Tuesday, May 19, 2015

African Americans, Hair Care And Self Esteem - 5 Tips For Managing Natural Hair

The inability to manage one's own hair can be a source of low self-esteem for anyone. Self-esteem is how one thinks of one's self, whether good or bad. An individual may actually accept their own hair and manage it as best they can. Yet, peers and acquaintances provide feedback that the hair is somehow unacceptable. This can take a toll on self-esteem. Of particular interest to me are the effects of natural hair challenges in the African-American and/or bi-racial communities. Natural hair care seems simple. Yet, there are a number of reasons why one may feel incapable of a task as simple as styling hair. These reasons include
  • It seems too difficult to comb
  • A person has never known effective techniques for managing their own kinky/curly hair
  • A person is transitioning from relaxed to natural and doesn't know how to handle two hair textures at once
  • A person has recently become a foster or adoptive parent and they need to know how to care for kinky/curly hair
Here are five tips that may help
Be gentle. Kinky/curly hair may seem strong. Yet in its dry natural state, it is actually pretty weak and vulnerable to breakage.

Use great products. One example is the Kinky Curly product line that has now been picked up by Target. Another example is Miss Jessie's natural hair care line, which is also sold at Target. The products are a bit pricey: $12 for a bottle of Kinky-Curly shampoo. Yet, they are so worth it. The Kinky Curly shampoo is organic and sulfate-free. My two daughters and I use these brands and they have increased the manageability of our hair.
Use a wide-toothed comb. Yes, kinky hair can be de-tangled. Wet the hair with water or a leave-in conditioner prior to detangling. Get a large comb with wide teeth to help with detangling. Do not use a small tooth comb. Most likely you will break the hair.
Comb in small sections. Doing one section at a time and beginning with the ends of each section of wet hair allows for minimal discomfort. Once each section is detangled, twist the hair and pin it to keep it separate from the tangled hair.
Find good resources for hair care. In addition to your stylist, check online resources. Yes, Target has great products available. Yet, there are so many videos on YouTube that show great techniques on detangling and caring for African-American hair. One of my favorite channels is by Kim Love. Her channel is amazing!!! The techniques that she demonstrates on video are better than what most of us have learned at home or at the salon. She offers practical hairstyles and she actually shares details on what she does and products that she uses.
Improving self-esteem is often accomplished by solving a problem or completing a task. Hopefully these tips will help to resolve issues with natural hair. Hopefully, overcoming kinky hair challenges will prove to be a nice boost to one's self-esteem.
Click to find more information from around the web on African-American natural hairstyles.
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