Natural hair just as the name implies, is that type of hair that has not yet undergone any chemical treatment, that is, the hair that has not been relaxed or permed yet. Your hair grows on an average of about six inches every year.
Natural hair is beautiful to behold and makes you stand out especially when it is properly packed or when a beautiful protective style is done on it but aside the attractive appearance and texture, this type of hair needs a proper maintenance.
Unlike the relaxed hair which does not give much stress, one with a natural hair has to take adequate care of the hair especially if such a person wants to make it the envy of many and does not want it to look unkempt. Another reason the natural hair needs to be taken care of is so that it does not grow at a slow pace, tangle, or break easily.
This article will enlighten you on how to grow natural hair and how to take care of natural hair, it will also inform you of your type of hair. If you’re moving over from a relaxed hair to a natural hair, this article will also aid you in the process.
Before we talk about how to grow natural hair and how to take care of natural hair, we would list the hair types so you know yours.
We have four types of hair, straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair and coily hair and each of them are divided into different catergories.
Let’s dig deeper into them.
Type 1-Straight Hair
Straight hair does not curl neither does it appear wavy, it is just straight and appears less voluminous. A strand of straight hair could still be thick or coarse. Type 1A kind of straight hair is thin and soft, type 1B straight hair is not as thin as type 1A but that does not mean it is voluminous while type 1C straight hair is coarse and does not accept curling so don’t bother curling it.
Type 2- Wavy Hair
This is also divided into three categories. Type 2A wavy hair is thin and can be curled, it is not too oily neither is it too dry. Here the root is straight and then the rest of the hair is wavy. Type 2B wavy hair has natural waves in the shape of an ‘S’, the waves are medium and type 2C wavy hair is fairly coarse and thick.
Type 3- Curly Hair
Curly hair can be frizzy and the waves here form a loop. Type 3A curly hair has big curls and it is loosed but shines well, type 3B curly hair is the best among curly hairs, it could resemble a spiral like loose curls on the hair, it has medium curls and type 3C curly hair is thick and coarse, it has a high volume.
Type 4- Coily Hair
This hair is also called the kinky hair. It is very fragile and found in African Americans, coily hair can be styled anyhow unlike the others. Type 4A coily hair has tight coils, it also has a wiry texture and is prone to breakage. Type 4B coily hair looks like the letter ‘Z’ when the hair is bent. Avoid combing often because it can break easily. Type 4C coily hair has tight curls and is very coily and frizzy. It is extremely wiry.
It is very much possible for an individual to have more than one type of hair, besides, hair type can change over time due to some external and internal factors.
What Are The Types Of Hair Texture?
We have different types of hair texture.
• Wiry: It has a sparkling and a glossy appearance
• Spongy: Just as the name implies, it absorbs water quickly, has a bright condition and has low shine and high sheen
• Cottony: It has a bright shine and a low sheen when the hair is stretched. It absorbs water quickly too
• Thready: This type of hair gets wet easily and dries quickly too, it has a bright shine and a low sheen.
• Silky: It easily gets wet, has a low sheen and a bright shine which is high.
Your hair structure could be fine, medium or coarse
Now you have known your hair type and hair texture, the next thing is to know how to grow natural hair and how to take care of natural hair.
1. Co-wash: Ensure you wash your hair with conditioner as this makes your hair soft
2. Deep Condition: Do this weekly
3. Avoid heat drying your hair
4. L.O.C it. It protects your hair and causes the strands to coil around themselves. It is also called dread
5. Ensure you go to bed with a silk or satin scarf
6. Go easy on the protective hairstyles. Protective hairstyles are hairstyles that protect your hair from damaging, reduces tangling, breakage and keeps your hair from shedding off. When doing a protective hairstyle, always ensure that they are not very tight as it could cause trouble on your hair.
7. Do not wash your hair regularly else your hair will dry out
8. Natural hair can be hard to comb and can get painful when being combed hence the need for a leave in conditioner or a moisturizer.
9. When using shampoo, choose a shampoo that has a pH balance so as to prevent much dryness. If your hair starts looking lifeless, dirty or dull after using a shampoo, change the shampoo.
10. Do not over wash your hair as it can lead to loss of natural oils in your hair and while washing, use lukewarm or cold water, never use hot water on your natural hair, it can cause issues that will affect your scalp and lead to breakage and dryness of the hair.
Natural Hair Routine
★ Cleanse your hair with shampoo and conditioner once or twice a week. Shampoo removes oil and grease from your scalp
★ Detangle your hair: When detangling, use a leave in conditioner so as to make it soft and then use your hand to detangle. Always detangle your hair when it is damp and start from the end of the hair
★ Use a leave in conditioner on every part of your hair on a weekly basis
★ Brush your hair regularly even before going to bed
★ Do not apply shampoo always and when using a shampoo, use one that is free from chemicals like parabens, sulfates, alcohols and silicon
★ Divide your hair into sections, apply leave in conditioner and a natural oil like olive oil, cover with shower cap and leave for about 20 minutes before taking off
★ Do not brush a curly or wavy hair with normal comb, use a wide tooth comb
★ Trim your hair once in a month or once in every three months to avoid breakage. Trimming of the hair removed dry and split ends.
★ Eat right food rich in proteins, vitamin A, C and E and minerals like zinc
★ Apply hair supplements
What Are The Natural Treatments For Natural Hair?
There are various treatments for natural hair and these treatments use natural ingredients.
➢ For curly hair, add a little amount of olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise and egg. Mix together and apply on your curly hair, leave for about 30minutes and wash off, you can use shampoo while washing off. Other natural oils good for curly hair are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, rose oil, argan oil, jojoba oil and Shea butter. If you don’t want to go natural you could use curl creams, gel or hair sprays on your curly hair.
➢ Use aloe vera oil on your hair as aloe vera seals the hair curticle causing the moisture to be retained and your hair to shine more. It also repairs dead skin cells on the scalp.
➢ Add water to a little amount of baking soda and put on your hair after using shampoo.
➢ To treat the hair that has been damaged by the sun, mix honey, olive oil and egg yolk and apply on your hair for about 20 minutes.
What Are The Foods That Assist Hair Growth?
✓ Egg- It contains biotin and protein which help hair growth. Biotin produces keratin which is a hair protein.
✓ Spinach- It contains vitamin A and C and also contains iron, they all help the hair to grow.
✓ Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. They contain omega 3 fatty acids in them and this acid helps to grow hair.
✓ Sweet potato
✓ Beans. They are rich in protein.
How To Care For Different Types Of Hair
❖ For type 1A straight hair, use texturzing spray
❖ For type 1B straight hair, use dry shampoo
❖ For type 1C straight hair, ensure you use your hair mask weekly
❖ For Type 2A wavy hair, use seasalt spray
❖ For type 2B wavy hair, use products that enhance the wave
❖ For type 2C wavy hair, apply curl creams that are light
❖ For type 3b curly hair, avoid products for curly hair that contain silicon or sulphate
The natural hair journey is not expensive as there are various ingredients and various methods of maintaining it so it is good you go for the one you consider less expensive.