Black hair is more brittle, dryer, curlier and coarser in general than those of non-African decent. It’s also different in diameter. The cuticle diameter nor the fiber diameter are the same all the way through the length of the hair. Because of this the hair has many fragile points. Having these areas of stress make Black hair prone to damage if chemicals are used on the hair. Also combing the hair too roughly can cause damage.
Because our hair tends to be dryer than others one way to avoid damage is to apply a natural oil to your scalp and comb it through with a wide tooth comb. Using a wide tooth comb will help lower the level of damage while distributing the oil evenly through your hair. You can do a hot oil treatment on your hair once a month to add deeper moisture to you hair and scalp. Your hair will look shinier and healthier after this treatment.
When styling your natural hair, make sure you don’t pull your hair too tightly when wearing pony tails, braids, twist or locs. You don’t want to put stress on the hair or your scalp. Wearing your hair too tightly pulled will cause breakage. So be gentle when exploring different styles.
You also want to make sure you tie your hair up at night with a sating or silk scarf or hair bonnet to retain moisture and keep lint out of your hair. Sleeping with your hair directly on a cotton pillow case or tying your hair up with a cotton scarf will suck all of the moisture out that you worked to achieve through oil or cream conditioning.
The best thing you can do for your hair no matter what style you wear it in is to use natural/organic hair care products. The more natural the products the healthier your hair and scalp will be. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully. If you can’t pronounce most of them then you shouldn’t be using the product on your hair.
Also remember shampoos are not made for conditioning or moisturizing, they are made for the cleansing. Always shampoo and conditioner separately. Never use a shampoo/conditioner combination in your hair because it will be too thick and cause build up. Also avoid leave in conditioners because they cause buildup as well. You want to use a gentle shampoo and then use a conditioner that you rinse out after a maximum of 10 minutes.
Finally avoid anything that has beeswax, petroleum or mineral oil in it because all of these ingredients cause buildup on the hair and or sit on top of the scalp not adding any benefit to your hair or scalp.
Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs