You might think that because you have natural hair you don’t need much to do to it in terms of how to care for it. You are wrong! Afro natural hair is very fragile and breaks easily because of the tight curls. It is therefore important to know how to care for natural hair if you want healthy and long hair.
Because of these tight curls, it is difficult for sebum( the naturally produced oil) to find its way through the hair shaft to the ends. This leaves your hair dry, brittle and frizzy on the ends. And as we already know, dry hair breaks easily.
Afro hair does grow if properly cared for. You may already be doing some things to care for your natural hair and i am gonna add some things that you may have missed out.
1. Shampoo/ Washing
Always detangle your hair properly with a wide tooth comb before you shampoo. It is important to detangle it in sections. Section your hair it into manageable parts. Depending on your hair length and volume, at least 4 parts should do. Detangle from ends all the way to your roots.
Shampoo your hair in sections as you did when detangling. This makes your work easier and reduces the chances of your hair breaking. Moreover, it ensures that your hair is well penetrated with the shampoo. I would recommend a mild shampoo so that you don’t strip off the little oil from your already dry hair.
2. Deep conditioning
Yes, natural hair should also be deep conditioned. The normal 2-minute light conditioning is not enough. I recommend to deep condition every second wash with a moisturizing deep conditioner. If you wash your hair after a bout 3 weeks, then deep condition every time you wash.
Since your hair isn’t chemically treated, you may not need as much extra protein as the chemically treated hair. Go easy on that or you may end up with dryer and more tangled hair than before.
There are several good moisturizing deep conditioners in the market. You might already have your must haves or favorites already or still looking for that one good conditioner. You might wanna check these out.
- Cantu Shea butter natural hair hydrating cream conditioner
- Aussie Repair miracle conditioner
- Mega growth deep strengthening treatment. ( Deep moisturizing).
3. Protective styling
This is very important for natural hair to avoid shrinkage and tangling which will make your hair difficult to work with. Whenever your hair is open make sure to keep your ends away from your collar area because the friction will dry the hair out which will lead to frizziness and eventually breakage.
Natural hair should particularly be protected at most times because of the fragility it comes with in terms of texture. There are several protective styles you can try. More details here. I’m sure you will find something that suits you.
4. Moisturizing and sealing
Naturally curly hair is prone to dryness because in it`s natural form, the sebum has a hard time to reach the ends. The secret to avoiding breakage is to constantly moisturize and seal your hair concentrating on the hair ends since it is the oldest and most fragile part of your hair.
You do not need much to do this. Water is the number 1 moisturizer. A spritz bottle, some water and an oil or oil mixture of your choice will do the job. You can also get yourself a moisturizing lotion that has other beneficial ingredients to your hair apart from water.
The same way you sectioned your hair to shampoo and condition, do the same before moisturizing and sealing. In fact, i encourage you to make smaller parts for better access to your whole head.
5. Satin Bonnet
By a satin bonnet, i mean the shiny side should be in contact with your hair. Your edges should also be well protected. The bonnet should not be too tight to make you uncomfortable nor too loose for the purpose. Make sure that the elastic part of the bonnet is also in satin.
Cotton bonnets or scarfs will rub off the moisture and oils in your hair and eventually may cause your hair to breaks you turn your head while sleeping.
6. Drying /Straightening
First of all, you should use either a micro fiber towel or a t-shirt to remove excess water from your hair. The normal towel fibers often tangle with your hair and as you rub further to dry, you end up breaking your hair. Microfiber towels on the other hand are soft and your hair will be happy.
The best way is to dry your hair after removing excess water is to air dry. But we do not always have time to do that. I would advise you to schedule a wash day on the day you have time to avoid rushing though the process.
Sometimes other plans come in the way and you have to get things done faster than planned and in this case, you can use a blow-dryer. Ensure that you use the lowest heat possible or rather, the cold blow. May take a bit longer but it is better for your hair.
To straighten natural hair, you can plait large braids or better still use the African threading method. This is easier and faster and you do not really need special braiding skills to do it. Make sure you don’t make them too tight or else it will be counter-productive.
7. Trimming/ Dusting.
Natural Afro hair also gets split ends and frizzy. The frizziness happens a lot because of the hair texture. Since sebum has a hard time to reach your hair ends, it is prone to dry and frizzing if left open for sometime. This makes it hard to comb through and if you use force to detangle, breakage will be the end result.
It is important to trim (a centimeter or 2) or dust (up to a centimeter) your ends depending on the damage it has with regard to frizz and split ends. Depending on how well you take care of your hair especially the ends, you may have to dust or trim your hair twice or more times in a year.
Having natural hair doesn’t mean you need less care. In fact, you will need more time and care because of the texture. The tips are just but a few main ones that you definitely need in your regimen.
There are other bonus practices for your hair like hot oil treatment, rice water rinse among others that you can do sometime to boost your hair and of course eat healthy and drink lots of water to help your hair inside out.
I hope you learned something from here and will apply those that you missed out. Feel free to add what i missed out in the comment section or you can contact me if you had any questions or concerns.