1. Avoid shampoos with sulfates. Sulfates strip the hair of needed moisture and natural oil, drying it out.
2. Pre-shampoo your hair with coconut oil or olive oil. Coconut oil helps hair retain its protein levels, thus preventing damage. It also limits the amount of water the strands absorb, preventing wear and tear (from expansion and contraction) over time. Both natural oils protect the hair from being stripped when you shampoo.
3. Trim away split ends as necessary but don’t get a trim for the sake of trimming. If your goal is to retain length, you’ll only be cutting off perfectly good hair. The less you do to damage your hair, the less you’ll need to trim it.
4. Seal your ends with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I have found this oil to be the best at protecting the ends from splitting. It’s so thick and protective, causing the ends to clump together. Seal after every wash and before styling.
5. Never sleep on your hair loose. It’s more prone to tangling and breakage. Tie it up and make satin your hair’s best friend. Sleeping in a satin scarf, bonnet, or on a satin pillowcase prevents your hair’s moisture from being robbed. It also prevents unnecessary tangling.
6. Moisturize your hair as needed. Use your sense of touch to tell. If it feels dry -moisturize!
7. Eat a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel have nutrients that may promote hair growth.
8. Stop heat-styling your hair. Air drying is the best thing you can do to keep your hair on your head. Limit heat styling to rare, special occasions.
9. Comb the hair from the bottom up. When your hair is soaking wet and coated in conditioner, you can comb it with a large-tooth comb or Denman brush to detangle. Do so carefully, working from the bottom up. Of all the detangling gadgets on the market, your 10 fingers remain your best tools.
10. Avoid pulling hair tight at the hairline. Doing so will recede your hairline and damage the follicles permanently. Not a good look.
11. Check your nails. Hanging nails will damage hair. Always make sure your nails are smooth and even before hair styling.
12. Finally, try to leave your hair alone as much as humanly possible. That means cutting down on hair-drying, flat-ironing, curling, chemically straightening, dyeing, teasing, baking it in the sun, and yes, even crimping. The less you alter it and mess with it, the more it can truly thrive.
Got any hair tips you’d like to add to the list? Please share how you take care of your natural hair in the comments below!