How to Make Natural Hair Softer. And Stronger.

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No matter what texture your hair may be or how long you want it to get, I’m pretty sure that I’m on the right track when I say that a main hair goal for us all is to have a head full of healthy hair. And when it comes to natural hair in particular, because it can sometimes be difficult for the natural sebum on our scalp to travel all the way down our strands, this means that we have to be super intentional about making sure that our hair is well-moisturized — because when that happens, not only are our tresses really soft but they end up being super stronger and more resilient too.

So, let’s dive in. Here are 10 things that you can — and should — do in order to make your hair softer and stronger…so that your hair can be as healthy as possible from root to tip.

Pre-Poo

Whether you decide to use a non-sulfate shampoo or a clarifying one to remove excess product build-up, it’s always a good idea to pre-poo your hair beforehand. By applying a carrier oil like avocado, jojoba or sweet almond (pretty much any oil you’d like”>, aloe vera gel or even pre-pooing commercial products (check out “8 Best Pre-Poo Treatments for Curly Hair””> before washing your hair, it will make it easier to detangle your locks, it can make your conditioner more effective, it will add moisture, make your hair more manageable and definitely make it so much softer — and all of these things will reduce breakage which will make your hair stronger over time.

Hair Steam

Applying steam to your hair will help to add hydration. It works by opening up your hair’s cuticles, so that it’s easier for moisture to get into them. This option is great if you have low porosity hair, you want to deep condition your locks, you’re looking for a way to increase blood circulation to your scalp and/or you want to add some sheen and softness to your hair. Learn some tips on how to get the most out of steaming by checking out our article, “How to Steam Your Natural Hair the Right Way”.

Microfiber Towel

Not all towels are created equal. Microfiber towels are great for drying your hair because they’re gentle on your strands, they’re super absorbent, they significantly reduce frizz and you don’t have to worry about getting lint or other debris on your hair as you’re drying it. Bottom line, microfiber towels require very little hair manipulation which can help your hair to absorb the products that you put it in it. Plus, these types of towels reduce the chances of damage when it’s in its most fragile state (wet”>.

Ylang Ylang Oil

Over here, we’re such fans of ylang ylang oil that we wrote an article about it several years ago — “How to Use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil For Excessive Hair Fall & Oiliness”. While it touches on the fact that this particular oil is a great conditioner, some other benefits that come from using it on a regular basis is it improves your hair’s natural texture, reduces breakage, soothes dry scalp, smooths your hair’s cuticles and makes it very soft to the touch. Plus, it smells pretty wonderful too.

Vitamin E

Whether you opt to eat foods that are high in Vitamin E like pumpkin, almonds, sunflower seeds, kiwi, avocados and butternut squash, you decide to take a Vitamin E supplement on a daily basis, you prefer to use hair products that are full of Vitamin E or all of the above, you can never go wrong with this nutrient as far as your hair is concerned. The antioxidants in Vitamin E help to reduce oxidative stress that could damage your hair’s follicles. It can also hydrate your scalp, stimulate hair growth, strengthen your hair strands and make your hair oh so very soft. It’s one of the best vitamins for your hair. No doubt about it.

Omega-3

Speaking of nutrients that are really good for your hair, definitely don’t forget about omega-3 fatty acids. Food-wise, you can get your fill via ones like salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, mangos, berries and spinach. You can also take it as a supplement. Or, you can make your own flaxseed hair gel (get some instructions here and below”>.

Henna

It’s no secret that when you make the decision to permanently color-treat your hair, you run the risk of damaging it (especially if you go with a dye that contains ammonia”>. However, henna is a type of hair dye that comes from the plant Lawsonia inermis. It’s great for your hair because it’s a potent conditioner, it can slow down premature greying, it contains astringent and antifungal properties and it’s got Vitamin E in it which you already know can help to make your hair extremely soft. If all of this has piqued your curiosity but you’d like to learn more, you’re in luck. Check out our articles, “Should I Use Henna to Color My Curls?” and “Naturally Brighten & Condition Your Hair with Henna”.

Chamomile Tea

If there’s nothing more soothing to you than enjoying a hot cup of chamomile tea — good for you because you’re doing wonders for your health from head to toe! The properties in chamomile tea help to boost your immunity, soothe a sore throat, relieve migraines, heal acne, reduce eye puffiness, improve your quality of sleep and moisturize your hair and skin. When it comes to your hair specifically, chamomile tea can help to get rid of dandruff flakes, make your hair shiny, thicken your hair and, thanks to the vitamins A, zinc, iron and calcium — drinking the tea and/or applying it as a hair rinse will help to pamper your locks on a myriad of levels.

DIY Hair Mask

Question. When’s the last time you treated your hair to a homemade hair mask? When it comes to deep conditioning your tresses, it’s a “win” every time because it adds even more moisture to your strands, decreases frizz, hydrates your scalp, softens your locks and helps to protect your hair from environmental damage. It can also make your hair stronger and more manageable on the days when you choose to color-treat your hair. Some DIY recipes that can inspire you are also featured on our site. Check out “Best DIY Recipes for Naturally Curly Hair”.

Leave-in Conditioner

Something that I wish I had done YEARS ago — and yes, I am yelling it! — is applied a leave-in conditioner to my hair, even after deep conditioning it. If your hair seems to drink up all of the moisture you give it, your locks are color-treated or you’re simply looking for another way to reduce breakage, control frizz, bring definition to your curls, make your hair feel soft to the touch while pampering your ends at the same time, a leave-in can make all of that possible. If you want some help selecting the right kind of leave-in for your hair texture and porosity level, check out our articles “Top 20 Leave-in Conditioners” and “10 Best Water-Based Leave-in Conditioners”. Here’s to a head of hair that is really soft and extremely strong, y’all!

Shellie Reneé

Shellie Reneé has been writing full-time for two decades with bylines in everything from Honey, King and Sister 2 Sister (remember those?) to XONecole, Upscale, Little Things, Your Tango and Love, Live Health — just to name a few. Although most of her writing is relationships-related, she also enjoys writing on self-help, health and wellness and providing tips for women to celebrate the way they were born — both inside and out.

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