African American Hair Care is worlds away from white-girl hair care, and most of it has to do with dryness and texture. I learned a lot about African American hair care while I was a foster parent in metro Detroit, and even though I'm the whitest white girl out there, I'd love to share what I've learned. Here are 7 essential **African American hair care **tips... and most of them apply to everyone's hair!
1. Don't Shampoo Every Day
Over-shampooing can lead to over-drying, which of course can mean brittle, fly-away hair. That's why you should only wash your hair with shampoo when it needs it, and certainly not every day, especially in winter. This goes for all hair, not just African American hair.
2. Use a Mild Shampoo
When you do shampoo, make sure you're using something gentle. A harsh shampoo will only strip away the oils you need on your scalp and in your hair, forcing you to try and replace them after the damage has already been done.
3. Use a Good Conditioner
If you want to clean your hair without damaging it, then use plain water, and follow with a conditioner, even if you don't use shampoo. Why? Because even just warm water, without shampoo, can strip your hair and scalp of some oil. Don't overdo the conditioner, just be sure to use a little if you feel you need it.
4. Use an Oil
As a total white girl, I had no idea how dry African American hair can be, especially in winter. So one of my friends suggested an oil, one designed for dry hair, one that's applied to the scalp, and worked gently to the roots of hair. It's amazing, and something I'd suggest for anyone with dry, brittle hair.
5. Don't Use Hot Water
This isn't strictly an African American hair care tip, this one also applies to everyone: avoid using hot water on your body, hair, or scalp, because the heat will strip away all of the essential oils you've worked so hard to maintain.
6. Don't Tug
If you have a tangle, don't tug! I'm just as guilty of this as anyone, and I have the split ends and broken hair to show for it. Use a wide-tooth comb and loads of patience instead.
7. Don't Overheat
This is another African American hair care tip that can be applied across the board for all hair types. Use heated styling tools with caution, as they can also over-dry and damage hair. If you do want to use them, then use a serum that will help avoid damage, one that's made specifically for the tool you use. For example, if you're hooked on your flat-iron, use a serum or spray to combat the damage caused by them.
I'm so glad my friends and family (and a lovely lady at the salon) helped me with these African American hair care tips! I loved being able to care for my foster girl's hair in a way that she recognized, and many of the tips helped me care for m own over-dry, brittle hair too! Do you have any other hair care tips to share? Please do... I'd love to hear your suggestions, too!
Top Photo Credit: Buy Silver Gold