Do you want soft natural or relaxed hair? Join the club! Black women the world over, especially those with kinky hair are always on the look out for a solution to soften the hair. These days even though my hair is relaxed I find that I am also on the look out for anything that can soften my hair. The longer my hair gets, the harder I have to work to get the ends of my hair moisturized, soft and pliant.
Soft and silky hair is mostly a dream for some black women but you know what? It can be an achievable dream. You can have sot natural or relaxed hair. Softness should not be so elusive especially when you adhere to certain things. The truth is, some of the things that we do to our hair lends itself to hair being dry –or drier than it should be. What are some of those things? Well…
- Excess heat from curling irons dryers etc.
- Shampoos with chemicals
- Conditioners with chemicals (which dry out hair overtime)
- Too much protein (we can excessively use protein in our heads by using store bought products which have it added)
- Forgetting to re-hydrate our bodies especially in extreme temperatures (like winter or summer)
- Hair sprays (leaves build up)
- Hair Colors (very drying)
Of course, there are some things that are beyond our immediate control, like the weather or PMS. We can however, do some things to mitigate hair dryness and create soft supple hair on our own by doing some simple things.
I can remember in years past I went to a hairdresser who did a hot oil treatment on my then natural hair. My hair was so soft after, I begged her to tell me the secret, she said it was a combination of castor and coconut oils with molasses. As simple as that! She had washed my hair and while still damp she applied the ‘secret mixture’, I went under the dryer for twenty minutes under a plastic cap and when I came out she rinsed out the mixture from my hair and then conditioned it. It felt very soft after that and it is something that I do at home when I feel as if I am losing the soft hair battle. You can do the same thing or a variation of it, before you shampoo or after you shampoo, and before you condition.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
There is something about ACV that softens my hair better than any store bought product I have ever used. This liquid made from fermented apples balances the pH on the scalp and when it hits the hair it makes it feel silky. I personally use it to clarify hair, and after a wash as a final rinse, to make my hair feel soft. Add a 1/2-cup of honey to 1/2 cup of ACV and feel the difference when you use it as a rinse. My grandmother uses white vinegar and she has natural hair and she says it works just as well as a hair softener.
3. Moisturizing Deep Conditioners with Essential Oils
I am all for fortifying my store bought products with essentials oils, carrier oils, herbs and tea rinses for softer hair. Using your favorite moisturizing conditioner add a drop or two of lavender, avocado, chamomile and vitamin E oil. You can also put a teaspoon or two of your favorite carrier oil (almond, coconut, castor, olive) and sleep with it under a plastic cap overnight. Rinse out thoroughly in the morning. Hair should be really soft.
4. Water Filter For Your Shower
The hardness of water makes a difference to hair texture. The hair feels harder or dryer when the water is too chlorinated. One of the easiest ways to see a change in hair texture is to filter the water that you use to wash the hair with.
5. Leave-In Conditioners
Leave in conditioners can make a difference to the feel of the hair especially if they are moisturizing. Find one that works well for your hair, does not leave build up and makes your hair feel soft and silky. Seal in the moisture with oil and feel the difference in your hair.