How to Care for Gray African American Hair

By Pamela Hilliard Owens, M.

Many people are under the impression that Black hair has different elements than non-Black hair. Actually, the components of all hair types are essentially the same; it is in the way the elements of the hair are structured that result in the differences in texture. Often, the outer layer of the hair, called the cuticle, can be twice as thick for Black hair as it is for other types of hair. Black hair also tends to be drier because it is more difficult for the natural oil secretions to effectively penetrate the more tightly-curled hair. Gray hair is also in general, more resistant to coloring and chemical treatments than other hair colors.

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How to Care for Your Gray African-American Hair Type

Step 1

Decide whether you choose to wear your hair in a natural or relaxed style. Decide whether you will let your hair "go gray" or color it hair to conceal your gray. Select your hair care products based on your decision for hairstyle and color preference.

Step 2

Wash your hair no more than once a week, gently massaging your scalp. Carefully blot out excess water with a towel. Apply a leave-in deep conditioner.

Step 3

Have your hair professionally cut at least every six weeks. If desired, color your hair with a haircolor preparation made especially to cover gray. Use a hair moisturizing lotion, or shea butter-type oil daily.