Clean Hair is Healthy Hair!
Maintaining locks is different at each stage, but equally important for a healthy head of hair. When you begin the process, like me, you may go through several products and methods in maintaining your locks until you find what works for you.
Cleansing the scalp in the baby stage is most important. You don’t have to wait months to shampoo the hair! Softer textures may unravel more often than tightly coiled hair, but using witch hazel or an astringent cleanser on a cotton pad will cleanse the scalp without disturbing the actual locks as they grow and matte. In this stage, also, if you use braids, twists or an interlocking method, you will want to braid sections of the hair together and put a rubber band on the end to discourage the unraveling and bunching of your locks. This is called braiding and banding.
In the teenage stage, you can shampoo the hair, but it is important here to remember that the locks have to be pulled apart or separated so they don’t grow together. You can use a gentle cleanser and it is good to get in the habit of using a leave in conditioner. Using a cream conditioner may not be practical at this stage because it may cause the locks to come apart or loosen, and the locking process and progress will be delayed. In this stage, it may still be necessary to “braid and band” the hair to prevent the locks from unraveling, but this too shall pass.
Mature locks can be shampooed as often as you like and you may also use hot oil treatments and cream conditioners, in moderation. I have found that the greatest need my hair has is for water. I use a mix of water and a leave in conditioner and have gotten away from creams and moisturizers altogether.
Keeping the hair and scalp clean are key to having healthy and strong locks. The thicker and longer your locks become, it may be necessary to cleanse them in sections. If you do not have a shampoo bowl or a sink sprayer, the shower is a great way to do so. You can create large sections of the hair and shampoo from the scalp down to the ends of the hair, allowing the water to run until it is clean of shampoo. Avoid rubbing the locks together or in a circular motion. The agitation may cause the locks to become thin, and vulnerable.