The unique texture of black men's hair requires them to take a different approach to styling and maintaining the health of their hair. It is also necessary to invest in products that are specially formulated to enhance the natural health and condition of the hair.
Proper hair care is essential because black men's hair is prone to dryness and, in extreme cases, eczema or psoriasis. African-American hair also has a tendency to be brittle and to break easily if brushed too hard or braided too often. Because the majority of styles require twisting or braiding of the hair, extra care should be taken to strengthen it.
The proper care of African-American hair revolves around ample moisturizing and conditioning of the scalp and hair. Vitamin-rich hair products are especially effective for this purpose. They are also important in the proper styling of any black man's hair. Homemade treatments can be used or specially formulated products may be purchased from hair supply stores.
Proper shampooing techniques contribute to the health of the hair as well. The hair should first be combed with a wide-tooth comb to remove all tangles, and then soaked using warm water prior to applying the shampoo. A moisturizing shampoo should then be worked into the hair, and the scalp needs to be massaged in a gentle circular motion for up to three minutes. Massaging the scalp not only helps to work any dirt out, but also increases blood circulation, which is nourishing for the man's hair. Clear warm water is used to rinse out the shampoo carefully and meticulously.
A professional haircut should be followed up with maintenance trims on a regular schedule, based on the man's natural rate of hair growth. This will keep the chosen style fresh and neat. Keeping a black man's hair short limits the number of hairstyles he can have, and requires more intensive scalp care because it is more vulnerable to inclement weather conditions as the seasons change. However, it also requires minimal hair styling.
Waves work well with hair that is little more than 1½ inches long. Pomade and a nylon head covering can be used to create the look, which can then be cut to a chosen style. Longer hair often reverts to its naturally wavy or curly state. A number of hair styling products are available to either straighten the hair curls or to enhance the curl. Depending on the chosen style, a black man's hair curls are easily managed if they are kept smooth and conditioned.