Monday, 24 September 2012

Caring for Afro-Caribbean Hair.

Source

Afro-Caribbean hair can be challenging to deal with on a daily basis. Recently, my best friend and her partner adopted an African girl, and they have discussed with me many stories about life with her, especially about the difficulty of her hair. Her hair was already quite long when she arrived, and they had to quickly get to grips with the best ways of dealing with it. Her hair is naturally dry and very curly, which can cause problems for styling. They also wanted to make sure that she would avoid any pain or discomfort as the result of treatments or braids. It took them a bit of time, but with the help of surrounding friends (including me!) and hairdressers, they were able to get into a regular routine that kept everyone happy.

1 - Washing and Conditioning

There’s always the danger with Afro-Caribbean hair that washing is going to produce many tangles. They found this out on more than one occasion. Tangles can be very difficult to get out once they reach a certain stage, and can be painful to brush out. They find that it’s best to use a regular use shampoo to reduce dryness, while using a low pH shampoo to moisturise. It’s also useful to comb tangles through when hair is still full of conditioner, as this can stop it from breaking. Deep conditioning treatments have also worked well from them.

2 - Styling

It can be difficult to get a regular style in place with Afro-Caribbean hair. They were concerned about using chemical treatments, as well as using anything that might damage her hair. She’s quite happy to have her hair curly, but it quickly becomes a problem if there is bad weather, as a little bit of moisture can cause havoc. Some of the options they looked into were braiding. Although this works most of the time, they have been warned to be careful about braiding too tightly and too often. This can lead to hair being pulled out, and can lead to permanent damage to the scalp. Chemical treatments to straighten hair were also looked into, but didn’t really appeal to anyone. For one thing, they’re expensive and require regular treatments from professionals to avoid damaging the hair. Straighteners are another option, and can work from time to time. However, blow drying and straightening on a regular basis can cause problems with dryness and hair breaking.

3 - General Advice

I think the best advice that I can give is to look at some of the less harsh treatments available for Afro-Caribbean hair. There’s a lot of variation as well between different children’s hair. Some children might have wavy, rather than very curly hair, and can be styled more easily. Most of the time they’ve found that a good washing and conditioning routine can cut down on a lot of problems, and can allow them to avoid using harsh chemicals. Light braiding seems to do the trick most of the time. As before, I’d advise against braiding too tightly and too often, as I’ve heard horror stories about permanent damage caused by doing so.

Author Bio:
Serena Grant specialises in writing about hair loss, re-growth and hair care for both men and women.


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