NEWSTART and Natural hair.
As women, we take pleasure in doing our hair. Getting your hair done or “making your hair” is very much part of womanhood. It is a chance to experiment, learn new skills and impart knowledge. Although this is all good and well, many women of African descent are destroying their tresses at the expense of beauty.
“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies”- EGW MH 130
In this text, I hope to share some ways on how to maintain afro textured hair by referring to NEWSTART. NEWSTART is an acronym that highlights eight health laws which, promote a holistic lifestyle. They are as followed:
Trust in God
Obtaining good health is primarily based on good nutrition. If the body lacks good nutrition then this will affect our health, including our hair health. The state of our skin, hair and nails indicate how we are doing internally. If we care for our insides then this will reflect on the outside.
A plant based diet which includes; vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes is the best kind we can give to our body and our hair.
“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing” – EGW, MH 296
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. – Genesis 1:29
Our hair is made up of biotin and keratin the best way to enhance our hair heath is by including foods that are rich in the vitamins mentioned in our diet. Below I will list a few foods that are rich with these vitamins. If these foods are properly incorporated into our diet along with the other health laws we will see great improvements!
Foods good for healthy hair: Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, nuts, carrots and avocado.
Whilst being on my natural hair journey, I have noticed that there is an obsession with hair growth. If your hair is healthy then then growth will come. Exercise does not only have an influence on our body but our hair. A way to aid with hair growth and health is to increase your exercise. Exercise stimulates blood flow to the scalp, this then encourages hair growth and adds moisture to the hair which is vital for afro textured hair.
Each day try to do some form of exercise that will increase your heart rate. Running, jogging, brisk walking, lifting… all these and more assists with blood flow.
“Walking is preferable to riding or driving, for it brings more of the muscles into exercise. The lungs are forced into healthy action, since it is impossible to walk briskly without inﬂating them.” – EGW, MH 243.
“In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven’s choicest blessings” -EGW MH 237
Water is an essential to the body and it should be the same for the hair. Once I began to apply water or water based products to my hair, I saw an immense change. If you must take anything from this text it is this; water is vital for healthy hair. For a very long time black woman have been told that water is the enemy. If water brings life and helps grow other organism, why would this be different for our hair?
Afro texture hair tends to be quite dry, this is because of our strands. Everyone has what is known as sebum on the scalp. This is an oil that is naturally present. This oil helps with the moisture of our hair. For Some hair types, it is easier for the sebum to travel down the strand. However, this is not the case for Afro textured. To help with this it encouraged to manually moisturise afro hair. The best moisturise for the hair is water.
Daily or a minimum of four times a week, spray your hair with water and apply an oil (olive oil, coconut oil, almond, castor or any carrier oil) to seal in the moisture. For added moisture or to help retain the moisture add a cream/ butter, such a coco butter or shea butter. After this braid or twist that section.
“Vigor declines as years advance, leaving less vitality with which to resist unhealthful inﬂuences; hence the greater necessity for the aged to have plenty of sunlight, and fresh, pure air.” – EGW MH 278
Too much exposure to sunlight can cause the hair to be dry. However, the sun can be used effectively to enhance the health of afro textured hair.
In spray bottle mix water and glycerine of equal amounts. Leave some space in the bottle so when you shake the bottle they can mixed together. Once the combination is mixed spray onto your hair. This combination is a humectant and along with expose to the sun will encourage moisture to your hair.
Another effective method that involves the sun is deep conditioning. I am lucky that I have a hair steamer. This is a way I keep my hair moisturised. However, those who do not have a hair streamer
can use the heat from the sun for the same effect. Apply a deep conditioner to your hair, place a plastic cap or a carry bag on your head and go outside for 10- 30 mins where the sun can penetrate the cap.
Sunlight used effectively helps bring moisture to the hair. Why not give some the methods ago?
It is not uncommon to see many women with ‘snatched edges’. This is when their hairlines have receded due to over manipulation of the hair. When it comes to styling do not over do it! Many elaborate hair styles are the result of ‘snatched edges’, opt for more loose hairstyles and ones that will not stress the hair.
Those who have lost their hair due to over manipulation, here are a few remedies you can try.
1)Melt ½ a cup of shea butter, pour ¼ of olive oil, add 10- 20 drops of tea tree oil and half a teaspoon of menthol crystals (optional) into a container. Mix together. Allow the mixture to solidify before applying to the problem area. Before applying to the area mist some water to the section and massage the area.
2) Pour 200 ml of castor oil into a hair applicator bottle. Add some dried mint leaves or 10- 20 drops of tea tree oil. For the best result allow the mixture to sit for 2 – 4 weeks before use. Before applying to the are mist some water to the section and then massage the mixture.
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
Let your hair breath! Our scalp is made up of follicles that are like the pores on our body. If the follicles are clogged with dirt they this makes it difficult for our hair to breathe. It is advised to wash your afro textured hair often, every 7- 10 days. In doing so you allow your hair to breathe.
Although you want your hair to breathe at times you may need to shade your hair from the air, especially the ends. This is known as protective styling. Protective styling is where you protect or limit the exposure of your strands to the elements in the air. Why should I protective style? It is a great way to maintain length and keep your hair moisturised.
Leave your hair alone! Over manipulation is killing our strands! When you take your hair down, give it a few days even weeks before you do it again. Over stressing the hair has resulted in unnecessary hair damage.
Aim to style your hair in a way that does not involve a lot of manipulation. Styles such as mini twist (with your real hair) or braids, cornrows or buns. These and more allow you hair to rest as they don’t require a lot of effort to maintain.
I recall a youtuber who mentioned that prayer was part of her achieving healthy and longer hair. I think this is something for all to incorporate. Our faith in God is not just limited to expecting big things but even the smaller things “Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Do not stress when it comes to achieving healthy tresses, trust that if you are consistent when it comes to looking after your hair, health and length is evitable.
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