Early in my natural hair journey, I realized that I wanted to develop a routine that was simple and easy to follow. I did what I could to learn which products and techniques benefited my hair. Through careful observation, I was able to eliminate unnecessary treatments so that my routine remained streamlined. The results are my three tips for maintaining 4c hair simply.
Doing Too Much
We’re often led to believe that natural hair requires a huge amount of work in order to care for it. We buy, make, and use a large variety of products, tools, and accessories to improve our hair, yet we pay little attention to how our hair reacts to each.
By carefully scrutinizing our methodology, we can pinpoint those things that benefit our hair throughout our journey. Analysis also helps us to eliminate the things that are unnecessary and even detrimental to our progress.
Three Tips for Maintaining 4c Hair Simply
Tip #1: Finger Detangling
Over the years, I’ve adopted the practice of finger detangling. Finger detangling is the process in which you remove knots and shed hairs, and separate your strands using only your fingers instead of a comb or brush. It benefits highly textured hair and is especially beneficial for those with the 4c hair texture.
Finger detangling helps to reduce breakage because it reduces that chance of damage caused by mechanical manipulation. It also allows you to strengthen and nourish your hair by allowing you to warm and spread the natural oils produced by your scalp – your sebum – along the length of your hair.
Tip #2: Trimming Knots
When I detangle my hair, I keep a pair of sharp scissors on hand. I used to pull the knots out of my hair, but this weakens the cuticles, which eventually leads to severe damage along the length of the strand.
Now, whenever I encounter a stubborn knot, I reach for a pair of scissors that I only use for trimming my hair.
Tip #3: Moisturizing
My moisturizing routine has remained pretty consistent over the past seven years:
Before manipulating my hair, I always mist it with a liquid solution that consists mainly of water. This mist spray prepares my hair for finger detangling and finger combing as well as to receive the nutrients of the creams and oils that I later apply.
Next, I apply a cream or lotion to my hair. This step has many benefits that can’t be gained by using only water and/or oil. Due to their water content, I use emulsified solutions to impart additional moisture to my hair. Cream and lotions contain ingredients that have the ability to slow the evaporation of water, which in turn, enables my hair to hold moisture. Cream and lotion moisturizers also contain ingredients that condition and add nutrients to my hair.
The third step is to apply a light oil on top of the first two layers. This step helps to further slow the evaporation of water from the previous layers, keeping my hair moisturized longer.
My final step is one that I only started using at the beginning of this year: I seal all of the moisture in with a heavier oil product – specifically whipped shea butter. Under normal circumstances, my hair reacts poorly to shea. It makes my hair feel hard and crunchy. However, I’ve found that when it’s layered on top of an oil, my hair remains extremely pliable and subsequent finger detangling is much easier to do.
The Benefits of a Streamlined Process
As you can see, my hair care routine requires a few steps and very little products. By streamlining my process, I’ve been able to provide my hair with what it needs by using effective methods and without using a ton of products that add little to no value to the health of my hair.
How efficient is your hair care routine? Have you streamlined your hair care regimen?