Caring for Natural Hair is Easy
If you are looking for natural hair care tips or how to care for natural hair, it is safe to assume that maybe you are struggling with your hair. Perhaps you recently decided to go natural and you are not sure what to expect on this new hair care journey. Well, the good news is, it is easy to care for natural hair and to grow it out long and beautiful if you know what to do.
Healthy Hair Checklist
- Knowledge is power: Find out your hair type and seek out advice from others with a similar hair type.
- Moisturize: Kinky/Curly hair loves moisture. If you keep it watered and fed, it will grow like a healthy plant.
- Always deep condition: Going along with the point about moisturizing, regular deep conditioning penetrates into your hair shaft and strengthens hair from the inside out.
- Nourish: Keep your hair and scalp healthy with this basic 3 step nourishment:
Stimulate: Massage your scalp on a regular basis to stimulate and remove dry skin. You can do this daily with a gentle fingertip massage.
Protect: Do all you can to keep your hair from becoming dry or from breaking off.
- Water: Wet your hair as often as possible.
- Moisture: Moisturize daily
- Seal Moisture: Use essential oils to seal moisture.
Maintain: Have your ends trimmed on a regular basis or trim them yourself.
Products: Believe it or not, you only need about 4 good products to keep your hair healthy. All you need are the following:
- Stay away from products with unnatural ingredients.
- Avoid using heat such as flat ironing or blow drying.
- Manipulate your hair as little as possible.
- Wear “protective” hair styles then leave it alone.
- Sleep with a satin hair scarf, hair bonnet or on satin pillow cases.
- Avoid tight braids and twists and elastic hair bands. Pipe-cleaners make a good substitute.
- If you need to comb through your hair and when you detangle, be gentle. Always comb from tip to root. Avoid brushing and use a very wide tooth comb.
- Deep conditioner
- Leave in conditioner
- Sealant or hair oil
Note that shampoo is not on this list. One of the biggest natural hair care tips: Prevent dandruff, dry hair and scalp and sometimes even hair loss by avoiding shampoo on your hair. If you feel you really need to use shampoo, only use those that don’t any harmful ingredients such as sulfates and other harsh detergents. Here’s our list of product ingredients to avoid for natural hair care. And if you do use shampoo make sure that you rinse it out extremely well.
Nutrition: What you put into your body will directly affect the health of your hair and hair growth.
- Eat Green Leafy Veggies – Green leafies such as spinach, kale, all greens, cabbage and broccoli are packed with the vitamins and minerals which help to strengthen hair and nails from the inside of your body.
- Drink Lots of Water
- Take Supplements or drink vitamin packed juices.
There are tons of these products out there. Go to the health food store and browse or ask about which vitamins can help hair and nails.
Follow these guidelines and you should quickly begin to see your hair grow out healthy and beautiful.
Check out the Grow It Long Hair Care Guide for more details on these steps and specific natural hair care product suggestions.
There are a few things that I want to make sure that we are all clear on regarding split ends and the ends of our hair in general:
- Kinky/curly hair gets split ends. This might seem obvious for me to say, but from experience I can say that when I first went natural I sort of felt like because my hair wasn’t straightened out and exposed, I didn’t need to worry so much about ends splitting. I was worried about them being dry, I was worried about knots, but I was never worried about splittage. But splitting happens to all of us, and it is important to address it. A lot of time you might not realize that the answer to the frizzies is a good hair cut.
- You can NOT repair split ends. This is a myth perpetuated by many hair care product commercials. You know how they show a frayed ragged strand of hair and then their miracle product smoothes over it and the strand is magically restored to solid, smooth, beautiful and shiny? Its not possible by the rules of physics. I guess we feel like because our skin can heal from cuts, our hair might be able to heal. Nope. Once its split it has to be cut off. The same with those pesky knots that tie themselves into your hair.
- Once your ends are split, the only way to “repair” them is to cut them off. This is just true. What is worse, the longer you allow them to remain split, the more damaged your hair will become. Think of your hair in the same way as you do your fingernails. Once you have a split or chip, the only thing to do is cut it off or file it. The longer you leave it hanging on, the worse it gets. Your hair does the same thing.
- Cutting off split ends will help your hair to look better. Same nail analogy here. There is nothing nicer than a clean polished short set of nails.. when they are all the same size with no chips and dents. I’m always amazed at how great my hair looks when I’ve gone too long without getting it trimmed and then I finally make the chop. It could be an optical illusion, but it seems like split ends just weigh the good hair down. This is even true if your hair is all natural and you get it trimmed up. After a good haircut/trimming its like every style has a new bounce and joy to it.
- The only way to grow out your hair is to protect your ends. If you can’t hold on to the ends of your hair, it doesn’t matter how much it grows, you’ll never see any length progress.
- You do NOT have to get your ends trimmed on a regular schedule. Most stylists will tell you that you should have your ends trimmed every 4 – 6 weeks. I could never understand this logic. If I’m taking great care of my hair, and my ends aren’t splitting, why do I need to cut them off just because? I don’t, that is why. Keep an eye on how your hair looks and feels, and only get it trimmed when it needs it.
