True Power

True Power

Friday, December 18, 2009


To say African American hair is unique would be an understatement, yet we treat our hair as if it is not special.

To love your hair is to understand your hair and to form an intimate relationship with it. As in any successful relationship, both participants must be willing to give in order to receive. Give your hair what it needs and it will do the same for you.

Approximately 12 million Africans were shipped to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade from 1492 to 1888. Today their descendants number approximately 150 million, most of whom live in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America, including Brazil. Many have a multiracial background of African, Amerindian, European and Asian ancestry. The various regions developed complex social conventions with which their multi-ethnic populations were classified.

The texture of hair in people of Sub-Saharan African ancestry is noticeably different from that of Eurasian populations, as was already noted by Herodotus, who described the peoples of Libya (the "western Ethiopians") as wooly-haired.

Such "afro-hair" texture is denser than its straight counterparts. Due to this, it is often referred to as 'thick', 'bushy', or 'woolly'. For several reasons, possibly including its relatively flat cross section (among other factors, this hair type conveys a dry or matte appearance. It is also very coarse, and its unique shape renders it very prone to breakage when combed or brushed.(Wikipedia)

The specific characteristics of the natural afro-hair form are unique among the rest of the races. Evolutionists, not Christians, attribute the character of the hair texture to an initial need for all mammals to have a protective fur barrier against weather. There are those that attribute the hair texture to the proximity of the African American to the equator. Whatever the specific reason, our hair texture does not retain moisture.

Armed with a better understanding of our hair, we now can move to becoming friendly with our hair and eventually embracing and loving our natural hair.

African-Black Hair Care Tips
A healthier lifestyle will result in healthier hair.

Massaging your scalp on a regular basis will stimulate oil production, which will help reduce the dryness of your hair.

Daily shampooing is not recommended, ethnic hair is dryer than other types of hair, shampooing strips away the oils from your hair so try shampooing once every 3 to 7 days instead.

If you engage in daily activities that cause you to sweat, it is recommended that you rinse your hair out with water and only use shampoo on occasion, but if you feel the need to use a mild shampoo, go ahead and do so.

Use a mild moisturizing shampoo with a low PH level when washing your hair.

Don't use a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, use a separate shampoo and conditioner, 2 in 1's aren't suited as well for dry hair.

When washing your hair rub only in one direction to avoid tangling.

Shower with warm water, hot water can dry and/or irritate the scalp.

Oil your scalp after shampooing, with your hair still moist, massage the oil into your scalp and brush out to the ends of your hair.

Use a conditioner when you shower, it'll moisturize your hair, give it extra protection, add shine, reduce static, and makes it easier to untangle.
Use a leave in conditioner, it'll hydrate and protect your hair. A leave in conditioner on your hair is the equivalent of moisturizer on your face.
Don't rub your hair dry with a towel, instead blot the water out of your hair, when you rub, it'll cause your hair to tangle and you'll also risk breakage.

Limit your use of "hot" items on your hair such as blow dryers.

Use a wide toothed comb or pick to comb your hair. It makes it easier to comb if your hair is slightly moist so the comb can slide easier across your hair. Using a leave in conditioner will also make your hair easier to comb. If your hair is very wet, wait until it dries more, hair is most fragile when it is wet.

If you encounter a tough knot or tangle use your fingers to loosen it and then continue combing.

Comb your hair to remove any tangles before brushing it, using a brush to detangle your hair will stretch your hair and may cause your hair to break off.

Use a soft boar hairbrush on your hair daily which will distribute the oil at the root of your hair and scalp to the rest of your hair. Dampen the brush slightly before brushing.

Get a hot oil treatment once a month which will remoisturize your scalp and hair.

Hair can get caught on cotton pillow cases and break when you are sleeping especially if you toss and turn a lot when you sleep. Using a satin or silk pillowcase where your hair will make it so that hair will slide across the pillowcase without getting caught.

An alternative to the silk pillowcase is to wear a silk or satin scarf over your hair before your sleep to prevent breakage.

Avoid hair products that contain alcohol which dry out your hair.

These tips are a baseline, each individual's hair has its own quirks, and no one knows your hair better than you do. As with permed hair, the hair is healthier when split ends are cut. If your natural hair is split it may benifit the integrity of the hair shaft to get a little trim of the ends.


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