We all have different hair types and those of us who are of African extraction can have a unique set of problems and challenges. There is that extremely curly hair type to contend with; then there is the coarse texture to contend with. The dryness and crinkly texture of hair can make hair not only difficult to style and keep in control; but even growing hair beyond a certain length can be difficult. Here’s what you can do to take care and control of that African hair:
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
That dry hair needs a lot of tender loving care, particularly moisturizing. So this is important for black African hair. Oil treatments, hair masques and leave in products (conditioners) can help improve texture of the hair and will also help to style and control the hair. A simple DIY treatment for the home can involve a hot oil treatment followed by the head wrapped up in a steamed towel.
Most shampoos dry out the hair and so it’s important to cut down on the frequent hair washing. It is also important to dilute shampoo with 3 parts water before using it. Some experts advise that a mud rinse is better for the hair than a strong shampoo. It may also be a good idea to use organic hair products that don’t contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate, the same stuff that is found in domestic detergents and pesticides).
Cut the Chemicals
Since black hair is more brittle and prone to breakage, it is important to protect it. What can really weaken hair and make it prone to breaking are the type of chemicals that are used in relaxers, straighteners or rebonding treatments. Avoid these as far as possible. Also protect hair from treatments that involve heat since heat also can damage and dry the hair out.
Embrace Your Hair
African women the world over are embracing themselves and their hair just as they are. They are celebrating their ethnic heritage and are choosing to accept their hair just as it is; curly, coarse or difficult to manage. More and more women are choosing not to straighten their hair or to make it go against its innate nature; proudly proclaiming that this is my hair and I love it the way it is. And really, what is the need to make hair conform to any supposed ideal of beauty or glamour? Instead, embrace your hair and all that it indicates.