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Style Icon Tori

Many naturals spend a lot of time, research and money seeking out the perfect holy grail conditioner. This is the product that will give super soft hair and moisture for days. This is the product that will replicate the salon results. However, the truth is that salon products are often sold to consumers and many of these are really not dramatically different from store bought products. The real secret of super soft hair is more about technique and less about product. Yes, it is true that your hair may prefer a particular ingredient but it is possible with the right process to get your hair super soft regardless of the product. Here are the tips.

1. Do not skip shampoo

How does this create soft hair : No build up on the hair surface means you get a very smooth strand to the touch.

Hair conditioner is the first thing many think about when it comes to soft hair but applying hair conditioner to hair with a layer of oil and styling products really reduces its ability to work as intended. Find a mild shampoo that you like and always use it during your main wash. If you choose to co-wash between main washes, this is fine, but using a shampoo during your main wash will help fight build up and create a nice clean layer for your conditioner to work on.

2. Do not be heavy handed with conditioner – Unravel those twists or braids

How does this create soft hair : Hair conditioner coats hair with softening ingredients and the more hair you have in contact with the conditioner, the softer it will feel.

If you are washing your hair in large twists or braids, take the time to unravel each twist or braid and apply hair conditioner properly to coat each strand of hair. You do not have to be heavy handed with your conditioner, you just have to make sure you get every strand covered . Plopping a large amount of conditioner on hair and trying to squeeze it through each large twist or braid is not the way to go. However, do rebraid or retwist after the conditioner application, if you intend to control shrinkage.

3. Heat up your conditioner and keep it on for 20 – 30 minutes

How does this create soft hair : Increased heat and additional time (20-30 minutes maximum), increases the amount of conditioner that can deposit on the surface of hair. More conditioner on the surface equals more softness.

Often in a salon, you will either have your hair wrapped in a towel after conditioning and asked to wait or covered with a plastic cap and placed under a hooded dryer. At home, you can achieve the same effect by simply heating up your conditioner in a water bath and then keeping the heat in once the conditioner is applied by covering your hair with a towel. Heat increases the amount of deposits on the hair surface from conditioner (adsorption if you are in the know). Increasing your conditioning time to 20-30 minutes also increases adsorption but after this time period, there are no further increases.

4. Go easy with the leave in products and stretch your hair out to dry

How does this create soft hair: Using a minimal amount of leave in products allows hair strands to be able to move past each other and not be sticky. The lighter hair feels, the softer it feels. Also hair that is very kinky with small curls will feel softer when stretched compared to when allowed to fully shrink.

Leave in products are useful for maintaining moisture but using a large amount can reduce the softness of hair. Naturally if you prefer your hair to be coated with a product as it feels better, then that is ok for you.

If you have hair that clumps, please ignore this next tip, you should encourage clumping and allow your hair to dry unrestricted. If your hair has tight curls and multiple kinks, allowing it to shrink fully can create a very rough feeling texture (‘brillo pad’), regardless of whether you have followed the processes listed above. This is the reason why many stylists will finish hair with a light blow dry or twist out/braid out depending on time and client’s desire. Stretching out the hair increases the feeling of softness.

Finally, one additional tip that I can give for stretching hair at home is that if you are choosing to air dry your hair in twists or braids, you can get a very good stretch and hair that feels very soft by stretching in two cycles. First, apply your leave ins/oils to freshly washed hair and braid or twist to dry. In the second cycle, unravel the dry twists or braids, rewet lightly with water and reapply a small amount of leave in or oil once more. Retwist or rebraid and allow to dry once more to get to a really good stretch.

Ladies, have you tried these tips? How do you get super soft hair?

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50 Comments on "4 Secrets to Super Soft Natural Hair"

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Btris

I literally do the opposite of everything in this post to get soft hair. This really shows that what works for one person might not work for other people.

