Listen, walking on your natural hair journey isn’t all roses and it can sometimes make you want to cut it all off. As you’ve heard, natural hair is a lifestyle not just a hairstyle. You begin to realize that your hair care is seeping into other areas of your day-to-day routines. You’re going to want to find ways that you can still give your hair the attention it needs but in ways that don’t involve 6 hour washdays or hair that is so unmanageable in between wash days that your frustration outweighs the progress you are making.
We’re going to give you 5 of the top natural hair hacks you can use to make caring for your natural hair a little less of a chore and more of an experience. You can incorporate a lot of these hacks into your daily ritual whether you fit them in while you are pampering yourself during your skin care routine or you can do them real quick before you have to wake the kids up for school. It’s super important to maintain all the hard work you put into your hair and these tips will help you through!
1. Spritz Bottle
Water is the number one provider of moisture for your hair. A lot of the time, people with natural hair find it hard to reintroduce or retain moisture on a daily basis. Your hair is bouncy, shiny and hydrated day one and by the third day it's a tumbleweed. What you do in between wash days is super important and crucial to how moisturized your hair stays.
When you are feeling this dryness, it’s most likely the result of a few things. It could be the fact that the ingredients included in your styling products are very drying. Ingredients such as Isopropyl Alcohol, Propanol or Ethanol, aka the “bad” alcohols. As your hair dries, these ingredients are drying as well, pulling moisture from the hair shaft. In a perfect world and hair care routine, these ingredients do not exist. As we all know, nothing is perfect and we have to find ways to ensure we either stay away from damaging products and if we can’t? We learn how to combat them.
The best way to reintroduce moisture to your hair in between wash days is a good old spritzing bottle. Along with the bottle, grab your favorite lightweight oil, leave-in conditioner or moisturizer and some water (if your home is prone to hard water, try bottled or distilled). NaturAll’s AvoKiwi LOC Method 3-Step Recipe includes our Hydrating Curl Custard, AvoKiwi Oil Blend and our Hydrating Moisturizer. These are all great options when refreshing your style. Just be sure not to use too much of the custard when freshening up, you may experience flaking.
Step 1: Fill your bottle with your choice of water. The size of the spritz bottle isn’t very important, just depends on how much you’re willing to refill.
Step 2: This step is a choice. Add about a dime to a quarter sized amount of your leave in or moisturizer to your bottle and water. Shake up the mixture so it is well mixed.
If you don’t want to add your product to your spray bottle, skip to Step 3
Step 3: Section your hair. Working on your section at a time, spray your hair with water until it is damp, not soaking wet. Apply a very small amount of your moisturizer or leave-in conditioner to each section.
Step 4: Finish by evenly distributing your lightweight oil of choice each section. Fluff and go!
While we did break down this process, making it seem lengthy, the truth is this takes about 5-10 minutes in the morning. Your hair is usually tied up or sectioned before you go to sleep so step one is already done! This quick retouch will help your hair stay soft, bouncy and fully moisturized.
2. Silk Pillows
Just do it! You’ve been seeing this trend all over every natural hair blog, YouTube channel and every hair care company has recommended this precious gem to you. So why haven’t you bought one yet? Whether you are a wild sleeper or not, bonnets and scarves eventually find their way on the floor, under your pillow, under you, etc. Also, be honest, you forget to wrap your hair sometimes. It’s ok, we all do. So the best way to combat these inconveniences is to just indulge and treat your tresses to a little tlc.
The benefits of having a silk pillow are plentiful but let's focus on the most essential. The first perk is a silk pillow can help prevent split ends and single strand knots. A lot of times, pillow cases are made of cotton and other rough fibers. If your loose hair is rubbing against these fibers, they snag and tug at the hair causing breakage. Additionally, rough fabrics tend to soak up moisture, meaning your hair will be left dehydrated, dry and brittle.
