Natural Hair: Do's And Dont's
Natural hair, although beautiful, can be very difficult to grow and maintain. Most people tend to try out various routines with the hope of having beautiful, long and healthy hair. Some of these routines might work for some people but will not work for others. They might end up destroying some people's hair because some of the products used in these regimens are too harsh for some hair to handle. One can follow these few Do’s and Don’ts to have natural, beautiful, long, healthy hair.
1. Care For Your Scalp
Handle that scalp with care. A clean and healthy scalp may boost hair growth. According to some researchers, massaging the scalp stretches the cells of hair follicles, increasing the hair's thickness. Finding the right product to wash your hair can also be a huge challenge. Some products like Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, parabens, alcohol, etc., are too harsh.
Therefore, they may damage your hair and scalp. Rather, use mild products on your hair to be safer. Massage the scalp with your fingers as your wash your hair to ensure that all areas are properly and thoroughly cleaned. Refrain from using your nails to wash your scalp. Instead, use the tips of your fingers.
2. Moisturize Your Hair
When your hair is dry, it breaks more because brittle hair is prone to breakage. Dry hair also makes combing difficult, leading to tearing your hair, which increases hair loss. This creates a very big dent in the hair growth process. To maintain hair length and grow longer, you must moisturize your hair to reduce the entangling of the hair, making combing and grooming much easier.
It also keeps the scalp very healthy, which boosts hair growth. It also softens and strengthens hair while giving that shiny look.
3. Trim Your Hair
Hair damage, be it split ends or cracked cuticles, can be very bad for your hair as it prevents hair from growing longer and healthier. It also puts your hair at risk of further damage and eventual shedding. Some of the causes of hair damage are the use of dye in the hair, the use of bleach and other harsh products in the hair, and the use of excessive heat.
Hair damage is permanent, meaning it does not disappear unless you do something about it. The only way to get rid of damaged hair is by cutting all the damaged parts off. Your hair will regrow but be much healthier if only you take care of it properly.
4. Have Some Patience
Give your hair growth routine some time to work its magic. Most people start a process and expect instant results. They never wait to see the final results of the process before jumping to other routines. This impatience only brings about disappointment and waste of time and money. Sticking to one routine is the best option, as jumping from one routine to the other can cause damage to hair as the application of different products to hair can cause a bad reaction.
Pick one hair growth regimen and stick to it; you will see results in no time. And when you are patient and do not see the results, that is when you can change and adopt a better routine. This may prove stressful, but your hair will thank you for it.
5. Stimulate Hair Growth
Many products on the market stimulate hair growth. These products include olive oil, coconut oil, and hair foods like shea butter. Using these products in the hair boosts the rate at which the hair grows, providing the hair with the perfect conditions to grow. They also improve the thickness of the hair. Some of these oils contain ingredients that fight hair damage and even UV rays.
They also reduce dryness by providing some moisture for the hair.
6. Silk/Satin Pillowcases, Bonnet and Scarves Is A Must
As a ‘naturallista’, silk/satin pillows and scarves are your best friends. If possible, you should get a satin pillowcase, but a silk pillowcase is a good alternative. Sleeping on a silk/satin pillowcase reduces friction between hair fibre and the pillowcase. It is also less absorbent and breathable than cotton. Using a cotton pillowcase is catastrophic for your hair because it tangles your hair, increasing the chances of hair breakage and frizz.
You would not want that for your hair. A satin pillowcase keeps your hairstyle intact and prevents split ends from breaking. It also maintains the natural oils in your hair. All these are benefits a satin pillowcase, bonnet or scarf can do for your hair rather than opting for a pillowcase, scarf or bonnet made out of cotton.
7. Use The LCO/LOC Method
After washing your hair, you do not just put the nearest product into your hair anyhow. You may end up having unreliable results. To ensure the consistent flourishing of your hair, you need to be very intentional with applying products to your hair. Two known ways this can be achieved are the LOC and the LCO method. LOC means Leave-in conditioner, oil, cream.
LCO, on the other hand, means Leave-in conditioner, cream oil. The LOC method locks in moisture well without weighing the hair down. The LCO method is more effective for those with thicker hair that constantly needs to be hydrated and does not easily retain moisture. Whether to use the LOC or LCO method depends on your hair's porosity.
If you are not sure about the porosity of your hair, use this article as a guide.
8. Eat Well
You are what you eat. It goes without saying that if you eat junk food, your body will showcase the effects of your eating habits. As your hair is part of your body, it is obvious your hair will speak about your eating habits wherever you make an appearance. So do well to eat good food. Eat a lot of greens and have a regular protein intake in your diet. Do not forget to drink a lot of water too.
