Do you have African American coarse hair that defines your entire look? Everyone desires smooth and easily manageable hair, don’t you? Coarse hair is just a hair type, and like all other hair types, these are also manageable.
Hair being the most prominent feature of human personality requires extra care and affection. You might worry about your scaly and under-nourished African American coarse hair. The thoughts of their rough and tough existence might trouble your mind. And believe me, that’s natural!!
The answer to all of your confusion is a bit complicated and under debate. According to experts, this hair type appears coarse due to genetic causes, and we can’t deny it. These hair traits pass down from one generation to the next.
African American hair becomes coarse and fragile due to the uneven distribution of sebum among the curls. The unavailability of sebum weakens the hair strands and restricts their growth. Let’s discover how to soften coarse African American hair and style them up with the minimum hassle.
In this blog post, I’ve shared some simple methods that you can adopt to soften your African American coarse hair. Save your bucks and spend them in the right direction.
How to Soften Coarse African American Hair?
I’m sharing my favorite and trusted strategies that help my hair stay healthy and nourished. Let’s start with the basic steps and make your hair soft and shiner from the inside.
Your hair care regime starts right from your bathing rituals.
Prime Your Coarse Hair Before Washing
Your shampoo and hair conditioners aren’t enough for your coarse and dry hair. Priming includes some pre-washing steps that lock moisture in your hair and prevent dryness. Our shampoo and hair products contain humectants and excessive chemicals. These humectants remove moisture and weaken the protein network in your hair. Conditioners alone fail to restore this shine and nourishment to your dull and coarse hair.
In addition to it, our hair has short gaps that get filled with water during showers. As soon as this water evaporates, hair gets frizzy, dried, and tangled. So here are some easy pre-washing steps that can rejuvenate your coarse African American hair.
Pre-shampooing, aka the Pre-poo technique, adds an extra protective layer to your hair. It keeps your hair locks detangled, softer, vibrant, and hydrated. The treatment involves coating your hair with any healing or healthy hair product.
Here’s a quick guide for you that can ease your pre-poo journey:
- Detangle your dry hair and divide them into sections
- Apply your desired hair cream, oil, or mask onto each section of your hair. You can also use homemade remedies for this purpose.
- Massage it gently to spread the product evenly across your hair
- Leave the product on your hair for at least 20 minutes before washing. You can also coat your hair with products that require overnight treatments.
- Wrapping with a cap or scarf increases the efficiency of your treatment.
- Rinsing your hair with good quality mild shampoo and conditioning are the final steps.
Choose An Effective Shampoo
I remember how my mother used to restrain me from over-shampooing my coarse and curly hair. As I mentioned earlier, shampoos contain humectants that make your already dry scalp even drier. But we can’t deny the importance of washing to remove product build-up from our hair. The solution to this conflict lies in choosing an ideal shampoo.
Here are some key takeaways that help you understand what shampoo you need for your hair:
- Your already flaky scalp and curly locks need hydrating and creamy ingredients.
- Choose a shampoo that can purify and hydrate your coarse curls at the same time.
- Go and scrutinize the ingredient list. Shampoos that contain sulphites aren’t for you. Try to find shampoos that contain methanol or other moisturizing ingredients, such as tea tree oil.
- Don’t be a victim of marketing scams. Avoid products that claim to fortify and volumize your curly hair. Such products not only rip off your scalp, making it a desert but also tenses your curls.
Hair Porosity and Moisturization Matters
Your hair porosity has a lot to say about your hair growth and texture.
I can feel you saying my hair doesn’t nourish despite whatever expensive products I’m using.
The porosity of your hair and the nature of the product plays a major role in such situations. Before choosing any treatment, begin with inspecting your hair porosity. Experts divide hair into three categories depending upon its degree of porosity.
- Low porosity hair: This category is hard to treat as such hair don’t let hair products penetrate inside them. With their cuticles closed, they always stay thirsty and grow scaly due to their harsh nature.
- Medium porosity hair: This category includes normal hair conditions. Such hair absorbs are quite easy to handle and adapt themselves to treatments readily. Their growth pattern is steady, and the texture is neither flaky nor oily.
- High porosity hair: Hair in this category has raised cuticles. These cuticles absorb moisture or hair products readily but fail to retain them. Hence these are resistant to harsh chemicals, heat, and bleaching treatments.
Coarse hair has typically low hair porosity. Products that contain sulphate are suitable for such hair as it reduces the surface tension and makes it easier for water and products to penetrate.
Your African American Hair loves Deep Conditioning
Deep conditioning releases tension from your curls and softens their texture.
Your frizzy scalp needs deep conditioning for producing smoother and manageable hair strands. Conditioning revitalizes hair damage due to savage heating, chemical treatments, and medications.
Let’s begin with essential tips for deep conditioning your coarse hair.
- Choose deep conditioning creams that contain keratin and silicon. Both of them strengthen your hair strands.
