Wednesday, 4 May 2011
African Hair Care - How to Grow Long Natural Hair
It can be an uphill task caring for African hair. It takes extra effort. Black hair is different from other types of hair because of its unique fibre formation; from the amazing burst of curls from the scalp, black hair fibers are by far the most versatile of all hair types. The curl patterns and textures are so diverse, from kinky to near-straight throughout the black race around the world. Due to this facts, it requires a few steps of extra care to make sure your hair grows strong and healthy.
• A Daily Leave-in moisturizer
• A Wide toothed comb
• Hair wrap (preferably satin scarf or bonnet)
• Deep conditioner/Treatment
1. MOISTURIZE - USE WATER.
For good health and elasticity your hair, water is essential. Drink plenty of water every day and don't be afraid to wet your hair between washes; natural hair and water are best of friends! You can also use water-based moisturizers. You can look at previous post on moisturizing black hair.
2. AVOID HEAT
Heat styling can be very damaging to African natural hair. For any hair as a matter of fact. Look for styles that require little to no heat like twists, twist-out, braids, braid-outs, Bantu knows, cornrows etc. Air drying or towel drying are the best but if you have to blow dry, use the lowest heat setting.
3. AVOID TANGLES AND KNOTS
Detangle your hair when wet and soaked in conditioner. There are also many detangling creams in the market to help you along with that somewhat hair-raising task depending on the length and texture of your hair. Always use a wide toothed comb to take out any tangles that may be in your hair; start from the ends of the hair and move to the roots. Never comb from the roots to the ends until your hair is completely untangled.
4. DEEP CONDITION OR HOT OIL TREATMENT MONTHLY
For your hair to thrive you should do a deep conditioner or oil treatment at least once a month. You don't need to go to a salon to do this. Apply a deep conditioner after washing, put on a plastic hair cap and wrap your head in a towel instead. For Hot Oil, warm the oil in a bowl in your microwave for 3 min or to your desired temperature as along as it remains warm, not hot. Apply generously tip to scalp and as above, wear a plastic cap and wrap with a warm towel. You can sun-warm your towel outside for 1 hour in advance.
5. DON'T WASH TOO OFTEN.
Black hair is naturally dryer than other types. Only wash your hair every week to week and a half. Washing your hair too often robs it off it natural oils and moisture and can lead to extremely dry hair that breaks easily. Learn to ‘listen’ to your hair, when it needs a wash, you will feel, it will tell you. After washing, always use a leave-in conditioner.
6. WRAP YOUR HAIR
Before going to bed, wrap your hair in a scarf. A silk wrap or satin scarf is best as it doesn’t matt your hair or absorb moisture form it. A satin pillowcase is just as good but you want to avoid sleeping directly on cotton pillowcases because they can dry out and snag your hair, causing breakage.
7. AVOID THE SWEAT ON YOUR HAIR
After you exercise be sure to rinse your hair out. The salt in your sweat can dry out your hair and also do damage.
8. EAT A BALANCED DIET
Eating a balanced diet to provide the essential vitamins and nutrients required for healthy hair growth. The easiest way to care for your hair is to start from the inside. Taking multi-vitamin is also another way to boost health hair growth.
9. MASSAGE YOUR SCALP
Be good to your scalp and it will be good to your hair. Massaging your scalp on a daily basis will increase blood blow and oil production.
10. OIL YOUR SCALP
RESIST greasing your scalp with petroleum Jelly, petrolatum or mineral oil based products, this will cause hair breakage, splitting, and thinning. Now, if you grew up having your hair caked with some grease in the name of ‘oiling’ your hair, you probably do the same to date. STOP. Use natural oil like shea butter that melts readily to oil your scalp on a daily or every-other-day basis. Other natural oils like olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, soybean oil etc are the real deal; they will keep your hair flexible and moisturized. It will also add sheen to hair. Always apply oil only AFTER you applied a water-based moisturizer.
Grow those tresses!