Afro textured hair is quite fragile and sensitive to harsh treatment. That’s why it’s important to treat it well. Natural products can help keep black hair soft and moisturized. Knowing which ingredients to use and which to avoid will help you have healthy hair that will not be prone to breakage.
There are many products that contain synthetic ingredients. These ingredients may make your hair seem healthier temporarily while they damage your tresses.
Petroleum products are found in many hair products, especially products made specifically for black hair. Mineral oil is a petroleum byproduct that is also used in many black hair products. These ingredients are used because they add shine and luster to your tresses making them look like they are well moisturized. In reality though, these ingredients coat the hair and scalp and actually prevent the hair from absorbing moisture. As you use more petroleum products on your hair it will become more and more dry and brittle.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate are foaming agents used in many shampoos. These chemicals create the thick lather we all love to see in our shampoos. It also over strips your lovely locks of healthy natural oils increasing its dryness. You can avoid sulfates by using a sulfate free shampoo. Many of these shampoos won’t lather up like you’re used to, but you don’t really need all that lather to get your hair clean. You can get sulfate free shampoos at your local health food store, online, or at some beauty supply stores.
Isopropyl alcohol is a commonly used ingredient in hair products. This ingredient does no favors for curly hair though because it strips the moisture from the hair making it dry and prone to breakage.
Keeping your tresses moisturized is one of the keys to keeping it healthy. The only thing that can truly moisturize your hair is water. Once your hair is exposed to water you can use an oil on it to seal in that moisture. When you’re looking for a good quality hair moisturizer always look for water as one of the first ingredients. It should also contain natural oils that help seal that water in.
Jojoba oil mimics the properties of the sebum naturally secreted by the scalp. That makes it a great oil to use on your locks.
Coconut oil is the only oil that is actually able to penetrate the hair shaft. It helps strengthen and soften the hair.
Olive oil is full of antioxidants and can help soften your hair. It can be found as an ingredient in some hair products. It’s also found in most kitchens. You can just put some on your hair. I often do this. You can do the same with jojoba and coconut oil.
Other oils you should look for in natural hair products are castor oil, sweet almond oil, and shea butter. All of these ingredients will help seal in moisture and keep your hair soft and healthy.
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