Split ends and dead end are not cute and never will be. Don’t think that you can rock your natural hair without keeping up with maintenance or good hair practices. Many naturals (including myself) fall victim to suffering ends, breaking, thinning hair and heat damage due to bad maintenance and bad hair practices.
Listed below are tips on good hair practice/maintenance that can help to repair, strengthen and improve the overall health of your hair.
Lack of moisture: If you are consistently experiencing dry hair or prone to dryness it time to tweak your hair regime. Here’s a 3 step process that you can add before and after your wash day process.
- The night before wash day coat your strands with Coconut Oil and cover your head with satin scarf. This will act as a deep oil treatment which will help to penetrate your strands for easy detangling. You will also, notice your hair is much more moisturized after you shampoo/condition.
- Pre Pooing your hair before shampooing and conditioning helps to soften and moisture your strands. This also helps to speed up your detangling process. For info on Pre Pooing check my Homemade D.I.Y. Pre-Poo.
- After cleansing your scalp and hair, its important to finally lock in the moisture your shampoo may have stripped away. I use Shea Moisture’s Deep Condition treatments and work in thoroughly throughout my hair, throw on my heating cap and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes before washing it out.
Prevention of Heat Damage: Many natural’s experience heat damage because they fail to prep their hair a week or few days before they actually use heat. It is important that your hair is ready for heat before using it! It makes no sense to use heat on fragile and breaking hair.
- A week before using heat it is important to completely strip your hair of all products. A clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar will help cleanse your hair of all product build up.
- A week before using heat do a protein treatment to help strengthen your strands.
- Deep conditioning your hair a week before with a steamer or heating cap will help to moisturize and lift your hair cuticle. Its important to lock in moisture because dry, brittle hair burns quicker.
- Allow your hair to dry 50% before using a blow dryer and ALWAYS use a heat protector. Work in sections but, do not pass heat over your hair more than two times.
- Most importantly do not set your flat iron to over 450 degrees, natural hair burns at 451 degrees!
Repairing Heat Damaging Hair: You can reverse the heat damage done to your strands with these easy tips.
- First, check to much sure your hair is heat damaged. If your strands are straight, have a looser curl pattern or refuse to revert back to its curly state then you have heat damage hair.
- Treat your hair! Heat damage hair is more fragile, wear down and must be strengthen. Proteins treatments will help to strengthen the strands. It is recommend that you protein treat your hair bi-weekly until you notice a difference in the elasticity and curl definition of your hair. You can purchase a protein treatment or make a homemade one using egg, mayo, avocado and yogurt.
- If you are keeping up with your protein treatments but, do not see any results your hair may be severely damage and it may be time to let it go. Irreversible heat damaged hair should be trim or cut out to prevent split ends and breakage. I recommend trimming a little over time and keeping up with your protein treatments for faster results.
- Stay away from heat until you hair is 100% restore to it natural state.
Breaking and Split ends: Your bad hair practices may be causing more damage to you hair then you know.
- Over styling: If you suffer from the “hands in your hair syndrome” like me you may want to try protective styling or minimizing styling your hair to 2 or 3 times a week.
- Over combing: You should never comb your hair when it dry or extremely wet (allow it to dry to 50%), your hair is more vulnerable at that time. Try using a wide tooth comb instead to prevent pulling and snagging. The only time I use my comb is on wash day but, normality use my fingers to detangle instead.
- Styling on Dry hair: Never style on dry hair. Try using a pomade, curling cream/gel, Shea butter, or your leave in conditioner, LCO method (Liquid/Water, Cream, Oil) before styling.
With good hair practices and maintenance you will notice an overall change to the elasticity, strength, moisture and health of your hair.