The other day I had a question from a reader who wanted to know – is there any way she can get her hair soft because she knows she has ‘hard hair’ just based on her hair type.
My first thought was, how is this myth still a thing? And my second thought was what even lead any of us to believe that we cannot have soft hair in the first place?
Let me very clear, some of us are not just automatically predisposed to hard hair! If your hair consistently rough, or feels hard, it is because it lacks moisture and is suffering from chronic dryness.
In this post, I want to come up with a high-level plan of attack for those of you experiencing chronic dryness that you can use with just a few tweaks regardless of hair type. You need to focus on three things when you want to “turn on” the softness in your hair.
1. Fix whats broken
The good folks over at As I Am are going to help me break this all down so keep reading!
Your hair type refers to shape of your hair strand and the shape of the hair strand is determined by the shape of the hair follicle on your scalp.
People with straight or wavy hair have typically round or oval shaped hair follicles, while people with curly or kinky hair types have follicles that are elliptical in shape!
The curlier or kinkier your hair is the more prone to dryness it is because moisture is not able to travel in a straight line from root to tip. With that said we can see how easy it is for someone with very kinky hair or zig zag curls to automatically think that their hair is “meant” to be hard but if you understand the science you can change how your hair feels and behaves.
Fix whats broken
Kinky curly girls have very sensitive stands because of how dry our hair gets, and this dryness can lead to breakage and high porosity strands due to structural damage.
The first step to softer strands should be a protein treatment. Depending on how much damage your hair has, protein will help to patch the areas of your strand that are broken and smooth the strands making them automatically softer (because you are retaining more moisture in the strand) and less prone to friction.
I prefer to do protein treatments first as a pre-poo because I still will have to deep condition my hair towards the end of the process.
In a bowl mix these ingredients together and apply to your hair from root to tip. This is known as a henna gloss and it gives your hair a great ayurvedic protein treatment, heals the strand and softens the hair all at the same time.
Note! – I added a little oil to my mix, feel free to do that as well! (Choose any one of your favorite oils)
Once you have applied your mix, don a plastic cap and let your hair marinate for an hour! Do this when you have errands or chores to do that way your hair can get a great deep condition and you can multi-task.
After the hour is passed, rinse your hair thoroughly and shampoo as normal!
Deep conditioning regularly is the key to the softest curls ever! I do not care if your hair is shaped like an “S” a “Z” a “P” or an “X”, deep conditioning using heat will change your life. With that said this is the part of the post that I think will require a bit of investment on your part.
Steaming your hair is a great way to hydrate your curls and many of us have taken the plunge and invested in a great steamer to ensure that we get the best out of our deep conditioning products.
The steamer I recommend is one of the standing ones that have a timer and the deep conditioner I have used for years is the As I Am Hydration Elation. This deep conditioner is great because its thick, it actually is hydrating and is designed to soften your curls.
after you have sectioned and shampooed your hair apply the Hydration Elation liberally to each section and detangle as best you can. Detangling with your deep conditioner helps to cut down on detangling time when you start your styling process.
Clip each section away and steam your hair for at least 20 minutes. If you do not have a steamer, create your own steam by covering your with a plastic cap and use an overhead dryer as your heat source.
Wash your deep conditioner out after 20 minutes and then apply your leave-in conditioner to start the styling process.
Soft curls are not created using a ‘set it and forget it attitude” even with everything I just described above you have to ensure that you are maintaining your hair weekly to avoid dryness. This means:
– Protective styling
– Using water if your hair feels dry
– covering your hair at night
If you are a mid week styler or nightly twister, meaning you re-do your hair every night or on a Wednesday night, use products that are hydrating for your curls.
Try these styling combinations:
A spray bottle with plain water, and the Long and Luxe Curl Enhancing Smoothie. You can however use any combination you like, just as long as you are focused on keeping your hair as moisturized as possible.
finally be very patient with your hair, your weekly or bi-weekly routine of steaming/deep conditioning will improve your strands over time so even if you do not see immediate results, do not worry its coming. Remain consistent and very in tune with how your hair is reacting to what you are doing and you will be well on your way to the softest curls ever, regardless of hair type!