I have dry hair. What can I do?
Dry hair can have many causes. The first thing to consider is the quality of your water. Many areas have high concentrations of copper and calcuim in the water. In other words, the water is mineralized or "hard". These minerals coat your hair, making it feel rough and dry. No matter how much conditioner you use, it won't make a difference. I suggest you use a clarifying shampoo and install a water filter in your shower or sink, wherever you wash your hair. Then go from there. Other causes are harsh shampoos, too-frequent shampooing and not drinking enough water. There are far too many reasons for having dry hair than I can go to in this FAQ. Read our Hair Care section for more ideas, and search the forums for member suggestions.
What does "transition" mean?
Transition is the period of transition from the time you decide to stop relaxing your hair, to having 100% napptural hair.
What is a TWA?
TWA stands for Teeny Weeny Afro and is the first stage after a big chop when you have less than 2 inches of hair after the Big Chop.What is a Big Chop?
When you decide to cut your relaxed hair off and go natural not too long after your last relaxer.
What is a BAA?
BAA stands for Big Azz Afro
What is "Napptural"?
Napptural means you have 100% unrelaxed or unstraightened hair and wear it out with pride and without extensions.
What does it mean to "stretch" the hair?
When you have wet hair and use a method such as wrapping to stretch the hair out so it dries with more length.
What is a "no poo" ?
It stands for the "no shampoo method" of haircare which means that when you wash your hair you don't use shampoo to wash, but use conditioner instead- sometimes enriched with baking soda or lemon. This method is popular with natural hair, because traditional shampoos, especially those containing sulfates, will dry out afro-type hair badly.
My hairdresser told me natural hair doesn't grow. Is that true?
No. Hair grows, regardless of whether you are natural or not. The speed of growth is partially determined by genetics and partially by health. How well you care for your hair will determine how much length you retain.
What is "shrinkage" ?
It's the amount of coil your hair has which causes it to shrink up when it's dry.
Is protein bad for napptural hair?
It can be. It all depends on the condition of your hair. Too much protein in your hair products can cause your hair to become brittle. I generally do not recommend the use of high protein shampoos on naturally kinky hair.
Can I reverse my chemical relaxer and have natural hair?
No, you can't. A chemical relaxer is a permanent process and you will have to cut the relaxed hair off. Don't listen to any other opinions on this matter. There is no way to reverse a relaxer. And there will never be. Ever.
Will my hairline grow back?
It depends on the extent of the chemical damage. Sometimes it will and sometimes it won't. Often it can take years. There are ways to encourage growth, or stop breakage in this delicate area such as jojoba oil massages and NOT using any heat.
If I have a texturizer, am I still natural?
No. A texturizer is a weak chemical relaxer.
Is there such thing as a natural permanent relaxer?
The very nature of a permanent hair relaxer is to change the chemical bonds in the hair to make it straight. Some parts of the chemicals they use in these "natural relaxers" contain things like "calcium" which is naturally occuring in nature. That's why they call these things "natural". In fact there is nothing natural about them. The word "natural" does not mean it is not just as dangerous to your hair and skin as is a traditional chemical relaxer.
Can split ends be repaired?
Not really. Hair that has split cannot fuse together again. Similar to a fingernail, if it splits, it cannot grow back together. Split ends must be cut off. Some shampoos claim to minimize the appearance of split ends, but I have yet to see this work.I burned my hair when using a hot comb, now it won't revert. What can I do?
It depends on how badly your hair is damaged. If the hot comb was too hot, your hair is permanently burned and will never regain its elasticity. Sometimes if the heat wasn't too high, a few washes will bring back some elasticity, but your hair will probably still be prone to breakage. Try using an intensive hair repair treatment and do not use heat again.
To grease or not to grease?
NOT. Grease is a petroleum based product which may create the illusion of shiny hair but all it is doing is coating the hair and keeping moisture out. Many of the dandruff problems experienced can be attributed to the use of these products on the scalp, where it prevents the skin from breathing, leading to an over supply of sebum. Instead of grease, try some of the great natural products out there. Jojoba oil is a wonderful alternative, and it helps to balance the scalp. But use sparingly!
What does Apple Cider Vinegar do for the hair?
Used diluted as a final rinse. The outside of the hair (cuticle) is like the scales of a fish. This accounts for the rough feeling when you rub your fingers up a strand of hair, or "against the grain". ACV acts on the cutilcle of the hair, closing it and making the hair smooth and imparting sheen. Cold water does the same thing, but to a lesser extent. ACV is also effective against the "itchies".
Since I've been natural my scalp has been really sore and aching. Why?
There are many schools of thought on this. It happened to me when I went natural. The pain was so bad at one stage I couldn't sleep and had to take paracetamol, which didn't help much. My scalp got very, very sore for about a month. I can't prove any of this but I put it down to my damaged follicles "waking up" because the areas that hurt the most were the areas where I experienced thinning and baldness more than anywhere else. Once my hair was about an inch long in those places, the pain stopped. But it would still come and go for about a year into my naturalness. Hang in there!
This section is a constant work in progess as new terms are added all the time. The answers here are from my personal experience and are offered as personal, not professional advice.