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Ethnic Conditioners and Relaxers

 –  African-American hair's unique texture and structure allows it to be worn in many types of styles, but these differences also make it more susceptible to a host of hair care problems such as dryness and breakage. Ethnic conditioners can help you minimize many of the problems that make it difficult to manage your hair and you can use relaxers to soften curls for straighter, sleeker styles.
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Rinse-Away Conditioners

Keeping African-American hair well hydrated is essential to taming frizz, making curls easy to shape and reducing the chances of breakage. Every time you wash your hair, you should use a rinse-away conditioner in the shower or bath to replenish moisture. Rinse-away conditioners made by ethnic hair care brands contain ingredients that penetrate the strands and leave behind emollients – ingredients that add hydration. Shampooing hair too frequently can strip the strands of moisture, so you should skip the shampoo sometimes when you shower. When you do forgo washing, you should still apply your rinse-away conditioner to promote hair health.

Leave-in Conditioners

Leave-in conditioners are another moisturizing solution for African-American hair, but these products are not rinsed out like the conditioners that you apply in the bath or shower. A leave-in conditioner may come in the form of a spray, oil or a cream that you apply when your hair is wet or dry. Many hair care experts recommend that African-Americans use a leave-in product every day to help their locks remain hydrated. You can choose the type of formula that is easiest for you to apply. Daily use of a leave-in conditioner can help keep frizz to a minimum and reduce breakage by reducing brittleness.

Intensive Conditioning

If your hair is showing signs of dryness that can't be managed with rinse-away or leave-in products alone, using an intensive hair mask or a deep conditioner can help you address the problem. These products are usually massaged onto the hair and kept in place for an extended period of time. Some products take just a few minutes to produce results, while others should be left in place for hours or even overnight. After the treatment, you can rinse away the mask and then apply a leave-in conditioner to seal in moisture. After applying an intensive conditioner on a regular basis, you'll begin to see improvements in how your hair both looks and feels.

Relaxers for Straightening

For African Americans who prefer straighter hairstyles, relaxing treatments can be used to reduce curls and waves. At-home relaxers are products that work similarly to the chemicals applied in salons. A relaxer breaks the chemical bonds that cause the hair to form curls and then allows them to reform once the hair is straightened. Relaxers typically produce long-lasting results, but new growth will appear wavy or curly as it emerges, making touch-ups necessary. Experts recommend that African Americans touch up relaxer treatments no more than once every 8 to 12 weeks to avoid dehydrating and stressing their tresses. After a relaxer treatment, be sure to use a deep conditioner to moisturize your hair.

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