Pursuit of Natural

life, levity, & the pursuit of natural

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REPOST: Coconut Oil

Errbody and they mama were singing the praises of coconut oil. Meanwhile, I’m checking the price tag (you know Organic ain’t cheap.) Five bucks wasn’t much, but would it last through all the prepooing, oil sealing, and DIY deep conditioning? I decided to give it a go to see if it proved more protective […]

via Coconut Oil — Pursuit of Natural



REBLOG: Top Tips for Natural Hair Wash Routine Made Easier – by SAVVYZONE

Saavyzone’s blog is chock full of great articles like this one. Tips, tools, product and routine breakdowns–she’s got you covered. I really like how clear and concise her articles are, and I always learn something useful.  Follow the link to check out her site!


Once you have established what day your (hair) wash routine will be on, there are some good effective practices to include in your routine that will further boost your natural hair health. So to reap further benefits for your hair, it is essential to keep an arsenal of reliable hair tools, and products which could consist […]

via Top Tips For Natural Hair Wash Routine : Made easier — SAVVYZONE


Taking a Holiday from Your Natural Hair


A Break from the Routine

Whether you’re frustrated with your natural hair journey, or you just find yourself too busy too keep up with your regular hair care routine, taking a break from your hair every now and then can be good for you and it.

Before you decide how to put your hair away, determine why you want to. Is it for recoup from damage or length retention, added protection from this colder, drier weather, or just to reduce the time it takes to style every day?

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Moisturizing Protective Styles


Lately, I’ve been talking about protective styles a lot here at PON. Last week, I covered hand coordination and dropped a link to my favorite braiding tutorial maven on YouTube. Now, what about maintenance? Particularly, staying moisturized.

If water wasn’t your curlfriend before, you’ll be BFFs in no time with protective styles. Mist it, mix it, soak it in. Your regular products won’t distribute well without help. If they aren’t liquid, liquefy them.

Grab an empty spray bottle from your stash and test some ratios. I like to water down my leave-in conditioner and apply oil separately, but you could mix them all into your own special concoction. Test the mixture on your skin to see how it feels and how it dries. If it feels and dries exactly like water would, you’ve diluted the product too much. Adjust the ratios.

As I said, I apply my oil separately. This is to ensure I pay special attention to my ends and the scalp of my parts. Finally, after I’ve thoroughly misted, I baggy and finish my morning routine. If you don’t have time to baggy, sealing with an oil is even more important. I’ve found that just adding water to my hair and letting that dry makes my hair feel even drier. Hard water is most likely the culprit, which is all the more reason to properly apply my products.

How often to moisturize your protective style depends on how your hair feels. At the very least you need to remoisturize mid-week between washes. It’s tempting to avoid the task because it would cause frizz and shrinkage. That may keep your hair looking cute but there ain’t nothing cute about all the breakage you’ll see when you say goodbye to that dry, old style.

To mitigate the unavoidable frizz, I prefer to press and lightly squeeze products in, gently smooth a little, and never rub or agitate my hair too much, especially those roots. I also give myself time to let my hair dry stretched, pinned down, and tied down to combat shrinkage. Also, also? I plan a way to wear my hair towards the end of that style’s run, so that my frizz and shrinkage are concealed (wide headbands, beanies and bangs for the win!)

How do you maintain your protective styles? Comment below. If you’re a fan of The Pursuit, like this post, subscribe, and follow me on my other platforms via the sidebar.


Finger Detangling


Some people do it in the shower. Some people do it with oil. Some people use tools such as combs or brushes. I’m talking about detangling natural hair, and everyone’s got their own technique as well as favorite products for the job.

Many naturals, though, swear by finger detangling. But when I started doing it, I just wanted to swear at someone. How were they all just gliding their hands through all those kinks and curls? And then they had the nerve to say it only took forty-five minutes, tops! I’d give up and grab my comb, but as my hair got longer, I had to face the music.

It took hours to finger detangle. My shoulders hurt. My neck hurt. I couldn’t keep organized, and my hair still felt tangled in places. Needless to say, it took a long time to tailor all the internet advice to my own technique, and I’m still improving upon it years later.

How I Do It

First things first: I must work in sections. It keeps me organized, and it keeps me from being overwhelmed.

Secondly, I discovered it was better to work on my most fragile areas first. I’m much gentler and more patient at the start of a session than when I’ve been at it for an hour and just want to be done. I do my least tangly textures last because they won’t break as easily if I get tired and speed it up a little.

Much, much later I got the mechanical motions down–how I hold my hands to be gentle yet thorough in removing shed hairs, how to flatten and separate strands between my fingertips, and how to incorporate the harp method.

Later still, I found Urban Bush Babes and gave up going over the ends first in favor of starting from the roots. I then traded in raking for criss-cross parting, going horizontally followed by vertically. (TheChicNatural demonstrates a similar technique.) Once the grid is complete, I move on to the next section.

Keep At It

Finger detangling does not come naturally. It takes practice, a lot of diligence, and quite a bit of mental cursing. But getting mad at my hair was not an option, and I am stubborn when it comes to mastering a new skill.

How about you all? Are you still working on your detangling skills? How long did it take you to get the hang of it? Share in the comments. For even more detangling tips, check out my Dear Newly Natural Me letter, “Let It (Combs) Go”.

Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. You can also follow me on my other platforms via the links in the sidebar.


