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Natural hair, and type 4 hair in particular, has a very specific set of needs due to its texture and structure. Some hair care advice, however, is not only ineffective on natural hair but can actually be downright harmful. In order to help you take better care of your natural hair, this article will discuss the top three hair care mistakes to avoid when caring for natural hair.
1. “You can skip deep conditioning”
No, you can’t! Natural hair is dry and brittle because of its characteristic tight curls and coils, so natural hair care routines typically include a deep conditioning treatment as a mandatory step. Hair that has been deep-conditioned stays hydrated, soft, and manageable. However, deep conditioning is often overlooked or skipped because some people believe it is unnecessary or takes too much time. This can lead to hair that is dry, brittle, and easily breaks, which in turn can slow hair growth and reduce shine.
Natural hair requires special attention, so deep conditioning treatments should be part of your regular hair care routine. Shea butter, coconut oil, and honey are some of the nourishing ingredients you should look for in a deep conditioner. Put on a shower cap and leave the deep conditioner on your hair for the recommended amount of time before washing it out completely. If your natural hair is dry or damaged, deep conditioning it once a week (or more) can do wonders for its health and manageability.
2. “You can relax your hair every 3 months”
Please stop that. Natural hair has traditionally been chemically treated with relaxers and straighteners to make it more manageable and straight. However, the hair and scalp can and often do get damaged by the products' harsh chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide.
Hair relaxers and straighteners containing harsh chemicals can damage the hair shaft, leading to brittleness, split ends, and even hair loss. Constant use of these products can cause a vicious cycle of addiction because newly grown hair will retain its natural texture and require frequent touch-ups to maintain the straightened appearance.
You should embrace and celebrate your natural hair texture rather than relying on chemical relaxers and straighteners. Natural hair can be managed and styled without the use of damaging chemicals by employing a variety of natural hair care methods and techniques, such as stretching, twisting, and braiding. To maintain your hair's health and strength, you should avoid using heat tools and instead use natural products or products designed for natural hair.
3. “Focus on your hair”
No, focus on your hair AND scalp. It is especially important for the scalp of natural hair to be healthy in order to have healthy hair. Natural hair, with its tight curls and coils, can prevent the scalp's natural oils from moving freely down the hair shaft, leading to dryness, dandruff, and other scalp problems.
Those who have natural hair tend to focus more on the hair itself rather than the scalp, but a healthy scalp is essential for encouraging hair growth, decreasing hair breakage, and keeping hair healthy in general.
Wash your hair frequently with a mild shampoo to maintain a healthy scalp. Shampoos with sulphates or other drying ingredients should be avoided because they can remove the scalp's natural oils. It's also important to remember to regularly moisturise your scalp with a light, natural oil like jojoba, coconut, or castor oil to help nourish and calm the scalp.
And there you have it! Natural hair is different from other hair types and requires a different approach to hair care. These common but damaging hair care mistakes need to be avoided so you can enjoy healthy, lush, natural hair.