Beauty, Lookbook

Natural Hair 101: 5 tips for protecting & nourishing your natural hair

Your silk scarf is about to become your new best friend.

Natural hair has always had a negative stigma in the African American community. If your natural curls are not loose, then it receives a negative reputation as dry, unmanageable and attractive.

[bctt tweet=”Natural hair isn’t as unmanageable as you think. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

When I first became natural three years ago, I was afraid of the supposed time and effort it would take to care for my hair properly. Since then, I’ve learned a lot of different tips and tricks for maintaining natural hair that have worked for me.

1. Always moisturize.

Image description: a woman following the LOC method for her hair. Via Giphy

Deep condition your hair! I used to think deep conditioning was tedious and not worth my time, but it has helped immensely with keeping it moisturized and growing healthily. When deep conditioning, I find it helps to use heat (steamer, heated cap, dryer, etc) for the best results.

[bctt tweet=”Less is more when it comes to natural hair.” username=”wearethetempest”]

After deep conditioning, you can choose to use either the LCO (liquid, cream & oil) method or the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method, depending on what works on your hair.

2. Don’t go overboard with products.

Image description: A group of men throwing bills into the air. Via Giphy

When I first became natural I went broke buying hundreds of different products that essentially did nothing for my hair. Don’t be like me. I’ve discovered that less is more when it comes to my hair. Save your money and read the ingredients before you commit to anything.

[bctt tweet=”Take care of your body and mind.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Also, if you buy products from Sally’s Beauty Supply store you can return the products after 30 days even after you used them. So you can try items and bring them back if they don’t work.

3. Learn about your hair.

Image Description: A woman fixing her Afro in the mirror. Via Giphy

Curl pattern does not matter as much as you think. Two people could have the same curl pattern but different reactions to certain products. If you want to know more about your curl pattern, you can check out Naturally Curly and figure it out.

The most important thing is porosity because it affects how your hair absorbs and retains moisture. There is low, medium/normal and high porosity.

[bctt tweet=”Curl pattern doesn’t matter. Two people could have the same curl pattern but different reactions to certain products.” username=”wearethetempest”]

With low porosity hair, compact hair molecules make it difficult to impart moisture into the hair. But it does retain moisture after it absorbs the moisture. Normal porosity easily lets ’s moisture in. High porosity hair needs help retaining moisture as much as possible. Depending on your porosity certain products will or will not work for your hair. You can find more about your porosity here.

4. Hydrate your body and mind.

Image Description: Singers Choe X Halle offering someone a glass of water. Via Giphy

Your hair literally grows out of your body. If you’re not taking care of your body, you aren’t taking care of your hair.

Eat your fruits and vegetables and hydrate with water. Even exercise can help with hair health. Your body and hair will thank you.

5. Experiment with your hair.

Image description: A woman rotating in a chair showing different natural hair styles. Via Giphy

If this is your first time with natural hair, this is the perfect time to experiment with different styles.

In the 2 years of being natural, I have grown out my hair, had a silk press, big chopped and even dyed my hair. Just recently I cut my hair. While I did it mostly because of damage, it was something new and my hair is still growing. Don’t be afraid to go short, do protective styles or change your hair color. It’s just hair and it will grow back. Just remember to do your research before attempting anything out of your hair’s comfort zone.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t be afraid to try something different.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Natural hair doesn’t have to be difficult. I remember spending my days watching hundreds of YouTube videos and being upset because certain things didn’t work for my hair. But the beauty of natural hair is that not everyone’s hair is the same. We all react to certain things in different ways, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.