As a natural haired chic, it can be traumatic having damaged hair that is dry, brittle, and filled with split ends. You literally have to restrain yourself from tearing your hair out (what’s left of it, anyway) and you may be wondering what you can do to restore life to your hair. Some hair damage may be permanent especially given that hair is a collection of dead cells. But depending on the kind of damage, health can be restored to damaged hair. Otherwise, a pair of scissors, time, and better hair care routines may be the solution. 

The first step to fixing damaged hair is to identify the cause of the damage. The most common causes of damage to hair are dyes and heat.

There are some habits and practices that over time will help to restore life, shine, and elasticity to your natural mane. Let's get into it.

  1. Get rid of the split ends. Split ends happen when a hair strand splits into two or more strands and this is usually caused by stress on the hair follicle. To prevent split ends from further climbing up the hair shaft, the best solution is to cut above the split. Ouch! You really do not want to cut your hair but you have to identify the split ends and snip them off. Trust me, it would grow back. To prevent split ends from occurring in the first place, you can practice the following: reduce hair manipulation. Do not comb or brush excessively. If you are one of those who can’t do without touching their hair, stop it! Read more about how/why split ends happen and how you can reduce their occurrence hereAvoid heat, especially from blow dryers and straighteners. Use an old tee shirt or a microfiber towel to dry your hair.

  1. Moisturize dry and brittle hair. Is your hair falling out as a result of being dry and brittle? You may want to check your product list. Some ingredient(s) in the products you use may be drying out your hair. Or you may have some hair sensitivity to some ingredients. To be completely sure, you may want to speak with a trichologist in Nigeria such as Atilola, CEO of African Naturalistas. Click here to book a session.

  2. Deep conditioning your natural hair is crucial for the treatment of damaged hair. Use a good deep conditioner such as the African Naturalistas Deep Conditioning Mayonnaise. Preferably, sit under a hooded dryer for at least 20 minutes, after applying the conditioner and covering with a shower cap. Some people would advise you even leave the conditioner on overnight or as you go about your daily activities. However, the African Naturalistas Deep Conditioning Mayonnaise should be left on for 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the level of damage. 

    Hair care

  3. Use a satin bonnet or pillowcase. Using cotton pillowcases can be very rough on the hair strands by causing friction which could potentially cause breakage and shedding. Swap your cotton pillowcase for satin or silk. Or simply use a satin bonnet like the African Naturalista Reversible Satin Bonnet to ensure that the moisture in your hair is retained.

  4. Detangle to get rid of knots in your natural hair which could lead to further breakage. Dry hair is stronger than wet hair, so if your hair is damaged or shedding, you should try to detangle when the hair is dry. When detangling, it is preferable to do so with an oil of your choice. If however, you prefer to detangle your hair while it is wet, ensure to use a lot of conditioner to provide enough slip. To help with that, use the African Naturalista Moisturising and Detangling Conditioner. Your best bet for detangling is your fingers as they would be gentler in loosening knots and cause less trauma for your hair.

    African Naturalistas Products

  5. Use shampoos and conditioners for dry natural hair. Certain shampoos can strip the hair of its natural oils and you want to ensure that your hair retains its moisture and shine as you try to repair the damage. Shampoos and conditioners such as the African Naturalistas range and the Breakage Be Gone set are specially formulated to repair damaged hair and give your hair all the TLC it truly deserves. 

  6. Lock in the moisture. The best way to lock in moisture in hair is by applying the LOC method. LOC stands for Liquid, Oil, Cream where your liquid is water or a leave-in conditioner, oil of choice to hold the moisture in and cream to close the hair cuticle, sealing everything in. The best oils to use are coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. They penetrate the hair shaft and make it easier for hair to hold on to water molecules. Note that the cream can also be an oil that has the ability to coat and seal the hair such as grapeseed, castor, and jojoba oils. Shop our range of oils here.

  7. Eat a balanced diet and keep hydrated. Eating a healthy diet will improve your hair quality and help you fight damage, so, it is important to feed your hair from the inside. A lack of iron has been linked to excessive hair shedding. Eat foods high in vitamins and minerals, proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

  8. Incorporate protein treatment. One of the first steps in repairing damaged hair is incorporating a protein treatment. Protein treatments strengthen hair shafts that have been damaged by heat and chemicals and also help to restore elasticity. Be careful though when using a protein treatment as too much of it can lead to brittle hair. Fortunately, our African Naturalistas Deep Conditioning Mayonnaise is a perfect blend of protein and moisture treatment, so you are sure you aren’t doing too much of one type of treatment.

  9. Keep natural hair in a protective style. While trying to repair damaged hair, aim to keep your mane in some form of protective style, to limit stress on the hair. Whatever style you choose, ensure that it is not too tight.  P.S: your protective style should not last more than 4 weeks.

It takes quite some time for your hair to become damaged, so give it some time to repair properly. Time is one of the most important factors when trying to fix damaged hair. Don’t expect your hair to become perfect after a week or even a month. Consistency and patience will do a lot of good.

Is your hair damaged? What were the causes of the damage? Have you tried (or will try) any of the things in this article? Tell us in the comment section, we’d love to know.


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