Natural hair is beautiful but far too often under appreciated. Many women rely on harmful chemical relaxants to hideaway their natural curl and volume, often in an attempt to fit in. It's time to appreciate just how beautiful natural hair can look on its own, given how well it frames and flatters so many different facial shapes. Admittedly, growing your hair out to mimic those wonderfully voluminous crowns will take some work, but healthy hair is inherently beautiful. With this in mind, here are a few good ways to pamper and maintain your natural hair:
Maintain a Healthy Diet
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. A healthy diet that is rich in protein, includes a variety of vitamins and is high in minerals will do wonders for your hair, not to mention your skin and nails. Eating fruits and dark, leafy vegetables will help give your hair a lustrous glow and help it grow thicker and stronger. Most importantly from a dietary perspective, reduce your sodium intake and avoid sugary desserts.
Keep Your Locks Moisturized
In comparison to straight hair, natural hair tends to be drier due to its curly nature, and unfortunately, this texture prevents the natural oils secreted by the scalp from reaching the ends of the hair strands. This not only leads to brittle, split ends but also slows down hair growth. To remedy this problem, use supplementary moisturizers to care for your hair! Start off by moisturizing daily and see how your hair reacts to the extra oil. Be cautious not use too much as it can make your hair greasy or cause acne to develop on your scalp. From there you can determine whether or not you can ease back on your moisturizing schedule. Sometimes, you can forgo the fancy products and simply use water to moisturize your hair before going to bed.
Prevent Heat Damage
There’s nothing more damaging to hair than heat. Heat destroys the delicate proteins that form your hair by literally causing them to burn and die, resulting in that lifeless, withered appearance seen in some hair types. It's important to understand that heat damage is irreversible. However,this doesn't mean that heat must absolutely be avoided under all conditions.Sometimes you need heat to style your hair and that's perfectly okay – just as long as you take protective measures. Use a heat protectant to absorb most of the applied heat before it can cause damage to your hair.
Skip the Comb and Use Your Fingers
Breakage is a major problem for natural and combs are often to blame. If you're rough with a comb, as people usually are when they're in a hurry to detangle, then chances are you’ve pulled that comb out to reveal several hair strands stuck in it. This excessive breakage ruins ends, causing them to split with continued growth. Not only do split ends make your hair appear unhealthy, but they also slow down the growth process. So next time, use your fingers to isolate the knots and gently pull them apart instead of roughly yanking at them with a comb. The process may take some time,but it’s worth the effort to preserve the health of your hair.
Shampoo and Condition the Right Way
Everyone shampoos their hair and a majority may condition as well, but none of that matters if the right products aren't being used. Everyone's hair is different, so the treatment methods should vary too. Appropriate shampoos for natural hair have a balanced pH that doesn't strip the hair of its natural oils and minerals.Also, be sure not to over wash your hair by limiting shampoo days to once or twice a week. Conditioning is equally important. The right conditioner helps restore proteins and moisturizes the hair. You should condition after every time you shampoo your hair.
Surprisingly, stress is the most common cause of hair loss and delayed hair growth. By exercising, you can release this pent-up stress and indirectly promote good hair health. Of course, the benefits of exercise extend way beyond hair so it's a good habit to develop regardless. Get the right gear and commit to thirty minutes of vigorous activity three to five times a week and you’ll see a positive difference in not only your hair, but in your whole life.
Now that you know what to do in order to grow out that beautiful, natural head of hair of yours, it's time to put these tips into practice. The amount of confidence you’ll get from being comfortable in your own skin will be insurmountable. Most importantly, your hair will reflect your healthy lifestyle and show the world that you take good care of yourself.