- Apply a thick layer of conditioner that covers every inch of your coarse curls. Start applying your conditioner from tips and proceed upward. It will help your coarse and blown-out curls absorb the product for the maximum duration than roots.
- You can also choose a leave-in conditioner or serum that stays on your scalp and moisturizes your hair. Give your hair at least 5-30 minutes to absorb the nutrients present in your conditioner.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap or slightly damp towel for maximum softness and better outcomes. Heated damp towels provide steam that fastens the conditioning mechanisms. You can also choose to heat your hair using hair dryers or steamers at later stages.
- Always shampoo your hair before conditioning. Conditioners work better on neat hair as compared to greasy and polluted strands. Use cold water to rinse the conditioner out of your hair. It will help your cuticles to get back to their original position and stop producing excessive oils.
- I love drying my hair naturally and suggest you do the same. Apply a protective serum afterward for extra softening and moisturization.
Have You Tried the Baggy Method?
You can also leave conditioners in your hair for an overnight treatment. Wake up with moisturized hair the following day. Use plastic wrap to keep your hair and conditioner intact and protect your pillowcase from stains. We (hair care enthusiasts) love to call this procedure the “Baggy method”.
I recommend using this method once a week. Avoid overdoing this procedure to prevent product build-up in your hair.
Soften Coarse African American Hair with Proven Treatments
Coarse hair requires special care and treatments as compared to moisturized and smooth hair.
Your coarse hair can become more robust and immune to breakage when treated with care. Here are some proven hair treatments that’ll help you attain soft and shiner hair.
Amino Acid Treatment
As the name indicates, this treatment strengthens the disulfide bonds in your hair.
Amino acids being an integral part of proteins, help build the keratin network in your hair. Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid present in hair that keeps your hair straight and flexible. Harsh treatments, aging, internal or environmental conditions may deprive your hair of this non-essential amino acid.
Amino acid treatment fortifies your hair with this valuable characteristic of cysteine and increases its strength. This treatment is relatively safe and reliable as compared to keratin treatments formulated in formaldehyde derivatives.
The topical application of amino acids on your hair improves moisture retention and flexibility. This treatment is safe for all kinds of hair and works equally on permed, colored, or permanently straightened hair. You can also try this treatment at home. It is available in easy-to-use forms such as shampoo, hair mask, and heat protection sprays. Get your hands on your favorite product and get maximum benefits out of it.
Using Natural Oils for Coarse Hair
Hot oil treatments using natural oils are my favorite and easy-to-access mode for attaining softer hair.
Rub these oils against your scalp and get your cuticles open for maximum nourishment and tenderness. These natural extracts are full of antioxidants that compliment your hair growth and mental health.
Here are some of my favorite and trusted natural oils that help me soften my hair and get calm.
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Castor oil
- Peppermint oil
- Argan oil
The best part of these oils is that you can do them at your own pace. You don’t need to be an expert or spend extra bucks in expensive salons.
Here are some tips that can help you achieve better results:
- Choose oil or a mixture of your favourite oils and warm it for a few minutes. Apply it gently on your scalp and curly hair strands
- Heated oil penetrates better and helps open rigid, less porous cuticles
- Leave it for 30 minutes to 2 hours and rinse it later with a quality shampoo. Use conditioner for extra smoothness
- Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a week for achieving desirable outcomes
Try Apple Cider Vinegar for extra shine.
Get ready for a DIY recipe using just one ingredient.
Let’s move to your kitchen and grab some other natural ingredients for adding extra shine to your coarse hair. Apple cider vinegar is well-known for lowering the pH of the skin, body, or hair. Now you may think about how lowering pH can help my coarse hair?
Alkaline or basic pH keeps your hair cuticles rigid and overlapped. ACV not only balances the pH but also protects against:
- Itchy scalp and dryness
- Bad bacteria
How to Use this DIY ACV recipe?
Try this simple 2-step recipe for soft and healthy hair:
- Take an empty spray bottle and add 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to it.
- Fill rest of the bottle with water and mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Your DIY recipe is ready to use. You can apply this mixture before or after the shower and let it sit for 5-15 minutes.
Tips to overcome Friction in coarse hair
There are no hard and fast rules for overcoming Friction in your coarse hair. A few tips can help you detangle your curly, dry, and frizzy hair with minor panic.
- Use a wide comb or brush that passes through your hair easily
- Quit using cotton towels for drying your hair. Try microfiber towels that are anti-static and come from natural material.
- Use a few drops of hair softening serum, tonic, or oil before brushing your hair. It will not only reduce Friction but also prevent hair breakage.
This blog post covered every critical thing to understand how to soften coarse African American hair.
Whatever method you adopt, I’ve got a quick reminder for you:
If you’re serious about your hair, you need consistent efforts and self-acceptance.
Know your hair porosity and choose your products accordingly for better results.