How to care for your natural hair at home
Are you transitioning to natural hair, or have you been a naturalista since inception? Here's how to care for your natural hair at home and on a budget.
Taking care of your natural hair at home is no walk in the park, especially with the brimming natural hair information on the internet.
The truth about natural hair care is that the regimen or routine differs from individual to individual. So depending on your hair type, the process seems time-consuming, and you're unsure where to begin.
If you are African and reading this, then you know how energy-draining it is to figure out what works for your natural afro hair. And even if you are caucasian or Asian, you understand that a lack of proper hair care could dampen your spirit.
So to get back in full gear, we will help you run through a few diagnoses later in the article.
Clacified.com knows how incredibly important it is to have a healthy crown of lush, silky hair, so if you are having a bad case of breakage, then you are in good hands because this article will give you helpful tips to get the baby curls and kinky back in with a bang. It also includes helpful tips for fast hair growth.
Woman with natural curly kinky hair
Get to know your hair
When it comes to natural hair care, particularly if you are doing it on your own and at home, you need to understand it's not a one size fits all approach. So before you go ahead and order a full natural hair care kit for a more healthy afro; you need to understand your hair, like your body, your natural hair has specific needs, and if you don't go through this phase first, you might not get the required result for your natural hair.
It may sound weird, but think of this phase like a meet and greet, but this time it's your hair you are getting to know. The first question that will ease this process for you is, "what's my hair type? The answer to this question is four known types of hair. We have:
- curly, and
- coil hair
For better understanding, your curly hair type is determined by the shape of your natural hair follicle, and the best way to find out is when your hair is wet. So, Africans or Afro-textured hair is usually oily like a spring coil.
The next question is, what are my hair porosity and density? Now, porosity is the degree to which your hair can absorb and hold moisture. Density is the thickness or thinness of your natural hair strands. You can run a quick test and pour some water on your hair to see if it seeps into the hair or out.
Finally, what do I need? Maybe your hair is dry, frizzy, breakage or your natural afro hair has refused to grow past a certain length for many years. You can look at a few options and find out what's missing from your hair currently will help you fill in the gaps with the right products.
Also, understanding your hair helps you detect when there are any abnormal changes in its outlook, e.g., changes in hair texture, color, length, or density. Your hair can give clues about your health status. For instance, people with certain genetic disorders, autoimmune diseases, or sexually transmitted diseases may experience changes in their hair.
So, if you notice abnormal hair changes that persist even after trying out the natural hair care tips in this article, you should consider reaching out to your doctor, especially if you have other accompanying symptoms of sickness.
Shower head with water for natural hair wash day.
Start a wash routine and follow it
Unlike other hair types, the biggest advantage of rocking afro hair is that you don't have to wash it often. On the other hand, you need to schedule a weekly or bi-weekly wash day to avoid product and dirt build-up. Frizziness is another reason to adopt a wash day routine.
This is a delicate part of caring for your natural hair at home. Use a moisture-boosting shampoo and conditioner to refresh your afro curls for your wash day routine.
Please do not use hot water when washing your hair, as it dries out your hair and removes moisture from it. Instead, use warm or cold water to cleanse your hair properly.
It's advisable that when washing your natural hair, you should partition it into four sections-It allows for easy washing, and you can reach all the grey areas in your scalp and hair, so you don't become overwhelmed due to volume.
Leave in conditioner and hair band/credits to Unsplash
Lock in moisture, deep conditioning
Another of your afro's fave is moisture. African Kinky hair tends to dry out quickly and lits moisture, so you must hydrate your hair consistently.
Before styling your hair, ensure that you always leave-in conditioner to make it softer and easier to style. Even when you have protective styles on, you should still oil and condition your natural hair so that it doesn't get damaged from dry outs.
Another trick to caring for your natural afro hair is to treat your hair with a silky scarf bonnet while you invest in a daily leave conditioner product.
If you are carrying lots for maximum hydration, you need steaming caps and essential oils to achieve your goals of having bouncy, coily, and silky afro natural hair.
Woman with cornrow weaves
Make protective styles
Protective styles do one thing, they shield your hair from the adverse effects of breakage, shedding, or damage. Protective is a wonderful way to care for your natural hair, including braids, twists, cornrows, wigs, buns, Bantu knots, or loose afro hairstyles. You can wear wigs, weaves, buns, Bantu knots, braids, or twists.
Just make sure that your protective style does not tension your edges. The easiest protective style to do at home is twisting. They are super easy and fast. If you don't know how to do the twist, you can walk into a natural hair salon near your street and get it done.
With your natural hair care protective styles, you reduce the frequency of over-combing, over-styling, or damaging your hair with heat. It is also an excellent way of detangling your natural hair easily. Remember to avoid the build-up of dirt when wearing your protective styles and also oil your hair and scalp daily to keep your follicles healthy.
