STIFF WHERE?! Those are the words actress, Keke Palmer heralded as she shook her full head of curls around for the camera; and all we could do is feel her on a personal level. For any one out there who has ever gone natural you know better than anyone that stiff curls can happen after any set, twist out or hairstyling time period. Which is why it is important to discuss How to Soften Natural Hair.
With natural hair YOU HAVE to use products. There’s no getting around it. Doesn’t matter what texture you are rocking with you will need products get achieve your final look. Whether it’s just shampoo and conditioner plus a little leave-in conditioner. Or a full on wash and go routine with molding cream, spray, gel or pomades. Products are products and we all must use them.
The issue though is simple. Fact is that the more we use, the more weight is added to our strands. The more weight also results in less bounce and freely moving hair. So what can be done?
How to Soften Natural Hair- No Stiffness Allowed!
Just as removing weights off a strength machine at a gym can make the work load lighter and more manageable. The same principle applies to our hair. Remove some of the weight and you will achieve tresses that are able to move more freely and be more manageable.
Now after reading that you’re probably thinking but I NEED my cocktail of products in order to get my hair to act right. Honey keep your cocktail (Lol). If it’s working it’s working. However, to make even a slight change all you need to do is make sure you’re applying “lighter” versions of the products that you are already using.
For instance, do you use Hair oil? Many natural hair enthusiasts do because of its ability not only to nourish strands on a deeper level; but to also lock in moisture. Moisture is major key to adding more bounce and life to your hair, like Keke’s; but more on that in just a second.
Back to using hair oil. The object here is to not STOP using Hair oil. If it is doing wonders for your hair, your hair obviously needs it. It’s just about REPLACING it with one that is lighter and won’t weigh it down so much. Try replacing heavy hair oils with lighter ones such as: Argan, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Almond or Rosehip Seed Oil.
Therefore, the goal should be to utilize light oils for day to day use. Then, use heavier hair oils for more deep hair treatments; such as hot oil treatments. Deeper treatments are usually rinsed out afterwards; so then using them at such times will not add any additional weight to hair. They will instead just be used to help keep tresses healthy on a deeper level.
Make sense? So you will want to do this with all your hair products. Take a good look at what you’re using. Especially, if you are finding that your natural hair is seeming to be quite stiff. 9 times out 10 it’s one of your products that is the culprit.
Nevertheless, there are other ways to help ensure that your curls stay soft and gorgeous. Let’s get into that real quick.
How to Soften Natural Hair -Demolish Build Up
Build up can be another enemy to natural hair. And it really kinda is unfair because it happens because we are using products daily to look great. It’s also not fair because us natural hair squad normally only wash our hair once a week or every few days.
So during the that time period; during washes or shampoos build up can come creeping in. So we ask what once more what can be done? Well, when we DO cleanse our hair we have to make it really count.
Remember build up can cause the hair to be stiff and hard; so want to remove every bit of it every chance you get. So when you shampoo be sure scrub every bit of your scalp really well. And make sure to get every inch of product out.
Additionally, please RINSE WELL! Sometimes build up is an issue only because someone isn’t rinsing out the dirt and built of products well enough. Don’t let that happen to you. Be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly after every shampoo and when you condition.
Whew! Child… a lot of information huh? Welp.. we got a little more before we can let you go (Lol). So hang tight and keep reading for just a moment more.
How to Soften Natural Hair- No Stiffness Thanks to Proper Washing
Since we are on the topic of washing the hair; there’s one more important thing to keep in mind. And that’s frequency. If you want softer curls you can’t over wash your hair.
Skip daily washes and opt for once a week or about every 4 days. Doing so will help you retain moisture. Why is retaining moisture important? It’s like the lifeblood of insanely touchable, beautiful natural hair.
Moisture is what keeps our hair flexible and pliable. Otherwise, it will morph into dry, brittle strands that will look lifeless and damaged. No good.
So instead what you want to do keep your natural hair well moisturized. When you do that, water molecules have the opportunity to bind to the protein that is present in your strands. This process will improve hair elasticity and help prevent breakage.
Think of your head of hair as plants in a garden. Without regular watering the plants will dry out. The same thing can happen to your hair! So then, if you make sure your hair is “well-watered” your hair follicles can soak up the moisture and then stimulate hair growth.
At the same time we don’t want to do anything that can zap our hair moisture. Therefore, avoid shampooing too often and use a shampoo that has protein and humectants. Your strands are made of protein, so introducing more to them can only help. Humectants are simply molecules, a substance that attracts water.
Since we just discussed the importance of hair and moisture, using a shampoo product that attract moisture will help keep your hair healthy, soft and not stiff! Hope the above tips are helpful to your hair journey and be sure to check out our other fabulous articles on how to have celebrity level hair!