Let your young Naturals take care of their tight coils

In July my junior sisters came home from boarding school for the long third term holiday. One of the first things I noticed when I picked them was:

From what I hear her edges were bald
Ivie (baby of the house) had severe breakage especially at her edges and

Uvi (my artsy sister) had the same hair length she had when I visited her in school last year.

I was a bit disappointed in them because before living for my 1 year of compulsory youth service (NYSC) I had taken some time out to properly educate them on what to do when I was not around.
Ivie decided to cut her hair and Uvi…well, I noticed no split ends (thanks to the wide tooth comb) so I washed her hair thoroughly, deep conditioned and loosely twisted it. It stayed that way for 3 weeks.

Where I went wrong:

Since Uvi and Ivie were kids (they still are to me:)), I had taken almost all responsibility for their hair. This is because when I was a kid I hated going to the Mama Sikiru’s and Sisi Nene’s. Stylists were scary and every trip to their salons left me with a sore scalp and 2 sleepless nights. This encouraged me to learn to braid and take care of my hair myself. I never wanted my sisters to go through what I went through so whenever I was around, I’d wash their hair and style it as they wanted. And when I wasn’t at home, my Cousin, Aunt or Mother took over.
When they grew up, it was time for them to be on their own in a boarding school (no thanks to the popular boarding school stories they had heard) and although Uvi was already good at braiding, I never let her or Ivie do a thing apart from…maybe plait chunky braids or oil my scalp. 
Before taking them to school, I’d wash their hair and make sure they had: Shea butter, Shampoo, conditioner and a wide tooth comb. I’d also tell them not share their combs with others and to scream if the school stylist pulled their hair too tightly.
On one of their visiting days, I noticed that Uvi’s hair had a lot of build-up and when I asked, she told she had washed her hair. Instead of telling her what to do, over-saby me just had to start something new; apart from plaiting both Uvi and Ivie’s  hair on visiting days which is once every month, I told them not to wash their hair but to wait for me to do so every time I visited.
So my ITK (I too know) taught them to rely solely on me for their hair care. My one year away taught me better.

What we did this holiday:

-We discussed her current regimen and found the culprit for the alopecia: wrong styling practices.
-While braiding or twisting my hair, I’d feign fatigue to get her to assist me. That way, I got to teach her the proper way to finger detangle, braid, and twist.
-I showed her old pictures of bloggers like Natural Belle and told her that she’d still look pretty with her hair gone if she decided to do a BC.
-She also learnt the proper way to wash her hair and how to apply and massage castor oil into her scalp at the problem areas.
By the second week of her stay at home, she decided it was best to do a BC so I took her to a better barber …and off went her hair:)
Her regimen was to:
Keep her hair moisturized and massage the castor oil into the problem areas. Here’s our result (sorry for the blurry pictures)

-We discussed her current regimen and eliminated her bad hair care practices (please don’t let me tell you about her dry hair combing technique and the amount of oil she applied to her hairL)
-I showed her my hair length and introduced her to my new low maintenance regimen
-Taught her how to thread, wash, deep condition, and style her hair properly.
-I also taught her how to make and whip a Shea butter mix.
-Using my mane she learnt to properly finger detangle and loosely twist hair.
For the first time, she was in total control of her regimen. My only duty was to help her style her hair.

Going back to school: 

While shopping for school, we bought 2 plastic bowls from the market and made whipped Shea butter that will last them the whole term. It was made of olive oil and coconut oil.

 They also bought their shampoo and conditioner with no input from me.
Uvi wanted me to stretch her hair using a hot iron so I asked her to read on it and get back to me. Here’s what she did:
-Washed her hair,
-Deep conditioned it,
-Applied coconut oil to her damp hair, braided it into 4 and sat under a hooded dryer set at cool for 30 mins.
-Let hair air dry and then called on her resident stylist to stretch hair the next day.

On the day she was to return to school, she picked a style and with the help of Ivie - my favorite assistant (the child learns fast o) we were able to finish her hair in good time.

They are both in school now and although I’m going to miss them plenty I’m happy that they are on their own - with the school authority and school rules and regulations to guide them. As an ex-boarder I can tell you that I learnt a lot about community living, friends, self-reliance and independence while in  school and by the grace of God they will achieve even greater things.

If you have little ones in school and would love some back to school tips please visit Natural Nigerian.


  1. Her hair absolutely gorgeous! And so long!

  2. Wow! You taught them all that? You need to be running master classes (or is that mistress classes? You get the general idea.....).

  3. i love this post! my little (one and only) sister is leaving for the UK for her masters soon is newly natural. I need to really educate her this weekend on how to take care of her hair so we don't have any casualties at the end of the day. Currently she knows very little about natural hair care.

    Thank you for the reminder. :)

  4. Thank you Sugabelly
    Lol...Maybe I should Ore...seriously sha, I had to teach all of that....coming home to a nearly bald sister was not cool at all.
    Hi Onyiye. I think you should encourage your sister to do her own research. Yes, you can give her some pointers but don't let her think that you've got all the answers...tell her the basics and let her work it up from there.

  5. Ha hat's off to you Big Sis! If only I had a big sister like you when I was a young grasshopper to show me the ropes. Your sisters are lucky.

  6. Thanks Geri. It's always better to start them young.

    Please don't mention Onyiye

  7. Great job Nat! Wow even I learned something new from this post. You are so right we should teach our younger ones good hair care practices.

  8. Thanks for the vote Omozo . Like I said before, starting them young is the best!

  9. wow! I love those styles you did for them. I guess this is why many schools don't allow girls to braid their hair, especially boarding schools. I think you might lecture them all you want, but they have to be self-motivated. I too educated my relaxed little sis and sent her some YT links and all, put her on a hair challenge, only for her to fall off the bandwagon weeks later. Because "it was too much work". But I think EVERY child who is able to dress herself should be educated as well. But then again, most black women don't know anything about hair, so who's going to teach the little ones?

  10. I always say it's good to educate your kids and siblings about their hair from a young age. My future daughter will know what works for her from day one.



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