Blackhairstory

Natural Hair & Care

Black Hair Care Basics January 8, 2009

Black Hair Care Basics

Many of my girl friends who are thinking about transitioning to their natural hair have said that it would take too much to manage their natural hair. I understand where this statement comes from. Many of us have simply never learned how to care for our natural hair as it has been labeled by many as tough or unmanageable and tamed and hidden with a variety of hair care products. To get us started on loving and caring for our hair I would like to share some advice from http://www.treasuredlocks.com

All phrases that I have added have been italicized. Certain phrases have been highlighted in bold for emphasis.

Hair care basics

useful for all natural hair styles: braids, locks, twists, etc.
You should picture your hair as a collection of fine fibers. You should treat it as gently as you would a fine washable silk blouse. The better you treat your hair, the easier it will be to grow and the better it will look. African hair will tend to be dryer and more prone to breakage because the structure makes it more difficult for the oils to work their way from the scalp to the ends of the hair. If you relax your hair, you’ve weakened the hair and reduced the ability for the scalp to naturally oil it. The points where the hair curls and twists are also points where the hair tends to break. The more of these points (as in African hair), the more the hair is prone to breakage. Also, because our hair is kinky, it tends to tangle more and pulling these tangles out can cause breakage.
  • Either section the hair and plait it, tie it back or wrap it up using a scarf before going to bed, this will reduce the number of tangles you have to comb out the next morning, reducing the chances of breaking your hair.

  • Sleep with a satin scarf or sleep cap on your head or with a satin pillow case. This helps avoid split ends caused by the rubbing of your hair against a “rough” cotton pillow case. It also avoids moisture being wicked out of your hair into your cotton pillow case.
  • Wash your hair no more often than every week to week and a half. More than that can dry it out.
  • Comb your hair out while you’re conditioning it to remove the tangles while it’s wet and relatively slick.
  • Oil your scalp on a regular basis with a good natural oil like shea butter. A daily moisturizer is not a bad idea. I will suggest some great daily moisturizers in an upcoming post.
  • Do a deep conditioner or hot oil treatment once a month.
  • Massage your scalp on a regular basis to promote circulation and oil production.
  • Avoid overuse of products with mineral oil or petroleum. They tend to block the pores and are not readily absorbed. If your mother used Vaseline® on your hair, stop.
  • If you exercise and sweat, rinse the salt out of your hair even if you don’t wash it. Condition it afterward with a daily leave-in conditioner.
  • Always use a leave-in conditioner after washing your hair.
  • Put as little heat as possible on your hair. Heat, especially combined with perms is very damaging to hair.
  • Avoid alcohol based products unless you have a need for a water-free shampoo to cleanse your scalp (for example while you’re waiting for your locks to lock).
  • Remember that water (moisture) is your friend and get plenty- inside and out. If you used to press your hair or blow it out and learned to fear water on your hair because it would draw up, you need to get over this. Spritzing a little water on your hair every day is a good idea. Get a spray bottle and just spray it just a little.
  • Eat a proper diet. Vitamins and protein are essential for proper hair growth.
  • Find a style that works with your natural hair type and growth pattern. The less you work against your hair, the less stressed it will be.
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