Black hair is prone to breakage. Some amount of hair loss is natural, but most hair loss in black women stems from mistreatment or a disproportionate amount of moisture or protein. Many stylists who focus on healthy black hair will tell you that your hair demands a balance of moisture and protein. Nothing else that you do to obtain a head of healthy black hair will matter if you that balance is thrown off. Follow these steps to test your hair.
1. WET YOUR HAIR
It is best to do this test after you have shampooed your hair. While it is still wet you will need to grip about an inch of your hair between your fingers.
2. STRETCH THE WET STRANDS OF HAIR
Take the inch of wet hair and run a comb through it. Make sure that it is not tangled when you do this - you don't want to harm your hair. And remember, it is always best to use a wide-tooth comb in black hair
Pay close attention to the way that the hair strands react after they have been combed. Healthy black hair strands will stretch, but they will not break unless they are under an extreme amount of stress. Again, what you are looking for in this step is to see how your hair reacts to the wet stretch.
If your hair stretches just a little, then returns to its normal length without breakage, your hair is balanced. Good job, you're done!
If your hair exhibits any of the following tendencies, you need to focus on moisturizing:
* Does not stretch at all, then breaks
* Is extremely rough and brittle
If your hair exhibits any of the following tendencies, you need to focus on protein:
* Is limp and gummy feeling/looking
* Stretches a long way then proceeds to break off
After you have found out which problem is affecting your hair, you will need to address it. Any stylist will tell you that lack of moisture is usually the problem for black hair. But, there are times when lack of protein is the issue. In either case, here is how you can solve each problem:
Lack of MOISTURE:
This one is simple. Black hair needs a great deal of moisture because it is very porous. Look for moisturizing conditioners or moisturizing creams, then make sure to seal in the moisture with a light oil sheen
Lack of PROTEIN: There are many protein treatments for black hair. You can also get protein based leave in conditioners as well.
6. RETURN TO YOUR NORMAL HAIR CARE REGIMEN
Once your hair is balanced you can return to your normal hair care regime. If you have completed the comb/stretch test, but you are still not sure whether your hair lacks protein or moisture, it is best to shoot for the moisture issue first in black hair.
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