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Natural Black Hair Care

Resources, Advice, and Products For Taking Care of Natural Black and African American Hair

TIPS FOR WORKING WITH DRY BLACK AND AFRICAN AMERICAN HAIR

One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with our black hair is combating its natural dryness. Black and African American hair tends to be dry because of its physical structure. Dry hair is brittle hair, and when hair is brittle it breaks easily. However there are several steps that you can take to moisturize and soften dry Black and African American hair. 
 
One of the most important things you can do to retain moisture in dry African American hair is to be sure you always wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. Avoid shampoos made with the chemicals sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate. These detergents are some of the most commonly used cleansers in shampoos. However these ingredients strip the hair of natural oils and leave the hair feeling dry and harder to manage. A gentle moisturizing shampoo will cleanse your hair without stripping it of natural oils.
 
A second thing you can do to retain moisture in your hair is to always condition your hair after washing to soften your hair and help make it more manageable. Use a conditioner made especially for Black and African American hair, as it will be more suited to dry hair types.
 
A third step to take in moisturizing dry African American hair is to seal in moisture after washing with a natural hair oil or a natural pomade. A natural hair oil or pomade applied to the hair after washing will help seal moisture in the hair shaft which in turn will help the hair retain more moisture in between washings.
 
A fourth step to take in moisturizing dry African American hair is to always tie up your hair at night before you go to sleep with a silk or satin scarf or a silk sleep bonnet. A silk sleep bonnet or scarf will help to retain any oils on your hair overnight, instead of having them come off on your pillowcase.

A fifth step you can take to deal with dry hair is to limit your use of heated appliances such as pressing combs, flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, etc. These tools are fine to use in moderation, but if they are used too much (like every day or every other day) or at too high a level of heat, they will contribute to hair dryness by causing the moisture in your hair to evaporate, leaving you with dry, brittle hair. When using heated appliances, use a thermal protectant on your hair, such as a natural hair oil, to protect your hair from the heat.