Much Ado About Wash Day


What’s the deal with wash day and naturals? Why the sackcloth and ashes and lamentations? Well, if you used to be relaxed like me, the process of washing your hair went from easy breezy to queasy.

I exaggerate, of course, but when it comes to kinky coily natural hair, you can’t just slather on the shampoo, rinse, and go anymore. Yes, I used to shampoo only, with that 2-in-1 sham. Then I upgraded to a separate shampoo and conditioner and thought I was killing the game.

And then I went natural and the game was killing me.

Let’s break it all the way down. Some shampoos make the hair clingy (due to raised cuticles.) With natural hair, it’s not only clingy but also tangly. Unless I’m trying to start a giant dreadlock, the days of washing my whole head at once are gone. I have to wash a section at a time to prevent excessive tangling. I use hair ties to organize and when I’m feeling extra masterful I go all Naptural85 and retwist and bantu knot each section as I go.

Conditioner is meant to rebalance the pH of your hair after shampooing and that helps smooth down the cuticles. With chemically relaxed hair, I didn’t really notice the difference, but with natural hair? Whew! If I didn’t leave that conditioner to sit for the allotted time, my hair would stay clingy and rough.

That rinse and go I used to enjoy? Fuggetaboutit! I used to blast my hair with the full force of the shower stream at the same temperature as I used to bathe. Now, I’m mindful of too much agitation. I reduce the stream to gentle and lower the temperature to lukewarm. There are some hard core naturalistas that rinse with cold water. I am not hard core.

What was detangling in my relaxer days? Not a word in my vocabulary, that’s what. For a natural, there can be no wash day without it. I won’t even get into how my post-wash ritual has changed.

As you can see, with all these extra steps, wash day for naturals can be a major production. The good news is there are lots of tips, tricks, and tutorials out there to make it less so.

First, get your mind right. Sounds extra but trust that procrastination and dread will take over if you don’t set your mind to handle your business. Set a day. Set a time. Set aside the time. Make it happen. Mentally go over everything you have to do and accept how long it will take. Don’t fight it.

Make it as comfortable for yourself as possible. For starters, give yourself ample time to complete it.  You can detangle in the shower, and the conditioner, running water, and not worrying about the mess can ease things a bit. But if you detangle outside of the shower you can be seated, fully clothed, and watch a TV show or two…or three (or five, who am I kidding?) I’ve been detangling this way for most of my natural journey. It sometimes involves music and snacks.

Don’t be afraid to break up the process. Detangle and prepoo today, wash and set or style tomorrow when you are refreshed and recharged.

Focus on must-do tasks. This means I focus on getting my scalp clean. If all I have time for is a vigorous rinse, I know my scalp will be happy and my hair will be okay if I delay a full wash day for a few days. It means I may want to try a tea rinse, but if I can’t work it into my regimen, I will put off extra experiments like that for a more dedicated day.

Take a moment to ask yourself, “Is this a good time or nah?” If you think so, handle your business. If not, wait. I’ve had 2-hour sessions magically multiply–simple things turned complex!–because my mind and body weren’t ready and coordinated for the task.

While there is an unavoidable amount of extra effort involved in natural hair hygiene, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Plan and organize your wash day and you’ll find there’s nothing really to dread.


What do you dread most about wash day and how do you make the process easier? Comment below! And if you’re a fan of The Pursuit, like, share, and follow me here and @edinPON.

Did you know I’m writing a series for the newly natural? Find Dear Newly Natural Me at myyeka.wordpress.com. Check out the latest installment: here.


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Is This a Good Time or Nah?


When my scalp is unhappy, my roots are unhappy, I’m unhappy. I’m walking around with frizzy, dirty hair and a ton of takedown work the longer the task is delayed.

If you’re one of those women who can clear a whole day and fend off all interlopers, you are wash day goals. I haven’t been able to keep a strict schedule, though with my current protective styling regimen it has improved. If I see an opportunity–several free hours or a half-day–I take it.  But, when my wash day unexpectedly becomes jam packed, I have to ask myself: is this a good time? Most often, I do not even try it.

I don’t know about you, but when I need to do my hair but can barely fit in the time, I get into a bad mood. This is not the best frame of mind when I finally do get to my hair. I’m not as gentle or patient as I should be. Cut corners, break strands.

Instead of punishing my hair, I find a way to freshen my look or cover up my situation until I can properly devote some TLC to my fro. I re-do the perimeter of my head if it’s in twists or braids, or wear a bandana or headband to hide those puffy roots.

When the situation calls for it, I will break up the process into manageable chunks. Once, I was forced to prepoo undercover (h/t @OlenaRosanne) for a day. Another week, I had to detangle my hair over four days, there was so little time. I styled in twists to camouflage that I was in the middle of a prolonged pre-wash takedown session.

Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do, because leaving your hair neglected for too long is not an option, but attending to it in a bad mood when you’re pressed for time isn’t any better. I aspire to @kimmaytube hair “spa” days, but until then, I have to be mindful about transitioning the state of my hair throughout the week and be strategic with the multiple tasks that make up my sometimes not-so-relaxing wash days.

And if you’re scratching your head at all this ado about washing hair, don’t worry. Next week, I’ll break down why wash day looms large for this natural and many other naturals as well. Like, share, and follow me here and @edinPON to stay up to date on all new content!