I absolutely LOVE doing hair! I love the textures that vary among hair...my hands just running across or through someone's hair fascinates me every time! I also think that some are so obsessed with hair that they don't appreciate the hair they were born with.
When I first decided to become a cosmetologist, I only wanted to do "black hair"...then I realized how close-minded and how empty my pockets would be (turning clients away since all I was going to do is "black hair") if I didn't expand my thinking. Fourteen years later, I find myself going around the world, pretty much, just in my little station at the salon...Africa, Middle East, Asia, even this melting pot of the USA has varieties in itself...but one thing remains the same, being LOVING to your hair (and YOU).
I was reading a blog earlier, catering to black women that want to achieve longer hair. The first thing it recommended was getting a hair cut. Those two little words seem to put most women of any race in a state of shock! I myself have been a victim of scissor happy stylists myself, but guess what? It always grows back, and is HEALTHY!!! Whatever you want to refer to this maintenance as (hair cut, big chop, trim), this is something that should occur at least every 4-6 weeks. I have clients that do request chemical services (color &/or relaxer), so I advise them to get a trim (1/2 inch to 1 inch) every time they get a retouch. A retouch occurs about every 4-6 weeks.
I have no problem with over the counter shampoos and conditioners. I do think we should be more mindful what we put on our hair. Products that contain a lot of alcohol tend to dry our hair out. Too much grease or oil tend to clog our hair follicles, thus causing a build up of our natural oils in additions to what has been applied. Our goal should be finding the appropriate moisture for our hair. Some hair does require more moisture than others...notice I said MOISTURE.
Lately, I have noticed more dry scalp with ethnic hair, whether it be relaxed or natural. I think I came up with an pre-shampoo oil treatment to help with the scalp issue...stay tuned on that one. It does also have me motivated to get into making more products that are more natural with herbs and essential oils. The few products I have made tend to give more moisture and less build up than products I have bought at the beauty supply.
Shampooing your hair on a regular basis, with a good shampoo, helps as well. Shampooing everyday strips your natural oils and causes your oil glands to work that much harder to keep up with what you continue to remove...hence, "I have to wash my hair everyday or it will look greasy!" If anything, rinse your hair, apply some conditioner, good to go! At the most you should shampoo your hair every 2-3 days, once a week if you can. Doing the opposite, NOT shampooing your hair for a long period of time isn't any better...that's just gross! :-) I have definitely has someone in my chair that hasn't used shampoo as little as two weeks and as long as a year...yuck!
One last thing, to my sistahs, going back natural...Enjoy your journey! I know it can be a challenge, but there are no more limitations! If you are desiring to go natural but not comfortable with the big chop, do it in stages, no one will judge you. It's your hair, your body, your mind...you know what's best for YOU! I had to get there the same way (twice)...and definitely have NO regrets!
The point is take care of you and take care of your hair. Your hair just like the rest of your body will tell you what it needs...if you just LISTEN! If you go to a stylist to get your hair done, don't just rely on them to do all the work for you. You have to do some work at home until your next appointment for professional maintenance, however often that may be. Also, your stylist should educate you on how to achieve such things, not taking all the credit for your hair being as healthy as it is. It's a group effort!
Wake up, let it go & LOVE (what you were given & received...YOU)!