Are you looking for simple ways to make your natural hair soft and long? Then you are in luck because in this article I will share 12 simple ways to make natural hair soft.
In my first year of going natural, I really struggled to manage my thick afro-textured hair. One thing I did not know is that I should have focused on making my hair easier to manage by using the tips I am going to share below. My top 4 tips on making natural hair soft are summarized below:
SUMMARY: How to make natural hair soft
- Pay attention to moisturizing your natural hair to make it soft and easy to manage.
- Use a conditioner. Conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients which coat the strands, smoothening down the hair cuticles and therefore making the hair soft
- Avoid too much of protein as excess proteins makes the hair stiff and brittle
- Embrace good dietary habits such as drinking a lot of water and having a healthy diet to help you achieve healthy soft hair.
Here is the complete list of 12 simple ways to make natural hair soft.
1. Moisturize well
Natural hair loves moisture and lots of it. Because of the tight hair curls, the flow of sebum along the entire hair shaft becomes a challenge hence why type 4 hair tends to dry out faster than the straighter hair types.
This therefore means that you need to pay attention to moisturizing your natural hair to make it soft and easy to manage.
When moisturizing, spritz your hair with lukewarm water. Lukewarm water can easily penetrate the hair’s cuticle. Properly hydrated hair can also be achieved by sitting under a steamer.
In both cases heat opens up your hair’s cuticle allowing water to easily penetrate into the hair shaft.
After moisturizing, apply an oil or butter. The oil/butter seal pores so that more moisture remains within your hair strand. Your hair as a result becomes soft and glossy with a faster growth rate. Oils and butters cannot moisturize hair. Moisturizing involves the addition of moisture, water.
2. Practice proper nutrition
Hair follicles feed on what is taken in the body. Embracing good dietary habits i.e. drinking a lot of water and having a healthy diet helps you achieve healthy soft hair.
Water molecules moisturize your strands from inside to outside and as a result they become softer and more manageable. Nutrients supplied by the diet nourish hair follicles and helps you attain softer strands.
3. Condition regularly
A conditioner is a product that is very essential in promoting healthy and soft natural hair. Conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients which coat the strands, smoothening down the hair cuticles.
They also temporarily repair damage that may be present on the hair shaft. This aids in removing frizz hence softening hair.
For maximum benefits gently heat the conditioner before use. Generously apply the conditioner so that it coats each strand. Allow it to sit on your hair for 3-5 minutes before the final rinse.
Heat facilitates maximum deposition of the product on the hair surface when it is applied. This way you obtain softer strands.
Alternatively, apply the conditioner then wrap your hair in a towel or a shower cap before sitting under the dryer.
Be sure to condition every time you shampoo. Once in a while wash your hair solely with a conditioner. Reducing shampooing helps you boost your hair’s moisture retention capacity and keep your hair soft.
When compared to the regular conditioners, deep conditioners have a higher concentration of ingredients that penetrate the hair cortex. Although they take a longer time to work than the regular shampoos they are more nourishing
Leave-in conditioners are lighter than both the regular and deep conditioners. They are specially designed to be left on hair so that the conditioning properties remain working.
Related Article: Conditioning Guide For Natural Hair
4. Avoid excess proteins
Protein is important for your hair. It is needed to help you achieve stronger and healthier strands. Too much of protein however alters your hair’s protein-moisture balance which will in turn interfere with how your hair feels.
Excess protein applied on hair causes hair to feel brittle and hard and therefore if you want softer hair keep off excess proteins.
5. Apply nourishing hair masks
Use a hair mask that helps you draw more moisture into your strands. With time your hair becomes softer. The mask should be applied on damp hair after shampooing.
6. Use the right products for your hair type
Understanding your hair type is important because it will guide you in the choice of products and hair care techniques. For example straight hair does not need much oil as compared to curly hair.
This is because with straight hair natural oils move easily through the cuticle. Also, dry damaged hair needs more care than the normal healthy hair.
7. Trim as necessary
Getting a trim /haircut is important because it helps you get rid of dead and dull strains which only weigh hair down.
It also helps you eliminate split ends that usually have a high tendency to get tangled up and make management a nightmare for you. Every time your hair gets trimmed it smoothens.
8. Shampoo mindfully
If you are a clean freak you may feel that washing hair each and every other day is part of keeping proper hygiene. But did you know that frequent shampooing could actually cause damage on your hair.
Shampoos especially sulfate containing strip-off natural oils present on the hair surface. Hair that is free of natural oils feels dry, looks dull and is difficult to style.
Related Article: How often should 4C hair be washed?
9. Rinse with cold water shampooing
This is because hot water has an ability to wash out even the natural oils which should naturally condition your hair strands and therefore avowing using hot water when shampooing.
Use lukewarm water when washing then finish it off with cold water. Cold water prevents the escape of moisture and natural oils by sealing it in the hair follicles. Because they- the water molecules- are within the strand your hair strands remain conditioned and as a result they soften.
10. Do not bleach/color the hair
Bleaching can be hard on your hair strands. This is because when bleaching your hair cuticle raises to allow the bleaching agent to fully penetrate your hair.
Repeated bleaching can permanently raise your hair cuticles. This gives way for rapid and continuous loss in moisture. As a result your hair becomes dry and brittle and more prone to breakage.
11. Avoid frequent heat styling
Flat irons, blow dryers and curling irons are commonly used devices when heat styling. When hair is heat styled too often or exposed to high heat for a long time it experiences heat damage. Heat damaged hair has weak points along the hair cuticle that can easily break off.
When you feel it’s necessary to heat style consider the following guidelines: apply a heat protectant before heat styling, use the lowest possible heat setting, do not heat style on dripping wet hair, air dry first and take a break at least weekly to help your hair recover.
12. Protect the hair from the sun
Did you know that your hair can get damaged by over-exposure to the sun? UV rays causes damage to the hair cuticle. Your hair consequently becomes discolored, dry and brittle.
When you spend a lot of time in the sun you might need to protect your hair. Wear a hat, a head wrap or apply a hair spray with sun screening properties to keep your hair from being damaged by the sun.
Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.