There is so much to discuss when it comes to hair! I could do several posts on just this topic alone. There are hundreds of blogs and videos dedicated to talking about natural hair; although, there is not as much information on natural hair AFTER 40. There are definitely some unique challenges we face with our hair as we age. While I am certainly not an expert on natural hair, I can share my experiences and challenges I have faced going natural after 40.
About a year ago, out of frustration with my thinning damaged and relaxed hair I decided to do the “Big Chop” and cut off all of my permed hair.
It turned out to be the best thing ever! My hair is thicker, healthier, and I love my “new” nappy fro! It has given me the confidence to just be me! However, the journey has not been easy and I definitely have good hair days and bad hair days! Unfortunately, I still experience thinning at the crown of my head, which seems to be hereditary and often comes with aging. Luckily, I have found some products that have really helped to thicken and regrow my hair!
First, do your research!
I can not emphasize enough the importance of finding what works for your hair. Everyone’s hair is different and some products may work well for others and not for you. What I decided to do was educate myself as much as possible. I read books and attended natural hair conferences. The main thing I learned was to keep my hair moisturized and understand the structure of my hair. Here are a couple of books I read that really helped me understand the structure and needs of Black hair. I highly recommend theses books! Both have great information and not just for natural hair but any hair texture and style.If You Love It, it will Grow link here
There are so many great products out there now for natural hair that you can easily become a natural hair product junkie! I have certainly tried my fare share of products and have finally found my favorites that I would love to share with you!
My Favorite Hair Care Products:
- TGIN Shampoo and Conditioner and Giovanni Shampoo and Conditioner.
TGIN stands for Thank God It’s Natural. The product line has no parabens or sulfates which can dry out your hair. I love how soft the product makes my hair feel and the conditioner smells wonderful! Another great product I found is Giovanni Shampoo and Conditioner which is also natural – no parabens or sulfates. I use Giovanni when I want to deep condition my hair. They also have different formulas for various hair care needs. You can find TGIN at most Target Stores and Giovanni Products are at Sprouts and Trader Joe’s.
2. Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner
I LOVE this product! It is not too heavy but really helps to keep my hair moisturized and manageable. It is my go-to detangler and I use it with every wash! I also use it everyday by mixing it with water in a small spray bottle.
3. Pure Coconut Oil
YES, what they say is true! Coconut oil is a great way to seal in the moisture in your hair. It is not too heavy and has been great for my hair. Try using it after you put in your leave in conditioner!
4. Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream
I had samples of this product from a natural hair conference sitting in a bag for months before I finally tried it. And I must say, WOW! My hair loves it! My curls are much more defined and this Shea butter based cream coats my hair and keeps it shiny. I am always looking for ways to define my curl pattern and so far this has been the best for my hair. However, I do notice a little build up after several days, so some nights I like to swap it out for my next favorite curling cream (see #5)
5. Cantu Coconut Curling Cream
This inexpensive curling cream is a great place to start if you are new to the natural hair journey. You can find it at almost any drug store and it smells amazing! It provides great moisture AND softens your hair. However, when I twist my hair it did not give my curls as much definition, so I mix it with other products or alternate with the Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream.
6. Jamaican Black Castor Oil
This oil has been so helpful for my thinning crown. I started using it on my scalp 2-3 times a week and then I use it as a hot oil treatment about every two weeks (directions for the hot oil treatment are on the back of the bottle). It has made my hair much thicker and stronger! The smell is a little strong so I only use it at night or during the hot oil treatment just before I wash my hair.
7. HairPrint-100% Non-toxic Solution for Graying Hair
Covering my gray hair has become an on-going battle and the chemicals in most hair dyes are too strong for my hair and cause breakage. About six months ago, I was looking in Essence magazine and noticed an ad for an all natural hair care system for gray hair coverage, specifically designed for African-American hair. I ordered it immediately and have been using it ever since! It is NOT a hair dye so the process takes longer than other products. The color is not as intense but more of a “natural” look. It has taken a few applications to get the hang of it; however, the benefits of no chemicals on my hair has been well worth it. It is a little pricey and time consuming but my hair has responded very well. You can check it out online, here.
One of the things I found out through out this hair journey is that my body is very low in Vitamin D. So I started taking a Vitamin D tablet daily and I also decided to try a hair supplement called Hairfinity. There are a lot of vitamin supplements you can take for your skin and hair, so do your research and find out what works for you. So far, I can see an increase thickness and my hair seems a lot healthier!
9. Women’s Rogaine
When I started to notice breakage and thinning at the crown of my head, I went to my dermatologist to see what was going on. The rest of my hair was very healthy but there was a lot of breakage at the crown. We started a treatment plan which included Derma Smoothe (prescription only) and Women’s Rogaine which you can buy over the counter at Target or most drugstores. I use a small amount of Rogaine on the crown of my hair once a day. It took a couple of months but, I now see the result!. I think it is a good idea to see a dermatologist if you notice thinning, bald spots, or a lot of breakage in your hair. It is a very common problem for women over 40 and there are many treatment plans.
10. Must Have Tools: Satin bonnet, wide tooth comb, and Denman Brush
Now if you are a Naturista, then you know that covering your hair at night is a must! I am also very careful not to use thin combs or harsh tools on my hair. I have decided not to use any heat on my hair- not even a blow dryer, so my Denman brush and wide-tooth comb are essential! My poor hubby has gotten use to “Bonnet Head” Kery every night, LOL!
Well those are my favorite products and things I do to keep my hair healthy! I also do a lot of protective styling like braids and twists. You really have to experiment to find what works for you. I now understand why they call it a natural hair “journey”- it really takes time and patience to find your way. However, the best things in life usually take time and effort. So hang in there and enjoy learning about your hair.
Let me know about your favorite hair care products and thoughts in the comments. Thank you for visiting my blog!
Stay busy being fabulous,