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How to Take Care of Natural Hair | Step-By-Step Guide

Learning how to take care of natural hair can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Taking care of your natural hair can be simple and fulfilling if you know what steps to take. But don’t worry — we’ll show you each of these in detail below.

Taking Care of Natural Hair: A Summary

These steps will aid you in keeping your natural hair healthy, strong, and beautiful:

  1. Shampoo and condition your natural hair regularly.
  2. Employ a wide-tooth comb or Denman brush to detangle your hair and brush in short strokes.
  3. Avoid heat damage by air-drying or using low-heat styling methods.
  4. Safeguard your hair at night with a satin scarf or bonnet.
  5. Deep condition your hair each week.
  6. Keep the hair moisturized with leave-in conditioners and oils.
  7. Style your hair in protective styles as often as possible.
  8. Trim the hair regularly to get rid of split ends.
  9. Avoid using harsh chemicals on your hair.
  10. Be gentle with your hair.
  11. Take a hair supplement.
  12. Don’t overbrush.
  13. Eat protein.
  14. Drink plenty of water.
  15. Listen to your hair and give it what it needs!

15 Ways to Take Care of Natural Hair

Here is how to take care of your hair in only 15 steps!

1. Shampooing and Conditioning Your Natural Hair

Shampoo and condition regularly. Natural hair should be shampooed at least once a week and more often if it’s oily or dirty. When shampooing natural hair, use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping the hair of its natural oils.

In fact, this is one of the pillars of the Curly Girl Method, one of the most well-known natural hair care routines.

After shampooing, follow up with a conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized. When conditioning natural hair, use a conditioner rich in fatty acids and proteins to help repair and strengthen the hair shaft. 

Conditioner should be applied from the roots to the tips of the hair and left on for three to five minutes before rinsing. For damaged hair, consider using a deep conditioner once a week to help repair and restore your hair.

2. Detangling Your Natural Hair

After shampooing and conditioning your natural hair, it’s important to detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb or Denman brush. Denman brushes work better with thicker hair, while wide-tooth combs work better with thinner hair.

Start at the ends of the hair strands and work your way up, being careful not to tug or pull on the hair. Detangling natural hair can be time-consuming, but taking your time and being gentle with your hair is essential to avoid damage.

Read Next: The 7 Best Hair Brushes for All Hair Types

3. Avoid Heat Damage

One of the greatest ways to avoid heat damage is to air-dry your hair whenever possible. If you must utilize heat to style your hair, use a low-heat setting and always use a heat protectant serum before styling.

Heat damage is one of the leading causes of breakage in natural hair, so it’s essential to be careful when using heat-styling tools. Learn how to style hair without heat in our guide.

4. Use a Satin Scarf or Bonnet

Another way to avoid heat damage is to protect your hair at night with a satin scarf or bonnet. Satin scarves and bonnets help to keep natural hair moisturized and prevent breakage.

Cotton pillowcases can dry out your hair and cause breakage, so using a satin scarf or bonnet is vital to hold moisture to the hair while you sleep.

5. Deep Conditioning Your Hair

Deep conditioning your hair is a fantastic way to keep it moisturized and healthy. Deep conditioners stay on the hair for 30 minutes or more and typically get used once a week. There are tons of deep conditioners available, so be sure to choose one that is right for your hair type.

6. Keep the Hair Moisturized

Keep your hair moisturized with leave-in conditioners, oils, and moisturizers. Leave-in conditioners are a great way to keep your hair hydrated and healthy. Apply them to the hair after shampooing and conditioning, and they can be left in the hair or rinsed out. 

Oils are also a great way to keep your hair moisturized. Coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil are all excellent choices for natural hair. Mix oils and moisturizers until you find which one gives you the best results.

Read Next: The Best Oil for Hair in 2024

7. Style Your Hair in Protective Styles

Protective hairstyles help to protect your hair from damage. They can also help to keep your hair moisturized and healthy. Some protective styles include braids, twists, updos, and buns. Protective styles can be worn for a few days or even weeks at a time.

8. Trim Your Hair Regularly

Trimming your hair regularly is vital to eliminate split ends and damage. Split ends can travel up the hair shaft and cause further damage, so it’s crucial to trim them regularly. Damaged hair should also be cut to prevent breakage. Trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks is typically sufficient.

9. Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

Abrasive chemicals can be damaging to your hair and lead to breakage. Avoid using products that contain sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals.

