Black hair, while appearing tough and strong is actually quite the opposite. It has been found that African hair is rather fragile due in part to its tight natural curl. The fragility is increased by the use of chemical relaxers and other heat treatments, using the wrong hair care product and how it is sometimes combed.
For healthy hair, the African woman must look at what products are used in the hair and what products are used to comb the hair. Taking care of African hair, whether it is natural or processed is a labor of love. Some of the issues associated with the hair of black women are that it gets dry easier, it is more prone to breakage, and some women of black descent complain that it is too short or kinky.
The best African hair tips women should bear in mind when it comes to hair care are:
1. All brushes and combs are not created equal. The combs and brushes used by women of African descent can help to weaken their hair. African hair should be combed or brushed with:
o With a wide tooth comb; fine tooth combs lead to breakage and unnecessary discomfort. The belief that all the hair caught in a fine tooth comb is dead is not so. Fine tooth combs snag and tear kinky or tightly curled hair.
o A natural hairbrush such as one made from boar hair if you like brushing, but brushing is not generally necessary for most types of African hair textures.
2. Black hair needs oil, not grease, for moisture. This means that when buying moisturizing products for black hair look for those with natural oils such as jojoba, olive oil and Shea butter. Avoid products with petroleum jelly, which is heavy and does nothing for African hair.
It is important to ensure that the scalp of African, both men and women, be oiled as well.
3. The use of lots of gels, mousse and other products that can deplete moisture should be avoided.
4. Use hydrating shampoos and moisturizing conditioners. You will need to experiment, as one shampoo does not work for every woman of African descent. Some good choices include Pantene Pro-V and shampoos from Motions.
5. Treat your hair at least once per month to help it maintain its health.
6. Forget the old way of combing your hair, instead of starting from the root down, start from the tip and move up. This means that you comb your hair in portions rather than pulling it down in one stroke. When you pull down in one stroke, this helps to weaken the hair from the root and results in damage to hair follicles.
7. Get a professional hair cut when you find it necessary. Some African women are reluctant to cut their hair because it seems to take long to grow back, but for split ends and seriously damaged hair, a cut is the way to go. Remember that it is also easier to cut Black hair when it is wet rather than dry.
8. Always try to sleep with a satin headscarf on; these days wraps specially made for sleeping in are available. If you cannot get a ready-made satin wrap for your hair, buy a regular satin scarf and use that. Alternatively, sleeping on a satin pillow works as well. Sleeping on cotton pillowcases or sheets leaches the moisture from your hair, which leads to split ends and damaged hair.
Proper hair care is as important to the woman of African descent as for any other racial group â€“ and for most women, their hair is their crowning glory. Learning how to care for African American or ethnic hair will lead to healthier, more beautiful hair.