Hair Care Tips for the New Naturalista

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Eat Healthily

Just like with your skin, healthy hair begins with your diet. Your hair is tied to your nutrition, meaning that what you eat, and drink can affect hair growth, porosity, and density. Though certain hair foods promote healthy hair, the key is to maintain an overall healthy diet. Add vitamin supplements if you are not getting enough from your diet.

Do not forget to hydrate. A single hair strand is 25 percent water. Dehydration can cause it to lose moisture and become brittle and affect hair growth.

Know What You’re Working With

You cannot take care of your hair if you don’t understand it. Study your curl patterns to know your hair type. In this journey, you will come across certain natural hair terms.

1) Curl type. Curl type refers to how your hair coils, especially when washed. Hair is categorized by how it is straight (1), wavy (2), curly (3), or coily (4). The type of curl also comes into play. Your curl could be spiral (A), kinky (B), or coily (C). Merging the two will give you your hair type. Natural hair usually falls within the wavy and curly categories, though some black people have naturally straight hair.

2) Porosity. Porosity refers to how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. Porosity is not set in stone because products and styles can affect it. Porosity is determined by how open or closed your hair cuticles are. The more open the cuticles, the more moisture they absorb but, the less they retain.

3) Density. Hair density refers to how many hair strands you have on your head. Put simply, it is about the width of your hair and how thick or thin it is.

Use the Right Products and Tools

Once you know your hair type, look for the right products. You do not need countless hair products for healthy hair. There are four main hair care products you must have.

1) Shampoo. A shampoo is used to cleanse your hair and remove any dirt, sweat, dead skin, and product build-up. If you have sensitive skin, go for a gentle shampoo. Ensure your shampoo is sulfate free. A shampoo with sodium sulfate will strip your hair of its natural oils.

2) Conditioner. Conditioner is a hydrating product with silicons, oils, emollients, and surfactants, which, when combined, return any moisture lost during a wash. Don’t be tempted to use just any conditioner. A conditioner for thick curly hair won’t be the same as that for straight hair.

3) Moisturizer. A moisturizer shouldn’t be used on wash day only. Moisturizing your hair frequently hydrates it and allows it to lock in moisture. You can consider using the LOC/LCO -liquid(L), oil (O), and cream

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