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It doesn't matter if you lock it, twist it, relax it or wear it natural; all African-American hair has one thing in common, it needs moisture. The very nature of African-American hair makes it hard for the oil to travel from the scalp down to the tip of the hair. Starting with the right moisturizing shampoo can help your hair stay soft and manageable.
Cleansing for Your Natural Curl
When you have naturally coarse hair, shampoos with sulfate can be harsh on your hair. Coarse and curly hair has a hard time retaining moisture. Sulfates can strip your beautiful hair of its natural oils. The result is dry, brittle and unmanageable hair. Why not try a sulfate-free cream cleanser? Marie Ceasar, owner of Madusalon in San Francisco, California, specializes in kinky and curly hair. She recommends her clients use Devacurl No Poo Shampoo. It is a lather-free cleansing cream that gently removes buildup without stripping hair of essential oil.
Keep Your Relaxer Fresh
The chemicals in relaxers and texturizers can break down proteins in your hair and dry it out. When buying a shampoo for chemically treated hair, look for a shampoo that is super-hydrating. Essence Magazine voted this shampoo the best for 2011. Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Frizz Shampoo is free of sodium chloride and sulfate. Bamboo extract helps hair hold in moisture. Bamboo also strengthens the hair cuticle and helps protect it from humidity.
Don't Pat That Weave; Clean It Instead
Sew-In hair weaves and braids can be a challenge to maintain. Plus, the tight braids and tracks can make your scalp itch. If you are tired of looking like the before in a dandruff commercial, try a shampoo designed for braids and weaves. Ahsha Murphy, a stylist at San Francisco's premier African-American Hair Salon, Winfred's, recommends KeraCare Gentle Cleansing Shampoo to her clients. Calendula soothes and conditions, antiseptics help soothe an itchy scalp, and the small tip applicator makes it easy to get cleanser in between braids without loosening them.
Maintain Your Moisture for Beautiful Hair
Murphy tells her clients that it is important to condition your hair. It doesn't matter if you wear your hair natural or straight, conditioning your hair helps it maintain luster, health and shine. Use a conditioning shampoo once a week, followed by a hydrating conditioner. Try a deep conditioner for an intense treatment. If you wear your hair naturally curly, Murphy recommends using a conditioning cream or leave-in conditioner after you shampoo, for frizz-free defined curls.