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BLACK HAIR CARE BASICS

Posted by A'Kiyia on September 18, 2011 at 10:35 PM

What hair type am i? What are the different hair textures to choose from?

Introduction

If you are reading this page, you too have curly hair (or a curly angel in your life)...and you need help, help classifying your curls so you can create the ultimate curly hair regime for your natural tresses.

 

Type 1: Straight Hair

Type 2: Wavy Hair

Type 3: Curly Hair

Type 4: Kinky Hair

No need to worry, I am here to Help you.....

 

Let’s begin by briefly reviewing the chemistry behind your curlicious curls. You are born with either naturally curly hair, or straight hair (or wavy). The amount of curl, wave, or lack thereof, is dependent on the number of disulfide bonds between hair proteins found in the hair shaft; the greater the number of links, the curlier the hair, and the fewer the number of links, the straighter the hair.

Hair is primarily composed of keratin, a protein, which grows from the follicle. Keratins, and other proteins, are formulated in the cells of the hair follicle. All of the proteins become a part of the hair shaft and contain sulfur atoms. When two sulfur atoms pair up and bond, they form a disulfide bond. If the two sulfur atoms in the same protein are at a distance, and join to form the disulfide bond, the protein will bend. This is how your curls are created.

Andre Walker,Oprah’s beloved hair stylist, created a broad-spectrum hair typing system that classifies various hair textures and breaks each hair type down into 4 types with added sub categories. I believe this chart is especially useful when determining what products to use for your hair texture. However, you must realize that this system has its limitations. First of all, most curly women and girls have at least 2 different textures of hair on their head…this chart does not address this variance. Also there are so many different sub categories that can be added to all of the curly sections categories that could and should go beyond A, B, & C. Nonetheless, I do believe it was the first and is the best classification available to date.

 

CURLY HAIR CARE

Before we can really talk about taking care of curly hair, let's start by exploring why we have curly hair.

The texture of our hair is determined way before we are born. Your genetic code provided by your parents determines the shape of your hair follicles. If your hair follicles are straight then your hair is straight, curled follicles produce curly hair etc. Some of us have a mixture of textures because our follicles have varying shapes.

Hair texture is absolutely connected to our racial/ethnic heritage. People of African decent have very curly textured hair. This finely curled hair is called kinky or nappy or super curly. Many people of Jewish, Italian or Latino decent share the tendency to have very curly hair. Some Caucasians have curly hair. Asians have straight hair period. The more racially mixed the population becomes, the more people there are with curly hair!

So, you were born with curly hair. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, weighing in on the good side, is that curly hair is the most versatile hair. You can get more hairstyles and change your look any time you want! Curly hair is fun and sexy! Regardless of what the media tries to portray, men like big hair. A head full of curls is like a lion's mane. Nothing gets more attention than an Afro, that's why it is the most celebrated hairstyle in history!

 

Now, the downside to curly hair; controlling it. When I was a little girl I would cry when my mother combed my hair. Of course, the adults said "You're just tender headed." Well, since I was the youngest and the only girl, I didn't know there were millions of other little girls just like me bursting into tears at the sight of the comb! ( I also got whacked with it so that might have been part of the trauma.) COMBING CLEANSING STRAIGHTENING

Only use a wide-tooth shampoo or bush comb on your hair. Throw away those little combs and brushes. Combs with teeth close together pull out your hair. Brushes make the cuticle (top layer) of your hair rough. Shampoo every week to ten days. Curly hair tends to be dry and shampooing daily will increase the dryness and friction which leads to breakage. Of course if you are swimming or working in a dusty environment your hair will require more frequent cleansing.

Always follow every shampoo with a conditioner. The best conditioners for curly hair should be moisturizing. African Wonders Hydrolzer Conditioner is designed for curly hair.

There are two ways to straighten curly hair; with heat or with chemical treatments.

 

 

Black Hair CaRE BASICS

Having healthy hair makes you look great and feel even better!

Think about the times you've left the salon very satisfied with the way your hair turned out. It's swinging, shining, and full of body with not a single hair out of place.

You have a spring in your step, a smile on your face and you're simply glowing. Other people notice and you find yourself getting more smiles, admiring looks and compliments than usual.

You're happy all day, you have more energy to do your day job, your boss is blown away by your new attitude and you get promoted to vice president of the company that same day...all because of a well maintained head of hair!

O.k. well maybe I got a bit carried away..LOL.. there but you get my drift. There are two major black hair health basics you need to get right before you can see your healthiest head of hair emerge and stay put.

 

Increase the Moisture Level of Your Hair

The number one and biggest problem with black hair is that it's dry.

If you've ever combed your hair and heard it go snap, crackle and pop I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Our hair is the driest of all the hair types and there's nothing we can do to change that fact. The curl pattern that our hair has stops sebum (nature's hair moisturizer) from traveling down its length.

Even so, there is something we can do to help the situation out. We can add moisture to our hair!

But wait, wait, wait...before you get excited and go running to find your tub of good 'ole hair grease, that's not what I'm talking about.

There are two ways to increase the moisture levels in your hair.

1. Regular Washing

How many times have you washed your hair this week? If it's less than once listen very closely and you'll hear your hair screaming for moisture!

There's a long standing myth that black hair shouldn't be washed often because it will dry out, get damaged and break off. That's totally not true and actually the opposite of the truth of what's generally best for your hair.

Water is the only thing that can add moisture to your hair and the best way to get it is with a good wash and more importantly a great conditioning treatment. The key to making it work is sealing in the moisture from your hair wash with the right products which leads me to point two...

2. Use Moisturizing Products

Traditional black hair products used as moisturizers (aka hair grease) have ingredients in them like petrolatum and mineral oil. That would be all well and good if these actually moisturized hair.

The truth of the matter is that all these products do is encourage buildup, make your hair greasy, attract dirt and block the pores of your scalp.

The only thing that will truly moisturize your hair is water.

If you aren't using products that list water or glycerin as the major ingredients, you can be 100% sure that your hair isn't getting the level of moisture it needs.

 

Turn Down The Heat On Your Hair

The second biggest reason for unhealthy black hair is damage from heat styling. Remember the last time you used your blow torch...err, I mean blow dryer? You probably saw massive amounts of broken hairs all over your shoulders and floor when you were done.

Do you notice that your ends are dry, frayed and just look totally unhealthy? That's the result of constantly using too much heat.

Throw in a daily deep frying with a flat iron, curling iron or a hot comb and you really have to wonder how we black women even have any hair left! Follow the trail of split ends, breakage and damage and you'll find a big pile of hot tools at the end of it!

All these direct heat styling tools suck moisture out of your hair like crazy and bring damage on like nobody's business.

How do we get around this? By using healthy methods like air drying and bonnet drying you'll totally eliminate any dryness and damage caused by direct heat.

Can't imagine life without your hot tools? Truth be told, you can use flat irons and blow dryers sometimes without any major issues. The key is to use the ones that are gentle on black hair and also understand how to use them to prevent your hair from drying out and being damaged.

 

Black Hair Basics - Summing Up The Major Points

Keep your hair properly moisturized and hydrated through regular washing and daily moisturizing with water and glycerin based products.

The less heat you use on your hair the healthier it will look and feel. Use healthy alternatives to heat styling, like bonnet and air drying.

 

 

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