Natural Hair is in now and a lot of women are sporting their beautiful afros but not caring for it properly. Natural Hair Maintenance can be time-consuming but you can’t just “get up and go” although it’s ideal and convenient. You still have to treat it properly or you could end up with more breakage than wearing chemicals. There are 4 things every person with natural hair must continue to do in order to have healthy hair and see growth.
- GET YOUR ENDS TRIMMED REGULARLY
It is so crucial to your hair growth to have your ends trimmed every 2-3 months. A lot of naturalistas are scared to have their ends trimmed because they’re scared of losing length but I think it’s more because some hair stylists definition of an ends trim is a haircut. lol Natural hair is curly therefore the ends don’t live and grow together making them weaker and more fragile. They split and snap easily from all of the friction that it takes to keep the strands separated and untangled, especially if it’s coarse. This damages the cuticle at an excessively rapid rate which causes split ends. When weak ends split, breakage is inevitable. So naturalistas really need to get their ends clipped more often than relaxed hair.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When getting your ends trimmed you need to get a soft press done or else it’s useless. Its nearly impossible to make a straight line on curly ends so all ends have to be brought together to remove dead ends successfully.
2. GET HAIR TREATMENTS CONSISTENTLY
Although natural hair ends may tend to be weaker, the actual shaft is very strong because it’s in its natural state. It has not been tampered by chemicals so it can sometimes be very resistant. This means that it requires a lot more moisture to keep it hydrated. Topical moisture is not enough. The cuticle needs to be opened so that the moisture can penetrate into the cuticle instead of just lying on top. This can be done through moisturizing hair treatments. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot oil or cream based treatment. Either works. Sit on the treatment under a hooded dryer or steamer for 20 minutes. You can do this every time you shampoo your hair.
You can never give yourself too many hair treatments. It’s suggested to shampoo your hair every 1-2 weeks. If you don’t have a hooded dryer or steamer, you can apply the treatment and use a hand-held dryer and apply concentrated heat to your hair while under a processing cap for about 5 minutes. This will open the cuticle completely. Then you can sit on the treatment for 25 minutes.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure you use a moisturizing treatment, not a protein-based treatment. Protein is used more to strengthen. In this case, our goal is to moisturize. You can use a protein treatment on the ends of your hair.
3. USE SETTING LOTION OR LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
Another thing that is necessary for healthy natural hair is the use of setting lotion or a leave-in conditioner after shampooing. A majority of natural hair wearers let their hair air dry. This is fine for the most part but on ethnic hair, if the hair dries with no product you will notice the hair looking dried out and extra frizzy because the cuticle didn’t seal down smoothly. It’s left partially raised which is what causes the extra poofy effect. Having a setting lotion or leave-in conditioner will help the hair dry with a shine and without as much frizz and tangling.
4. COMB AND/OR BRUSH YOUR HAIR EVERYDAY
Finally, I can’t express enough how important it is to comb and/or brush your hair every day. As a Hair Stylist that deals with 75% natural hair, I get to see all of the habits of natural hair wearers. One that puzzles me the most is how it’s not even a thought to comb their hair EVERYDAY! Let the church say Everyday! NATURAL HAIR DOES NOT MEAN NAPPY HAIR FOLKS. Kinky hair tangles easily on its own. The last thing you need to do is add to the issue. Combing and/or brushing everyday keeps the hair coils unraveled as well as gets out the daily natural hair shed. Everyone sheds anywhere from 60-120 strands a day naturally. If you don’t comb its stays there and eventually causes matting.
Let’s keep those natural tresses beautiful by applying these essential Natural Hair Care tips daily.