you wear gel, you have to wash it off because it attracts a lot of dirt and hinders the hair from being re-moisturized (the gel molecules sits on the hair shaft and stops moisture from entering the cuticles). 
Avoid oily sprays that remind you of Soul Glo in Coming to America. These sprays do not moisturize but rather coat the hair with a shiny and oily coat making it seem like the hair is moisturize. Though they help detangle they do nothing to help with moisturizing the hair in anyway. What you'll get on the long run is dry hair.

That being clarified,  let me walk you through how I'm presently caring for my low cut.

1. Cleansingshampoo every week. I plan on increasing it though because of my workouts and my annoying habit of touching my hair every second.
cleansing/moisturizing mask at least once a month 

2. Moisture-  conditioner with every wash to increase moisture levels
deep condition once a month
-  water or my moisturizing spray once a day 
- extra virgin olive oil after moisturizing to seal daily
- rarely use leave in conditioner. I find it a bit too heavy for my hair now. Note that I have been using the said leave in conditioner for years and it had always been perfect for my hair (Arewa Naturals ULTIMATE Moisturizing Leave In Conditioner). It still is perfect for my hair but too much at the moment.
- rarely use butters. For the same reason stated above for my leave in conditioner

3. Styling: - a quick combing (after moisturizing!) gets my hair ready for the day in less than 30 seconds!
- barely use gel on edges

That's my regimen for now but don't get used to it because for sure it will be changing soon. So far, the journey has been fun. I have enjoyed rediscovering my hair and I am very excited to grow it all back. This time, I am even more better armed with information and more importantly, experience.


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