Biracial Hair Care Tips: Breakage/damage

All hair experiences damage to some degree. There is nothing you can do to eliminate it completely but, by following a good regimen and implementing the right products, tools and techniques, you can significantly reduce damage. Here are a few types of damage that can occur…

•Heat damage – damage to the cuticle layer of the hair caused by using heat. Signs include loss of elasticity, straight pieces or looser curl pattern, dryness, excessive frizz and split or broken ends. Ways to prevent heat damage include not using heat too young, always using a heat protectant, having the right styling tools (good quality flat iron/blow dryer) and not going over the hair too many times with heat. It’s always a good idea to do a long deep condition after heat has been used and make sure the hair is properly moisturized before and after heat is used.

•Mechanical damage – over manipulation of hair, poor techniques with detangling and tight hair styles (braids, hair ties etc.). Signs include thinning edges, mid shaft knots and excessive split or thin edges. Always be gentle when detangling and styling and pay attention to the condition of the hair and scalp. If the skin on the edges is red or has little bumps, that may be a sign that there is too much tension on the edges. This can lead to permanent hair loss and not to mention, pain for your child. Be careful!

•Chemical damage – damage caused by chemicals from relaxers, texturizers, hair dye etc. This is unlikely to happen as much to the little ones (hopefully). Now days, relaxers are becoming more uncommon due to awareness of the damage they cause. Never apply a relaxer to your child’s head!

•Normal wear and tear – this is the damage caused by things like snagging the hair on zippers, rubbing on clothing all day, dryness from weather and many other things that occur on a daily basis. This is unavoidable, but can be kept to a minimum with a good hair care regimen and good trimming habits.
In a couple weeks, I’ll discuss the importance of getting your child’s hair trimmed on a regular basis. Now that you know the signs of damage, you can better prevent it and treat it. Stay tuned for a piece on black history month. Thank you for reading.

-Sherry Ulvick