A Comprehensive Black Hair Care Guide for Afro Women

October 04, 2021 7 min read

Comprehensive Black Hair Care Guide for Afro Women

Are you a beautiful black woman? 

If so, are you proud of your natural hir? 

Are your strands receiving appropriate hair care methods? 

Hairstyles are the most apparently distinguishing trait of all women. They frequently mirror our personality and self-expression. 

For black women, hair is about more than just personal style and beauty. 

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Take care of your hair, take care of yourself. Let's dive into! 

What Are the Common Misconceptions about Black Hair Care? 

The uncommonness and difference in the texture of black hair are not startling. Due to harsh living conditions and scarcity of water, African ancestors discovered distinct methods of hair care. Then, under the influence of the process of colonization and slavery, the health and beauty of black women were forgotten and lost for centuries

Due to the natural thick, curly hair structure with abnormal hairstyling, the hair of black women is often confused as dirty and not grown through the years. Not only that, but this hairstyle sometimes also shows the low class and slave status of African women in society at that time. 

Check out our Afro Girl Apparel Collection here!

Best friends in summer on the beach by Thought Catalog is licensed under the Unsplash License 

The lack of understanding and the lack of appropriate concern about the specific hair care methods made black hair care has been underestimated for centuries. On the other hand, the social rejection, humiliation, and stigmatization that black people faced drove some of them to engage in hazardous hair care methods. They desired to be accepted by the community. 

However, as time passed, this hair began to be recognized by organizations and, eventually, the community. The discourse around black beauty, especially hair, is evolving now. Black women are now more embracing of their curls, coils, and kinks than ever before. 

Beauty of Black by Clarke Sanders is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Is Your Hair in Its Best Condition? 

Most individuals are always on the lookout for that magical solution that would give them their ideal hair length. However, natural variables such as heredity play a major role in determining your hair growth rate. As a result, you should understand your hair characteristics and their development patterns so that if a problem arises, you will know how to deal with it. 

Art Admiring Art by Flow Clark is licensed under the Unsplash License 

There are several methods for determining the state of your hair. Look at these: 

  • Hair that is healthy should be supple and elastic. If it snaps or breaks readily, it is dry, or lacking moisture. 
  • When you run fingers or comb through the hair, it should feel seamless. If it's dry, the strands will most likely be harsh in texture. 
  • Healthy hair contains great and consistent melanin. What If yours is lighter at the top or if some browning-red steaks are developing? That indicates that its melanin is being degraded by bleaching chemicals or the sun. 
  • Split ends are not supposed to exist in healthy hair. 
  • Damaged hair generally sheds more, resulting in patchy/circular bald patches or hair loss around the edges. 

The Most Efficient Homemade Hair Treatment 

Afro hair is particularly delicate and prone to injury and damage due to its distinct look and texture. It is estimated that more than half of African American women have to face thinning hair or hair loss. Fortunately, there is a lot they can do to help reduce harmful elements and maintain the beauty of their tresses. 

Provide Your Hair with Enough Water 

Drink a minimum amount of eight (8oz) glasses of water per day. Consume a lot of fresh fruits that are likewise high in water. You should also exercise your body regularly.  

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Here's why: Hair comes from the temples of your body, and if you are missing vitamins and other nutrients that maintain it healthy, not only will your hair be dry and brittle, but your nails and skin will suffer as well. 

Wash your hair once every 1-2 weeks 

The more you wash your hair, the more moisture it takes from your hair, making it dry and brittle. So you should only wash your hair every 7-10 days or even every 14 days. This washing method prevents the hair from becoming dry and limits the deposit of shampoo on the hair. 

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER is licensed under the Unsplash License 

If you can't find a shampoo and conditioner for black women's hair, you should use a moisturizing shampoo for dry hair. Use an extra moisturizing conditioner after shampooing. If you have to wash your hair often, you should dilute the shampoo with water in a 1:1 ratio. 

Softly rinse your hair with conditioner every 3-5 days 

Experts call this method "conditioner hair washing". This way moisturizes the hair and prevents frizz. You can strengthen your hair with your favorite natural conditioner. 

Self love by Adrian Fernández is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Enhance the effectiveness of your hair treatment by applying an intensive hair mask once a week or twice a month. Concentrate on applying conditioner to the ends of your hair and avoid applying it to your scalp. Applying conditioner to your scalp will make your hair look greasy. 

Use the right genre of the pillowcase 

Use a satin or silk pillowcase to prevent frizzy, dry, and brittle hair. This way, the hair will always stay healthy and not break. Cotton pillowcases often cut the hair, causing small scratches in the hair shaft. Cotton pillowcases also often absorb moisture from the hair, making it frizzy and more prone to breakage. 

Photo by Susan Wilkinson is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Pillowcases made from satin or silk are also good for the skin because they do not absorb moisture like cotton pillowcases. If you don't have a satin or silk pillowcase, you should use a satin or silk scarf to wrap your hair in bed. 

