Black hair is beautiful in every way. From curly tendrils to kinky twists, black hair comes in all different types under the hair rainbow. But let's face it: black hair is a little more hard to manage and can be easily damaged without a good regimen. I had to finally come to terms with this not too long ago and have compiled seven well-tested black hair care solutions of growing and strengthening your beautiful coif.
1. Discover Your Natural Hair Type
Knowing your hair type is very important when choosing products that won't damage or dry out your hair. There are about 4 main hair types and several sub hair types:
Type 1. Straight Hair- Out of the four types, straight hair reflects the most sheen and is the most resilient. It is also the hardest to damage and style.
Subcategories are: Type 1a
Type 2. Wavy Hair- Wavy hair is a mixture between straight and curly hair and is typically more prone to frizz. Just like straight hair, wavy hair reflects a lot of sheen well and is typically resistant to styling as you pass along the subcategories.
Subcategories are: Type 2a, 2b, 2c
Type 3. Curly Hair- A strand of curly hair has a distinctive S or Z form. This hair type is very well bodied and temperamental to different weather conditions (humidity = frizz, cold = dry). Curly hair is picky and not using the right amount of products could result in dull, lifeless curls.
Subcategories are: Type 3a, 3b, 3c
Type 4. Kinky Hair- Out of all of it preceding counterparts, kinky hair is the most delicate, coarse, and firmly coiled. Every single follicle of this hair type has a coil, curl, or zig zag pattern. Since kinky hair is the driest of the 4 types, this hair type requires extra TLC and a delicate touch. A common misconception is that this type of hair does not grow well. That is simply false. Kinky hair can grow just as fast as any other type, however, it can be easily damaged and requires a little more attention than the other types.
Subcategories are: Type 4a, 4b, 4c
2. Find the Right Products for Your Hair Type
Once you've discovered your hair type, finding the right products is very important to incorporate into your hair regimen. For Type 1 hair, find products that are sulfate free and don't weigh down the hair. Sulfates are detergents that can strip the hair of its natural oils and can cause breakage if used excessively. People with Type 2 hair should also stay away from products that weigh it down and stick with lighter products such as mousses and light gels to enhance their curls. Type 3 hair works well with frizz products, butters, oils, and styling cremes. Since this hair type is a bit more fragile then its preceding counterparts, it needs a little more TLC and moisture/conditioners. Type 4 hair needs three things: Moisture, Moisture, Moisture! People with this hair type should try to moisturize their hair at least once a day or every other day. Locate products that are rich and creamy, sulfate free, have strong moisturizing attributes filled with herbal oils, and butters. Steer clear of mineral and petroleum based products and try to find products that have organic conditioning agents, moisturizers, and extracts to protect the hair from breakage. Use deep conditioners and leave-in conditioners for this hair type.
3. Use Protein and Moisture Treatments to Rebuild Hair Structure and Strength
You hair is about 88% protein and made up of a hard fibrous protein called keratin. These proteins bind to the hair cuticle and help temporarily rebuild any weakened areas. Protein-based products reinforce the hair shaft, and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage.These bonds are often broken when the hair is chemically straightened and can cause the hair to lose strength and elasticity. If these proteins are not replaced it can lead to breakage. Egg and mayonnaise treatments are effective treatments and usually stops breakage immediately. When using these treatments, apply to the hair and cover with a plastic cap for 60 minutes. If you are using a different type of protein product, apply to hair and cover with a plastic cap for 10-15 minutes. For healthy hair try these treatments every other week, alternating with a moisture treatment
Moisture treatments help build the hair's resilience and elasticity. In order to prevent breakage, moisture treatments should be balanced with protein treatments. You can apply moisture treatments right after your protein treatment or alternate every other week. Follow up with an leave-in conditioner to get a smoother feel to your hair. Moisture treatments and products should be water or oil based. Try to steer clear from petroleum, lanolin, and mineral oil based products.
4. Use Hair Vitamins for Strong Healthy Hair
Hair vitamins should be used as supplements to your daily vitamin regimen. Look for products that contain true niacin in its proper dose. Niacin increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. Avoid products that have Niacinamide as this is not the same as niacin. Hair vitamins should contain about 35 mg of niacin per tablet. Also look for amino acids, folic acid, biotin, and iron in hair vitamins.
5. Use a Wide Tooth Comb
When detangling or combing your hair, always use a wide tooth comb to prevent breakage. If you wear your hair naturally, always wet your hair before detangling it. Apply a leave-in conditioner or a detangle product before combing your hair.
6. Use a Satin Scarf/Pillowcase for Sleeping
Cotton scarfs and pillowcases can absorb your essential oils and moisture from your hair. When getting ready for bed, make sure you wrap your head up with a satin scarf or sleep on a satin pillow in order to retain most of your hair's moisture.
7. Get Your Ends Trimmed
You should always make it a point to visit your hair stylist every 6-8 weeks to get your ends trimmed. Depending on your hair' condition, you could wait longer. Getting your split ends trimmed is very important because split ends can lead to severe breakage. Wear protective hair styles when you can or apply heat guard products when styling your hair. This can help protect your ends from breakage.
These are just a few ways to help your hair grow and become stronger. Always try a variety of different methods to work out a good hair care regimen that's perfect for you. The key is to find something that works well for your hair and stick with your regimen. For additional consultation, please follow up with a hair care professional.
Remember that your hair is beautiful no matter the texture or type! You can grow long, luxurious hair just like anyone else as long as you take the steps to maintain it. Good Luck!
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