Natural hair, by definition, hasn’t been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers. Pressed hair may still be considered natural because once washed, the texture usually returns to its unaltered state (if no heat damage has occurred).
The distinctive, beloved, curly patterns of highly textured hair — which evolved as a natural way to allow air circulation and regulate body temperature in warm climates in Africa — require unique care because of their unique structure. The solutions to common challenges, such as dryness and breakage, all trace back to hair maintenance and scalp health. To understand how to best care for natural hair, you must also understand what happens each time you wash it, comb it, pull it, stretch it, heat it, or treat it.
In terms of natural Black hair, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to texture and growth patterns, but in general, natural Black hair usually ranges from wavy to kinky-coily, with a wide range of variation between the two. (And yes, some Black people have naturally straight hair as well.) In fact, texture differences exist not only in families, including siblings, but even on the same head of hair. In general, Black hair types tend to be:
Drier to the touch than other hair textures, extremely difficult to over-condition, fragile.
Natural hair can look strong, but this is a very delicate texture and needs to be handled as such. This means frequent conditioning and moisturizing and as little direct heat as possible to maintain optimum health
NATURAL HAIR IS UNIQUE.
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF HAIRCARE
You can’t care for your scalp if you underestimate the importance of wash days. Delivering nutrients to your skin is a vital step in any scalp care regimen, but it’s just as crucial to routinely cleanse your hair and scalp with a wash frequency that works for your curl pattern and style. Do you style your hair with a lot of products? Try using a sulphate-free shampoo on your hair to remove product buildup. Davella Naturals Liquid Gold and Wash Shampoo is the perfect clarifying shampoo that cleans buildup without stripping the hair. That way, the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner can reach your scalp. While you don’t want products to leave residue of your styling gels, creams, and sprays, you also don’t want harsh ingredients like sulfates and silicones to strip your hair dry of the nutrients and oils it already has. For everyday care in between wash days, consider using a scalp oil that’s lightweight and shields your scalp from irritation — especially if you wear a protective style. Scalp Nourishing Growth Oil helps a lot with this.
Because curly hair is less porous than straight hair, it’s harder to keep hydrated. It’s helpful to provide moisture at every possible step of your hair routine, including when you deep condition on wash days. It can be helpful for women who are concerned about stripping their hair of nutrients, especially if their method of styling requires frequent washing. Adding a deep conditioner to your hair routine will give your hair a good moisture-protein balance and improve the look and feel of your hair. Regularly deep conditioning your hair will make for healthier, softer, and less damaged hair.Hydrate and Restore Hair Mask is best for this. When you’re done washing and detangling your hair with your deep conditioner, seal in your moisture with a product that forms a protective layer around your hydrated strands, such as a leave-in conditioner.
And remember, moisture doesn’t only come in the form of water. Moisture and hydration come best from using products formulated with water as their top ingredient. Other moisture-laden ingredients include aloe vera. When you use products with these ingredients, be sure to work them through your whole head of hair, section by section, to maximize the hydration benefits.
It’s important to use products that restore hair health to its natural state in between treatments. Leave-in conditioners and puddings are both great options for reactivating your curl pattern while you wear it natural. However, if you find that your leave-in treatments and products feel heavy on your curls, you should dilute them with water so that the weight doesn’t pull down on their curly structure while they recover.
Chemical relaxing, if not done mindfully, can strip hair fibers of moisture, leaving them frail and dry. Deep conditioning tools (in the form of masks and leave-in treatments) are important for restoring that lost hydration. If your hair is damaged, it’s time to re-evaluate your hair care regimen. That could mean a big chop, limiting how often you style your hair using heat and chemical processes, or simply modifying your everyday hair care routine with the addition of a weekly deep-conditioning mask. The less you process your hair, the better. When it comes to damage control and repair, the more often you condition and treat yourhair with products that enrich the follicles and scalp, the quicker and stronger you’ll see your hair rebound from damage.
For best results for your hair, Davella Naturals has a range of products to help with your hair goals and development. All products formulated especially for natural hair.
Yewande Matthew is the Founder/Lead Formulator of Davella Naturals, a natural haircare company dedicated to redefining what haircare means to the modern-day woman and help them embrace their natural curls with confidence. Follow her on Insta @davellanaturals