Hair doesn’t make the woman, but good hair definitely helps!
We’ve all been at that point where you’re staring at your hair in the mirror, hands fiddling as they threaten to curl into fists, tears brimming at the back of your eyes, little balls of hair at your feet and you wondering why hair growth seems to hate you. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. Most curly girls (and even guys) have a harder time growing their hair and reaching their length goals than their straight and wavy-haired counterparts. I’ve met type 4 divas who have given up hope. “For my hair to ever grow with all the breakage I face would be borderline impossible.“ “I mean just think about Wash day alone.” And yes, wash day can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare.
Styling your hair at any point can become a nightmare if you’re doing any form of detangling. It can turn into a daunting, depressing task– trust me, I know. If you’re anything like me, all you want to do is protect your hair and maintain it’s elasticity against….extenuating circumstances. Methods recommended online or hair strength supplements recommended by professionals can get quite expensive. I mean I know they’re way above my budget. Clay masks and amino acids aren’t products I can be using every one or two weeks. What I need is a cheap, economical way to protect my hair against breakage whenever I need it. Something that can be used over and over and over again before it’s used up. And chances are that’s what you need to.
Fortunately, if you’re looking for some DIY substitutes to store-bought products, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve collected 5 proven methods to protect your hair that you can do entirely yourself. Or more specifically– that you can make yourself! These are all methods I regimens I myself have tried, and can confirm. “Alexa, play Whip my Hair by Willow Smith.”
1.) Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatments are especially crucial to hair strength during colder months. They help strengthen your hair and prevent dry, brittle hair and split ends. Aside from the facts that they provide countless benefits for your scalp and stimulate your blood flow, they also protect against moisture loss. Since thicker, curlier hair tends to get dry easily, moisture retention is extremely important.
Hot oil treatments will help deposit oil back into your hair and prevent the dryness that can contribute to breakage. It’s not a difficult task and something you can easily incorporate into your wash routine weekly or bi-weekly. You can use any oil you like, and certain oils run for dirt cheap at retailers like Walmart or Dollar General. Olive oil and coconut oil are both pretty popular in the natural hair community so I suggest giving them a try before even thinking about reaching for pricier bottles.
Jojoba oil, argan oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Avocado oil, rosemary oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and even mineral oil should all work really nicely as well. Just heat the oil up in a microwaveable safe container and apply directly to your scalp, after reaching a cooler temperature of course. Leave it on for around 20 minutes and then rinse. Sitting under a hooded dryer during this time period allows for maximum penetration.
2.) Hair Inversion Method
Some naturals swear this method is like magic. I’m talking a full inch of growth in seven days. This technique is pretty similar to hot oil treatments, in that you warm up oil and massage it into your scalp. So it’s another great, quick way to stimulate hair growth, promote elasticity, and moisturize your strands. Adequate moisture means more strength. Stronger hair equals less breakage. So no matter what method you try; stronger hair is always the goal.
Inversion means hanging your head upside down(don’t worry– not a handstand. Just put your head between your knees). The smartest recommendation time is 4 minutes, with you continuously massaging the oil into your scalp. It doesn’t take much time and it hardly costs any money so there really isn’t any harm in trying… unless you have health problems associated with turning your head upside down. Then in that case, definitely don’t try it.
Since there are mixed reviews out there on whether or not this method actually promotes speedier hair growth, I suggest trying it more for the hair care aspect. It’s a great way to make sure you’re moisturizing your hair everyday and putting a protective barrier around your locks. At least for a week anyway.
3.) Rice Water
This is one that I can truly say caused a difference in my hair. Rice water has become a growing trend in the curly hair community, with the method originating in Southeast Asia. You can easily incorporate it into your wash day routine. For a truly economic alternative to pricier products, stick with cheaper rices like Jasmine or white rice.
Whenever I do this method I let the rice soak in water for approximately 24 hours. Then I strain the water, throw out the rice, and pour it in my head. That last part happens right after I wash and shampoo my hair. I typically will put it on at the same time that I condition my hair and let both sit on my hair for around my hour. That’s just me though. You may prefer to add it in as a whole extra step to your wash process where you condition then rinse, then rice water and rinse.
Fermented rice water will make your hair a lot easier to detangle, leading to less knots and less breakage. We have a more in depth review of using rice water (and the next beverage!) in our hair here so make sure you check it out.
4.) Green Tea Rinse
Most of us already have a few packs of herbal tea sitting around the house, so a green tea rinse is a super convenient way to use it up while benefiting your hair. The process is extremely simple, making it perfect for incorporating into any hair wash regimen. All you have to do is heat up a cup of water (even the microwave will work!), and get yourself a tea bag to sit in there for a few minutes. Definitely let the cup cool off before pouring it into your hair. I repeat do not pour hot tea into your hair.
I normally pour the rinse in after I shampoo my hair and I’m applying the conditioner. You dip the cup right by your roots and run it over your entire scalp. Your hair should then replicate a sponge and soak it up. And heck, you can even take a sip of the tea while you’re at it. I always let the tea sit in for at least 20 minutes. Other herbal teas will work, but I’d suggest sticking with green tea since it nourishes and softens the hair.
Certain teas are prone to making hair a bit stiff. Green tea is said to have multiple beneficial vitamins, including B and E, as well as the ability to stimulate blood flow, contributing to reduced shedding. Research has always suggested that green tea helps with dandruff and psorasis–which is always an added perk. If you do decide to use black tea though, you’ll still experience similar benefits as well. Black tea may strengthen and thicken hair strands even more than green tea does. It’s also been shown to reduce shedding hair, though it doesn’t stimulate hair growth as much as its green counterpart. You run the risk of your hair feeling a bit harder than you like after applying black tea, but give yourself a rinse and a day or so and you should be right back to normal.
There are so many variations to try though that have proven to be beneficial so I suggest looking up and finding out for yourself the use of applying catnip, chamomile, Peppermint, Rosemary, and so many others. As one last note, I’d recommend following up with a deep condition for extra protection against rough hair. Going the no-caffeine route should also aid in softer locks.
For a more in depth review on my first time trying a green tea rinse, head over to my YouTube video here! We just hit 400 subscribers on YouTube and we would love all the support we can get. Make sure you comment your YouTube or Blog so we can return the love!
5.) Avocado-based hair mask
Avocado contains high amounts of fatty amino acids that coat your hair shaft and help it retain moisture. The natural oils provide your hair with durable and deep hydration. Its rich in vitamins E, B6, D, and A, and minerals like iron which help it nourish your hair and scalp. Most of us can always use an effective hair mask and avocado is known for making hair shiny, supple, and moisturized. Vitamin E helps repair damage on the scalp and Vitamin B is essential for hair growth. Avocado retains moisture, nourishes hair cells, and makes hair roots, shaft and strands stronger. One simple hair mask to treat dry hair only contains:
1 tablespoon raw honey
Simple enough right? You can even find recipes using avocado oil instead of avocado for a more liquid-based alternative. Avocado oil has been known to protect hair against UV rays as well, making it a prime all-natural sun protect-ant for your hair.
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We’re full-time students who love to create and blog. Twin sisters from NC focused on hair and health. We pride ourselves in being DIY lifestylists actively spreading creative, entrepreneurial spirits and Natural Hair Beauty Enthusiasts♥