the 10 commandments of beautiful, healthy hair  Products are essential to attaining beautiful and healthy hair, but products alone will not service the overall health of your curls. There are other factors that play a major role in having healthy hair. I like to call them The 10 Commandments of Beautiful, Healthy Hair.

1. Thou shalt eat healthy.

It is important to take care of our insides just as much as the outsides. The right foods and water are fundamental to encouraging hair growth and maintaining naturally hydrated hair. These 10 power foods are rich in minerals, fiber and vitamins; adding them into my diet supported my hair growth.

2. Thou shalt sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase.

In order to prevent your curls from matting at night, using a silk or satin pillowcase will aid in the reduction of frizz. This falls in line with not touching my hair as much as I can. The less disturbed curls are, the more time they stay in tact.

3. Thou shalt finger de-tangle to protect thy glorious mane.

Finger detangling has several advantages when taking care of curls. It helps me feel the tangles and avoid all the pulling that comes along when using a comb, thus avoiding hair loss and breakage. Plus, my curl pattern stays in tact. Although, it is definitely not the only way to detangle hair; wide-toothed combs are similarly effective.

4. Thou shall eliminate--or limit--heat usage on hair.

Excessive heat is more likely to damage your curl pattern and extract moisture from the hair. There are several ways to restore your curls to their natural state. Most of the time, however, it requires cutting off the damaged tresses (big chop) to give room for new growth. Repairing curls from heat damage is a long journey, therefore the less heat possible, the better.

5. Thou shall style hair when wet.

In order to obtain all the benefits from hair products, applying them onto soaking wet hair is recommended. Wet hair deeply saturates products, which allows curls to form frizz-free into their natural pattern.

6. Thou shalt only use a microfiber towel to dry.

Similarly like a satin or silk pillowcase, a microfiber towel causes less friction and tangles meaning less breakage. They also absorb water much faster than the typical terry cloth towels. This reduces drying time and helps your curls retain moisture.

7. Thou shalt read the ingredient label.

It's important to stay cautious of the elements that are being placed onto your curly hair; you should also pay attention to what goes into our body. Therefore, reading the ingredient labels on all of your products before purchasing and using them. I personally avoid using products with the following ingredients:

  • sulfates

  • parabens

  • phthalates

  • paraffin

  • propylene glycol

  • mineral oil

  • synthetic fragrance

  • synthetic color

  • DEA

  • animal ingredients (or animal testing)

  • petroleum

It is best to choose products that contain water as one of their top five ingredients as there really is no better moisturizer than good ol' H2O.

8. Thou shalt shampoo less--and co-wash more.

Shampooing too frequently strips hair of its natural moisture and can lead to hair loss and breakage. It is better to clarify 1-2 times a month, and co-wash in between. That allows for curls to get conditioned much more, and reduce oil production on the scalp (similar to producing more oil when over-washing one's face).

9. Thou shalt deep condition.

Besides shampooing less often, deep conditioning is an important step to obtaining full, manageable and properly moisturized hair. Daily conditioning is done with co-washing, but deep conditioning is needed once a month to add necessary strengthening protein to your curls. This helps hair to be less prone to breakage and retain length.

10. Thou shalt love thy hair no matter what.

Last but not least—self-love. There is a lot of pressure from the media to follow in the steps of what’s deemed as beautiful or acceptable, but not concerning yourself with the opinions of others has allowed me to reach an optimal point of self-love and acceptance. The natural hair journey is a lengthy one, but appreciating every moment from transitioning to restored allows for growth—both personal and hair wise.

What other habits have worked in achieving your beautiful curls?