Taking Care of African-American Hair

Taking Care of African-American Hair
For sometime now, momentum has been growing concerning how Black women are wearing their hair: natural or not natural (the use of: chemical altering products, weaves, wigs, etc.) Which ever way you choose to rock your locks is your decision. Just be certain to take care of your hair; from the inside out, as well.

Going Natural

So you've taken the plunged and decided to go natural. (Good for you!) But you have absolutely no idea of how to manage your precious mane. Don't worry; there are many products on the market that are catering to Black women (and men) that desire to keep their hair feeling and looking healthy.

I have never worn a wig, a weave, extensions or have had a permanent. My hair has always been naturally curly, or blown out straight. The only thing chemical to touch my hair is color. And that has been four years since. But the use of any chemicals or constant heat, as in blow-drying, hot curling, flat-ironing, etc., can cause a transition to hair. It can change its thickness, texture, and its sheen. Some may experience hair thinning, hair breakage, excessively dry and brittle hair.

You want to find products that will help to keep your hair soft and from drying out, but without feeling to heavy or clogged. Look for products specifically geared toward your hair type. And if you are not sure about which products to use for your hair; consult a professional. Ask your hairdresser what they would use or recommend (and not just their product they are trying to push!)

Look for key ingredients such as: aloe, avocado oil, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, guar gum (this is the secret to controlling that frizz!), tea tree oil, coconut butter. Products that contain these key ingredients work well in helping you to transition to natural locks and maintain a healthy mane.

From The Inside Out

Whether you are going natural or not; it is important that you keep your hair hydrated. Think of your hair as a plant; it needs to have a drink of water every now and again to keep it from dehydrating. The soil must have its proper content and be PH balanced for the plant to be sustained.

Well, you are the soil for your hair. Not only what you put ON your hair, but what you put IN your body affects your hair, as well. Proper nutrition and keeping your body hydrated with plenty of water will help you to maintain healthy hair. You may even want to consider taking a supplement that helps to aid in healthy hair and strong nails. Ask your family doctor about it, or a health food store. Unfortunately, I find it to be true: You are what you eat!

Personal Tip

A few years back, I had experienced thinning hair due to a health problem. My hair was no longer thick and full. It started to thin and would come out with every stroke of the brush! I was crushed! I didn't know what to do. Fortunately for me, my Grams was a beautician—amongst so many other things!—and she told me what to do to bring thickness back to my mane. If you are experience some thinning in your hair and are short on cash, then try this simple at home remedy:


This is what you will need:
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel (From the Aloe Vera Plant. You can find these now in many grocery stores)
¼ Cup of Olive Oil (I used Blessed Oil. You Pentecostals know what I mean!!)
A shower cap

Place the egg, Aloe Vera and oil into blender, blending until the consistency of a thin mayo.

It’s best to do this while taking a shower (although not necessary), since it’s easier to rinse and the steam heat from the shower itself will help your hair. You want to wash your hair first using your regular shampoo. Be sure to dry hair of all excess water before putting on the solution. Once your hair is washed, pour solution onto hair, saturating to the ends. Massage for about two minutes, being sure to stimulate the scalp. Next, place the shower cap on, and leave on for five to seven minutes. (It’s best to do this before you wash up)

After time is up, remove cap and rinse hair well. Use a light conditioner and grease scalp. (I found that using two tablespoons of hot olive oil worked well in addition to mixture) Let hair air dry or use low setting on hair dryer or blow dryer. It’s best to stay away from high heat for at least a month when you first begin this treatment.

Do this for at least two or three times a week until you start to see a difference in the thickness and sheen of your hair. The condition of your hair determines the length of time for desired results. I saw a vast difference after two months.

There are many things that I have learned from my grandmother: independence, self-resiliency, wisdom, pride in self and family, high work ethic, unconditional love, how to cook, clean, manage a business, and do hair!

Recommended Products

If you don't mind spending a little extra on your mane, and desire products that are moderately priced and have excellent results, you may want to try Carol's Daughter natural hair line products which she calls Hair Milk. They have a wonderful feel and texture to them, and does not leave your hair feeling greasy or heavy. I received a jar of the hair pudding as a birthday gift, and loved the feel of it on my natural curls. You can visit the website at: www.carolsdaughter.com

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This content was written by Ruthe McDonald. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ruthe McDonald for details.