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Going Natural And Loving It

by Cathy
(Bronx, NY)

Q: I am 57 and am told that the texture of my hair is coarse (wavy when wet-steel wool when dry.

I've been perming for a gazillion years but last year I cut out perm and went natural.

My hair stays very dry, what shampoo and conditioner would you suggest.

Been using Ms. Jessie's products, but I would something that gives me waves without the use of chemicals.

Please help.

A: Hi Cathy. First of all congratulations on deciding to go natural!

I have to let you know that when it comes to hair products I am never one to say, use this or don't use that. I have products that I really like to use but the general rule is that what might work for me might not do anything for you so you'll have to experiment until you find something that works.

Based on your hair type and the fact that you're battling dryness I can tell you that you need to be looking for a shampoo and conditioner with lots of hydrating properties in them.

After you find a shampoo and conditioner that leave your hair feeling very moist and soft after washing the next important thing is finding a good leave-in conditioner, oil or balm of some sort.

I personally prefer hair butters on my natural hair rather than cremes and oils because it leaves it feeling softer for a longer time and gives more control over those fly away hairs that just never seem to want to behave.

While I won't try to tell you which products to buy (just get your hands on as many sample sized products as you can and try them until you find something you love), I can tell you how to get your hair to "wave up" more regardless of what you use.

What you need to do is wash your hair like you normally would and put in a healthy dose of leave in conditioner as well as coat it with a light gel like "Let's Jam" or the one from "Smooth N' Shine".

After that you need to comb through your hair and pull it back as far as you can with a head band or, if it's long enough, use a hair tie to hold it back.

Then you need to take a silk or satin scarf and tie it around your hair and against your scalp as firmly as you can manage then sleep with it on overnight.

If your hair has any natural waviness in it, that will really make it show.

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