Black girls’ hair can be both a blessing and a curse. And this all depends on the type of hair you have. Is yours kinky, coily or curly? The kinkier it is, the trickier it is to maintain. But… it’s totally doable.
Here are the ups and downs I’ve had with my own hair — and how I stay above the downs.
Types Of Ethnic Hair
Ethnic hair grows alright, but for some black folks it takes a tad too long. Not mine! I’m very hairy, so I don’t have any problem with hair growth. Now before you go and think that’s a blessing, wait until you don’t know how to tame it. It’s the story of my life. Here, four more problems — and how to overcome them…
Slow Hair Growth
To help speed up your hair growth, you need to take care of your hair and scalp. What worked for me was protective hairstyles. They prevent hair from breaking off — we’re talking loose ends catching on fabric, car seats, cotton pillows… When hair keeps breaking, it’s hard to measure or even see growth. Protective hairstyles are so versatile, it’s actually hard not to get it right.
Imagine going from coily to silky in 30 minutes. That’s basically all the time it takes to transition. The good side of relaxing your hair is that it’s easier to maintain and style. The downside? If the chemical process is done incorrectly, or you neglect to properly maintain your hair following the treatment, you may experience significant damage, scalp irritation, breakage and hair loss. The trick here is to know your hair and what it needs. If you do decide to go the “relaxing” route, read the labels and follow instructions to the letter.
This is one of the biggest hair issues we women of colour have. We’ve even got products designed especially for our dry hair — intense moisturisers, oils and fats that help hydrate and lock in moisture — so use them! My faves? Coconut and avocado oil. They do the most for my scalp and hair quality, and breakages are totes a thing of the past.
We love colour — it’s lively and fun. The process of getting that hair colour? Not so much. It can actually be brutal to ethnic hair as it strips it of moisture and weakens it. Because our hair is traditionally black, nearly all hair lightening or bleaching can be damaging if not done correctly. So avoid the DIY route and rather pay a visit to a professional hairstylist. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.