Hair Breakage and
African-American hair or black hair is commonly
tightly coiled and curly in nature. This structure of black hair makes
them unique and different to other hair color. The management and care
for black hair is also different because of this structure as black
hair tends to be dryer and is prone to damage and breakage more easily
than other hair colors.
The dryness of the hair is a result of a failure of the
hair to produce oils that would prevent moisture from escaping.
Normally, the glands of the scalp excrete oil, and then the oil will
coat the base of the hair and would continue to flow down to the end
of the hair. This oil is responsible for trapping moisture in the
hair. For straight hair, the flow of oil from the scalp to the end of
the hair is easier and thus, straight hair tends to become well
moisturized. Because of the structure of black hair which is curly and
tightly coiled, there becomes an uneven distribution of oils that are
secreted by the sebaceous glands of the scalp. The oil would have a
hard time to flow from the base of the hair to the end because of the
curls and therefore, the ends of black hair might not have been coated
with the oil to prevent moisture from escaping making them dry. The
dryness of hair can cause black hair to become brittle and easily
prone to breakage.
Hair breakage is mainly caused by traction which occurs
when hair strands are pulled or are rubbed against each other. Because
African-Americans are fond of wearing weaves, rubber bands and other
hair pieces, their hair are exposed to a lot of traction which causes
a lot of hair breakage.
To prevent or treat hair breakage, black hair
especially if it is too tightly curled, should be shampooed lightly
and regularly. Once a week shampooing is not recommended at all. Black
hair should be deeply conditioned after every shampooing. The
conditioner would rejuvenate damaged hair. It is also recommended to
use and after shower conditioner which can be left on the hair without
rinsing. This leave-on conditioner should contain protein-rich
ingredients that would help in reconstructing breakage of the hair. It
is important to use light conditioners and oils so that black hair
would not be weighted down.
The key to healthy black hair is proper care and