The beauty of natural hair is in being worn free. The natural hair trend is catching on as more women gain the confidence to wear their hair just the way it is. Natural hairstyles can look simply fabulous with twists, knots or that big curly up-do. But with that gorgeous mane comes a different type of hair-care most women are not used to. They cannot understand why their natural hair keeps breaking or having split ends no matter what they do.
It’s simple: Your natural hair is as beautiful as the care you give it. Here is a guide to save you stress and time on your natural hair journey.
In determining what type of care to give to your natural hair, there are two important factors: Width and Porosity.
Width deals with the thickness of the strands of hair. It ranges from coarse to medium to fine. Coarse refers to strands that are wide and resistant to damage. Medium refers to strands that are not too thick nor fine but strong enough. Fine refers to delicate stands that require extra care to regain length and stop breakage. Understanding the width of your natural hair strands helps you determine what the amount of products and care needed for healthy hair growth.
Test- You can determine the width of your hair strands just by holding up a shed strand to the light to see if the strand is thick (coarse) or neither thick nor thin (medium) or plain thin and almost invisible (fine).
Porosity refers to the ability of your hair strand to absorb moisture. Determining the porosity of your hair will help you know how often to moisturize your hair to keep your hair looking healthy. Hair types with low porosity have the tendency to look greasy and oily because products do not get absorbed easily. For hair with high porosity, you have to moisturize and layer in your products more often
Test- If you drop a healthy strand of hair in water, the speed of the hair to sink to the bottom determines the porosity. If it immediately sinks, your hair has high porosity. If it sinks slowly, you have normal porosity. If it floats, you have low porosity.
When you have discovered the width and porosity, the next step is understanding what care your natural hair requires. Here are some tips to help you get through everyday living.
Moisture from water is very important for length retention. It helps protect the hair from drying out from the weather. Spritzing your hair with water daily could help it stay healthy. Avoid spraying too much water onto the hair. The aim is not to get your hair wet but to get water into your strands.
Pre-poo and Shampoo
Cleaning your scalp involves every stage before you get your hair shampooed. Washing your hair can cause the strands of your hair to experience fatigue and cause breakage. Pre-poo helps prepare your hair for the shampooing process. You can achieve with any natural oil that works best with your hair. It helps get your hair into the healthy state required for washing and conditioning.
Shampooing for natural hair is best done with a shampoo that contains protein or saponified oils. A protein based shampoo will help treat the hair while washing. You want to avoid stripping your hair of all the oils needed for healthy growth and length. Shampooing can leave your hair dry and fragile. It should be followed by deep conditioning to help it stay strong.
This is to ensure that your hair is getting the protein it needs. Natural hair tends to be curly so product might not travel down the strand of the hair properly. Deep conditioning ensures your hair gets all the protein and moisture it needs. There is protein conditioning and moisture conditioning. Both are important for achieving healthy and luscious locks. Protein conditioning should be done every 4-6 weeks while moisture conditioning should be done every 1-2 weeks.
If you are looking to strengthen your hair and help its growth, scalp massages could just be the key. Scalp massages are effective for promoting blood flow to your scalp which helps your hair grow.
A weekly scalp/hair massage will be sure to help your hair regain all the moisture it deserves and stop it from drying out no matter the weather. If the weather is excessively dry, increase the frequency of your scalp massages to twice a week.
You can try massages with various oils and treatments like coconut oil, olive oil or even almond oil warmed and left to cool to room temperature.
This means ‘locking in moisture’. It could be done with any natural oil like castor oil, jojoba oil, almond oil or even coconut oil. You can also use a butter-based product like Shea butter. Sealing ensures that the moisture that entered your hair shaft does not dry out with the weather or environment. It helps your hair stay as moisturized for the longest time possible. You can effectively trap in moisture to aid healthy growth and length retention.
Advice: Do not go overboard with too many products. Stick to the products that work for you and avoid your hair looking greasy.