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African-American hair grows the same as other hair types, but you might not think so because the natural texture shrinks up, making it look much shorter than it really is. What's a woman to do when she wants long, natural hair? Gentle styling techniques are a must when dealing with this hair type, so get ready to pamper your tresses and treat them right. You'll be rewarded with African-American hair that's long, strong and gorgeous.
Shampoo and condition your hair about once per week with moisturizing products. Look for shampoos and conditioners designed for dry hair, as most African-American hair is usually naturally dry. Also leave any products with sulfates on the shelf. These chemicals strip hair of its natural moisture.
Comb hair only when it's saturated with conditioner. Begin at the bottom of a section of hair and comb out tangles as you work your way toward the roots. Being too rough with African-American hair often leads to breakage, so treat it with care.
Use a pick on dry hair to help detangle and fluff your hair. Use plastic or bone picks rather than metal; plastic and bone are gentler to your hair.
Use natural products, such as jojoba, almond or coconut oils, on your hair. Heavy, petroleum-based products are not beneficial to your hair, as these coat it and attract dust.
Sleep in a silk or satin hair cover, or use a silk or satin pillowcase. These materials will not catch on delicate hair and cause breakage.
Wear protective styles like braids, cornrows and twists to help prevent breakage. If your hair's ends break at the same rate it grows, it appears that it's not growing.
If you want to bolster hair's strength as it grows, try a protein treatment. But limit it to once per month or all that protein will backfire on you with more breakage.
Avoid shampooing more than once per week. Too much shampooing may dry out your hair, affecting its ability to retain length because dry ends are more prone to breakage.