24 Essential Natural Hair Hacks Every Black Woman Should Know
When Solange sang “Don’t Touch My Hair” the whole world listened and, if they were smart, obeyed. Her lyrics about how her hair was a big part of her development as a black woman and an artist. This song is about Solange owning who she is and letting everyone know. Black women embracing their natural hair is not just a trend, but a significant change in culture. If the hair we have is the crown that we were born with, it’s important to care for it in the best way possible. Here are some natural hair hacks from black women that will help with curls, braids, upkeep and more.
Know Your Hair
“Know your hair type! Not just your curl pattern, but your porosity, density, and thickness.” –cici0110
You can’t help what you don’t know, so take some time to understand your hair and how it works. Every curl is unique and we have to treat it that way.
Clarify and Cleanse
“When your hair starts to reject your usual products, that’s typically a sign of product buildup. So don’t forget to do clarifying washes.” –angelap4b573d93a
The Better Way to Wash
“Wash upwards and outwards to avoid knots.” angelap4b573d93a
The way you wash your hair has a big influence on how your hair dries and behaves until the next wash. A proper wash will pay off in the end.
Brush It Off
“I use my Denman brush for detangling during washday because there’s less breakage and very little shedding.” –katelyng45d3de0fa
Brushes can be your worst enemy or your best friend. The Denman brush is the latter. This magical brush cuts down on detangling time helps even distribute product into your hair, all while avoiding frizz. It is kind of like a magic wand for curls.
Twist It Up
“Wash your hair in twists. It’s easier to manage and is already detangled.” –sydneymickeymoore
Twists makes your curls a little easier to manage since they keep them more controlled. Again, the way you treat your hair when it’s wet is super important!
Apple Cider Vinegar
“If you’re taking out a protective style and discover buildup, spray an apple cider vinegar-water mixture (mostly water) onto the area to loosen it up and prevent breakage.” –mimiboadu13
Apple cider vinegar is like a secret remedy for most of life’s worries. It is really strong so remember, a little goes a long way.
The Right Towel
“I love microfiber towels because, unlike the average towel, they don’t cause frizz and breakage and they absorb more water, which means a shorter diffuse/blow dry time.” -allyk4eb79fc6f
Once you use microfiber, it will be hard to go back to using regular towels. They hold your hair well and the gentle fabric really makes a difference on your curls.
Nice and Steamy
“Invest in a steamer for daily styling or deep conditioning treatments, especially if you have low-porosity hair!”-ashleyg4906
Steamers can be tricky because not every type of hair responds the same to its treatment. Although a little pricey, it is worth it if you have low-porosity hair.
“I do hot oil treatments every two weeks during the winter months and it’s been great for my hair.” –Genia Seavers
Dry seasons can have a huge affect on your curls so using oil treatments every few weeks can really restore moisture and strength of your curls.
“I get my natural hair trimmed every four to five months. I’ve seen so much growth as a result.” –Kayna Ravenell
People often ignore the simple act of trimming their hair because they want to see it grow. Trimming your hair keeps it healthy and beautiful and can actually help your hair grow faster. Your curls will thank you for it!
Pin and Secure
“When doing twist-outs, place a small metal clip (the ones you use to secure pin curls) at the root of each twisted section. It shortens drying time and adds lift.” –muffycrosswire
Shortens drying time AND adds more lift? That’s a double blessing.
Patience is Key
“Make sure your hair is COMPLETELY dry before you take out your braids or bantu knots.” –Kris Ivy
This will make sure the curls turn on how you wanted them to be instead of them drying while they are out of their braids, sometimes causing a different effect on your hair.
“If your twist-out is starting to look a little old, but you’re not ready to re-do it, just re-do the edges. It’ll look like a fresh twist-out without all the work.” –Siobhan Pascal
Laid edges can give off the effect that you just redid your hair, without actually having to redo your hair. Black girl magic.
Save Your Edges
Speaking of edges…
“If your hairstyle hurts or you notice little bumps on your hairline, it’s probably too tight! Avoid this if you want to save your edges.” –TaShawna James-Taylor
Pay attention to your edges; if the skin on your hairline is irritated or bumpy, it will probably affect your edges.
“Wearing a wig cap under your headwrap will protect your hair from the drying cotton material.” –sydneymickeymoore
Cotton+curls=chaos. Some fabrics, like cotton, can irritate curls and make them frizzy and dry. Avoiding extended periods of contact with cotton can be heaven for your curls and a wig cap is the exact weapon that will protect your hair.
“Two words: Satin. Bonnet.” –Brittany LilChocolate Stewart
Sometimes after a full night of sleep it feels like you wake up to a whole new head of hair. Satin bonnets keep your hair hydrated and healthy, while maintaining its original look.
“Scarves always walked off my head when I slept. With a silk pillowcase, my hair is protected no matter how much I toss and turn.” –lawgirl
If bonnets and scarves don’t work for you, try a silk pillowcase. It will preserve the style and keep your hair hydrated and soft.
“Natural Shea Butter really is the answer to everything! It’s really been defining my twistouts and braidouts this winter.” –Briana Leoda Cameau
Different curls react to different products, so this might not work for every hair type. Shea butter contains vitamins and nutrients that make hair healthy and give it a shiny look.
Mind Your Beeswax
“Try murrays beeswax to lay your edges. My edges are defiant and the typical edge controllers don’t work for it.” –Olivia Burrell-Jackson
Gels can make your edges stiff and your skin dry, while beeswax is soft and controls your edges by moisturizing it. Give it a try.
Grease For Good
“If butters and oils don’t cut it, don’t be afraid to go old school and try “grease” to seal the moisture in your hair.” –Taylor Jackson
Sometimes these new, better-than-before products just don’t really do what you need to do. Try going back to the basics. You never know, grease might be the answer you were looking for all along.
“Love the Double Detangler from Ouidad! Such a great hair tool.” –Cali B
No More Shampoo
“Throw out your shampoo…Pretty much every shampoo on earth contains harsh detergents that strip hair of the moisture it needs.” –
This could be a difficult change, but a lot of people claim it has helped their curls retain moisture and shine. Shampoo gets rid of dirt, yes, but shampooing so often strips hair of its natural tendencies, so if you want your hair to keep its natural curls, try throwing out your shampoo.
“Investing in a humidifier. Keep one in your bedroom for the winter – not only is the humidifier good for your skin, but it also helps keep your hair from drying out.” –Shari Harbinger
Humidifiers in the winter can save your skin and your hair. It locks in moisture and keeps your hair from the drying damages that winter can bring.
Do You Ever Feel, Like A Plastic Bag?
“Plastic bags to deep condition. [It] traps heat and is readily available.” –Naptural85
Affordable and effective. My favorite combination.
Your Hair Is Your Crown
Not everyone’s natural hair looks the same, so not all these trick will be effective for everyone. Try something new and be patient; finding what works might take some time, but it will be worth it.
Embrace your crown, frizz and edges and all.