Several people have had to relax their hair even though they didn’t want to because they do not know how to manage their natural hair, some because of the texture and others because of maintenance costs.
Well relaxing your hair isn’t a bad idea, but let it be because it is something you want to do, and not for these reasons.
Caring for your natural hair is important, and if you have decided to start your natural hair journey or take things a notch up for a while, you will have to understand your hair and its needs, then you will be able to manage it without hassle.
Are you looking to understand your hair and know how to care for your natural hair? Well, this article is for you.
Let’s get started.
What is Natural Hair?
Natural hair refers to afro-textured hair, it is the hair that grows on the head of Africans and black people in general, that has not been altered through chemical processes like relaxing on the use of heat styling. This type of hair has a lot of challenges as to styling and care as there are not many materials and videos on how to style and manage it.In addition, the hair texture is different from person to person, serving as a barrier to caring for such hair.
Characteristics of Natural Hair
To be able to care for your natural hair, you need to know its characteristics, and they include:
– Natural hair grows slower than other types of hair because its shrinks a lot. And if your hair is curly, it will be susceptible to even more shrinkage.
– Natural hair is prone to tangling.
– Natural hair knots when you comb it, leading to hair breakage and loss of hair.
– Natural hair is mostly dry, which is why there is a need for moisturizer.
– Natural hair tends to break and shrink when it is not styled.
– Natural hair does not usually retain moisturizers and it also keeps moisturizers from reaching the hair shaft.
Understanding Your Natural Hair
To care for your natural hair, you need to understand your hair type and know what your hair needs and whether or not your hair is porous, and how dense it is.
How Do I Identify My Hair Porosity?
Your hair is porous when it easily absorbs moisture. For instance, if your hair was really dry, and then you apply moisture, how fast and for how long does it retain the moisture from your hair food or moisturizer? If your hair easily absorbs and retains moisture, then it is porous.
How Do I Know If My Hair Is Dense?
Density refers to the thinness or thickness of your hair, which could be low or medium, or high. Where it is high, your hair is very dense, such hair type is usually voluminous (big hair, don’t care).
How Do I Identify My Hair Needs?
There are common issues associated with hair like breakage, low growth, fizziness, shrinkage, and dryness. While other issues could develop as a result of product application, such as relaxed or treated hair issues, issues resulting from heat application, or color application. For some, your need might just be to have healthy shinning hair. Therefore, how to care for your hair, you need to identify your hair needs. These hair care tips address your every need.
Types of Natural HairCurly: all curly hair types thrive with moisture, hair sectioning, as well as appropriate drying time, and they, require healthy maintenance.
Straight: This hair type unlike the other three rarely shrinks; it also grows faster and does not have much volume.
Kinky: this hair type is quite voluminous and as such requires much maintenance and styling, because of the density.
Wavy: this hair type also thrives with moisture and is not as voluminous as kinky or curly hair, however, it grows faster.
Top 13 Ways to Care for Your Natural Hair
Here are hair care tips to consider for shiny, healthy natural hair without spending so much: Detangle Your Hair before Washing
Before you wash your hair, make sure you carefully detangle the strands, as washing it in its detangled state could damage it. You can do this sitting in front of a mirror. Be sure not to pull the strands to avoid breaking.
While detangling, you can use a detangling comb and coat the hair with moisturizers to avoid breakage. Gently work your fingers through your hair and unknot the tangles.
Make Sure You Use Gentle Shampoos
We often seek shampoos that foam while we wash. However, such shampoo can be damaging as they contain harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate which promotes hair dryness and hair breakage. Hence, go for shampoos that are kind to your hair (sulphate-free) shampoo.
Condition Your Hair
After washing your hair with shampoo, be sure to apply conditioner it helps to condition and soften your natural hair as the name implies. It also helps with detangling.
Do Not Overwash Your Hair
When you wash your natural hair too much, it might lose the little moisture it has, as natural hair is dry. Therefore, you can create a weekly, twice monthly hair wash routine, depending on what works for you.
Apply Deep Conditioner Weekly
There are several deep conditioner products you can choose from, even natural ones like honey, banana, avocado, olive oil, and mayonnaise which helps you strengthen and rejuvenate your hair.
Drying Your Hair
When drying your hair after washing, do not use a towel. I understand that this is what everyone uses to dry hair but it is not good enough. A towel roughens your hair cuticle and makes it break or frizz. You should use a microfiber towel instead, and in the absence of that, make use of an old t-shirt. Just ensure that the t-shirt is soft.
Use Leave-in Moisturizers
As stated earlier, natural hair is usually dry. Hence, you need to constantly apply moisturizers to keep them healthy. Also, you do not have to buy ready-made products; you can apply basic things you can get from your home, like Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter in your hair after washing and conditioning. Also, you can add moisturizers to your hair even after you’ve styled them. For instance, if your hair has been braided, you can keep it moisturized still by applying natural moisturizers and water. It is easier if you mix them in a spray bottle and just spritz your hair whenever you feel like it.
Avoid Heat Styling
Since your hair is naturally dry, using heating equipment might damage it. Hence allow your hair to dry naturally with the microfiber towel and fresh hair. Using a hair dryer, hair straighteners, electric brush, curling iron, hair straighteners, and the like can cause hair damage, so avoid using them whenever you can. You can use rollers to style your hair, they are known to be kinder to natural hair.
Have you heard of the saying, “satin makes the hair grow round?” well, you have now. While this saying might not be true, satin helps your hair. When you lay your head on a satin or silk pillowcase or bed sheet at night, or you use a silk hair bonnet or scarf to wrap your hair before going to bed, you are saving your hair from detangling. So, you are keeping your hair from detangling while maintaining beauty and class.
Do Not Apply Too Many Products
This is the era where everyone knows the importance of moisturizing and conditioning and can do these things without a visit to the hairdresser. We also know how to make use of styling gel and hair wax. While these things are good, too much of them can make the hair frizzy, crunchy, or greasy. It also makes your hair unnecessarily oily. So, do not apply too much of these things on your hair as while you can easily apply them, taking them out is quite difficult, you’d have to keep washing your hair, which I have advised you not to overwash.
Do Protective Hairstyles
There are several protective hairstyles for natural hair, these styles promote hair strength, growth, and shine and prevent it from tangling. They include twists, knots, buns, cornrows, and braids. These hairstyles are economical, ease the pressure on the root of your hair, especially when it is loosely done, and also help you minimize the time dedicated to hair styling.The best thing about these hairstyles is that you can do them yourself. You can watch some DIY videos to get them started.
Take out Your Hairstyle after a maximum of 3 months
No matter how beautiful and neat your hair still looks, it should be taken out once 3 months have elapsed. Yes, protective hairstyles are cute, but leaving them for so long will damage the hair you have been trying to build. In addition, always deep condition your hair after every hairstyle.
Trim Your Hair Regularly
This is one way to monitor and ensure your hair growth. So do not hold on to split ends as they are unhealthy, you can decide to trim your ends every 3 months, or have a conversation with your hair stylist to determine what works for you.
Wrapping up; Remember, nowadays, it’s usually hair contact, before eye contact, this is a major reason you have to ensure that your hair is in good condition, and also for your overall well-being. While it might not be easy to go with everything on the list with immediate effect, you can begin taking your wash days and conditioning seriously and then, evolve.
In addition, always notice the changes in your hair and be flexible with your hair care practices as it has been stated earlier, hair types are different, and not everything might work with your hair. I believe this article has supplied you with the necessary information on hair growth. If you have further questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments, I’d be happy to chat; @lola_odeyemi