The health of your natural hair can be affected by differing causes including diet and your hair care habits. While there are factors that can affect hair health, there are also a variety of ways to attain and maintain healthier hair. Here are 10 tips for healthy natural hair you should know:
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1. Deep condition weekly
By the end of the week, our hair has accumulated product build-up, tangles, and more. On wash day after cleansing your hair, deep conditioning helps to restore moisture and softness back into your strands. Deep conditioners like this one, include a number of nourishing ingredients that help to strengthen and rejuvenate your hair from root to tip.
Adding weekly deep conditioning into your hair regimen will help to promote better moisture retention and improve manageability. This tip for healthy natural hair is easy to incorporate and the results are lasting. You can even create your own deep conditioner with ingredients found right at home.
2. Complete monthly protein treatments
Keratin is the protein our hair is made of. If we are not getting enough protein in our diet, this insufficiency can additionally begin to show in the health of our hair. Weaker strands, breakage, etc. are just a few complications that can result if our hair strands are not receiving enough protein.
To add, protein is essential in maintaining an equal balance of both protein and moisture in your hair. Completing monthly protein treatments can help to keep the protein structure of your strands strong and intact, as well as gradually alleviate damaged areas throughout the hair shaft.
Depending on the severity of your hair damage or if you have any, there are strong through mild protein treatments. Even if your hair is not damaged, it is still good to maintain a healthy balance of moisture and protein in your hair to help keep your natural hair strong.
3. Maintain good scalp health
The health and growth of your hair begins at the scalp, so it is essential that you are maintaining good scalp health. There are multiple ways to upkeep good scalp health.
Scalp massages with and without an oil, keeping your scalp cleansed of product build-up, and avoiding too much tension on the scalp can all help to keep your strands growing and healthy.
4. Apply extra care to your ends
Since the ends of our hair are the oldest parts and prone to breakage and dryness, it is important that you are applying extra care to them. Our ends lie on our shoulders a lot of the time, so if they are breaking off at this point you won’t retain as much length.
Additionally, if your ends are excessively dry, this can make them more prone to splitting. If split ends are left untreated, they can begin to travel further up the hair shaft and result in breakage or more length having to be cut off come time you get your hair trimmed.
To prevent this, make sure you are applying a sealing oil to ends, and spread your moisturizing products with concentration on the ends, working your way up.
5. Protective style on occasion
Daily manipulation and friction against our clothing from wearing our hair down can sometimes result in unnecessary breakage. Protective styles (extensions, weaves/wigs, box braids, etc.) are a low maintenance way to not only give your hair a break, but to retain length and promote healthy natural hair.
Because you are not manipulating your hair as much, protective styles, especially long-term ones, help to retain length that may have otherwise been broken off through combing, etc.
6. Try the L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods for moisture retention
Perhaps one of the most important tips for healthy natural hair, is maintaining moisture. The L.O.C. and L.C.O. methods help to do just that. The “L” stands for “Liquid”, the “O” stands for “Oil”, and the “C” stands for “Cream”. The string of these acronyms change based off the order you decide to apply your products.
Your liquid can be water or even a water-based leave-in spray. The cream can be a leave-in conditioner, followed by an oil to seal, or vice-versa. Hair porosity can play a role in which method may provide more benefit. Nonetheless, either way is going to help to retain moisture for longer in your natural hair.
7. Massage your edges with an oil
Thinning edges are a result of differing factors including wearing too tight of hairstyles, certain health conditions, or over-manipulation. It is in good practice to massage your edges with an oil every other night to maintain a stimulation of growth and keep your edges strong.
8. Trim your hair as needed
Hair trims are needed to maintain good hair health and overall manageability. They help to get rid of split / damaged ends to prevent further splitting up the hair shaft, as well as hinder excessive tangling and single strand knots. Specific scheduled trims aren’t entirely necessary; However, it is favorable to trim your hair as needed.
9. Look at your diet
Our hair needs the proper nourishment to grow and stay healthy. A big portion of that nourishment is derived from the nutrients we get from our diet. A few essential nutrients we need for healthy hair include water, iron, protein, and more. If we do not receive enough of these nutrients, it can begin to show in the appearance of our hair. For example, hair loss is a common result of an iron deficiency.
Just make sure you that are getting an adequate intake of water, protein, and other key vitamins and minerals to keep your body and hair healthy.
10. Be aware of the ingredients in your hair products
Next time you are shopping for natural hair products, be sure to check the ingredients on the product label. There are certain ingredients that may do more harm than good in the long run. Some may accelerate product build-up, while others have been found to cause certain health complications. It is best to do your research regarding the products that we use every day. Keep in mind that ingredients that are most prevalent in a product will be listed at the beginning.
What are some tips for healthy natural hair that have helped you throughout your journey?