10 Simple Ways To Soften Your Natural Hair And Still Retain Your Curls

Closeup of a black girl smiling while touching her ponytail hairstyle.

Natural hair also known as afro-textured hair is the driest hair type because it does not retain moisture well. This lack of moisture makes your hair more prone to breakage. If you have natural hair, you may have experienced the frustration of trying to style it without it looking dry and brittle. Or maybe you’re still looking for the right products and methods to get your hair soft. Perhaps you’ve even considered using chemical relaxers or heat straighteners to get the soft, manageable hair you desire. This is a common struggle among black women with natural hair. The good news is that there are ways to soften your natural hair and still keep your curls intact. 

In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to soften your natural hair. We’ll also provide some recommendations for products that help. So before you reach for those harsh treatments, consider trying these simple routines. With a little patience and the right products, you can achieve the soft, bouncy and healthy hair you’ve always wanted.

Why You Should Go Natural With Your Hair Treatment

Afro-textured hair can be more susceptible to damage from heat-styling and chemical treatments. If you want to avoid damage, learning how to soften your natural hair without heat or chemicals can be a good solution because;

  • It is less damaging to your hair.
  • It is more gentle on your scalp. 
  • It can help to preserve your natural hair color.

Here are 10 simple ways to soften your natural hair:

Softening your natural hair will help it to retain moisture, resulting in softer, healthier-looking curls. If you want to achieve a specific style with your afro hair, softening it beforehand can make the process much easier. Here are ten ways to soften your kinky hair while still retaining its natural bounce and body.

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Just as your body needs water to stay hydrated and maintain your skin’s elasticity, so also does your hair need to be regularly moisturized to avoid breakage and give it a healthy shine. When your hair is properly moisturized, it’s less likely to break when you comb or brush it. This is especially important if you have brittle or dry hair.

Moisturized hair reflects light better and looks more vibrant. If you’ve ever noticed that your hair looks dull and lifeless, chances are it could use a good dose of moisture.

There are several ways to moisturize your hair, but one of the best ways is to use a natural oil such as coconut oil. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft and helps to hydrate and nourish your hair from the inside out. There are many other products out there that can also get the job done. Just find one that works well for your hair type and stick with it. Your hair will thank you for it!

  1. Avoid heat styling

Heat styling  is one of the worst things you can do to natural hair. It can cause serious damage and make your hair even drier and more brittle. If you must use heat, try to keep the temperatures low and limit the amount of time you spend styling your hair.

  1. Use a wide-toothed comb or Hair Brush

Woman detangling her natural hair with a wide toothed comb.

It is important to use a wide-toothed comb or brush when detangling to avoid breakage. Pro-tip for extremely dry hair; start from the tip and gently work your way to the bottom taking care not to pull or tug too hard on your curls. This will help reduce scalp irritation and breakage. Avoid using combs with sharp teeth, as they can damage your curls.

  1. Limit chemical treatments

When it comes to our hair, we want what’s best for it. We want it to be healthy, shiny, and voluminous. So, we often turn to chemical treatments to achieve these results. However, what we don’t realize is that these treatments can actually do more harm than good. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t use chemical treatments on your natural hair:

  • They strip away natural oils: Chemical treatments strip away the natural oils that keep our hair healthy and moisturized. This can leave our hair feeling dry, brittle, and damaged.
  • They can cause scalp irritation: The chemicals in these treatments can irritate the scalp, causing itching, redness, and flakiness.
  • They can damage the hair follicles: Chemical treatments can damage the hair follicles, leading to thinning hair and hair loss.
  • They can make the hair become dependent on them: When we use chemical treatments regularly, our hair can become dependent on them for moisture and shine. This means that if we stop using them, our hair will become dull and lifeless.

So, if you want to keep your natural hair healthy and beautiful, stay away from chemical treatments. If you do use them, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and deep condition your hair regularly to help restore moisture and elasticity.

Again, it’s best to stick to natural methods like deep conditioning, protein treatments, and hot oil treatments. Your hair will thank you for it!

  1. Be gentle when shampooing

A bottle of shampoo, a black ribbon and a bottle of conditioner.

Over-scrubbing can strip your hair of its natural oil and healthy bacteria. This may lead to dryness, dandruff, breakage, and irritation. Oily hair does not mean dirty hair, in fact, it can be a sign of healthy moisturized hair.

  1. Use a conditioner with protein 

When choosing conditioners, choose one that contains protein as this will help to strengthen and repair your hair. Use a conditioner every time you wash your hair, and be sure to leave it in for at least five minutes to allow the nutrients to penetrate your hair shaft. If you’re using a leave-in conditioner, be sure to choose one that contains natural moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, or coconut oil as this helps to add moisture and detangle the hair.

You can also deep condition by applying the conditioner to your wet hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it out.

  1. Rinse with cold water

Hot water can be extremely damaging to natural hair. The high temperatures strip away the hair’s natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. This can lead to breakage, split ends, and frizz. Cold water, on the other hand, helps to seal in the hair’s moisture and protect it from damage. So next time you shampoo your hair, make sure to finish with a cold water rinse!

  1. Use a protective hairstyle

Black woman with twisted hairstyle.

Protective styles are a great way to give your hair a break from daily styling and heat damage. They can also help to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized. Some popular protective styles include braids, twists, and updos. Wrap hairstyles are also a good option for those with shorter hair.

  1. Protect your hair at night

Your natural hair is susceptible to damage from harsh weather and everyday styling. To help keep your hair healthy and strong, it’s important to protect it at night by wearing a silk or satin bonnet.

Silk and satin are better option than cotton and other materials because they have a smooth surface that won’t absorb moisture from your hair as other fabrics can. This helps to keep your hair hydrated and prevents frizz while you sleep. Also, consider tying your hair up in a loose bun or braid before bed.

  1. Regular trims are essential

Your natural hair can be susceptible to split ends, so it’s important to get your hair trimmed regularly. This will help keep your hair healthy and looking its best.


Softening your natural hair is a great way to improve its manageability and make it easier to style. It will also give you healthier, shinier curls. Scalp care, hot oil treatments, hair masks, and of course eating healthy are important tips to having and maintaining healthy natural hair. Whichever method you choose, make sure to follow the instructions carefully so as not to damage your hair. So go ahead and give it a try! You won’t regret it.

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