- The best way to prevent damaged ends is to condition regularly, avoid heat and protect them. Keeping your ends moisturized! Smooth them down with conditioner and oil can help to prevent splitting and damage. You want to create a protective barrier over your ends to protect them from friction and other damaging elements.
Check out my review of an awesome new hair care appliance I found. It solved my dry hair problems in just one or two uses by infusing tons of humidity and moisture into my hair. Its great for locking in the moisture from my conditioning treatments. I love this thing…
I decided to look around my city and nearby area to see what other women are doing with their natural hair. These ladies graciously agreed to allow me to feature their hair styles or looks to share with everyone. I had intended to do a short interview with them to find out their favorite products, hair care regiments and their best natural hair care tips, but I didn’t get the chance, so hopefully they will comment when they see their pictures! Thanks ladies!!
Twist out Style
Kioni transitioned when she was 19 and never looked back! Her well defined curls looked soft and moisturized. Very cute!
Stylish Head Wrap
Afra's sophisticated black and gray wrap caught my attention right away. This is a great option for those days when you don't have time to style or just want to do something different.
Natural Hair Icon of the Week: Jill Scott
From the time she first came on the scene Jill Scott has always rocked beautiful natural hair. She is a true inspiration to me because she is 100% gorgeous and comes across as so genuine and authentic that it just makes you want to step up your game, whatever your game might be. We love Jill for embracing kinky locs and voluptuous curves, and we appreciate her for her incredible vocals.
Join the challenge! 6 Month Plan for Extreme Natural Hair Growth : Detailed steps and information on how to co-poo, how to heal your scalp, and how to get your hair to grow really long, really fast.
My Hair Story
When you make the decision to start going natural, finding the advice and stories from others who have been through the same process is a great support. Its also great to get natural hair care tips from someone who has gone through it too. The goal of this site is to provide this support through advice, tips, product suggestions, hair care routines and much more.
The first thing I’d like to do is to encourage you to carefully document your natural hair care journey. Regardless of whether you are growing out a relaxer, or if you have always had natural hair, it will help you a lot to take pictures, make videos and keep a journal of the products and styles that have worked and have not worked for you. Key tips for natural hair care #1: The best way to learn about your hair is to study it!
I have very thick, very course, very kinky, 4c hair. I started getting relaxers when I was 4 years old. When I asked my mother why she decided to have my hair chemically straightened at such a young age, she simply said that she didn’t have time for all the work it took to do it. That was a different time (the early 70’s) and it seems like now a days mothers have more products and experience at their hands to care for their daughter’s kinky hair.
My mom is a cosmetologist and still owns her own salon. I literally grew up in the hair salon with all of the mirrors and products. I have always had a lot of fun with hair and I don’t take it too seriously. So the natural hair care tips that I provide here are with the intention that it is only hair! Any time you want to do something different, including go back to a relaxer… well, I think that is ok. Key Hair Care Tip #2: The second best way to learn about your hair is to experiment!
So what caused me to want to go natural? 30 years of 6 – 8 week appointments later, I got a very very bad burn from the relaxer. I had been burned many times before, but I simply decided that this was it. And I started to let my natural hair grow out.
Feb 2008 was my last relaxer. Since I did not want to chop off all of my hair I just decided to start looking into natural hair care products while I allowed my new growth to grow in. I held on to my length for as long as I could while keeping my straight hair. I mostly wore it “up” with a bun and/or a scarf. I also did twist out and other curly styles. Click here to see pictures.
Once my new-growth got too long and started taking over I put it in twisted extensions that I could do myself. I wore my hair in the twisted extensions for about a year, washing and re-twisting it every week and redoing it in sections every few weeks. I never really took it all out at once, so the emerging natural remained a mystery for a long time.
When I finally removed all of the extensions, my new growth was about 3 or 4 inches long, which was about a 1 inch afro. I cut all the straight ends off myself and put the twisted extensions back in. I also had my “chunky braids” style that I would wear which didn’t take as long to put in as the twisted extensions. I’d take very large sections of hair and braid them down with extension hair. It only took about an hour or two to complete.
As far as a general hair care regimen, I always deep condition, and I don’t use shampoo. If you start reading different blogs and forums about curly hair care tips you’ll often come across the word “co-poo”. This method of washing using conditioner rather than shampoo is fantastic for the hair and it gets the hair very clean while also keeping it soft and manageable. Shampoo tends to strip your hair of its natural essence and dries it out.
In the picture above my hair is about 12-15 inches long, but my hair is so kinky that its still a short afro! I usually wear it in a twisted out puff at the top of my head. I wear it out when I have time to style it. I twist it and let it dry after I wash it to “stretch it out.”
I liked having straightened hair. It was fun, shiny, and it moved. I enjoyed the process of blow drying, curling, and flat ironing my hair. So learning to work with natural hair was a huge adjustment and required that I learn a new styling skill set. You’ll probably find this is true for you as well, but keep at it and work with it. You’ll get there faster than you think!
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