If you’ve got nappy hair, you’re looking for a solution for taming it. We’ve compiled four basic methods for improving your hair, as well as a bunch of tips for keeping your hair healthy, smooth, and clear from here on out.

Try any of the methods below to get the knots gone, but be sure to check out the maintenance sections, too, for keeping that hair gorgeous for years to come.

How to Tame Nappy Hair

Method #1 –Olive Oil

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Olive oil is one of those wonderful things that comes from the kitchen, but helps in the vanity. Try using it this way to fight your nappy hair.

What You’ll Need:

  • Olive oil
  • Rinse-out Conditioner
  • Plastic wrap
  • Hot water
  • Terry cloth towels
  • Blow dryer

How to Do It:

  1. Wash your hair with shampoo, but don’t use any conditioner.
  2. Section your hair off with gentle hair clips or no-breakage hair bands.
  3. Mix together 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with your favorite rinse out hair conditioner.
  4. Unbind one section of your hair, and apply the olive oil/conditioner mix. Massage the mix into your scalp, and be sure to work the mix into your hair thoroughly.
  5. Gently towel dry your hair for a few minutes to remove excess water. Do not dry completely.
  6. Wrap plastic wrap around your head, fully encompassing all of your hair.
  7. Either boil water or crank up the faucet water to the hottest you can stand.
  8. Soak a towel large enough to encompass your head and hair in the hot water. Go as hot as you can stand.
  9. Now, ring out all the excess water from the towel, and wrap it your head like a turban, over the plastic wrap.
  10. Leave the hot towel wrapped around your head for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the towel and plastic wrap from your head.
  12. Now, wash out the olive oil/conditioner mixture with warm water.
  13. Once you’re done washing your hair, get about a quarter size pool of olive oil in your hand, and massage it into your hair and scalp.
  14. Blow dry your hair.

Method #2 – Permanent Straightening

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The term “permanent straightening” isn’t exactly accurate, but this method is more permanent than just using a flat iron to straighten your hair for the day. This fix works for about six to eight weeks, which is about the time it takes for your hair to grow out.

What You’ll Need:

  • Hair relaxer
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Plastic or latex gloves
  • Applicator brush
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner

How to Do It:

  1. Section your hair off into four sections.
  2. Rub petroleum jelly around your hairline to keep the relaxer from dripping or oozing onto your skin.
  3. With your gloves on, apply the relaxer to each section of your hair, using the applicator brush. Be sure to start at the roots and go down to your hair as you apply.
  4. Now, massage and smooth the relaxer into your hair, while still wearing your gloves. This ensures complete coverage, which means your hair will actually all get straightened.
  5. Let the relaxer sit in your hair for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Use warm water to rinse the relaxer out of your hair.
  7. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.

Method #3 – Temporary Straightening

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If you’re looking for a quicker fix for your nappy hair, try this quick method of temporary straightening.

What You’ll Need:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Terry cloth towels
  • Straightening oil or lotion
  • Wide tooth comb
  • Blow dryer
  • Comb attachment for blow dryer, optional

How to Do It:

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
  2. Now, comb out the tangles from your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Avoid using any additional products to prevent interference with the straightening oil you’ll use next.
  3. Apply the straightening oil or lotion, massing it deep into the hair. Work from roots down to the ends.
  4. Blow dry your hair, combing it as you go. If possible, use a comb attachment for your blow dryer.

Method #4 – Texturizing

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Another method for keeping your nappy hair in check is texturizing.

What You’ll Need:

  • A terry cloth towel
  • Salon clips or no-break hair bands
  • Texturizer
  • A timer
  • Warm water
  • Neutralizing shampoo
  • Alcohol-free conditioner

How to Do It:

  1. Wash and dry your hair like normal.
  2. Separate your hair into four sections, and pin back with salon clips or hair bands.
  3. Read the instructions on your texturizer before you continue. Be sure to know how long to leave the texturizer in, and any special instructions for application, et cetera.
  4. Apply the texturizer to each section of your hair.
  5. Work the texturizer into your hair, starting at the ends, and working upward to the roots. Rake your fingers through your hair, and wad up the ends as you make fist.
  6. Set a time according to the time you should leave the product in your hair. Leave the texturizer on only as long as recommended by the manufacturer.
  7. Rinse your hair with warm water and neutralizing shampoo to remove the texturizer. The product will produce a blue or pink lather, so keep rinsing and shampooing until the lather comes out white.
  8. Now, condition your hair with alcohol-free conditioner.

Food, Supplements, and Products for Healthy Hair

woman with nappy hair

Of course, one of the main issues most Americans have with unkempt hair is poor nutrition and unhealthy hair care products.

Food and Supplements You Should Consume for Healthy Hair

To have the healthiest hair, and bodies, possible, we need the following vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Omega 3s, like fish oil

These nutrients can be found in these foods:

  • 1
  • 2
    Butternut squash
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  • 5
    Tree nuts
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    Cereal grains
  • 9
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    Brown and wild rice
  • 12
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    Dark leafy greens
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    Raw seeds
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    Sunflower seeds
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    Sweet potatoes
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Most of us, however, don’t have the time to carefully craft our meal plans to include all of these foods every week. So, if you’re not getting enough of any of the specified nutrients your body needs for healthy, shiny hair, you should consider adding in some supplements.

Products to Use for Healthy Hair

There are millions of products available for different types, and different hair problems. As you work your way through the list of options available, be sure to check that the products you’re buying meet the following criteria:

  • The product caters to your hair type – frizzy, curly, straight, dry, oily, thin, fine, et cetera
  • The product does what you need it to do – tames frizz, restores after damage, protects against UV, protects against heat, cares for color treated hair, et cetera
  • For those with thick kinky hair, specifically look for:
    • Deep conditioners – And then leave that conditioner half-in during your shower, rather than totally rinsing it.
    • Styling oil and silicone serums – For gloss and definition for your curls.
    • Creamy, not spray, products – Creamy products smooth in better than sprays.
  • Avoid products with alcohol

General Maintenance of Nappy Hair

Once you’ve initially tamed that natural hair of yours, you can use these principles to keep your hair from getting nappy and unruly.

What You’ll Need:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hot oil treatment or deep conditioning treatment
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Hair oil
  • Hair salon appointment
  • African shea butter

How to Do It:

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair at least once weekly with gentle products designed for your hair type.
  2. Use hot oil treatments and deep conditioning to your hair at least once a month to maintain moisture.
  3. Avoid heat styling practices, like blow-drying your hair, using a flat iron, or curling iron.
  4. While you still have conditioner in, detangle your hair while still wet.
  5. Do not comb your hair when it’s dry.
  6. Use a wide-toothed comb only for your hair when you do comb it.
  7. Avoid products containing: Isopropyl alcohol, Propylene glycol, Polyethylene glycol
  8. Squeeze your hair dry rather than rubbing it with a towel. Wet hair is more likely to break.
  9. Use oil on the ends of your hair at night.
  10. Get your hair trimmed every other month to keep the ends healthy.
  11. Apply natural products like African Shea butter, olive oil, or coconut oil, to keep your hair more manageable.
  12. Sleep on a satin pillow case or wear a satin scarf to bed to prevent breakage of your hair while you sleep.

Say Goodbye to Nappy Hair

Try one of these four ways to get rid of your nappy hair. Then, eat the right foods, maintain your hair care regiment as directed, and avoid haircare products with alcohol in them.

Start sleeping in a satin scarf and apply natural oils and butters to your hair to keep it smooth, and unknotted. It will take a little time but be patient and soon your nappy hair will be gone.

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