Silk pillow cases are also just convenient and high key luxurious. Having a pillow case that allows you to just hit the bed and go to sleep means you have less steps in your nightly routine. This can free up time to spend on your skin care routine or read a book. One last benefit is that silk pillows can help regulate your body temperature which will help you sweat less while sleeping. As we all know, you can sweat quite a bit while sleeping. While under a scarf, the sweat is not going anywhere and can end up clogging the pores on your scalp which can aid in product build up. Letting your hair loose on a silk pillowcase allows your hair to “breathe” and your scalp is not restricted, which can help improve blood circulation.
3. Scalp Massages (JBCO)
Why aren’t you treating yourself?! While scalp massages have great benefits for your hair growth (we’ll get to that) but they do a number for the mind. A daily scalp massage can help you de-stress, can lift your mood and can even lower your blood pressure. Have you ever noticed that you could never replicate that feeling you get when you get your hair washed at a salon or by a professional? It’s because you're missing the crucial step of a scalp massage.
If you aren’t washing your hair everyday or night (don’t do that, it’s gonna dry your hair!) The best way to get full benefit of your scalp massage is to add an oil. The first reason is this eliminates friction which is terrible for the scalp. Depending on the type of oil you use will determine the additional benefits you receive. For example, our Original Jamaican Black Castor Oil Growth Serum includes lavender. Not only is lavender stress relieving but it is also anti-inflammatory and is an antioxidant. These factors keep your scalp clean and balanced. Massaging this oil into your scalp for a small 5 minutes before bed can help you sleep better and promote proper blood circulation.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “work smarter, not harder”? Well this is where sectioning your hair comes into play! What may seem like second nature to some, a vast majority of the natural hair community just really is over taking this extra step. Us “lazy” naturals don’t have time to sit there and section our hair just to detangle. Well if you can’t find the time, retaining your growth will become just a little bit more difficult.
The top reasoning for not seeing hair growth is breakage. The top way you can promote breakage is improperly detangling your hair. Sectioning your hair while detangling helps you work in smaller portions and really allows your detangling tool to reach every part of your head. Many people find that the crown, the middle of your head, is a very difficult part to reach while detangling. Parting your hair allows more access to difficult spots on the head and relieves you from any roughness like pulling, tugging or over-stretching the hair.
Another important benefit that comes with sectioning your hair is this process can give your hair more time to absorb products fully. While you are working on each section, the rest of your hair is flourishing as it sucks in all the nutrients from the product you are using. Our Hydrating Conditioner is an incredible option to use while detangling. Not only does it provide the slip necessary to glide your tools or fingers through your hair, it also includes nourishing ingredients such as kiwi extract and shea butter.
REMEMBER: Never, ever detangle your hair dry. Even if you have taken the time to section, that is not the only key! Detangling your hair dry will lead to unnecessary breakage and outright pain for you!
5. Steam (from shower)
One pro tip that we believe many NaturAllistas sleep on is the power of steam! Now, the concept of steam for moisturizing hair is nothing new. We all know about steam caps, dryers, literal steamers. The thing about steam is you don’t really need to buy an extra hair tool. Get it from your shower! A life hack I have found that works wonders when my hair is dried up in between wash days. Rip off your bonnet, skip the shower cap and hop in the shower (day or night, depending on your routine). You can section your hair and loosely twist each section. The extra steam and and water vapor will be absorbed by your hair and you are rehydrating and getting ready all in one action! When you step out, all you’ll have to do is apply a small amount of your styling product of choice, seal with an oil and you’re good to go.
Battles Win Wars
Making your hair care routine as seamless as possible is always the name of the game. Adding simple tasks that play a big role in your overall hair health is the best tip we can give you! All of the options in this blog are very small actions that help you maintain all the work you put in during wash day. Maintaining moisture (steam), preventing breakage (silk pillows) or reintroducing hydration (spray bottle) all play a part in retaining length, improving scalp help and improving your overall hair health.