I will never say this enough. Having natural hair is not easy. BUT, never in my life I was happier with my hair than I am today. So I decided to share a little of what I learned about my beloved hair by getting it wrong so many times.
Combing the hair is a big MUST
For a long time I would just run through the hair with my fingers and that was it. But then my hair got all tangled up and I would try to comb it after it was dry and it was a total disaster. Until I learned how it’s done: first, you run you fingers trough your hair while you are shampooing to start untangling it, always starting from the ends and walking your way up to the roots. Then I comb it after I apply the conditioner, always from ends to roots. When I apply any treatment mask after the conditioner I comb it a second time, just be sure.
But never comb it while it is dry or under running water
Natural hair is very thin, so combing it after it’s dry will not only destroy all your curls but also will increase breakage. And although you should comb you hair while it’s wet, do it with the water off. The water against your hair will also make it break more.
Shampoo and conditioner are not enough
Natural hair is very dry by nature. So the more you hydrate, the better it will look and more defined the curls will be. In addition to shampoo and conditioner, add a restorative hair mask to your routine and don’t forget to apply a leave-in, hydrating mousse or oil as often as needed. This will make your hair stronger and it will also reduce the knots on it.
Use products specific for natural hair
It might sound really obvious, but this is very important. Of course there are products out there that may work for natural hair, but the specific ones for are formulated to protect and enhance its natural features, so it’s just easier to go with them then to be trying other products that probably will not work so well with your hair.
Try, try and try
Today I know what works and what doesn’t for my hair, but it was after a lot of trial an error. I can’t even remember how many different gels, mousses and leave-ins I had to buy and use until I found something that worked.
The best way to find something that will work for you is try. You can look for some help and ask around, but every hair is different, so what works to someone else, might not work for you. Also, don’t get comfortable when you find “your products”. Keep looking around, as you might find something that works better for you that what you already are using.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to change your shampoo and conditioning from time to time. Your hair do get used to it after a while and at some point you will notice it’s not working anymore.
Let it air dry
Everyone knows that heat damages the hair, so as much as possible, I know it is specially hard in the winter, try to air dry. Not only your hair will be healthier, it will also look better.
Pineapple it to sleep
Even with super strong gel, when I slept with my hair down it was always dry, very tangled and some of the curls just got undone in the morning. Until I read that you should pineapple it to sleep. Two words: life changing. It maintains the curls, reduces frizz and it usually gives me a little more length which I love. Now my hair looks even better in the morning that on the day before.
You can read more about the many benefits of pineappling here.
Never put you hair up while it’s wet or go to bed with wet hair
Your hair must be at least a little dry before you put it up. When you put wet hair up you create an airless environment that will make the roots weaker, increase hair loss and it can even cause some dermatological problems in the scalp. The same is true for going to bed with the wet hair, only much worse, since it will be wet and airless for longer period of time.
Healthier hair = better curls
If your hair is healthy, most of your work is done. It will be stronger, shinier, break less, fall less and the curls will be more defined. Now, all I have talked about is true to the dead part of your hair, but it is equally important that your hair grows strong and healthy, which comes from something that will solve most problems in your live: having healthy eating habits.
Understand your hair
For many times my hair was super dry and I did nothing. Sometimes it was okay and I added more leave-in and it was far too greasy and all that was caused some damage. This only comes with time, but look at your hair, touch it, feel it, try different things to solve the many issues it will have. At some point you will figure things out and have the hair you want.