African-American hair is often thick and has a coarse texture, but can sometimes be particularly dry, which causes brittleness and breakage. To keep your hair healthy all year long and promote growth, it's best to keep the hair moisturised and conditioned, especially if your hair is colour-treated or chemically relaxed.
Since African-American hair is dryer than hair belonging to members of other ethnic groups, it's important to massage the scalp often to promote oil production. Adding oil, such as olive or coconut oil, to the scalp immediately after shampooing and conditioning the hair makes it easier for African-American hair to absorb the moisture, which keeps the hair from getting brittle and breaking off.
Rinsing the Hair
Washing Black hair too often can lead to extreme dryness, so African-Americans who work out often should rinse the hair after exercising, without shampooing it (shampooing the hair once or twice a week is sufficient). Using warm or room temperature water for shampooing the hair is best, as water that's too hot will cause breakage and aggravate the scalp.
Black women and men should invest in a deep conditioner to keep the protein structure of the hair intact, repair brittle texture and infuse moisture into the hair strands. Applying the conditioner after shampooing and leaving it on the hair for 10 to 15 minutes is helpful, and adding a leave-in conditioner before styling will lock in even more moisture. Conditioners with argan or olive oils are ideal for keeping the hair from becoming dry and stringy; these are also important to apply after swimming. Applying conditioners and styling lotions with these ingredients, along with jojoba oil and aloe, will moisturise the hair, as well. To keep African-American hair from drying out in the sun, a styling cream with sunscreen is essential.
Hair Washing Tips
African-American hair tangles easily, since it's very thick and curly. When you're washing your hair, it's important to direct the hair in only one direction while washing and conditioning to avoid tangling. When drying your hair, blot your hair with a towel instead of rubbing, to keep the hair from becoming frizzy and brittle. Comb your hair lightly to work the conditioner through, but don't brush your hair until it's dry. Brushing stretches African-American hair and makes it more prone to breakage.
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