If you have natural hair you know it can sometimes be a struggle. It’s extremely hard to style, detangle, and keep moisturized, but you love it like it’s your child. Using certain products and tools can ease this struggle. Here are some techniques that will make your life easier.
Some days are easier than others, but taking care of natural hair is not a simple task. I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been times that I thought of just shaving all my hair off. Patience is the key to not going crazy trying to deal with your curls. If you feel that you can’t handle your hair one day, put on a hat, head wrap, or just throw your hair in a bun.
Shampoos are naturally very stripping and drying. Natural hair is already pretty dry to begin with considering the natural oils that our scalp produce can’t easily reach the entire strand like it can with straight hair. Moisturizing shampoo isn’t as harsh as other shampoos. When washing your hair, regardless of what shampoo you use, you should massage it into your scalp and let the excess run down when you’re rinsing it out. Most build-up occurs in the scalp. Applying shampoo to the actual strands is unnecessary and it will result in dryness.
No, it is not the same as using a conditioner and letting it sit. Deep conditioners are similar to conditioners, but they have longer lasting effects. They’re meant to sit in your hair for a longer time period. Deep conditioners prevent breakage, promote elasticity of the hair strands, and restore shine. If you have color treated hair it can sometimes be weakened by the chemicals used to color it, but deep conditioning will ensure that your hair remains healthy. You should deep condition regularly, but not too often. Deep conditioning too often can lead to moisture overload, or hygral fatigue, which can cause your hair to lack elasticity and become limp.
When conditioning or deep conditioning it is important to use heat to get the product to better penetrate the hair strands. Instead of using a steamer, you can just put a plastic cap or bag on your head while letting the (deep) conditioner sit which lets your body heat act as the heat source.
It’s unrealistic to wash your hair every time you want to refresh your curls. Keeping a spray bottle filled with water and aloe vera juice is the solution. A water and aloe vera juice mixture prevents dryness that can lead to breakage. Other benefits of aloe vera juice include hair growth, nourishing the scalp, and getting rid of dandruff.
Silk / Satin Scarves
You should never sleep with your hair completely out. Laying on pillows or blankets that contain cotton can cause breakage to your hair. To prevent this, sleep either wearing a satin scarf or on a satin pillowcase so your strands aren’t getting snagged.
Not only does it feel good, but it has positive health benefits as well. Scalp massages stimulate blood flow to the scalp which promotes hair growth. Scalp massages spread the natural oils, softens the hair, strengthens the roots, and conditions the hair. Try to put a scalp massage into your nightly routine.
Natural hair maintenance is by no means easy, but using these tips will make is much simpler. Remember to always embrace your natural hair as it is a part of who you are.
By Cierra Lemott, Junior, Brooks College Prep