I have been natural for almost 3 years and I've learnt a thing or two about keeping my hair healthy and growing. These are a few tips and tricks that have helped me along the way and should hopefully keep you on track with your healthy hair journey.
1. Learn HOW To Wash Your Hair
Figuring out how to wash my hair was easily the best thing that ever happened to my natural hair. Before I saw the light, I would work my hair like I was auditioning for a shampoo ad. This did nothing but create tangles and waste shampoo. I discovered Chime Edwards 'start a fire' method and I haven't looked back since. By focusing on my scalp and pushing the shampoo down my strands, I end up with clean hair and fewer tangles.
2. Find Ingredients That Your Hair Loves
Part of the natural hair journey requires some time as a product junkie. When experimenting take a note of the ingredients in the products that your hair loves. My hair loves shea butter and coconut oil so I gravitate towards products that have those ingredients high on the list. I also keep a stash of the raw stuff so I can whip up my own products.
3. Don't Be Heavy Handed With Heat
I don't believe heat is the enemy, you can use it without causing damage but it is all about moderation. Blow drying your hair every wash day and then following that with a straightening session is not going to end well. There is no reversing heat damage so if you are looking to introduce heat into your regimen, do your research and protect your strands.
4. Invest In GREAT Conditioners
Coils and kinks are thirsty things. To keep your hair healthy and growing, you need to make sure it's fully hydrated. When I started my hair journey, I would use any old conditioner and my hair would stay hydrated for a day or two but then it was dry city. Now that I'm using an extremely rich conditioner, my hair is much softer and can stay hydrated right up till wash day. Look out for conditioners loaded with rich oils and avoid silicones.
5. Don't Be Afraid To Reach For The Scissors
On a quest to grow long hair, it can be tempting to hang on to every inch of it but I learnt the hard way that hanging on to dead ends only stalls growth. Your split ends will weaken the rest of the strand and encourage breakage. Head to a quality natural hair salon for a trim or you can attempt it yourself using one of the many tutorials on YouTube.
6. Give Your Hair A Break
I'm guilty of constantly pulling my hair into a puff. It's a quick and easy style but it puts far too much tension on my edges. To give my hair a break, I'll wear it out or put it in loose twists. Whatever style you wear regularly, shake it up so you aren't putting tension on the same areas.
7. Always Pre-poo
Let's be real, detangling your hair is boring and time consuming. It can be tempting to rush through the process, yanking knots and breaking hair as you go. You'll be done quicker but your hair won't be better for it. Make the detangling process more manageable by pre-pooing the night before with a rich conditioner. The following morning, your hair will be much softer and you can use your fingers to gently work through any knots.
8. Take Care Of Your Body
Last summer was all about fresh fruit, big salads and an avocado every other day. Aside from feeling really good, my hair grew leaps and bounds. I'm convinced it was down to my diet and the 8 glasses of water I was drinking every day. Look after your body and you will see the benefits in your strands.
9. Pay Attention To Your Scalp
The health of your scalp directly impacts on the health of your hair. If your scalp is coated in build up and your pores are clogged, your hair will struggle to grow. When cleansing, focus most of your attention on your scalp. You can find tips on how to keep your scalp healthy here.
10. Have Fun With Your Afro
A watched pot never boils so constantly length checking will not make your hair grow. Instead engage in healthy hair practices and enjoy the journey. Play around with different styles, cuts and even colours.
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