Curly, straight, braided, silk pressed: there is so much diversity among black women to celebrate but this is especially true when it comes to hair. Although we may differ in our unique hair texture, length, or curl pattern, the one thing we all have in common is our undeniable shared desire for healthy, beautiful hair.
Let’s face it, as black women we go to great (sometimes extreme) lengths to help heal and restore our hair back to a healthier state. From hot oil and hydration treatments, deep conditioning, protective styling, and big chops to creative hair masks made from whatever is laying around our kitchens, we do it all.
While these steps can definitely help textured hair to be stronger and healthier, what if we told you that the key to healthy hair went much deeper than a bi-weekly treatment?
In fact, achieving truly healthy natural hair starts from the inside out. Think about it, we diet, exercise, and strive to drink more water at the start of every new year in order to tackle our fitness goals and get that beach body ready.
What we eat and drink however, affects so much more than just the look of our abs and glutes, it also greatly impacts our skin, hair, and mental health. We’re not kidding. If you don’t maintain a healthy diet, fitness regimen or drink enough water your hair will suffer the consequences too.
We’ve broken down the three must-haves for healthier natural hair that are effective yet easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and make a part of your everyday self-care routine. Plus, some of the best healthy hair products to work into your natural hair care regimen.
How do You Know When Hair is Healthy?
Before we get started, let’s dive into what having healthy natural hair actually means. Contrary to popular belief, having healthy natural hair is not about looks. Having frizz, dullness, and flyaways are not an indication that hair is unhealthy.
To have healthy hair means much more than just how hair appears but rather, it’s about how it feels and behaves. You’ll know your hair is healthy when it can hold moisture, has a lot of ‘bounce back’ or elasticity, experiences shrinkage, and doesn’t experience breakage.
3 Ways to Get Healthier Hair
In addition to maintaining a consistent and effective natural hair care routine and making sure you’re protecting your natural hair at night there are three easy lifestyle changes that will greatly benefit your hair as well as your overall well-being.
To achieve a few key indicators of healthy hair, like holding moisture, promoting hair growth, and adding shine, start incorporating these healthy lifestyle changes below.
Get More Moisture
One of the easiest ways to care for your body from the inside out is to drink more water. In addition to the numerous health benefits drinking lots of water provides, it’s also linked to clearer skin and hydrated hair.
We understand that it can be tough to continuously drink water throughout the day so try switching it up a bit by adding different fruits and vegetables. If you’re bored with plain water try coconut water. Believe it or not coconut water is more hydrating than regular water. It helps treat dandruff and dry scalp due to its hydrating and anti-fungal properties. If however, you’re like us who much prefer our coconut in a piña colada, try cucumber infused water or cucumber juice. Fun fact, cucumbers are known to contain 90% water.
Other great ways to ensure your hair stays hydrated? Using a moisturizing pre-shampoo like our Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo. This works to gently detangle your curls while adding some much-needed moisture into strands to help protect hair during the washing process. This makes tighter textures, curls, and coils more manageable and less susceptible to breakage while wet.Similarly, opt for a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo like our Coconut Oil Shampoo that won’t strip your hair of the natural oils it needs to stay hydrated.
Read more of our Top Tips To Keep Your Natural Hair Moisturized
Promote Hair Growth
One of the best ways to promote healthy hair growth is to improve your blood circulation. There are a few ways to do this. First by giving your scalp a relaxing massage using our Hair & Scalp Sealing Oil, second by reaching for natural hair formulas that feature Black Castor Oil (the primary ingredient in our Black Castor Miracle collection), and the third is you guessed it, exercise.
Based on trusted research, incorporating at least 30 minutes of light cardio a day can improve blood circulation which ultimately stimulates your hair from root to tip. Not to mention working out, even if it’s just a brisk walk, is incredibly important to your overall physical and mental health. The fact that it will leave your hair thicker, longer, and healthier? That’s just a bonus.
Add More Shine
Probably one of the hardest things to add to your hair is more shine, especially in the colder winter months. But a very pretty-colored and sometimes smelly friend can hook you up. We’re talking about salmon. Fish, like salmon, is packed with something called omega-3 fatty acids, which is one of the most important ingredients for shinier hair. Taking vitamins and fish oil supplements are also a great way to get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy overall.
For instant shine, reach for a lightweight cream like our Shea Miracle Curling Custard. This curl styling custard is non-sticky and non-flaky and it’s unique blend of nourishing shea butter and herbal oil extracts gives curly strands amazing manageability, softness, and shine. Our African Pride Braid Sheen Spray is another way to get immediate results (and itchy scalp relief).
When looking for products to add shine to your natural hair look for ingredients like Soybean Oil, Flaxseed Oil, and Sweet Almond Oil.
The best way to get shiny, healthy natural hair is a two-pronged attack. Treating both the inside and outside of your body. It’s important to remember that combining a sensible diet, increasing your water intake, getting active plus using the right natural hair care products.
The best thing about this is that these three must-haves for healthier hair are easy and affordable. I mean, you don’t even need a gym membership to get your sweat on. It can feel overwhelming at first so start small. The next time you heat up oil for your hot oil treatment, cook up a piece of salmon along with it, grab a bottle of coconut water instead of a mango Fanta, during your late night gas station run (yes, they make mango Fantas), and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Your abs and your hair will thank you, we promise.
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