African American Hair - The Basics of Caring For Black Hair

Many people think that African American hair is easy to care for, when in fact it is actually quite a daunting undertaking. Since African American hair tends to be very kinky and extremely dry, it can be hard to style. However, once it is properly styled, it is beautiful and adapts to the shape of the style naturally. If you take the time to learn the basics of caring for African American hair, the task can become a much easier one.
What should you know about African American hair?
There are some basic facts that you should know about African American hair before you try to style it. If you are unaware of this information, then there is a good chance that you could cause lasting damage. For instance;
African American hair is very fragile, and caution should be used when combing or brushing it. Always use a wide toothed comb that won't snag kinky hair or a brush with natural bristles.
Always be sure to apply enough moisturizer to your hair. African American's do not secrete enough sebum, which is the substance that moisturizes the hair, and the hair can be very dry and brittle without good conditioning. To achieve this, try using products such as leave in conditioners, creams, and lotions specifically designed for African American hair.
Avoid any drying products such as hair sprays and gels.
Tools of the Trade
When styling African American hair, there are some basic tools that you will need. These are standard items that will use almost on a daily basis, so be sure to have them available to minimize damage to the hair.
  • A wide toothed comb, and a brush with natural bristles. These are fairly common items, and can be found at any beauty supply store.
  • Hydrating shampoo is always a good idea, but make sure that it is made for African American hair, and that it is not simply another run of the mill hydrating shampoo.
  • Another important product is moisturizing conditioner, which should be used each time the hair is washed and again should be designed specifically for African American hair.
  • The most important thing you will need is a daily moisturizer. This should be a moisturizer that is able to be used each day and that can be left in the hair. This is essential for producing sleek styling results.

Common Mistakes
There are several common mistakes that almost everyone makes when first caring for African American hair. These mistakes can cause damage however and even extreme hair loss if you are not careful. So, try to avoid the following actions if you can.
  • Over shampooing is perhaps the most common mistake made by those who are trying to care for and style black hair. Since African American hair is so dry and has a hard time retaining moisture, it should only be washed every 5-7 days. Anything more than that could lead to excessive drying and hair loss.
  • Under conditioning, just like over shampooing, can lead to hair that is even more dry and brittle. Many people hesitate to put on extra amounts of daily moisturizers because they feel it is too much product, but this is not the case.
  • Brushing too aggressively can cause major hair loss and pain. African American hair should never just be combed through quickly and roughly. Since it is so brittle, it should be parted into sections, held firmly in one hand, and combed easily from the bottom up.
There are many different things that you need to know before you begin styling African American hair and it can often be confusing and hard to care for, but once you learn the basics it becomes much easier to do.
Debbie is the author of True Beauty Tips and also writes about antiques on antique-marks.com and horses on locariding.com.
Discover more about the natural, beautiful YOU on true-beauty-tips.com. Your hair, your body, your skin and building a better beautiful you.


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