Wearing your natural hair is no longer a look reserved for the afro-centric or pan-African woman only. The natural hair movement has called media out on representation (or the lack thereof) and brands for what they feedback to us as beautiful. Now, more and more black women are wearing their 4c hair proudly and spending thousands on Rands annually on hair care products trying to attain their #hairgoals. Natural hair requires a ton of care, but not all care is equal.
Here are key hair care to help:
1. Know your hair type
To learn how to maintain your hair, you must know your hair type. This matters because coils and curls differ and therefore require different levels of care and even moisture. Knowing which hair type you have is crucial for finding the right hair care products as well as knowing what methods of curl maintenance may or may not work for you.
2. Keep the chemicals on a low
For many people, chemical treatments are just another part of their beauty routine. Chemical treatments may allow you to experiment with different looks, excessive use of chemical treatments can dry your hair and leave it brittle or worse, damaged.
3. Cut the relaxers
If you’re growing your hair “chemical-free”, say bye-bye to relaxers. If you want a pseudo-natural look with straight edges, then you will probably still use relaxers, however, to minimize hair damage, choose the right relaxer that will not burn your scalp or dry out your hair. Also, make sure you never over relax your hair.
4. Cool down on the heat
If you consistently expose your hair to heat every time you style your hair, you’re headed for hair damage. There’s no need to style your hair with heat every day. If you have to blow-dry your hair, use the cold air option. Alternatively, let your hair air-dry after washing.
5. Don’t sleep on your afro
Before bed, always twist or plait your hair to keep from tangling, shrinking and the headache of combing dried out hair in the morning. Section your hair every evening for bed and plait firmly.
6. Get regular trims
Can natural hair get split ends? Yes. When the ends of your hair are old and have been subjected to brushing and heat, they need to go. Once your ends start to split, it travels up to mid-lengths causing more damage to your hair strands. Aim to trim your hair every six weeks. Once the damaged hair is removed, it will look and feel so much healthier.
7. Make protective hairstyles your best friend
Protective styling is not optional if you’re trying to grow healthy, natural hair. And now that natural hair is at the forefront of hair trends, more and more black women have become creative with their protective styling so there are a plethora of options to choose from.
8. Don’t wash your hair too frequently
Wash your hair once a week or every other week to prevent the build-up of hair care products. Co-Washing (washing your hair with conditioner) your hair yields great results in terms when trying to not over wash and dry out. Deep condition for your hair every two weeks.
9. Use silk or satin headscarf
If you get headaches from tying your hair up in a wrap, use silk or satin pillowcases. Otherwise, also sleep with silk or sating head wraps to and scarves to keep your hair from drying out and breaking off while you sleep. It makes it much easier to comb and detangle your hair, saving you headaches and styling time. Make sure you never tie it too tightly.
10. Eat well for healthier hair
If you want beautiful natural hair, eat well, That’s it. That’s the tip. Food affects your hair strength and optimal growth rate. Eating a healthy diet of raw fruits, vegetables and plenty of water is the most effective home treatment for hair care.