- Always keep your hair moisturized.
- Trim or brush through your ends when needed.
- Never comb through a knot. STOP and DROP the comb or hair styling tool you are using, and instead use your fingers.
- Choose your protective styles wisely
Keep Hair Moisturized:
Keeping natural hair moisturized is important in general, but especially black natural hair because of how our hair is structured. Black natural hair is often referred to as curly, coily, kinky, and nappy. Regardless of how you prefer your hair be deemed, the structure of our natural hair is not straight. With that being the case, it’s hard for the natural oils from our scalp, also known as sebum, to reach the ends of our hair. It is important to remember that the ends of our hair are the oldest and most fragile, and requires special care and PATIENCE. When applying a moisturizer or oil to the hair, because the roots automatically get the natural oils from the scalp, it is not as necessary to apply as much as you would the ends and the middle of the hair shaft because otherwise it could lead to product build up on the scalp. This can, in turn, inhibit hair growth since the pores do not have a clear gateway for airflow. Some suggested ways to moisturize your hair is with water, aloe vera juice, or a moisturizer, such as Harabi Beauty's Moisture Madness, where the first ingredient listed is water or aloe vera juice. Once you add moisture to your hair, it's a good idea to seal in the moisture with a sealant, such as an oil of your choice, or perhaps a butter.
Trim/Brush Ends as Needed:
There’s a lot of debate on how often it is necessary to trim black natural hair. Some people put a time stamp on it, and say it should be done every 2-3 months. I’ve also heard every six months. I am here to say that how often you trim your ends is not determined by a calendar, but instead by the condition of your ends. From personal experience, I trim my ends about once to twice a year, but that is only to ensure that my hair is even when it comes to styling. Otherwise because I take good care of my hair, and the ends especially, I am left with only having to “dust" my ends to eliminate any single strand knots, etc. Taking care of your ends relates back to keeping your natural hair moisturized. You can decrease the chances of knots when you don’t comb your hair dry.That’s a HUGE NO NO!
NEVER Comb Through a Knot:
Besides a lack of moisture in the hair, knots can go from small to huge when patience is not taken into consideration when combing natural hair. A great technique that I have practiced while being natural, and even when I was relaxed has been to start detangling at the very ends, and then work my way up to the roots. If you start in the middle or at the top, you are pretty much combing more hair into the knot, potentially leading to more hair loss. I found that when detangling natural hair during your weekly wash regimen, separating the hair into parts and detangling it one section at a time, will save you a lot of time ultimately. And even better, as you detangle, apply two strand twists to the hair, so that the hair will remain knot free as you battle the rest. My ABSOLUTE favorite prepoo to use is African Pride's Aloe and Coconut Water Detangle and Condition Pre-Shampoo (Whew! that was a mouthful). When I say this product has tons of slip! This stuff is a holy grail for low porosity hair, especially! Overall, it is important to remember that patience is key when handling natural hair. It’s not a wise idea to decide to detangle your hair, if you are on a time crunch. All it’s going to lead to is frustration! As coily and fragile as black natural hair is, please be patient when putting any tool through your hair, as it takes time for each spiral to unravel.
Make Sure Protective Styles Actually Protect
I have a love hate relationship when it comes to protective styles. I love how they look, but I'm never too pleased with my hair after taking the "protective style" out. I have 4b/4c low porosity hair, and I tend to find that my hair strands either love each other so much, or are jealous of each other because the tangles can be pretty ridiculous. When it comes time to take the "protective" style out, it takes a lot of patience and technique to get the shed hair out of my head without taking innocent bystanders with it. I'm sure there are plenty of naturals who can relate! All in all, my advice is to moisturize your hair well before putting in the protective style. And don't wait TOO long to take it out. The longer it is in, the harder the take down will be! Last but not least, remove as much shed hair as you can before applying conditioner and water. I say this because once your hair starts to revert to it's natural curl pattern, it'll make removing the shed hair 10 times harder!
How about you? What has helped you grow your natural hair? Comment below!
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