back to top

Here's How To Get Even Better Natural Hair In Five Days

Dry hair? No problem.

Perhaps the biggest struggle of being natural is keeping your kinks and curls moisturized.

giphy.com

The reason is because unlike straight hair, nutrients can't travel a straight path from root to ends with curly and coily hair. Instead, they have to go through somewhat of a maze of loops and spirals, sometimes stopping before making it to the end.

But there is hope, my coily-headed friends. The BuzzFeed 5-Day Natural Hair Challenge is here to get your curls POP. PIN!

giphy.com

To help every naturalista get healthier, more moisturized hair, BuzzFeed consulted with several natural hair-care professionals for their best tips and tricks.

The BuzzFeed 5-Day Natural Hair Challenge is for everyone with natural curls and coils.

Incorporating these simple practices into your natural hair-care routine will make for more moisturized and easier to manage curls and coils. Each step should only take you one to three minutes — with the exception of shampooing and protective styling, which could take one to two hours depending on the thickness of your hair. The best part of the BuzzFeed 5-Day Natural Hair Challenge is that it literally works for anyone with natural hair, no matter the texture!

Here's everything you'll need for the challenge:

1. Sulfate-free shampoo2. Leave-in conditioner3. A satin hair scarf4. A moisture-rich styling product5. Curl refresher6. A penetrating natural oil7. Applicator bottleClick the links to see which products our BuzzFeed Beauty Editor Essence Gant actually uses and loves!
Jon Premosch / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Sulfate-free shampoo

2. Leave-in conditioner

3. A satin hair scarf

4. A moisture-rich styling product

5. Curl refresher

6. A penetrating natural oil

7. Applicator bottle

Click the links to see which products our BuzzFeed Beauty Editor Essence Gant actually uses and loves!

And here's your schedule:

We broke down this simple but effective regimen into five days to make things super easy. You won't get overwhelmed, and after the challenge you'll be able to customize the steps for your hair.After you complete all five days, you'll be able to continue cycling through the steps to keep your hair in the best shape of its life!
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

We broke down this simple but effective regimen into five days to make things super easy. You won't get overwhelmed, and after the challenge you'll be able to customize the steps for your hair.

After you complete all five days, you'll be able to continue cycling through the steps to keep your hair in the best shape of its life!

Before you start:

Take some time to carefully read the ingredients label on the back of all your hair-care and styling products. You'll find that many of them contain "bad" alcohols, which contribute to dry, brittle hair. Gwen Jimmere, CEO of Naturalicious, tells BuzzFeed that those alcohols are lab-made and designed to make products dry faster. Some popular ones to steer away from are alcohol SD, ethanol, denat, propanol, and propyl.

There is such a thing as "good" alcohol, though, and Jimmere says cetyl alcohol, stearyl, and cetearyl are all examples of natural conditioning agents. Finding one or all three in a product is a win!

Remember: The wrong products are often the culprits behind dry and brittle hair.

Day 1: Shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free cleanser.

Your shampoo and conditioner set the foundation for how your hair will feel and retain moisture. Sulfates are drying, so make sure that your products are free of them.What to Do Today:* Shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free cleanser, working the lather in your scalp and through your curls. Rinse. Repeat two to three times.* Follow up with a leave-in conditioner, making sure to get the product throughout all sections of the hair, from root to ends. This is also a good time to detangle.* Before going to bed, wrap your hair in a satin scarf large enough to cover all of your hair, creating a barrier between your curls and any rough, moisture-absorbing surfaces. What to Do From Now On: Shampoo and condition your hair once every week to two weeks. Remember to use sulfate-free products, and work your leave-in conditioner throughout your hair. Always wrap your hair with a satin scarf before bed for protection against cotton sheets, pillowcases, and other materials that strip moisture.
Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

Your shampoo and conditioner set the foundation for how your hair will feel and retain moisture. Sulfates are drying, so make sure that your products are free of them.

What to Do Today:

* Shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free cleanser, working the lather in your scalp and through your curls. Rinse. Repeat two to three times.

* Follow up with a leave-in conditioner, making sure to get the product throughout all sections of the hair, from root to ends. This is also a good time to detangle.

* Before going to bed, wrap your hair in a satin scarf large enough to cover all of your hair, creating a barrier between your curls and any rough, moisture-absorbing surfaces.

What to Do From Now On: Shampoo and condition your hair once every week to two weeks. Remember to use sulfate-free products, and work your leave-in conditioner throughout your hair. Always wrap your hair with a satin scarf before bed for protection against cotton sheets, pillowcases, and other materials that strip moisture.

Day 2: Oil your scalp, and apply the L.C.O. (Liquid, Cream, Oil) method.