Choose natural, organic products whenever possible. If the ingredients label has many chemicals you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not good for your hair.

10. Be Gentle With Your Hair

Natural hair is delicate and can be easily damaged. Be gentle with your hair when shampooing, conditioning, detangling, and styling. Avoid harsh brushes or combs, and be careful not to tug or pull on the hair. 

When styling your hair, use low-heat settings and a heat protectant.

Also, avoid too much direct sunlight, which can damage your hair. If the hair isn’t properly moisturized or you use excessive heat, sunlight will only make matters worse by causing the hair to become dry, brittle, and break.

11. Take a Hair Supplement

Hair supplements like biotin can help to improve the health of your hair. They can provide the hair with nutrients that it may be lacking and help improve circulation to the scalp.

Many different biotin hair supplements are available, so be sure to choose one that is right for your hair type. Keep in mind that supplementation doesn’t replace stress management, proper diet, and adequate sleep and hydration.

12. Don’t Overbrush

That brings us to our next point of over brushing. Natural curly hair doesn’t need constant combing. In fact, over brushing can damage the hair shaft and lead to breakage. Aim to only brush the hair once per week. 

If you wear a protective style, this will be easy to achieve. If you don’t wear a protective style, use your fingers. Grab a small section of the hair and lightly detangle it with your fingers. It protects the hair by preventing breakage and reducing frizz.

13. Eat Protein

Another life-changing tip is to ensure you’re getting enough protein in your diet. Hair is comprised of protein, so it’s crucial to ensure that you get enough in your diet. When the hair strands stretch and snap, it could signal protein deficiency. 

Some great sources of protein include chicken, fish, eggs, and beans. Include protein at every meal to ensure you get enough in your diet.

If you can, include it in snacks as well. Try calculating how much protein your body needs using a BMI calculator to get a better idea of how much protein is suitable for your size and body type.

14. Drink Plenty of Water

Water is essential for healthy hair. It aids in keeping the hair hydrated and prevents breakage. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to keep your hair healthy.

You can even try drinking green tea or herbal tea to help improve the health of your hair. Green tea contains potent antioxidants that can help improve your hair’s health and reverse the damage already done.

15. Listen to Your Hair and Give It What It Needs!

Most of us create rituals and routines for our hair without knowing why we are doing them. We just do what our mom did, what our favorite YouTuber does, or what we read online. While this may be helpful, listening to your hair and giving it what it needs is essential. 

Our hair is constantly changing, and what it needs today may not be what it needs next month. Pay attention to how your hair responds to styling as well as how it looks and feels and make changes to your routine as needed.

Some signs that your hair needs extra attention are:

  • Dry and brittle hair
  • Hair that is prone to tangles and knots
  • Hair that breaks easily
  • Tangled ends
  • Hair that does not hold moisture

If you notice any of these symptoms, make some adjustments to your hair care routine. Perhaps you need to shampoo less often, use more conditioner, or deep condition more often.

Or maybe your hair needs a deep conditioning treatment to repair some damage. Again, listen to your hair and give it what it needs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman in a hair salon getting her hair done for a piece on how to care for natural hair

Below are some frequent inquiries on how to take care of natural hair. 

How do I keep my natural hair growing and healthy?

There are a couple of things you can do to keep your natural hair healthy and growing. One of the most important is using gentle products free from harsh chemicals. The other essential thing is to learn to love your hair in its natural form, which will teach you to take better care of it.

What can I put on natural hair every day?

The nutrient that works best for your hair will differ from others. Certain oils, leave-in conditioners, and moisturizers are known to be beneficial for specific natural hair types.

Why is African hair so different?

African hair is different because it’s naturally kinky and curly. This type of hair is also very prone to drying out and breaking. As a result, African Americans have to take extra care when it comes to caring for their natural hair.

Can I use heat on my natural hair?

You can use heat on your natural hair, but you must be careful not to overdo it. Excessive heat may damage your hair and make it more challenging to manage. When using heat, use a heat protectant and use the lowest setting possible.

What is the best natural hair routine?

There is no one “best” natural hair routine. The best routine for you is the one that works best for your hair type and your lifestyle. Experiment with products and routines to find what works best for you.

So, How Do You Take Care of Natural Hair?

Natural hair is unique and beautiful, but it does require some special care to keep it healthy and strong. You’re the keeper of your own hair, and you should treat it with love and respect.

By following at least some of the tips mentioned above, you can keep your natural hair looking its best. Happy styling!