How To Soften Coarse African American Hair

How To Soften Coarse African American Hair 2022 | 9 Essential Hair Tips For Smoother Curls

If you want to know how to soften coarse African American hair without using relaxers than read on. Here’s how you can soften black hair using home remedies. 

African hair is very gorgeous in itself but some people find the coarse texture a bit difficult to manage. Most of this coarseness is caused by dehydration and dryness. 

This is mostly because there is a loss of moisture from your hair that makes it frizzy and coarse. So it is important to supply your hair with sufficient sources of moisture to maintain a soft texture. 

Related: Coarse Hair Tips

Related: How To Make Natural Black Hair Curly Without Chemicals

African American hair also requires more maintenance as compared to other hair textures so you should be consistent with all the right hair maintenance habits to achieve soft and bouncy hair. 

If you want to know how to soften your coarse and dry African American hair, follow these tips and tricks.

How To Soften Coarse African American Hair 2022

Do not skip pre-poo before washing your hair

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For those of you who are already following a rigorous curly hair care method, the term pre-poo will be pretty familiar. For those of you who are not really familiar with it, pre-poo is the process of applying a hair treatment on your hair before shampooing. 

Pre-poo can also be really helpful in retaining your hair’s moisture. Pree poo is usually a hair mask with a thick consistency. This creates a protective layer around your strands. 

Shampoos can be harsh and will strip away the natural oils from your hair. This makes the hair dry and brittle. A conditioner cannot moisturize your hair when this happens. So pre-poo should be an essential part of your hair care routine. 

Pre-pooing can be done on any hair type but it is especially good for people with African American hair texture. It helps in instantly lifting your dead hair. 

The pre-poo acts as a primer for your hair. If you feel like your conditioner is not cutting it and you need something more effective to moisturize your hair, you should start pre-pooing. 

There are different types of treatments you can use for your pre-pooing ritual. One of the most common ways how you can do a pre-poo on your hair are:

  • You simply have to apply hair generously over your hair and massage your scalp for a few minutes. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off. 
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You can use oils like castor oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, etc. You can even add a few drops of essential oil for the best results. If you have dry hair, applying oil is one of the best ways to revive.

  • Aloe vera gel- If you have oily hair, it is not a good idea to apply so much oil. So you can aloe vera gel as a better alternative for your pre-poo ritual. Aloe vera is a soothing ingredient and it is really helpful to eliminate scalp irritations like dryness, itching, and even dandruff. 
  • Hair butter- You can use a lot of natural butter like shea butter, hemp seed butter, mango butter cocoa butter, etc to pre-poo your hair. 

If you feel like you have weak and fragile hair, hair butter is one of the best ways to strengthen and immune your hair. After using hair butter, you will notice that your hair is more nourished and moisturized.  

You can even make your DIY pre-poo recipes by using moisturizing ingredients like hair oils or hair butter as a base. Add your favorite essential oils for added benefits. 

Use a mild, moisturizing shampoo to cleanse your curls

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One of the first rules of hair care is to use a suitable type of shampoo for your hair type. You should take into account your hair texture and oil levels before determining the best shampoo for your hair. 

People with African American hair usually have dry and coarse hair which needs moisturizing shampoo. So you have to look out for moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, Moroccan oil, etc. 

You should also take a look at the ingredients list of your shampoo before finalizing it. The majority of shampoos have harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, etc that will strip off the moisture including the natural oils from your hair. 

So you should stay away from shampoos or other hair products that might have these ingredients in their formula. Some of my favorite products for African American hair are:

SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Shampoo

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Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo

hair softening products

Invest in a hair steamer to deep condition your hair

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If you have coarse hair, you have to make sure that your hair treatments penetrate deep into your shaft to get the best results. This is why you should invest in a hair steamer because the steam from it helps in opening up your hair cuticles. 

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You have to use a steamer twice while applying a hair treatment. First, you should steam your hair for about five minutes before applying the products. 

After covering every bit of your hair with the products, use the steamer again for about 15 minutes. 

Use a leave-in conditioner after washing you hair

A leave-in conditioner is a great product to give your hair that extra boost of moisture. 

If your hair is looking dry or if you want to make your hair more manageable, a leave-in conditioner would help you fix it. A leave-in conditioner usually comes in a spray bottle and helps you prep to style your hair. 

It is also available in liquid form and these would probably work best in African American hair. You can also use it before detangling to make the process easier. Some of the best leave-in conditioners for African American hair are:

Cantu Leave-in Conditioner

how to make coarse hair soft and silky

Carols Daughter Goddess Strength Leave-In Conditioner 

hair softener for coarse black hair

Switch to a microfibre towel to dry your hair


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If you want soft bouncy hair, you should stay away from stressful environments for the hair. If you use a regular hair towel and towel dry your hair, it will create some friction with your hair. 

This will lead to a loss of moisture and reduce some amount of breakage that happens while drying your hair. A microfibre towel will absorb the maximum amount of moisture from your hair without causing much friction, static, or moisture loss. 

Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove build-up

African American hair is high maintenance. If you use a lot of hair products like hair creams, hair wax, leave-in conditioners, etc, you will have some form of residue on your scalp. 

A regular shampoo might not be able to eliminate such build-ups from your hair. So you need to use a clarifying shampoo once in a while. They contain harsh ingredients that are powerful enough to get rid of the toughest buildups. 

But you can’t use it regularly since it can strip the natural oils from your hair. A healthy and clean scalp makes your hair smooth and moisturized. 

Here’s one of my favourite shampoos that I use to clarify my curls once a week!

OUAI Detox Shampoo

how to make coarse hair soft and silky

Use a silk or satin pillow cover while sleeping 

A cotton pillowcase can absorb moisture from yoru hair and cause friction. So you need to choose a fabric that does not stress your hair. 

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A satin or silk pillow creates a smooth surface for your hair to rest while you sleep and you will wake up with frizz-free and smooth hair. You can even use a silk or satin hair wrap to wrap around your hair while you sleep. 

Do not wash your hair with hard water

Hard water contains a lot of minerals or calcium deposits that are difficult to wash off with a regular shampoo. These substances will get deposited into your hair which will make it coarse and rough. 

If you have hard water at home, try to use a water filter or a hard water shampoo while cleaning your hair. 

Give your hair a hot oil treatment once a week to moisturize it

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Hot oil treatment is one of the easiest ways to give instant moisture to your hair. You can use any hair oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, etc to do a hot oil massage. 

It is recommended to do it once a week to get the best results. Heat the oil in a double boiler and make sure that it is not too hot. Apply the oil on your hair and gently massage your scalp. 

You can wrap a wet towel around your hair or even use a streamer to make sure it gets absorbed well. 

Natural 4c hair is coily in texture, making it difficult for scalp’s natural oils to make its way down to hair. This makes African American hair prone to being coarse and dry.

In the article above I’ve listed out some home remedies you can use to soften coarse African American hair.

But if you want a more permanent solution, you should try an amino acid treatment or relaxers to alter hair texture.

If you want to embrace your natural hair texture however, be sure to follow these tips!

Also Read:

Best Anti-Frizz Serums For African American Hair

Best Scalp Moisturizers For Black Hair

Best Hair Moisturizer For Black Men

Best Hair Growth Products For African Americans

Best Hair Brush For African American Hair