How to Care For African American Hair

Ethnic, biracial, and African American hair presents its own unique challenges to women--and their hairstylists--across the globe. Here are a few tips for caring for this type of hair.

Ethnic hair tends to be fragile and need regular maintenance. But putting in the time and effort produces a beautiful result. The most important factor to keep in mind is that this hair needs constant moisture to prevent breakage; breakage leads to frizziness and more frustration. Daily rinsing and conditioning (use a light conditioner) does the job of keeping the hair moisturized and healthy. This step lays the foundation for further proper maintenance of ethnic hair. Without it, all the other steps become pointless, or at least not as effective. Use a moisturizing shampoo once or twice a week. African American hair needs oil to grow, and shampooing too much prevents your natural oils from doing their job.

To retain even more moisture for your hair, comb a natural oil through your hair daily. Focus on the middle half to the ends of the strands, but don't completely avoid your roots. When styling, use a cream. Rarely should you use a blow dryer. Letting your hair dry naturally and styling it with just a small amount of cream goes a long way to keep your hair from drying out and becoming unmanageable. Heat styling is extremely damaging to African American hair and should be used sparingly. When brushing, use only a wide-tooth comb or pick. A natural bristle brush can also be used, as it works to distribute oils evenly throughout your hair. With these tips, you are better on your way to keeping your hair healthier, shinier, and more manageable.

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