Afro hair tends to be fragile, porous, dry, and prone to damage. This is partly because the coiled structure of African-American hair prevents oil from spreading evenly through the hair. This problem becomes more pronounced if the hair is heat-damaged or overprocessed. Curing rough, dry hair requires a regimen that adds moisture to the hair, while minimizing damage and preserving the hair's natural oils. Source
Protective styling involves locking down your hair so that it can grow without the breakage that comes with constantly manipulating it. There are several beautiful options for how to go about this. Check our Randomizer page for a few examples!
The most common hair and scalp complaints among African Americans include hair breakage, itchy scalp, excessive dandruff and flaking, and hair loss at the crown and temples.
Hair care products popular among African American women, including emollients, colloquially referred to as “hair grease,” gels, spritzes, and relaxers have been implicated in hair fragility and loss. source
Moisturize your hair before washing it or styling. Don't forget to seal in the moisture with oil!
Pay attention to your ends! Coat them with oil or cream, and trim them regularly, otherwise they'll split.
Detangle gently, starting at the tips and working your way to the roots.
Avoid hairstyles that put a lot of tension on your edges.
Switch to protective hairstyles.
Oh no! Hopefully you don't have heat damage.
This would be irreversible, and you'd have to simply wait for your hair to grow out before chopping the damaged portion.
Try applying a deep conditioner with added oils to your hair. Your hair should show signs of reversion in about five minutes. Then wash! Source
Shrinkage describes the difference in hair length when water is added and your curls tighten up.
It's actually a good thing, believe it or not! It means your hair is able to revert to its original state.
Embrace your shrinkage, even if it makes your hair care routine a little more difficult! Source
L: liquid/ leave-in conditioner
O: natural oil
C: styling creme
The LOC method starts with applying water (or any product that's water-based, such as conditioner). Afterwards, lock that moisture in with a natural oil. Lastly, apply a styling creme for extra hold. Using this method before braiding, twisting, or otherwise styling your hair will ensure that it is not only healthy, but holds the waves from that style when you unravel them.
The LCO method simply switches the order of application. It may be a better method for you if you find that your hair isn't retaining the moisture you're putting into it with LOC.
(L always comes first no matter what! Putting oil before water will prevent the moisture from penetrating the hair shaft.) Source
Dry hair: Wash you hair once every two weeks to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils.
Oily hair: Try washing it once a week.
Porosity is your hair’s capability to hold moisture. Read this article to find out more.