27 Things You Can Do To Improve, Protect and Keep The Hair On Your Head

 

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Similar to 37 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Skin’s Appearance, here are 27 things you can do to improve your hair and keep it from shedding too rapidly or breaking off. The Goal: Keep your hair on your head.

Not including the obvious elimination of chemical treatments, this comprehensive list contains all you need to maintain a healthy head of hair. They are categorized by care/maintenance and styling. You don’t have to do them all at once but it’s a good idea to make a habit of a few for several months and see how your hair is coming along. Then, you can work through the list and try one of more of the others.

Care and Maintenance

  1. Nix shampoos with sulfates. It doesn’t matter if you hair is natural or relaxed. Sulfates strip the hair of needed moisture and oil.
  2. Pre-poo (pre-shampoo) your hair with coconut oil or olive oil. Coconut oil helps hair retain it’s moisture. Both natural oils protect the hair from being stripped when you shampoo.
  3. Deep condition your hair with a moisturizing deep conditioner after every wash.
  4. Get a protein treatment.For maintenance, you can do this once a month or more if your hair is breaking.
  5. Trim away split ends as necessary but don’t get a trim for the sake of trimming. If your goal is to retain length, you’ll only be cutting off perfectly good hair. The less you do to damage your hair, the less you’ll need to trim it.
  6. No microfiber or towel drying. Contrary to popular belief, microfiber rips the hair out. It acts like velcro to our tresses! Towel drying frizzes the hair. Either air dry or use an old t-shirt.
  7. Refrigerate your leave in conditioner. A cold leave in will help to seal your hair’s cuticle after washing. This is extremely helpful if you can’t take a cold water rinse. It will also increase the shine in your hair.
  8. Oil your hair with a light natural oil daily. Jojoba is light and helps keep the hair tangle free.
  9. Seal your ends with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I have found this oil to be the best at protecting the ends from splitting. It’s so thick and protective, causing the ends to clump together. Seal after every wash and before styling.
  10. Massage your scalp to stimulate your hair follicles 2-3 times a week. Some believe this encourages hair growth. I have not found it to be so one way or another but it certainly can’t help and it does increase the blood flow to your scalp.
  11. Take a multi-vitamin with Methylosulfonylmethame (MSM). MSM is believed to extend the lifespan of your individual hairs while also alleviating dry scalp.
  12. Never sleep on your hair loose. It’s more prone to tangling and breakage. Tie it up and…
  13. Make satin your hair’s best friend. Sleeping in a satin scarf, bonnet or on a satin pillowcase prevents your hair’s moisture from being robbed.
  14. Moisturize your hair as needed. Use your sense of touch to tell. If it feels dry, moisturize. If you are chemically relaxed, you may need to do so 1-2 times daily. Natural hair may only require moisturizing every couple days.
  15. Don’t use too many different brands. When your hair begins responding, you want to know what’s working. In other words, curtail your PJ (product junkie) ways.
  16. Eat a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Good for your hair and skin too. Keeps both pliable.
  17. Try henna.  I’ve been giving my hair henna treatments for about 6 months as of the writing of this post. My hair health is improved along with an amazing strength and shine.
  18. Clarify monthly. Hair products build up on the hair and every now and then the hair needs to be thoroughly cleansed. Especially, if you only co-wash (condition wash). You can either use a clarifying shampoo once a month or add a tablespoon of baking soda to your hair while shampooing. Apple cider vinegar is another option.

Styling

  1. Protective style your hair. Wear simple styles that offer little manipulation of your tresses and hide your ends which are the oldest parts of your hair. Buns and up-dos are classic.
  2. Stop heat styling your hair. Air drying is the best thing you can do to keep your hair on your head. Limit heat styling to rare special occasions.
  3. Never comb or brush dry hair to style. Finger comb or wear hair in twist outs, twists, braids or braids out to minimize breakage.
  4. Comb hair from the bottom up. When your hair is soaking with conditioner, you can comb it with a large tooth comb or Denman brush to detangle. Do so carefully, working from the bottom up.
  5. Never ever tease your hair. This is a cardinal sin against natural hair (well hair in general but some don’t know it)
  6. Don’t pull hair apart like a wishbone.  If your hair is tangled, gently pull it up and apart in stead of pulling it apart like would a wishbone.
  7. Use hair accessories with no hanging parts or exposed metal. Banana clips, Satin Scrunchies, Goodie Flex Barrettes, Ouchless bobby pins & Ouchless elastic bands are the best for styling hair so that it does not get damaged.
  8. Avoid pulling hair tight at the hairline. Doing so will recede your hairline and damage the follicles permanently.
  9. Check your nails. Hanging nails will damage hair. Always make sure your nails are smooth and even before hair styling.

Got any hair tips you’d like to add to the list? Do share how you take care of and do YOUR hair in the comments below!

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Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

18 thoughts on “27 Things You Can Do To Improve, Protect and Keep The Hair On Your Head

  1. who is the woman in your photo,is that you Michelle? Or is that someone else? Her hair is very beautiful,do you have any more pics of her hair?

  2. These are some REALLY GREAT tips!! I am using these tips and will mention your tips in my next vid when I do and update. Your website is sooo amazing, you’re like a hair doctor. Thanks xoxo

  3. These are such great tips! I am definitely bookmarking this post and taking notes. I’m already putting into practice the sealing of the ends with JBCO and seeing results as you suggested. My ends don’t look as scraggly as they did a few short weeks ago. I’m making a note to refrigerate my leave-in conditioner too.

    I’ve never tried henna, but I’m always so intrigued by it when I hear you talk about it. On to read more about it!

    Thanks for sharing these tips Michelle, my beautiful beauty guru friend!

  4. For my pre-poo, I love Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. I don’t drink coffee but it smells like coffee and I love how my hair feels afterwards.

    My grandfather was a barber and he always told me that if I want my hair to grow, I have to massage my scalp. It does work but you have to massage more than two or three times a week. I have a section of my hair that was much shorter than the rest of my hair. I didn’t want to cut the rest of my hair to make it even so I decided to make that area grow. I’ve been massaging it and adding Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter to that section and it has grown trememdously. I try to massage daily but sometimes I forget. Still, I massage several times weekly and the growth is really wonderful.

    1. Hi Shell.I wish I could remember to massage daily. I always forget. I have a side that grows much slower than the other

  5. These are some great tips, the only thing that confuses me is where you say never comb or brush dry hair to style. I remember reading somewhere that you are not supposed to comb or brush wet hair. So I’m a little confused and I just want to be sure that I’m doing the right thing with my hair so could you please explain a little.

    1. Hey Mia-

      I’ve seen the same thing. I was so confused before too. But think about it. Naturally hair is curly. Running any kind of comb or brush through your hair will cause it to snag up and break. If you soak your hair with conditioner, the comb (or denman brush) will slide right through causing little to no damage.

      Now, combing wet hair that is NOT soaked in conditioner IS a recipe for disaster. It’s the slip of the conditioner that allows the comb to glide ride through your hair.

      A few months back I was combing my hair dry. It was moisturized and everything. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why on earth I heard that snapping sound. It was breaking! I even combed it from the bottom up but still.

      Our curly hair can’t take it. People with straight hair can comb dry hair but for us, the most gentle way to do your hair is to finger comb when dry and comb (or denman) comb when soaked with conditioner.

      Hope this helps

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