I have quite a few African American lady friends who all have told me the same thing; it can be very difficult to keep their hair looking healthy. I learned that the makeup of their hair is much different than the way mine is. Between the information these gals have provided me and the research I’ve done on the web, here are 8 haircare tips for African American women to use. I’m sure many of them are not completely new, but hopefully this collection will still be useful!
8. Reduce Breakage by Limiting the Amount of Heat Styling
Hot tools for straightening or styling hair can cause quite a bit of damage. The heat makes hair dryer than usual and this causes the strands to be more prone to breaking. The last thing any woman wants is fragile hair. A lack of moisture in each strand reduces the natural protein, which is what causes breakage. Chemical processing can also cause hair to break more often. An overuse of chemicals causes hair to become less elastic, thus resulting in broken strands more often.
7. Prevent Dryness by Using a Water-based Hair Moisturizer
Adding an oil-based hair product will only create the appearance of having moist hair. This type of product isn’t able to penetrate hair shafts, so using a water-based moisturizer is necessary. Dry hair is more prone to breaking, due to the lack of sebum around the hair shaft. Coconut oil can be used as well and is one of the only oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft.
6. Lessen the Number of Hairs Lost Each Day through Subtle Changes in Lifestyle
Daily hair loss is perfectly normal, as long as it doesn’t exceed around 80 hairs each day. Stress and hormonal changes can contribute to excessive hair loss. Eliminating the causes for stress and taking supplements to avoid drastic hormonal changes are two ways to reduce the loss of too many hairs each day. Birth control pills with a high amount of androgen in them can cause major hair loss or even extreme shedding.
5. Eat Balanced Meals to Speed up Hair Growth
Everyone’s hair grows at different rates. It is possible to give your hair all the nutrients necessary for it to grow as fast as possible. Eating a bunch of junk food or skipping meals isn’t going to help your plight to have healthy hair that grows fast. When your body lacks proper nutrition, it will try to conserve energy by eliminating some of the bodily functions that aren’t necessary for survival, such as growing lengthy locks.
4. Use Protein Treatments to Decrease Breakage
If you truly feel the need to use chemical treatments on your hair, then you really should consider performing a protein treatment from time to time. These special treatments will replace lost proteins and prevent your hair from breaking. For a cheap protein treatment that is very effective, mix a raw egg with conditioner and apply this after a regular shampooing. Cover your hair with a shower cap or surround your hair in plastic wrap for about an hour and then rinse it out.
3. Avoid Hair Care Products with Cheap Ingredients
Lanolin, petroleum, and sodium laureth sulfate are all ingredients included in many hair care products that contain a number of cheap ingredients and will damage your hair. It’s best to avoid any hair care products that contain any of these three ingredients.
2. Try to Resist the Use of Relaxers
I mentioned the ill effects of chemical processing earlier, but thought I’d mention relaxers all on their own. Relaxers break down the protein in curly hair and cause it to straighten out. It’s the destruction of these protein bonds that reduce hair strength and elasticity. If you do use a relaxer, it’s best to make sure your hair is in tip-top shape first. Make sure to use a protective cream on your scalp before applying the relaxer.
1. Wash and Dry Hair Gently!
Detangle hair before washing it and be sure to saturate your entire head of hair before adding shampoo. Scrub your scalp with the shampoo and rinse. Apply plenty of conditioner next and really work this into every strand. Don’t forget the ends of your hair. The ends are the oldest part of each strand of hair, so these will be especially dry. Rinse the conditioner, but be sure to leave a slight amount so that it protects your hair. Blot hair to dry. Never rub it dry!!
I hope these 8 haircare tips for African American women will help you get the healthy strong hair you’ve been looking for. What excellent hair care tips could you provide to others?
Top Photo Credit: sourskittled