Never underestimate the importance of exercise in your hair growth journey. Exercise is important because it increases blood flow and circulation. Increased blood flow and circulation in the body means transporting more nutrients and oxygen to the scalp. Thus, indulge in 30 minutes cardio exercises at least thrice each week to help nourishment of your hair follicles.
It has also been discovered that exercise sweat pushes out dead cells or any buildup that may prevent your hair follicles from flourishing. This aid in the regeneration of new hair, meaning new healthy hair exists.
1. Don't Wash Your Hair Too Often
Washing your hair too often leads to dryness of the hair and eventual hair loss. Dryness causes damage to the scalp and hair because it strips the scalp of its oils. It even causes dandruff, the flaking of the skin on the top of the head. It is better to wash your hair two to three times a week to reduce dryness because the scalp is left alone to produce its essential oils to moisturize the hair.
2. Don't Neglect Your Hair
Hair, when neglected, gets damaged after a while due to the deprivation of all the necessary conditions to grow. The hair will end up falling out because of the neglect. Instead, take proper care of your hair to keep it neat and healthy. Randomly comb to remove tangles, oil your hair occasionally, a deep condition where necessary and give your hair the tender loving care it needs and deserves.
3. Don't Make Comparisons
We are all different people, and so are our hairs. The rate at which hair grows varies from one person to the next. Therefore, looking at how fast someone's hair grows is just a way for you to discourage yourself and also distract yourself from the main objective. It can lead you to leave a regimen that is good for your hair and take up a different regimen which will do you no good.
Staying focused and dedicated will get you your desired results in the long run. Avoid all distractions and stick to what works for you.
4. Don't Use Excessive Heat
The use of excessive heat on the hair ends up damaging it. Heat also straightens hair, which removes the natural look, making the whole "natural hair growth" process moot. Comb hair with wide-toothed combs and picks for easy motion and styling. Small tooth combs will rip your hair. Reduce the heat you use on your hair and watch it grow into beautiful and healthy natural curls.
If you want to avoid shrinkage, even though it is an inevitable aspect of growing natural hair, you can adopt certain hairstyles like twist-outs, braids, and even African threading for this purpose. And if you must apply heat for whatever reason, protect your hair with a heat protectant and also try as much as possible to use moderate heat on your hair.
5. Don't Use Butter On Scalp
It is a common mistake by most' naturalistas' to put hair butter on their scalp. It doesn't seem right, as the thick butter clogs the pores on the scalp leading to the buildup of product which can lead to dandruff. Also, since the scalp is clogged, it cannot breathe, which can affect hair growth. A viable solution is to use oils on the scalp and hair butter on the hair strands.
You can also adopt the hot oil treatment into your hair routine to make it easy. Also, note that when you apply oils to your scalp, try massaging your scalp for easy distribution and circulation of the oil on your scalp. Some oils you can use on your hair include coconut oil, castor oil, moringa oil, lavender oil, olive oil, etc.
Some hair butter you can use on hair includes shea butter, whipped shea butter or any healthy hair cream.
6. Don't do Tight Braids
Never do tight braids! That is a big no! Natural hair is known for being fragile, so low-maintenance styles are recommended for people with natural hair because low-maintenance styles prevent hair breakage. Tight braids break hair away from the roots, leading to hair and follicle damage and traction alopecia.
It is sad to see beautiful natural women suffering from traction alopecia because they braided their hair too tight or pulled their hair into tight hairstyles. Do well to pay special attention to your edges when braiding your hair, as they are most likely to fall out if braided too tightly.
7. Don't Overweigh Your Hair With Products.
A daily part of having natural hair is constantly applying hair products. But there is the temptation to always want to apply your hair with a product to see it thrive. While this urge may come from a good place, it may not benefit your hair. Loading your hair with products can cause your hair more damage than good, including causing dandruff, scalp acne and other hair-related issues.
Balance is important in every aspect of life, and this principle applies to your hair.
8. Don't Over-manipulate Your Hair
While it is detrimental to your hair to neglect it, it is also harmful to always manipulate your hair. Sometimes, let your hair breathe! Do a low-maintenance style and keep your hands off your hair for a while. Some people want to comb or manipulate their hair at the least possible chance. It can interfere with the growth process, and your hair may not be as it should be.
So, perhaps, you had braids done. After taking the braids down, allow your hair to breathe for a week or two, then put up a low-maintenance hairstyle like cornrows for two weeks before you prep your hair for another hairstyle like braids again. You should not have braids on; take them down, then boom! You have another set of braids on again. It is tiring for your hair. Allow it some breathing time.
Follow these easy steps to grow and maintain natural and beautiful hair. Waiting to see results can be very frustrating, but patience and determination will get you to those desired results. Follow these few steps and uncover all the secrets to that beautiful hair you desire. Trust the process, eat healthy food and drink water. You'll feel good about yourself in no time.
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