It’s as important for men to groom their hair as it is for women. The other day I had a childhood friend who reads the blog asked me: “How often should black men wash their hair?”
As someone who grew up with three brothers, my first thought was answering him “every other day”.
Then I figured I could do some research and a couple of my guy friends and family members.
Men are paying attention to grooming
With the growing number of black male celebrities who have set high standards for grooming, it’s no longer enough to just get a haircut.
The hair needs of black men are unique due to the type of hair they have.
Many more men are paying attention to grooming and this has seen an increase in black men’s hair care products too.
Men need to look good whether at the office, at home, or out and about.
Their image has taken center stage in their lives.
How often should black men wash their hair?
Black people’s hair is very different from other types of hair.
It, therefore, needs a different hair care regimen too.
The hair tends to be dry
The one fact to note is that black people’s hair is not oily.
It tends to be dry and doesn’t require regular washing like other types of hair that have a build-up of oil.
The type of products used on black hair must be gentle and not strip the hair of all oils including the natural oils.
Just feeling a black person’s hair will reveal how different it is in terms of texture.
Black hair tends to be curly and doesn’t allow even distribution of natural oils like in straight hair.
This means most of the hair is left dry and prone to easy breakage. It’s all genetics.
It’d be advisable for black men to wash their hair after a few days.
Most shampoos in the market are designed to strip all dirt, hard water minerals, product build-up, as well as the hair’s natural oils.
Because of this, shampoos will dry out your hair.
It’s therefore advisable to follow-up shampooing with a moisturizing conditioner.
Washing the hair after a few days solely applies if fewer products are used on the hair daily.
Hair that has a lot of build-up at the end of the day due to the use of products used should be washed often.
This oil build-up from products can cause problems for the health of the scalp.
These products tend to have many chemicals in them that when left on hair too long can cause problems for the hair and skin.
Hair length matters
How often black men wash their hair depends on the length of the hair too.
Many keep their hair neat and cut short.
They can shampoo their hair every 7-10 days.
Men who keep long black hair need a better regimen and may have to visit their groomer twice a week.
Long hair collects more dirt and there are more products used to maintain it.
Because black hair tends to recoil when in contact with water, home grooming may not be the best answer.
How active are you?
How active a man is can be a determining factor.
A very active man will want to wash their hair often due to sweating.
The one thing they can do to ensure regular washing doesn’t leave their hair dry and brittle is to moisturize it daily.
You can also try using natural shampoos as another way of countering the drying effect of regular shampoos.
Natural shampoos (and many homemade shampoos) have fewer harmful chemicals in them.
You should generally go for shampoos that are made for natural black hair that doesn’t strip all the oil from your mane.
There is a range of natural shampoos that use natural ingredients and oils.
Finding the one that works best may take some time but it’s worth the hustle.
These shampoos nourish black hair and make it have a better natural look.
They are the most ideal to use in case one doesn’t enjoy applying any products on their hair.
My brothers were very active in sports when we were growing up and I’d see them washing their afros like every other day.
In fact, it’s one of them who first introduced me to the practice of conditioner washing (popularly referred to as co-washing).
This is when you use regular conditioner to wash your hair instead of using shampoo.
The idea behind this is to try and avoid the drying out effect of shampoos, especially if you wash your hair almost daily.
Some people also do co-washing in between shampoo cleansing.
Like they may use shampoo every two weeks, but in between, they’ll use regular conditioner to wash their hair every 2-3 days.
A lot of people who co-wash swear that it leaves their locks smoother, softer, and easy to manage.
How often should a black man condition his hair?
Conditioning your hair is essential to having a healthy and well-nourished growth of your mane.
After the cleansing process
Hair that is not conditioned tends to appear dull and dry. It also tends to break easily due to lack of moisture and healthy oils.
Washing the hair tends to strip away most of the natural oils that make hair strong and less brittle.
Therefore, you should always aim to condition your hair immediately after the cleansing process.
Conditioning the hair also helps when it comes to styling it, especially for black men with longer hair.
It can be hard to style hair that hasn’t been conditioned well.
Daily leave-in conditioners
Conditioning black hair can be done daily whether the hair is washed or not.
This is due to the availability of leave-in conditioners that don’t have to be rinsed off immediately, like is the case with regular conditioners.
Regular conditioners need to be washed off are best applied when hair is still wet after shampooing it.
Using a leave-in conditioner daily is important for men because it’s not only washing that dries their hair.
Living in a hot and humid environment can result in your hair drying out.
These dry conditions affect the hair because it’s out in the open mostly and can’t be covered all the time.
A good leave-in conditioner will sufficiently hydrate the hair to reduce dryness and the chances of the hair breaking.
Black men with long hair should take more care when choosing a leave-in conditioner to use daily.
A conditioner with more natural products made for black hair is more ideal.
In a previous article, I discussed at length on how to choose good leave-in conditioners, which are categorized as either watery or creamy.
Black men need to be aware of what works best for their type of hair.
Their hair is naturally curly and doesn’t require regular washing.
Daily washing can be damaging due to dryness after using shampoo.
Dry hair is more brittle and easily susceptible to breakage. It also appears dull and lifeless.
If you have a regular office job and aren’t sporty, washing your hair every 7-10 days is ideal.
However, if you are sporty or have a physically demanding job, you’ll want to wash your hair more often.
Conditioner washing (co-washing) is a good alternative if you are afraid of shampoos stripping out your hair’s natural moisture.
Black men can, however, condition their hair on a regular, if not on a daily basis.
This will ensure that their hair is always moisturized.