A woman’s hair is her crowning glory and African women especially face a lot of challenges in trying to maintain their natural hair. Getting it to grow without split ends is tasking for most hence weaves come in handy. But despite the fact that it is easier to hide behind the luxuriousness of all types of hair extensions I still maintain that it is important to take care of your natural hair.

I recently made the decision to pay more attention to my natural hair and let it grow out, as I was exhausted with the high cost of maintaining weaves and my natural hair was beginning to show alarming signs of serious damage.

Allow me to share my new hair-nurturing regimen.



Your outward appearance is a reflection of how healthy you are on the inside; your diet can go a long way toward improving your skin and your hair. It is important that your diet is rich in dark green vegetables, fruits and lean proteins, this will help strengthen you hair and prevent breakage. When it comes to hair, it’s not only what you apply on it that counts, what you put in your body counts too. Also, remember to stay hydrated, at least eight glasses of water a day will do.


Use natural emollients like olive oil, Shea butter, jojoba oil and sunflower oil on your hair daily to keep it soft and supple. Regular conditioning is very vital to the well being of your hair and scalp, remember to avoid moisturizers like mineral oil and petroleum because they can block pores and make your hair look dull.


We all know that African hair is more prone to breakage than other types of hair so it is wiser to find ways to keep your hair from getting damaged. I always say too much heat is the enemy, avoid using tools like flat irons, hair dryers on high temperature, excessive heat is one of the major causes of damaged hair. Before you go to bed wrap your hair in a silk scarf so that your hair is protected against the rough fibres of your pillowcase.



African hair tends to be drier and more brittle and shampooing it constantly aggravates this. As hard as it might be for most women it is important that you shampoo your hair no more than once a week, this helps in hair growth.


Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inches every month and as reluctant as you might be to snip a bit of your hair at the salon, it is for your own good. As your hair grows split ends develop and if they aren’t trimmed they can cause extreme breakage and stunt hair growth. So relax, allow your hairdresser to snip off just a little bit during your hair care sessions.

You should also know that not every trim requires a trip to the salon, you can take care of your own split ends by simply getting a pair of hair shears (normal scissors will gnaw through your hair and cause more split ends) and cutting perpendicular to the hair strand, this will keep it stronger.

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4 Responses

  1. Nibi Lawson

    As an 11 year natural and natural hair consultant, I feel I have to point out that while you there is some good information in this article, I strongly disagree on a major factor.

    Yes, you should eat right and protect your hair with a satin or silk scarf, that is true. However, while you should avoid sulphate shampoos because they strip your hair and scalp of its natural sebum, because (as you quite rightly mention) our hair is drier and more brittle, it craves moisture as a result and water is the best form of moisture you can give your hair, both from the inside and out. This is literally the most important point when it comes to caring for natural hair. Most people benefit from washing at least once a week. It just does not have to be with a sulphate shampoo. There are a number of good sulphate-free cleansers, and another alternative is to “cowash”, using a silicone-free conditioner to wash your hair instead of shampoo. Whatever the case, you should try and get that water into your hair and scalp as often as you can. Also remember that oils are NOT moisturisers, but sealants.

    There are a number of other very important points which have been omitted, and rather than list them all out here, I’ll just direct you to this post I wrote on the subject a while ago:


  2. Lola Maja-Okojevoh

    Thanks Nibi for your input, we always appreciate positive feedback and expert advice.

    Thumbs up Karen, keep it going, I grew my hair out for 2 years then in a moment of madness brought on by the lagos sun I relaxed my hair again. I’m now trying to bring the fro back into my life. We’ll keep each other spurred on. Wigs, weaves and braids are great but we always have to look after what we’ve been naturally blessed with.



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