Pay attention to your night routine
Throw everything you know about bedtime and natural hair care. From now on, since you went natural and kinky-haired, those harsh hair nets must go.
You are doing this to reduce frizz, damage, and breakage. Remove any cotton products for silk or satin accessories. What you need now are pillowcases, scrunchies, and bonnets.
If you are not a fan of nightcaps, there are plenty of hairstyles to keep your hair frizz and tangle-free.
A major rule is never to go to bed without a satin scarf or bonnet on; what you don't know is sleeping with loose hair on a cotton pillowcase will result in dry hair, hair breakage, and hair damage because of the friction with cotton.
Trimming scissors for natural hair
6.Trim your natural hair
While this might be an extreme method, especially if you are growing your hair to retain length, the biggest mistake would probably be allowing it to grow with all its weak ends.
Trimming your split ends regularly guarantees healthier and longer hair in your natural hair journey. Split ends or weak ends indicate hair damage and, if left unattended, will continue splitting and damage the healthiness of your hair.
Check in between weeks and inspect for weak ends; once identified, chop the weak ends or get your home stylist or friend to help with that. If you are doing it by yourself, make sure to use a mirror.
How do you check for splitting? Simple. You can run your fingers along the length of a few strands of your hair. If you do this and feel some hair is rather fragile or dangles loosely or is of unequal length with the others, then this might be a sign of breakage.
Ensure that your trim split ends past the point of the split, or else it will just continue breaking. Even if you don’t think you’ve split ends, it is a sign of hair damage if your hair feels rough whenever you glide your fingers over it.
7.Invest in a wide tooth comb
Generally, natural hair can get tangled, but afro hair and its kinky nature can form knots, making combing difficult. If you force the comb through, you might lose lots of hair, particularly if you use a styling comb.
You can reduce the risk of hair damage and breakage by using combs with wider, softer teeth, like the wide-tooth comb.
You cannot go wrong with wide tooth combs as they have enough space between the rows to allow movement through your hair without breaking up the ends. They make detangling hair less damaging and painful.
Please note that before combing your hair, ensure it's damp enough or spray it with water. Next, use your finger to detangle first before combing through.
Experts also advise that you part your hair into sections; this process requires patience and care.
8.Sleep Regularly/ Sleep with a satin scarf
The benefits of a good night's sleep cannot be over-emphasized; this may be the best way to have healthier and voluminous kinky hair. Skipping bedtime to chat away or binge-watch favorite shows on Netflix may hurt your hair.
Just like your body's lack of regular sleep will leave your hair looking tired, messing up with the texture and overall health of your natural hair.
The human body repairs its tissues while you rest, so ensure you get lots of sleep daily. Usually, people who are deprived of sleep experience hair loss as the hair and follicle become weaker and weaker due to physical stress.
Call it beauty sleep or anything, but getting 6-8 hours of sleep a night is recommended natural hair care treatment.
Resting your hair will also reap the benefit of your repose by retaining its strength and luster. Another thing to do is invest in satin scarves, which are gentle on your edges and help lock in moisture while you snore away.
If you find it difficult to get sleep at night, you may want to try sleeping naked. Benefits of sleeping nude include improved sleep quality. It may also help you fall asleep faster. You can also try changing your sleep position to a more comfortable one to get a good quality sleep.
9.Steam your hair, massage your scalp
Steaming your natural hair is like feeding and petting a baby. Your natural hair will thank you for it. Think of it like a luxury spa moment.
Steaming your hair is beneficial because it helps break up the buildup on your scalp. Steaming also helps stimulate blood flow to your scalp, which helps with hair growth.
What does steaming do for your natural hair? Steaming your hair opens up the hair cuticle by way of heat. It allows moisture from the steam to penetrate your hair to open up the pores on the scalp, which can help with blood circulation.
How long should you steam your hair? It largely depends on your hair type and length, but typically, it only takes about 30-40 mins to give your cuticles time to lift and begin to absorb the product.
However, if your hair is short and thin, you are advised to steam for a shorter period. Like every other procedure, don't oversteam your hair; it is not an everyday routine.
You should note that proper blood flow is key to hair health, as well as helping to ensure new growth is possible. The same goes for scalp massage; it helps blood circulation to the scalp. Use to fingers to tenderly massage your scalp, starting from your edges.
10.Invest in essential oils
You must invest in natural essential oils if you want more volume, length retention, and a healthy kinky coil texture. The first oil must have coconut oil, carrot oil, jojoba oil, neem tea oil, and castor oil.
These oils will help lock boost hair growth and nourish your scalp. Remember that you can't rush the process of natural hair growth, and you shouldn't bombard your hair all in one day with all these hacks.
Take baby steps throughout the month in your application if these tips, and watch your hair blossom in the coming 3months