Let's start off by acknowledging that dry natural hair is the WORST. Your hair is hard to manage, looks dull and you struggle to retain any length. It feels even more discouraging when you've been trying different products and methods, scoured Youtube and tried the craziest methods to feel stuck at the same place.
We've sat down and compiled some of the usual things naturals overlook in their hair routine. Our goal is to help you identify what you may have overlooked or not considered when taking care of your hair.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
It's important to acknowledge that for the average natural, the cause of dry hair is related to a combination of things you are overlooking rather than simply one thing.
Ok enough pre-amble. Let's get down to business!
1. First of all SHAMPOO....Second Choose a Sulfate Free Shampoo
Don't believe the 'no- poo' hype
Shampoo is the usually the first step of the wash day routine. Trends in the natural hair community have pushed the notion of co-washing over shampoos. However without calling any names, we've seen companies being sued by customers for issues related to hair loss and hair damage.Co-washing does not replace shampoo! It can help you out in a jam when you need a quick wash or want to avoid washing your hair too frequently during the week but it is NOT a replacement for shampoo.
Simply skipping shampoo can be disastrous for your hair. You need shampoo to remove all the layers of creams, butters and gels you've used on your hair previously to ensure the hair has a fresh start for the next style. Co-washing fails to remove these layers which means new product is sitting on old product, ultimately causing dryness, breakage and hair damage.
Sulfate Free Shampoos help to give your wash day a great start
For other hair types picking a shampoo is easy however with natural hair you need to be more selective with the shampoos you're using and the frequency in which you shampoo. Choosing the right shampoo can put the best start to your wash day. The rule of thumb is always a sulfate free shampoo.. Why? Traditional shampoos contain chemical foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These dry out natural hair, cause frizz and leave hair feeling like straw, they do more harm than good as they strip hair of necessary oils used to protect it. Sulfate free shampoos avoid these things and are much gentler on the hair.
Clean hair and scalp is the foundation of healthy hair. Even with the sulfate free shampoos, try to avoid washing your hair more than once a week as it can be counterproductive to moisturised hair.
2. Sis be honest with us... WHEN LAST DID YOU DEEP CONDITION?
Deep conditioning is arguably one of the most important steps of the wash day simply because it allows moisture to be deeply infused into your strands.
We understand you may have a busy schedule but ensure you deep condition at least twice a month. Try to find a deep conditioner with a moisture/protein balance; that is one that contains mostly moisture ingredients with some protein ingredients to ensure hair is getting all the nutrients it needs. You can apply your deep conditioner after you shampoo and do your errands and chores under a plastic bag and cute turban if you're in a pinch for time.
Otherwise, we really recommend using heat. Investing in a hooded dryer, a steam cap or soft bonnet dryer can change your deep conditioning game. Heat is especially excellent for low porosity hair, where hair may feel as though it's resistant to moisture.
For deep conditioners, please ensure you are not using a rinse out conditioner as a deep conditioner. Deep conditioners are formulated to penetrate and repair your hair strands. That cannot be done in 3-5 mins. Typical deep conditioners usually recommend you leave them on for at least 15-30 mins on the packaging. Some may suggest like us to use heat.
We recommend to deep condition every time you shampoo your hair, if this is not feasible for you. Try to give your hair this much needed love at least once a month. From the first deep treatment, you will start seeing benefits. Keep consistent and your hair will hold moisture better for longer.
3. Let's discuss moisture routine
Piggy-backing off of the deep conditioner aspect, we must also discuss your moisture routine. Many naturals still dab moisturiser in their hair and call it a day. Unfortunately, applying a water/ oil based moisturiser may not be enough for some hair strands; especially those with courser hair or whose hair is in the Type 4 range.
LOC vs LCO
LOC and LCO are popular methods used to moisture curly/kinky hair. The premise is that applying your moisture products in layers assist in penetrating and holding the moisture in hair long for longer.
Which you prefer may be up to your hair type, strand thickness, porosity, preference..
There are many opinions on which method is the best but it's all up to hair type, porosity, strand thickness or just personal preference. We recommend trying either methods to see which works best for you. For beginners you can start off with a :
Leave in Spray/ Leave In- Light consistency product with water as its first ingredient.
Oil- Use penetrative or sealant oils based on which method you're trying. Oils such as coconut, avocado, jojoba etc. fair out better in the LOC method as they penetrate the hair and do not weigh hair down before the heavy cream. Non- penetrative oils such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil or argan oil are great in LCO as they help to seal ends and provide a barrier to the outside elements.
Cream- Similar to the oil step, the products you use are dependent on the method you use. For LCO, in this step you can use a lighter cream based moisturiser (one that has a mixture of water and cream based ingredients such as oil/butters). For LOC where the cream must seal the hair, it is advised to use a cream that has butters (shea, cocoa, mango etc.) /oil (JBCO etc.) as first ingredient OR you can use a thick product such as beeswax to keep that moisture in.
We love a twist-out, puff and wash and go as much as the next person but if you wear these styles very often; the outside elements (sun, rain, cold) will dry your hair out a lot faster.
Prepare to moisturise your hair more often or forget it. Mixing up your 'out' styles with more protective styles such as mini twists, crown braids, tucked styles will help balance the amount of work you need to do in keeping your hair moisturise.
TRIM, TRIM, TRIM, TRIM, TRIM *500 MILLION TIMES
We won't be the ones to say your hair isn't growing because you aren't trimming. However we will say being scared of the scissors can leave your hair extremely damaged and your hair styles failing you. What you may assume to be dry ends could just be dead ends that need to go. Dead ends cannot be revived unfortunately; holding onto them can ruin the appearance of your hair. Have a trim/cut (in some instances) and see how much easier it is to moisturise your hair.
It is recommended you trim your ends every 3-4 months or AT LEAST twice a month.
5. SATIN!!!!!!!!! SLEEP ON SATIN!!!!!!!
Well... you knew it was coming right? If you're still sleeping on cotton, then you're wasting your time. Why? Cotton absorbs. This means all your hair products are on your pillowcase and sheets and not your hair. Satin helps to keep the products where they should be; on your hair. This means it prevents moisture loss, frizzy hair and tangling cause by friction.
For more on satin, see here :https://crownandluxe.com/pages/why-satin
You can purchase a satin bonnet, pillowcase or scarf based on your personal preference. At Crown & Luxe, we offer high quality satin bonnets and pillowcases for both adults or kids. We have an excellent selection so check out our SHOP page and start enjoying the benefits of satin.
Thank you for making it all the way to the end. We hope the blog post was able to open your mind to possible gaps within your current hair routine.