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What to Know About Natural Hair

All around the world are women with different types of hair. But two are common among African women: relaxed hair and natural hair.

While the former is a chemical-induced offshoot of the latter, the latter, otherwise known as virgin hair, is the pristine hair of every black woman. Natural hair, as the name implies, is any hair in its natural state.

And for black women, this specifically means your afro-textured hair that hasn’t been permed or relaxed.

Back in the day, it was a popular trend among our mothers and grandmothers to rock the afro hairstyle. But with the proliferation of relaxers, we saw a decline in the rate at which women rocked their kinky hair.

lady wearing with natural wavy hair taking mirror selfie

We can’t say the same today.

The natural hair movement returned in the 2010s and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

From Youtube to Instagram, Pinterest, and even Google, pictures of women rocking their virgin hair abound. The name “natural hair” has gone beyond a name to become an identity for every black woman at home and in the diaspora.

pretty lady with natural Afro hairstyle

But is that all there is to know about afro-textured hair? Of course not. 

How do you grow this hair without suffering from hair breakage? What products work best on this type of hair? What hairstyles suit this hair?

You’ll find the answers to these questions in this post. So, let’s jump in.

What is Natural Hair?

smiling lady rocking wavy natural hair

This hair type is the signature hair of Africans. It grows in a tiny, angle-like corkscrew or spiral shape. That is, they mostly look like the letter S or Z.

The hair is known to shrink in size and looks longer than it appears when stretched. It’s denser than relaxed hair and is mostly wavy or kinky-coily.

smiling lady rocking natural hair

Furthermore, this hair is delicate. When not given adequate care, it suffers breakage or stunted growth.

That’s not all.

It’s also expensive to maintain. This means if you aren’t ready to invest the time, energy, and money in using the right products, you may have to live with your hair not growing longer or healthy.

lady wearing natural hair bun with 2 braids on each side

With this in mind, let’s see…

pouting lady with wavy natural hair taking a mirror selfie

Products for Natural Hair

lady with wavy natural hair wearing tank top and mini skirts

The best products for natural hair are natural oils like coconut oil, shea butter, palm kernel oil, castor oil, almond oil, etc. They moisturize your hair, soften it, and stimulate hair growth.

Besides these natural oils, other industrial products help to maintain kinky hair.

For instance, there’s leave-in conditioner, shampoo, leave-in strengthener, hair oil, etc. You need all these and more to ensure your hair is clean and shiny always.

pretty lady wearing wavy natural hair

However, when buying products or your natural hair, it’s crucial to check the first five ingredients of any product. 

Why, you ask?

It’s because most times, the first five ingredients of any product contain the highest and most active concentrations. 

back view of a lady's natural hair

Say you checked a product’s ingredient and coconut oil is the tenth or eleventh ingredient on the list. If your hair needs more coconut oil, don’t buy that particular product. The coconut oil in it won’t suffice for your hair. 

Instead, check for another that has coconut oil within numbers one to five.

pretty lady rocking single bun with her natural hair

This goes without saying that checking your natural hair product ingredients helps you determine which product will be adverse to your hair’s health. But that’s not all you have to check.

lady rocking a natural hairstyle

We detailed in an article how to choose the right products for your natural hair. Feel free to read it now. But if you would rather do as at your free time, let’s proceed.

How to Grow Your Natural Hair

lady wearing natural hair bun

Do you think your hair isn’t growing? It could be because you’ve been using the wrong products, not eating the foods for hair growth, not drinking enough water, styling your hair with heat equipment, or any of these ten reasons your natural hair isn’t growing.

How do you salvage that?

lady wearing bantu knots

Start by massaging your scalp, washing your hair regularly, moisturizing your hair, and using all the natural hair growth tips that give you healthy hair.

Hairstyles for Natural Hair

lady wearing African braids with beads

Many protective hairstyles exist for kinky hair. And you can achieve them with or without hair extensions

Let’s talk about the ones without extensions.

lady wearing Bantu knots with cowries on her neck

From cornrows to bantu knots, twaid-out, dreadlocks, twists, bounce twists, etc., you’re free to pick any natural hairstyle that meets your need and go for it.

lady wearing her natural hair in puffs

But if you would want to switch things up, attachment hairstyles are there for you. You can use the extension to achieve African braids such as Senegalese twists, box braids, knotless braids, etc.

Natural Hair Care Routine

lady wearing her natural hair in 4 puffs

For healthy afro-textured hair, you have to follow a regimen. Just like having a skincare routine, you should also have a haircare routine for the betterment of your hair.

This includes imbibing some healthy habits that preserve your hair’s sheen and save you from any hair malady. They include:

  • Cleansing your hair
  • Detangling
  •  Applying hair mask
  •  Styling often
  •  Sealing and moisturizing daily, etc.

We detailed how to go about adopting a healthy natural haircare routine. Read it to arm yourself with the right information.

Is Heat Styling Safe for Natural Hair?

lady wearing dreadlocks

No, heat styling isn’t safe for any kind of hair because it poses dangers like hair breakage and dry hair.

But you can heat-style your hair once in a while to stretch it when achieving different coiffures. And when at this, be careful to keep the heat low or better still, use a heat protectant.

lady wearing cornrows

That aside, a non-harmful way to stretch your hair without heat is the African threading method. This style not only stretches your hair but also makes it grow. 

lady wearing thread hairstyle

So, when you get bored of weaves and other hair extensions, give thread hairstyles a shot.

They’re super suitable for natural hair.

beautiful lady wearing African braids
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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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