beautiful-womanLosing our crowns to the instabilities of inheritance and memories is no good reason for losing our heads of beautiful African hair. The present, for the mere fact that it quickly becomes past teaches us a lot about what is best to restore the shine and glory of our African crowns.

Hair care consists in keeping hair clean, nurished and protected, soft and manageable, in one word beautiful and as natural as knowledgeably, timely and sometimes financially possible. African hair is no exception to the rule.

This article gives 10 tips to beautiful African hair. The 10 tips go from the easiest to do and most obvious (albeit probably taken for granted, all being relative) to the least obvious and directly related to hair beauty. Here they are for your pleasure.

1. Eat (and drink) well to feed your beautiful African hair

A healthy diet is essential to healthy and beautiful African hair. The article ‘Healthy hair: eating and drinking well’ details what foods/drinks make up a healthy diet for the kind of healthy hair that we all want. You may take appropriate supplements such as hair vitamins. However, supplements are not and should never be used as a substitute for a good diet. Also, only  take a habit you can sustain as irregular nurrishment will affect the hair negatively..

2. Keep your beautiful African hair and scalp clean and clear

Healthy and beautiful African hair is free from dirt, dandruff and other scalp and hair issues that clog them. The aricle ‘Healthy hair: keep hair clean and clear’ outlines the principles behind clean and clear hair and scalp. The habit of styling hair to last means that hair might be uncared for for as long as a hair style holds. Typical culprit are braids, particularly extensions. To be honest, it is not easy to keep hair or sclap clear let alone clean while there is so much in the way.

But science comes to the rescue. Dry shampoos (favourite dry shampoo is Morrocan dark tones) allow you to clear your hairstyle (particularly braids and silk press) and scalp from dirt, oil and grease, without having to put water or soap in them. They are ideal after manual work, working out, or anything that expose your hair and scalp to toxics and dirt and get them to produce more oil. please avoid the butane laden ones!

3. Keep your beautiful African hair and scalp appropriately, hydrated, nourished and protected not clogged

Water, oil, cream, egg, butter? Serum, leave-in, wash-out, ? Freshly home-made, commercial product? Organic, chemical? Conditioner, shampoo, 2-in-1? What is best? What are the doses? What fits my hair, my hair type?

Well, first of all, what the title of this section says applies to all hair, regardless of their type. beautiful African hair and scalp should be appropriately hydrated, nourished and protected not clogged. Todo that, you will have to understand and navigate the different products on offer for the work.

Your first job is to keep your hair hydrated. The only one for this job is water. But hydrating hair is almost as much a problem as keeping it hydrated! African hair seems to be afraid of the effects on water as it takes away any organic relaxation of the hair and curls or frizzes it, so people just avoid it. Big mistake. To put the right amount of water on your hair, simply use a spray and spray it. Another option is to use a well done mixtrue of water, oil and emulsifier that allows the water to hydrate and the oil to protect the moisture.

So, you probably guessed it from our last sentence, the oil protects the moisture, stopping dehydration that may be caused by external elements attacking the follicules: gas fumes, etc. My secret is that I washed my hair and oil and style it while it is damp so I keep the most moisture in while protecting it from dehydration.

4. Keep your hair away from split ends

Split ends happen when the ends or tip of your hair splits. This is not a good thing. They are a symptom of hair dryness or of bad or low to no care of your hair. You can prevent split end by following a good hair care routine. Particularly, make sure that you regularly get your hair trimmed by a professional (every two months or so should do the trick). Avoid products that contain harmful, toxic or harsh ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, Formaldehyde. Even products like elastics will tend to damage your hair and or scalp. Prefer scrunchies to elastic bands. It’s not just hair products and items. Daily routines may damage your hair, e.g. daily hair shampoo especially when the shampoo contains harsh ingredients and you don’t use a conditioner afterwards. Prefer your hands, if not a wide-totth comb rather than a fine-tooth comb when detangling wet hair.

Look at your daily routine. Hair dryer will tend to cause dryness. However, it is not enough to replace your hair dryer with a towel. The rubbing of your towel against the hair can too weaken its cuticles. Make sure where you can to only towel your hair blot not dry! Like I said earlier, I need my hair to still have a lot of water to manage it and I put oil at that moment. Towelling it blot allows me to absorb the excess moisture before I put the oil on, just so that I don’t drop water all the way out of the bathroom. Harsh brushing also weakens hair and often breaks the fibre. Again, I only use the brush once I have wet my hair (or coming out of the hair wash) and protected and strengthened it.

The right products, as well as tender love and care will help keep your hair away from split ends.

5. Let your beautiful African hair breathe

We will see and insist on this again later. This is how much letting your hair breathe is important. We have turned the shame imposed upon the vision of our hair into artistic hair styles. We sometimes forget that there was a time when we tied our hair to help it grow, to to sustain it, to style it just for the hair. Now, the hairstyles take over, the art takes over and to the point that the hair suffers. We boast far too tied hair styles, inadequate materials and other elements that take away from the hair its need to breathe, stay hydrated and stay nurrished.

