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How to Care for Afro-American Hair

Updated on January 1, 2013
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Afro-American hair is unique. Its uniqueness doesn't just lie in the fact that it is typically kinky or curls very tightly. The uniqueness of Afro-American hair actually has more to do with its texture. Afro-American hair is very fragile, very dry, very coarse and, as thus, quite prone to damage and breakage.

Because of these innate characteristics of Afro-American hair, if you have it, it's essential that you take very good care of it. Following a hair care regimen specific to this type of hair will ensure that you will maintain the natural beauty of your tresses without worrying about it getting damaged.

How should you come up with a hair care regimen that will suit your Afro-American hair?

  1. When you buy hair care products, don't make your decisions based on the color of your skin. Just because a particular shampoo or conditioner is marketed to Afro-American women, it doesn't mean that this product is really good for your hair. Instead, consider the needs of your hair when purchasing hair care products.
  2. Always keep in mind that Afro-American hair is naturally dry. So, the hair care products you use must be able to plump your hair with moisture all the time without leaving it greasy or weighing it down. Salon brands like Redken and Wella have product lines designed to infuse hair with moisture.
  3. Be very, very careful when subjecting your hair to heat-based styling. Before you apply heat from your hair dryer or your hair straightener to your extremely fragile Afro-American hair, make sure that you've conditioned your tresses first. Heat-protective conditioners coat your hair so the heat from your styling tools ends up sealing the moisture in your hair rather than boiling it out.
  4. Aside from conditioning your hair before styling, you should also pamper your hair by deep conditioning it once a week. Doing so will help you keep your hair moisturized. You can indulge in weekly deep conditioning treatments with your hair dresser if you can afford it. If you can't, don't worry – you can easily deep condition your hair at home.
  5. Wash your hair no more than once a week. It would even be better if you can stretch the time between shampooing to two weeks. Frequent shampooing leaves your already dry Afro-American hair even drier. If you can't stand not being able to shampoo daily, try using a dry shampoo instead. Even talcum powder or baking soda can keep the gunk out of your tresses without shampooing.
  6. See your hairdresser for any chemical-based treatments you may want to do on your hair. Given how expensive salon treatments can get, it may be tempting to do your hair coloring and hair relaxing on your own at home. However, your Afro-American hair is too delicate to subject to the risks that DIY chemical treatments can pose on your tresses. So, as much as possible, have your hairdresser work these treatments on your hair.

Your Afro-American hair is unique and, thus, requires special care. If you provide this special care that your hair needs, you are guaranteed to enjoy beautiful hair all the time.

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