Let’s be honest, every Naturalista wants hair that is soft and easy to maintain. While some possess soft hair naturally, others have coarse hair that would need some form of treatment to get it softened. However, we want you to know that soft natural hair is attainable.
So then the question is ‘How can I make my natural hair softer?’ Softening your natural hair can be done at home by combining moisturizing ingredients with healthy hair care habits and over time your hair would be soft.
Let’s show you seven simple ways to soften natural hair no matter how hard it is.
How to Soften Natural Hair
1. Moisturize your hair regularly
Over time, the natural oils in our hair may get stripped away, which can lead to dryness. Dryness can make your hair coarse. Natural hair needs moisture to retain its elasticity. If you want to keep your hair feeling soft, you need to retain moisture. You do that by applying a moisturizer (could be water or leave-in conditioner) and seal in the moisture with an oil or butter to avoid the moisture from escaping.
It’s also important to moisturize your hair regularly. Let’s say at least three times a week. Hydration is key. Remember to drink enough water daily as it also helps.
2. Always do a Prepoo treatment before shampoo
A pre-poo treatment is simply the process of applying oils (preferably penetrating oils such as coconut oil) to your hair and allowing it to sit in the hair for up to fifteen minutes before shampooing. This process helps the hair not to be stripped off of the oils completely while shampooing thereby keeping the hair soft and shiny.
3. Do oil rinsing regularly
This is another way to soften natural hair. This is different from pre-poo in that it is done on a freshly washed hair. Oil rinsing is a technique used to lock in moisture in your hair. The more moisture you are able to retain, the softer your hair. The benefits of oil rinsing include;
- Increases moisture retention as it penetrates the hair shaft and locks in water.
- Improves hair shine
- Softens natural hair and makes it easier to detangle.
Method: After shampooing, apply any penetrating oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil, massage and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. Do not rinse. Then follow with conditioner. Allow to sit for another 5 minutes and rinse with water.
Some people love to mix the oil and the conditioner together before applying. This works as well.
4. Caramel treatment
Sound like feeding your hair with some caramel candy right? lol! Well, that is exactly what caramel treatment is all about. This method was created by the beauty expert Cassandre Beccai. The treatment contain some ingredients that are able to draw moisture from the atmosphere.
Method: You would need a 1/4 cup of honey, ¼ cup of coconut oil, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup of molasses, One ripe banana. Blend the banana and mix with other ingridients in a bowl. Section your hair and apply mixture in thouroughly. Cover hair with shower cap and allow to stay for 30 minutes. Wash thoroughly with sulfate free shampoo and follow with conditioner.
Bonus tip: Banana baby food can be used instead of bananas. it is easier to wash off than regular bananas.
5. Deep conditioning hair regularly
Deep conditioning is a game-changer when it comes to softening natural hair. Once you can master the art of deep conditioning your natural hair regularly, your hair would become so soft.
Deep conditioning is the process of treating (healing/restoring) your hair with a moisturizing or protein based conditioner. This is done on a freshly washed hair with heat.
Apply the deep conditioner (you can use one you prepared yourself) on a freshly washed hair and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
Click here for a detailed video on how to deep condition natural hair.
6. Steaming natural hair frequently
Steaming your natural hair is the process of using moist heat to help open up the hair follicle, lift the cuticle on the hair shaft and allow conditioner and hair treatments to penetrate each strand of hair.
Hair steaming is beneficial as the heat aids in hydrating dry hair leaving your hair super soft. The moist heat also encourages blood flow to circulate, promoting hair growth too.
7. Use Bentonite Clay mask
Bentonite Clay mask is a miracle clay that not only softens the hair but also revives your natural hair.
Bentonite clay contains a mixture of natural minerals that are beneficial for your hair and can encourage hair growth. It moisturizes, conditions, softens, and reduces frizz. The clay encourages curl definition and shine.
You can start combining ½ cup of bentonite clay powder and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and form a paste. Apply generously throughout your hair and scalp. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Do not cover with a plastic cap. Rinse thoroughly.
Use this Clay at least once a month and you would love how soft your hair feels.
Reasons Why your Natural Hair is Coarse and Hard
There are three main reasons why your hair would feel stiff, hard or coarse.
1. Your hair is dry
This is a very common reason why your natural hair feels stiff and hard. Natural hair thrives on moisture without which our hair gets dry and is prone to breakage. It is important to remember that oils, no matter how wonderful, do not moisturize Natural hair. You need to first of all moisturize with water or leave-in conditioner then follow up with an oil to seal it.
2. You do not condition enough
Conditioners are an essential product in any natural’s stash and not using them enough can leave your hair feeling super dry and hard. Conditioners smooth down your hair cuticles which prevent tangles and make your hair look shiny. It temporarily repairs the hair shaft, reduce frizz, and most importantly softens the hair.
You should have a leave-in conditioner, a deep conditioner and a regular conditioner.
Learn more about conditioners in this post.
3. You use too much protein
If you are moisturising and conditioning regularly and hair natural hair is still hard, then it could be that you use too much protein.
Protein is important as it helps strengthen your hair strands and prevents your hair from breaking. However, using too much protein will make your hair hair and brittle. This is where finding the right moisture and protein balance comes in.
Read More: 7 Signs your natural hair needs protein
Homemade Remedies to Soften Natural Hair
Here are some home remedies you can use to soften your natural hair.
Aloe Vera Leave-in conditioner
Aloe Vera plant
- Slice an aloe vera leaf and extract the gel using a spoon. Ensure that you’re only extracting the clear gel and not the yellow.
- Blend this gel until it gets to a smooth consistency.
- Add a little amount of water to the gel and mix well.
- Pour this liquid into a spray bottle and shake well.
- Spray your hair with the aloe vera solution after it has been washed and dried. Leave it on.
Aloe vera is an abundant source of enzymes which repair the damaged cells present in your scalp . This allows it to improve follicle health and boost hair growth. The moisture content of this ingredient helps hydrate your hair and keep it conditioned throughout the day.
Fresh Plain yoghurt
Method: Apply fresh, unflavored yoghurt thoroughly on your hair. Cover with a plastic cap and allow to sit for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.
Good old yoghurt not only makes for an appetizing drink but is also great for hair. The lactic acid found in yoghurt acts as a softening agent for hair. You will fall in love with your soft hair.
2 ripe bananas
2 teaspoon honey
Method: Mash up 1-2 ripe bananas and add 2 teaspoon of honey. Mix into a paste and use as a hair mask. Shampoo the hair after half an hour. Apply this mask once a week for a softer natural hair.
This nutritious fruit is rich in natural fats and moisture which inundate the hair with hydration and nourishment.
One ripe avocado
One teaspoon olive oil
Method: Take a ripe avocado and mash it up. Add one teaspoon of olive oil and whip into a smooth paste. Apply the mask to cover your hair strands. Wash after half an hour. You can also use avocado oil to massage the hair and then later wash it off.
Avocados are great for skin and hair. The high protein, amino acids and vitamins content help nourish the hair while the fatty acids help make the hair soft and hydrated. Avocado is extremely good for replenishing dry and damaged hair.
Two tablespoon honey
Three tablespoon olive oil
Method: Mix two tablespoon of pure honey with three tablespoon of olive oil and apply on the hair as mask. Wash it after 30 minutes.
Also, you can give your hair a honey rinse. Mix two tablespoon of honey in a mug of plain water. Rinse your hair with this mix, leave on for 15 minutes and wash away with lukewarm water.
Honey is an effective natural moisturiser. When it comes to hair, honey not only adds moisture but also helps retain moisture. Using organic honey on the hair will give you healthy and soft hair naturally.
Getting your hair to become naturally soft would take time and practice. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just be consistent. Understanding your hair comes with time and experience but practicing moisturizing, conditioning and moisture treatment often would give you some great treatment.
Now it’s time to flaunt your soft natural hair. Try these and let’s know how it went