Hair Care Tips for Black Men

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The right hairstyle makes a bold statement about yourpersonal style. If you're a black man, messy, unkempt or damaged hair may cause people to perceive you as someone who doesn't pride himself in the way that he looks. Care for your hair and individual challenges facing an African American and his hair; dryness, fragility, style and hair loss are all real and viable concerns.

Shampoo Less

Shampooing too often can cause short, black hair to become dry and brittle. This is because most retail shampoos contain a chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS. SLS is a detergent responsible for cleaning the hair. Unfortunately, it can also strip the hair of natural oils that protect it, leaving it dried and prone to breakage, notes If possible, shampoo your hair only once or twice weekly to retain the natural oils in your hair or choose a shampoo that is SLS-free.

Moisturize Daily

Your hair needs to be moisturized daily, whether you shampooed or not, to replenish hydration that is lost through dry conditions or indoor heating. A simple oil can be applied to the roots of your hair to make your hair look softer and help you avoid flakes and dry scalp. Try sweet almond or coconut oil; apply a little to your fingertips and run your hands through your hair to distribute evenly. Apply a little oil each day, especially when your hair feels dry or brittle to the touch.

Choose a Style

Choose a hairstyle that speaks to you as a black man, that works with your face shape and that is easy to maintain with the type of hair that you have, recommends Hudson's Guide for Men's Short Haircuts and the Barber Shop. Shaving your head is one option, as is cutting it close to the scalp with clippers and fading it with graduated lengths. If you prefer a more ethnic look, hairstyles like the afro, dreads, or braids can give you a low maintenance look that gives you a more individual style. You don't want to be a slave to your style, so choose something that is easy to maintain and that won't need a lot of upkeep. Your barber can give you some ideas on what works well for your hair type and face shape.

Product Selection

Choosing products that are specifically made for black men can help you get healthier, better looking hair. Most retail products readily available in drugstores are formulated for the smoother hair shafts. African-American hair is generally brittle and kinky, which is why you need to use products specifically for black men, notes Look for products free of alcohol and other drying ingredients and rich in oils and moisturizers. You may find that shopping at a beauty supply store or neighborhood barber shop will yield you a greater array of products geared towards black men.