African women hair is not all the same. Hair comes in different colors, lengths and textures. Hairstyles, hair products and styling tools should be chosen for you, based on your hairs specific needs. While all African American hair may not be the same, the reasons why African Women hair breaks are shared by all hair textures and hair types.
1. Drink More Water
Water is a must for body replenishment including hair and skin. Hair strands are 25% water, if hair is not getting enough moisture – hair dries out and snaps! Besides excellent benefits on hair, drinking more water improves your skins health, hairs shine and helps increase energy levels. Water should be your best friend!
2. Use Too Much Heat
Too much heat can damage hair. African American hair is fragile already, once heat strips away moisture, the potential of hair breakage is much higher due to hair losing its elasticity. Elasticity allows for hair to be touched, pulled or tugged without breaking off. If using heat is a requirement in your beauty regimen, consider using thermal protectant sprays, creams or hair oils that will protect hair from excessive heat damage.
3. Chemical Processes
Peptide bonds which are built from amino acids (proteins), create the structure of African American hair. Any type of chemical processes, color, bleach, and perms – will break down hair structure. Relaxers are the worst for African American hair. Relaxers basically eat away at your hair, changing its curly texture, to straight. Of course, hair breaks and snaps, it’s damaged, weak and unhealthy. Once you strip away the structure, you can’t get it back.
4. Bad Hair Styling Habits
Do not wear a hairstyle if it hurts, no matter how cute it is! If your scalp is hurting, imagine what your hair is going through at the roots. If too much stress is on the hair roots, hair can break from the roots or in some cases cause real follicular damage such as traction alopecia. Brush hair gently, rough brushing can cause premature hair breakage too. Twisting or braiding dry hair can also cause hair to break.
5. Moisturize More
If your hair looks dry, it is – hair needs moisture. Drinking water is excellent for hair health, yet is just as important for water to be applied directly on hair. Making your own leave-in conditioner with your favorite conditioner, is an excellent way to lightly moisturize and condition your hair (especially your ends) on a daily basis. Save deep conditioning treatments for when you wash.
6. Neglecting the Scalp
When washing your hair, focus on the scalp more than your hair. Your scalp needs to be clean and free of any growth inhibitors including natural oils, sweat, dirt, hair products, smoke, pollution, etc – for hair to have a chance at growing out healthy. Use your fingertips to treat your scalp to a massage and to break up any buildup on your scalp. Don’t wash often? Use oils like coconut oil or tea tree oil that have antibacterial and antifungal agents and will not clog scalp.
7. Eat Hair Healthy Foods
Even when you are trying to eat right, many nutrients are cooked out of foods. Raw vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of nutrition for hair. Proteins like fish, chicken and beans are also helpful for hair growth. The foods you eat have to provide nourishment to vital areas of the body before your hair gets any. In some cases, hair never actually gets the proper nourishment it needs. Hair vitamins are an excellent supplement to your diet insuring your body is getting what it needs to grow strong, healthy hair.