Regardless of what your natural hair goals are, whether that be longer hair, more volume, stronger strands, etc., your hair care habits will affect how you attain or retain any of the above. Maintaining good hair care habits will help to promote healthier strands. Healthy strands are at the root to achieving whichever goal you may have for your hair. Nonetheless, caring for your natural hair does not have to be complicated. In this article, we have complied ten helpful tips you should know when caring for natural hair.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when caring for your natural hair:
Disclaimer: Caring for Natural Hair is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. However, all reviews, thoughts and recommendations are of our own.
1) Always be gentle with your hair, especially when detangling
One simple yet effective adjustment you can make to your hair care regimen for healthier hair, is making the effort to always be gentle with your strands. Curly, coily, and kinky hair types are more fragile in nature due to the spiral shape of the hair strand and drier property. When styling and detangling, try to be delicate with your strands to avoid excess breakage. If we are too rough on our hair when detangling and styling, it can turn what were once healthy, strong strands, to damaged, weak strands.
When you are detangling your hair, take your time and work in sections. It also helps to coat your strands with a conditioning product to loosen tangles and ease the process. If possible, try to finger-detangle your hair. Finger-detangling involves feeling out your strands for any knots, and then gently separating those with your fingers. This process helps to lessen stress and tension on your strands and thus reduce breakage. Make the effort to be patient with your hair and you will see a positive return.
2) Moisturize your hair on a regular basis if not daily
When it comes to maintaining healthy natural hair, moisture is a necessity. You should be moisturizing your hair on a regular basis, if not daily. Moisturizing products in the form of leave-in conditioners, butters, creams, etc., will help to soften and nourish your strands, as well as aid in better retaining moisture. Caring for your natural hair by keeping it moisturized will also encourage length retention and promote healthier hair.
If you go too long without applying any form of moisture to your hair or do not moisturize your hair on a regular basis, the effects will begin to show in the health and strength of your strands. Excessively dry hair is more prone to breakage and tangles. Properly caring for natural hair cannot be done without the use of moisture, so be sure to make this hair care essential apart of your regimen.
3) Retain moisture with the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods
An effective way to apply and retain moisture in your hair is by using the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods. These methods involve the use of a liquid or leave-in product, an oil, and a cream, applied in the order of your choosing. Not only is moisturizing your hair a necessity, but making sure that you are retaining this moisture is just as important. The L.C.O. and L.O.C. methods help to do just that by coating and sealing with your strands multiple layers of moisture sealants.
Regularly sealing and retaining moisture throughout your hair can help to create softer, stronger, and even more manageable strands. In addition, when your hair is adequately moisturized, your natural hairstyles may last longer as they are hydrated and nourished.
4) Protective style occasionally
When done properly, protective styles can be highly useful for retaining length and supporting healthy hair by giving your strands a break. There are a variety of protective styles you can wear such as cornrows, box braids, two-strand twists, and more. While wearing protective styles can be beneficial, another tip to keep in mind when caring for your natural hair is to wear them in moderation.
Certain protective styles can end up doing your strands more harm than good. You should avoid getting your styles done too tightly as this can create a lot of tension and stress on your hair follicles and lead to thinning and breakage. You should also avoid leaving your protective styles in for too long as this can have an adverse effect on your scalp all the way down to your ends. Nonetheless, it is important that you are communicating with your hairstylist when getting your protective style installed. If something does not feel right, be sure to speak up and let your stylist know.
5) Make sure that you are taking good care of your scalp as well
Aside from making sure that you are taking good care of your strands, you also want to make sure that you are maintaining good scalp health as well. If your scalp is in a poor state of health, this can affect the overall health of your hair. There are various scalp conditions that can arise if you are not adequately caring for your natural hair.
Avoiding hairstyles that are too tight is just one way to ease tension on your hair follicles and protect your scalp. In addition, doing occasional scalp massages are great for maintaining good scalp health and can provide various benefits in the process including the promotion of hair growth. Finally, it helps to supply your scalp with different natural oils from time to time to deliver key nutrients throughout your hair. All in all, taking good care of your hair and scalp will help to improve the overall look and feel of your strands, keeping them strong and healthy.
