10 Reasons Why Your Hair Isn’t Soft
Soft, pliable strands aren’t just a hallmark of healthy hair, they also increase ease of styling and handling. But what if soft hair is elusive? Here are 10 reasons why your hair might not be as soft as you like
1. Product Buildup
Because natural hair needs to be moisturized and sealed, it can be very easy to pile product on and go overboard. A dirty, itchy scalp, and strands that that are greasy, waxy, heavy and dull are telltale signs of buildup.
Clarifying rinses and mud washes are a great way to remove buildup from your strands and scalp. Try a rinse with apple cider vinegar, diluted baking soda or Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash.
2. You’re not Moisturizing Regularly
Whether it’s daily or every few days natural hair needs to be moisturized regularly — especially if it’s being worn loose (in twistouts, braid outs, fros or puffs). Keep a softening spritz handy, a glycerin
and water mix (which can be made cheaply and easily at home), is a great and effective substitute to store-bought spritzes.
3. Your Products are Too Harsh
Be cautious when dealing with sulfate shampoos and baking soda. If your hair feels ‘squeaky clean’ after using them, it’s a sign that you’ve stripped the cuticle of natural oils, removing lubrication and leaving it susceptible to dryness and breakage. If your cleansers are too harsh, try diluting them in water. And be sure to follow every cleansing with a thorough conditioning to restore your hair’s moisture balance.
4. You’re Blowdrying it Too Much
Blowdrying works by literally drying out/removing moisture from the inside of your strand (the cortex). In the worst case scenario you’re left with dry, weakened and brittle hair. Try using less heat when you blowdry. Remember, natural hair can stretch pretty well using safe levels of heat. The effects of blowdrying on natural hair.
5. Your Hair is Naturally Dry
Highly textured hair is dryer than straight hair since sebum (oil that our scalp secretes) rarely makes it all the way to the tip of our strands. Without being afforded the natural coating/protection of sebum, we have to be proactive about sealing our hair. Make sure that you have a good moisture and seal regimen. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or heavy handed. Just make sure the products you use are effective (moisturizing products should be water-based and sealing products should be oil or butter based), and you are consistent. 8 tips to effectively seal your ends.
6. You’re Mistaking Texture for Roughness
Coarse hair doesn’t mean rough hair. If your hair is coarse (dense, individual thick strands or very highly textured) and you want to test the softness of your strands, find a recently shed hair. It should have good tensile strength (stretching instead of breaking if you pull from both ends) and be smooth and lightly coated without feeling greasy.
7. Your Hair is Highly Porous
Highly porous hair has a hard time retaining moisture because the cuticles are raised or chipped — letting moisture out constantly. If your cuticles are damaged a protein treatment like Aphogee Two-step Treatment Protein for Damaged Hair is in order. If your cuticles are raised because your products are too high in alkalinity (sulfate shampoos, baking soda), try smoothing them down with aloe vera juice
or apple cider vinegar. If your hair is healthy and naturally porous start using porosity controllers like get in the habit of using porosity controllers like Roux Porosity Control.
How to deal with high porosity hair.
8. You’re Confusing Sealing Products with Moisturizing Products
This is a common mistake among newbie naturals, and it can lead to strands that are dry on the inside and coated with product on the outside. Remember, moisturizing products are applied to the strand first and MUST have water as a base ingredient. Sealing products are applied to the hair second and MUST have oil or butter as a base ingredient. Putting a sealing product on an unmoisturized strand won’t do anything to alleviate the dryness. Likewise a moisturizing product applied as a sealant will evaporate. 8 tips to effectively seal your ends.
9. You Have Hard Water
Hard water contains dissolved minerals, like calcium, magnesium and iron, that deposit on top of the hair shaft, hardening it and leading to dryness and breakage. Hard water CANNOT be removed with regular shampoos, you must use a chelating shampoo like Joico K-Pak Clarify Chelating Shampoo,
which binds to the minerals and lifts them from the strands. Also, be sure to buy a water filter or water softener for your shower. Hard water and hair breakage.
10. You Live in a Dry Climate
Moisture in the atmosphere is a key contributor to supple hair. If you live in a dry area, increase the frequency of your moisture/seal routine. Coconut oil, which both coats and penetrates the strand — is a great product to incorporate in your regimen.
Source: Black Girl Long Hair