Every ‘naturalista’ must have faced the challenge of tangled and stiff hair at one point or the other. While some have found their magic hair regimen, many still battles with this natural hair care issue and the problem goes on from one generation to the other. How can I make my hair comb easier?
Black afro hair has always been known for its full and stubborn strands. Even Lil Wayne dedicated a line of lyrics to this when he sang “…tougher than Nigerian hair…” For ages, black women and girls with natural hair wake up every morning dreading the hair care and combing process.
It might come as solace to know that you don’t need to comb your hair daily or as often as we were taught as little girls. The magic is in having to just detangle the knots with our fingers through a process called finger combing. Finger combing helps you find and tackle the knots better but takes a little more time to do. I personally will take more time over the pain of actual combing.
If you need any reason why you should do more finger combing and less real combing, here goes one: according to The Natural Haven Bloom, “the more times you comb your hair, the more stress you are applying on it physically and therefore the more likely it is to break.”
That aside, when you do need to comb your hair these few tips will help make it a walk in the park…
1. Know your hair type
Many of us ignore this and end up applying a lot of things to our hair that just doesn’t work for our hair type.
If your hair is dry then it needs a little extra care, obviously.
If your hair is straight it may not need much oil.
]If your hair is curly and has high shrinkage tendencies then essential oils are your friends.
Study your hair type, then do some research and find out what kind of products work best for it, then feed your hair with that. The softer your hair, the less difficult it is to comb, and the more you can enjoy different natural hairstyles.
Note: Hair type changes when exposed to different factors like weather, diet, and age.
2. Keep your hair hydrated
Aside from drinking a lot of water which is highly advised, sitting under a steamer will hydrate your hair as well making it easy to comb because water can easily penetrate the hair this way.
3. Fall in love with deep conditioning
Almost every successful naturalista swears by the power of deep conditioning the scalp and hair. Some go as far as saying that’s all you need to be able to comb your natural hair without struggling.
It’s best to use a deep conditioner with coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado: these ingredients deeply penetrate the hair shaft. Use your fingers to work the conditioner from the scalp to the ends then cover with a shower cap. Apply low heat and leave in for at least 40 minutes. This process should be done often because just like working out, it takes time to repair damaged hair and improve hair texture.
4. Avoid washing hair with hot water
Rinse the hair with lukewarm or cool water after deep conditioning to retain shine and moisture. Hot water ends up causing more harm than good to both healthy and damaged hair. Overwashing especially with hot water can rid the hair of its natural oils.
5. Your hair might just need a little more protein
If after deep conditioning, your hair still feels hard to comb then you may need some protein. We all know protein repairs worn-out tissues and promotes growth but it should be used sparingly. The more natural the protein source the better. Opt for products that contain ingredients like mayonnaise and amino-acids. Better still just hit the salon for a protein treatment once every 8 weeks because doing it too often could also damage the hair.
Bonus natural hair care tips:
- Avoid combing totally dry hair; damp (not wet) is the best. It’s also advisable to use a leave-in conditioner while combing for extra slippage.
- Section the hair and comb from the ends slowly working your way to the roots. This method helps avoid excessive breakage.
- If your hair starts to dry out while combing, using a spray bottle to add more moisture to your hair.
- Wear a silk or satin hair bonnet while sleeping to protect your hair.
- Discontinue the use of any product that leaves your hair feeling rough after usage.
Cover Girl: NaturallyTemi How do you comb nappy hair without it hurting?
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