Are you facing a lot of troubles in taking care of your natural black hair? Has your hair become quite unmanageable lately? Keep reading on to find out the perfect solution to all your hair problems.
First, let’s start by identifying your hair type specifically. Natural black hair is Type 4 hair, also known as Afro-textured hair or Curly kinky hair. This type of hair can be divided into three groups-
- Type 4A hair: If your curls seem to form the pattern of shape “S”, you have this type of hair. They are usually quite dry, but the good news is that it also has the capacity to hold in the most amount of moisture compared to the other two types if taken care properly and using the right kind of products.
- Type 4B hair: The hair strands of this type appears as the pattern of the letter “Z”. The hair looks more cotton like but the curls are less defined compared to type 4A. This type of hair shrinks up to 70% upon drying which can result in making the hair look much shorter than it actually is.
- Type 4C hair: This type of hair is similar to type 4B but has no specifically defined pattern and is more tightly packed. This kind of hair is the most delicate of all three types. Styling and manipulating the hair is also quite difficult for this type.
Now that you have identified your hair type, let’s have a look at how you can take care of it properly. First, you have to start by choosing the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair.
Choosing a shampoo
This kind of hair is very dry and fragile at the same time. Choosing the wrong shampoo can make the condition worse. It is important to use a shampoo that is sulfate and silicone free because they can dry out the hair even more. Shampoos which contain natural oils and fat such as jojoba oil, tea tree oil, Shea butter etc. would be a good choice for this kind of hair.
Choosing a conditioner
Conditioning the hair after washing with shampoo is crucial as it ensures locking in the correct amount of moisture needed for the hair. Those who have type 4A hair could choose a lightweight leave-in conditioner. Type 4B and 4C could choose a protein conditioner that would strengthen the hair more since this type is more prone to breakage. Other than that, they can also choose a creamy moisturizing conditioner to make their hair softer and more manageable.
The correct way of washing natural black hair
Since this kind of hair is very frail and prone to breakage, it should be handled very carefully while washing. It should be made sure that the scalps are cleaned perfectly and the hair is not lathered or agitated a lot since it will only cause more tangling of the hair. Wash the hair with enough water and then apply the conditioner incorrect amount so that they are well moisturized. Wash away the conditioner after about five minutes, but be sure to not over wash it as it will cause more drying.
Apart from washing and conditioning the hair on a regular basis, one could apply different products to further strengthen and moisturize the hair. Applying different kinds of oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, castor oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil etc. can boost the growth of hair, and at the same time, it makes the roots of the hair stronger which prevents hair from breaking and tangling. Using only one kind of oil or mixing more than one before application, both will make the hair healthier. There are also different hair serums and supplements from different brands in the market which could be used as well. All these products also must be washed away properly after leaving them in for a certain amount of time.
Food habits for good hair
You could have healthier hair just by taking such food which would help to nourish their hair from inside. Food such as, eggs, green and leafy vegetables like spinach, fruits full of vitamins and antioxidants such as tangerine, Oats and barley, different kinds of nuts and seeds, sea fish and oysters, low fat meat and eggs, yoghurt etc. should be taken on regular basis in order to get healthier hair. If one is not able to consume such nutritious food, they could take vitamin supplements but only after consultation with physician or health practitioners. Sugary food, alcohol, caffeine, food containing trans-fat, processed food, fast food etc. should be strictly avoided as well. Otherwise, it could negatively affect the hair health.
Protective styling for hair protection
You can also try different protective hairstyles which would not only make you look classy and beautiful, it will also protect the ends of your hair from tangling or breaking. These kinds of hairstyles protect your hair from the harmful impacts such as dust, sun etc. and prevents shedding. Some of the styles even help the hair to grow faster. There are several kinds of protective hairstyles for type 4A, 4B, and 4C hair. Clip in extensions, natural hair wigs, twists, braids, locks etc. are all protective hairstyles which you can try and beautify yourselves.
Visits to hair salons
Hair salons offer different kinds of hair treatments such as keratin treatment, protein treatment etc. for different kinds of hair, where they use various kinds of products and equipment to give the best suitable treatment depending on the type of hair. The best part of these treatments is that they are provided by professionals and they work very well most of the time. If someone finds difficulty in finding enough time to take care of their hair regularly, one or two visits to the salons every month could be of great use. Even the salons can help you style your hair just like you want them to be.
Some “Dos and Don’ts”
- Keep your hair stretched as much as possible.
- Avoid washing too frequently as it will make your hair very dry.
- Do not consume too much sugary food or alcohol because they can have a negative impact on your hair.
- Stay stress-free.
- Consume a lot of water.
- Do not apply excessive heat to style your hair.
- After washing, pat dry your hair using a soft towel only.
- Love your hair and love yourself.
- KIA BRYAN, How to Take Care of Natural Black Hair, July 18, 2017
- Petra, 4 Reasons Why I Love My Type 4 Hair, March 15, 2015
- Zinnia, 12 Simple Black Hair Care Tips, January 12, 2018
- wikiHow, How to Take Care of Black Girls’ Hair