Are you facing difficulty in managing your thick, afro-textured natural hair? Due to the continuous use of styling tools, coloring, stress, and pollution, natural hair may feel coarse and brittle. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle with dry and coarse hair all through your life.
You can transform your lustreless, brittle hair into silky long strands by making a few changes in your lifestyle and using the right products. Deep condition your hair to prevent it from becoming frizzy, and use a microfiber towel to maintain your hair health. You can also use coconut or olive oil to help your hair grow longer and ensure that it gets all the required nutrients.
Keep reading ahead if you want to know how to make natural hair soft and long, as we have compiled some of the best tips and tricks to help you get the hair of your dreams.
Effective Ways to Make Natural Hair Soft and Long
Let’s take a look at 15 effective ways to repair your damaged cuticles and get the silky soft strand of your dreams.
1. Moisturize Your Hair Well
The secret to silky, long, natural hair is ensuring that you’re providing your hair with adequate hydration from tip to root. Whether you’ve got tight coils or loose ringlets, you can keep your hair in tip-top shape by ensuring that it gets proper hydration. If you have tighter curls, you will have to rehydrate them daily, and those with looser curls can moisturize their hair a couple of times a week or every other day. When moisturizing your hair, use lukewarm water as it can easily penetrate your cuticle.
To moisturize natural hair, apply a good quality conditioning oil treatment before shampooing. After shampooing, apply a conditioner, and after rinsing it off, lock in the moisture by coating your strands with a lightweight liquid cream, oil, or moisturizer.
2. Embrace Good Dietary Habits
Do you know that the kind of food you eat can have a direct effect on your hair health? If, in spite of getting regular trims, cutting chemical-based products out of your hair care routine, and regularly stimulating your scalp, you feel your strands are stuck at the same length, try making a few changes to your diet.
Start consuming a diet high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and plant-based foods for optimal hair growth. Your hair gets its structure from proteins, so if you have a deficiency of protein, it can lead to slow hair growth and thin and weak hair strands. You should also consume foods high in biotin, vitamins D, C, E, and zinc, as they play a major role in hair growth.
3. Shampoo Mindfully
Suppose you’re on the quest of how to make natural hair soft and long; try to be mindful about your shampooing habit. Avoid overwashing your natural hair as it can lead to an itchy, dry scalp and damaged hair. When you wash your hair daily, your oil glands produce more oil to compensate for the oil loss that the shampoo is stripping. This can cause hair dryness and take a toll on your hair health. Experts suggest that shampooing your hair once or twice a week is more than enough. If you feel your hair is subject to grime, dust, and pollution in between shampoo days, you can go for scalp rinse with micellar water and apple cider vinegar.
4. Buy Products Meant for Your Hair
Many people make the mistake of buying any hair care product they see being displayed in a drugstore hair-care aisle without considering their hair type. Like your skin, your hair is also of various types, ranging from curly, straight, and wavy to coiled. You must use the hair care product that can provide maximum benefit to your hair type. For example, there are smoothening, hydrating, strengthening, and color-safe shampoos, but you can’t pick a color-safe shampoo if your hair is not colored or a smoothening shampoo if your hair is not smoothened. Remember, the wrong hair care product can take a toll on your hair, leaving it brittle, dry, and static.
5. Protect Your Hair from The Sun
You put tons of effort into protecting your skin from sun damage, but what about your hair? Protecting your hair from sun damage can be an important step for those wondering how to make natural hair soft and long. Wear a hat with a broader brim to protect your hair from the sun’s rays. You can also apply a hair spray with sun-screening properties to prevent your hair from getting damaged by the sun. And if your hair has got sun damaged, you can reverse the effects by applying a restorative hair mask and trying a hot oil treatment.
6. Brush When Dry, Comb When Wet
When it comes to brushing hair, many people do it the wrong way, leading to hair breakage and frizziness. When your hair is wet, it is in a very fragile state, so you should take a gentle approach while brushing it. A good idea is to comb your hair when it is wet and brush your hair when it is dry. Use a wet brush or a wide-tooth comb to brush your wet hair and a wooden comb to brush your dry hair.
If you’re using a paddle brush to brush your hair, that detangling noise is the sound of your hair ripping. This action might be causing immense damage to the outside layer rather than smoothing the cuticle. So, you must be careful about the way you’re brushing your hair to prevent it from getting damaged.
7. Sleep on Silk Pillowcases
Investing in silk pillowcases is not just for home decoration; but sleeping on them can also be beneficial for your hair and skin. Because it is a very smooth fabric, sleeping on a silk pillowcase can reduce the friction of any turning and tossing while you sleep. This can provide tons of benefits to your hair, ranging from less hair breakage to silkier strands and reduced frizz.
When you sleep on a silk pillowcase, you won’t wake up with frizzy and brittle hair. Cotton pillowcases absorb your hair moisture, but silk pillowcases lock in moisture within your hair, helping you achieve silky, smooth strands.
8. Add Baking Soda to Your Shampoo
One of the main reasons for lustreless and frizzy hair is the hard water in your area. If you wash your hair with hard water, it can cause immense damage to your hair. Hard water has a high concentration of minerals like magnesium and calcium that can adversely affect your hair’s health. These minerals easily build upon your hair and leave it feeling brittle and dry.
