THISDAY Style

TIPS FOR NATURAL HAIR CARE

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There’s nothing more beautiful than a crown of healthy, natural hair. So if you’ve ever had a case of bad breakage, then you know it can be a total bummer. Brittle, damaged hair gets in the way of length retention, weakens strands, and limits your style versatilit­y. Definitely not a good look. Luckily, breakage isn’t the end of the world. If you find yourself in a tangled mess, these tips will help get your kinks and curls back on track.

Co-Wash Daily Washing with conditione­r, also known as “co-washing,” is a way to mildly cleanse hair and replenish dry strands at the same time. Co-washing keeps hair soft and hydrated, especially during the colder months. If your hair is very fragile, co-washing can be done very frequently and even up to twice a day for intense hydration and conditioni­ng.

Deep Condition Weekly Get ready to make deep conditione­rs your new BFF. No, seriously. Use a deep conditione­r weekly with a plastic cap in the shower, under a dryer, or even overnight to activate the heat.

Detangle With Care Detangling on dry hair is a major no-no. It’s easier to detangle your hair in the shower, when your hair is full of conditione­r and wet. Section the hair off into two parts, then split that into four. You have to take your time -be gentle and detangle from the bottom to the root. Making sure you have the right detangling tools is an absolute must.

Ditch Your Cotton Towel A traditiona­l cotton bath towel can pull and stretch the hair, stripping out moisture, which is not good at all. A much better option is to carefully squeeze and pat your hair dry with an old cotton T-shirt or, ideally a micro fibre towel.

Avoid Heat Try to avoid heat drying and styling if you can until your hair is in better shape. If you are going to apply heat, use a heat protectant, keep temperatur­es low, and use a blow dryer with a comb attachment to prevent further damage.

Protect Your Edges Damage usually happens at the hairline regardless of texture, and that’s why it’s called “baby hair.” It’s the finest, softest hair, but you can avoid breakage by keeping your baby hair soft and moisturize­d.

Get Regular Trims Don’t be afraid to get haircuts. Tangles, single-strand knots, and split ends are characteri­stics of needing a trim and ends that are begging to be set free. Getting a trim every three and a half to four months will keep

your kinks and curls popping and looking their best.

L.O.C. It Up Adopt a routine of using leave-in conditione­rs, oils, and creams to keep your hair hydrated and protected at all costs. A big thing to remember is that healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp; think of it like your skin - you never want it to get dry.

Be Mindful of Protective Styles Protective styles are great because they give your hair a break from constant manipulati­on, offer style versatilit­y, and literally protect your ends. The key to wearing braids, twists, weaves, and wigs is to not wear them for too long or forget to take care of your actual hair underneath. If your hair is shedding and breaking after a style, then it wasn’t protective after all.

Sleep With a Satin Scarf or Pillowcase. If you’re sleeping with a cotton pillowcase, toss it right now. The fibers rubbing against your already-stressed strands cause friction and even more breakage. Swap it for a silk- or satin-lined scarf and pillowcase to protect your hair while you catch some zzz’s.

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