African American hair is very diverse – in texture, density, thickness and the type of curls, which can be more loosely or more tightly coiled. This is due to the angle at which the hair grows, but also to the shape of the hair shaft. Additionally, studies have shown that African American hair has a thinner cuticle layer than other hair types, which makes it more susceptible to breakage.
In this blog, we’ll discuss about the signs that your African American hair is damaged, but also about the products that you can use to protect it against damage, add moisture, and keep it healthy and bouncy.
Table of Contents:
- What does damaged African American hair look like?
- How to Combat African American Hair Problems
- What products to use for African American hair?
What does damaged African American hair look like?
Regardless of your hair type, damaged hair has some common characteristics that, typically, can easily be identified:
1. Dull and lackluster
It's not uncommon to have dull hair, even after using (good) hair sprays, hair oils or hair serum to enhance your hair's shine. However, sometimes dull hair it is a sign that pollution, chemical treatments, excessive exposure to the sun or other factors have caused damage to your natural hair texture.
2. Brittle texture
Hold a section of your hair and check the hair ends by pointing them upward. Test the texture of your hair by running your finger over the ends. A dry, rough texture indicates a damaged hair shaft.
3. Unmanageable hair
Most people have softer, easy-to-style natural hair in the early years of their life. However, with the continuous use of chemical products and styling tools, you'll have a more challenging time holding a style and untangling your hair. It's because your hair gets damaged over the years and becomes dry, which causes it to break and makes it harder to manage.
Healthy hairs have soft and moisturized ends, making them easy to comb after a bath or shower, whereas damaged hair strands will be dry, making it hard for the comb to get through the dry hair, even after using conditioners, serums, and styling products. If you constantly get knots in your hair, it is a good indication that your hair is damaged.
5. Split ends
Here is a simple test to check for split ends: wrap a section of hair around your finger. You probably have split ends if some ends stick up, while the rest of your hair stays wrapped around your finger. Unfortunately, the only true “cure” for split ends is to cut them off.
6. Susceptible to breakage
Another sign of hair damage is when you notice little pieces of hair in your comb, your sink or bathtub. Damaged hair significantly increases the risk of breakage.
7. Color fading faster than normal and excessive product absorption
Damaged hair becomes more porous, which may lead to problems when coloring your hair. One common issue is getting a darker color than you intended because the hair has absorbed too much hair dye. However, your hair color will also fade faster because porous hair cannot properly hold the color when you shampoo your hair.
2. How to Combat African American Hair Problems
The best way to avoid breakage is by adequately moisturizing your hair and keeping it tucked in protective styles. Roughly handled and chemically treated African American hair is more vulnerable to breakage, so try to be as gentle as possible with it. Detangle it using your fingers, a gentle detangling brush, or a wide-toothed comb.
As beautiful as they may be, try avoiding tight braids and, if you must have them, opt for braids that are no thinner than a regular sized pencil to prevent traction hair loss and hair damage.
3. What products to use for damaged African American hair?
Choosing the right hair products for your hair’s needs can make all the difference, even helping boost healthy hair growth. You owe it to your hair and scalp to do your research and get the best products possible for your beautiful African American hair.
Here are my top recommendations:
WOW Skin Science Castor Oil is made from the best quality castor seeds, and it's undiluted, 100% pure, cold-pressed, and free of chemical solvents like hexane. Castor seeds are rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids like omega 6, providing nourishing care to your hair and scalp. It promotes hair growth, minimizes split ends, and improves hair texture. It can also soften hard skin, reduce uneven skin tone, delay wrinkles, and strengthen nails.
WOW Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Mask can revive chemically and heat damaged curly hair. The healing formulation contains wheat protein, sunflower Biolipids, and argan oil that help replenish damaged hair shafts and promote hair growth. The Moroccan oil hair mask is the ultimate hair repair treatment to allow your hair strands to look and feel luxurious again.
Revive your hair's health with a non-sticky and fast-absorbing blend of cold-pressed oils! WOW Onion Black Seed Hair Oil can repair hair damage and helps soothe scalp issues like irritation, pesky flakes, inflammation, sensitivity, completely transforming your lifeless hair.
WOW Skin Science's Red Onion Shampoo and Conditioner combo is a plant-powered holistic duo for rejuvenating your damaged black hair locks. It is infused with antioxidant-rich red onion seed oil extract that replenishes hydration, smoothes frizz, cleans product build-up, and washes away impurities. Use this combo for soft-textured tresses.
Restore the shine and vitality of your damaged hair with WOW Skin Science's leave-in conditioner spray! The rich conditioning formulation aids in moisture retention for curly hair and helps detangle tresses, while also strengthening the hair roots. The Shea butter & soy protein help smoothen your hair, making it look healthier and shinier.
Moroccan Argan oil, also known as liquid gold, is known for its excellent therapeutic properties. WOW Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner are powered by liquid gold, giving them excellent hydrating, deep conditioning and nourishing properties. This moisturizing shampoo and conditioner pack is exceptionally rich in vitamins A & E and omega-6 fatty acids which help reduce breakage and split ends and enhance the gloss of your hair strands.
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