A healthy head of hair depends on several factors: your diet, the products you use every day and your washing and styling habits. Learn more now
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Every day. Once a week. A couple of times a month. Every woman of colour has a different answer when asked how often she washes her hair. It does depend on hair type and style choice, but there are some basic guidelines every woman can follow to avoid the problems that stem from under-washing or over-washing your hair – primarily brittleness, breakage and a dry, itchy scalp.
A lot of hearsay advice insists that washing African hair too often will dry it out. According to this logic, cleansing strips your tight coils of the nourishing natural scalp oils already struggling to travel along your strands because of their intense, gravity-defying curls and Z-shapes.
At the same time, if you have dry scalp, too little washing will allow flakes and irritating impurities to build up on the surface of your head, only worsening the condition. So, what’s the right balance of washing for African hair? And if dryness is a prevalent issue, isn’t conditioning more important than cleansing?
Right now, we’re going to state one of the most important rules around haircare: when it comes to hair-centred questions, always, always turn to the experts. And we’re not talking about just anyone with a blog, a YouTube channel and an opinion. Seek out your nearest salon and speak to a professional stylist with years of experience and training. They’ll provide reliable, accurate information in relation to your hair needs.
For example, Mashudu Netshidzivhani, Mizani education developer, has this to say about washing African hair: “I recommend washing your hair once every seven to 10 days. Your scalp should always be the main focus when washing your hair and you need to wash away any oils, products or dirt that causes build-up,” he adds.
It seems possible, then, to say that hair washing isn’t the enemy of shiny, soft, well-nourished locks. In fact, water is really good for African hair. Rather, the problem is washing your hair with products that destroy the moisture balance of your locks due to drying ingredients like sulphate and paraben.
It is therefore key to wash your hair with cleansers free of these ingredients. Use products like Mizani’s True Textures Moisture Replenish Shampoo, available at salons. This shampoo is enriched with natural coconut, olive and marula oil to hydrate, restore and condition hair while it gently cleanses.
Of course, regular conditioning and deep moisturising treatment of your hair is vitally important, but cleaning is just as crucial – and, when done right, will work together with moisturisers for bouncy, strong, healthy curls bursting with vitality and shine.
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