Tonya Pierce-Barganier
Tonya Pierce-Barganier

Any suggestions on why my hair is hard on top and soft underneath … Natural 3c type

Jessica Williams

OMG!! You have the most beautiful hair I have seen in a while!! Absolutely gorgeous!!

streetfire.net

Amazing! Its in fact remarkable paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this paragraph.

chidinma Obinnakwelu

so hw many time do i need to deep condition?
http://www.thatnigeriangirl.net

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Crystal P. Brock

The hair style was so nice and very interesting because you can make your hair wonderful. This kind of hair style was really great and i love a lot of hair style like in the style icon. 🙂

nandi

hey my hair is breaking like nobody’s business and its relaxed now i want to start afreash and have natural hair please help a sister out

Carla

I like the Transitioning area of this site (Under Hair Care). Under there check out “Transitioning 101: Everything You Need to Know About Transitioning to Natural Hair” – I think that’s a great starting point. Keep browsing sites like this one and also check out youtube for other naturals for ideas as you start your natural hair journey. Good Luck! :o)

Natasha
Congratulations on your decision to go Natural because the chemicals are no good for your hair and can affect your body negatively in many ways too. I hold Hair Today and Hair Tomorrow Natural Hair Care Events in London (UK) that would be great for you to attend. I used to relax my hair for many years and then transitioned back to natural hair over a period of 2 yrs. If you do not live geographically close to where my Events/Workshops take place, you can surf the net and read blogs and try to research as much as you can… Read more »
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[…] Culled from Blackgirllonghair […]

Hillz
All the products I use make the hair soft after they are rinsed out. I use Pielor smooth and softness shampoo (mild formulation) ORS Replenishing conditioner, When I deep condition I use Kanechom Jaborondi and Acai hair masks. They make my hair really soft and easy to d’tangle, comb and style. not only are they moisturizing hair masks but when I air dry my hair it shrinks and forms perfect curls. To maintain the soft effect of the products I use, I mostly just spritz with water and sometimes mix the water with another moisturizer. I don’t use any product… Read more »
ashley
Hello ladies, I just did my BC on 12/9 btw it was the worst and greatest experience of my life but now after a week I am struggling with this brillo pad on my head. I have been using shea moistures shampoo once or twice a month I cowash daily with cold water and I use shea moistures conditioner twice a week, I also use jamaican castor oil (coconut) but I am still having trouble with keeping my hair soft and not matted looking when I wake up in the morning. I am so lost on this natural process and… Read more »
purplerain25
Don’t use cold water to wash your hair! Cold water closes the cuticles and stops moisture from coming in. Warm/Hot water opens the cuticles and let’s moisture in. Think of it like shingles on a roof; when the slates are raised (open) water can go in and make the house wet, when the slates are lowered (closed) water can’t go in and the house stays dry. So this is what I recommend you do: Wash your hair with very warm water, not hot or it will scald your scalp. Apply a sealant of your choice (coconut oil, caster oil, etc.)… Read more »
Risse
Try using Coconut oil the night before washing your hair. I go to a Indian Store and buy Vatika (my favorite); Protective styling goes a long way…try some some twist and still moisturize daily. I will twist my hair and in the morning I will spritz it with a mixture of water and aloe vera juice (1 part AVJ to 2 parts H2O), rub some oil on my hair (jojoba, olive oil, or sweet almond oil) and seal with a small amount of butter. Be sure to wrap your hair up at night. Stick with it – it gets easier.… Read more »
NATURAL@59

YES INDEED! STICK WITH IT. YOU MAY STRUGGLE AT FIRST..BUT IT GETS BETTER. OLIVE OIL AND SHEA BETTER MIX IS GOOD ALSO. DONT BE AFRAID TO SPRITZ HAIR WITH A MIXTURE OF WATER AND YOUR FAV CONDITIONER THROUGHOUT THE DAY. I BELIEVE THE HARDEST PART OF BEING NAPTURAI S RIGHT AFTER A BC. YOU’LL BE SO THRILLED TO SEE HOW FAST YOUR HAIR IS GROWING AND GETTING HEALTHY SO DONT GIVE UP.

Yesenia

You have to do some kind of protective style like bantu knots or twists. That molds the hair and doesnt allow it to be so dry. Ofcourse a leave in helps also. I personally like Aveeno

Des

I find what helps me is not to wash or Co-wash daily. I Wash once a week or every two. For the most part I keep my hair in protective styles such as braids or weave. If I wear my hair out which is mostly in spring and fall I make sure I oil me hair and then at I put castor oil on my tips! Hope this helps

