African women are raised from a very young age to believe that their hair is their crown. That is why regardless of how difficult it is to manage 4c hair, many African mothers go out of their way to preserve their daughter’s hair. For 4C hair to thrive, it needs moisture, patience and lots love.
Many Nigerian women living in Ireland claim that the weather is not favourable for their hair. They constantly battle with hair breakage and dry scalp. The weather in Ireland can be summed up as mild, moist and with lots of rain. Constant exposure to these elements seem to do 4C hair more harm than good. 4C hair needs moisture to be locked in for it to be as healthy as possible.
For 4C hair naturals the following steps will help you retain your length, promote healthy hair and keep your scalp feeling good all year round.
De-tangle hair with pre-poo before washing
Pre-pooing (short form of pre-shampoo) involves applying treatments to the hair before washing. In the process of doing this you are de-tangling your hair. It is important to de-tangle your hair before hopping into the shower. Doing this will reduce your hair breakage. Asides from being painful and difficult to do directly when you are washing, you lose more hair in the process.
Never wash your hair too often
One sacred rule for 4c hair is to never wash your hair too often. Washing your hair too often may cause hair split, extreme dryness and horrible breakage. 4C hair should be washed no more than once or twice a month. Although washing your hair helps maintain a healthy hair, washing your too often strips it of natural oil. Use sulfate-free shampoo during wash days.
Oil scalp as regularly as you can, but not too much oil
Regardless of your hair type, oiling your hair is very important. Hair oil helps you lock in moisture. It also strengthens the hair, stimulates hair growth and prevents dry scalp and dandruff. Be careful because too much of this will cause dandruff.
Wear protective styles or wigs
If you want to save your hair, putting it in a protective style or wearing a wig is one way to help you. Some examples protective hairstyles are cornrows, braids and locs. When you do any of the styles, you reduce hair manipulation. The less you touch your hair, the least likely it will break. Also, wigs protect your natural hair from the elements. You can cornrow your hair and put on a wig and you are good to go.
Keep hair in satin bonnet at night
When you think about bonnets, you may think about the 18th century headgear worn by the elite women. It however keeps your hair healthy. Sleeping with satin bonnet or scarves reduces your risk of having split ends and breakage. It also keeps the hair product in your hair and retains moisture when you toss and turn in bed at night. As a bonus, it protects your face’s skin. Hair products contain ingredients that can clog your skin. They can also get trapped on your pillow and then be transferred to your face when you sleep on it.