Natural Hair Care Tips
Natural Hair Care Tips
Natural hair has become more popular within the last 10 years. Black women are now embracing their natural hair more than ever. But how many really know and understand how natural hair should be cared for? If I had to guess, I would say not many. I’ve come to this conclusion because there are countless women on hair blogs crying out for help on how to take care of their hair. Taking care of natural hair is different than relaxed hair and can be frustrating. In this post, I’ll be sharing some natural hair care tips that will help you on your natural hair care journey.
Natural Hair Care Tip #1
Always use sulfate and paraben free products. Sulfates and parabens are harsh chemicals that are unhealthy for your hair. Sulfates strip the hair of natural oils causing the hair to be extremely dry. When hair becomes dry it begans to break off. The goal is to retain as much length as possible. You don’t wan’t to spend time growing your hair out only to lose length. Furthermore, these chemicals cause adverse health issues. Parabens are used in cosmetics as a preservative to stop the growth of yeast, bacteria and fungus.
You will notice that your hair will grow much longer in length the more you protective style. Protective styles are styles such as cornrows, box braids, twist, etc. They are known as protective styles because they protect the hair and can be left in for 2 weeks for more. Protective styles benefit the hair because it gives your hair a rest from constantly styling everyday. The less you touch and mess with the hair, the better, this way you will be able to retain more length. One thing you should be cautious about when protective styling is to make sure that they are not installed too tight. This is especially true for your edges. If the styles are pulled too tight your edges will start to thin and break off. Like I always say, “if its tight, it ain’t right”.
Deep Conditioning Regularly
Deep conditioning is another important natural hair care tip that you should follow. Deep conditioning is imperative for natural hair. It helps to replenish the natural oils that were lost during the washing process and from your hair being exposed to the elements. Ideally speaking, deep conditioning should be done each time you wash your hair. You should also use heat when you are deep conditioning your hair. Apply the deep conditioner, put on a plastic shower cap and sit under the dryer. Thirty minutes is enough time to allow the deep conditioner to soak into the hair strands.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
I know that this may not be obvious but your diet plays a major role in how healthy and long your hair will grow. Nutrient rich foods feed the follicles so that the hair can grow to its fullest potential. Junk foods should only be eaten on ocassion because they offer no nutritional value to the hair or the body. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet will help your body to produce a healthy mane. Water is also important, it helps blood flow and blood flow is imperative to grow long healthy hair. I know that drinking water is not ideal but it is worth it. Healthy hair starts from the inside.
Stay Away From Excessive Heat
Following this natural hair care tip is also important for taking care and growing your hair. Many natural hair women have different opinions on if heat should be used on the hair at all. I will tell you this, heat can be used on the hair safely. If I decide to use heat on myself and Butta Babee’s hair it is only done once per month. We have never had any damage and I do not use high heat settings. Medium heat settings work good enough for our 4c type hair. If you are applying heat to your hair, always use a heat protectant. A heat protectant creates a barrier between the heat and your hair strands to avoid heat damage.
Keep Your Hair Moisturized
Natural hair has the tendency to be more dry than relaxed hair. The natural oils on your scalp don’t travel down the hair strand as easily as other hair types because of the kinks and coils, causing the hair to become dry. The best method to keeping natural hair moisturized to use what is known as he LOC or LCO method. It consist of using a liquid, oil and cream combination that helps to restore moisture to the hair. You can learn more about this method here. Depending on how often your hair becomes dry you may or may not have to do it daily. I use the LCO method as it works best for myself and Butta Babee at sealing in the moisture that our hair needs to thrive.
Be Gentle When Combing Natural Hair
I want to first start off by saying that combing natural hair is essential. Combing keeps tangles and single strands away. But, you have to make sure that you are using the proper tools when you want to comb your hair. Never, I repeat never use a small tooth or rat tail comb to detangle your hair. You’ll be asking for major breakage, damage, setbacks and disappointments. Small tooth combs are not designed to be used for thick, natural hair. Always use a wide tooth comb and try to only comb and detangle your hair while it is wet. Detangling dry hair will lead to breakage, thin and split ends in the long run.
Add Natural Oils And Butters To Your Regimen
Oils such as coconut, olive, avocado, jojoba etc. are really great for natural hair. They are natural and don’t contain any harmful or unhealthy ingredients that will harm the hair. These oils are high in vitamin e and do well at sealing moisture in the hair. Shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter help hair to grow. These hair oils and natural butters are what I consider to be hair food. You can put them on your scalp and your hair follicles will soak up all of the nutrients.
Wear A Silk/Satin Scarf
I suggest that you wear a silk scarf rather than a satin one. Silk scarves actually help you to retain moisture in the hair versus a satin scarf(made from polyester and cheap materials) suck moisture out of the hair. It is worth it to invest in a silk scarf. If you are running a little low on funds and can’t purchase a silk scarf a satin scarf is the next best thing. Either way, your hair should be protected at night to avoid snagging from the cotton sheets and pillowcases. You can also purchase a satin or silk pillowcase if you have trouble keeping your scarf on at night. Happy Hair Growing!!!