Brush your hair properly 

A wide-tooth comb will be the best option for your hair. Always start brushing the ends first; Absolutely do not brush from the roots down. Avoid using a brush as it will only make your hair frizzy. 

Photo by Element5 Digital is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Finally, avoid brushing your hair too many times a day and only use your fingers to detangle your hair. Excessive brushing will cause hair to fall out. Make sure your hair is only slightly damp before untangling it. Wet hair is very weak, so when you finish washing your hair, you should wait for it to dry a bit. 

Ways to Sort Out the Most Effective Black Hair Care Products  

Do not use products containing silicone and sulfate. 

Silicone is a great ingredient for soft, beautiful hair, but can only be washed with sulfates, which are harsh detergents that dry out hair. If you don't wash the silicone off your hair properly, a large build-up of residue will make your hair look greasy, unhealthy, and heavy. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to make your hair shiny and smooth without using silicone, including using a hair mask and coconut oil. These products are easy to wash off without drying or breaking your hair. 

Photo by Tijana Drndarski is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Use products that contain "organic" ingredients instead of "natural" ingredients 

Organic products are strictly managed from planting to harvesting. This implies avocado, coconut, and shea butter are farmed without the use of toxic chemicals, antibiotics, or pesticides that are detrimental to humans and animals. These hazardous compounds have the potential to harm your hair. 

Look for products that contain natural oils like almond oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. You can apply natural oils directly to your hair. Avoid products containing petrolatum, lard, and mineral oil. These ingredients only make hair dry and prevent moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. 

Photo by Chelsea shapouri is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Take your time reading the label 

Concerning chemicals are not usually specified on product labels, but you can still read labels and ingredients carefully to find the right product. When shopping for hair products, look for the words "paraben-free" and "phthalate-free."  

Also, for products containing ingredients such as siloxane, Cyclomethicone, benzophenone, octinoxate, octyl methoxycinnamate, oxybenzone, diethanolamine, or DEA, parabens, aroma or parfum, and triclosan you should also avoid using them. 

Photo by PMV Chamara is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Pro Styling Tips for Your Stunning Black Hair 

Allow your hair to organically express itself 

Allow your hair to reveal its natural texture and style. Not only will your hair be healthier and confident, but you may significantly reduce hair products. Because each product has a different set of chemicals, utilizing fewer items allows you to decrease the quantity of unknown and untested substances entering your body.  

Photo by DISRUPTIVO is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Avoid overheat styling 

Set low hair temperature, and use a heat protectant spray when needed. Spray the protective product while the hair is still wet to increase effectiveness. Heat protection products come in many different forms, not just sprays, including shampoos, conditioners, creams, and serums. 

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When styling your hair, you should keep the curling iron or straightener slightly open as you pull through the strand. This way, you can reduce the tug that causes the hair to break easily. Try to limit heat styling to a maximum of 2 times a month. Choose a ceramic straightener instead of a metal one. Porcelain straighteners are gentler on hair.  

Keep your hair relaxed 

Avoid styling your hair that will stretch your hair for a long time. Tight ponytails and tight braids look classy but put a lot of pressure on the hair and scalp. In the long run, these hairstyles will make your hair frizzy and prone to breakage. Not only that, but they also put pressure on the hair follicles, causing the hairline to thin. 

Photo by Ronise Da Luz  is licensed under the Unsplash License 

Avoid using elastic bands when styling your hair as elastics cause hair to pull out and break easily. Instead of using elastic bands, you should use hair ties without metal clips. 

Trim split ends ASAP 

Even healthy hair is prone to split ends so you need to check your split ends regularly. The longer you leave it unchecked, the longer the split ends up into the hair. Don't depend on "split hair repair" serum because it's only a temporary solution. Serums are not long-lasting and do not repair split ends. 

Avoid frequently straightening your hair 

It is advisable to straighten hair every 2-3 months. Try to straighten your hair professionally. If you straighten your hair at home, you need to read the instructions carefully to prevent damage to your hair. Hair straighteners should only be applied to newly grown hair. Applying to straightened hair causes damage from over-processing. In addition, do not leave the straightener on your hair for too long as this will seriously damage your hair and cause hair loss. 

Ask for the best experts when getting your hair done 

Tight weaves, braids, and extensions can cause serious damages. This might result in a loop of using more hair products to repair the damage. Because weaves can cause bacteria and excessive chemicals on your scalp, clean it frequently and get it removed every 4 weeks. Because hair glue might cause potentially serious allergic reactions, request sewn-in extensions instead.

Photo by Gustavo Spindula on Unsplash

Make sure that braids, cornrows, or weaves are not overly tight. If your hair aches while being styled, ask the hairdresser to stop and redo it. Damage equals pain. 

What’s more? 

With the above pro-tips, hopefully, you have been able to collect your hair care experiences. If you want your hair to be groomed more professionally, check out this ultimate hair salons list in the US.  

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Always Be Pretty and Happy in Your Own Way! 


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