How to Make Natural Hair Soft After Shampoo & Conditioner

Keep your natural hair super soft after sudsing.

Photo: Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

The texture and curls in African-American hair make it prone to drying and breakage. When you choose to wear your hair naturally, take steps to make natural hair soft after shampoo and conditioner. With a little pampering, you can moisturize your scalp and hair to keep it healthy and happy.

The Right Products

Choose a mild shampoo that promises big-time moisturizing for your mane. A shampoo with a balanced pH can help improve the health and appearance of your hair, according to the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program. Opt for shampoo without lauryl or laureth sulfate -- these harsh sudsing agents can strip your hair of beneficial oils and make it dry and brittle. Use a rich, moisturizing conditioner that you rinse out, as well as a separate leave-in conditioner that will coat your strands with protective moisturizers.

The Washing Process

Use gentle fingertips as you shampoo your hair to avoid tangling your hair and damaging it. It’s generally not a good idea to rake your hair together into a big mess at the top of your head while washing because you often end up with nasty tangles. Rinse your hair well and squeeze out as much water as possible from your tresses. Add the conditioner, slathering it throughout your hair from roots to tips until you cover every inch of your hair thoroughly. Go ahead and comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb to work the conditioner in and detangle at the same time. Rinse your hair well with warm water and spray on the leave-in conditioner if you’re using it.

Detangling

Section your hair into four to eight sections over your head and clip back all but one section. Gently comb out the section of hair you left loose using a wide-tooth comb, working from roots to tips. Don’t even think about tugging harshly on your fragile strands as you comb -- easy does it, please. Work on each section separately to detangle and then comb through all of your hair to finish detangling.

Styling Oil

Choose an oil for moisturizing your scalp and hair to make it soft. Some ideal oils are olive oil, almond oil, lavender oil or sage oil. Coat your hands with a thin layer of oil and massage the oil thoroughly into your scalp, working it nice and slow over the entire length of your strands. The oil is an important key to soft hair. After slathering on the oil, brush through your hair with a boar bristle brush to make it seriously soft.

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