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Natural curls are back in fashion, but not every woman with natural hair knows how to care for it properly. Of course, every head of hair is different, so if what you’re doing is working for you, then that’s great! However, if your routine feels like it’s missing something, here are a few ideas to fill in the blanks.

A standard head of curly- or kinky-textured hair needs the following steps during each wash day:

A gentle, sulfate-free cleanser

Curls become dry easily and don’t need to be washed often. A gentle shampoo is all you need. Look for one without sulfates to prevent excess dryness.

Rich, slippery conditioner for detangling

Next, you’ll need a conditioner with a lot of “slip” to work out all those tangles and restore the moisture to your hair. Some people like to do this step first, before cleansing their hair, since freshly detangled hair is easier to work with throughout the rest of the routine.

Moisturizing leave-in conditioner

It’s safe to say that pretty much every woman with natural hair needs a great leave-in moisturizer. Your hair needs a strong foundation of moisture to last throughout the day, let alone the week.

To cut costs and time, you can also use your detangling conditioner as a leave-in—many products are designed to accomplish both tasks. Ideally, you want your hair to be moisturized, but not weighed down.

Oil or butter

This step is one that many people skip unknowingly. Simply adding moisture to your hair isn’t quite enough. You also need to “seal” the moisture in by using an oil or butter, like jojoba oil, coconut oil or shea butter. This is especially important on the ends of your hair.

Cream

Next, you’ll want to add a cream on top of the oil. This product should be much thicker than your leave-in. It adds a finishing touch of moisture, fights frizz and holds your hair in place. You can add a little or a lot, depending on your hair type.

If your hair struggles to absorb moisture, you’ll want to apply cream before sealing with an oil rather than after.

Gel or edge control

A lot of people are intimidated by using hair gel because gel is associated with the crunchy, flaky hairstyles of yesteryear. However, it’s the only product that will reliably define your curls and hold the style for days.

Plenty of gels now maintain the softness and flexibility of your hair while offering a firm hold. If you like a super-natural, loose look, try making your own flaxseed gel. For a more polished look, use a strong gel along with an edge control.

A protective style

All of the above products are important, but they’re useless if you don’t protect your hair after wash day. Make sure to wrap your hair or sleep on a satin pillow to avoid losing moisture and definition. For extra protection, braid or twist your hair as it dries or overnight.

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5 Easy Kitchen Cures for Your Bad Hair Days

by Julie Dees

Let’s face it. We spend a lot of time and money on our appearance. For most of us, our hair truly is our crowning glory. It is most often the first thing someone will notice about us. If your hair isn’t at its best, it can give them a less than stellar impression of you and even start your day off wrong. The old saying about bad hair days is a little too true at times.

Instead of hightailing it to the salon or pulling on a hat every time your hair has issues, turn to your own pantry. You can find the answer to many of your common hair problems already waiting in your kitchen.

Ingredients

Avocado
Apple Cider Vinegar
Banana
Eggs
Honey
Lemon Juice
Mayonnaise
Oatmeal
Olive Oil
Salt
Strawberries
Sweet Almond Oil
Sunflower Oil

Lavender Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Tea Tree Oil (melaleuca)

Recipes for No More Bad Hair Days

Deep Conditioner

Combine 2 eggs, 3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp sunflower or sweet almond oil. Beat until smooth. Add 5 drops each of lavender and rosemary essential oils, stir until mixed. Massage mixture into damp or wet hair. Pile your hair on top of your head and cover with a plastic shower cap or plastic wrap. Continue by wrapping a towel around your head.

Relax and set the timer for 30 minutes. Rinse mixture from hair and then shampoo and condition as usual. Treatment can be done weekly.

Dry Hair

Add one small avocado with 4 tbsp sweet almond oil, and 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar to a blender. Pulse all ingredients together. Stir in 10 drops each of rosemary and tea tree essential oils. Work mixture through hair and scalp.

If hair is long, clip it up before leaving the mixture to set for 15-20 minutes at least. Rinse mixture out and then wash and condition as usual. Good for a monthly treatment.

Oily Hair

Prepare one serving of oatmeal and let it cool. Add two tbsp salt, mix well. Stir in 5 drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Apply generously to your scalp and allow it to set for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and then shampoo as usual.

Itchy, Dry Scalp

In a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp each of lemon juice, olive oil, and water along with 10 drops of tea tree oil. Set aside while you wet your head. Massage mixture onto wet scalp and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Wash and condition hair as usual. Treatment can be reapplied every two weeks.

Sweet Treat for Your Head

Mash ½ banana with 8 strawberries and 1 tbsp mayonnaise. Mix well and massage into washed, wet hair. Cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and then a towel. Allow to set for about 15-20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as usual. Can be done weekly.

Do you have a favorite home remedy for your bad hair days? We’d love to hear about it.


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