How to Care for African American Hair
According to the Andre Walker hair typing system, African American hair is Type 4.
Hair in this category is kinky which means the hair is full of tight coils. The hair is also strong, but fragile and often appears coarse. However, it is several fine, thin strands that are densely packed together. This kind of hair is also stretchy with less defined patterns on its curls with sharp angles.
Winter season saps the life of everything including our hair. The African American hair because of these characteristics is prone to dryness, sometimes excessively, and breakages. All kinds of hair are prone to dryness, but the African American hair suffers from excessive dryness in winter months because of its exceptionally thick curls.
Yes, you heard right.
It takes ample time for hair oils to travel through the coils to the tips, unlike straight or wavy hair. This curling nature of our hair and winter depletes the hair nutrients, making our hair frizzy and dry.
Do not give up yet; you can still wear your beautiful crown and enjoy the winter.
Black hair is hair that needs moisturizing in all seasons and more during winter. So, during winter months, give that tresses more love and care and watch your hair enjoy winter with you.
Some care tips are
Treat the scalp: when the hair scalp is dry, it itches. And we scratch it, and the more we scratch, the scalp gets weak and fragile, and then we graze the scalp, allowing bacterial infection into our hair. To avoid this, shun hair products that cause dryness. Hair products that contain alcohol, sulfur and formaldehyde should not be used during winter. Humectants can be used; they are substance or products that keep the hair moist by attracting and retaining water moisture from the air into the hair. Products that contain honey, castor oil, glycerol and coconut oil are best for hair during winter
Hot oil treatment: during winter, a deep conditioning routine with a hot oil therapy should be carried out at every visit to the salon. Natural oil is better than artificial or chemical based oil during hot oil treatment. Oils like jojoba, lavender, and coconut are best suited for African American hair. This regime locks in moisture while keeping the scalp healthy and stops fizziness. Do not worry; your hair will not be greasy as they are light oils. Do, however, ensure that your hairstylist applies the oils in the right manner.
Trimming the hair will help your hair. Hair tends to get more tangled during winter, so a bit of trimming will reduce tangles and make combing easier. When combing hair, comb from the tip and work your way upward the scalp. Remember to cover or tie your hair with a silk cap at night and avoid cotton and wool caps, these are super absorbent and tend to suck out all the moisture from our hair.
How healthy your hair also depends on your diet and water intake. So, include more greens and fruits in your diet while making sure you drink at least 8 glasses a day.