6) Cleanse your hair regularly
To maintain healthy natural hair, it is essential that you have a good shampoo and conditioner in your hair product stash to regularly cleanse your strands with. Clean hair and a clean scalp allow for a more thorough absorption of your products, better results with hairstyles, and the promotion of unrestricted growth as your hair follicles are not clogged with build-up.
Not cleansing your hair on a regular basis can cause excess product build-up, which can then interfere with the overall health of your hair if left on your strands for too long. Additionally, certain scalp conditions can develop if you do not cleanse your scalp regularly. Many naturals like to shampoo their hair weekly or bi-weekly. While clean hair is important, try not to overdo it either. Shampooing too frequently can dry our your strands as some shampoos strip your strands entirely clean, even of their natural oils.
7) Avoid frequently wearing styles that are too tight
As mentioned previously, protective styles can be very beneficial when done properly. One essential tip to keep in mind when caring for natural hair, is to avoid frequently wearing hairstyles that are too tight. This includes your favorite go-to puffs, buns, box braid styles, and more. Pulled-back styles like puffs may be quick and convenient, however, this style causes stress and tension on your hair follicles as they are being pulled back in various directions. If you wear pulled-back styles like puffs and buns almost daily, over time, these styles can lead to breakage and thinning in the nape and crown areas, as well as the edges from the frequent tension on your strands.
Other styles you may get professionally done such as twists, braids, and even wigs / weaves, should feel comfortable when installed and not leave you with a headache from how tightly the style was braided. If you plan on getting a long-term protective style done, make sure that it is not braided too tightly and that your scalp and other areas of your hair can breathe. To add to this, you should also alternate between styles. Protective style some days, and on other days, let your hair down to breathe. This will help to give both the ends of your hair and your scalp a break from time to time.
8) Get your ends trimmed when necessary
Another important tip to keep in mind when caring for your natural hair, is to get trims when necessary. You may have heard people with different recommendations regarding how often you should get your hair trimmed (e.g. every three months, etc.). However, for many naturals, this number isn’t always the same. Individuals may experience hair growth at a different rate and not to mention, each person has a different set of hair attributes. This is why it may be best for you to get your ends trimmed when necessary and not on a set schedule to avoid over-trimming or under-trimming your hair. For some, this may be every three months, for others it may be every five months.
Regardless, hair trims are imperative. They help to remove split and damaged ends. In turn, you are left with healthier, springier ends and will be able to better retain length and support good hair health. To add, if you go too long without getting a trim, this can result in further damage to your hair as split ends can travel further up the hair shaft. This can result in more hair having to be cut off than previously.
9) Make sure that you are applying your products thoroughly
Some naturals may notice the appearance of frizzy roots or ends with their hairstyles. In the case that your frizzy roots or ends are not caused by hair damage, to deter this, it is important that you are applying your hair products thoroughly throughout your hair. Sometimes, we may forget to apply enough product to either our roots or ends, and are left with frizzy, dry hair.
The ends of your hair are the oldest parts and thus are prone to breakage, split ends, etc. So, it is important that you are applying enough product to your ends when styling. It also helps to routinely apply a nice sealing oil to your ends to help keep them soft and strong. For the roots, if you want a nice, uniform hairstyle, be sure to apply enough of your hair products to your roots so that they don’t frizz up and interfere with your style.
10) Try to maintain an adequate moisture and protein balance
While moisture is key to maintaining good hair health, protein is another necessary nutrient for your strands. Not only should you be getting enough water in your diet, you should also make sure that you are receiving an adequate consumption of protein as well. These two nutrients are vital when caring for your natural hair. Additionally, there are ways you can upkeep an adequate moisture and protein balance throughout your hair aside from diet.
Deep conditioning is highly beneficial and should be something that every natural incorporates into their hair care regimen. This process involves the use of a stimulating and strengthening deep conditioner that works to replenish your strands with intense hydration from root to tip. Deep conditioning weekly or bi-weekly is a good aim. In addition, protein treatments are advantageous to include in your natural hair care regimen, as they help to supply your strands with much-needed strengthening amino acids. Monthly protein treatments are a good aim as these treatments vary in intensity and some may be very strong on your hair. All in all, maintaining a proper moisture and protein balance throughout your hair and in your diet, will help to keep your strands strong, soft, and nourished.
Do you have any tips that you would like to share with other naturals that may benefit them in caring for natural hair? Leave it in the comments down below!