Latrita
After my big chop, I couldn’t wash/cowash everyday!! I only washed once a week or so. Once you put a product in, it’s there and each morning I wet my hands or sprayed water in my hair and worked to get my desired look. That keeps your hair from excessive build up. Your products you listed are great ones-but may not be what works to achieve the softness you really want! I’m no expert, I’ve used a lot of trial and error in these 13 years. OAN-I love wigs!! In winter I rarely wear my hair out!! So if it… Read more »
Michelle
I would suggest trying Giovanni smooth as silk deep conditioner. It gives so much moisture after you wags your hair that you do not need much after. I recommend applying it and then detangling and leaving it in for about 30 min under a dryer not too hot just warm. Or without a dryer for one hour. Then apply your castor oil (small amount) and you should be good. Trust me, I struggle with extremely dry and brittle hair, matted in the morning. I never sleep with wet hair and this is the only thing that works for me. You… Read more »
jermaine
I use creations garden leave in and I seal with coconut oil. This is what works for me.I usually use castor oil more so on my scalp because it’s great at preventing a dry scalp and sometimes i get a little heavy handed so my twist outs don’t look all that. Maybe you need a leave in or a butter!*just a thought* 🙂 btw I get my creations garden leave in at tj maxx for a cheaper price if you were wondering. I used to use the Gartner fructis one but wanted to try something new. I had to mix… Read more »
Bang bang

I just feel like crying… I’ve been natural for almost a yr now but my routine is wash condition cornrow and weave.. I’m so frustrated as it’s long enough at this point to style it without a weave but the texture is foreign to me. It’s hard, nappy/very small tight curls, and I’m ready to slap a perm it. Ladies please help I wanna stay natural but idk what to do, how do I manage?

Angie
Thanks so much for this info on how to take care of natural hair . I’m mow in my 5th month no perm coming from a wave neuvo..and it’s hard for bc I hv to moisterizer in my hair to keep it from being puffy, I’m Not ready for the Afro look…so I keep it tied down with a wave scarf , so far it works for me my natural hair is more wavy then the permed hair..b4 I was only washing my hair once a month but and my growth was at a stand still bit now that I’m… Read more »
Simple Natural

Sometimes it’s not about what to put or not to put on our hair, it’s more about well being too. So many of us naturals neglect this part, it’s about eating more fruits and vegs, exercise regularly, drink more water, sleep 8 or more hours a day and also keeping ourselves clean including our hair by washing it more often than once a month, just an idea, not trying to judge anyone, hope it helps : )

Rosa

An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your web site.

kalexa1

Homework??

NaturallyLovenMyHair

Do what works best for your hair. I discovered that the water where I live is hard. I could never understand why my hair felt rough even after trying a variety of shampoos and conditioners. Many of them were well know organic products. I even tried cleansing conditioners. Nothing caused my hair to feel as soft and moisturized as pre-pooing at least 3X a month. I now have soft healthy natural hair.

Esther B.
Ladies, I need your help. I don’t know where else to go so I figured this is as good a place as any. My baby girl (now aged 3) is mixed. My husband is black and I’m white(well, I’m semitic / mixed really). Judging by your style icons, I’d say her hair is 3B to 3C. Here’s the problem: I have no clue how to properly care for her hair and when I took her to a salon, the lady told me to ‘relax’ it. I definitely don’t want to pump my kid with 10 thousand chemicals, and I really… Read more »
happy

chocolatehairvanillacare.com

linda
First of all you need to find a good organic natural oil. Make sure to test the oil for 24 hours before you use it on your daughter hair to prevent any allergic reaction. Extra virgin Coconut oil is usually the oil most natural go for because it helps prevent protein loss and hygral fatigue. Apply the oil on your daughter’s hair overnight if she is comfortable enough to sleep with plastic cap on the night before her shampoo day. If not just put her pillow in a plastic bag and add an old t-shirt or towel as a pillow… Read more »
Esther B.

Thank you very much. I suppose I will have to get her used to this and make it fun for her.

… and I’ll need to learn how to style her hair 😛 all I ever do to mine is wash it.

You were very helpful, Linda. Thanks again!

Simple Natural
Do what is best for her hair and keep it simple. For me what I do with mine, as I go to the gym and swim a lot + work, I haven’t got enough time to spend on my hair. So I start by washing my hair with a good moisturising sulphate free organic shampoo, rinse, then I apply the regular conditioner which is from the same brand, leave it for about 5-10 mins while I’m taking shower then when I’m done with shower, I rinse my hair with medium cold water, squeeze excess water from my hair then apply… Read more »
Lara Love
Currently, I’m cowashing. I was shampooing before but if figured I should co wash or at lest try it. I use Suave Naturals tropical coconut conditioner to co wash and I deep condition with TREsemme’s Natural conditioner. My hair retains moisture well. My length too. I only shampoo once a month now with Curls creamy cleanser. My hair is fine. I used to shampoo with Shea Moisture retention shampoo and my hair felt dry so many times even if I moisturized it. My hair did retain length, but the dry feeling I hated it. I’m 21 months post relaxer and… Read more »
Ola Mae

This article is so true! A friend asked me how do I care for my hair regarding length and keep it so soft. I told her that the best thing I do for my hair is to deep condition. My hair is always soft and that has a lot to do with it. Even when I was relaxed I always deep conditioned my hair. It wasn’t until I had stopped that I my hair started to break off.

