If you’ve ever spent an entire day battling with your hair in hopes of achieving the perfect twist out by the next morning, then you know how difficult it can be to maintain black hair. But once you’ve mastered a routine and gotten your holy grail products fully stocked in the bathroom cabinet, you’ll be left with a luxurious head of coiling locks.
Everyone wants to get their natural hair to the healthiest state possible. But this can be a long, exhausting road. The good news is that the journey is way simpler than what we make it.
Chin up, Queen. We’ve got the outline to get you headed in the right direction no matter where you’re starting from. Keep reading to check out the top black hair care tips to living your best hair life.
Avoid Using Heat
One of the key rules for succeeding at black hair care is to start eliminating the usage of heat as much as possible. This includes most blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons.
Applying heat to your hair can have damaging effects that are oftentimes irreversible. Some signs of heat damage include dryness, brittleness, excessive hair shedding, breakage and a change in curl pattern.
There are heat settings that are less damaging to your hair (it typically begins to burn and melt around 400 degrees) but you should always use a protectant if you are straightening. If you are just transitioning, it’s best to avoid heat at all costs for a while.
Learn About Porosity
Recently there has been a lot of talk in the natural black hair care community about porosity levels. You will even find products that are marketed to certain types, for example, deep conditioners for high porosity.
So what is porosity and how does this apply to your hair? Simply put, your porosity level determines how easily moisture is absorbed and held in your hair.
A quick way to test out your level is to take a strand of hair and place it in a cup of water. If the hair floats to the top then you have low porosity. And if it sinks, it indicates high porosity.
After you’ve completed the test, do a bit of research on products and natural ingredients that work well for your hair porosity level.
When you see a bouncing head full of kinky curls shining in the sun, just know that there has been a lot of moisture applied to keep it in that condition. The thing about moisturizing black hair is that it can just be flat out difficult if you don’t know your hair.
There are two main methods that are used for moisturizing- the LOC method and the LCO method. These are two ways of, not only applying moisturizor but sealing it in as well. The acronyms stand for liquid, oil, and cream and the order can be switched around depending on what your mane reacts to best.
Also, remember to drink water daily!
Deep Condition Regularly
Deep conditioning has become a staple in natural hair care. Almost every black hair care company now sells at least one deep conditioner. Most companies have multiple to choose from with different blends of beneficial natural ingredients.
A great tip for deep conditioning is using indirect heat, such as a hooded dryer, to help the product penetrate more effectively. If you don’t have this you can simply wrap a plastic cap or bag around your head and let it sit.
You can typically leave the treatment in for up to 30 minutes but some people do this for longer. Deep conditioning regularly can help to restore and replenish hair, as well as keep it strong and soft.
Read Product Labels
It’s not rare to find harmful ingredients inside of hair and beauty products. This is why you need to do your due diligence to make sure you don’t fall subject to toxic recipes disguised in good marketing.
Read labels of every product that you plan on using for your head. Some of the most common ingredients to stay away from include parabens, phthalates, Formaldehyde and Isopropyl Alcohol, which can strip the hair strands.
A rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce then you should question if it should be in your body.
Wear Protective Styles
Protective styles are the time savior of black hair care. Typically braids, twists, and crochet styles are great for keeping your hair protected from a variety of factors (including harsh weather) and saving you tons of time on doing your hair.
The constant manipulation of your hair can lead to breakage and fragility. Incorporating protective hairstyles into your hair routine will help to decrease the number of times that you have to touch your hair on a daily or weekly basis.
Buy Silk or Satin Scarves
You might think that you’re fully protecting your hair by just sleeping with a scarf. But the truth is certain material, such as cotton, suck the moisture that you worked so hard to get out of your head.
Instead, wear silk or satin scarves and bonnets to bed at night. You can even purchase pillowcases made out of these favorable materials.
This might be the most important part of mastering black hair care. You will need patience every step of the way. Some days will be less frustrating than others but the main goal is to keep going.
Also, remember not to compare your journey to someone else’s. Everyone’s curls are unique in their own way. Whether you’re starting over from a big chop or a few years into transitioning, love yourself, nurture your curls and stay consistent for the best results.
Looking for More Black Hair Care & Other Beauty Tips?
Keeping up with black hair care routines can be almost as exhausting as a 9-to-5. But everyone has a beautiful crown that can be uncovered with just a little love and care.
Don’t give up on your journey because it will absolutely pay off in the long run. For more tips and support hair and skincare, check out our beauty blog section.