Top tips to maintain your natural hair

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Natural hair can be quite tricky to maintain but the end results are always worth it.

For years, US soul singer Gill Scott made “keeping it real” the look of the century. Locally, TV presenter Pearl Thusi’s bold, beautiful natural mane is the envy of many women. For Pearl, it’s thanks to her good genes. Generally, natural hair grows far faster and is healthier than chemically-treated hair.

Virgin, natural ethnic hair is also one of the most sensitive hair types to look after, especially if one is transitioning from chemically-treated hair to natural hair. While its texture looks and feels rough, it’s dry, brittle and easily breaks, which requires extra care.

If you’re transitioning (moving from chemically-treating hair with a relaxer or perming it), rather wait for your hair to have a natural, virgin growth of new hair that could take a couple of weeks to grow. Cut off all the chemically-treated strands of your hair which will be the split ends left and only leave the virgin hair. As short as your hair will be, fresh new beginnings are always best for natural hair to give it room to grow healthy.

More than moisture
Because natural hair is dry and brittle, it’s best to always shampoo your hair with sulphate-free shampoo, to avoid stripping its natural oils. Do moisture treatments at least once every 14 days.

Tip: Do a hot oil treatment using black Jamaican castor oil or cocktail various oils for more benefits.

Daily care
You always need to add moisture to your hair to avoid breakage. There are plenty of products on the market designed to add moisture to natural hair, leaving it healthy and nourished. Use an oil-free nourishing spray every day and base the scalp with a hair food.

Tip: If you let your hair loose during the day, you can also do knots every night before bedtime to give your hair extra volume and for easy styling in the morning.

Longer lengths
Natural hair can grow much longer and healthier naturally, in comparison to chemically-treated hair. There are also other factors to take into consideration which affect hair growth such as diet and nutrition, genes, styling techniques and how you look after yourself overall.

Tip: How we comb hair on a daily basis can also cause breakage. Rather use a wide-tooth comb very gently.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Hair oils we know you’ll love
Hair oils, glorious hair oils
What your hair type needs
Best SA salons
Beat breakage forever

Written by

Sinethemba Makhasi is a former beauty editor at Real magazine. She researches on beauty topics and frequently attends women's events and conferences to share beauty tips and host beauty workshops. She currently works as a copywriter for an international cosmetic company.

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  1. Cookie Nandlall

    I have changed to Sulphate-free shampoo.Coconut oil treatment once a week leaves your hair well nourished and glossy.

    1 year ago •

  1. Juwayra Januarie

    I love the fact that I can get away with just “wash and go” most days. Doing my hair takes up a lot of my time but I wouldn’t have my hair any other way. Just wish we can have salons that understands natural hair in Cape Town.

    3 years ago •

  1. Patonia Murphy

    Mmm, I just don’t have time for my hair, and want to know if there is something I can do once a month and be gone!

    3 years ago •

  1. Sandra Phoma

    I totally agree with her opinion. Natural hair needs a lot of TLC. But, once you get use to it, it is so easy to manage.

    3 years ago •

  1. Zanele Mondi

    I’ve always heard that castor oil is great for hair and I now need it more than ever since I’m growing my hair naturally. I have been growing my hair naturally since last year July and I struggle to keep it moisturized.

    3 years ago •

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