Regardless of what goal you want to reach with your natural hair, whether it be length, volume, etc., healthy hair should be at the foundation to achieve any of them. For example, if longer hair is your goal, having unhealthy strands may make it more difficult to retain length. How to maintain healthy natural hair may require some adjustments to your hair care regimen. However, as you make healthy hair care apart of your routine, your strands will flourish.
Here is how to maintain healthy natural hair with 8 simple tips:
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1) Get rid of damaged strands
The first tip that benefits how to maintain healthy natural hair is to make room for healthy strands by getting rid of the damaged ones. Strands that have been permanently damaged by heat tools, hair dyes, or other damaging sources, will eventually have to be cut off as they will not revert back.
Damaged hair strands can create extra headache and make your strands more prone to tangles, dryness, and more. You don’t necessarily have to do a big chop to get rid of damaged pieces. You can gradually let your hair grow out and trim off the damaged ends. Once you get rid of any damaged strands, the health and appearance of your hair will change for the better.
2) Avoid damaging habits
Once you have removed your strands of damage, it is best to avoid habits that could potentially damage your hair again. This includes limiting your use of heat tools and avoiding harsh chemicals (e.g. using bleach to dye hair). Another potentially damaging habit you want to avoid in order to maintain healthy hair, is harsh detangling.
Combing through your tangles too quickly when detangling can create even more knots, specifically single-strand knots, and eventually lead to breakage. Limiting your use of heat tools and chemicals, as well as other damaging habits, will encourage healthier strands.
3) Practice the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods to retain moisture
Moisture plays an essential part in how to maintain healthy natural hair. Moisturizing your strands regularly will create softer and stronger hair, as well as encourage growth. An effective way to moisturize your hair and retain it afterwards, is by following the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods. The acronyms each stand for “liquid / leave-in”, “oil”, and “cream”.
The order of these acronyms differ based off the order in which you choose to apply your leave-in products. Either of these methods allow you to apply layers of moisture to your hair and properly seal it all in, leaving you with longer lasting, hydrated results. This will benefit how to maintain healthy natural hair as regularly moisturizing your strands can promote easier manageability and help your strands better retain moisture, thus improving hair health.
4) Regularly deep condition your hair
Another way to better retain moisture and encourage healthier strands is to incorporate routine deep conditioning treatments into your hair care regimen. Deep conditioners contain various nourishing and strengthening ingredients that work together to replenish moisture back into dehydrated strands.
Deep conditioning can also, overtime strengthen your strands as many often contain the inclusion of certain proteins. If you have damaged strands, deep conditioning can also benefit you and provide some temporary relief with the infusion of different nourishing ingredients. To reap the full benefits of deep conditioning, you should use some form of heat (commonly a hooded hair dryer) and shower cap to trap moisture and better absorb it. Additionally, a good aim is to deep condition weekly if your schedule permits it. This will get your hair accustomed to your routine and help to better retain moisture.
5) Trim your ends as needed
Another way to maintain healthy natural hair is to trim your ends as needed. The ends of your hair are the oldest parts and are constantly being put through manipulation – detangling, rubbing against clothing, etc. This leaves your ends prone to breakage, split ends, and more. If you go too long without a proper trim, these split ends can begin to split further up the hair shaft and result in more hair having to be cut off when you do decide to get a trim.
6) Be gentle with your hair
A key tip to maintaining healthy natural hair is to be gentle with your strands. Curly, coily, and kinky hair types can be quite fragile in nature as they are prone to dryness and thus breakage if not properly and gently taken care of.
When detangling, it is especially important that you are gentle during this process. If you rush through the detangling process, you can create excess knots and tangles as your tear through them, additionally causing breakage. Work in sections when detangling, and take your time with your hair.
7) Be aware of your hair’s porosity
Your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture is defined as its porosity. The porosity of your hair can range from low porosity, medium / normal porosity, to high porosity. Low porosity hair has difficulty absorbing moisture as the hair cuticle is in a sealed state. However, low porosity hair has an easier time retaining moisture because of the hair cuticle being in a closed state. Those with low porosity hair may also find that their hair takes a while to dry. High porosity hair has an easier time absorbing moisture as the hair cuticle is in a lifted state.
However, highly porous hair will have more difficulty retaining moisture as it is easy for moisture to escape from the opened hair cuticle. Those with high porosity hair may find that their hair dries quickly. Knowing your hair’s porosity will help you to make better choices as far as hair products and changes to your hair care regimen.
8) Look at the ingredients in your hair products
Another tip that benefits how to maintain healthy natural hair is to look at the ingredients in the hair products that you use. A lot of our favorite hair products contain certain ingredients that may produce more negative effects than positive in the long run. A few of those ingredients that are best to avoid include parabens, formaldehydes, and certain alcohols.
Make sure that you research and review the ingredients in your hair products before purchasing. On the other hand, there are a number of ingredients that are actually beneficial to be included in your hair products. Some good ingredients to look for in your natural hair products include aloe vera, essential oils, shea, butter, plus more.
What goals do you have for your natural hair in 2019? Leave a comment down below!