How to Treat Damaged Black Hair

Black, or African American, hair is a different texture than Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic hair. The texture of the hair prevents the natural oils from the scalp from reaching the hair shaft. Thus, black hair tends to be very dry. Overprocessing and the use of heating tools can greatly damage black hair by causing it to become dehydrated, brittle and prone to breakage. Reversing the damage takes time and requires the use of highly moisturizing products.

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Reconstructing Damaged Hair

How to Care for Dry, Damaged & Weak African-American Hair

Things You’ll Need

Satin scarf or pillowcase
Leave-in conditioner
Wide tooth comb
Hot oil treatment

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Condition hair on a daily basis. Wet hair, apply the conditioner and leave on for about three minutes then rinse out. Limit washing the hair to two to three times a week. Shampooing further strips natural oils, making damaged black hair even more dehydrated and brittle. Conditioning, on the other hand, is essential to repairing damaged cuticles by restoring moisture to the hair shaft and eliminating unattractive frizz.


Coat the tips of the hair with a leave-in conditioner to seal split ends. A leave-in conditioner will also restore shine and elasticity to parched and fried locks. Use it every time you wash your hair after using a rinse-out conditioner. You can also use a leave-in conditioner daily on wet or dry hair.


Wrap hair with a satin scarf before bedtime. Satin prevents hair from developing split ends and reduces breakage that can occur when hair rubs against harsher fabrics. It will also help seal in moisture and prevent damaged hair from becoming worse. Cover pillow with a satin case if you don’t have a satin hair scarf.


Detangle hair in the shower while it’s still wet and pliable. Use a wide tooth comb to prevent breakage. A fine tooth comb can cause dehydrated hair to break apart at the shaft leading to hair loss. Avoid using a comb on dry hair as it can also lead to breakage.


Use a hot oil treatment once a month. This treatment is the best substitute for the natural oils produced by the scalp. Apply from roots to tips to soften and repair the entire hair shaft.

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