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Hair Breakage and Black Hair

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 treatment.


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