Natural hair can be tough to figure out. No head of hair is the same, so every regimen must be tailored for each curly masterpiece. But there are a set of rules that work for every curly girl! In this post, we’ll give you the top 5 tips for helping your natural hair be itself best, unique self!
1.Wash with warm, rinse with cold.
Warm water cleanses by loosening dirt and product from the scalp and strands. But cold water shocks the cuticles closed so that it holds moisture better, which reduces frizz and breakage. This helps your hair to retain its length and luster.
Bonus Tip! Instead of towel drying your hair, use an old cotton t-shirt. It prevents snagging and dryness.
2. Apply product from ends to root
The ends of our hair are the oldest parts, which means they need a little extra love. The ends tend to be dryer and more prone to tangles and breakage. To prevent this, you must keep them extremely moisturized. If you apply your product from the top down, then it concentrates most of the product onto your scalp which causes build-up and leaves the ends dry. Instead, start at the ends and work your way up to make sure they are thoroughly moisturized and your scalp stays clean.
3. Deep condition once a week
Again! Keeping your hair moisturized is the key to retaining length of your natural hair. Daily conditioning is only maintenance. Most curly girls wash their hair once a week, some go 2 or 3 weeks – it depends on what your hair responds best to. But even if you’re skipping a wash this week, remember NEVER to skip your deep conditioning treatment. This is usually done with some type of heat source, which allows the moisturizer to penetrate the hair shaft, working its way from the outside in. Your daily moisturizer or leave-in is only coating the outside of your strands, so if you don’t cleanse your hair every week, make sure you at least rinse it through and apply a deep conditioner.
Bonus Tip! You can make a DIY heated cap for your conditioner! All you need is 2 plastic caps and a hot wash rag. Apply your deep conditioner. Put on one of the plastic caps. Place the hot rag on top of the plastic cap and put the other plastic cap on over the rag. Voila! Keep this on for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
4. Find out your hair type and porosity
This is very important for the simple fact that it lets you know what products are best for your hair. Your hair type indicates your hair’s texture and curl pattern. Different hair types require different ingredients and styling tools. And the same is true for your hair’s porosity – this indicates how your hair accepts and retains moisture. Because of this, there are entire product lines devoted to certain hair types and porosities. Check out Shea Moisture’s high porosity and low porosity product lines! They even have products separated by hair types.
Bonus Tip! You can test your hair’s porosity by putting a clean strand of your hair into a glass of water. Let it sit for up to 30 minutes. If it sinks to the bottom, you have high porosity. If it hangs in the middle, you have medium porosity. If it sits on top, you have low porosity.
5. Shampoo your scalp, not your strands
The rule of thumb for a curly girl is to cleanse when necessary, and moisturize constantly. Even the gentlest shampoos can still strip moisture from our strands. Because of this, it’s important to concentrate shampoo near the scalp to clarify it without shampooing the entire strand. When rinsing the scalp, the shampoo will run down the hair shaft, which is usually enough to clean the rest of the hair. But when it isn’t, try to use a co-wash. This is a product created for especially for natural hair. It’s a clarifying conditioner that can be used on both your scalp and your strands without stripping moisture. This is awesome if you need to cleanse more than your scalp, but I wouldn’t use it 100% of the time because it has a tendency to create build up after using it so many times in a row.
Let us know which tips you plan to try!
Written by: Constance D. Gordon, Brav Salon manager