Trust me when I say that I understand the struggle of being a black girl with big hair. I know all about them days of sitting on the living-room floor, whilst your mother dragged that thick-ass comb through your thick-ass hair, hit you in the head – and told you to ‘sit still’. Trust me.
I’ve had days where I’ve literally wanted to shave it all off, just because of how difficult it can be to maintain coarse, afro-hair – and I can vouch that many other black girls have felt like this too. Afro hair comes in various textures, so the products listed may or may not be best-suited to you (but hopefully they are!). If you’re interested in buying any of the products featured, a list of all of them will be towards the end.
Here are my BLACK GIRL, BIG HAIR: Wash + Straightening Essentials
This is my natural, 4c* hair in its wet state, and I’ve never used chemicals in it, as I have a very sensitive scalp and must be cautious of the products that I use in it – due to severe FILL . As you can see in the picture, there are small coils – but this is only due to my hair being freshly wet, as most of them disappear as my hair gets drier. My hair, as does many others with this hair type, experience GREAT shrinkage – usually up to 70% so, true length can only really be shown by stretching the hair out (straightening).
I’ve used Afro-specialist hair products previously, and if I’m being honest – they’re overpriced and don’t always do as they claim. Our hair requires great maintenance (gels, sprays,oils…), so when we wash it, we want to get rid of the products effectively without stripping our hair from its natural oils.
Pantene’s Moisture Boost shampoo, and massage it into my hair. I love how it soaks in quickly and leaves my hair feeling soft and able to comb through, without tearing out my scalp. It lathers nicely, and smells lush too… like Fruitella’s. ALSO, it, as well as the other Pantene products in this post, are proudly recommended by My Black is Beautiful!
After the main cleaning is out of the way, if like me – you suffer from a dry/sensitive scalp, then I’d recommend using the Head & Shoulders Suprême Repair shampoo, and massage it directly into your scalp, as Head & Shoulders has really helped to reduce the level of irritation that I experience.
Another non-Black marketed shampoo is TRESemmé’s Biotin Repair shampoo, as it’s quite moisturising and doesn’t dry your hair out. It also claims to ‘visibly repair’ damage within one use, so it’s great to use every once in a while as we often braid, straighten and blow-dry our hair.
After all of the washing, if I’m feeling up to it (probably not) I’ll section my hair into four parts and massage some conditioner into my hair. By sectioning my hair, it keeps the conditioner locked in far better.
Again, I apply the Head & Shoulders directly onto my scalp, but I also rub either Pantene’s Moisture Boost conditioner or the 3 Minute Miracle conditioner into the ends of my hair. I don’t see a major difference between the two products, only that one claims to focus mainly on moisturising, and the other repairing, but they generally work the same.
A good conditioning time-frame can range between 15-20 minutes, but if you wish to intensify to softness – keep it in for a few hours, and perhaps wrap your hair in clingfilm to lock in the moisture.
I’ve used hair creams like Cantu previously, and I still do sometimes, but I found that ORS HAIRepair’s Coconut Oil & Baobab Intense Moisture Crème works really for me. Of course it smells gorgeous (it’s coconut!) but it makes my hair really soft and smooth – and is great to use after blow-drying.
Whilst blow-drying my hair, I go through it wth the Hollywood Beauty Argan Oil to give it a healthy sheen. Argan oil is known to hydrate and soften hair, as it contains a high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
When my hair has been freshly straightened however, I switch over to Avon’s Advance TECHniques Deep Restore Hair Serum – a new product to my hair essentials. I love that it’s thick and really coats my hair nicely, and it has that typical ‘hair’ smell too.
As I mentioned previously, I’m prone to a dry scalp so, when my hair decides to give our good old friend Dandruff a call to come over, I’m afraid it’s a no-no and I rub some olive oil into my scalp – as it moisturises the scalp and prevent further irritation #byeflakeisha
When I’m trying to achieve my ‘slick-back’ pony-look, I use the KeraCare Edge Tamer to keep them babies down! I only use a small amount of gel, as using handfuls would defeat the purpose of cleaning my hair in the first place, and just brush it up/down.
I also use the Royal Beeswax to rub along my scalp I.C.D (in case of dryness). I’ve had it for quite a while and there’s still a lot of product left, so it’s definitely long-lasting!
Other straighteners that I’ve used don’t go through my entire hair well, and despite using creams, oils etc. my hair has still been kinky and has ZERO defence against humidity. However, with the Remington straightners (or other expensive straightener brands) and a good serum, you can achieve long-lasting straightness and help avoid that humidity-pouf. Not a nice look.
After you’ve straightened your hair, give it a lil’ rub with your daily moisturiser – and there ya go! PS – don’t forget to wrap your head up at night! 😉
I hope you enjoyed this post, and find some products that will make your hair that tad bit easier to handle. Remember, it can take a long time to figure out what is right for your hair texture, but I guess that’s the beauty of the journey! 💋
This is my hair after being blow-dryed and twisted.
This is my hair after being straightened and twisted.
* 4c hair defines as having ‘no defined curl pattern’ and states that coils have to be defined through methods such as: twisting, braiding etc.
With H&S products from Superdrug, you can get 2 for £7 or 3 for £10
HEAD & SHOULDERS SUPRÊME REPAIR SHAMPOO – £4.99 from Superdrug
HEAD & SHOULDERS SUPRÊME REPAIR CONDITIONER – £4.99 from Superdrug
PANTENE MOISTURE BOOST SHAMPOO – £3.99 from Superdrug
PANTENE MOISTURE BOOST CONDITIONER – £3.99 from Superdrug
PANTENE 3 MINUTE MIRACLE REPAIR AND PROTECT CONDITIONER– £3.99 from Superdrug
AVON ADVANCED TECHNIQUES DEEP RESTORE HAIR SERUM– £4.50 from Avon
HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY ARGAN OIL – £6.80 from House of Beauty
KERACARE EDGE TAMER – £5.70 from Look Fantastic
ROYAL BEESWAX – £2.99 from Beauty Queens Cosmetics
REMINGTON STRAIGHTENERS – £21.99 from Argos
CO-EDITED BY DONNATELLA’S SPACE