How To Care For Black Hair And Other Textures
The hair on top of our heads is important for many reasons. It serves a practical function of stopping heat from escaping, but in our modern society it also serves the important function of defining a person’s style to the world. No matter what your ethnicity is, hair is essential to our daily life, so it’s vital to know how to properly care for it. This is especially true, though, for African American hair, which requires extra special care and maintenance to look its absolute best. To that end, here are some helpful tips and hints.
First, let’s talk about daily maintenance. Believe it or not, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about shampooing and conditioning. For example, conditioner is for your hair, not your scalp. Concentrate on putting it in your hair and rinse thoroughly so that there’s not an accumulation on the scalp. You should always rinse conditioner out with the coldest water you can stand. This will ensure that your hair will be shiny, and it will stimulate blood circulation to your scalp.
There are many important daily care tips that apply specifically to African American women. For starters, you should wrap your hair at night with a silk scarf, and if your hair is long enough, roller set it every 2 to 3 days. If you used a roller set the night before, when you wake up you should wrap your hair, go through your morning routine and comb out right before you leave. Remember that roller setting is healthier than blow drying. Whether your hair is relaxed or not, it will be healthier without regular blow drying and curling, so don’t overdo it.
A common aspect of black hair styles is hair relaxer. The best advice is to always have this done professionally, if possible. Of course, if that’s not possible and you have to relax your own hair, be sure to follow these tips. Proper care starts two weeks before even applying the relaxer. You should start oiling your hair with a castor oil base to moisturize and lubricate your new growth. This will slow down the shedding and reduce sensitivity during the relaxation. Be sure to apply the relaxer only to your new growth, and put a base on your scalp and ends lightly to protect them. After your hair is relaxed, be sure to moisturize it with a conditioning creme every 3 to 4 days. As a side note, there are some top black hair stylists, like Marvin Carrington in New York City of macstyle.net, that say not to use no-lye relaxers. Marvin says that in his experience, the no-lye relaxers make the hair dryer and change the texture. Lye relaxers are much quicker and leave the hair shinier.
Another important issue for black hair, or for any texture of hair, is coloring. It’s important to understand the basics of how color works on hair. For starters, if you see a color that you like on someone else, consult with a professional before trying it on yourself. It might not be right for you. After you have color done, don’t shampoo, swim, or stay for long periods in the sun for about 48 hours. Otherwise the color will fade. If you have permanent or semi-permanent color and you want to go lighter, you should see a professional to pre-lighten it. Semi-permanent color doesn’t lift easily and color doesn’t lift color. Lastly, if you want permanent color without the commitment of monthly touch ups, get highlights. Highlights don’t have to be touched up every 6 weeks like normal color. You can have 2, 4, or 6 inches of new growth before you get a touch up.
Getting your hair cut or trimmed professionally is the best way to ensure it stays looking good. Over time, your hair can fray and split, just like a pair of jeans with no hem, and then the split will run up the length of the strand. After the trim and styling, be sure to ask your stylist to show you how you can style your hair yourself. It’s going to frustrate you if your hair only looks good for the few hours after you leave the salon. Even though getting your hair washed, cut and styled is a therapeutic experience, don’t get your hair cut when you’re angry. Chances are, you’ll make some rash decision about how your hair should look and then regret it later.
Finally, make sure to take care of the stylist that takes care of you. Since your hair is such a big part of your life, take a step beyond thanking them and make sure to leave a good tip at each visit. Refer your friends and family to give them more business. Some of the best advertising is word of mouth. Since choosing the right stylist is so important for many women and men, don’t keep it a secret when you find a good one. However, if you’re consulting with a stylist and they seem annoyed or aggravated to give you advice or to teach you how to style your cut, you should find another stylist as soon as possible. There should never be a problem discussing your hair with a stylist you’re paying.