Tips for thick, healthy hair

All Woman

Tips for thick, healthy hair

CANDIECE KNIGHT

Monday, September 07, 2020

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REGARDLESS of the different hair trends that come and go, healthy natural hair never goes out of style. Even if you like to wear wigs, braids or hair extensions, you must ensure that the hair that grows from your scalp is in tip-top shape, as it not only affects the outcome of your desired style, but also your overall health and well-being.

Nacketia Knight, the certified hair stylist and natural hair vlogger behind the popular Jamaican HairGoddess Youtube channel, says when your hair is healthy it affects all of you.

“Just like your mood and confidence improves when you leave the salon with a bomb new hairdo, so can your self-esteem be affected negatively when your hair is dry, thin, brittle, falling out or flaking” she tells All Woman. “Thick, luscious hair is not just a trend. It's a big part of looking and feeling your best.”

She recommends her pro tips for maintaining a thick, healthy mane for any hair type or curl pattern.

Moisturise

You must keep your hair moisturised if you don't want it to become dry and brittle, Knight says. “Just like your skin, or the organs inside your body, your hair needs to be hydrated to be healthy and strong. Well-moisturised hair will not break or shed easily during styling, and when done consistently, is the key to hair growth,” she explains. “It can be a bit tricky (and expensive) trying to find the right moisturisers for your hair, but you can try different home-made or store bought products and create your routine based on results, not brands.”

Deep condition regularly

“Deep conditioning is important in restoring and refreshing your hair to a healthy state,” Knight says. “This process is where you coat your hair with a layer of healthy ingredients to help restore the molecular structure of each strand, using mild heat (such as a steam cap) to help those nutrients to penetrate the hair.”

She recommends that you deep condition each time you shampoo your hair, or more often if your hair is badly in need of repair.

Avoid excess heat

“Constantly exposing your hair to excess heat can irreversibly damage your hair shaft, and must be avoided at all costs,” the hairstylist says. “Heat damage causes your hair to become dry and frizzy, and over time, weak. If you must use heat-styling methods in your hair, remember to apply a good leave-in conditioner to your hair, and deep condition it regularly. Heat damage can also occur from overexposure to direct sunlight, especially in a climate like Jamaica's. Ensure that you protect your hair from this as much as possible.”

Style with care

The hair goddess prescribes low-manipulation protective styles for thick, natural hair. “Styling is a personal choice, but you must always bear in mind the amount of heat, tension, and harmful products that you are willing to risk to achieve your desired look, and how much of that your hair can withstand,” she says. “Low manipulation styles reduce hair loss from breakage and tugging, and are more comfortable and gentle on your scalp. Styles are considered protective when they keep your natural hair ends safely tucked away for a period of time, while allowing for new growth to take place without much interference.”

She lists cornrows, sew-ins, knotless braids, tension-free extensions and faux locs as popular protective styles.

Be patient

“Always remember that your hair is unique, and healthy hair for you will not necessarily look or feel the same as healthy hair for the next woman,” Knight says. “Be patient with your own hair, and find what methods work best for you. Long, voluminous hair doesn't grow overnight. It comes when you develop a lifestyle of caring for your hair gently and consistently.”


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