Where will you start?

after wearing my uncooperative hair in protective styles for a year–braids and crochet braids–I was unnerved to find it in the same state. Twist outs weren’t the same: the curls wouldn’t fall the way they used to; my hair was dry and breaking like crazy; and that lovely sheen I would once delight in was gone. I couldn’t understand, Why? I mean I was doing everything I’d always done.

I spoke to two young ladies this weekend who found themselves in the “newbie natural coma.” What is this newbie natural coma I speak of? Well– particularly low maintenance naturals like myself–those stuck in this comatose state employ the same methods and products that once worked for them when they first went natural. This summer I was told in so many words by several people to “crap or get off the pot!” Are you going to make this natural thing work for you or what? What I’d been doing in the beginning was beautiful but at 26 it had grown tired and made me look like a kid. My hair was ready for something new! The first change I made, adding color, would only be a catalyst for the other significant switches I’d make for my natural hair awakening!

Newbie Comas… pay close attention.

1.Instead of Pantene Pro-V Auqua Light

Cleanse with…


Lush’s Big Shampoo

Admittedly, Pantene Pro-V isn’t the best shampoo to use in the first place. And admittedly, since I only shampoo once a month, I do “poo” hop. But the Pantene Pro-V Auqua Light is light and silicone free which was good enough for me. Then I tried Lush’s BIG Shampoo. This Sea Salt cleanser was a leap for me since I’d never thought sea salt could be good for natural hair. And the second I put it in my hair, I immediately regretted it. It didn’t lather and I couldn’t imagine the big chunky grains of salt would find their way out of my kinks and coils. However, not only did it wash out just fine, I immediately a felt new flounce and volume in my hair. That’s right BIG is not just a cleanser but a volumizer. It’s also got other ingredients to help rejuvenate your curls: like coconut oil and avocado butter. Keep in mind, however, this is not an everyday shampoo. Use it–if not every other month–just once a month or it’ll dry your hair out.

2. Instead of Olive Oil Moisturize with


Avocado Oil

Olive Oil is great and all but it tends to sit on top of my hair. Avocado oil however really penetrates my locks leaving me with soft hair to the touch. This was surprising even with color; I’d gotten used to the idea of brillo textured hair. Now, my hair can’t get enough of this stuff! I use it when I unravel my twists, mid week when my hair is crying out for moisture; and when I’m too lazy to restyle, I take my hair out of a bun rub some oil through it and put it back in the bun. I use it to pre-poo and I also put a few drops in my spritzer bottle for detangling. My favorite use for it: I run it through freshly co-washed hair, part my hair on the side and go!

Like you would olive oil, you can find Avocado Oil in the food section of your local Target, or most grocery stores.

3. Instead of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie Style with


Olive Oil Smooth-n-Hold Pudding

Listen, the Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my hair’s first love. Before there was anything else, there was aloe vera gel and Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. The results were always lovely. And then my hair got a little longer and I wanted something that would make my curls fall so I began using Shea Moisture’s Curling Gel Souffle and it was divine. And then one day, these things just stopped working for me. I just needed a change. So with a tub and a half of the smoothie and a fourth of a tub of gel, I abandoned the Shea Moisture ship and tested the waters with ORS’ Olive Oil Smooth-n-Hold for my next twist-out. The results: soft and smooth curls, more definition than I’d gotten in a while. I’d also recently switched from small twists to big twists for more voluptuous and loose curls.

You don’t have to do much to revitalize your hair, make one or all of these changes and you’ll probably see results almost immediately… I did!

Careful when trying out new things, though. Before you know it you could be a product junkie! I learned it’s best to love your hair for what it is and not to covet the curl patterns of others! How’s that for the last change? Your attitude! Make sure you have realistic expectations of your hair and treat her nice with some BIG, Avocado Oil, and Smooth-N-Hold.

Feature Photo Cred: Original Photograph by Stephen Depolo

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