Learn how to best care for your short ethnic hair with the following weekly hair care guide.
Managing short ethnic hair can be difficult. The amount of care needed depends upon your daily activities and how much attention the hair needs to stay healthy. Using the right products and styling techniques can make dealing with your hair a lot easier. Also, understanding ethnic hair and how to take care of it is a good first step to take towards managing it well. When you know how to manage your hair’s strength, pliability and luster, taking care of your short ethnic hair becomes a breeze. Learn how to best care for your short ethnic hair with the following weekly hair care guide.
Just because short hair is faster and easier to maintain, simply because there is a lot less hair to work with, does not mean that it doesn’t require regular hair care to avoid hair damage and scalp problems. Short ethnic hair, especially, needs intensive care as it is typically drier than other hair types. Hair of this type has a tendency to kink. Unlike straight hair, kinky hair doesn’t allow oil to travel down the shaft. Due to the fact that it is so dry, you should only be washing your hair once a week. Most shampoos contain detergents which can often dry your hair out, so washing your hair once a week is more than sufficient. If your hair is, however, exposed to a lot of outside dust, smoke or sweat, washing it daily is a must. Do not go more than a week without washing your hair.
Whether you decide to wash your hair once a week or every day, using moisturising shampoo products are vital! Short ethnic hair is delicate, so make sure to use the gentlest moisturising shampoo you can find to meet your hairs needs. Before applying shampoo, make sure your hair is saturated with water. Water is the best source of moisture for your hair. Then work the shampoo into your hair. Scrub and massage the scalp as you go along to stimulate the hair follicles and loosen any flakes that may be present. Rinse out all traces of shampoo. Make sure all the shampoo is out of your hair even if it means parting your hair and checking to make sure it’s all out. Then gently pat and squeeze all the water out of your hair. Never rub your hair. Rubbing causes your hair to frizz, break and damage.
Want to know how to prevent ethnic hair breakage?
Ethnic hair absolutely needs a good quality conditioner! Shampooing strips away a lot of the hairs natural oils. Conditioner puts moisture back into the hair, so skipping this step would be a bad idea! Apply a generous amount of conditioner from your roots to your ends. If you have issues with dandruff and dry scalp, avoid applying conditioner on your scalp. Leave the conditioner to work for a few minutes, and then rinse. Don’t over rinse. You want to leave a slight coating of conditioner in your hair for moisture retention. As with the rinsing out of the shampoo, gently pat and squeeze all the water out of your hair.
Short ethnic hair needs extra moisture, especially if the hair is chemically or heat treated on a regular basis. To seal in the moisture from washing your hair, use a leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioners control frizzy and flyaway hair, detangles and moisturizes, leaves hair feeling soft and manageable, and acts as a heat barrier to hair drying and styling techniques. Once the leave-in conditioner has been applied, it’s time to dry your hair.
Air drying is the healthiest way to dry your hair, but has a tendency to leave your hair looking dull and requires time. If you’re looking for a quick hair dry fix or for more sheen, direct heat drying is the answer. This method is done with a blow dryer. Use a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment. This will give your short hair soft definition. Because this hair drying method is the harshest, it should be used as little as possible. Heat is not your hair’s best friend! It is especially damaging to ethnic hair. It can lead to drying and breakage if it is used too much. If healthy hair is your priority, limit the amount of time you use hair dryers, straightening or curling irons, and other hot styling aids. Choose a low or no heat styling method instead. Try to get into the habit of low or no heat styling. Opt for styling techniques such as wet sets, wrapping, satin-covered rollers, curlformers and flexi-rods.
Read this article to see the best heated tools for ethnic hair.
Be gentle with your hair at night. Wrap and protect it in a scarf or sleep on a satin pillow case. This will keep your hair ends from drying out from abrasion while you sleep. This should be done every night.
Ethnic hair, whether it is short or not, needs regular moisturising. Applying a moisturising product should be part of your daily hair care regimen. Most moisturising products do not effectively moisturise the hair. They simply coat the hair giving it a look of moisture leaving the hair dry and susceptible to damage. Never use silicone-based and petroleum-based products. These products create build up, clog pores, make hair greasy and ultimately keep the hair from growing. Opt for natural oils such as shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil instead. These oils penetrate the hair shaft for optimum moisture. Just avoid getting the oil on your skin as it can cause breakouts.
It is important to work with your hair, not against it. Choose a hairstyle that works with the texture of your hair and that requires the least hair care maintenance. If you choose a hairstyle that requires you to battle with your hair, you’ll damage it. Try protective hairstyles such as buns, braids and updos. These hairstyles keep your hairs ends out of sight which allows them to retain moisture. Even if you’re not planning on growing your hair, healthy ends are still important. Healthy ends fit into an overall healthy head of hair just as much as the rest of your hair does.
To hold the style of your choice, use a finishing product made especially for ethnic hair. These products are formulated especially for coarse, dry hair and are a good way to keep your short hair looking styled rather than messy. Other finishing products can dry your hair out and even leave flakes behind, so choose wisely!
Apply a top-quality deep conditioner or hot-oil treatment. This will keep your hair moisturised, shiny, healthy and free from breakage. These treatments penetrate the hair strands preventing hair damage or they can be used to help reduce existing damage.
Whether you decide to use a deep conditioner or a hot-oil treatment, make sure that it is for ethnic hair. Before you apply the product, shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly. Then apply a generous amount of the product of your choice to your hair starting at your ends and avoiding the scalp. You should never deliberately apply conditioning products to your scalp as this can create build up. If you wish, you may detangle and comb the treatment through your hair with a wide tooth comb. Then cover your hair with a plastic cap. This traps heat allowing the hair shaft to open and the treatment to penetrate the hair shaft. Heat is essential for such treatments as it works hand-in-hand with heat. Leave this to work for about 30 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly, and style as usual. Deep conditioners and hot-oil treatments should only be used once a month.
Ethnic hair needs to be conditioned frequently. Conditioner is after all what makes the hair look healthy. Skip shampooing completely, and use conditioner to wash your hair. This is called co-washing. Co-washing is a good way to avoid excessive drying, seal moisture in the hair, detangle and sooth hair, control frizz, and enhance curl definition. Simply wet the hair and work the conditioner in as you would with a shampoo. Comb your hair with a wide toothed comb while the conditioner sets in. Ethnic hair is a lot easier and safer to manage when it is wet and slick from the conditioner. Once your hair is detangled, rinse thoroughly and style as usual.
Say goodbye to unmanageable hair! Follow this weekly hair care guide for short ethnic hair and say hello to beautiful, healthy tresses!