Natural hair is hair that has not been chemically treated or relaxed. It may be curly, coily, or kinky, and it is often associated with people of African descent. Caring for natural hair can require different techniques and products than those used for chemically treated hair, as natural hair is often more prone to dryness and breakage. Some tips for caring for natural hair include using deep conditioning treatments, avoiding heat styling, and using natural oils or butters to help moisturize the hair. It is also important to avoid using harsh chemicals and to trim the hair regularly to help prevent split ends.
TYPES OF NATURAL HAIR
There are many different types of natural hair, and the specific characteristics of a person’s natural hair can vary based on a number of factors, including genetics, ethnicity, and climate. Some common types of natural hair include:
- Curly hair: Curly hair is hair that has a natural S-shaped curl pattern. It can range from loose waves to tight coils, and it is often characterized by a lot of volume and texture.
- Coily hair: Coily hair, also known as afro-textured hair, is hair that forms very tight curls or coils. It is often very dense and has a lot of shrinkage, meaning it appears shorter when it is not stretched out.
- Kinky hair: Kinky hair is hair that is very tightly coiled and has a very small curl pattern. It is often very dry and prone to breakage, and it may require special care to maintain moisture and prevent damage.
- Wavy hair: Wavy hair is hair that has a natural wave pattern, ranging from loose waves to tight curls. It can be fine, medium, or thick in texture, and it may be prone to frizz.
- Straight hair: Straight hair is hair that has a smooth, straight texture and lacks any natural curl or wave pattern. It can be fine, medium, or thick in texture, and it may be prone to oiliness.
TIPS TO HELP YOU CARE FOR YOUR NATURAL HAIR DURING WINTER
- Protect your hair from the cold: The cold, dry air of winter can be harsh on your hair. To protect your hair, cover it with a scarf or hat when you go outside, or use a leave-in conditioner or natural oil to help seal in moisture.
- Avoid washing your hair too frequently: Washing your hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, which can be drying in the winter. Instead, try using a dry shampoo to help extend the time between washes.
- Use a deep conditioning treatment: Dry, brittle hair can benefit from a deep conditioning treatment. Look for products that contain natural oils or butters, such as coconut oil or shea butter, to help moisturize your hair.
- Avoid heat styling: Heat styling can be damaging to your hair, especially in the winter when it is already dry. If you do need to use heat, be sure to use a heat protectant spray and set your styling tools to a low heat setting.
- Trim your hair regularly: Trimming your hair regularly can help prevent split ends, which can be more prone to forming in the winter due to the dry, cold air. Aim to trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to keep it healthy and strong.
- Use a humidifier: The dry air of winter can be tough on your hair and skin. Using a humidifier in your home or office can help add moisture to the air and help keep your hair hydrated.
- Avoid using hot water when washing your hair: Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils and make it dry and brittle. Instead, try using lukewarm water to help preserve your hair’s natural moisture.
- Avoid tight hairstyles: Tight hairstyles, such as ponytails and buns, can put unnecessary stress on your hair and lead to breakage. Instead, try wearing your hair down or in loose styles to help protect it.
- Avoid using alcohol-based hair products: Alcohol can be drying to your hair and should be avoided, especially in the winter. Look for products that are free of alcohol, or consider making your own hair care products using natural ingredients.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important for maintaining healthy hair. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water per day to help keep your hair and scalp moisturized.
- Use a satin or silk pillowcase: Cotton pillowcases can absorb moisture from your hair and skin, leaving your hair dry and frizzy. Using a satin or silk pillowcase can help reduce frizz and keep your hair hydrated while you sleep.
- Use a wide-tooth comb: Combing your hair with a wide-tooth comb can help minimize breakage and damage. Avoid using a brush, especially on wet hair, as it can be more prone to breaking and damaging your hair.
- Avoid washing your hair with hot water: Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils and lead to dryness. Instead, use lukewarm water to help preserve your hair’s moisture.
- Use a leave-in conditioner: A leave-in conditioner can help add moisture to your hair and protect it from the dry, cold air of winter. Look for a product that is formulated for your hair type and use it as directed.
- Avoid exposing your hair to extreme temperatures: Exposure to extreme temperatures, such as hot styling tools or cold outdoor air, can be damaging to your hair. Try to avoid exposing your hair to extreme heat or cold whenever possible.