8 Tips for Caring for Your Afro-Textured Natural Hair

lunanskinlunanskin
Jul. 26, 2020
So you’ve finally broken up with the creamy crack, also known as a relaxer, and you have taken the big step to going natural. Embarking on a natural hair journey isn’t easy because there are so many things to learn and so much trial and error before you understand exactly what you’re specific hair type needs. There are dozens of products out there, and the truth is they won’t all work for you.
However, there are some tricks that almost all people with natural hair utilize, whether their hair is short or long or if they have loose curls or tight, 4C curls. Here are eight tips for caring for your natural, afro-textured, kinky hair.
  • Keep your hair moisturized. If you have ever had a relaxer before, then you have probably been taught that getting your hair wet is a big no-no. If you get your hair wet with a relaxer, it immediately reverts back to being kinky. When your hair is natural, water is your best friend. The worst thing you can do for your natural hair is let it stay dry, so it’s important to keep your hair hydrated and seal in the moisture.
  • Find a low-maintenance, protective style you love. It’s easy to get roped up in all the different hairstyles you can do with your hair, but once you get tired, you need a protective style that you like and that works for your hair length and hair type. One of the most common protective styling techniques is to braid your hair and then wear wigs, but if you’re not a person who likes to wear wigs, then there are plenty of natural hair YouTubers and bloggers that can walk you through easy and simple everyday protective styles.
  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates are great for cleansing your hair, but they’re terrible because they can strip your hair of natural oils and make your hair even drier than it was before. For naturals, this is a double whammy because we already have to boost our natural oil production with moisturizing products. Using a shampoo with sulfates might make your hair and scalp feel squeaky clean, but in the long run, it’s not good for the health of your hair.
  • Deep condition your hair regularly. Make sure you have a deep condition schedule. Whether you choose to deep condition before you wash your hair or deep condition after you wash your hair, this part of your hair care routine is imperative. A deep condition will restore lost proteins and oils and help repair the regular damage your hair encounters from the elements. There are plenty of DIY deep condition recipes, such as avocado, banana, and olive oil, that can help you keep your hair healthy and moisturized without breaking the bank.
  • Oil your scalp frequently. If your scalp is prone to dryness, then it is important to make sure you give it a little bit of help by oiling it every so often. This process is simple, and you can purchase a custom oil blend from a beauty supply store, or you can make your own. 
  • Use gentle detangling methods. Natural, kinky hair is going to get tangled. It’s almost unavoidable, especially if you wear your hair loose or if your hair has moved out of the TWA, or teeny weeny afro stage. The best way to detangle your hair is by using your fingers and a whole lot of conditioner, but you can also use detangling tools such as a Tangle Teezer or a wide-tooth comb. Detangling your natural hair is going to be a slow and careful process, so it’s also important to take it in stages and not rush through it.
  • Trim your dead ends every couple of months. Plenty of people talk about split ends, but they don’t quite explain why split ends are bad for your hair. Split ends can travel up your hair shaft and result in the severe weakening of your hair strand, leading to more breakage. If you’re not sure if you have split ends or not, review the ends of your hair. If the ends of your hair always seem dry, then it’s probably time to trim them.
  • Protect your hair when you sleep. This is something I can’t stress enough to new and experience naturals. The average person sleeps for at least eight hours a night, and that is eight hours where your hair is next to a pillowcase. If that pillowcase is cotton, then you can wake up with more split ends then you laid down with. The best type of pillowcase for natural hair is a satin pillowcase. If you don’t want to invest in a satin pillowcase, then you can always purchase a satin bonnet to wear on your head instead.
  • There is a lot of trial and error that goes into caring for natural hair, and if you are going natural for the first time, the initial learning curve is steep. However, if you make a note of these eight tips, caring for your natural, afro-textured hair will be as easy as breathing.
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