Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
Ethnic beauties, we love our hair, yes we do. If we're having a good hair day, we feel good about ourselves. If it's not so good a day, we may not feel as great. We're also constantly learning to deal with the hair we have, instead of wishing for a different type. However, when our hair begins to thin, to fall, or break, we need a little help.
One way to get that help is to see a dermatologist, one who specializes in problems with hair. This physician will do an examination, and blood work. They will find out if your hair loss/breakage is due to a medical condition. They may even ask you to review your diet, what you put in your body. Did you know that fat, some carbohyrates, and even yo-yo dieting can be culprits for hair loss? They thieve the body of essential nutrients, like protein. With your physician you can also take a look at any medications you may be ingesting. You'll see if these are causing a side effect, or contributing to your hair loss/thinning or breakage. Or your physician may simply speak with you about heredity, which can sometimes play a part in the loss of hair.
Another way to get hair help is to find a good stylist. As most of us know, the relationship between stylist and patron is sacred. We sit in their chair, and allow them to do what they will with our hair, our glory. We tell them our secrets, we listen to theirs. And if our stylist is knowledgeable and willing to share that knowledge, we do as they say. Yes, when they tell us what to do, and what products to use, to stop thinning, falling, or breaking hair. I love my stylist Colleen, (pronounced Coe-Leen). She is the best, she is into the science of hair. Like many stylists, she regularly attends classes and seminars on the A to Z's of hair, its growth, treatment, and management.
From her, and through reading, I've also learned and would like to share with you that ethnic hair can be coarse, dry, or have a greater curl-pattern than non-ethnic hair. Perhaps you alreay knew that. Anyway, that means the scalp may need to be regularly massaged, to stimulate the production of natural oils. With ethnic hair, shampooing daily is not something that is normally recommended. Constant shampooing can strip oil from the hair. If you're sweating, or working out and need to frequently wash your hair, then by all means. A mild, perhaps even a moisturizing shampoo, for your hair type is recommended. When washing your hair though, please don't use scalding hot water. Sure it can feel good, but it can also exacerbate the scalp and dry your hair. Please donít tangle your tresses either while getting them clean; gently rub in one direction.
Conditioner will then be necessary. Do not forgo this step. It may seem time-consuming, but Conditioner does what the name implies. It conditions, moisturizes, and provides protection for the hair. Most will need to be rinsed out. Many ethnic beauties will then benefit from the use of a leave-in conditioner. Yes, it can be used after your regular conditioner, for added protection. Miss Jessieís ô makes one I like and never fail to use. A leave-in conditioner can also make ethnic hair, easier to comb. Leave-in conditioners are great too if you're swimming in a pool. They coat the hair, and minimize chlorine damage. For bi-racial children, sometimes leave-ins, which also come in spray forms, can wind up Mother's best friend. Yes, when it's time to comb her little one's hair.
When drying your hair, ethnic beauties, did you know that the towel can become your enemy? If you're not gently blotting your hair, but vigorously rubbing it, you and the towel will then be promoting tangles and snarls which can in turn break hair. However, don't leave the hair dripping wet to avoid tangles. Ethnic hair is most vulnerable to breakage when wet. My friends, when combing out those few inevitable tangles, start at the part of the hair farthest away from your head. Gently work the tangles out, moving up a little further, and combing down, until you can freely comb your hair from your scalp all the way down. This will save your hair from breakage. Remember, your hair is your glory, so why not treat it so?
In subsequent articles, we will look at our hair and heat. We will also take a look at other hair that we can wear. Until then, be careful with your beautiful ethnic hair.
Also, check out the Ethnic Beauty Site's section entitled 'Hair Care.' You're sure to find something useful there!