6. Love your hair that little more

It sounds obvious but it is not. On top of everything else that mentioned in this article, lovving your hair that little more means:

  • Not letting your hairdresser tie it so much that every pleat it creates begs to be released. That you are used to it does not mean that it is good for your hair.
  • Not submitting it to torture. And yes, it includes no pulling, no overtying, no overbrushing, no dry combing, no day without nurrishment, no day without hydration. Choose a hairdresser who does not treat your hair as a second-class citizen, who respects it and strives to take great care of it. You have too many choices in most places to compromise. Wear a swimming cap to protect it from pool’s chlorine.
  • Letting it out for at the very least a day every month. And I do mean longer than the time it takes for a monthly detangle, wash and braid. We might take this for granted but our tendency to just choke our hair all day and all night with wigs, weave, extensions, other people’s hair, scarves, means that it does not benefit from the nutrients provided by the sun, the fresh air of the natural brise and all the elements of nature that it should be embracing daily.
  • Avoiding products that are harmful to it, I know I said it before
  • Understanding the habits you have that might be detrimental to your hair: don’t wear extensions that are heavier than the hair that carries them! towel drying and harsh brushing. Rubbing against the hair too roughly can weaken the cuticles and even break the fibre.
  • Minimising chemical treatments such as relaxing your hair, perm or hair colouring. It also means minimising the use of heat and where “necessary”, always using some protection for your hair. Blow dryers can easily be replaced by towels, and hair irons can be adjusted to lower temperatures as well as protected from with adequate oils.

7. Watch out for any symptoms of hair disease and tackle them immediately

Hair disease, typically hair loss is something that is more common and more overlooked than it should.People like Jada Pinkett-Smith have made light of the most common of these disease, alopecia, etymologically “hair loss” but there are many more. Hereditary hair disease might not have a cosmetic serum but acknowledging symptoms of any hair disease contributes to better treating your hair and choosing suitable solutions and treatments, even just to alleviate symptoms. Some symptoms of hair disease include sudden loss of round or oval patches of hair which could affect the scalp, the beard or even eyebrows! Flaky scalp, dandruff, itchy scalp, inflamed scalp, are only a few of the adverse conditions that your hair or scalp might be suffering from. Don’t ignore them and don’t panic. Simply find professional help.

While there are over the counter products that will alleviate the symptoms, it is always recommended to seek medical advice, in case this a deeper condition. This will allow you to address the cause not just the effects. Another reason for this is that the products that help the symptoms might not help the real cause if not hinder its recovery. If it is not a deeper issue, then you can resort to over the counter products. For example, Head and shoulders Royal Oils instant soothe scalp elixir is a great way of calming itchy scalp just by spraying it directly into it. A product like the sulfate-free and alcohol-free Shea Moisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter Tension Relief Serum will help relieve itchiness and tension, it also actively hydrates the hair.

8. Use only products that are suitable for your hair

This is primarily about safety, secondarily about quality and effectiveness and thirdly about efficiency. With the incorrect product, you may hurt your scalp, achieve nothing or waste your money. For either of these, the principle is simple: A product is not good for you because it works for an influencer, a celebrity, a friend or an inspirational personality.

Let start with safety.  You need to use products that do not harm your health or that of someone around you. For that, start by checking the ingredients. Avoid products that contain parapen, butane, … Check to find a current list of unsafe ingredients. You would be surprised how many products get away with it. Don’t help them by purchasing them. Once youhave ensured that a product you want to use is safe, make sure it is SAFE FOR YOU. I know, it sounds repetititve. But no, this time, it is about testing the product on you. So many of us do not do that! You need to try a product before using it if you have never tried any of the ingredients in it on your skin before. Use a part of your skin that is not exposed to the public, like the back of your ear. Wait up to 24 hours to make sure. If there are no adverse reactions, it should be safe to use the product. Please discontinue the use of any product for which you experience adverse reactions. It is counterproductive and unsafe.

9. Create hybrid hair mixes

The hybrid hair mix is supposed to denote the need to mix dual ingredients that are generally considered opposite. This is a list:

  • Mix locally-based products with African-origin products to ascertain both your inheritance and your place of living because both affect the ‘life’ of your hair. There is a reason why shea nut grow in arid places and an obvious correlation with the fact that shea is great at treating dryness and even burns. Nature has an innate sense of order. Dryness can be caused by different factors and the dryness caused by the cold is not the dryness caused by the heat. Taking into account causes, environmental factors and symptoms help you deal with your hair better.
  • Use both oil and water, with more water than oil!: We have a tendency to put mostly oil in our hair. A lot of these oils clog the scalp pores, inhibiting growth. The amount we put also matters. As we saw earlier in this article, both are important for different reasons so let us not diminish the importance of either ones.
  • Use protective product as well as growth product: It is as much important for us to keep the hair that we already have as it is to grow new ones. This might sound obvious but there are too many examples that show otherwise. When you put heavy extensions thinking you are stimulating hair growth, for example, maybe you are, but you are also damaging your current hair so in the end, your effort is counterproductve. When you are wearing protective hair styles, forgetting to continue to look after your hair affects its growth.

10. Keep your goal in sight and Be your goal now for beautiful African Hair

What you think of yourself and what is in your head about it affects the way your hair looks. So make yourself happy and be now what you are working to become. I know many girls who affirm themselves beautiful but most of them do not believe it. They say it to convince themselves more than others and to shut up the voice in their heads that says the opposite. They are intimidated by the fashionable requirements of beauty, for fashion has a bigger and more influential group. But fashion could never have the heart and care you should have for yourself because fashion will never know you or be you. To fashion, you’re just another faceless individual who should submit to its rules and requirements. Yes, having beautiful hair starts in the hair sorry the head.

Conclusion

Cherish these tips for beautiful African hair. They may sound like nothing but believe me they are not. While people know most if not all of this, implementation rarely follows. It is a dark irony when your protective hair style becomes the culprit of the attack from which it is supposed to protect your hair and scalp. Review your daily routine and throw away any habits and anything with ingredients that harm you or your hair. Take it one resolution at a time and to paraphrase Bob Marley “emancipate your hair from mental slavery”.