Signs of hair damage due to hard water include an increase in frizz, a lack of shine, hard-to-detangle hair, and even hair loss. If you live in an area with hard water, you can add a small amount of baking soda to your clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup of minerals on your hair.
9. Dry Your Hair with a Microfiber Towel
Another hack for those worried about making natural hair soft and long is to dry their hair with a microfiber towel. Microfiber is more ultra-lightweight, absorbent, and has more drying power than cotton towels. Whether you blow dry or air dry your hair, with the help of a microfiber towel, you can cut down the drying time to half.
Microfiber towel absorbs excess moisture while preserving the required hydration needed by your hair. This is because microfiber towels don’t sit on hair for a long time and cause less friction. Microfiber towels are also very gentle and keep unwanted frizz at bay, promoting hair smoothness.
10. Trim Your Hair
Trimming your natural hair regularly is one of the best ways to prevent hair breakage and ensure that your locks look beautiful. Clipping dull-looking split ends can also prevent your hair from looking weighed down. By eliminating unhealthy or damaged ends, your hair will look voluminous and healthier.
Once you get your damaged tresses removed, your hair will look sleeker, and you’ll find it easy to style. You should trim your hair every six to eight weeks to promote the growth of healthy hair and prevent split ends. Examine your hair carefully to see if it has split ends, gets knotted at the tips, or has fairy knots at the ends of the hair.
11. Rinse Your Hair with Cold Water
The easiest way to get strong, glossy hair is by ending your shower routine with a cold water rinse. At the end of the shower, if you take a cold water rinse, it can do wonders for your hair. If you use hot water in the shower, the fatty lipids and nourishing oils from your conditioner get dissolved, damaging your hair.
You should, therefore, use lukewarm water to wash your hair and then finish off your shower routine with cold water. Cold water prevents the natural oils and moisture from escaping by sealing it in your hair follicles. This way, the water molecules remain within your strand, leaving your hair silky and shiny.
12. Don’t Use Excessive Protein Treatment
Protein is very important for our hair health as it promotes strong, healthy hair and stops breakage. But an overload of protein can do more harm than good to your hair.
Healthy hair should have the perfect balance of protein and moisture. When there is not enough moisture and an excessive amount of protein present, your strands have to suffer from protein imbalance. If you stretch your hair strand and it doesn’t bounce back, your strands have a lack of moisture and an overabundance of protein. If this is the case, stop using protein products and use a clarifying shampoo.
13. Limit the Use of Heating Tools
Using a flat iron, curling rod, or other heating tools is the quickest way to achieve salon-like silky, smooth hair, but in the long run, it can damage your hair. Limit the use of heated tools if you want to prevent any kind of hair damage. Whenever you use heated tools, apply a heat protectant before each use and style your hair with the lowest heat setting. If you crave the romantic curls delivered by your curling rod or love the glossy salon-like feel of a blowout, you can use other styling methods like hair curling ribbons and velcro rollers.
14. Use Homemade Hair Treatments
When it comes to hydrating thirsty strands, treating damaged hair, and promoting hair growth, you can’t ignore the power of homemade hair treatments. Homemade options can be great for repairing and soothing cuticles damaged from salt water, hot tools, coloring, and achieving silky hair. Coconut oil is best to tame thick, dry hair and soften rough and frizzy hair.
You can also apply a hair mask made of milk and honey to prevent breakage and strengthen your hair. Olive oil and banana can also be miraculous ingredients to moisturize and hydrate dull, damaged, dry hair.
15. Apply a Leave-In Conditioner
Your hair goes through a lot on a daily basis due to protective styles, constant heat, and various chemical-based products. So, conditioning and cleansing your hair may not be enough to help them stay healthy. Leave-in conditioner is an added step after conditioning and shampooing your hair, but it has miraculous benefits.
It adds an extra burst of hydration to your hair and protects your locks from pollution and environmental and heat damage. Some leave-in conditioners even build up the hair’s barrier and protect it from stressors that can impede the progress of your hair.
Silky, shiny, long hair is everyone’s dream, but only a few people are able to achieve it because they do not commit to the right hair care routine. If you want your natural hair to be shiny and soft, invest in good quality hair care products, avoid overwashing your hair, and moisturize your locks regularly. It is also important to have a balanced diet, avoid using heating tools, and trim your hair to prevent breakage and frizz.
With the help of these effective hair care tips, you can maintain your hair health and get longer, shinier hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Mistakes Should You Avoid If You Want to Get Long, Soft Natural Hair?
If you want to get long, soft hair, you should avoid overwashing, limit the use of heating tools, use the right kind of products for your hair, and avoid excessive protein treatment. All these factors can take a toll on your hair health and lead to excessive hair damage and breakage.
What Can You Do to Achieve Naturally Soft and Long Hair?
You need to follow a consistent hair care routine to achieve naturally soft and long hair. Eat a balanced diet high in protein and minerals, and moisturize your hair to ensure that it remains well-hydrated. You should also use a microfiber towel and sleep on silk pillowcases to prevent hair breakage.