Regardless of where you are at in your Natural hair journey, there are a few natural hair essentials that will help to keep your strands healthy and flourishing. With the wide range and ever-growing selection of natural hair products stocking shelves, it is easy to become a self proclaimed product junkie.

Here are a few natural hair essentials that can help you to take better care of your hair

Non-Sulfate Shampoo2. Non-Sulfate Shampoo

One of the reasons that many Caucasian women need to wash their hair a few times a week is because their hair is naturally straight. This makes it easier for their body’s natural oils to coat each strand of hair, resulting in oily, stringy hair if not washed often.

Curly hair can make an African-American woman’s hair pretty dry; that’s why they don’t need to wash it quite as often — once a week at the most, twice a month at the least.

To avoid stripping your hair of the oil it has, it’s best to wash it with a non-sulfate shampoo. Why? While sulfates clean hair, they also strip it of moisture, which can lead to breakage over time

Deep Conditioner3. Deep Conditioner

To make sure your hair gets even more moisture so that it can handle all of the styles you plan to try before your next wash day, follow up shampooing with deep conditioning.

As far as the conditioner goes, it needs to be something with a creamy texture that you can let penetrate your hair (with a plastic bag and with or without heat) for 15 to 30 minutes.

Wide-Toothed Comb4. Wide-Toothed Comb

To tell you the truth, the fewer styling tools you use in your hair, the better. That’s why lots of naturalistas rave about putting their locks up in protective styles.

If you need to comb your hair, avoid breakage by either finger-combing your hair or using a wide-toothed comb (or Denman brush). Otherwise, you run the risk of yanking out your hair.

Essential Oils5. Essential Oils

Keeping your hair moisturized with oils is essential, but it’s important to avoid heavy oils (like ones with petroleum) because all they do is coat your shaft, clog your hair follicles, and weigh down your hair.

Instead, opt for essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or rosemary. These oils will help soothe your scalp and promote hair growth.

Make sure to mix your essential oils into a carrier oil like coconut, grapeseed, or avocado oil. They give your hair the extra moisture and protection that it needs.

Silk ScarvesNatural Hair101: 8 Natural Hair Essentials Every Naturalista Should Own

When it comes to natural hair, friction is not your friend. Friction tends to happen the most while you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night on your cotton sheets and pillowcases.

Significantly reduce friction while you sleep by tying your hair up in a silk scarf every night. Scarves are also a great styling tool if you want to protect your hair from outside elements or prevent it from rubbing against your clothing.

MultivitaminsNatural Hair 101: 8 Natural Hair Essentials

Eating healthy foods allows your hair, skin, and nails to get the nutrients that they need.

Because your hair tends to get whatever is left from your meals after your organs receive the nutrients they need, though, you can supplement by taking a multivitamin. This will improve your overall health as well as your hair health.

Scalp Massager9. Scalp Massager

Speaking of nutrients, one way for your scalp and hair follicles to get vitamins and minerals more efficiently is with the help of a massage.

If you’ve got someone who can rub your scalp for you, congrats! If not, there are some really great portable scalp massagers that are their own little piece of heaven.

If you use a scalp massager a few times a week, you’ll notice a difference in your hair after a just a couple of months.

PatienceNatural Hair101: 8 Natural Hair Essentials Every Naturalista Should Own

Here’s the thing: Even if you do follow all of these tips, long natural hair is not going to happen overnight. On average, hair grows a ½ inch a month, which equates to about 6 inches a year — and that’s if there is no breakage.

This means that as you’re figuring out what works best for your hair, you’re going to need to be patient. However, if you’re willing to give your hair some TLC by being consistent with the kind of routine that works for you, you’ll see the results that you’re looking for in time

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