Afro-Ethnic hair issues.
As an introduction, it is good to know that hair types differ globally, majorly based on race. People from different parts of the globe have different hair types. These hair types have distinct differences in texture, wave patterns, porosity, and appearance.
Asian hair is found on People whose nativity is the Asian continent. Caucasian hair is also called European hair. People from the European race possess this type of hair. Caucasian and Asian hairs have a straight hair follicle, free of irregularities, and round-shaped hair shafts with homogeneous diameter throughout the fiber.
People from the African race have Afro-ethnic hair. This hair type is darker, and the hair follicles have an elliptical to oval cross section. Water absorption capacity and the bonds between water molecules and protein molecules of the shaft interfere with the physical properties and architecture of the hair. Both of them are reduced in the Afro-ethnic hair and, hence, the hair strands form knots and longitudinal cracks which make it more fragile.
It is important to note that different hair types, based on physical and chemical characteristics, have different needs. Aro-Ethnic hair has different unique needs compared to Asian and Caucasian hair types.
Let’s get biased and exclusively address problems associated with afro-ethnic hair, shall we?
1. Short Anagen Syndrome.
Hair grows in three stages, namely; Anagen phase (growth phase), Catagen phase, and the Telogen phase (resting phase). Afro ethnic hair has longer telogen and catagen phases more than the anagen phase. This means that afro ethnic hair grows at a lower rate than other hair types. For this reason, people with afro ethnic hair types are encouraged to use premium hair products that stimulate hair follicles to remain active during the short anagen phase. Such hair products include black castor oil, palm kernel oil, rosemary essential oils, and tea tree essential oils. Massaging the scalp frequently with a combination of the above natural oils will stimulate open follicles.
2. Hair Breakage.
The nature of afro ethnic hair to present itself in short wavy curls causes a lot of tangle between hair strands. Most women, therefore, prefer using chemicals and frequent heat treatment to prevent it from tangling. However, using chemicals and heat treatment results in long-term hair breakage and split ends. For this reason, we encourage people to use detangling conditioners and leave-in conditioners to managing tangled hair rather than the use of chemicals.
3. Traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia is a condition that results in a broken hairline. Hair follicles are fragile at the hairline, more than any other part of the scalp. Frequent tight braid plaiting, rubber banding, and friction on the pillow are the most common causes of this condition. To manage this, we encourage people to use satin hair bonnets while they sleep, to reduce hair friction with the pillow. The use of oils that maintain healthy hairline follicles, such as palm kernel oil, results in better care of the hairline. It is advisable also to use protective hairstyles, such as plain hair loose twist outs and styling using mild gels and crème, is a good option to consider.
4. Swollen follicles.
Many people who have afro ethnic hair tend to plait their hair frequently. Hair plaiting exerts stress on the hair follicles and causes mild damage. When the injured follicles come into contact with bacteria, they swell and form rashes on the scalp. This affects the scalp health and hair growth as well. The best way to handle this situation is to use hair oils that have antibacterial properties, which will protect the damaged follicles and initiate instant healing on the scalp after plaiting. 90% of the cold-pressed oils have this property, with the highest being neem oil.