Having African American hair requires a lot of special care to keep it healthy because it tends to feel dry and it’s more prone to damage and breakage than other types of hair. One of the biggest concerns of women that have it is that they consider their hair doesn’t grow or does it too slowly, but that is one of the many misconceptions that surround African American hair because it does grow, the problem is that it is so prone to breakage that we don’t notice we it is growing. If you have African American hair and want to know how to keep it healthy and make it grow longer and thicker you’ve come to the right place because we are going to tell you all the secrets.
1. Understand your hair type.
African American hair comes in all types and forms, maybe you have loose curls, or maybe your hair goes more to the kinky side and knowing your type is important to understand which products are the right ones and what are the best tips to each type. Kinky hair is drier and more prone to breakage than curly hair because the naturals oils of the scalp find it harder to get to the ends.
2. Watch out what you eat.
Beauty starts from the inside, and what you eat reflects a lot on your hair’s health, it can make it shiny, stronger or make it drier and increase the hair loss. Focus on a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, those with high sugar levels. Another factor that has a big role in having long hair is stress, it can increase the hair loss making it more prone to breakage. Start to take vitamin supplements like Biotin, vitamin B12, and vitamin E.
3. Wash your hair with the right shampoo.
People with African American hair can’t use any type of shampoo, you need to choose one specifically made for that type of hair, or one that has nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, or vitamins and make sure that it doesn’t contain sulfates. Just because you have African American hair doesn’t mean that you don’t need to wash it, excessive dirt and oil production blocks the moisture absorption, but washing it too frequently strips the natural oils. Wash it once or twice a week. When you are doing it gently massage the scalp to improve the blood flow and stimulate growth.
4. Always use conditioner.
Condition your hair each time you wash it that brings moisture to your hair, especially to the ends which are the zones that tend to be drier, you are going to feel your hair soft and shiny. Choose a conditioner with ingredients like organic oils, shea butter, and vitamins.
5. Regularly trim the split ends.
It might sound crazy to you that you should trim your hair when you actually want it to grow longer, but you need to get rid of split ends because they make your hair more prone to breakage and hair loss. Do it every two months.
6. Do the co-washing.
Co-washing means washing your hair with conditioner, you can find several brands of cleansing conditioners these days, choose the one you like the most. You can do the co-washing once a week.
7. Less use of heat tools.
These include flat irons, curling irons, and hair dryers. Too much use of them can damage your hair and strip its natural oils. The split ends are going to become more noticeable. If you happen to use one, make sure you apply a heat protector in your hair. This will minimize the damages and protects the hair from the UV rays as wells. But occasionally you can use straightener and curler from trusted brands.
8. Wear protective styles.
Certain styles protect your ends which are the most fragile part of the ends. It reduces the breakage, takes care of it when you sleep, protects it from manipulation and environmental changes. The best styles you can use are the box braids, the ghana braids, and the updo hairstyles.
9. Don’t use relaxers or hair straighteners.
These products dramatically change the structure of the hair while strips the natural oils. Chemicals are going to damage your hair and increase hair loss. Embrace your hair, learn to know it, and how to take care of it.