The difference......  

Posted by: LadyBird

As a young black woman with my hair natural, I find it difficult to care for my hair properly. There are many products out there that instead of doing my hair good do it harm. And just as there are many products there are also many articles that give "advice" on how one should care their hair. I use the term advice loosely, as said advice can range and in some instances can contradict each other. I have recently found a website that I feel offers excellent information about the basics of black hair care.

It's Just Different by Ms SNIPs

Our hair is the most unique hair in the world due to the rich and varied racial makeup that exists within a person of color. Yet it is this wonderful difference that can make finding a stylist in certain areas of the country or the world that can properly address the needs of our hair a challenge. Our hair is perceived as difficult, when in reality it is simply different. Many non-black stylists or sometimes, non-black mothers of black or biracial children often wonder what is so different about African American hair that makes it any more difficult to style and manage than other hair types. The answer is easy, if you look at it from the point of it not being about the hair itself, but how you handle it. Hair is hair is hair, made up of the same proteins and cells. The difference lies in the shape of the hair follicle and the density of the layers of the hair strand. Because of this difference, in many ways, our hair is at odds with the European ideal of what is considered a normal styling and care method.

For instance, generally speaking, African American hair :

Is easier to comb when wet or damp and can break easily when dry. Is spongy which equals a healthy texture; notice how many products say healthy hair feels like silk?
In its natural state, has as a sheen, not a shine; notice how product marketing says healthy hair is supposed to shine?

Our hair is very versatile, but tends to be fragile and therefore needs special care and pampering if it is to look its best. Afro hair is almost always curly, although the amount of curl varies enormously. Afro textured hair can be brittle and has a tendency to split and break. This is because our sebaceous glands sometimes produce smaller amounts of sebum to moisturize the hair. In addition, because our hair is tightly curled, the sebum is unable to travel downwards to condition it naturally. If the curl forms kinks, this makes the hair thinner, which can be weaker at each bend. Still other types of black hair can be very fine with additional challenges.

If the hair suffers from excessive dryness, choose a product formulation that replaces the natural oils that can sometimes be lacking in African American and Ethnic hair. If the product is massaged in daily, or whenever necessary, the hair will become more manageable with improved condition and shine. It is also important to deep condition the hair regularly. While a No Oil routine will be best for some, those whose hair benefits from oil will find that 100% Emu Oil is an excellent natural dry hair treatment that can be used daily on dry hair and with washing. After washing, mix a small amount of Emu Oil in with your regular cream conditioner. You will see an improvement with just one treatment. Emu Oil can be used alone or with any cream conditioner. Use a heating cap for more penetrating hot oil treatment.

Part two of the article coming soon.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


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