5 Ways to Protect Your Hair so You can Rock More Natural Hairstyles

Long Hair

Most women have no idea what their natural hair looks like, using hairstyles day in and day out that prevent them from remembering what it looks like. Most women spend a significant amount of time at the salon getting hairstyles and color treatments that are far from natural, and they eventually kind of forget what their natural hair looks like. That’s fine; we all do it. I haven’t seen my natural hair since I was 18 and I don’t really remember what it looks like.

Years of blowing your hair dry and straightening it every day, coloring it every 4 to 6 weeks at the salon and blowing it dry just to curl it with the big barrel curling iron on the regular make it difficult to remember which hairstyles are natural. And while that’s fine, experts recommend that women should try for at least one natural hairstyle every week to prevent excessive damage. Oops. Now that we know our styling habits are killing our hair, it’s time to figure out how we can take care of it so that it’s not as badly damaged forever as it might be at this particular moment.

Give Your Hair Moisture

Most people think spending the day in the pool, ocean or showering is enough to keep their hair moist, but it’s not. The simple rule is this; if the air is dry, your hair is dry. There’s nothing you can do about that, right? Wrong; you can do something about that. You can actually do a lot of something about that (and no, spending the day in the hot sun or chemical-laden pool is not providing moisture to your hair). When you go to bed at night, take a bowl of water and put it next to your bed. When the water evaporates, it puts moisture into the air and it helps to provide moisture to your hair. Seriously, it’s really that simple.

Skip the Daily Wash

This one sounds disgusting, and rest assured that no one is really a fan of skipping the wash. However, it’s necessary. If you’re hair is dry or brittle or breaking or dying, it’s being washed too much. Hairstylists and experts recommend that most women skip the daily wash and only wash their hair every other day to help keep moisture in the hair, prevent damage and keep from stripping your strands.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Women can still wet their hair and even condition their hair, but shampoo is known to dry it out. Skip the dry hair by skipping the shampoo on a daily basis. If you have hair that’s particularly oily, you can pull it back on days you don’t wash and wash just the front of your hair with a touch of shampoo to keep your roots from looking so greasy, or use a dry shampoo to get rid of some of the moisture. We even like the baby powder method; sprinkle it onto your roots, brush it through and then blow dry the excess out of your hair to dry it up a bit.

Protect Your Hair from Heat

If you’re out in the sun, wear a hat or a headscarf. You are killing your hair when you spend too much time in the heat, and that includes doing things you consider natural, such as yard work. Covering it is a great way to prevent it from drying out. You can cover your hair with a hat, a scarf or you can just sit beneath an umbrella and call it a day.

When you’re home, protect it from the heat by using a hair care product designed to protect your hair from heat damage when you blow dry or style your hair with a heating tool. It’s imperative that you remember to do this each time or you risk killing your hair, causing serious breakage and even causing brittle strands.

Wear a Natural Hairstyle Once a Week

Tell me there isn’t a day every week in which you don’t do anything important but run errands. This is a perfect day to wear a natural hairstyle that does not involve one styling product or tool. Wear a French braid. Wear a bun. Wear a sock bun. Pull your hair back in a sleek ponytail and wear it up for the day. You can do something completely natural that doesn’t involve a wash or a style so that you can keep your hair looking as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Another great way to wear your hair if you don’t like the look of oily roots is pulled half back. It’s simple, elegant and very pretty. Just grab some bobby pins and get to work creating a natural-day hairstyle that’s going to save your strands.

Keep Your Hair Down

A ponytail, bun or other updo might be easy and simple, but it’s not something you should wear every day. Pulling your hair back is fine, but too much can cause your hair to break. It can also cause your hair to have those ugly “ponytail” bumps we all hate. It’s important you try and wear your hair down a few days a week to prevent hair ties from pulling on your scalp all the time. The relaxed nature of wearing your hair down gives your strands a break. It’s also very pretty. We love a good hairstyle that includes some hair that’s down.

Since most of us are unwilling to go au natural on a regular basis, we have to settle for finding other ways to protect our locks. These simple tips are going to help us have healthier, stronger, more gorgeous hair for a long time. It’s important that we remember this is all the hair we get. Unless you get pregnant and lose half your hair only to find millions of little strands growing in its place causing your hair to look like a frizzed mess thanks to millions of two-inch strands of new growth; this is all you get.

Photo by Steffen Kugler/Getty Images


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