If you have dry scalp, organic penetrating oils, like pure extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil, will prevent it from drying and flaking. Stacy Hill, founder and CEO of DyeVerCity Salon, tells BuzzFeed that "most oils are coating, meaning they only seal or sit on the surface of the scalp and hair." She warns that even some oils that are marketed as scalp oils don't penetrate, so be sure to do your research.To really lock in moisture, try the L.C.O. method instead of L.O.C. so that the oil doesn't seal your hair before you apply the cream. Jimmere says, "If you put water on, and then oil, and then moisturizer on top of that, it's counterproductive." That only locks in the water, but not the moisturizing cream product.What to Do Today:* Pour your penetrating oil into the applicator bottle and oil your scalp by squeezing just a drop at a time directly to the areas throughout. Gently massage it into your scalp with your fingertips.For fine hair, the applicator bottle is not necessary and may actually apply too much oil to your hair. Instead, just dab your finger in the oil and apply it to your scalp for more control. * Spray your liquid, which is water, then your moisture-rich cream product, and then your oil.What to Do From Now On: While your hair is clean and conditioned, lightly oil your scalp with a penetrating oil like coconut. Then apply the L.C.O. method, not L.O.C. Spritz your hair with water, and follow up with a creamy moisturizing product, sealing it all in with an oil. You can actually do this step on wash day if you want.
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

If you have dry scalp, organic penetrating oils, like pure extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil, will prevent it from drying and flaking. Stacy Hill, founder and CEO of DyeVerCity Salon, tells BuzzFeed that "most oils are coating, meaning they only seal or sit on the surface of the scalp and hair." She warns that even some oils that are marketed as scalp oils don't penetrate, so be sure to do your research.

To really lock in moisture, try the L.C.O. method instead of L.O.C. so that the oil doesn't seal your hair before you apply the cream. Jimmere says, "If you put water on, and then oil, and then moisturizer on top of that, it's counterproductive." That only locks in the water, but not the moisturizing cream product.

What to Do Today:

* Pour your penetrating oil into the applicator bottle and oil your scalp by squeezing just a drop at a time directly to the areas throughout. Gently massage it into your scalp with your fingertips.

For fine hair, the applicator bottle is not necessary and may actually apply too much oil to your hair. Instead, just dab your finger in the oil and apply it to your scalp for more control.

* Spray your liquid, which is water, then your moisture-rich cream product, and then your oil.

What to Do From Now On: While your hair is clean and conditioned, lightly oil your scalp with a penetrating oil like coconut. Then apply the L.C.O. method, not L.O.C. Spritz your hair with water, and follow up with a creamy moisturizing product, sealing it all in with an oil. You can actually do this step on wash day if you want.

Day 3: Maintain the moisture with a product pull-through.

Only apply a moisture cream or liquid if your hair is severely dry or if you're prepping it for a style. Make sure that the product is moisture-rich, as gels usually have a lot of alcohol in them and dry out your hair. You can actually use the same cream product from L.C.O.What to Do Today: * Spritz your hair with water and work through the moisture-rich styling product.What to Do From Now On: Whenever your hair feels parched, or if you want to style it, spritz it with water and apply a moisturizing cream or liquid. Don't apply if your hair doesn't feel dry. Too much product can build up on the scalp or make the hair too oily.
Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

Only apply a moisture cream or liquid if your hair is severely dry or if you're prepping it for a style. Make sure that the product is moisture-rich, as gels usually have a lot of alcohol in them and dry out your hair. You can actually use the same cream product from L.C.O.

What to Do Today:

* Spritz your hair with water and work through the moisture-rich styling product.

What to Do From Now On: Whenever your hair feels parched, or if you want to style it, spritz it with water and apply a moisturizing cream or liquid. Don't apply if your hair doesn't feel dry. Too much product can build up on the scalp or make the hair too oily.

Day 4: Refresh your curls.

No need for a product pull-through. Just a light refresher spray — or even a little water — will do the trick. The moisture will reactivate the product that's already in your hair and give your curls a little spruce for the day.What to Do Today:* Lightly spritz a curl spray throughout your hair to revive your curls.What to Do From Now On: Whenever your curls need an extra pop, spritz a little water or a curl refresher spray and go on with your day. You shouldn't have to do this daily, just as you see fit.
Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

No need for a product pull-through. Just a light refresher spray — or even a little water — will do the trick. The moisture will reactivate the product that's already in your hair and give your curls a little spruce for the day.

What to Do Today:

* Lightly spritz a curl spray throughout your hair to revive your curls.

What to Do From Now On: Whenever your curls need an extra pop, spritz a little water or a curl refresher spray and go on with your day. You shouldn't have to do this daily, just as you see fit.

Day 5: Find a protective style.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_GRQq6NUfD/?taken-by=kersti.pitre
https://www.instagram.com/p/_Fs-_PNUWn/?taken-by=kersti.pitre

Obia Ewah, chemist and founder of Obia Natural Haircare, suggests that naturals find a protective style to achieve moisture and optimum growth. A protective style that doesn't require any or a lot of manipulation is best. Keeping your ends, the weakest part of your hair, tucked away in a braided or bun style will protect them from environmental elements and help hold in moisture.

What to Do Today:

* Do your hair in a protective style — like twists, a wig, or a bun — and keep it for at least three days.

See how to get the protective style above here.

What to Do From Now On: Try a protective style every other week to give your natural hair a break and to help hold in moisture. This will also give your ends some extra protection and prevent splitting.

Congrats! You made it through the BuzzFeed 5-Day Natural Hair Challenge.

giphy.com

Incorporate these steps into your regular hair-care regimen. Know that it's completely fine to alter the steps according to your hair needs. For example, if your hair doesn't need extra moisture after the L.C.O. method, don't add it. You may even find that you can skip days between steps. Now, though, you have a great foundation for maintaining your natural hair!

Connect with As/Is