Not all hair are naturally soft but there are some routine which when done over a long period will eventually make your natural hair softer.
Those with soft natural hair often get comments like;
‘Wow, your hair is sooooo soft! No wonder you can carry your natural hair. I can’t carry natural hair o, my natural hair is so stubborn.’
‘Your hair is soooo soft. How did you get your hair to be this manageable? I find it hard managing my natural hair.’
The issue of stubborn hair has actually discouraged so many aspiring naturalistas as well those who are already natural. Some end up going back to relaxers because they couldn’t achieve the fluffy soft hair they crave.
This blog is a compilation of researches from the Web as well as my own experience with dealing with hair that us hard to manage.
So here are some things you can do to achieve softer and more manageable natural hair.
1. Dispel the myth that your hair is stubborn and can never be soft.
No matter how ‘stubborn’ your natural hair is, it can be tendered over time with adequate deep conditioning and moisture. Don’t believe otherwise. This single mindset will be one to liberate you and help you achieve your goal of managing your natural hair with little or no stress.
2. Do not skip shampoo
How does this create soft hair : No build up on the hair surface means you get a very smooth strand to the touch.
Hair conditioner is the first thing many think about when it comes to soft hair but applying hair conditioner to hair with a layer of oil and styling products really reduces its ability to work as intended. Find a mild shampoo that you like and always use it during your main wash. If you choose to co-wash between main washes, this is fine, but using a shampoo during your main wash will help fight build up and create a nice clean layer for your conditioner to work on.
3.Don’t joke with deep conditioning.
They say deep conditioning solves almost every natural hair problems…. I don’t know how true this is but deep conditioning will definitely make your natural hair softer and more manageable.
If you had been playing with this before, it is time to stop. Deep conditioning is known to work on hair textures like magic.
4. Do not be heavy handed with conditioner – Unravel those twists or braids
How does this create soft hair : Hair conditioner coats hair with softening ingredients and the more hair you have in contact with the conditioner, the softer it will feel.
If you are washing your hair in large twists or braids, take the time to unravel each twist or braid and apply hair conditioner properly to coat each strand of hair. You do not have to be heavy handed with your conditioner, you just have to make sure you get every strand covered . Plopping a large amount of conditioner on hair and trying to squeeze it through each large twist or braid is not the way to go. However, do rebraid or retwist after the conditioner application, if you intend to control shrinkage.
5. Heat up your conditioner and keep it on your hair for 20 – 30 minutes
How does this create soft hair : Increased heat and additional time (20-30 minutes maximum), increases the amount of conditioner that can deposit on the surface of hair. More conditioner on the surface equals more softness.
Often in a salon, you will either have your hair wrapped in a towel after conditioning and asked to wait or covered with a plastic cap and placed under a hooded dryer. At home, you can achieve the same effect by simply heating up your conditioner in a water bath and then keeping the heat in once the conditioner is applied by covering your hair with a towel. Heat increases the amount of deposits on the hair surface from conditioner (absorption if you are in the know). Increasing your conditioning time to 20-30 minutes also increases absorption but after this time period, there are no further increases.
6. Try the tea rinse after washing your hair.
Tea Rinse is washing your hair with tea bag extracts. The caffeine penetrates the hair follicles to take their effect. Doing the tea rinse also adds shine to the hair. It strengthens the hair thereby reducing breakage
Benefits of black tea on your hair
– Adds shine and softens hair.
-Darkens hair or brings out natural highlights.
7. Moisture is your best friend.
In your natural hair journey, you will never hear enough of this. Don’t joke with moisture. Use daily spritz once or twice every day. A mixture of water, olive oil and glycerin will do. Glycerin attracts moisture from the environment to your hair. This guarantees to an extent that you hair is always moisturized. Please know that it doesn’t matter if you have extensions on. Still do the daily spritz. Lift your weaves or braid and moisturize your hairline.
8. Seal in your moisture.
This is not as technical as it might sound. After adding moisture to your hair, you might have to make sure the harsh weather doesn’t evaporate it by sealing it in your hair with butter based cream or a good moisturizing cream.
9. Go easy with the leave in products and stretch your hair out to dry
How does this create soft hair: Using a minimal amount of leave in products allows hair strands to be able to move past each other and not be sticky. The lighter hair feels, the softer it feels. Also hair that is very kinky with small curls will feel softer when stretched compared to when allowed to fully shrink.
Leave in products are useful for maintaining moisture but using a large amount can reduce the softness of hair. Naturally if you prefer your hair to be coated with a product as it feels better, then that is ok for you.
If you have hair that clumps, please ignore this next tip, you and allow your hair to dry unrestricted. If your hair has tight curls and multiple kinks, allowing it to shrink fully can create a very rough feeling texture, regardless of whether you have followed the processes listed above. This is the reason why many stylists will finish hair with a light blow dry or twist out/braid out depending on time and client’s desire. Stretching out the hair increases the feeling of softness.
Finally, one additional tip that I can give for stretching hair at home is that if you are choosing to air dry your hair in twists or braids, you can get a very good stretch and hair that feels very soft by stretching in two cycles. First, apply your leave ins/oils to freshly washed hair and braid or twist to dry. In the second cycle, unravel the dry twists or braids, rewet lightly with water and reapply a small amount of leave in or oil once more. Retwist or rebraid and allow to dry once more to get to a really good stretch.