There are a lot of different opinions about how to care for African American hair.
I hear from many women that read conflicting information about what to do, and it can be very confusing.
The same is true for taking advice from your friends. Some suggestions from your peers will work, some will not. That doesn’t mean anyone is wrong, it just means that you need to try a different regimen.
First of all….just like any type of hair….everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. Your hair care routine is going to vary depending on whether or not you get relaxers, if you wear your natural texture, etc.
I have some clients that only wash their hair once per month(I usually do it and straighten their hair), and some clients that wash their hair weekly or biweekly. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The right way is whatever works best for you and compliments your lifestyle.
Here’s a recent Q&A from a reader about how to care for African American hair:
My name is Jasmine and I had a question about how to care for my African American hair.
I have really thick ,dry, and unmanageable hair and am not sure what to do with it all.
Usually I straighten my hair with my flat iron because it’s the only way I know to deal with it, but where I live, the weather is usually really humid.
I’m really getting tired of straightening my hair in the morning and by the time i reach school my hair is already poofy and frizzy from me standing outside for as little as 5 minutes.
For a while I’ve been wanting to give my hair a break from all this heat because I know it isn’t healthy. My hair isn’t naturally straight, it’s curly and I would like to embrace it but don’t know how. When I wash my hair, it is pretty and curly, but as I allow it to air dry, it starts getting really frizzy and nappy.
I really would like to have healthy, natural hair but I don’t know where to start. Everyone tells me I should get a texturizer but I don’t want to put those kinds of chemicals in my hair, plus my hair is already damaged.
Please give me your honest opinion on how I can care for my African American, dry, but naturally curly hair. I just want to be able to wash it, condition it, style it, and go instead of having to set aside a few hours to straighten it and it poof up as soon as I step outside.
I have several clients that share your dilemmas and it can be very frustrating! I think you should embrace your hairs natural texture and avoid getting the texturizer. I call it a relaxer so I think that’s what you are referring to. Chemically manipulating your hairs texture can be really damaging if it’s not done correctly! If your hair is already damaged, then try getting a smoothing treatment (like keratin) instead of a chemical process.
If you like your hair curly all you need is a really good styling product and make sure you’re using a shampoo and conditioner that’s going to help out on frizz. I suggest Redken Smoothing line. It has a lot of conditioning properties and will help your hair to be smoother and less frizzy even when it’s curly. Some people think of smoothing products for straightening but they work wonders taming curls.
As for styling I would use a leave-in conditioner when you get out of the shower and have towel dried your hair. This will help repair it, control frizz, and soften your hair. My hair isn’t as curly as yours but when I leave it natural I have to use a leave in or my ends will look dry.
Other than that all you need is a soft gel. They are usually runny in consistency instead of thick and goopy. Start with a little, work it in your hands and then apply all over.
For a non-gel product my favorite is Redken Curvaceous Ringlet. It’s a mix between a gel and a cream and is one of my favorites!
I hope I’ve answered your questions and please feel free to e-mail me if you need more advice!
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