It’s no secret that natural hair is on the rise and here to stay. The decision to ditch relaxers has forced hair stylists and hair companies to change their marketing tactics to cater to the hair routines of naturalistas. When researching how to care for natural hair, it can be overwhelming sifting through all the information on the internet. There are several tips to follow to maintain healthy hair and length. Highlighted below are the top 5 tips to care for natural hair.
Detangle and wash hair in sections
Curly and kinky hair strands can be fragile and need to be cared for properly when washing. Excessive pulling and combing can lead to breakage and frizz. On wash days, section your hair into 4-6 sections (you may need more depending on the length of your hair) and carefully detangle. Braid or twist each section to keep it out of the way. Release each section and wash it in a downward motion, allowing the water to run from root to tip. Do not wash the section in a circular motion; this will create more matting and tangles.
Wear protective styles
Protective styles involve your ends being carefully tucked away to reduce the amount of tension and breakage from regular styling and brushing. When wearing protective styles such as braids, twists, weaves or wigs, it’s also very important to care for your natural hair underneath your protective style and keep it cleaned and moisturized. Pay special attention to your edges as they can break off from too much tension. You need to also protect your hair at night with a satin scarf or satin pillow case to avoid breakage.
Moisturize often and deep condition
Curly and kinky hair tend to be more dry than straight hair. Understanding your hair texture and curl pattern will allow you to determine your best hair routine and which products work best for your hair in maintaining moisture. The best method for retaining moisture is the LOC method, which is an abbreviation of liquid, oil, cream. This method consists of layering products to maximize moisture retention. A regular deep conditioning or hot oil treatment will also keep your tresses soft and healthy. A hair steamer can also work wonders for your hair.
Eat healthy and drink water
Healthy hair starts with a healthy diet. Drinking water and healthy eating habits are important and much more effective in growing your hair than any hair supplements. Crash diets or losing a significant amount a weight in a short period of time can affect the hair cycle and can cause shedding. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron and vitamins A and E can support healthy hair growth. Include the following into your diet to improve your hair and scalp: salmon, spinach, lentils, nuts, whole grains, and yogurt.
When it comes to length retention and healthy hair, trimming is an essential part. Trimming rids your hair of split ends and breakage and will overtime, maximize growth. Trim your hair regularly, such as every 6-8 weeks or 3-4 months. If you don’t follow a regular trim schedule, look for signs that indicate it’s time for a trim, such as difficulty detangling, thinning or wispy ends, or single strand knots. Find a hair stylist who specializes in natural hair to trim your ends or learn the best method to trimming your hair yourself.