Afro hair tends to be dryer and more prone to breakage. That is because the structure of our hair makes it more difficult for the oils to work their way from the scalp to the ends of the hair. And if you relax your hair, you've weakened the hair and reduced the ability for the scalp to naturally oil it.
The points where the hair twists and curls are also points where the hair tends to break. The more of these points, the more the hair is prone to breakage. Also, because our hair is kinky, it tends to tangle more and pulling these tangles out can cause breakage.
So keeping these things in mind it is important that when you are taking care of your hair to treat it gently. Think of your favorite fine silk blouse or delicate piece of clothing. You wouldn't be rough with it, would you? So why be rough with your hair? Treating your hair with care will cause less breakage and lead to healthier hair.
Caring for your hair requires -a few basic tools:
-A large/wide toothed comb.
-A strong bristled brush.
-A Denman Brush
-A silk scarf or "do-rag"
Or a silk pillowcase
-De-tangling conditioner. Most conditioners are de-tangling, but a few are not. Suave, Swiss Formula, White Rain, and almost every one labeled for African hair are. -Deep conditioners are usually not.
-Natural Oil - Coconut oil, Olive oil, (Sweet)Almond oil, Hair wax/hair food, or clear leave-in conditioner
-A spray bottle to mist your hair.
Reducing breakage means retaining length. And there are several things you can do:
Plait or twist it, tie it back or wrap it up using a silk/satin scarf before going to bed. If you don't want to wear a scarf, you can use a silk/satin pillowcase. This will reduce the number of tangles you have to comb out the next morning, which will reduce the chances of breaking your hair. By using silk or satin doesn't suck the moisture out of your hair as a cotton pillow case would. It also helps in avoiding split ends caused by the rubbing of your hair against a cotton "rough" pillow case.
Comb your hair out while you're conditioning it to remove the tangles while it's wet and relatively slick.
Do a deep conditioner or hot oil treatment once a month.
Oil your scalp on a regular basis with a good natural oil like (sweet almond oil).
Try to avoid products with mineral oil or petroleum. They tend to block the pores and are not readily absorbed.
Put as little heat as possible on your hair. Heat, especially combined with perms is very damaging to hair.
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