How to Get Softer Natural Hair

Most women show reluctance to starting the natural hair journey because of the fear of strong hair. Girl, even I was afraid too!!!  It took an awful experience with a relaxer to nudge me into taking the bold step. 

My hair was always strong and hard to comb during my relaxer days. I had to get a touch-up (relax my hair) every four (4) weeks to be able to manage my strong 4c texture. 

Now growing natural hair for the past 18 months, I've been able to learn, not only how to take good care of my hair but also how to keep it soft and manageable. In this article, I'll be taking you through some simple steps to achieving soft and manageable hair. 

1. Deep Condition
Deep conditioning is the process of applying a moisturising or protein treatment to the hair. Deep conditioners are meant to penetrate the hair shaft, nourish, moisturize and strengthen it from within. To achieve softer hair, you need a good balance of moisture and protein. Do a moisturising deep conditioning treatment on every wash day and a protein treatment every 4-6 weeks.

2. Moisturize 
Moisture has always been the best way to keep natural hair soft. Dry hair is hard and brittle. Brittle hair equals breakage (I know you don't want that). The cheapest moisturizer is plain old water.  Even if you can't afford other moisturizers, water shouldn't be too hard to get. The LOC/LCO method is a proven way to moisturize and retain moisture, read about it here.

When in protective styles, you can mix water, a leave-in conditioner, your favourite oil and a humectant (optional)  such as glycerin or honey and use as spritz for daily maintenance.

Hydration is also very important. Drink water and eat foods that keeps your hair hydrated.

Bonus Tip: Remember oils and butters do not moisturize the hair. They only seal in moisture so if you apply them on dry hair, you're only sealing in dryness and this can lead to overly dry hair and breakage.

3. Sleep in Satin Bonnets, Scarves, Pillowcases and Bedsheets
Regular hair nets has large holes that allows water escape easily from the hair and those cotton bed sheets and pillowcases are ever ready to suck up all that moisture. The best way to preserve moisture while sleeping is to sleep in satin bonnets/scarves or replace your cotton bed sheets and pillowcases with satin bedsheets/pillowcases. Satin materials suck up very little moisture from hair so your hair remains moisturized and soft in the morning.

4. Oil Rinsing 
Oil rinsing is a technique used to lock moisture into hair. You know more moisture equals softer hair. Oil rinsing is usually done on freshly washed hair.

- After shampoo, apply a penetrating oil (preferably olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil) on hair, cover and leave for about 10-15 minutes.
- Apply your conditioner, cover and leave for 15-30 minutes
- Rinse

The above method is the common way of doing oil rinsing. However, there are people (like me) that just mix the oil with the conditioner and apply. This works better for me.

Read also: How to make coconut oil at home 

Benefits of Oil Rinsing
- Helps locks moisture in hair leaving it softer
- Makes detangling easier
- Adds shine to hair

5. Water Rinsing 
Water rinses help rejuvenate dry hair. A water rinse is suitable when the hair feels extremely dry especially during winter months. It should not be done on hair with extensions or dirty hair as the water will make visible dirt and product build-up on hair.

- Put hair is large twists or braids to minimize knots/tangles during rinse.
-Pour water over hair
-Follow up with a light penetrating oil to lock in moisture.
- Seal with a cream or butter

You see? Getting soft hair isn't so hard after all. Just make sure your hair is in good condition.

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