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Natural African American Hair Care Tips
So you decided to ditch the relaxers in favor of a delightfully curly doo. Here are some natural care tips that are simple yet effective at keeping your natural tresses Healthy.
- · Wash your hair ladies! There’s this myth going around that black hair doesn’t have to be washed often. This is partially true. African American hair is very dry and doesn’t require daily washing unless you’re applying heavy products. I advise washing your hair at least once a week. Depending on the products your use in your hair, it may need to be washed every day.
- · Condition your hair every time you wash. But save your money and stick with the low- cost brands. Surprisingly the cheaper the conditioner the better it is for your hair. Cheaper brands tend to have simpler ingredients that get the job done. Brands like Suave and Trader Joes are excellent conditioners and are affordable.
- · Never detangle dry hair. This is a big No No. Most African American hair will snap like a twig if you comb it dry. The best way to detangle is when hair is wet and full of conditioner, or some other substance that makes hair slippery. The best way to detangle is from root to scalp. Gently working out knots from the ends and working your way up.
- · Avoid hair products with mineral oil, lanolin, petrolatum, and cones (silicones, dimethicone). These are cheap ingredients frequently found in African American products. They actually dry you hair out and cause more breakage. These products make hair look shiny and feel greasy. Greasy hair doesn’t equal moisturized. Moisture equals water, and you want products that keep your hair moisturized, not greasy. You may be wondering “well, what should I put in my hair then?”
- · Try natural oils and butter like coconut oil and Shea butter. Unrefined coconut oil actually penetrates the hair shaft. It seals in moisture. It is light oil with a sweet nutty smell. You can add fragrances like lavender to it. Raw Shea butter works really well to seal in moisture.
- · Use styling products like IC brand hair gel, or Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera gel. These products are great for smoothing down edges or creating that wet curly look.
- · Experiment with different hairstyles. Braids, twists, curly up-do’s, sleek and straight or wild and curly. Use hair clips, headbands and bobby pins. Avoid tight pony tails that put too much stress on the hairline.
- · If you desire that straight look. Invest in a professional flat iron. The cheap store brands tend to damage hair. I recommend shopping online for a good flatiron. The best site in my opinion is Folica. Also use a good heat protectant. Silicone, the same ingredient I said to avoid, is the best heat protectant. Yes it does dry out hair, but it prevents some heat damage. So if you’re straightening your hair use products that have cones in them. Cones are usually in all heat styling products.
- · And lastly if you decide to use products with cones or if your hair gets a lot of product buildup, then be sure to use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying your hair a couple times a month, will strip your hair of all products and oils. It like starting over on a clean slate. Be sure use a deep conditioner after clarifying.
So I hope these tips will make caring for your hair simpler. Experiment with different products and hair regimens until you find the one that works best for you.