Guadalupe

Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thanks a lot!

robbin melton

Totally agree with most of this, especially about the shampooing. I have touchable, soft hair by deep conditioning, shampooing twice (first time is to remove product, oil, dirt),conditioning once a week. My hair moves, has tons of lustre and looks, feels and smells healthy. See way too many dried up naturals!!!!

Dananana

This article is on point, but I have one additional tip that worked well for me. If you don’t already eat a ton of fruits and veggies, try incorporating more of them into your daily meals. I find that my hair is shinier, softer, and less prone to breakage when I’ve been munching on green things 🙂

blog.travelpod.com

I’ll make borrowing money easy and amusing for you… Even overdraft could be very much in just the same category, being expensive moreover full with restrictions.

K.

My regimen is definitely similar to this: I shampoo, rinse, conditioner (stay on for 30 minutes), hot oil treatment (not a lot of oil), braid up hair, take down in the morning and style as usual. It takes a little longer but I’m really patient with my hair. My hair comes out looking full, soft and shiny and it stays that way for weeks (two mostly).

T
This article makes a lot of sense. Today I untwisted my hair, deep conditioned on dry ish hair, did some housework and then washed it out with a clarifying shampoo as it was time. Then I spayed a bit of leave in (water based) and I’m currently air drying in the banding method. I touch my hair and it is ridiculously soft! The difference is usually, I’d slap on tonnes of leave in and seal with oil and THEN air dry in the banding method and it didn’t stretch as much. I will also be using moisturising shampoos (maybe mixed… Read more »
Alice

DO NOT try the conditioner option. Regular conditioners are ONLY designed for quick, on-then-off application and NOT intended for prolonged, 20-30 “deep conditions.” Use an ACTUAL deep conditioner. Regular conditioners are made to quickly close the cuticle of the hair shaft after the shampoo opens it. Deep conditioners are made specifically to deeply penetrate the cuticle and close it. A regular conditioner will NOT work the same way if you leave it under the dryer, it’ll only damage the hair from misuse of the product.

This information is from a Tricologist, by the way!

Hairouna

This is not true for me. I started applying heat to all my conditioners around this time last year and the results have been all positive. I am 4 and a half years natural with MBL hair btw.

Rachel

I agree Hairouna, 20-30 under the hooded dryer works for me as well, I do make sure it is a thicker conditioner more so than a thin one. I do agree with the sentiment of Alice, leaving them in overnight makes my hair far too soft, almost to where I need to do a protein treatment lol. Only thing I leave in over night now is Henna and coconut oil for the purpose of prepooing.

neochasez

I always love your articles!

This is one of the main reasons I can’t commit to cowashing. And I’ve tried the “shampoo/condition-while-in-twists or braids” method and I never understood how it worked for so many people because I could never fully rinse out the product and I’m not about to sit under the shower (and water is expensive where I live) for an incessant amount of time.

I’ve also noticed that not applying conditioner to dripping wet hair yields better results.

And thanks for the additional tip regarding stretching hair!

Erene

Your Article makes sense. As a natural hairstylist, products used on your hair is very important to achieve healthy, soft and manageable hair. Not just Sulfate Free but parabens, waxes, dyes and other toxic ingredients to be of concern.

reese

Great article!

TWA4now

Learn something new every time! #awesome!

Ev`Yan

Whenever I see that picture of Tori, I always double take because she looks SO MUCH like Lauren Hill, & I’m always like, “Whoa, BGLH got Ms. Hill to chat about natural hair?!!?? Siiiiccckkkk.” ;p

Tori

Girl, you made literally LOL!! Thanks for the compliment. Ms Hill is beautiful. 🙂

zelda

this entire article is my regimen all the way through.Its true. Thats why i dont do co-washes. In fact as soon as I shampoo my hair gets really soft & even a little silky.its amazing

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