Home Hair care Q & A: How can I make my hair soft?

Q & A: How can I make my hair soft?

by Evenes Ruth Mafupa

Softer hair

This is one question I get asked the most. Notwithstanding our hair is so different and the answer may not be one size fits all, I have tried to answer the question here. I hope it will help you. Here goes…

What makes hair hard to the feel is either, lack of moisture, product build-up, damage to the hair shaft or the kinky structure of the hair which naturally has cuticles that do not lay flat to the hair shaft making the hair feel rough or hard. So what can be done to make hair soft? Let’s address these causes.

If you use a lot of product on the hair, a 2 in 1 shampoo or conditioner only, co-wash, will not clear the build-up. So you may need to do a proper shampoo for cleansing at least once a month. Otherwise the other washes can be done using a conditioner only. Clearing product build up is important in order to get other products applied on the hair to have the intended effect. If there is product build up, any product added will just sit on top of the hair shaft and will not penetrate nor benefit the hair in any way.

For moisture retention, after shampooing, make sure to condition the hair. You can also leave the conditioner in your hair for longer, 15 to 30 minutes for deep conditioning. Try to smooth the hair down the hair shaft when rinsing out the conditioner. This will encourage the cuticles to lay flat. After rinsing out the conditioner, apply some leave-in conditioner and then seal with a butter and/or oil for sheen. When using butter and oil, make sure you use very little because using more may cause unnecessary build up making your hair hard and flat (not shiny). Always add some moisture to your hair by spritzing with a water based spray at least once a day unless you are wearing your hair straight. This will keep the moisture levels up most of the time.

Smooth your cuticles down as well when applying the conditioner, butter and oil to encourage it to lay flat. Chunky braid or chunky twist your hair to stretch. You can also do African threading, flexi rods, perm rods and many other hair tools to stretch the hair. I find that chunky braiding or twists make it easier to smooth the cuticles down as you braid or twist the hair. After drying, my hair is normally much smoother and softer.

If the hair is damaged, deep conditioning alternated with protein treatments will help to nurse it back to health. Deep conditioning can be done weekly or every time you wash the hair with a maximum of 2 protein treatments a month. Make sure to follow a protein treatment with some conditioning to make the hair feel softer as protein treatments, though they make hair fuller and stronger, they have a tendency of making it hard as well.

You will also need to do an investigation to find out which products work well with your hair. Try and use one of each category for 3 consecutive washes and see the results.

I hope I have answered you fully. If not, or you need more explanation, please write your questions in the comments below instead of writing me an email. That way, I will not have to answer the same question several times as this may take a lot of time. If you have more tips on making this kinky hair softer, please write those as well in the comments section.

God bless

Ruth sign


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Mapeu 9 September 2015 - 12:43

Hi can you please help me by recommending something to use on fading and thin edges I am so frustrated.


Ruth Mafupa 11 September 2015 - 09:41

The best you can do for thinning edges is to stop doing what caused the hair to start thinning and then massage the affected area with castor oil. I would recommend Jamaican Black Castor oil. You can also do protein treatments for thicker hair in general.

Kind regards


GUGU 22 September 2015 - 10:29

I would like to know where do I purchase the Jamaican black castor oil product for my hair? I reside in Johannesburg, please can you refer me to the closet store where it is available.

Kind regards

Ruth Mafupa 22 September 2015 - 13:23

You can go to Natural Moisture at Unit A63, U can Store. Cnr Impala and Spartan Crescent. Sandton. You can also call 0742229804 or order online at http://www.natmoisture.co.za and as a disclaimer, this is our online shop

Lungi 11 October 2015 - 18:58

I am going through a transition of relaxed hair to natural hair. Is it possible for one to grow natural hail without cutting the ralexed one. I am not allowed to cut my hair, yet am sick and tired of it, and want my natural hair back.

Please help
Lungi Mchunu

Ruth Mafupa 13 October 2015 - 10:33

Indeed you can transition to natural hair without cutting it. It is called along transition. Eventually your relaxed ends will fall off. However, may need to still dust the ends to make sure they are blunt ends and are not splitting. Splitting hair does not retain length.

Ruth Mafupa 13 October 2015 - 10:33

Indeed you can transition to natural hair without cutting it. It is called a long transition. Eventually your relaxed ends will fall off. However, may need to still dust the ends to make sure they are blunt ends and are not splitting. Splitting hair does not retain length.

bongi 1 December 2015 - 15:38

Hi. My two year old daughter has bald spot at the back of her head. I am not sure whether this is as a result of how she sleeps or what. When she was 1.5 years old I cut off all hair with a hope that it will grow equally, but no, the bald spot at the back is still there.
I use black Jamaican custor oil on her hair.
What can I do to help hair grow at this spot?


Ruth Mafupa 1 December 2015 - 15:47

Hi Bongi. For a two year old, I would not worry at all. Some people take time before the hair covers the whole head. I am told I took very long to have hair all round. No need for castor oil for her as it may weigh down her hair causing breakage. Use a lighter oil instead like grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil. keep her scalp clean and healthy. That’s all. In due time, the hair will fill in as long as the scalp is healthy. Cheers!

bongi 1 December 2015 - 15:41

I have been shaving my hair to bald. I am now growing it since April 2015. It’s a short afro, a little shorter than Lira’s afro.
What cute hair styles can i do? The only hair style that I do currently is to open a line o the side( “mandela youth hair style”). I am kinda lazy to braid or pleat my hair. Is there anything else that I can do?

Ruth Mafupa 1 December 2015 - 15:49

Hey Bongi. You could include a flower or an alice band. These normally add colour, spice and sophistication to your style.

Yandiswa 7 December 2015 - 06:37

How important is it to sleep with a satin doek/head scarf rather than a cotton one? What is the difference?
What products can I use to help my hair grow more and stop breakage
Is washing my hair with normal (dark & lovely’s Amla products) okay?
Does your store do deliveries?

Thank you for your assistance 🙂

Ruth Mafupa 7 December 2015 - 13:31

Hi. Satin doesn’t suck moisture from your hair like cotton would.This helps your hair to stay moisturised for longer
For most people, keeping hair moisturised and strong makes it break less helping you realise more length. So, basically products with protein for strength and that’s egg, wheat etc protein containing products and moisturising ingredients like shea butter, olive oil etc for moisture.
As long as it doesn’t leave your hair too dry. If you like how your hair feels after washing it, then by all means, it’s okay.
Yes we do.

dudu 22 February 2018 - 00:02

Hi how do I manage 5year old’s hair. She has a very dry afro,knotty hair and she complains when we comb due to the grow and I don’t wanna use chemicals on her scalp.

Evenes Ruth Mafupa 26 February 2018 - 16:46

I would address the dryness first. Make sure the products you are using are addressing that. You can get our Shea-Argan leave in conditioner from http://www.natmoisture.co.za which is good to maintain moisture in the hair and help wit combing. Keep her hair stretched as much as possible to prevent knotting and tangling too much. If possible, wash her hair in plaits, after washing and conditioning, undo each section, working on it with a leave-in conditioner and plait that section before moving on to the next. Please don’t relax her hair.

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