Black hair (African-American hair) is different from Caucasoid hair or Asian hair. The most typical character of the black hair is that it is strong and rigid transversally but is very flexible length wise. Because of this presentation, the hair body often curls tightly and takes up a spiral appearance. The shape of African hair has a resemblance to a twisted oval or ribbon.
Another feature of black hair is that it is irregular in diameter. Neither the fiber diameter nor the cuticle diameter is the same all through its length. Because of this typical structure and coiling structure the hair has many fragile points. The outside of a tight curl puts stress on the outer hair fiber cortex and cuticle. At some points outside the curls, cuticle becomes very thin and flakes easily. These areas of stress in the hair fiber are prone to damage by chemicals. Even vigorous combing is enough to flake the cuticle and damage the hair.
Another undesirable feature of the black hair is its low moisture content. This character also makes the black hair more susceptible to weathering. Since the black hair is too curly in nature, it is difficult to comb. It is prone to hair breakage and hair shedding.
Because of these difficulties, black hair requires more care than any other type of hair. The following black hair care tips help in preventing some damage to which it is naturally susceptible.
Massage the scalp regularly to encourage oil production.
Always use a wide-toothed Afro comb. Combing helps spread the natural oil through the hair, making it look shinier and healthier.
Use intensive pre-shampoo treatments.
Shampoo your black hair as often as you feel necessary but only lather once, using a small amount of shampoo. Rinse thoroughly.
Always towel-blow your hair and never rub it with towel. .
Try a hot oil treatment once a month. It lubricates dry scalp and help in moisturizing black hair.
Choose non-greasy formulas for your hair gel so that they don’t take away the healthy sheen.
If you want to braid your black hair, use a softening shampoo that maintains the right moisture balance. You can also try a natural oil based moisturizer.
While combing your hair, start from the tips and work towards the roots, it will be less damaging to the hair.
Have a regular trim to remove split ends as it prevents hair breakage.
Whether it’s in cornrow, braids or bun, try not to repeat the same ‘pull-back’ hairstyle too often. The stress on the hair may cause it to weaken around the edges.
Try to avoid the use of heat treatments, chemical relaxers or hot hair drying of your hair.
Don’t use any hair care product that has any harsh chemical. Only use natural hair care products.
Avoid use of alcohol based products.
Cotton pillow cases and sheets help in breakage, use a silk or satin scarf to wrap up your hair while sleeping.