Having natural hair has many benefits including versatility and ease of maintenance. Being able to enjoy their unique hair texture is very freeing to most people. All that is needed is an understanding of a person’s own hair needs, and how to best meet them. With these six tips, having healthy natural hair can be easier than ever.

1. Moisturize

One of the best things a person can do for their hair is moisturize it. Since the hair follicle tends to get dry when left on its own, it is important to frequently replenish it with rich moisturizers. Applying a water based moisturizer every night is a good regimen to start with. A little goes a long way, and the session only takes about five minutes from start to finish. With such a simple maintenance routine, there is no excuse for skipping this step.

2. Avoid Heat

Heat damage is one of the top reasons people end up cutting their hair. It should be taken seriously since heat damage is permanent. The main culprits for fried ends are flat irons and curling irons. Although they temporarily make the hair look great, they are very damaging in the long run. Limiting heat styling to once every few months is a great way to limit this. There are alternatives such as large dryers and hot curlers. These methods use low heat that is sufficient to form the curl yet low enough to avoid damage. The added benefits are increased shine and body to the hair.

3. Protective Styling

Protective styling is based off of the idea that less is more! When it comes to natural hair, going with the flow is the best approach. Having several weeks where the hair is allowed to be free and undisturbed for the most part allows it to be healthy. Trying different styles daily can lead to brittle hair that breaks easily. Pulling it up into a loose top bun is one of the easiest methods of protective styling. It is important to use moisturizing hair care products before setting the style. This protects the hair from the elements, whether the weather is dry and sunny or very cold. Rich hair creams act as a barrier between the delicate hair follicle and the harsh environment.

4. Less Friction

A lot of hair damage occurs during the night. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase creates friction on the hair from tossing and turning. Natural hair dries out very easily and needs help retaining moisture. Using a satin pillowcase every night is very important. The soft, smooth texture of satin allows moisture to stay in the hair. Cotton and other materials have the opposite effect, often absorbing most of the moisture from the hair.

5. Overall Health

When growing out natural hair, overall physical health really matters. There is a famous saying that is very accurate in saying “You are what you eat”. This saying applies to caring for skin, nails and hair. The healthy and beneficial nutrients consumed are reflected in these areas. Natural hair flourishes when a person consumes healthy foods including fruits and nuts, and stays well hydrated.

6. Special Treatments

The beauty of growing natural hair is the freedom it comes with. People who are very busy can get by with shampoo and conditioning once or twice a week. Those who have more time can perform weekly deep treatments. Homemade hair masks are very effective in restoring the balance of the hair, leaving it soft and shiny. Applying a hot oil treatment can revive hair that looks dull. Performing an hour-long deep conditioning session is also very life-giving to dry tresses. There is an infinite number of treatments that are great for natural hair. When moisturized and protected, natural hair gets an opportunity to flourish and grow long.

Natural hair does not have to be difficult to maintain. With natural products found in most homes, it is possible to nourish and moisturize the hair to great health. Consistency is key when it comes to hair care goals. With time and proper care, positive results become very visible.