An overveiw of black hair care tips and products

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Black hair care
Black hair is the characteristic hair type of African people and their descendants. Black hair care needs speical mention, because it is African hair which is the most fragile and more prone to breakage due to its tightly coiled strucure.

Becuase of the weak hair fiber and relatively low density in hair growth of Africans, there is an high demand for special black hair care products. This high demand for black hair care products has led to the expansion of a seperate ethnic product market both on the net and in stores. Though the the market for black skin care and other cosmetic products has also grown along with black hair care products, the main chunk of the African/African American cosmetic market is still contributed by hair care products.

Apart from preventing natural damage, black hair care products are also available to take care of chemically processed hair i.e; the hair that have undergone permanent perming, weaving, and brading.

Chemcial processing of hair is a common practice among African Americans as they want to get rid of the rigid curly hair texture. Permanent waving, or relaxing as the most common treatments to straighten tightly coiled hair.

Chemical relaxing tips
Chemical relaxing is an effective hair straightening treatment provided the use of relaxers is conducted correctly. Apart from adequate relaxers the sensitive curly hair needs extra care in order to prevent adverse effects.

  • Once applied, the next application of relaxers can only be done after a long period of time, usually 4-6 weeks. If possible, it is better to apply them only only on the new hair growth.
  • Once the application of hair relaxers is complete, it is strictly advised not to comb the hair to avoid the effects of the chemcials on the scalp.
African-Americans sometimes color or bleach their hair after the application of relaxers. Color, whether applied after permanent waving or without the hair undergoing any treatment, should be done with utmost care in order to prevent the harmful effects of dyes.

Application of color in black hair after permanent waving
After permanent waving, people tend to color their hair with different types of dyes. Basically the dyes are of three types.Special black hair color products are available in all the three categories.
  • Permanent
  • Semipermanent
  • Temporay dyes
Temporary dyes coat the hair cuticle but do not penetrate the cuticle. Semi permanent dyes act by diffusion of dye molecules into the cortex, but do not cause changes to the natural melanin. Both temporary and semi-permanet dyes can be used just after the use of relaxer.

If permanent hair dyes are the preference, they should be applied only two weeks after permanent waving. The time gap will help to lessen the chemical effects of hair straightening method.

Also while applying relaxers some people tend to bleach their hair. Bleaching alters the structural integrity of the hair shaft. People with fragile hair shafts should be very cautious while combining bleaching with relaxers because the high risk of adverse chemical effects on the curly hair.

Black hair care products for chemically treated curly hair
African hair needs delicate well balanced black hair care products to take care of their characterstically dry hair. The already dry, fragile hair becomes more prone to damage when chemically treated with relaxers or dyed with permanent color. Only well fomulated hair loss shampoos can prevent further dryness and damage. The dryness and effective cleansing of the shampoo largely depend on the compostion of surfactants.

Apart from the use of right black hair care products, a strict routine has to be followed while applying these special hair care products.
  • It is recommeded not to frequently cleanse as excessive hair washing will make the rigid hair more dry and prone to breakage.
  • Conditioning shampoos are useful for black hair care but for added softness and detangling, the use of separate hair conditioners are usually desired.
  • While taking up hair styling aids like sprays, gels, mousses, lotions, creams it is advisable not to take up a hair styling product that is formulated with alchohol as it tends to make the hair more dry.
Pomade a uniqe black hair care product

Pomades containing a greasy waxy substance are used more frequently by Africans than by people of other ethnicities. The waxy substance has many useful benefits like coating and protecting the hair fiber and relieving the dry scalp. Application of a pomade may lead to the eruption of acne so it is advisable that while applying it is kept away from the facial skin.

As there are black hair care products, there are also other types of speical hair care products available. The need is to do some research and find out the right hair care product that is most suitable for your hair type.

Also take care not to subject your hair to harsh physical and chemical products or it may lead to severe hair damage.
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