Self Made is a Netflix original series that premiered on the 20th of March,2020 starring some of our favourite Black American actresses namely the beautiful and talented Octavia Spencer and the hilarious Tiffany Haddish who tapered down her comedic side to play a more serious role in the series.
Wait up! There’s no need for the double-take, my dear, you are in the right space. This is indeed where we talk fashion and not movies but if you are familiar with the series then you probably have an inkling where I am headed with this. If your guess is the late Madam C.J. Walker whom the series is based on then you are spot on. I am not going to bore you with details of her humble beginnings, I’d rather we dive right into the juicy stuff.
Late Madam C.J. Walker was an African American woman who made a mark in fashion, notably the hair industry by inventing the world’s first hair-straightening formula and the hot comb. She invented a line of African American hair products after suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss. She promoted her products by travelling around the country giving lectures and demonstrations and then she eventually established Madam C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train other women to become sales beauticians using ‘The Walker System.’ Her sagacity in business led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire hence the title of the series in which Octavia Spencer played the role of Madam C.J. Walker and Tiffany Haddish acted as A’leila Walker, her daughter.
The Walker System was Madam C. J. Walker’s method of grooming. It was designed to promote hair growth and condition the scalp using her products. It included a shampoo, her pomade- said to help hair grow, strenuous brushing and applying iron combs to the hair. This method made brittle and impoverished hair soft and luxuriant.
Haircare has however evolved even as women of colour now proudly embrace their naturally curly hair although many still prefer it straightened. Here are steps to take for proper hair care.
- Wash your hair weekly or bi-weekly: This depends on your hair type. If you are a naturalista then washing your hair once every week or every two weeks is necessary. Use a shampoo that is suitable for your hair and can get rid of grease, oil as well as grime and residue from daily styling products. Relaxed hair does not need to be shampooed or conditioned daily. If it must be then a shampoo that is formulated for chemically treated hair must be used because they are gentle and moisturize as well as nourish the hair.
- Condition hair weekly: Natural hair should be conditioned at least once a week because the hair yearns for moisture and conditioning is the best way to hydrate the hair. As said earlier, relaxed or texlaxed hair doesn’t need to be conditioned daily, a specially formulated cleansing conditioner for chemically processed hair should be used.
- Detangle and comb your hair: You may choose to detangle your hair while the conditioner is still in it or while under running water using a wide-toothed comb. You can use your fingers for initial or further detangling but never use a fine comb or a close toothed comb as it will easily pull out and cut some of your hair.
- Apply a deep conditioner or a hair mask: This will help to nourish and restore curls and also hydrate the hair. Deep condition is also great for relaxed hair when the right products are used.
- Use leave-in conditioner weekly: This is an optional step but it is very beneficial to the hair.
- Style weekly or as required: There are a lot of go-to protective styles such as twist out, wash and go, braid out, bun, ponytail and many more. Ensure you use oil-based products such as coconut or almond oil while styling. For a fine finish, you could use a good gel to lay your edges depending on the look you are going for. Avoid styles that involve heat tools as much as you can.
- Moisturize or seal daily or as required: When you feel your hair is dry just spritz water onto your hair or use a daily moisturizer, you can trap the moisture in with an oil. Use products with a botanical blend of formulas such as coconut, olive, jojoba etc.
- Explore products that will help with split ends or get regular trims. Natural hair should be trimmed of split ends every sixteen weeks and relaxed hair at least once every three months.
- Having glorious and healthy hair requires consistency and the right products. You could visit a hair specialist for advice on the right set of hair products best suited for your hair type and once you get them, be consistent with them.
The Late Madam C.J. Walker once said;
” I want the great masses of my people to take greater pride in their personal appearance and to give their hair proper attention “
This is in actuality what I also desire for you my darling.
Till next time then, stay gorgeous, stay safe.
Lots of love,