Your hair will be the strongest it’s ever been in its natural state—if you take the proper precautions, of course. Though your strands will be nearly invincible, they will not be perfect, as commonplace issues like dryness, shrinkage, and the wear and tear of hair color can stand in between you and the best hair you’ve ever had. Well not to fret: we’ve rounded up five issues that we’ve come across in our natural journey, along with five ways to remedy them.
Flip through to get your best natural hair ever!
Keeping Your Strands Moisturized
Black hair, in general, is prone to dryness, with kinkier textures tending to be the most parched. Deep conditioners and nourishing masks will infuse your hair with the moisture it so desperately needs, so be sure to slather one on at least once a week.
Our picks: WEN by Chaz Dean’s Sweet Almond Mint Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment ($58), Shea Moisture’s Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque ($10), and Cantu’s Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque for Hair ($8).
Hair Color Strength
The strength of your hair in its natural state makes it the perfect canvas for a myriad of hair colors. From blonde to burgundy, nothing is off limits…but your hair’s porosity can change drastically based on its new hue. A few things you must do:
1. Find a stylist that specializes in both color and natural hair.
2. Recognize the process may be gradual. (It took me almost three years to achieve my current blonde state from dark brown.)
3. Your curls will be a little looser for the first couple of weeks.
4. Be prepared to deep condition more than you ever have.
5. Get your hair trimmed regularly.
6. Don’t be afraid to let your roots grow out.
Shrinkage is the natural inclination of kinky and curly hair and is defined by the difference between the way your hair looks when it is wet, versus how it looks when it is dry. Though shrinkage is actually a good thing because it demonstrates that your curls are loaded with elasticity, most women want as much length as they can get. Twist-outs are a great technique for adding some length to your coiled strands. Here’s a quick how-to:
1. Separate your wet hair into at least five sections and tightly twist down to the ends of your hair.
2. Tie up each twisted section of hair and pin it in place. Let your hair dry overnight.
3. In the morning, untwist your hair, breaking apart each twist several times and voila! (Note: the more twists you do, the more defined and curled your hair will be.)
Protection While Sleeping
Your natural curls and kinks truly have a life of their own and can look completely different after a night of tossing and turning. A satin bonnet and pillowcase will give them the protection they need while your body is restoring itself.
Pictured: Natural Hair Shop Bird Feathers Satin Bonnet ($20)
Preserving Your Blowout
Girls with natural hair don’t blow dry that often, so when we do, we like for it to last. Humidity and workout sessions are the biggest obstacles to keeping our temporarily straightened hair looking fabulous, but the latter can be remedied with Save Your Do’s Narrow Band Gymwrap ($25). It will keep the edges of your hair safe from sweat.
Have any of these natural hair fixes worked for you? Got any of your own? Tell us below!