Natural hair is dry; I have yet to meet a natural haired girl or guy with naturally oily hair. We all produce natural oil from our scalps, however due to the nature of curls or coils twisting, turning and zigzagging around and around the oil does not get to the mid shafts and ends. This leads to dry parched hair, which leads to split ends. The split ends lead to breakage and often leads one to think that their hair is not growing. I usually tell clients the hair has no trouble growing out of the scalp. Everyone’s hair grows; the breaking at the ends negates whatever growth happens.
Here are some tips for retaining the length:
- Use sulphate free shampoos, as sulphates will dry out your hair more.
- Wash your hair no more than once a week with your sulphate free shampoo. Use a silicone free conditioner or co-wash for the rest of your washes. Remember to use a microfibre towel or a cotton t-shirt to blot the water out of your hair.
- Deep condition weekly with a moisturizing treatment using heat to help the product penetrate the cuticle. This heat can be via a hooded dryer, a heating cap or a hot towel wrapped around the head. Leave the treatment on for 30 minutes.
- Get a protein treatment once a month. However, if you use a blow dryer, curling iron and/or flatiron on your hair – or your hair is coloured – you need protein treatments more than once a month to restore the strength to the hair. Heat styling robs your hair of moisture and elasticity. Limit the use of heat and always use a thermal protector.
- Sleep with a satin cap or use a satin pillowcase as cotton pillowcases absorb moisture out of the hair.
- Keep your hair moisturized every day, give more attention to the extra dry areas. Moisturize your hair morning, afternoon and bedtime. Take a spray bottle filled with water, a couple squirts of conditioner and styling gel to work or school for use when you notice your hair drying out.
- Use penetrating oils. Avoid products that contain silicones, petroleum and mineral oil.
- Get regular trims to oxygenate the ends so that they can better absorb the moisture.