Vegan Hair Care Brand Founder Shares 5 Tips On How To Care For Black Hair

Afro-textured hair requires special care, as the hair unique structure is prone to extra dryness and therefore are more fragile and susceptible to breakage. Kam Davis, Founder and CEO of Nylah’s Naturals which is based in the UK, shares some expert advice on how to care for Black hair.

Since ancient times, afro-textured hair has been an integral part of Black culture. From the Ancient Nile Valley civilizations to the establishment of Western African empires, hair has maintained a spiritual, social, cultural and aesthetic significance in the lives of African people. It was a part of a person’s social and cultural identity, signifying personal status.

Unfortunately, in recent centuries, Black women and men were forced to follow the standards of beauty industries that did not accept natural afro-textured hair, forcing many to chemically straighten their hair or wear wigs. Encouragingly, over the past few years, the tendency started shifting in a different direction, with natural afro-textured hair being more and more widely accepted, celebrating its curly nature and uniqueness.

“At Nylah’s Naturals, we realize that our mission goes way beyond creating natural, high-quality products catering to afro-textured hair. For so many years Black women were fighting the very nature of their hair, so  now we feel there is a need to educate and share the best practices on how to care for Black hair in such a way that it highlights its health and beauty,” – shares Kam Davis, Nylah’s Naturals CEO and Founder.

Kam’s personally journey of growing to love her natural hair took a while as she was consumed by negative messages growing up.

“Growing up, I had a very negative opinion of my hair, though it wasn’t overtly labelled as evil. I had an acute understanding, from my earliest memory that my hair did not exhibit the characteristics commonly associated with hair that was considered “acceptable”. Good hair was, sleek, dense, thick and long. It could be styled in a matter of minutes and grew in a downwards direction and would sway with the wind. But my hair was kinky, dry and weak, it would shrivel if in the presence of water and needed to be tamed every six weeks with a creamy alkaline cream,” she told us.

“As a child in the 80s, our society sent a clear message that my hair wasn’t good enough and as a result I held very toxic and loathsome opinions of my hair. My perception of beauty changed with the help of a black history course which taught me that my hair and my heritage were intrinsically linked and for the first time in my life, I realized that my hair was unique, powerful and beautiful. Then in 2010, following the birth of my daughter, who had eczema, pushed me to find a healthy and effective hair care solution that would not aggravate her sensitive scalp. It was the lack of options within the UK, that inspired me to create a healthy and effective hair care solution so that I could give my daughter a positive experience with her hair. I wanted to ensure, that unlike me, my daughter Nylah, would believe her hair to be magnificent and beautiful,” she added.

The cultural trends have begun to change drastically, pushing in part by major celebrities and Black women who are embracing their natural hair and giving permission for others to do the same.

“I believe that a change in the collective mindset of Black women has within itself cultivated a community of support, reassurance and championing of our authentic selves. As a result, black women are becoming increasing proud of their heritage, our culture and exquisite beauty. Celebrities such as Lupita Nyongo, Solonge Knowles, Teyonah Parris and Janelle Monae have used their platforms and artistry to proudly communicate to a message of self-love, and self-acceptance,” said Kam.

Nylah’s Naturals was built upon a belief in the natural beauty of afro-textured hair. After several years of rigorous research, the optimal, all-natural solution was found to create the most suitable formulas that will infuse hair with important nutrients.

“By creating high-performance products that are backed by science and deeply rooted in nature, we aim to offer black women healthy and effective hair care products that will truly showcase the beauty of their hair. Nylah ́s naturals is also about contributing to a global change, by helping to change the narrative around afro hair,” said Kam, who shares her top 5 pieces of hair advice below:

Total Hydration

Afro-textured hair is generally more dry and prone to breakage than other hair types. This may cause a struggle to grow long, healthy locks. Avoid this situation through active hydration, inside and out. Make sure to drink plenty of clean water during the day and lock in hydration into the hair through the use of oils that act as an occlusive, add moisture or lock in existing hydration molecules, i.e water or hydrophlics in the hair strands. Alternatively, choose a leave-in cream, such as Nylah’s Naturals Moisture Retention Leave In. This hair hydrator uses Davina Flower, Jojoba oil and Ginger oil, blended into a sweet hydrating cream that penetrates deeply into the hair fibre and improves hair moisture content, strength and elasticity.

Established Wash Day Routine

Afro hair does not need to be washed as often as other hair types. Washing at least every 7 – 10 days depending on your lifestyle is adequate. Although it may be tempting to leave a wash day for longer than this, that may result in extra dryness, product build up on your scalp which can lead to hair breakage and poor scalp health. Therefore it’s essential to establish a proper wash day routine, using a SLS-free shampoo, a conditioner caring for curls after the wash and giving it time to dry naturally.

Pay Attention to Ingredients

As a study by the Silent Spring Institute has shown, Black women are potentially exposed to numerous hazardous ingredients through their hair products every day. This is one of the reasons why Nylah’s Naturals is so dedicated to choosing their products carefully, making sure they are 100% natural and vegan. When formulating hair care products Nylah’s Naturals prohibits the use of over 1500 harmful ingredients, so that customers can be confident they are making a healthy choice for your hair.

Beauty Sleep for Hair

It’s important to care for hair even when you’re sleeping, and this can be achieved through two simple tricks. First, braid or twist your hair before going to bed. Braiding helps to seal in the moisture and avoid tangled hair in the morning. Second, use a satin scarf or bonnet while sleeping. The material is very gentle to the hair, helps to preserve moisture and avoids snagging and extra tangling. Satin or silk pillowcases can be a comfortable and pleasant alternative to a bonnet.

Deep Conditioning

Afro hair is often higher porosity and therefor can be quite thirsty for additional moisture and nourishing, so conditioner is an essential part of the washing routine. Nylah’s Naturals Super Botanical’s Restorative Conditioner fast-acting formulation softens hair to help prevent breakage and is carefully formulated to pH 4.5 to help rebalance the hair cuticles and lock in moisture. If the hair still feels like it needs more proteins and extra nourishment, a Super Seed Hair Oil can be additionally applied to care both for scalp and hair.