A lot of African-American women wish they had long silky hair. They try to achieve these styles by using quick weaves, sew-ins, micro braids, etc. Some African-American women think that there is no chance of their real hair becoming long and silky. We have to perm or press it to achieve the desired straightness and this in turn does a lot of damage to our hair. The damage comes in the form of split ends, brittle hair, and a lot of shedding. However, there is a way for African-American women to achieve long, silky, healthy hair. If we practice healthy habits, refrain from heat and never over-do hair care practices, our hair can gain the strength it needs to grow long and beautiful.
It is very important to be healthy on the inside to grow healthy hair on the outside. This includes but is not limited to drinking water daily, practicing a good diet, exercising and taking a multivitamin with vitamin E. It is also important to practice healthy habits on the outside. This includes washing your hair, oiling your scalp, wrapping or tying back hair with a silk scarf or sleeping on a silk pillow case. Although washing your hair is good, it can also damage it as well. It is very important to condition your hair every time you wash it and NEVER try to comb through a wet head. Also, keep all split ends trimmed. It’s really good to use all natural products on your hair because natural is always better than artificial. Try to stay away from products that contain mineral oil or anything ending in “cone.” (Amodimethicone, Silicon, etc.) According to haircaregrowthaids.com, mineral oil coats the hair and acts as a shield by preventing moisture from penetrating the hair. Anything that keeps moisture out is not good for the hair. Mineral oil also clogs pores and hinders healthy hair growth. The “cones” are known to keep moisture out of the hair, dry hair out and make it very brittle. African-Americans have dry hair by nature so we must keep our hair oiled in order for it to stay healthy. Olive oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil and Coconut Oil all are perfect for African-American hair.
Flat irons are like the African-American women’s best friend. What would we do without them? They make our hair straight when it wants to be frizzy and curly when it wants to be flat. Flat irons are the number one product we use to tame our mane. However, it is not good to use heated appliances on the hair too often. According salonweb.com, heat damages our hair and dries it out. Therefore, only use it when it is most necessary. Protect your hair from heat by getting a sew-in weave, braids or sometimes wearing a wig. Cold weather also does a number on our hair so it’s best to get the sew-in, braids or wigs during the winter. Although blow drying is a quick way to dry African-American hair, it’s not healthy for the hair. It over dries hair and causes it to be brittle. It is better to use the dryer you sit under to dry your hair. However, if possible, ALWAYS try to let your hair dry naturally.
Excessive brushing, blow drying, combing, flat ironing, oiling of the scalp, and/or washing is not good for the hair. These unhealthy practices also cause breakage. It’s very important never to try to over-maintain your hair. On the Brady Bunch, Marsha use to brush each side of her hair one hundred times each. I don’t know how strong Marsha’s hair was, but intense brushing of the hair WILL damage African-American hair, especially relaxed hair. When oiling your scalp, always remember less is more. Most African-Americans shouldn’t wash their hair no more than every two weeks and it’s very important to always follow with a conditioner. According to beauty-advices.com, when blow drying, try to hold the dryer at least 6 inches away from your hair and don’t let it consistently blow on the same area for too long. Try not to use the flat iron or curling iron every day. Instead, style it at the beginning of the week and wrap it every night before you go to bed. It will be beautiful in the morning and if you keep wrapping it nightly, it will be beautiful every day.
African-American women can grow long and beautiful hair. You just have to know the proper way to take care of it and what to stay away from. Since most African-American women use chemicals in their hair, it’s important that they pay close attention to the well-being of their hair. There are a lot of hair damaging agents out there that will hinder hair growth. However, if you follow these rules, you will begin to grow longer, healthier, silkier hair.