There used to be a time when many black women wouldn’t dream of wearing their natural hair. The tight curl pattern that some refer to as “kinky” or “nappy” didn’t receive nearly the amount of love and admiration that it deserved.
But thankfully, there are now more and more women who are embracing the hair they were born with, and for good reason! Every woman, no matter what ethnicity she is, should find beauty in her natural state from head-to-toe.
If you’re a black woman who has recently decided to go au naturale, here are some highly-effective ways to treat your locks.
1. Wash with conditioner rather than shampoo
It might seem a bit odd that the first thing we’d suggest is you not use any shampoo but here’s the deal: many shampoos contain harsh chemicals and sulfates that can actually damage and dry out your hair. When hair is brittle, it tends to break. Condition washing is so much healthier. What you do is literally use a conditioner and treat it as you would a shampoo in order to get softer and much more manageable results.
2. Use as little heat as possible
An excessive amount of heat is not good on anyone’s hair, regardless of texture. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, a black woman’s natural hair may look strong but it tends to be pretty fragile. That’s why the intense heat of a hair dryer, curler, or flat iron needs to be avoided as much as possible. If you can towel dry it or braid it up the night before and let it air dry after washing, that’s much healthier.
3. Seal your ends
Something that you can (and should) do every couple of washes in order to keep your ends from splitting is a process known as “sealing your ends”. After you have washed your hair, use a wide tooth comb and section it off into several parts. Remove the excess water and then plait your hair, making sure to apply some Jamaican castor oil again to the ends of your hair. Once your hair is completely (air) dry, then remove the braids and style as usual.
4. Put it up in protective hairstyles
Manipulating your hair a lot is another cause of breakage. That’s why it’s also important to keep your locks in some type of a protective style at least 60 percent of the time.
5. Get a trim every six weeks
You’re not going to have the kind of natural hair that is long and healthy if you don’t trim your ends. For the record, trimming is not what actually makes your hair grow longer but because it helps to keep split ends at bay, you won’t have to worry about your hair looking damaged and worn. About every six weeks should suffice.
6. Show it off (just not every single day)
You didn’t go through all of this effort to keep your hair in a hat, scarf or even always a protective style all of the time! So every once in a while, let your natural hair shine with the help of a blowout or twist out. Just make sure that it’s not every single day. Remember, the less styling tools (and fingers) are in your hair, the better, so wearing it out 2-3 days out of every week is just enough.
Enjoy being your naturally beautiful self!