Caring For Short Natural Black and African American Hair
Question: My hair is short and natural. I'm also in the Navy, stationed overseas, so im VERY limited to supplies. Is there any advice you can give me to helping me grow out my hair and keeping it healthy?
- Washing: When you wash your hair use sulfate-free shampoos, and look for products that are free from mineral oil and petrolatum. Shampoos that contain sulfates (like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate) tend to dry out the hair which makes hair brittle. Mineral oil and petrolatum (found in a lot of oils and pomades) coat the hair, but actually prevent moisture from reaching the inside of the hair shaft. This too causes dryness and breakage.
- After Washing: After you wash your hair, blot it dry with a towel, instead of rubbing it dry. The best way to use a towel after washing your hair is to blot your hair to remove excess moisture. The towel may cause breakage if you rub your hair dry with it. Blotting is best.
- Combing: When you comb your hair, comb it when it is wet, or damp, not dry. And preferably, apply some conditioner to your hair before you comb it. When black hair is natural, dry combing will cause unnecessary breakage. Combing it when it is damp will decrease the friction between the comb and your hair, and will make combing easier.
- Styling: If you choose to style your hair with braids or twists, make sure that they are not too tight. Braids and twists are fine, but when they are too tight, they can cause breakage and alopecia. Keep your braids and twists moisturized just like you would if you were not wearing them.