Unique in appearance and structure, Black people's hair isespecially fragile and prone to injury and damage. More than half of AfricanAmerican women will cite thinning hair or hair loss as their top hair concern. Fortunately,there is a lot you can do to help minimize damage and keep your hair beautiful.

To help keep Black hair healthy, dermatologists recommend the following tips:

  • Wash your hair once a week or every other week.

    This will help prevent build-up of hair care products, which canbe drying to the hair.

  • Use conditioner.

    Use conditioner every time you wash your hair. Be sure to coat the ends of the hair with conditioner, as the ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair.

  • Use a hot oil treatment twice a month.

    This adds additional moisture and elasticity to your hair.

  • Use a heat protecting product before styling.

    Adding this to wet hair before styling will help minimize heatdamage.

  • Use caution with relaxers.

    To minimize hair damage, always go to a professional hair stylist to ensure that the relaxer is applied safely. Touch-ups should only be done every two to three months and only to newly grown hair. Never apply relaxer to hair that has already been relaxed.

  • Use ceramic combs or irons to press hair.

    If you would like to press or thermally straighten your hair, use a ceramic comb or iron and only do so once a week. Use a straightening device with a dial to ensure the device is not too hot. Use the lowest possible temperature setting that gives you the style you want. A higher temperature may be necessary for thicker, coarser hair.

  • Make sure braids, cornrows or weaves are not too tight.

    If it hurts while your hair is being styled, ask the stylist to stop and redo it. Pain equals damage.