African hair ranges from slightly wavy to extremely curly, but in general its texture does tend to be drier and curlier than Caucasian or Asian hair. Basic maintenance for African hair includes washing about once a week to avoid stripping the hair of its natural oils, and conditioning and moisturizing hair regularly to protect it from over drying. You should also reconsider the brushing and styling practices you use to avoid damage and breakage to your hair, as African hair tends to be brittle and prone to breakage if not cared for properly.
1. Washing and Conditioning African Hair
1.1Shampoo hair once a week. African hair tends to be naturally dry with minimal oil, which is why it isn’t necessary to use shampoo more than once a week. Shampooing your hair several times a week or even every day strips the oil that the hair needs from the hair shaft so that it becomes drier, frizzier and more prone to breaking.
African hair does not often get overly oily like Caucasian or Asian hair does when it is not washed for several days.
Do not wash tangled hair, as this will make the knots even worse. Always untangle hair and then wash.
1.2 Condition your hair every time you shampoo. Because African hair tends to be dry, it’s essential to use conditioner every time you shampoo your hair to restore moisture. When you condition, pay attention
especially to the ends of your hair, which are the most brittle, and keep the conditioner in your hair for a few minutes before washing it out.
1.3 Use a leave in conditioner in washed hair. After you finish washing your hair, add in a generous amount of leave-in conditioner to the wet hair to continue adding moisture to the hair. Try to find a product that contains coconut oil, shea butter or cocoa butter
1.4 Co-wash your hair between shampoos if physically active. If you exercise or build up a sweat regularly, you may feel the need to wash your hair more often than once a week to remove sweat or other buildup. Instead of using shampoo, wash with conditioner in between your weekly washes
Conditioner will gently wash away sweat or other buildup while keeping the healthy oils in your hair.
Make sure to use the conditioner on your scalp as well as down your hair shaft.
1.5 Using a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer on days when you don’t wash or condition your hair ensures that your hair stays hydrated and protected from damage. Use a light leave-in moisturizer formulated for African hair at the beginning of the day before styling your hair
Try to find a moisturizer that contains essential oils, which are absorbed into the hair and moisturize. Avoid products containing lanolin or other greasy ingredients that sit on the surface of the hair and weigh it down.
Spritz your hair with water, then apply the moisturizer, or find a moisturizer than can be used on dry hair. Use the moisturizer on all of your hair, but pay special attention to the tips of your hair, which are the oldest and driest.
1.6 Deep condition your hair once a month. In addition to your regular maintenance of your hair, doing a monthly or bimonthly deep conditioning treatment will make a visible difference to your hair, making it more moisturized and less brittle. Use a deep conditioning product according to the label or get it done professionally for the best results
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