10 Best African American hair tips
Contrary to popular belief, of all the different ethnic groups, black hair is actually one of the finest and it is also, therefore, one of the most fragile types of hair. That means that it is very prone to breakage and damage, especially, if you don’t take care of it and treat it gently. Being very curly, black hair needs more moisturising too, because the natural oils in the hair can’t get so easily down the full length of the hair. Black hair needs more care than other types of hair, so here are ten top tips on how to care for African American hair.
1. Deep condition every two weeks
To keep your hair in perfect condition, especially if your hair is long, it is advisable to give it a deep conditioning treatment at least every two weeks. Apply a deeply penetrating hair mask or conditioner, cover your hair with a shower cap, and leave the conditioner to work its wonders for about 45 minutes before you rinse it out.
2. Seal in moisture with oil
Because black hair can dry out so easily and become more prone to damage, when you have used a conditioner, seal in the moisture by applying oil based hair cream or butter, or some hair oil. Locking in the moisture will keep your hair soft, bouncy, and healthy looking for a lot longer.
3. Avoid using too much heat on your hair
Heat dries out and damages all types of hair, so keep your use of heated tools to a minimum. If you use a flat iron or blow dryer on your hair every single day, your hair will get very brittle and it will cause a lot of damage. When you do use heat on your hair, keep the temperature setting down low and use a heat protection spray.
4. Don’t assume that all black hair products are going to work for you
It’s great that there are now so many hair care products designed specifically for black hair on the market, but don’t assume that just because they are labelled that way, they are going to be right for your hair. Everyone’s hair is different, so experiment with different products and, when you find something that works for you, stick with it, whatever the label says.
5. Moisturise and nourish from within
Don’t forget how important what you drink and eat is to the health of your hair. Hydrating and nourishing your hair from within is just as important as the products you put on your hair, so eat healthy foods and drink lots of water, and your good diet will reward you with beautiful looking hair.
6. Protect your hair at night
Sleeping on a pillow with a cotton pillowcase will draw moisture out of your hair and your hair could become tangled. That’s why it’s important to cover your hair when you sleep with a silk or satin headscarf. It’s also a good idea to buy silk or satin pillowcase too.
7. Avoid sulphates
Check on the back of your shampoo bottle and, if the label says that it contains “sodium laureth sulphate”, then that’s bad news for your hair. Sulphates are incredibly harsh on hair and they strip all the natural oils right out. When you do shampoo your hair, use a gentle, organic formula, and one that is 100% sulphate free.
8. Wear a protective hairstyle sometimes
Give your hair a break from styling sometimes and wear braids, try a weave, or add some extensions. Too much styling will damage your hair and the break that a protective hairstyle gives it will give your hair time to recover. They’re also great to give you a break from the hassle of styling too, because they are so low maintenance.
9. Massage with oils
Massaging warm oil into your scalp will help to condition your hair and keep it healthy. Apply a small amount of warm oil to your hair, like coconut oil or olive oil, and then massage it into your scalp with your fingertips. It will deliver nutrients to your hair follicles and promote better blood supply in your scalp, which encourage the growth of new hair.
10. Take your time with your hair
Whether you are teasing out tangles, or styling your hair, be gentle and take your time. Black hair is very fragile and it really doesn’t like rough treatment, so, if you rush your hair care, you can damage your hair. Any excess strain that you place on your hair could damage the follicles and, if that happens, it can lead to permanent hair loss.