My best friend since sixth grade has extremely curly and textured hair. I have watched her handle it delicately for the past few years, and she would tell me that while keeping natural hair healthy is not hard, it definitely requires specific methods of care and attention.
Hair, no matter how long or short, is not always easy to manage, and with natural hair, you can easily struggle with finding the right tips and tricks that will give you success for your normal hair care routine. If tangles, knots, and breakage prevent you from giving your natural hair the style and function that it deserves, we are going to provide you with some helpful natural hair tips to keep your hair growing healthfully, prevent damage, and improve its overall look and feel.
Natural Hair Care and Maintenance Tips
- Say no to sulfate: Stay away from shampoos that contain sulfates. Sulfates will eliminate the moisture and natural oil that your hair needs and will only work to dry out your hair in the long run.
- Use coconut oil or olive oil: Before you shampoo your hair, pre-shampoo it using coconut or olive oil. Coconut oil is going to help your hair keep its length and prevent and future damage. The oil is going to keep your hair from any wear and tear overtime by limiting the amount of water that it absorbs. Both olive oil and coconut oil will keep your natural hair from being stripped when it is shampooed.
- Deep condition: Make sure you deep condition your hair a moisturizing deep conditioner each time after you wash your hair. To help your hair generate heat, wrap your towel around your head to try to generate some heat. For example, you can use a microwave cap or wrap a towel around your head.
- Protein treatment: Natural hair can break easily, and it could be helpful to get a protein treatment once a month or more if your hair is thin or susceptible to breakage.
- Trim split ends: If you are trying to grow your hair as much as possible, then trimming your split ends might not be the best idea. However, trim your split ends if your hair is damaged to keep it growing strong.
- Do not towel dry: Although you might be quick to wrap your natural hair up in a towel after a shower, be careful because microfibers in a towel can rip your hair out. Instead, air-dry your hair after a shower or use an old t-shirt to wrap your hair up atop your head.
- Refrigerator condition: Try and refrigerate your leave in conditioner. The colder the conditioner is, the more it will help to seal and clasp your hair’s cuticle post-wash. Having a chilled or cold conditioner available for your hair is very helpful if you do not want to rinse your hair off with cold water, and it will also help to increase the shine of your hair.
- Massage: Massage your scalp 2 to 3 times a week. This is going to help encourage hair growth, and it will also help to increase the blood flow to your scalp.
Natural Hair Products
- Oil: Apply a light or natural oil to your hair daily to keep it tangle free and healthy. Jojoba is a good option, as it is light and will keep it free of tangles.
- Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil: Jamaican Black Castor Oil will help keep your hair’s ends from splitting. It has a thick and protective seal that will help the ends clump together. Apply it each time after you wash your hair and before you style it.
- Multi-Vitamins: Take a multi-vitamin each day such as Methylosulfonylmethame or MSM. This vitamin is said to extend the lifespan of your hair as well as keep your scalp from becoming dry or damaged.
- Clarifying Shampoo: A clarifying shampoo is going to help cleanse your hair of the products and junk that might build up in it. Instead of a clarifying shampoo, you can attempt to add a tablespoon of baking soda or apple cider vinegar to your hair to clean it thoroughly.
- Tie it up: Do not attempt to sleep while your hair is loose. When you keep natural hair down, it is more prone to becoming tangled or breaking. Instead, tie it up.
- Satin up: When you do go to sleep at night, tie your hair up in a satin scarf, a bonnet, or sleep on a satin pillow case. This is going to help keep the moisture in your hair intact and keep it from unnecessary tangling.
- Mosturize: As we said before, moisturize your hair as much s possible. Use your fingers to see if it feels dry or not, and it is does: add some moisture to it.
- Diet: If you eat well, you will look good. Eat a diet that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. For instance, try incorporating fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna into your diet. Omega-3’s area great for your hair and your skin as well.
- Henna: A henna hair treatment is another good way to try to improve your hair’s strength and shine. Look into some different treatments online and read a few reviews.
- Avoid heat styling: Letting your natural hair air dry is one of the best things that you can do to keep your hair strong and healthy. If you must style your hair with heat products, do some for special occasions.
- Combing: When your hair is wet, comb your hair from the bottom up with a large tooth comb to detangle it. Your fingers are also a great untangling option.
- Do not tease: Teasing natural or texture hair is a no-no.
Natural hair requires more attention, but it is worth it in the end rather than having to deal with damage. Remember that your hair is beautiful no matter what texture its natural state is it. For a step by step tutorial on styling your natural hair into a braid, twist, or up-do, enroll in this course here.